What happened to the “system”? That’s my question

Something went viciously wrong with the system.

The job search/job market system, that is.

Those “in the know” — aka the fully employed people who have no threat that their job will be taken from them — will say that the people out of work didn’t look hard enough, are too lazy to look, they do not want to work or “I can’t believe in all that time out of work Cuthbert didn’t get at least one offer…what do you suppose that really means?”


Or they think why should we work; we can milk our parents for all the money we want so why should it be “this bad” that the person is out of work all this time?

And then there’s the shitty news reports: that we added X jobs to the job market. Wow, all of these jobs! Things are looking up… and everybody assumes things are going well, job wise, in this country.

OR there iss another shitty strip mall opening with another big box store anchoring it. Or some department store. Let them go work there. At least it’s a job…and better than no job at all!

More words of wisdom from the “other side.” They don’t get it that most of the jobs in retail or service are part time jobs: no benefits!! So so much for ” at least it’s a job…and better than no job at all.”

They have it understood that there’s now so many jobs available…so how come those of us out of work can’t even get an offer to work for one of those stores???

And then there’s the announcement that the recession is over. So then there’s a problem on “our” end, albeit unemployment is still 7.5% and too too high??? Problem on “our” end, us out of work people, because we still did not manage to get a job in alllll this time.

Something stinks on ice here, with the entire unemployment picture. Something sordid got into the mix; when my company closed in 1992, I did NOT go through this kind of mess. Albeit I was out of work 10 months but I still found A JOB.

What happened here??? What happened this time?

And the 7.5% out of work figure isn’t all of the story. The story is with the job search itself, and what kind of truly insane happenings accompany it — who the Christ ever heard of 2, 3 and 4 interviews for a garden variety job that is a non manager’s position??? HOW many interviewees for a non manager’s spot?? You only need 3; you do not need to speak to a dozen freaking people!

A lot of this is ego stroking. The smaller the turd, the bigger the bowl the turd is going to demand.

A lot of the job interviewers are older people; you think they’d know better. Nope. They’re more skilled at this Bert and Ernie bullshit than the young punks that are conducting the interviews.

And a lot of the interviewing is done by somebody who simply has no idea what the job consists of (yes, it happens) or how to interview a job candidate. What good is this interview to us???

And don’t get us started on the truly snotty people — I am not talking about the usual “don’t call us we’ll call you” or “let you know either way” — what kind of a mental case deliberately mistreats a job candidate?

They do it because they can. They know we are not being hired and thus, we will not be back. So it’s a free for all and open season on us. Grow up, nut up and act like an adult to the people who are seeking a job.

Would you treat a guest in your home this way? Would you treat a business associate like this? What’s going on here and why is it acceptable to treat a job candidate like they’re some dumb little kid? What is this, 7th grade at Lincoln Junior High???

I found that the job interviewing process now is a crapshoot. You simply don’t know what is going to happen until the interview begins. 50% of the time you’ve wasted your time. So what good was this to us?

As I said:

If there is a way you can walk away from this insanity, DO IT.

If there is a way to just leave this entire mess of a job hunt behind, do it — and run like hades when you do. Don’t look back. Consider what this mess will do to your health, both physical and mental and how this mess will strip away your dignity.

IF you are deliberately mistreated at an interview, or the way you were treated was not with politelenss and civilness — if you were lied to point blank or you were asked questions that you should not be asked of a sworn enemy — if you were victimized in any way, I urge you to tell your friends, your relatives, your neighbors, your classmates and everybody you know NOT TO PATRONIZW THAT COMPANY/ORGANIZATION.

Find something like an Angie’s List or a Craigslist and name names. Take it to the local press if you have to. There is always something like a “Mr. Fix it” or a troubleshooter that works for your local daily — take your story to that entity.

Report them to the FTC and the Better Business Bureau. Storm your local Department of Labor office — speak to a supervisor — and tell them your story.


We 7.5% need to have it made KNOWN that there is a world out there that exists at a job interview and it’s damn disgusting and ugly one.


I am not kidding.

