Category: Job Seekers


Was Animally Attracted To The Job

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Job Seekers, Pets & Animals

(I have been looking for a job for quite a long time, so I am thrilled to get a call from the pet shelter I’d applied to. They advertised for a part-time receptionist who would also be responsible for booking appointments and arranging birthday parties at the shelter. I love animals, and think this will be perfect.)

Interviewer: “You’ll be expected to assist with euthanizing animals on a regular basis once they’re past their ‘adopt-by’ dates.”

Me: “Um… there must be some mistake. I applied for the part-time receptionist position.”

Interviewer: “That’s correct.”

Me: “The job posting didn’t mention anything about euthanizing animals, though?” *thinking: If it had, I would never have applied.*

Interviewer: “I realize that, but we’ve found that if we include that in our ad, no-one will apply.”

Me: “I see… How often would I be expected to do that?” *hoping against hope that the answer will be very rarely.*

Interviewer: “Probably at least a couple of times a day. In fact, that’s mostly what this position will entail.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry for wasting your time, but I don’t think this job will be a good fit for me.”

(I really needed a job, but I wouldn’t have been able to look my cat in the eye if I’d taken that one. Luckily, I found employment elsewhere a month later.)


Job-Seeking And Found

| UK | Job Seekers

(I am currently working as an accounts assistant for a housing association, in an office based in the business park west of the city. As I am not happy in my current workplace, I recently updated my CV to include my most recent work and sent it to some job agencies to see what else is available at the moment. One of them calls back.)

Agency: “Hi there, I am [Name] from [Job Agency]. I have had a look at your CV and have found a job I think you will be well suited for. Is now a good time to talk?”

Me: “Yes, sure, that’s fine. What is the role?”

Agency: “The role is working as an assistant in the accounts department for a local company where you will be…” *the agency worker starts listing almost everything I am already doing in my current role*

Me: “That sounds great and pretty much what I have been doing for the past few months anyway. Which company is it?”

Agency: “It is with one of the local housing associations. The only slight issue is they are based in [Business Park west of the city] and I know it can be a bit of a trek for some people. Is this something you would like to put me to put you forward for?”

Me: “Um… possibly. Can I just check though – is this with [Company I am currently working for]?”

Agency: “Yes! Sounds like you already know the area.”

Me: “Yeah… you have just offered me the chance to apply for my own job.”


Unable To Resume The Résumé

| ON, Canada | Job Seekers

(I’m applying for a job at a large pet store chain. I am very qualified for the position. Three weeks after handing in my resume I get a call from the store, right before I’m about to go out of province for a week for a family wedding.)

Manager: “Hello! I’m calling about your resume. I read it over and frankly, you are exactly what we’re looking for! I’d love for you to come in for an interview. I’m actually away for the next three days but could you come in Thursday?”

Me: “Thank you so much. I’m so glad to hear from you! Unfortunately, I will be out of province for a week. Is there any way we can do a phone interview?”

Manager: “Oh, no worries at all! Just give us a call when you get back. We’d really like to interview you before we offer this job to anyone else.”

Me: *getting excited as this job is in my field of interest and would be good experience* “Thank you! I’ll call you back as soon as I get back to Ontario!”

(The day I get back I give the store a call. I’m informed that the manager is off sick but they’ll pass along that I had called. I wait a day or two and hear nothing so call again. This time she’s there.)

Manager: *sounding slightly annoyed* “Thanks for following up. I was about to call you.”

Me: “Of course. I hope you’re feeling better! I’m back in town now and I was hoping we could still set up that interview!”

Manager: “I have to rearrange my schedule a bit; being off sick has set me back. I’ll call you back with a day and time! If you don’t hear from me in a week give me a call!”

Me: *thinking a week is a long time but still optimistic* “Great, thanks!”

(A week went by and nothing, so I called as requested. I’m told she’s sick again. I call a few days later and am told she was busy and they’d pass on the message. This continued for another week. She never called me and by that point I stop calling. I get that my going out of province probably put me out of the running for the job, but she could have told me that rather than string me along. Luckily I got another job shortly after that was seasonal but also a HUGE boost to my resume!)


A Race To Prove A Point

| NB, Canada | NB, Canada | Bigotry, Bosses & Owners, Job Seekers, New Hires

(I am the front desk manager at a hotel. It is important to note that I am a First Nations individual and I live on a First Nation reservation. It recently became necessary to hire a new front desk agent and since I had a number of resumes on file already, I chose to go through those before posting a new ad for the position. I call up all the qualified applicants and schedule interviews and finally decide on a potential candidate. Before I can offer him the position, my boss calls me into her office.)

Boss: “I think we need to have a talk.”

Me: “Okay, about what?”

Boss: “About you racially profiling potential applicants.”

Me: “Excuse me? Where is this coming from?”

Boss: “I went through your files and based on what I’m seeing, you only invited people with white sounding names in for interviews. The people with Middle Eastern or African sounding names were not called. You do realize this is a very serious offense? As in, grounds for immediate termination?”

Me: “Woah, hang on now. Where is this coming from? What makes you think I didn’t call them for interviews?”

