Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: The Slave Trade


The Slave Trade

I have come to the conclusion that recruiters are the slave traders of the job market. They parade you around to companies saying things like 'Doesn't she look cute in her unemployment shackles?' & 'She is stronger than she looks'. Once one of those suckers sinks their teeth into your resume you become inconsequential. You are nothing but a commission. You are in fact property to be sold off to the highest bidder, or any bidder for that matter. They might as well stick you on a street corner with your resume stapled to your chest along with a strategically placed business card so the employer that finds you knows who to pay.

Much like my interviews my dealings with recruiters are just as disastrous, possibly worse....

1) The Nazi: The Nazi actually seemed like a good guy. I had gotten his name from someone I networked through. However, before I even got to call him he found my resume on Monster & called me. I met with him and he seemed to have some worthwhile interviews for me. Now he is my chronic stalker & completely uninterested in what I want. Do we all remember Schiavo Inc? I am not kidding you...He sent me back there! Let me recap our 2 conversations about this particular position:
Nazi: Amanda, I have an opportunity for you out at Schiavo Inc!
Me: I recently interviewed out there & they took a pass (Like I'm a lousy side dish at thanksgiving dinner)
Nazi: Oh. Well I am really in tight with the people out there. I think I can work around that. I mean having me on your side is better than going in alone.
Me: (Of course you think that you commission monger) I went in with a recruiter last time too. I just don't know. What is the position?
Nazi: Well, it is a help desk job!
Me: The last time I was out there was for a deskside job that paid really well. I don't think I want to be on a help desk. I'd be bored & can make more money doing deskside support.
Nazi: So you want me to go ahead & submit you?
Me: I really don't think it is worth it for me to go back out there.
Nazi: Ok, great! I will get an interview set up for next week!

After we hung up I clearly felt like I had been speaking another language. The language of NO! He was uninterested in my feelings on the matter. I wasn't too worried though. I mean who reinterviews someone they didn't like a month ago? Apparently Schiavo Inc....

Nazi: Amanda, good news I have an interview for you out at Schiavo Inc!
Me: Oh, umm, ok. Really?
Nazi: Well apparently the woman who interviews for this position was gone the last time you went in. She really liked your resume & wants to talk to you. Except she was concerned about you taking a help desk job.
Me: Well, I'm not thrilled about it. What is the pay? I mean it can't be as good as the last offer I got from them.
Nazi: I'm not sure.
Me: Well, if I was going to do help desk it would have to be good money.
Nazi: I can't pull up my ACT contact notes right now, but I swear I told you it was a help desk job.
Me: You did & I said it was less than desirable.
Nazi: Less desirable? But I told you all about the position & you seemed ok with that.What is your availability next week?
Me: (yep I was speaking a different language) Umm, can you find out how much the pay is?
Nazi: So anytime on Tuesday?
Me: Sure, just email me the details.

Yes, much to my chagrin I went back out to Schiavo Inc today. I am so pathetic. I blame the holidays for my desperation. Even though the Nazi is sure I'd be a great fit at Schiavo Inc I still don't like it out there. I get bored during the interviews. What does that tell you?
I just can't get over the stupidity of my conversations with this man.

2) The Moron: Ok, if this guy has ever placed a person it is a miracle. Another hit from Monster sends me to "We don't have a clue" recruiters. I go into an small room that is about a million degrees. The moron had 2 positions in mind for me. After I heard the minute by minute history of the recruiting company we got down to business. One position we ruled out quickly as it was phone support (maybe he should call the Nazi & explain that to him). The other position he couldn't explain to me at all because it had just come in. To remedy his confusion he drags in their sales guy. Sales guy appeared to have had speed for lunch. In the middle of his talking a mile a minute I feel a migraine coming on. I have had very few of these, but trust me you can always tell the difference between headache & migraine. I desperately wanted to be some place cool & dark. Anywhere but trapped in this hovel of a room that now had 3 people in it to increase the temp another 20 degrees. What does the sales guy decide is a brilliant plan? To have me phone interview with the company for the job they can't describe to me right that minute. I vetoed that plan because VPN was the last thing on my mind. I escaped from there & heard no word back on the position. Though I did get to spend the next 2 days with a migraine.

After that day I proceeded to have several more phone conversations with the moron that all went about the same:
Moron: I have great opportunity X for you.
Me: Sounds great, let me know when you have any information on an interview.
*Never hear back from moron*
We have repeated this ritual several times now. I am positive he has never gotten anyone a job ever & should consider a more french fry based career path.

3) The Perplexed: Nothing ever came of this particular encounter but it was my favorite conversation with a cold calling recruiter yet...
Perp: Hi, I'm so & so in Chicago and I have a position in the Milwaukee area.
Me: Ok
Perp: It is for a software developer & I'm not sure what kind of candidates I am going to find in Milwaukee. Have you ever done software development?
Me: No
Perp: I don't know what kind of candidates I'm going to get in Milwaukee. Have you ever done any software packaging?
Me: No
Perp: I don't know what kind of candidates I'm going to get in Milwaukee. Have you ever worked in an SAP environment?
Me: No
Perp: I don't know what kind of candidates I'm going to get in Milwaukee. So I am going to go ahead & submit your resume to my client.
Me: Ok, sounds good.

I was completely unqualified for the position & basically told her as much. However, apparently here in Milwaukee (a mere 75 miles from Chicago mind you) we are computer illiterate and as long as I can turn one on I'm suddenly qualified for anything. I still have a vision of this woman thinking of Wisconsin as the land of toothless, inbred, beer drinking, cow tipping, hicks with a strangely high pension for cheese & brats.
I guess she drew the short straw when she got stuck with that requisition.

4) Then there were short people...
I submitted my resume to a recruiter for a level 2/3 support position that seemed interesting. I got a very quick response & chatted briefly with the recruiter. She called me yesterday to setup an interview for today. Not a problem. The only other thing I had going on was the interview out at Schiavo Inc. I figure if I schedule all my interviews in one day I only have to dress up once. I was supposed to meet the recruiter at the client site about 10 minutes before the interview. I show up & meet with the recruiter. We chatted briefly & she assures me this won't be more than an hour. Then she proceeds to pass me off to the onsite recruiter. Mind you the recruiting company's location is across the street from the client. Why on earth they needed someone 'onsite' is beyond me. The onsite woman then dumps me in a room & says that the woman interviewing me will be down shortly. I stare at the one piece of art in the room for awhile. Then I check my phone only to see that the Nazi has called for an update on the Schiavo Inc interview. Then I started listening in on the conference call across the hall. Time always passes slowly when you are waiting, but this seemed to be getting a little long. Finally, the onsite recruiter comes back & says the interviewer was stuck on a conference call & would down in a minute.
Only on a fucking Tuesday does the following occur...
A MIDGET whips around the corner into the room. Umm, I recall being warned about a pregnant woman, so why not a midget?? It isn't that I have any short people issues that I know of, but come on that would throw anyone off guard. Then (if only I were making this up) she climbs into the chair across from me, grabs the adjustable lever on the chair and says:
"I don't like sitting up so high"
I was at a loss for words. Clearly my 3 foot height advantage precluded me from sympathizing with her chair issues. Then there were some really bad jokes that went through my head. Mostly, I just went all deer in headlights on her. Luckily, she didn't appear to require a response & moved on. All went well for the most part. I then in true 21st century fashion had to interview with another team member. He was deemed the technical one. That too went really well. However, when I emerged it was more than 2 hours since I had gotten there. Not even close to the one hour I was told. I then got to crawl home in rush hour traffic. Oh the joy of it all.

So as I continue on my quest to find a job I find myself wondering if I should learn some of those old slave songs. I think maybe it will make me look like an even better candidate at the next slave auction.

Maybe next tyme I will git meh one of those nice mas'ers Jus' like Orenthawl James.


LOL - forgive me for laughing at your predicaments with these people but you've described it so well!

Good luck with the job hunting!

4:16 AM  

Whoa! I just came by from BlogExplosion... and I can't stop wondering how dumb the people you described are... According to what u've written they should go see a psychiatrist IMMEDIATELY! ... have a nice day!


3:51 PM  

Your on-point descriptions of the recruiters you've been dealing with had me grinning from ear to ear. I'll be adding your blog to my must-read list :)

8:14 PM  

I want to say "you poor thing," but I don't see you as the type to want or need pity. So I won't say it.

The recruiting business, indeed, seems the perfect venue for stalkers. And manipulators.

-- david

8:39 PM  

I don't know whether to laugh, cry or feel sorry.

You were as serious as you were hilarious.

Acquire what you require to get the job you need.

3:05 PM  

Who needs a job.... you're a writer!

3:30 PM  

O.K. Cool, I guess I will be adding myself to your list of admirers for your rendition on job interviewing.

In either case...well done!

I just graduated in spring 04, and played that game for almost a year until I found a decent job, then I got activated shortly after that. Oh well, anyway good post, your a fun writer to read!

2:49 PM  

I'm glad everyone can laugh at my pain. I've found writing about my job hunting nightmares is incredibly cathartic. Much like my love life I've found making fun of my life helps me laugh at it. Which is good since I can't afford real therapy right now.

12:07 PM  



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