And go as far as to return TO the interviewer and tell this rotten pig where to go. LEt them know that what happened here is not acceptable and you are here to let this person know where they can go.

If you get one of those rejection letters where it’s a mess, grammar wise:

CORRECT the grammar and spelling — the entire schmenge — and PDF it/fax it and send it to the company PRESIDENT.

Take action. Don’t take any of this lying down.

24 thoughts on “What happened to the “system”? That’s my question”

  1. One reason that the hiring process has gotten more complicated and a lot ruder is that the cost of obtaining a qualified candidate for the job has gotten a lot lower due to the ability to collect and rate applications on line. Another reason is the alleged role of small businesses as the main driver of job growth. If a company plans to hire several hundred or a thousand people annually, even over several sites, that company will have a far better-defined hiring processs than the mom and pop companies that hire three people in a good year. Depending on the planned hires, the larger companies may also be more inclined to recruit from colleges than to hire older people.

    A reason for the absurd number of interviews for what you would consider hourly jobs might be intended to weed out bad candidates who look good on paper but who are not as good as they seem. They are using the ability to show up on time and in appropriate dress for four interviews as a proxy for ability and willingness to show up for work on time, particularly if the work involves variable hours, as is often the case in retail.

    As you point out, the jobs advertised may not be actual jobs, but serve the purpose of the old “blind ads” that companies used to see how many people were interested in a particular job.

    1. Remember 1992.

      That was the year where unemployment was record breaking high — I was out of work that year also, since our company closed — and I do not recall it taking a year and a day for a company to choose a candidate to fill a job opening.

      There was no such thing as a second interview, unless you were interviewing for a managerial position or something a bit more than a job requiring several years of experience.

      That year, there were interviews where you spoke to the hiring manager — and then you casually met 1 or maybe 2 key people in the company. The casual meeting was no big deal; it only took a few minutes.

      The only second interview I had prior to 1992 was for a part time lab position. I met with the HR person and then she called me back to meet the lab manager. The only question he asked was “What do you think of unions?” He must have liked my reply; I was hired.

      These hiring managers have lost the script. There is no need to fit 100 pounds in a 25 pound bag. This is nothing but farting around and overdoing it. This NFL combine stuff isn’t required, nor is this “American Idol” stuff. Hire the person and get on with it.

      1. In 1992 I was still in college so my experience was a bit different but I managed to find jobs. Were they good jobs? depends on what you mean but one, modeling for an art college paid $15 hour which was amazing at that time. In a sick irony I recently saw a local college hiring for that job and paying $8 hour which is minimum wage. Very few people are going to want to model for art schools, which involves nudity more than often and involves difficult positions to make that ridiculous amount. I even emailed the one school and told them I have experience in art modeling but no way would I do it for that amount. Not to mention in this day and age with technology someone could take a picture of me claiming it is to study at home only to post that photo online.

        1. Models of all sizes and shapes are needed.A guy I know had an art model who weighed well over 350 pounds.

          Try art departments in community colleges, state colleges and even adult schools, anywhere where there is a life drawing class.

          1. I am trying all these places and luckily I have the experience so that helps. I used to get a lot of responses because I was athletic and my muscles were obvious. They also liked heavier models because they show great lines.

  2. So not necessary to talk to 12 people!

    I interviewed with only small companies — that’s all that is doing the hiring in our neck of the woods.

    These are the culprits that insist on 12 people or more and 2 interviews or more.

    And it doesn’t guarantee you an employee who stays. Nor does it safeguard you against hiring a person you will not have to fire. As we know, some people do not mix with the office dynamics. Anything can happen.

    Don’t get me started on appropriate dress. It seems now anything goes — and these dumbbell managers see it the same way also.

    You name it; I’ve seen it worn to an interview. One candidate was wearing copper booties with 5″ high heels! She could hardly walk in them.

    The old school rules need to apply: “I’m sorry but you are not dressed for an interview; go home and change your clothes. If you are not familiar with interview attire, look on the web. A conservative blouse and conservative skirt will do.”

    It’s like these managers are afraid to rock the boat…”my gosh, if I tell her to go home and wear something other than low rise leggings and 6″ platform shoes she may sue us….”

    And I blame the managers for not TELLING us what to wear! How many times has it been an interview in a warehouse??? In this caswe, tell the candidate “wear jeans; this is a warehouse” — and I have indeed been told exactly that if the interview is in a warehouse! Why should we wear a suit or something dressy, in that case? At that point we are overdressed for the interview.

    This has gotten out of hand and out of control. Thanks to this “revamped” interviewing process the 7.5% unemplolyment rate will remain the same.

  3. When you have enough people out of work, employers can be unreasonably picky. I agree with you that it shouldn’t take 12 interviews to hire someone, whether or not multiple interviews are required. They ought to be able to take the resumes and narrow the field to three or so, hold the interviews and decide within a week, even if the only notice that the people who weren’t hired is a letter telling them that someone else was selected.

    Most employers underestimate the crimp that having a job, even a part-time job, puts into looking for other work. You’d have to arrange the other interviews around your schedule, and chances are that you’d miss out on at least a few interviews because you can’t go to an interview at a time convenient for them.

    Suppose that you arrive overdressed, having worn a dress and low heels to a warehouse. That shouldn’t be counted against you. The employers who don’t like the “ghetto fabulous” look can simply decline to hire those people. There isn’t that much money to be made for the lawyer in suing a prospective employer over someone not being hired for a $10/hour, no-benefits job, so unless you have the ability to sue someone acting as your own attorney, that isn’t a risk. At worst, it goes to small claims court, and then the burden is on the person who wasn’t hired to prove that they were damaged. One thing that people forget is that winning a judgement against someone doesn’t guarantee that the judgement will be paid. There are an awful lot of people who are judgement-proof, either because they have nothing or because fof how they have organized their business. We’re in a period where worker protections are not particularly strong.

    Where I work, they have finally worked through the pool of people with experience at other chemical plants and are now interviewing the locals. As the plant manager says, these are contingent hires, in case the experienced people don’t show up. At our other site, they have already made job offers for January 2017.

  4. I had written a post a while back about how overly elaborate hiring processes seem to have become standard. Beyond the reasons we’ve discussed, I suspect there may be a more basic reason.

    One of the things that modern education seems to teach is the futility of individual effort and the uselessness of individual decisions. The current generation is brought up to believe that the only useful decisions are made collectively. Once upon a time, one or two individuals made the hiring decision. But that’s too much of an individual effort. So to make it a collective effort, we have the multiple interviews and other related tortures.

    1. Arguing against that perspective is my experience that the faastest hiring decisions are made by a single person. I’ve been offered a job without an interview based on my credentials on several occasions, though the most recent occasion that this happened was 2007.

      I don’t mind the “hiring panel” interviews, where you are interviewed by 4-6 people who ask questions in turn. Because the federal government is unwilling to pay for an on-site interview, these interviews are done by telephone.

      A factor that counts for too much in my opinion is “likability”.

  5. How many times have we seen it ourselves — management hires a person who simply is not qualified to do the job, despite the fact that the person got past the elaborate interview process?

    The boss can bring in one of his or her friends….Who also can’t do the job. But they are hired because the boss wants them in there.

    I have also seen a company owner get rid of personnel that he diligently interviewed; he gave his seal of approval himself to everyone — here’s what he did to his assistant bookkeepers:

    One of them had a CPA and worked for IBM for many years. The boss (who owned the company) had his CPA also do the interview — the CPA interviewed Jim for 2 hours.

    In the end the owner got rid of Jim. He just didn’t want him.

    The owner did the same thing with the replacement for Jim. Same drill: the boss’ CPA also did the interviewing.

    Owner got rid of that one, too. How the guy found out: his wife saw the ad for his job in the paper.

    So what’s the big damn deal here?

    The deal is this: Go back to the old way of interviewing.

    Whether they close their eyes and play Eenie Meenie Miney and select a candidate that way or if you send them in front of a Congressional hearing! IT’s all the same bull in the end. This big rigamarole when it comes to interviewing is worthless.

