Too late, Mr. Jenkins. You were an F7 back at question 2

Date:June 18, 2004 / year-entry #243
Tags:non-computer
Orig Link:https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20040618-00/?p=38813
Comments:    9
Summary:The story of somebody who worked for a job screening service. Companies hired the service to do preliminary filtering of job applicants. The best part: When applicants mistake the screener for the receptionist. When I launched into the actual interview, it really pissed them off. They'd get furious that the freaking receptionist had the audacity...

The story of somebody who worked for a job screening service. Companies hired the service to do preliminary filtering of job applicants. The best part: When applicants mistake the screener for the receptionist.

When I launched into the actual interview, it really pissed them off. They'd get furious that the freaking receptionist had the audacity to waste their time by ... And then round about question 5 it would dawn on them that this was the interview. I could hear the quick catch in their speech as it hit them, and the sick pause as they thought back over how they'd been behaving for the past several minutes. It was the attempts at damage control that I really found hilarious. Suddenly, we were best pals. They almost always thought that using my first name as much as possible might somehow make up for their earlier suggestion that I make it snappy. Too late, Mr. Jenkins. You were an F7 back at question 2.


Comments (9)
  1. Marc Wallace says:

    Must read article before making attempts at witty comments.

    Sigh. Only 9am and I’m already making mistakes.

  2. Marc Wallace says:

    An "F7"? Must be a Word Perfect user.

    (just a guess, I can’t think of other apps where F7 does anything particularly strong)

  3. Sid says:

    Is the author the same Ali davis of http://www.improvresourcecenter.com/mb/tpcs.html True Porn Clerk Stories Fame?

  4. James says:

    Yes, it is – see the bottom of the second page.

  5. Gene says:

    Hm, I guess plain old manners & being polite to strangers has disappeared.

    Also, when I was starting out, it was a fact that the administrative secretary held all the power and the VP she worked for was just a rubber stamp. You were ALWAYS nice to the secretary, and in return she remembered the time you helped her with the computer or ran a package to someone on your way back to your desk.

    On the other hand, if you were short or snobby with her, she could make sure your application for a raise or permission for a project stayed right in her in-basket, or that Mr. VP was always Very Busy Right Now.

    Besides you never know who you’re going to end up talking to on the phone. I’ve discovered to my shock that I’ve been talking to the company president, department head, executive VP, etc that just happened to be standing by a ringing phone, and been thankful my parents taught me manners.

  6. I used to work summer jobs town a beach kiosk in a local town, selling things from cups of tea to sandwiches, sweets, burgers and ice creams. It’s amazing how rude and annoying some customers can be. It can be very demoralising, too. It really does give you some perspective being on the other side of the counter. So please, remember your pleases and thank yous, it really does make that much of a difference.

  7. Markus K says:

    I liked the writing. Is there something else around that she wrote?

  8. Florian says:

    You mean besides the True Porn Clerk Stories mentioned earlier? Those are great, give them a try.

  9. tn says:

    Everybody should be polite and remember their manners. Of course. We’d all be much happier.

    But for heaven’s sake.

    Why is it necessary to subject job applicants to humiliation and trickery like this? In most cases, looking for a job sucks enough without the employer going out of its way to make it worse.

    Ali Davis sounds like an awesome woman. Assuming she wrote that article herself, she ought to be making a living writing. It was darn good! And I can understand using a screening service like that in cases where you’re likely to get mass applications and a lot of the qualifications are as straightforward as whether you have the proper drivers’ license.

    But not for technical, managerial, or professional positions. You’d think the real employer would find it to their advantage to take every opportunity for firsthand evaluation. Even if it’s just reading resumes. Subjective impressions matter, and it’s stupid to put that in the hands of a disinterested third party.

    I do understand the paradigm of the influential secretary. However, the secretarial profession ain’t what it used to be. If your prospective boss is high enough in the company to rate an executive secretary, then he REALLY shouldn’t be outsourcing his hiring decisions!

    Otherwise, well, we live in a ridiculously automated, call-centered, telemarketed world where we are frequently misled and manipulated by people on the telephone. Rudeness is never good, but neither is trickery, and it’s not entirely unreasonable to get exasperated with telephone inquisitions. I have had it, for example, with calling companies who, as soon as they answer, want your phone number and address so they can open a contact screen on you, when maybe all I want to know is how late they’re open tonight.

    To be eliminated from consideration for a professional job for something like that makes my stomach churn.

Comments are closed.


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