June 30, 2009


Part-time peeves

I’ve been looking for part-time work (yes, again), and while I may have become more savvy in job searches over the years, the recent trend of online applications is trying my already thin patience. I understand that the Internet provides convenience and organizational benefits for employers, and most every national and regional corporation is taking advantage of these in some form. And it’s mostly a boon for job seekers as well in providing an application process that can be undertaken from the comfort of your abode.

These coolie points are quickly offset by at least three things. The first, over-arching condition is the sheer length of these buggers. I’d venture to say that an online application takes about 30-40 minutes on average to complete. There is a major contributor in almost all the prolonged ones and I’ll get to that. But first I’ll mention that there is a small, but of course totally rational and reasonable, pet peeve that seems to carry over from the old school course of beating the pavement in search of a decent occupation.

When looking for work in the higher echelons of the full-time sphere of employment, many employers respect that it is an arduous and time-consuming process and therefore are keen to simply accept a résumé with cover letter. In the part-time world, whereby my qualifications limit me primarily to services, retail, restaurant, etc. this is rarely good enough. “You need to come in and fill out an application,” is the common response to telephone inquiries made to establishments offering 25 hours per week or less. I did have a manager at one of my walk-ins, a small local retail shop, request that I e-mail him my résumé, by which I was at first somewhat impressed. It turns out he didn’t have any application forms on hand, and then when I called back the following day he claimed he “had not seen it” in his e-mail (I must confess to really hating this most B.S. of excuses – I double checked his addy before leaving the store, and the e-mail was not bounced back to me). Online there is usually an option for uploading, but in most cases the process also requires you to complete an education and work history section, even when some of the more sophisticated websites have the capability of extracting the personal information from your uploaded document. I’m at a loss as to why I have not seen any sites so far that will extract info regarding “H.S.” or “University” and “from xx-xx to yy-yy.” C’mon IT peeps, get on the stick!

My big peeve is the ubiquitous and time-consuming personality profile questionnaire. Some are quite lengthy - 80 questions is my record so far – and most are overly obvious and quite banal in their attempts to analyze potential employees. You may be familiar with the stuff – silly statements with multiple choices for expressing your world view to the middle managers of the world, and for which there are “no wrong answers.” Right, I should mark “strongly agree” to the statement “People who occasionally shoplift on an impulse are not really dishonest.” That and all of the following are actual statements that I came upon in my work search. Let’s have a looksee:

I recommend these for the “strongly disagree” category:
I understand how someone could get into the habit of shoplifting, without really meaning to.

People who work at cash registers often give their friends a break on what they have to pay.

I don’t like to watch TV shows that make you think about complicated subjects.

When someone doesn’t do things my way I find it hard to be nice to them.

Reading the newspaper is a waste of time.

People don’t realize how easy it is for employees to sell a company’s secrets to their competition.

The following seven items were on the same company’s questionnaire:
I go to parties whenever I feel like it.

My behavior doesn’t change if I’m at a party.

I get more sleep after I’ve been out at a party.

I enjoy going out to bars after work.

My social life is better if I go to bars.

I have a good time with people I meet in the bars.

Sometimes I turn down invitations to go out to bars.

For that last one I believe you could accurately answer “especially from creepy H.R. guys who write profile questionnaires.” Obsess much?

These three would be best marked “neutral” or “no opinion.”
I can talk my way out of anything.

I am a person who likes to stir up excitement.

I have noticed some recent changes in my body.

Be sure to check just ONE box for this:
Sometimes my ideas about things change quickly for no apparent reason.

And I was tempted to scrawl “the bars” at the end of this one:
I behave just as well at home as when I’m out visiting.

Wish me luck !

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You'll find something I'm sure. You are too smart to just sit around.
New record: 145 questions.
Good luck toots! I had to review the booklet that the store manager's sister filled out when she applied for seasonal help at BAM. Under shoplifting, she actually checked "yes, I've shoplifted" among lots of other weird questions to be honest on....when I told my boss, the big sister, that lil sis had failed the booklet criteria, her response was "well, at least she was honest" and then walked of shaking her head.
Oh, this was hilarious. WTF is the point? Who would be stupid enough to answer these questions honestly, if they did indeed spend a lot of time at the bars changing their personality, noticing body changes, selling company secrets, and shoplifting?
I am doing an assesment now with these same questions on it. I just did an MMPI2 back in december. 568 questions. Didn't pass. Too inconsistant.
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