Work

Job Interview Horror Stories: Reader Email

Last week I posted Job Interview Horror Stories: AT&T Ret(hell), a brief look at one of the most uncomfortable job interviews of my life.

In response, I received some fantastic reader email. People sharing stories, feedback, and ideas.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Andy in California shares an enlightening trick from the interviewer’s perspective:

Receptionist-Male

One time I moved my secretary to my desk and when the interviewee walked in I greeted him and told him to have a seat. He proceeded to ask me all about the joint, how the pay was, benefits and all that stuff you don’t ask. Then he mentioned that he’d tried sales once and really sucked and hated it but was desperate for a 3 month gig or so.

Then the phone rang and I answered it, “Andy, can I help you?” I’m not kidding, his skin tone changed like four different shades and ended in a ‘I’m gonna puke white’ look.

I stood up, shook his hand and opened the door and said, ‘Best of luck on your job hunt!’

Thanks, Andy! I’ve heard of scenarios like this, but I never knew anyone to actually try it. Kudos.

Here’s a hectic tale from Bethany in New York: 

(more…)

Advertisements

The Hunt for Red Jobtober 3: White & Nerdy & Inner City Youth

I watched Mary Poppins for the first time. It was a prerequisite of sorts. See, my wife and I we’re going to see Saving Mr. Banks at the cheap theatre, and though I grew up watching TV with a cupboard full of VHS tapes, Mary Poppins never once stopped by my house. “A spoonful of sugar” is a lot of sugar. That’s all I’m going to say.

Okay, I’ll say a little more. While watching Poppins, I realized that I am a Bert of sorts. In the film, Bert (Dick Van Dyke) never seems to be doing the same thing twice. He has four different jobs: one-man band, chalk-artists, chimney sweep, kite salesmen. He’s an unpredictable cockney, and I couldn’t help but love him.

SIDE NOTE: Saving Mr. Banks was a wonderful picture. You see it?

As the blog title suggests, I’ve had another “vocational realignment.” I’ve pulled a Bert (awkward), working where I never have before: the inner-city.

White Boys Can’t Hump

Last semester, I had a job at Wegmans (a New York grocery store chain) making coffee in their “Buzz” cafes. Wegmans is a great place to work and shop. There’s a strong sense of local pride that permeates off the walls, and it makes you feel like you’re apart of something special. While the coffee itself was not very good (Northwest coffee snob, ova-heer!), the job was a good one.

A new job opened up in a social program that works with inner-city youth, encouraging them to graduate high school and go to college. Yes, coffee can be a worthwhile vocation, but bad coffee is bad coffee, and I needed something a little more meaningful. So I learned about the program. I realized it would be like mentoring, like working in a youth group again (which I loved!), minus the cheesy Christian songs and dealing with “visionary” pastors and elders. Sounded absolutely wonderful to me. (more…)

New Beginnings Abound! (or, Mr. Hungry, my Frightful Friend)

I started a new job today. It’s a mentorship program for at-risk youth in the Rochester City School District. I’m still learning what organization does what, which branch represents which function, and who exactly I’m working for (the U of Rochester, I think), but the building, at least, is labeled the Center for Community Health. Specifically, my program is UR BOLD (Building Outstanding Leadership and Distinction).

A startling statistic I heard today is that only 10% of Black males graduate high school in Rochester (9% Latinos). Crazy, eh? If there was ever a job for a skinny, white, redheaded kid from California… I’m not sure this would be it. However, I’m up for the challenge! I couldn’t be more excited.

The past two or three months I’ve been working as a barista in a local grocery store. The job was okay; I had to wear a goofy hat and listen to my coworkers talk about boy problems while making microwaved breakfast sandwiches. Overall, the job weighed empty on my shoulders. I needed something meaningful.

SIDE NOTE: It doesn’t get more meaningful than coffee; however, this grocery chain isn’t what one would call “speciality” or as I like to call, “good.”

(more…)

Quick! Don’t Tell. (A Study Break)

Hello blogolopolus,

Meet my friend, Procrastination. He likes to stop in unannounced and drink all my beer.

I’m attempting a super quick blog post. See, I’ve been studying and working and sleeping and (well) that’s about it. My ECON Final is tomorrow. Yeah, that Econ. Thank the Lord above and the ghosts below; I’m almost through it. And when I get through it, I’ll be able to claim the knowledge of why a Demand curve slopes downward. Totally worth it.

Some good news as of late. The University of Rochester approved my proposal to create an entrepreneurship degree. (From inside sources) the proposal was “one of the best the committee had ever seen.” Sweet.

In addition, my wife got a new job. It’s suppose to be a better job than the one she has, which means we won’t hate our lives nearly as much. Yay! I don’t blame her for disliking her job. I don’t care for mine very much either. Add on a foot of snow and life feels sludgy and terrible.  (more…)

The Conundrum of Location Shenanigans (or, A Decade Under the Influence)

The Good News for me: I got a job! The Bad News for leisure: I got a job…

Good news indeed! Yes, very much so—especially when considering my recent exploits of turning down Mr. Ponytail without another viable option. The pay is decent enough, I get to learn something new, and the establishment is conveniently close to my living quarters. It’s a store, but I wont mention the name since my employment is still technically in process. The process, you see, has become a bit of a conundrum.

The wonderful people at my (supposed) new job require a full-background check upon employment. This is fine as I have nothing to hide (my secret-agent/ninja experience was wiped clean from official transcripts). The bummer part? They want ten years of addresses.

Ten years?

I don’t know even know where I live now! Is it Rochester?

My first thought was this: Okay. I can do this. Just track back, right? Rochester, Idaho, California, Idaho… That takes care of this year… Oh Lord. I can’t do this!

I’ve definitely moved around more than the average bear; unless, of course, we’re talking carnival bears. But nevertheless, it’s been a wild ride since high-school ended. My lovely wife pointed out that, stability speaking, I’m in probably the worst ten years of my life: the first ten-years after high-school.

NOTE TO SELF: Next year is my ten-year graduation reunion. Don’t go.

My Ninja Plan of Attack

I have two weeks to complete this background thingamajoo. ASAP would be best. So here’s my plan: Calling on all friends, relatives, and enemies, if you’ve seen me, at all, in the last ten years—any where—let me know where that place* was. *Please include the zip-code. Thank you.

“Kevin, that is not a good plan—at all.”

First of all, who named you Mr. Plandsome? Secondly, yes, I know. It’s a terrible plan. So, three cheers for a new plan! I’ve ordered a credit report, hoping my many addresses will be on it. I’m also open to other suggestions*.

*I accept credit for all good ideas.

Until then, I must keep racking my brain: where the hell have I been these last ten years?

Wish me luck as I go forward.

Thanks for your support, kind readers. You’re the best. Here’s a salute to my (and possibly your) decade under the influence: