AKA, the placement agency blues.
In addition to a resume, placement agencies (and sometimes companies) make you fill out forms with almost the exact same information on them, but in tiny spaces and handwritten (read: messy) instead of typed. (Suggestion: why not have a form for people without resumes to fill out and one for people with resumes that includes only the few extra questions?) Invariably, there are inappropriate questions on these forms. During my most recent trip to a placement agency (Monday), I was given a two-sided half sheet of yellow cardstock to fill out. After the first three inappropriate questions, I began to take notes. The following is the resulting list:
1. Birth Date
4. Home: Rent or Own
5. Have Auto (this didn’t bother me but the second part did) Type and Year
6. Smoker: Yes or No
7. Family: Spouse’s Name, Children’s Names and Ages
I could write 10 pages about why these are wrong. But I won’t because you’ll just be bored and stop reading.
Then comes the interview. Mine was interrupted twice, and each time I had to go back to the waiting area and wait. The office is full of sections like large alcoves each with four oversized desks pushed together so there is no privacy whatsoever. Everyone around can hear everyone else, including the interviewees. If this agency hadn’t placed me in a great job years ago, I would have walked out.
Then they made me take FOUR tests. At least I could do them from home. Or so I thought. The typing test (yes, I said it) was accessible, but of course I got a lower score than I wanted. Maybe that was because I was sitting on my bed with my laptop on my lap. Not in the most desirable typing position, but I haven’t moved things back into the other room (with a “desk” and chairs) because the ceiling has yet to be finished. Why I felt competitive about a typing test, I’ll never know. My advice to most people is to never let anyone know you can type. It’s true. Don’t.
The other three (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) were not accessible BECAUSE I HAVE A MAC. When I called to tell them, I had to explain it because they didn’t know. They then had me make an appointment to come in and take the tests there. Damn, I’d have to go back downtown in the middle of the day, this time taking the bus ($1.75 each way) instead of paying $11 to park. (Note: Regardless of footwear and proximity to destination, do not park in the Kaufmann’s/Macy’s garage during the day, choose the PPG or the Blvd. of the Allies garage.) I then remembered that H sometimes works from home and has a PC. So I called and walked over to her place to take the other three tests.
Woe to me for not reviewing the “tutorials.” Apparently, the system waned me to do things their way, not necessarily my way. So I lost points because I think differently than the testers. Actually, I’m glad for that. Not so sure I want to think like the test makers. But I’m guessing that if I had reviewed the tutorials, they might have told me how I was supposed to answer. Wow, I'm acting like I care and believe that they will come up with a job that I might actually want.
Next post: my Saturday night with the early 20-somethings.