So there’s another job I didn’t get…Billboard Lighting Inspector. Apparently I wasn’t able to properly convey my ability to perform the duties of the position, which to the best of my knowledge entailed driving, locating the billboard and then discerning whether the lights that illuminate it at night are, in fact, working. I have to assume one makes that determination based on whether or not you can read the message on said billboard – if so, then the lights are probably working. If not, well…
Okay, remember your ‘Tony Robbins’ training. Stay positive. Maybe they were looking for someone with previous experience. You know, hoping to avoid all that costly training. That must be the reason why I was snubbed for the wood stacking job at the lumberyard, too. No doubt it would have taken me months to master the subtleties of the position, like being able to differentiate between a two-by-four and, say, a sheet of plywood. Or how to walk and carry something at the same time.
But I’ll never know, because employers don’t even give us job seekers the courtesy of a rejection letter any more. The “Thanks, we think you’re a loser, but best of luck” note that in the past provided at least some closure. Now there’s just this cyber-purgatory into which your information disappears and nothing returns.
For instance, the folks at Nestle were hiring “associates” to stock shelves in party stores (at least I wouldn’t be competing with all those unemployed rocket scientists). As requested, I sent my resume and filled out an application wherein I was asked to painstakingly re-enter all the information already listed on my resume. But in the end, both documents appear to have been utterly ignored, as I received no response. The Hertz Corporation was looking for a transporter – no, you weren’t required to kick the shit out of 17 ninja assassins while launching the vehicle from the top of a collapsing parking ramp onto a moving train, just shuttle cars back and forth from the airport. Again, nothing. The only requirement was a driver’s license, for Christ’s sake! Jeffrey Dahmer could have landed that job, but somehow my credentials came up short. So go to hell, Tony.
Welcome to the conundrum of the over-qualified. It seems to be propagated by that human resources dogma that says I won’t make a good employee because I’ll leave skid marks out of the parking lot just as soon as a job in my field opens up. Well, I’ve got news for the HR department – there are no jobs in my field. I’m applying because I need this job. And so I find myself in a curious position, trying to reverse-engineer my resume. Gone are the overstated work details and illusory verbiage meant to make me sound like Bill Gates – instead, I’m busily deflating my previous media and marketing experience so that I won’t be rejected out of hand for that lawn-mowing gig.
After a couple of months the Billboard Lighting Inspector position posted again, so I sent the bastards another resume. I heard somewhere that persistence is a virtue when it comes to job hunting, at least so long as no one feels the need to file a restraining order. But this time I asked them, as nicely as possible, how many bad hires it will take before they realize that good help really is hard to find, even if it’s just looking for burned-out lightbulbs.