Really, I mean, this is me….. right here —–>
I live, I breathe, I cook, I clean (very occasionally, though I don’t iron) and I have feelings. It might surprise you to learn that this blog doesn’t write itself…. no, I’m here tapping away at the keyboard. I have yet to find a way to transfer my thoughts to the computer without that tapping process…. onerous as it might be.
But here’s the thing, it seems that in the 10 years since I last looked for a job, job applicants have ceased to be people and have become digital representations of themselves, to be treated like robots, to be given no respect whatsoever. It seems to now be acceptable to have no contact with whosoever has taken the trouble to apply for a job at your gaff. Hell, who am I to know that my application hasn’t just ended up in the trash or never even been opened in the first place.
Most job applications nowadays are on line. Fine so far, I have no problem with that. You send your application off into the ether and wait….. and wait…… and wait and……. nothing.* After a while you have to assume that you have not been successful.
What puzzles me is that we live in a world where communication is easier than it’s ever been and yet we seem to be giving up on it. Certainly as far as jobs go it seems that employers no longer think they need to let potential employees know that they have considered your application and that you’ve been unsuccessful…. let alone give a reason why. I fully recognise that there may be 100′s of people chasing one job, but when all of the information is input digitally, all that is required is a one or two sentence round robin and the hitting of a send button to let all the unsuccessful applicants know that a candidate has been found. Is this too much to ask?
Way back in the dark ages of the 80′s when I was first rampant on the job market, computers were housed in the basement in huge rooms and most of the communication was still done by the “typing pool” (yep, I’m ancient I know); nonetheless, I always recieved a written reply to my applications – and at the time I was applying for graduate jobs in advertising which would have had hundreds of applicants (whatever induced me to think that advertising was for me I don’t know, but that’s a whole other story).
Recently I’ve had an even more bizarre situation – any of you following my job hunt will know that I fully believe that in a market like this one, flexibility is the key. To this end I’ve been working with my local Transition Town to put a bid in to government for funding for a project. We met their deadline, even got the application in 1/2 an hour early. Yesterday was the deadline for them to get back to us to let us know whether we’d been successful – time passed – at 3pm I fired off an email asking when we’d be likely to know and how they’d be communicating our success or otherwise. At 4.30 I got an email back saying that everyone would know whether they’d been successful or not by the 6th Feb. I ask you! If I hadn’t've asked I would now be assuming that we’d been unsuccessful (as many community groups probably are right now), and they still haven’t had the courtesy to send everyone a note to let them know that they’ve changed their own deadline.
Though this is partly a bitter monologue about not being called up for interview yet, underlying it is the fact that I really don’t want to live in a society where it’s OK to treat people like they don’t exist. I don’t want to live in a place where rudeness is institutionalised. Unfortunately, it’s where I find myself. I do know, that when I’m back in a position to be employing people, I intend to never follow this modus operandi.
If you like this post you might also like these other posts on my job hunt:
*OK, sometimes you might recieve an instant automatic email saying your application has been recieved…. but not always and to me this hardly counts as human intervention.