The whole interview thing has always been a daunting task. It’s almost harder to get out of the house to go to an interview than it is to get out of bed on a rainy day & get to work. Especially in today’s day & age. For starters, job interviews are not exactly for the type of job that you worked so hard to go through college to get. They are generally lower paying & demeaning work, generally of two varieties, the first being the type of job that you went to college to get away from, the other being the type of job that you always despised.
In today’s case it was the latter. Today I interviewed for a telemarketer position. Albeit it it was a telemarketing position for an online university & there are less cold calls involved, but it is still telemarketing. Most of us that have gone through the job hunt already know all about the online universities, even those of us that are trying to get into a good old fashioned brick & mortar university are familiar with them.
In America today it is hard to find an online job search engine or a temp agency that doesn’t give your information to the online university. Monster, Snagajob, Careerbuilder, you name it, while filling out a profile you’ll get instantly redirected to the online university, the questions you answered & submitted look like the questions needed to fill out a resume. Work history, education history, degrees attended, & then by the time you get to the bottom of the page & hit click it’s already too late, you have already missed the small disclaimer and opt out button at the bottom of the page.
It’s too late & now you will be receiving a plethora of phone calls from every online university in America & they all want to know if you would like to pursue a degree program in the field from which you already have a degree from a respected institute. If I’m lucky I will get a job as one of those people, one of those people that my job hunting experience has taught me to hate.
“No, I don’t want to get an online masters of education from your university”
“May I ask why.”
“Because I already have one from an accredited university.”
“In that case can I interest you in our associates of science program for only….”
“Just please take me off your call list.”
My favorite is if you let them go on a bit.
“Well we do not actually offer a masters in education, but we do offer you an online degree in medical administration that will get your foot in the door as a teacher.”
After I lost my last job I put my resume on snagajob & for a month after I was hit by up to eight phone calls a day from different online Universities. They saw that I was interested in continuing my education. I told them no, I’m not, I’m interested in finding a job. They told me I can find a better job if I have a bachelors or associates degree. I’d tell them that is a flat out lie, I already have a masters, It’s not really helping me in the least.
Now if I’m lucky I’ll get to finally be one of those people.
I can’t complain, it’s an OK job, the hours are long & the schedule shifts & involves weekends, there are no benefits, but it pays eighteen an hour. That beats the hell out of working at the Dollar General–which thought I wasn’t qualified enough to be a cashier despite seven-years experience, eleven-years if you count the jobs I had between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. But it is a temp job & it has been my experience than temp jobs are temp-to-fire & not temp-to-hire. But so far it’s the hands-down best paying temp job that I’ve had since I lost my teaching job.
I’d put them all on my resume, but that would over-crowd it & make it look like I can’t hold a steady job. I’m going with the theory that long periods of unemployment look better on a resume than a series of what amounts to one to six months worth of temporary jobs. But it’s really only temp agencies where one has the opportunity to find a job in this day & age.
Although I did get a prospect from a guy I met on New Years. It was actually because of my mother, she got me a Castro shirt that I wore to the party. I figure if people in my socioeconomic background wear Che t-shirts I might as well tow the line & be even more nonconformist than they are. It was the only thing that I asked for for Christmas & was fairly shocked that mom actually got it for me.
Castro started a conversation which ended with me asking if he knew of a job I could work. He said his place was hiring & if I wanted to I can drop his name. So I dropped it & I applied. They will be hiring in February & I’d rather be a dispatcher than a telemarketer. It’s still just phone work, but phone work that doesn’t involve ripping people off in return for a degree that will get them nowhere.
I could use the work. Any type of work will be better than sitting around looking for work & a job will delay the interview process & a career will bring it to an end.
I hate job interviews.
For starters I’m a minimum-wage classic rock kid. Wearing a suit & tie has always made me feel uncomfortable & self conscious. I have never wanted a job that required me to dress like a douche & job interviews work best if you douche it up as much as possible. Dress like you listen to one of the Justins & not Led Zeppelin & you instantly have your foot in the door.
I tend to cheat, I wear my Doc Martins with my suit. Polish them up to a shine & have my 90’s grunge comfort to go nicely with my conformity. Most people don’t notice. It’s amazing what people don’t notice.
And while you are uncomfortable wearing a suit & tie they make you sit in a chair that you can feel yourself shrinking in. You are actually getting smaller as they sit behind a desk & judge you.
The questions are always stupid & it’s hard to keep your mind from wandering. You start to notice certain things in the room & draw conclusions about the person that is interviewing you as they are judging you.
The lady that interviewed me was an alcoholic. She was also a clubber. We would never mix in the same social circles. She had the faded stamp from the Alumni Club on her hand, I’ve been there once before, it’s a classic rock kid’s vision of hell. Techno House mixed with bull shit pop. I recognized the stamp on her hand & then there were her shoes, sure, they were business shoes, but she was wearing a short skirt & had the unmistakable marks of leather fuck-me boots halfway up her calf. If I had to guess she also had a tramp stamp, she seemed like the type, probably a stylized heart with even more stylized wings. I caught a glimpse of Margarita mix in the bottom shelf of her cabinet, cleverly hidden behind several gold-star trophies, there was a small salt shaker by her computer and a touch of yellow in glass of water.
It could have been lemon flavoring, but if I had to put my money on it, the person that was sitting across from me was a woman in her thirties, single, that was still clinging to her clubbing days, & often drank at work.
And she was judging me & my past work experiences. I would NEVER drink on the job. But still, it makes you wonder, what does she see when she looks at me? I try my best to hide my little tells before I go into an interview. I cross my legs when they do, I mimic their posture, I watch my hand gestures, I try my best to make them see themselves when they look at me.
This is a lot easier to do in academia than it is in the business world. I have a feeling that in the business world they can’t get passed your clothes.
I still hope it goes well, any job is a lot better than no job. It will get me out of the house & put some money in my pocket. Money in the pocket will be nice. But a steady 18 an hour will allow me to move on with my life & a full time job will give some of my self-worth back. I really don’t like being idle, especially when I’m idle at mom & dad’s house & an end to the job hunt will be so relaxing.
Unemployment is a high stress game. It’s a pride swallowing endeavor that accumulates in an interview & from there you move onto that awkward stage where you are the new guy at work. But once that’s over & you get settled in life starts to improve. The stress melts away to the daily grind & believe it or not, I’d rather have the daily grind than unemployed idleness. The daily grind is easier to take. You have more self-confidence when you are part of the daily grind.
I was just hoping that it would be a non temp job in a respectable field. But either way cross your fingers, it’s about fucking time I entered the work force again, especially if it is sustainable work. A job that you might hate is better than no job at all & in this economy that is probably all that there is left.