Boss: “Well, I found your interview schedule and compared it to the resumes on file. Not one of these Middle Eastern or African people was scheduled. What else could that mean?”

Me: “Okay, first of all if you look at the notes attached to the resumes, you would see that I did call these people. The majority of them didn’t answer their phones and didn’t have voice mail and you can see here—“ *I point to a note on one of the resumes* “—I called at least three times, I even marked the date and time of each call. This one here wasn’t qualified, and this one has an address in Dubai and his number is international. It was an email resume and it was probably submitted by mistake. I can’t very well hire an individual who lives on another continent, can I?”

Boss: “Well, it still seems a little fishy to me. You never hire people of color and you seem to be geared towards white-only applicants. I think you might be racist.”

Me: “Are you being serious with me? First of all, I myself am a minority. I’m Native, remember? I’ve been the victim of racism myself here at work and elsewhere. You know that. Second of all, we live in a tiny mountain town in the middle of nowhere! 80% of the population is white! I can’t very well hire people of color if they don’t live here and don’t apply. Third, two of the people I interviewed were of color, one was even Asian and you told me I couldn’t consider him because none of our customers would be able to understand him due to his accent, so I don’t feel that your accusations are valid at all. I am very offended right now. Finally, you are the one assuming that these people are Middle Eastern or African based on their names, not me. I’m not the one racially profiling here.”

Boss: “Okay, okay, so maybe I jumped the gun a little bit here but you know I have to look out for the company. We can’t have rumors of racism running around the town. Listen, this guy here looks really good. Why don’t we hire him?”

Me: “Oh, no… I’m not even considering this guy.”

Boss: “And may I ask why not?”

Me: “Well, for starters he showed up to apply with one of his friends. They were sweaty and smelly from playing soccer and he didn’t even think to bring his resume. That right there tells me that he does not have common sense and is not very professional. Second, he barely speaks French and doesn’t speak a word of English. His accent is so thick that I could barely understand him in French and since the system and all our paperwork is in English he wouldn’t be able to even get his work done. So no, he is not a valid candidate.”

Boss: “See, this is what I mean; you are racist. He’s obviously black based on his last name and he has a bit of an accent so you don’t want to hire him. I am very disappointed in you; I’m considering this a verbal warning. You need to change your attitude and I think I might even look into sending you for sensitivity training.”

Me: “Okay, well, if that’s how you feel, do what you have to do.”

(The following day I am off when I get a text from my boss.)

Text: “I’ve just called [Applicant] and his accent is not nearly as bad as you let on. I think he is wonderful and I’ve offered him a position. He starts tomorrow.”

(I am a little annoyed and very skeptical about how well this new hire will work out. After exchanging a number of texts with my boss I determine that she has only hired him to work four nights per week, doing the night audit shift. She figures if he doesn’t have to serve customers his language skills won’t be an issue. I decided to pick my battles and let this one go. Fast forward three weeks. I have had nothing but trouble with this employee but I decide not to rub it in my boss’ face. This particular week I am off on vacation. My boss calls me at home near the end of my week. She has been covering for me at the front desk all week.)

Boss: “We need to talk seriously about [Applicant].”

Me: “Oh? What’s the problem?”

Boss: “He’s un-trainable! And miserable at that.”

Me: “Really? Why, whatever do you mean? I thought you said he was wonderful.”

Boss: “I can’t work with this guy! For one thing he doesn’t shower so he stinks and always has his friends coming in to see him. I come in at seven and he’s grumpy and ready to run out the door before I have my coat off. He never follows instructions, he forgets to do half of his job every night, and I’ve gotten a number of complaints from customers that he can’t understand them and isn’t able to fulfill their requests and that they can’t understand him. This morning [Best Client] and [Second Best Client] missed their train to work because he couldn’t understand their simple requests for a wake up call. They’re threatening to take their business elsewhere if we don’t replace him or teach him English. And on top of all that I have to keep re-teaching him things and each time it’s as though he’s learning it for the first time. He’s got no common sense… I could go on and on but I’m just so frustrated. I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “Well, for starters maybe next time you could learn to trust my judgment. You did put me in charge of managing the front desk staff. There had to be a reason for that.”

Boss: “Well, why didn’t you tell me not to hire him in the first place?”

Me: “…Really?”

(We ended up scheduling him for more training but it was a lost cause. This guy simply could not read the information on the screen and had no desire to do anything beyond receive a paycheck. He was so seriously unmotivated, we ended up letting him go. The guy I hired to replace him? He was Asian and was more than qualified. My boss never accused me of racial profiling again.)


Answering Plane-ly

| USA | Job Seekers

(I am being interviewed for an engineering firm.)

Interviewer: “Have you ever had a major mistake or error?.”

Me: “No.”

Interviewer: “That was a very arrogant answer you gave me.”

Me: “Let me ask you this. You actually expect an error or mistake?”

Interviewer: “Well—”

Me: “I worked for [Airplane Manufacturer]. I was taught that mistakes kill people.”

(After the interview, I get a phone call.)

Interviewer’s Boss: “One of my guys said that he found you arrogant.”

Me: “I found him dangerous and I am never working for him.”

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