Tool Selection

Could be someone I know, someone I don't know, fictional characters, dead people. I don't care, I'm an equal opportunity complainer when it comes to complete dickwads.

Wherever there's a Complete Tool, I'll follow closely behind with my anonymous bitching. 'Cuz that'll show 'em.

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Awesomeness
You will be blinded by my awesomeness.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Well, Thanks For Showing Up....I Guess



I just wanted to mark yesterday as a special occasion: the day MisManager trusted me to do my job.

She's on vacation this week and we had a couple of interview candidates sent our way.  I had initially told the recruiter that we would wait on the interviews until MisManager got back into the office, because NO WAY should I be left alone to...do my job.  Without hand holding.  No friggin' way.  I mean, I've only been interviewing since 1996, so what the fuck would I know?

End immature snarkfest.

When MisManager called, because she checks her email on vacation, she said, "You go right ahead and get these out of the way.  I'll call them back in if you like them."  What?  She must be having an awesome vacation.

The first interview I did yesterday was possibly one of the worst I've ever had.  This would include the girl I interviewed who mumbled under her breath and ended every sentence with, "Yeah...."  What was the deal with her?

This one:

1.  Snapped at me for calling her cell phone when I called for the interview.  Her point was that she was busy speaking with a client at work.  MY problem was that she answered her fucking cell phone while trying to handle a client.  Strike one.

2.  When I asked her to tell me about herself and to describe her experience a bit, she launched right into a story about how she used to work for my company about 15 years ago (not on her resume, by the way; I know resume experts may recommend only recent experience, but if you're a former employee, you may want to mention that).  Then she went into an awkward bout of the "Hey, Do You Know So-And-So? Game."  I didn't.  She wasted about 5 minutes of my time doing this.  Even after I tried to move the conversation along by telling her the 2 people I did know from her old department.  Strike two.

3.  She has listed on her resume one job for the last 7 years, but also 8 other jobs with timelines that coincide with this job.  Each of the subsequent jobs were appeared to last approximately 4-9 months.  When I asked if the dates were correct, she said yes.  So is this first job your primary job and the others have been second jobs?  Yes.  Are you planning on making this job a secondary priority?  "Well, if you can't offer me full time job after about a month or so, then I'm going to have to look for something else."  Wow.  Lady, I'm not even going to offer you this part time job, so no worries there.  Strike three.

4.  I know that a lot of people get frustrated by interview questions, but I ask about 10 of them anyway.  I need to see you think on your feet.  I also want to know that you're open enough to talk about yourself.  My interview style is really easy, so I try to make it seem more like a conversation than an interrogation, but this lady was just not giving up the goods no matter what I did.
Describe a time when you were able to be a positive influence on the life of another person.  Her response: "Well it's very important to be positive at work.  Always.  I mean, when you come in to work and you're negative, it rubs off on everyone else."  Well, okay, do you remember a time when your positive attitude helped someone in your life?  *Blank stare.*  Obviously the answer is no.
I'd like to hear about what frustrates you about your current position or a recent job you've had. What is it and what have you done to alleviate your frustration?  Her response: "Oh, I don't know how to answer that.  Nothing about my current job frustrates me and I don't remember being frustrated in any of my more recent positions."  You ma'am, are a fucking liar.  Capital L.  Little i, little a, little r, period.  
 What is the worst communication problem you've ever experienced?  "Not communicating."  Uh hunh....can you tell me about that time?  What happened and what did you do in that situation?  "Well, there isn't a specific time, but when your team isn't communicating, then things just don't work out.  You know what I mean?"
I just wanted to hit my head against the table by this point.

Interview tip:  Get your shit straight before the interview so you can answer the fucking questions.  I understand that there are some people who are not great at thinking on their feet.  I'm one of those people.  I want to give good answers, so I like time to think, but that's not completely reasonable in an interview.   I actually have to practice what my answers to these types of questions would be.  That way, I am already in the right frame of mind going in, so it's less likely I'll get tripped up.

I'm not exactly sure if that was her problem.  She did tell me at one point that she really couldn't think of a way to answer the question, "What was the best decision you've made in the last 6 months and why?"  I understood, because I couldn't tell you on the spot either, so I gave her a pass on the question and went back to it later.  Her response, "I reorganized my files."  That was just the answer I needed to put my entire head on fire.  Thanks.


