Job hunting can be frustrating, defeating, annoying, and sometimes just downright weird. As I scan the usual suspects, Craigslist, Monster, CareerBuilder, I encounter some sort of bizarre or shady-seeming job post, almost on a daily basis. Couple in the countless resumes that receive no response, job descriptions with multiple misspellings that require the potential candidate to have impeccable attention to detail , and the delightful folks who get back to you so many months later, you forgot you applied.
I am not in a rush to find a full-time job; I want to find a really good fit so for now I can sort of laugh at this somewhat silly process.
It hasn’t always been that way.
When I graduated from college in 2002, months after the September 11 tragedy, into an economy that was beyond depressed, job hunting was desperate. With an English degree in hand, I set out to find some sort of job and stumbled upon a Marketing position in Malden. It paid well, they wanted to interview little ol’ me, it was almost too good to be true.
My first clue might have been the entrance to the office, up a ramp in an alley behind the CVS. Surely, the hand-written paper sign, the only indication of the office’s name, on the door might have tipped me off. The lack of furniture or the 3 minute interview after which the interviewer declared I was a great fit and invited me back for a full day interview the next day didn’t make me suspicious either.
It wasn’t until the next day, when I returned to the office in full interview attire, that I realized there might be something shady about this “Marketing” job. Several brusque managers, just slightly older than me, rounded up a dozen or so recent college grads and divided us into cars.
My driver scoffed at my high-heeled shoes and then pretty much forced me to change into a spare pair of flats she had in her trunk. I still stayed, despite the fact that wearing a stranger’s shoes was the most vile thing I could imagine.
She drove us out to Danvers and pulled over in front of a Domino’s Pizza shop. She ran inside returning with stacks of coupon booklets. Driving us a little further into some tree-lined suburban neighborhoods, she explained that we were to go door-to-door selling the booklets. From noon until after dinner time.
So, here I am, without transportation, not at all familiar with Eastern Masschusetts, in a car full of strangers, wearing gross borrowed shoes, and being told that my interview task was to sell Domino’s coupons door-to-door.
Tears. Behind my sunglasses, there were tears.
I stuck with the group for a couple of hours. My feet hurt despite the flats, and we didn’t sell a single booklet, despite our driver’s urgings to be more aggressive. By 4:00, I was all set, and I told her to drop me off at the nearest train back to Boston.
I had no idea where I was going, but I wanted to be away from these people and this task. I finally found my way back to Malden via Boston, and after wandering the WRONG parking garage for 45 minutes looking for my car, I was on my way back to my safe little Amherst world.
Looking back, I should have notified the Better Business Bureau or something. I was young and frustrated and I guess I just wanted to move on. Word to the wise, avoid Marketing agencies that have lots of random letters in the name and have lots of words in all caps in the description.
Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER weirdo interview story that spanned the course of 6 interviews, but I will save that for another day.
Do you have a nightmare job interview or job hunting story? If you can laugh about it now, share it with us!
Tags: job hunting