  6. I am always having people tell me about some store or restaurant that is hiring and they add “it’s a job”. Yes in the same way lobster and gum are both food. In other words you can’t compare the two because someone who is a skilled professional most of the time will not be hired for these part time no benefit jobs. The reason of course is the employers would rather get someone who will not be a threat to them.

    Years ago I had no problem ever finding a job. In fact many times I was hired on the spot because an employer was willing to take a chance. Now, I will often go through multiple interviews and tests for a job I can do blindfolded only to get the usual rejection. Meanwhile I will sometimes see the person who got it and 9 times out of 10 they are less qualified. I have seen people come to interviews for professional jobs looking like slobs yet getting the job. The interview questions I have been asked have ranged from ridiculous like asking what music I listen to to downright offensive like my age and marital status.

    1. And what you experienced, NWP, is common — and I do mean common — discourtesy.

      The people doing the interviewing weren’t even raised to have common sense or manners or courtesy.

      This is why we are doomed.

      1. And now many employers have outsourced HR to a country with different standards. I couldn’t begin to mention the times I spoke to a HR person who could barely speak English and then asked stupid questions.

        I’ve heard employers know within 5 minutes whether they will call you for a second interview or not and I can tell very often when I am not in the running. I’ve had employers roll their eyes at me or interrupt constantly or many other things.

        1. This is already a waste of the job candidate’s time.

          And if management is stupid enough to actually hire somebody with a language barrier problem, what is that saying about THE COMPANY?

          It also could be that the person who you spoke to is related to the owner and that’s how they got the job. Hopeless and useless.

          And sometimes you cannot even tell by the content of the interview if you are in the running or not. It’s a one size fits all approach — and more like an American Idol audition than anything.

          I love you you’re beautiful…now change. Ha.

          Experiences like NWP’s shows us that we are DONE.

          The job search is shot to hell — rolling their eyes at you? How old was this person, about 11? Because it sure sounds like they’re in about 6th grade.

          1. The sick thing is I need a job DESPERATELY a(as in I am one step away from bankruptcy or suicide or prostitution or who knows what else)and these employers play this game again and again. The worst by far are the ones where they will then make nasty comments like “if you are so smart why are you long term unemployed” to “your skills aren’t as great as you think they are”. What sick freaks like to belittle people? Many times these employers then go on to hire someone who is entry level and then when I confront them (I have been doing this lately to exceptionally nasty employers)they make excuses.

            Then there are the people who tell you that you are in the running or even have the job only to send/email a rejection that day. One of my last interviews they told me as we were finishing that they would be calling back people for a second interview and that they would be calling me back. I was excited, but later that week got a rejection telling me because of my inexperience with working with mentally ill people they would bypass me. The ironic thing is they called me in for a pr job knowing I had little experience with that field (though psychology was my first major so I have a little bit).

  7. It sucks, all of it.

    I would have told the people who were out of line to take their comment and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine — Tell them the hell off. See what they thought of that.

    That said, nobody at all gets it that they are be ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM UNEMPLOYMENT.

    it can happen at any time. That you belong to a union means zero. That “the boss likes you” means nothing. One never knows what can happen.

    I have a friend whose company went out of business out of nowhere. They were a software creation company.

    The owners announced everything in the company was great, and couldn’t be better. When the employees showed up for work one day on a December morning, the place was belly up and gone and closed. Just like that — no warning, no notice, no nothing.

    This happened in December of 2011.

    I can’t tell you guys how many arguments I got into with my then-spouse, when we were married, about this very subject: you can lose your job at any time or your company can go up in smoke at any given time. He insisted that it could never happen to his company (he works for a smallish bank — and we all know what’s happened to banks as of very very late). He thinks this can’t happen? Want to tell it to people who worked for Lehman Brothers, a big pharmco or one of the banks that went belly up? Want to talk to my friend whose company went bust out of nowhere? What about a company like Drexel Burnham Lambert? You all remember what happened to them — and this all took place in the early Nineties!

