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Monday, February 2, 2009

First day of a new job.

First days are weird for most people, right? A bit stressful wouldn't you say? You really don't know what to expect. You wonder what your coworkers will be like. The first day of a new job is like starting your first day at a new school but worse because you could get fired.

For one thing, employers expect you to live up to all your resume and interview hype. Plus, you have to try and fit in with the cool kids. It's like high school all over again.

Today was my first day at a brand new OOD. I think it could have gone a tad better. I'm just praying they don't regret their decision to hire me. It wasn't a complete disaster and I'm sure I'm hypercritical of myself but it just felt off. Anyway, here's how it went:

...I showed up on time - thank you! I went through security to get my little badge of temporary access and off I went. First, I was shown to my desk loaded with nice new equipment waiting for me inside my cube. Two computer screens people. What the hell. Not expecting that - nice! Upon deeper investigation - that was it - just the computer. No pens or sticky notes. Not even a trash can. Good thing I brought my own pad and pen with me. Next came the office tour and the super fun new employee introductions. Someone pointed out that I got the "bathroom cubicle." Yep, I sure did just like my last gig. Not much has changed. Everyone seems really nice even the person who kindly pointed out my desk is next to the crapper. I'm sure she meant well.

After all the introductions, it was back to the desk to get to work. First item on the agenda was to get set up in the computer system. I had to log in and set up a user name and password so I could access my computer. Easy right? Nope. Apparently I was assigned the same security system the FBI uses. What is up with security systems these days where you need some magic password that makes absolutely no sense and like hell you'll ever remember it? Still, it shouldn't take the length of time it took me to get mine right. After the 10th attempt and error message, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. And with my boss standing over my shoulder surely wondering how he could have hired such an idiot only made things worse. I finally gave up. Clearly, I'm incompetent and should just go home. What the heck am I doing wrong. Nothing really. The computer was just being a total asshole and when I changed one little thing it was like a veil had been lifted. Passwords continued to haunt me the rest of the day.

The phone also had a good laugh at my expense. It seems my new OOD just got a new phone system. Nobody really showed me how to operate the phone. I didn't make a big deal of it thinking surely I can figure it out myself. I have used a phone before. Still it would have been nice for a quick tutorial seeing that phone systems are unique but hey let's skip it and let me teach you 20 other things at once instead. Cool? Sure. But later the phone reared it's ugly receiver at me and had a good laugh. While trying to install a new program on my computer per the instructions from the IT department, something went wrong. No big deal. The email warned something might go wrong and in the event that it did just dial the help line for assistance. That's when the phone became possessed each time I picked up the receiver making loud repetitive beeps. Nothing I pushed made the beeping stop. Hadn't we used this stupid thing earlier I thought? What the hell have I done to screw this thing up! So, with my tail between my legs, I had to go ask for help on how to make my insane phone stop beeping. Turns out it wasn't my fault at all and there were a lot of people having trouble but it was just one other thing that I felt I was not doing right. At least the IT guy took the time to tell me how to make an outside phone call. Dial 9, people. Duh.

Once I got past being humiliated by both the phone and my computer, it was time to tackle learning the actual duties of my job. Did I mention how nice everyone seemed? I just want to preface that at least the people are nice. I just wish there was an instruction manual for my job.. I'm thinking my manager has not trained anyone before so the process might be a little painful. I'm sure my manager knows how to do the work. I bet it's like when you know exactly how to get from point A to B because you take that path everyday but you don't know the names of the streets but you still know how to get there. And then someone who has never been to point B asks you for directions on how to get there but shit you don't know the street names. Or maybe I'm just a moron and need a GPS. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I think it will be better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One of the lucky ones.

I did it! I found a job. Finally. It's not my ideal situation but beggars can't be choosers, right? Right. With all of the job cuts happening daily, I feel extremely lucky to have found something. Anything. Under different circumstances, I probably wouldn't have accepted this position but these are the times we live in. You take what you can get. At least this buys me some time.

I don't think I could have submitted one more resume or gone on one more interview. It's so degrading - the whole process. Recently, our local tv station just showed footage of people attending a job fair. The line was wrapped around the building. They reported that this was the largest group of people attending a job fair in over three years. It's crazy. What are people supposed to do? Something has got to give.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The gift that keeps on giving.

