shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,

How not to apply for a job

I work for a company that creates web applications for clients, and I do quality assurance (software testing). Our office, located on the second floor of the building (the first floor, if you're across the pond) is an open floor plan, with the QA and tech support section located just on the other side of a partition from the reception desk. This works out fine, because we're a tech company, so there are very few people who walk in and talk to the receptionist other than delivery guys - it's usually very quiet.

Yesterday, our concentration was interrupted by a rather loud man who walked in to talk with the receptionist. The conversation went something like this.

Him: I saw your sign in the window downstairs saying you're hiring, so I wanted to apply.
Her: Okay. Do you have a resume?
Him: Not on me. What jobs do you have?
Her: Well, we've got two listings up, one for a quality assurance analyst and one for a quality assurance engineer.
Him: Quality assurance? That's like just finding bugs and writing them up, right?
Her: Yeah.
Him: I can do that. I want to apply for that.
Her: Okay. Then send us your resume and we'll consider it.
Him: Can I talk to the head of your HR department?
Her: I'm sorry, but she's gone for the day.
Him: Oh. Well, can I see your owners, then?
Her: They're out this week. They're back in the office next week Wednesday. We really need get your resume and then someone will contact you.
Him: Okay. Where do I send it to?
Her: Here's the address. (Hands him the email address.)
Him: Who do I address it to?
Her: Well, you can address it to me. My name's Jill and I'm in HR. You can also address it to Mimi. She's also in HR.
Him: How do you spell that? M-i-m-i? (Then makes a joke about the spelling of her name.)
Her: Yes, that's it.
Him: Okay, I'll send it in. It's a very simplistic resume. It's only two lines long.
Her: Okay.
Him: I'll get this right in. I just got back into the country two days ago. I've been gone for five years.
Her: Oh really?
Him: Yeah. I really want to get back to work.
Her: We'll be looking forward to seeing your resume. Thank you!

Protips for applying for a job:

  1. Don't lie in your first statement to the HR person. Tech companies don't advertise open positions by placing a "Hiring Now" sign in their windows, and in fact, none of the other five businesses in our building have hiring signs up.
  2. Don't insult your possible future coworkers by calling their work "just" anything. We're highly trained in what we do and take pride in our work.
  3. Don't pressure the receptionist to try to talk to the owners of the company. Her job is to keep you from talking to them directly.
  4. A two-line resume isn't something to be proud of.

We were on the other side of the partition with our hands over our mouths trying not to laugh out loud. My husband, who's the second-in-command of our department and does the hiring along with the boss, did a "no way!" gesture the moment the guy said that our work was "just finding bugs". After a little bit of the conversation, the boss got up and walked past the receptionist's desk into the other side of the office to get a look at the guy, then circled back through the break room to get back to us and got ready to intervene in case the guy got dangerous - apparently, he had two black eyes and stitches on his face, and his clothes were dirty, and Jill said later that he stank.

Luckily, nothing untoward happened, but Jill was very relieved to find that everyone was ready to defend her - she handled the guy very well, but she was terrified. We are looking forward to seeing this two-line resume.

Tags: real life

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