    The vastness of some people’s stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

    I have worked for a union shop: I saw 3 coworkers get fired on the spot — this all happened in the early 90s when things were still good. The union wouldn’t even go to bat for one guy; the other 2 chose not to fight it.

    I don’t give a damn anymore bout the “lip service” in interviews: we all know what that is: You’re in the running fot this job; pretty sure you have the job, you would be perfect for this job, I’m putting your resume on top of the pile, I’m strongly in favor of you, We want you in here next week for the second interview, this will go quickly a day or less; you would be fabulous here with your skills, etc etc. Words are a dime a dozen; don’t sing it, bring it. This isn’t an interview — this is an audition for some dumb off off off Broadway production.

    I do have a problem with blatant lies: being told the HR department from Israel will call you to interview you. Being told “You will meet with Jane Doe but Ms. Doe isn’t available now; she’s working the phones for us.” I will bet you there was no Jane Doe and the HR guy made up the name. I asked him when I’d be back and he did not reply.

    Lip service “pillow talk” is one thing but blatantly lying about something makes me wonder if this person has some sort of mental illness or is a plain ole damn bully. If this is bullying, go the bleep back to 7th grade where you belong. How dare you treat anybody that way. try it in a social setting or a business setting if it’s so bonzer of a move for you to make!

    (I sent that HR interviewer an “acceptance letter” 2 days after I was at his interview — I mentioned it briefly on the old Barbara E board that went to pot — the guy replied and said “I didn’t offer the job to you” or words to that effect and in his reply to me, he CC’ed the company president. Boy, did I have a ball with him…and when I hollered back with MY reply to him, I cc’ed his company president.

    My reply back consisted of informing this prince “when you are NOT interested in a candidate, kindly have the courtesy and brains to send them an email, stating such. Do NOT leave the candidate hanging and have the guts to tell them they did not get the job. It is the right thing to do and it is expected business etiquette. Would you do the same thing if this was a social setting or if it was a business scenario with a key client or a major player in your company?”

    My goodness gracious, so impressed to see that my “acceptance letter” was such cause for concern that it turned into a 100 alarm fire to rival Sherman’s March To The Sea.

    After I explained to him precisely why I sent him what I sent him, he didn’t utter a word in reply. Let him go take one for the team on that one.

    And I wonder if he ever pulled that garbage on anyone ever again — I do know he is no longer with that company; the HR Director position for that company has been posted many times. Evidently they can’t keep a person there very long and that in itself is a red flag — what’s it like for a lowly employee of that company, I wonder?)

    And the employed nay sayers who do nothing but say horrible things about those out of work can stick it. The less you say to people, the better off you are.

    NWP: The guys at the Legion, I am sure, are businessmen — what about selling your website creation skills to them? If they don’t need a website, I am sure they know of somebody who does. Try there first, you have zero to lose.

    I chose to open my own business. I saw no other way out. The way I see it: I have nothing at all to lose. There is always art to be sold and there is always a market for associated products related to artistic creations. I do a lot of art shows and I’m very active in fundraising groups and other civic activities. GREAT place to do business. These are people you know intimately.

    1. I’ve been thinking of selling both my website design and computer training to people all over this town. At the Legion there are several business owners but three that come to mind that are active there. The first is the guy I am interested in and he did mention building a website for his business so he can see more often, the second is a long time family friend (she grew up with my dad)who owns the beauty salon and the third owns the hardware store. I don’t know him but my dad does and he has been giving my dad lots of business for landscaping and things like that. Not to mention there are several stores in town where we know people. I did speak not long ago about designing a website for the Legion and reaching computer classes at the church as well (and there is an overlap in this town where most at the church are Legion members). Other businesses in town like the banks and the stores have bulletin board so I am considering putting flyers on them as well.

      Right now I am waiting to hear about this job I really want, a job that literally fits me to a T (and has been a better fit than most interviews since it was exactly what I did at my last job). In theory I should get this job because it is a specific type of job but of course the way my luck is I will once again get rejected. On their website it says I am still in contention so who knows but if I was rejected I wish they would tell me and if I get it I want to know as well. That has been my problem, getting rejected for jobs I was sure I got. I have gone on interviews where they told me after the interview I wasn’t in the running and I was happier they told me (though annoyed they called me for an interview).

