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May, 2012

  1. Job Interviews Are Not Funny

    May 31, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    A funny job interview is a bad idea. Are you still laughing?

    About a month ago I got a phone interview for a position I was extremely excited about. It was in the publishing industry and this is definitely an area I can see myself thriving in. I passed the first interview and a week and a half later I walked into the front doors of their building for my in person interview.

    The first in person interview I had since being out of work, by the way.

    I smile at the receptionist. I am friendly to the lady who reviews my application before I do the sit down interview. I am dressed very professionally having bought a few new items for the big day. Ten minutes later I shake the hand of the hiring manager. I walk into the meeting room and shake the hand of the publication manager.

    Right off the bat the subject of pets come up. The hiring manager explains her dog recently passed away and the conversation turns into animal stories. Do I have any pets, they ask. I don’t, but I express my desire to have one someday soon. We joke about talking about dogs instead of the interview.

    When the interview starts officially, I can tell within seconds that I have a wonderful rapport with these two people. Great feeling right? I’ve made them laugh quite a few times. Yet, with each question coming my way I can’t help realize how negative all the questions were:

    1) What would your last employer say was your biggest weakness?

    2) Talk about a negative coworker situation.

    3) Talk about when you have been treated unfairly.

    4) Tell us about your least favorite job.

    5) Tell us your experience with a software we never put in the job ad, but we will act like you should know it already. Next tell us about how inexperienced you are with that software so you look like a loser who didn’t do her homework. (Kidding on that one. Sort of.)

    In the back of mind in between the laughter and my responses and their questions, I realized I never sold them on my skill. I was selling them on personality, but that wouldn’t give me the job. It doesn’t take a genius to tell me that. I end the interview emphasizing my enthusiasm for this field and for this position. I make them laugh again as I leave (maybe I should be a comedian?). I’m told there will be a second interview and I will hear from them next week.

    Cut ahead a week later, and I get a message from them on my house phone (they never called my cell phone for some reason). I’m excited. I think I must have gotten the next interview, because potential employers never call to reject you.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    I didn’t get the job. They gave it to someone else. Someone internally. They tell me had they gone the normal route of hiring I would have gotten the next interview. How fair is that? Isn’t that like a guy telling me that had he not met someone else he totally wouldn’t have broken up with me?

    And why didn’t they hire that person the first place? Why torment people like this?

    So you know what I learned from all this? The interviewer is not your friend. Job interviews are not funny, so don’t forget that this is a person you are trying to sell yourself to. Put the jokes aside and remember to sell yourself. I will never trust humor in an interview again. Job hunting is not funny. This is serious business here people.

    Meanwhile, I’m off to amateur night at the local comedy club since I’m so damn funny apparently.


  2. My Unemployment Story

    May 29, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Brian Reid Tissue Box_1324

    So that's what the tissue box was for.

    I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was just coming back from getting awful work coffee in the break room. I’m not even sure I had put my makeup on yet (hey, I’m not an early riser so I put makeup on during my work break at around 10). Coming back from the kitchen, I ran into my boss. He says, “Hey, you have a minute?”

    Famous last words.

    I go into the meeting room and sitting there was our benefits representative. I thought I had forgotten paperwork when they had our benefits meeting earlier in the year. I sit down. She smiles. My boss sits next to me.

    “Evelyn (not my real name), we have been reviewing your work load and we have come to the conclusion that we no longer are in need of your position. Today, will be your last day at our company.”

    Boom.

    There it was. I had just gotten laid off. Like a punch in the gut, I ask, “Are you serious?”

    And like I had just asked him if the sky was blue, he says, “Yes.”

    So that’s what the tissues were for. I grab one as tears well up. He explains that the benefits lady that I have forgotten the name of will explain everything to me and walks out of the room. Through tears I explain to the lady that one of my other family members had just gotten laid off as well. My boss knew this as well, by the way. I shouldn’t be surprised that this didn’t make a difference, but I am. Anyways, she explains to me the benefits details and I see her tear up as well. It reminded me of the movie “Up in the Air” with George Clooney and how the girl in the movie couldn’t take laying people off for a living.

    The benefits lady left the room, and explained she would be right back. While she’s gone, I call my mom and tell her the news, asking her if she can pick me up (I don’t have a car). And then I am left sitting in the meeting room of a company I no longer work in, and wait for about fifteen minutes before anyone realizes I am still there. They obviously don’t think I’m gonna go postal on them.

    The benefits lady returns, surprised to still see me sitting there. She tells me I can leave and get my stuff and say goodbye to people. When I walk to my cubicle, I pass by two of my closer coworkers who give me looks of sympathy as I walk past. Tears well up again and I head to my cubicle to pack up my personal items. It isn’t very much, since I don’t crowd my desk with many of my own things. I say goodbye only to two people. For the rest, I didn’t bother.

    And just like that, here I am four months later. I heard later on that other people got laid off a few weeks after me. It still sucked though. It was my first job out of college and while it wasn’t my first choice job, it was still a job.

    It was still a lot better than this. And this is my unemployment story.