Category : Reader Friendly
If you swing a cat down a street, chances are you will hit someone looking for a job or someone counting their lucky stars they have one. ‘It seems no one feels very safe at the moment,’ a friend warned. ‘You should feel lucky too.’
Apparently, one can’t switch on a TV without fear mongering smacking you in face in the form of news anchors warning you, your neighbour and swinging cats in general of the hole in the mud the economy is right now.
And are we? In a word, yes. It seems we have been face first in it for quite sometime, just didn’t know it. Yet even with all these fears, I am still prepping my resume for a excursion into the land of employers.
The word on the street is that for every job posting out there, Human Resources personnel are getting waist deep in resumes. Not like they did not get swamped before, although metaphorically speaking it seems back then it was only about ankle-deep, and that my friends, was considered business as usual. But not anymore.
So, here I am, typing away. Borrowing ideas from one employers’ list of job qualifications and unmercifully pasting them onto my resume. Let’s see… One from that job off Monster.ca… another from Workopolis.com and a third off Craigslist, its like cherry picking in July! The idea behind such intellectual borrowing is that in the end, you have filled your resume with exactly what you can do for the employer, which at times is less than what you can actually perform, however one is not here to prove your ego but to prove you can align your strengths to theirs. If you want to apply for a Marketing position and you can also Ethernet their entire office network on top of that, chances are they will not give you the job. As such, delete the Ethernet part, emphasize your MS-Office wizardry ‘Look everyone! I too can print in Word!’ Thank God for the highly payed government sponsored recruiter who shared that little gold nugget.
‘Tell rather than show.’ That is a good piece of advise I picked off an employment advise website. “Show your accomplishments!’ another generic site went on, ‘Avoid being like the rest!’ Okay, got it! I am so pumped up!
‘Don’t bore a HR manager with crazy antics’ cries another. Uh, alright, so I will use New Times Roman, can’t go wrong with the classics, then BOOM, another site demands you use anything but New Times Roman as it is antiquate and old fashioned. ‘HR Managers see hundreds of resumes a day, they expect you to be different!’ Arrgggh!
Anyone with a pulse will agree of the sheer disgust that is writing your own resume. Akin to a mixture of Chinese water torture and being flambeyed alive; somewhere among those two is in the happy median where the typing and retying your resume resides. It is a necessary evil, of course, ‘Or stay in your crappy job then!’ is often be the rebuttal of many site and indeed they are right.
Thus I hammer on trying to be distinct… HR managers like that… but not too much, HR managers apparently that too. Finally, after two hours, I finally extracted the juice out of the words I originally started with. We are talking liquid gold ladies and gentleman. I write yet another cover-letter and press send. Thank God that is over… Oh wait, there are another nineteen job posting to go. DAMN!
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Not everyone can get to be an everyday hero on Valentine’s. Not everyone gets to come to the aid of a box full of kittens in front of their beloved’s lustful gaze; feed a homeless person a banana or purchase cigarettes for a minor. For those lucky to be attached during or around February the 14th, chances are you did “OK.” You purchased that nice, hopefully thoughtful gift or experience the melodrama of making reservations at a restaurant during Western society’ most marketed holiday after Santa Claus’ day.
But I ask of you, what about the underdogs? Those people out there who neither fame nor riches has helped them in their quest for that especial someone? There are people out there, not only joe-six-pack or divorcered soccer moms, these are people of the social elite who have at one point been a victim of Cupid’s sardonic humour rather than helped by the steward of love that has been engraved in our heads thanks to endless marketing.
True Valentine Horror Stories
Now that Hallmark’s holiday has come and gone is time to call it what it is: a “Hallmark’s Holiday” and that is to put it nicely –as this is a quality, respectful blog— Valentine’s Day has become far too glamorized. Not everything is roses and chocolates out there. Sometimes it’s a war zone where your heart is no man’s land. Don’t believe it? Then you are deluded and probably on some cheap meds. As such, if you are lucky to have survived with your ego intact then maybe you won’t get suckered into Valentine’s next year. Still don’t believe? Then here are the experiences of some poor celebrity testimnials from souls who have been scarred for life:
‘I finally worked the nerve to ask this lady I had been eyeing since ’96. The date was going great, until I couldn’t help to murmur to myself: ‘The force is strong with you tonight, Luke…’ Suddenly, she twitched in horror and said, ‘Oh, you are THAT guy.’ She then excused herself to the ladies room never to be heard from again. I should really stop reliving the past.’