      My former employer was non union (management)and union (non management)and they seemed to protect those who were troublemakers but connected while hardworking people were fired. In fact ironically this corrupt company has been in the news because there have been lawsuits of people unfairly fired, only they were all union. I wasn’t union but not sure I would go back because of the way I was treated. Not going to happen for me but they are calling union people back.

      That’s it too, people think unemployment won’t happen and I used to think that way. After all I was skilled with a masters, computer certifications and so much more yet I sit here many years unemployed or underemployed. I used to be one of those “take anything” people but no longer.

      1. I would get moving if I were you.

        it takes a good 6 months or more to get a business rolling. The group of potential customers you described is a good sized amount for starters.

        You may have no other recourse — and I’d go and visit that company in person if I was you. Say anything: tell them you have a temp job in the area and you stopped by to see what was going on. Websites go un updated.

        How long has it been since the interview? If it is more than a week, go there in person. And if it more than a week, I’m already wondering what kind of people these are. Letting you hang like this? or is this another case of interviewing everybody from here to Vulcan?

        1. It’s been a couple of weeks and the reason why it might be taking long is because it’s a college. I know when I got my last job I started almost 2 months after my interview because they weren’t ready yet. I have been working on creating flyers for my business and am missing one thing, which is where to teach computers. There was a guy in town who ran a computer software business and told me I could use his office anytime but he has moved his business out of town. In fact he offered me a job many years ago but at the time I was working and the job was fine so I turned him down. I regret this but had to because he couldn’t afford my salary and at the time my job wasn’t the hellhole it became.

          1. I don’t want to be the bringer of bad news but I’ve found that with jobs like those in colleges, they usually have somebody in mind already — and they “have” to post the job as a matter of procedure.

            There’s got to be somewhere you can rent a little space so that you could be able to hold your classes.

  8. Sadly, most jobs that are connected are all pre hired. Besides schools, hospitals, government jobs and many other jobs are usually meant for someone but they interview just to make it look legit.

    1. Oh sure — that’s gone on since the start of time. The boss always asks if somebody knows of somebody who needs a job — or management brings in relatives, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, women/men they’re having a hot affair with, or whoever the “best fit for this company” du jour is.

      We can’t change that at all.

      So how do we buck the system and beat it? How in heck do you get yourself back to work in the midst of this catastrophe? How do you get somebody to hire you?

      The other day, I interviewed at this place that had employees who were there 20 years, 40 years and with other hefty chunks of time with the firm. Yet this bunch asked me what I was paying out of pocket per month for HI. Should they have even inquired?

      40 years there and 20+ years there? I am a babe in arms compared to these people — so why are you asking? Can’cha figure it out that I must be younger than Mr. X there 40 years so I’d be paying considerably less? or was this a ploy to find out if I had a chronic illness or some other health problem?

      Bert and Ernie stuff, as I said earlier on in this thread.

      1. A decent (yes there are a few)HR people on another unemployment forum told me why many jobs require lifting or standing in the ads, though the jobs don’t really require them. Basically it is to screen out old and/or disabled people. I’ve long thought these jobs were double dipping, basically wanting someone for two jobs but she insisted that it’s to legally screen out people.

        1. HR is a joke. All they do is push paper and they do not GET you the job.

          They also do not fight for the employee if the employee files a grievance against the company, a boss or another employee.

          They’ve always asked about lifting and such — some people that are young also have rotator cuff problems, may be pregnant or may just opt not to lift something more than a liftable comfortable weight.

          That intierview Friday was a trip. There’s something I don’t like about the 3 of them — I got the idea that the are strict taskmakers and don’t put up with nonsense.

          And I also do not like a company where a dadeee and kiddies run the show. it’s as bad as a husband and wife doing the same — I’ve worked for a few of these “companies” and companies like these are usually poorly run. Little shoebox deals where nobody gets promoted and the pay stinks.

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