I have been looking for work for about six months now and I had almost forgotten how obnoxious, unfair or just plain ridiculous some people and corporations can be.
I have been trying to take references regarding working “well” under pressure in stride. “Working with a sense of urgency”, was part of NBD, NA Bank’s mission statement and after seeing one of my co-workers die of a heart attack at work, it just didn’t sit well with me. I understand the idea of why people go into any business. To make money and for most of us, the more the better. When I began working for NBD, the man in human resources told some of us that we were now doing jobs that used to be done by three people. We waited on customers, had quotas to sell their bank products such as charge cards, mortgages and other loan products that actually make the money for banks, but put some customers under too much debt load. Then there were the referrals that we required to come up with regularly for investment products in which our prime target market were the retired folks with all their hard-earned money just sitting there, when it could be played with and risked by the bank to where the investor could lose everything, including the principal. I guarantee, if there were not governmental disclosure rules, nobody would be warned of that fact. Needless to say, I did not make these kinds of referrals and if I did because someone actually qualified and could benefit from the service, I made sure they knew the important drawbacks of investing. We also balanced the ATM, the branch statement, our tills and opened a myriad of accounts. Granted, no businesses should have anyone just sitting or standing around getting a paycheck. That’s what CEO’s are for.
I have applied to furniture stores and been informed that I would be working for them in their store, for the hours and days they assign me, but that I was really an independent contractor because it was strictly commission. I have a completely different definition of independence and contract, but that’s just me. Everyone puts their spin on things to their own benefit. Some furniture stores have strict rules on who can wait on what customer and the independent contractors must wait their turn. If you didn’t make a sale on the last customer, you go to the end of the line and miss your next turn for a customer, which is complete nonsense. If you missed a sale you need another customer and sale even faster. This rule works for the store because they are trying to sell their products and would much rather have Mr or Mrs High-pressure get that next customer because there is a better chance of a sale. I get it, the company is in it for themselves, they need to survive in a very competitive world. Move on unless you really know you are up to that kind of challenge.
There are the timed tests, the mind numbing questions that I am really getting too old for. Where do you see yourself in five-years? Retired, seriously. Most of the questions they ask potential candidates in interviews are designed for people just out of high school or maybe college. They insult the intelligence and when I was young and innocent, I was so impressed by these same questions that now make me want to roll my eyes and run out the door. Am I the one with the problem? I used to think so, but I know it is not me. It is not my fault that I have grown older, more cynical and disgusted with a society filled with companies that pretty much run the same and don’t think there is anything wrong with their cookie-cutter approach to hiring a potential employee. There are so many more important things I could tell them about myself, things they really need to know. Not to mention that the most important thing a company should do is a background check. Not just for them, but for the safety of the other employees. Falling back on some tired line of questions just to see the candidate’s response is not even rational. “What can you tell me about a time that you saved the day for a customer?” “If you could be any kind of butterfly, which kind would it be and what color and how much?”
The clincher came when I was applying for a merchandising job and they made it clear that you may be expected to drive to as many as ten stores in the span of eight hours and they did not reimburse for mileage and would this be a problem? How would I know? I don’t know what the route is or the mileage involved so I basically lied and stated that it would not be a problem. I don’t know the rate of pay and what that actual pay would come to once you take vehicle expense, gas and the time it takes to drive to your stores into consideration. As I stated, everyone wants to make money, but let’s be fair about it, especially when it comes to large corporations where the executives are making very large salaries to oversee taking advantage of those doing the actual work for the company.