Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Note on Hiring Practices

This is rather random, and I suppose relates to the Great Unemployment Debate and What It Feels Like to Be Poor, but mostly it's just an insight into . . . well, life, as many people live it.

A friend of mine, whose small business collapsed a little after the economy did, finally thought he had a job. He answered a job ad that specifically stated the job was as a driver. The company picks up uniforms and linens from nursing homes and restaurants, launders, disinfects and presses them and then drops them back off. My friend was hired and instructed to come in for training.

He was not given the keys to a truck.

He was led in to the building where they launder the uniforms and, given a mask, shown the laundry facility and then asked if he had an up-to-date Hepatitis B shot. My friend, who is violently allergic to so many things it's easier for him to list what he's not allergic to, removed the mask and left, jobless.

This is not an uncommon tactic among companies that need to fill unpleasant, low paying and/or potentially dangerous jobs. I've been a victim of it myself, more than once. Telemarketing companies or companies hiring for extremely low level sales jobs will frequently list their jobs as "customer service" positions in order to entice people to apply. Telemarketing is hell and I salute the brave Indians doing that work. I've also never had a low level sales position where I didn't get screwed on commission. Which is, of course, why these companies have to lie to get people through the door.

They'll even lie once you're through the door. I learned to ask, straight out, if positions were customer service or sales. Then, I turned down a bank teller position (very low paying) for a "customer service" position that paid $2/hr more and was more convenient to get to. I specifically asked if the job was sales or not and was told, unequivocally, that the job involved no sales. I did figure out the recruiter was lying when I started having to sell things.

This is life at the bottom rung of the ladder. Consider that the next time someone starts mouthing off about how lazy those of us at or near minimum wage are.


  1. My personal favorite job listing scam was when I was looking for a summer job during college. I answered a sales job ad that looked great and offered high pay. They were pretty vague on exactly what the job entailed, but told me it involved selling jewelry lines to businesses, and had a base plus commission. It sounded good so I went for the training.

    When I got there I found out it was pure commission, and the job actually involved walking around downtown areas, going into businesses, and attempting to sell jewelry to the employees while they were working. They explained that people working obviously have jobs, therefore they have money and can buy jewelry.

  2. it did it again - it ate my comment. sigh.

    i pointed out that "scams" like this are common practice - look at food delivery and waiting... i'll refrain from bitching any more about it -

    because i found this for you, PF:
    The Good Atheist:

    Sloth, Envy, Lust and … Prepaid Gas
    Gas Station | Kansas, USA
    (We are a prepay station. A little old lady walks in.)

    Lady: “So what, I can’t get gas now because so many idiots drive off? What kind of world do we live in that a Christian doesn’t get treated right?”

    Me: “… I’m sorry, Ma’am, we lost over 75,000 gallons of gas last year due to drive offs.”

    Lady: “This is just stupid. Why don’t you just turn the d*** pump on? I’m filling up, I don’t know how much it’s going to take.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you can either leave your keys, a credit card, or an ID, and I’ll be more than happy to turn the pump on.”

    (The lady hands me a $20 bill.)

    Me: “Alright, I’ll just prepay this 20, and it’ll shut off for you when it hits 20.”

    Lady: “No no no. That’s my down-payment. Turn the pump on and I’ll come pay the rest.”

    (I sigh and turn the pump on, I’m really not supposed to, but at least I’ll have some money to put towards it if she drives away. The lady goes out and pumps her gas, comes back in to pay.)

    Lady: “One day, the Lord is going to come down and smite everybody who doesn’t respect the Christians who live by the rules.”

    Man behind her: “I’m going to be a good Atheist and prepay my gas. $15 on pump 3, please and thank you.”







  5. ................

    isn't the definition of insanity "doing something over and over again, expecting different results"?


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