‘I lost my cushy ass job; my gerbil turned NDP and Harper is now wearing my old jammies! How would you feel?’
‘I like told my boyfriend of the week we could get a room and make a sex tape. And like, he got all upset. I don’t get it.’
‘Actually, I am happily married, but my agent can’t get me any auditions so I had to settle for you people. I am starving here. How come no one told me I can’t sing for shit?’
‘I asked Kevin to surprise me on Valentine’s Day. He got up really early for once, then went out and got a real job at a Jack in the Box but got fired the same day for slacking. I wasn’t surprised, but somehow I got pregnant, again. BUY MY ALBUM!
‘I am also married, but I was wondering when you would show up…’
‘So he opened this baggie, I thought it was baby talc, I swear!’
Why am I on this list?
I am with Colin. Who are you fucking people?
“Be serious! You only have one chance to make a good impression.” He continued.
“The secret to success, is to read them before they read you. Companies are faceless corporations. Pure evil. Ready to toss you down the deadwood-chute the moment you cease to be useful or in your case, if they don’t like you.”
“However in the end companies are run by people. Now, people are not evil but quite likable or at least, that is what you want them to believe. Everyone loves to feel they are better than everyone else: Special. Even if they don’t admit it.”
“I fear a sense of horrible irony in what I am about to hear…”
“That’s what you got to exploit. That’s your ticket in!”
“One word: Cynical.”
“You want to get the job or are you going to insult me?”
“May I do both?”
Peter then went on about a famous story from his past or something more akin to an anthology of them. Everyone always liked those. They were always funny and fantastical: Like, Spiderman-swings-in-and-sa
“When on my first job interview at an insurance company, a would-be manager asked me a series of questions meant to throw you off and think on your feet. Like: ‘Where would you see yourself in 5 years?’ I love time traveling questions. Or ‘Tell us a time where you were in conflict with someone and you just magically fixed it.’ Or ‘what would you do if your found your boss stealing office supplies?’ (I would have said blackmail) and other sanity-vague diatribe.
The point: No one wants to hire a moron. No one will ever say that to your face, of course. But now that I am a manager, trust me, they do. Sometimes walking an interviewee out without bursting in sub-political correct cachinnation is the hardest part of the interview!”
“Cachinnation? Really? You are a bastard Peter…”
“What is your strongest weakness?!” My manager said. “That one does come to mind a lot.”
“Isn’t that a Wynonna Judd song?”
“Silly no fuck!”
“What did you say?”
“…He was my strongest weakness… I surrendered heart and soul…”
“Shut up. You did not said that.”
“I said something about working too hard for my own good, but I was on the process of balancing it out with some sports.”
“Sounds normal, and he believed you?”
“Here is where you must shine: The Look. Everyone knows these answers are anal and vacuous. The internet has made sure to spread that fact far and wide. But the look and tone mixed in with a hint of a honest smile throws them off. That is what sells it. Don’t over do it, you don’t want to come off car-salesman smooth. Everyone hates that! And you will come off as if you are lying. That is something you want to avoid at all costs!
“Isn’t that exactly what I would be doing though?”
“See? Right there. You just failed to get the job.”
Wondered if asking Peter was a very, very, bad idea.
“Oh, wait, I will tell you my favourite question! At another interview few years later, a manager asked in a very serious and imposing tone:
‘Hypothetically, after you got the job, if my manager, came in here. Pointed out the window there and told you the sky was purple and I said to him it was blue… and he asked for your opinion. What would your answer be?’
“Finally, an interestingly attitude question…” I thought.
“I said you could not see the sky because it was in fact overcast.”
“Wha? You did not say that either! You are really BS’ing now.”
“He said it was hypothetical. Didn’t see a hipothericalistic thought sale at Costco. Its free. Anyone can use it.”
“What did he say?”
“He just sat there. Index finger raised upward, mouth opened, as if he was going to say something. After about 10 seconds he asked me if I could come up with anything else. I added we should definitely call his wife, as I would be worried for his boss going home and careening right through a red light.
“I hired you two years later, didn’t I?.” Peter said, smiling.
“Spiderman saves the day, again.” I thought.
In the end, I got the job. Not sure how but definitely not thanks to Peter’s advise.