Posted by: Lyn Rex | 15 January 2009

In Which I Attempt to Apply for Jobs

The most frustrating thing about the job application process in this millenia is the minute details that are asked for on applications.  Seriously.  I can’t ever find a job of interest, fill out the application and go on my merry way.  Nor can I just submit a resume with my experience ten years ago as a sandwich maker formatted to appear as if I am ready to help troubleshoot the company’s LAN and that the job completely prepared me for this current career. Oh no.

Now these power hungry HR people want to know everything about me and my work history. Questions like: “When was the exact date you started that summer job over ten years ago? (Just the month and year are completely unacceptable.)  And your pay (no ballpark)?  And your supervisor’s name and number? Their email? Their birthday? Their spouse’s birthday?”

I always want to write in prose something smarmy to the effect of “my supervisor at the job was some dumb older than me college kid.  This information is useless.  Anything I give you will be wrong.” Then, at the end, I have to sign a statement saying “Everything in this application is true to the best of my knowledge.”  I know I am lying when I sign this- because I know some of the information required of me, I made up on the spot because it was a summer job ten freaking years ago that I worked for three months and hell if I remember the color of the shirt I was forced to wear while I was employed there.

Oh, another thing that just makes me want to pull out my hair- when the final screen of the application process is a last minute cover letter and resume. And, no, you can’t save and continue later.  They want this information pronto or I will just have to re-do the whole application process.

Yesterday, I applied to be one of those people that proctor standardized tests. (Yes, I have two Bachelor degrees and am mere months away from having multiple graduate degrees and I am applying to be the person who explains how to fill out bubbles on a test sheet- I have sunk this low. It’s a flipping job already!)  The beginning of the process clearly states no resumes or cover letters desired only the online application will be accepted, so I start filling out their form.  I call my grandmother for the exact town in Germany her mother’s aunt lived in and get all their little nit picky details and get to the final page.  There in step 299 out of 300 is: “Please cut and paste your resume in the following square” and, beneath that, “Please cut and paste your cover letter in the box below.”   Of course, beneath that box is a countdown timer saying if both boxes are not completed within the next five minutes all information in my application will be erased and I can begin again but this time I will need to have a greater amount of information about which boat (number and Captain’s name, please!) my ancestors crossed over the Ocean.

The step can’t be skipped either.  The boxes must be filled in order to continue onto the next screen, so I end up writing some bullshit letter about it has been my lifelong dream to be the one giving these exams instead of the one taking them.  Because, really, what do you write when you are applying to give tests all day. “I’ve long wanted to work in an environment where I can cause people enough stress to start crying by staring at them and the only sound I hear is the scratch-scratch of pencil lead. My desire to rat people out for cheating has long been documented by my history of tattle-telling on my coworkers who take an extra five minutes over their lunch break. Please hire me. I would like to buy food again.  The ketchup packets are running low.”

Ah, but that one’s done and know I am applying for a job with the state. It’s a little more rigorous as it requires hair and blood samples. I’m just glad there hasn’t been a job at the Federal level.  Goodness knows what that is going to require! I can only imagine it will involve a scope and one or more of my orifices.


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