atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#116: Tuesday

I don't know what I'm going to do.

It's raining. I went to a pre-employment test session at a nearby computer firm this morning. Right after getting home from work I had to go to this thing, and now it's around 1 PM (or will be by the time this is posted, anyway) and I haven't had a wink of sleep yet.

I was thinking I'd get some work done on Project Red-Green but I doubt that's going to happen today. On the other hand, I might be able to do it later tonight. We'll see. It would probably be easier to do during the day, since it involves rummaging around under the dash.

Oh well.

* * *

I'm not exactly happy with my schedule for the next week, either. I have Saturday and Sunday off; but after that, I have Tuesday the 18th off, and then work Wed-Sat. I expect that from now on my schedule is going to be Sunday and Tuesday for days off, and I'm not sure I really like that. Still, there's not a lot I can do about it, not so long as I work there.

The work is so physically demanding that I hate the idea of working five days in a row; but I cannot reasonably expect to work only four days a week--so I must either accept having my two days off split by a day on, or else accept working five days straight.

The new job, if I get it, would be a lot less physically demanding, and it would pay better. And the hours would be better. And....

* * *

In any job application situation there are three things which are the three kisses of death:

1) They tell you that you're the first person they've interviewed
2) They give you a tour of the place
3) They thank you for your interest in the position.

Any one is cause for concern. Any two mean you're probably already out of the running. If you get all three, you might as well screech, "STRIKE THREE!!! YEEEEERRR OUTTA THERE!!!!" in the interviewer's face, because you're not going to end up working there anyway.

I've had enough job interviews over the years that I learned this, the hard way. My mother has always been lucky with regards to jobs; she normally got any job she applied for. Me, that's not my luck. I have to work for it.

In general I interview pretty well, I think. I normally get a bit tense beforehand, but once I'm talking to the person doing the hiring, I can usually relax and just be sociable while trying to answer the questions sincerely while making sure my answers are as advantageous to me as possible. It's a fine line!

Well, no person is ideally suited for every job, and I'm sure the people who didn't hire me made reasonable choices, given the information they had.

I have only refused two job offers in my life, though. Both were for computer technical support positions of varying degree.

The first was virtually a slap in the face. The business was on-site service, hardware and software. It was a high-stress job where the tech would have a lot of responsibility. I'd been doing such work for seven years, so that didn't worry me. But they offered me a lousy starting wage (around $20,000 per year) and they wanted me to sign a "non-compete" agreement.

Basically a non-compete agreement is you saying that you promise, if you leave their employ, not to work for a competing firm for a certain period, usually five years. I mean, it's all well and good when you're a high-level engineer or a doctor or something...but a computer technician? But the wage was so low that I nearly laughed in the guy's face. The only reason I didn't was that he seemed embarassed when the offer was made.

The second time was when I interviewed for a software support position, in 2002. I had explained at the interview that I wanted to be able to go home for Thanskgiving and Christmas--this was when I was living in Cedar Rapids, and my family is here in Illinois--and that I had my CNA certification classes on certain evenings of the week.

When the offer was made, they basically told me that they would allow me to leave half an hour early on class nights, but that Thanksgiving and Christmas were their peak times and they would need everyone there.

I was dealing with a temp agency recruiter, and I told her, "It doesn't sound like a good match." She was flabbergasted: I was refusing the offer?

Damn right I was. The company expected total flexibility from the employee and was barely willing to bend at all. They apparently didn't need people as badly as they thought they did; or else they were used to getting people who were desperate for computer work of any kind.

I had had friends who had worked there; I knew what they were like, and any job I might have taken with them would have been temporary, in any event, just because I was working on my CNA certification and expected to start working at a nursing home or hospital relatively soon, anyway. The idea of ruining my holidays for the sake of a few weeks' worth of paychecks did not appeal to me, so I refused the offer. I was nice about it, but I was firm: it didn't sound like a good match.

Other than those two jobs, I have never refused a job offer. Never. I have quit three jobs in my life; all three were retail--and if I get this computer tech job I'm hoping to get, it'll be four.

I'm not planning to leave my current job out of anger or spite, so they'll get notice and everything. I just realized that since you have to have friends in high places in order to get promoted, I'm not likely to see the other side of the "team lead" desk any time soon.

I've applied for every promotion that has crossed the board there, and not only have I not been considered, I haven't even been spoken to about them. I've seen a less-qualified person advance past me, and each Monday night I get to see him mumble and stumble his way through his weekly presentation of new entertainment titles, almost showing us the new products--he waves them in the air, usually showing the back side rather than the front--and finding new ways to pronounce common words. (Really. "Fred Green Tomatos"??)

At my annual review I asked how one advances in that organization, and I was given a hodgepodge of useless ramblings rather than any real information. And now they are advertising to the general public that they need team leads?

But I'm not angry about this; I'm just disgusted and annoyed, and I figure that I probably ought to just forget trying to move ahead at that place and find other opportunities.

I frequently wonder, though, what will happen when I go to give my two weeks' notice? Probably nothing special, but one can hope; I know that one guy who left--who was seen as particularly valuable--they tried to keep. Maybe if they try to keep me, I'll stay...but it would take a lot.

Like, "Ed Hering, Team Lead". :-D I won't hold my breath.

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