Tuesday, June 5, 2007

they claim to be

Here, fill this out. Oh, and this. Now, fill this out. And when you are done, come back to my desk and we'll fill everything out.
Welcome to the reason most of the unemployed in America find themselves on the shoulder of a bridge, weighing whether to file a claim for unemployment or jump off.
It wasn't all bad. There wasn't a bad smell to the place or hateful workers. In fact, the woman helping me was very friendly and looked exceptional in turquoise. And a man filing for some kind of retirement benefits walked in wearing an unnamed cologne that increased my body temperature.
It's just the sheer madness of it, really. The belief you'll fill out all these blanks, answer all these questions, and the perfect job will seek you out like the wet nose of a puppy in your open hand. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm just saying I'm doubtful. Okay, I'm still an unbeliever. I just don't believe a resume tells you diddly about me. In fact, I know it doesn't.
This is like filing out a dating application and believing chemistry will strike when you read the candidates middle name. "Henry. Yes. That's him. I knew I'd marry a man with the middle initial H."
Perhaps I should have been better behaved. Perhaps I should take it all more seriously. Perhaps I just don't fit well inside a box. The squeeze is just too tight. It reminds me of a double-breasted vest I own that forces my figure out, instead of holding it in, because the space allowed wasn't designed for my unique form.
That's a resume. I just can't fit inside of it.
It was around the second set of yes or no questions when the electrolytes in my brain began slamming themselves into my skull in a vain attempt at suicide.
Can you "provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person?" Interesting. So you're asking me if I know how to use a phone, a piece of paper, a computer, and my mouth? Sure. Think so. Next.
Can you "see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer)?" And the English translation of that question is: Do your eyes and brain work together? Why yes, yes they do. Next.
Can you "understand information and ideas presented in writing?" Survey says: Yes, I can read.
Can you "understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences?" Translation: They want to know if I'm deaf. No, but I do walk around the office with headphones shoved in my ears playing anything from the 80's heavy-metal era. Hope that's not a problem. Next.
Can you "write synopsis?" Yes. Much better than you. Next.
Can you "arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules?" Absolutely. I know how to count all the way to 75. And I learned the alphabet song last year. I'm a go.
My apologies, most sincere, to all those who made it through various forms of these questions and did not snap in the end. I, however, am not one of you. By the time I got to the section to write my objectives, which in normal speech means to sell yourself, I wrote this:
"Tireless experience in writing. I can produce it myself, produce it from others, edit it, juggle it, grill it, organize it, tweak it, squeeze it, plump it, stump it, brighten it, thin it, excite it, invite it, take it, leave it, bring it, brought it, toss it, enlighten it, sizzle and flambé it.
And that's just the writing part.
My communication skills are excellent. No, better than that. Superfantastic.
I work well with others and play nice. I'm energetic and love a challenge. LOVE it.
But you can't know me or know what I can do by reading a resume. Not possible. I'm three-dimensional - in body, mind, skills, personality, goals, and shoe size. A resume is not."
I signed off, signed out, and hit the road. If a prospective employer wants to know who I am, just ask. And I promise to answer in English.

3 comments:

kristin said...

dang. that's freakin hilarious...
and btw, I was pretty sure about marrying a man with the middle initial H too... but I may have to give up on that dream. How about W? W is not all bad. It may be a bit distinguished in fact... hmm... yeah... i kinda like W. Hope he likes R.
sounds like you had TONS of FUN. can't wait until you have to go to one of those classes!

chris wilke said...

hmmmm.....the journey continues. those questions were ridiculous. though you can't really expect an application like that to cut the crap and get to it.

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

No kidding Wilke. I must, in times like these, resort to the wisdom of Arsenio Hall and say, "Let's Get Busy!"