Today I called the recruiter to give her feedback and couldn't immediately find the right words.  I started out, "Well, she comes across as kind of...."  The word I was looking for was unresponsive, but I couldn't quite spit it out.  Recruiter guesses, "Unpolished, unprofessional, unfriendly, not ready at all to work with people?"

OH MY FUCKING GOD!!  If she felt that way, then why the hell did she send this woman over to waste my time?  She is supposed to be the "quality control."  That's why she does a pre-screening interview, so we only (theoretically) get candidates that fit what we're looking for.

Then, as if I wasn't already set to throttle her, she says, "Well, keep in mind that, if you don't make your selection and get a new hire processed by May 13th, you're not going to get a chance again until after June 1st.

Then stop sending me bullshit applicants, asshole.
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Please Help Us All

    Yesterday, about a block away from my children's preschool, I saw a police officer had pulled over a woman who had to be about 90 years old.  I felt bad for the officer, I'm sure it sucks to pull over sweet-looking grannies that look like your Nana.  I was also sure that the lady was probably safer in the parking lot than behind the wheel of a car, so I was glad that she was off the road as we passed by with our small children.

    I know, stereotyping old drivers will earn me an express ticket to Hell.  Whatever.

    In case anyone feels bad for the old lady in the story, just check this out, because this is the same old lady stopped at a red light after we dropped the kids off:



    I'm sure that the police officer could have made a day of following her around town.
    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    The Week From Hell



    As adults, we make an array of choices every day.  One of these is whether or not we'll show up to work.  As a manager, I have a strong opinion about this: if you choose not to show up for a day, I'm not going to give you crap; however, if you miss too many days, I'll eventually work toward firing your ass.  I think that's fair.

    MisManager's philosophy on calling in sick: if you choose to not show up, you will be hounded by phone call or text with whiny guilt trips.  When it comes down to actually doling out disciplinary action for missing too many days, she prefers to excuse their behavior.  It makes my life a living hell, because we set a precedence for everyone else when we do that.

    For example, EVM, rightfully, should have been fired 3 years ago.  When it really gets down to it, though, MisManager has been dodging the necessary steps to take this action by postponing write ups and giving multiple "final" written warnings.

    On Monday and Tuesday, Jailbait (I know, not EVM this time) has called into work with some sort of stomach virus.  I know this thing is working its way around because my daughter and grandma had it.  It's pretty vicious and it's easy to mistake for food poisoning.

    The current issue with Jailbait is that a) MisManager doesn't believe he's actually sick and b) he's out of sick time for the year already, because of a stomach flu in January.  Why she doesn't believe he's sick is beyond me, but she believes a lot of crazy things that have no basis in reality (as I'm about to illustrate for your entertainment).

    The last few days, I have been caught in a nightmare role as a middle man in a lunatic conspiracy plot.  It's making me want to crawl under a rock.  Or grab an icepick.  Or cry for my mommy.  I don't know at this point, but this has been the longest week ever.

    Monday

    Stuck in traffic for 3 hours with two fighting preschoolers because some jackass pretended to pull a gun on cops on a freeway overpass.

    Oh, and I had a half pot of coffee before I left the house.

    So did I want to hear MisManager's crackhead theories about how Jailbait should be handling his illness like a man and coming to work regardless.  Or "irregardless" as she likes to say?  (Trust me, that can be it's own post right there.)  Did I want to stop myself from choking her when she was spewing this garbage in front of everyone else?

    Do I have to tell you that the answer to both those questions are, "no?"

    The finale of the impromptu free performance was MisManager asking me if I wanted her to call Jailbait to tell him that he needed to come in the next day "irregardless" of how he felt.  I know that the alternative to her calling is me calling, so my answer is "Uh, yeah.  You can take care of that one."

    He didn't answer her call, so MisManager was seething for the rest of the day that he was "dodging her."  While I was on my way home, he sent me a text asking what she wanted.  Oh, brother.   Which part of the shit sandwich am I on this one?

    Anyway, so just said something vague, like, "She wants to talk to you about tomorrow."  That was all.

    MisManager calls me twice while I'm working out and then again when I'm trying to choke down a 15 minute dinner before I have to put my kids to bed.

    What did he saaaaaaay?  Is that all he said?  What else did he say?

