August 18, 2011 by Heather
That is what this has become. A big blobby blog about nothing but jobs, or lack there of. It has been said that to be a good writer you must write what you know. Now, I don’t know about the “good writer” bit, but I do know about not having a job, so that is the way it is write now. I mean, right now. Heh, heh. Boy my jokes are funny late at night.
Speaking of funny..
Today I had my first encounter with an employment agency. Well, my first in-office encounter. Yesterday after my, uh, job interview, I came home and filled out the online application for a local employment agency that seemed reputable and legit. I thought it was strange that they seemed more concerned with my possible illegal drug use than my college education, but whatever.
This morning I called to make sure they had received my application and to see if they had any available jobs. I spoke to Paul, who after confirming that they indeed had my application asked if I could come in at 12:30pm for a pre-job screening to see if I’d be a good match for what they had open. He wouldn’t tell me exactly what they jobs were, which bothered me. But I freshened up anyway.. took my UTI medicine (ah, sweet relief), put on some makeup and a dress, and revived my greasy bedhead.
I got there at 12:25pm. Before he would set me up at one of the computers for my job test, Paul had to ask me (again) whether or not I’d ever used drugs or been convicted of a crime. Um, no and no. Once that was out of the way, he explained to me that I would be taking two tests. The first one was just a question/answer test, and the second was an audio test that used headphones. “Don’t worry, we clean them off after each use,” he said.
I sat down to begin the first test. Next to me was a small Hispanic fellow who seemed to be enjoying his testing. Every so often he would chuckle to himself. Not sure what that was about. The test had 76 questions that consisted of the following:
- How important to me is it that people think I’m right?
- Do I get a thrill out of persuading people to be on my side?
- Am I a really competitive person?
- How important is making a big sale to me?
- Do I enjoy changing people’s minds from what they already think?
- Do I love to win a big debate?
- Would I love to be in a job where I had to convince people of something?
I took my time and answered everything as truthfully as possible, keeping in mind that this was obviously a sales position and that I should probably exaggerate my love of sales a little bit, while still being relatively honest. I had a difficult time focusing on the test though. The employment office was kind of loud. There were about 4-5 people working in there, and they were all talking on the phone or to each other.
At one point, the small Hispanic man finished his test and went over to Paul’s desk. Paul told him that there was a job open at such-and-such place and would he be interested? “Well I actually just got fired from there,” he said. I’m thinking, surely I can get a job here. Paul said that he’d call and see if he was still eligible to work there. “One more question,” said Paul. “Have you ever had a felony or misdemeanor?”
“Yes, in 2004,” said Small Latin Man.
“Do you mind if I ask what it was for?” Paul inquired.
“Well, me and my boyfriend had a falling out and got into a big fight.”
You can imagine how difficult it was to me to control my facial expression after hearing this exchange.
I managed to finish the first test, feeling pretty confident. I clicked the “Submit” button and put the headphones on to begin the second portion of the test. I had just opened the first screen when Paul summoned me. And it was very much a summoning, as he used this little flicking open-hand motion towards me.
“Um, Heather? Um, yeah…you failed the first test. I can’t let you move on to the second test unless you pass the first one, so…yeah, just go ahead and take off your headphones and come sit down over here.”
I was stunned. I turned around in my chair, removed my headphones, and grabbed my purse, all the while trying not to cry and laugh at the same time.
He explained to me that while I wasn’t qualified for those particular jobs, that they did have some openings in some warehouse and industrial labor jobs. I told him that I was thinking more of an office setting or something like that. He made some notes, said they’d call if they had anything, and that he was sorry the test didn’t work out.
I have never felt more ridiculous in my life. I feel like a walking joke, looking for jobs. I mean, come on. Come. On. I can’t even pass a job test at a run down employment agency?
This is really starting to get quite hilarious.