Maybe you can wear this on your last day on the job or secretly under your sweater. You can snicker privately all day long!

Get yours at Print Liberation.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Looking back: Why I didn't get offered the job.

my recent job quest, I have received several rejection letters. Nearly all of these rejections were based on qualifications (I assume) and not a result of a poor face-to-face interview. The face/face is pretty hard to come by these days. However, I did recently receive word that I was not selected for a job where I did have a face/face opportunity(s) and I have been assessing the situation.

The hiring process of this particular company was rigorous to say the least. I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I almost made it through their twisting maze of interview warfare but it is difficult not to feel disappointed and wonder what happened. What did I do wrong? What could I have done better? How can I improve the next time I am presented with such an opportunity? I managed to get some feedback from the hiring manager and felt pretty shocked at the response. "Not polished enough for their clients, could have been better organized" were the two biggies. I remember thinking, "What!?!" during the phone conversation and wondering is this person for real. Funny thing about the feedback is that I've always considered myself to be a great communicator and if anything I over prepared for this interview and worked diligently to be organized. So what gives? I guess the other candidates were just better. Maybe I was too relaxed. I've always been told to mirror the body language and communication style you are faced with and that is what I try to do. In other words, you don't want to be the energizer bunny when the person interviewing you is barely breathing. Right? Am I wrong here? I welcome any thoughts on the subject.

Anywho...I know I'm not making a complete fool of myself. In doing a google search on how to handle employer rejection, I came across this great web site called Not Hired. It is "dedicated to those who wonder why no one has called to set up an interview" and is designed to show you exactly why you are still unemployed. I am amazed at some of the bonehead moves people make during an interview. At least I can honestly say I'm not doing anything this stupid. Here is an excerpt of what you'll find on Not Hired:

  • * Said he was so well qualified [that] if he didn’t get the job, it would prove that the company’s management was incompetent.
  • * Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
  • * Brought her large dog to the interview.
  • * Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
  • * Candidate kept giggling through serious interview.
  • * She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to the music and me at the same time.
  • * Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later wearing a hairpiece.
  • * Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
  • * Asked to see interviewer’s resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate.
  • * Announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and French fries in the interviewer’s office.
  • * Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview.
  • * Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.
  • * Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
  • * Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions.
  • * Wouldn’t get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.
  • * When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.
  • * Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
  • * Bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet.
  • * Took a brush out of my purse, brushed his hair and left.
  • * Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.
  • * Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that the offer was formal.
  • * Said he wasn’t interested because the position paid too much.
  • * While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold.
  • * During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate’s briefcase. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview.
  • * A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: “Which company? When do I start? What’s the salary?” I said, “I assume you’re not interested in conducting the interview any further.” He promptly responded, “I am as long as you’ll pay me more.” I didn’t hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer.
  • * An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
  • * His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies’ undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.
  • * He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception area. He didn’t want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require indoor parking for the moped.
  • * He took off his right shoe and sock, opened a medicated foot powder and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting back the shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four times a day, and this was the time.
  • * Candidate said he really didn’t want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.
  • * He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
  • * Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security.
  • * She threw up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about the job, like nothing had happened.
  • * Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk.
  • * Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I reject your rejection! Fun with Rejection Letters.

I've seen my fair share of rejection letters lately. The most fun rejection letters come from places that never even invited you to interview. How is one rejected when one did not actually interview? Confusing, no?

The next time you get a rejection letter from a hoped-for employer, just send them the following:

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for your letter of [date of the rejection letter]. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment at this time.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite [Name of the Company]'s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time. Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm immediately.

I look forward to working with you. Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.


[Your Name]

(Originally posted here)

Ten Things You Wish You Could Say At Work

Ten Things You Wish You Could Say At Work 

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of crap.
2. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a hoot.
3. How about "never?" Is "never" good for you?
4. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
5. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
6. Ahhh, I see the mess-up fairy has visited us again.
7. You are validating my inherent mistrust of co-workers.
8. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
9. Are you coming on to me or having a seizure?
10. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Share your stories with us!

Now you can share your own personal office of doom stories any time you want. Simply use the the comment box found at the top of the blog and we'll post your experiences anonymously. 



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