    I guess when I'm stuffing my face with food, while a screaming 2-year old is strapped to my leg, I sound a lot like I'm holding back a conniving conversation with a backstabber.  I'll have to work on that.

    Tuesday

    Jailbait called in again.  The whole conversation:

    Jailbait: Hey, Awesomeness, I'm not coming in today.  I should be fine by tomorrow though.
    Awesomeness: Well, I hope you feel better, I'll see you tomorrow.
    Jailbait: I'll call you if that changes.
    Awesomeness: Thanks.

    I get into work and relay this to MisManager who is now giving me the whole, "Was that really all he said?" routine again.  I did what any grown up professional would do: I told her I had to pee and ran away.  I had a long day ahead of me and I didn't want to start this way.  I just had to dodge her for an hour.  I can do this.

    She was waiting for me outside the bathroom.  "Can I speak with you in private for a moment?"

    I would love to, but I have a client showing up to stab me repeatedly in the face any minute now, and I just can't miss that.

    Damn no-show.

    I feel like you're holding back on me.  What aren't you telling me about what he said?

    Oh, there's just no escaping this is there?

    I'm not holding back anything.  I get the impression like you expect me to have said or done more during the conversation I had with him.  I didn't say anything else, because it's not like I'm in a position to do anything about his absence.  That's his choice.  What you saw was my scrambling to not say that in front of the rest of the staff.

    I expected her to tear my head off, but she must have had a rare moment of clarity.  She just assured me that she doesn't expect me to demand his presence LIAR! and that she just wanted to make sure that I wasn't covering for him.

    Wednesday

    Jailbait makes it back into the office.  Hooray!  We now have to serve him with a verbal warning for his attendance.  Boo!

    I wish that would have gone smoothly, but MisManager decided to throw the book at him and berate him for his call-in excuses.  From 2 years ago.

    The only reason I stayed in the room was because the exit was blocked.  Seriously.

    Jailbait, naturally got a little defensive and proceeded to let her know that he hadn't recently called in for anything other than his own illness.

    I ended this as quickly as possible.

    Later that day, she called me.

    Did you hear the way he was talking to me?  I can't believe he copped an attitude in there.  This seals it.  I need to get to the bottom of why he was really gone.  He wasn't sick. Did he look sick to you?  You know where this attitude is coming from?  EVM.  She did this!  You know what?  I'm done feeling sorry for her.  She's fucking GONE!  She's poisoning everyone.  I don't care what she does now, her ass is done.

    Honestly, if I thought she had the stones to make good on that threat, I would have celebrated.  Never gonna happen.

    Thursday

    I am now sitting in my room, where I've been for the last 3 hours, because I'm now laid up with the same stomach virus that Jailbait and my kid had.

    You missed, karma!  You missed.
    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Does He Know He Already Works For You?



    Well, we're at it again.  My Lead employee is leaving for a promotion opportunity at another office and we're hiring to fill her position.  Except, instead of filling her 40-hour position, MisManager has decided that we need two 20-hour employees.  Since I dodged the ulcer bullet trying to get New Girl hired on, (I'm going to have to find a new nickname for her soon...) I'm in for twice the fun this time, I'm sure.

    The first of the two candidates was easy for us.  We interviewed a man for the New Girl's position 3 months ago and we've heard that he was still interested in working for our company.  He interviewed very well, (and he has massive amounts of coffee-making experience) he seemed like he would be a good fit for our team, (as our new coffee boy) so I was disappointed then that he wasn't going to work for us (I mean, don't get me wrong, I make awesome coffee, but it's more awesome if someone else makes it).

    I was expecting to have to fight MisManager a little bit to give him a call back, but was pleasantly surprised when she whole-heartedly agreed that we should get him in for a follow up interview right away.  The caveat: she wanted to see him that afternoon.  Ugh.  Here we go again.

    Who knows, though, there may have been an off chance that the guy didn't have anything at all happening on a Friday afternoon....

    No.  He was occupied as I was sure he would be, but don't ask, don't get right?  I made an appointment with him first thing Monday morning and thought I did well.  I did until I reported my "success" to MisManager.

    MisManager: Why couldn't he come in today?
    Awesomeness: He has to work.
    MisManager: Well, we're trying to offer him a job, he can't change his schedule for one day?
    Awesomeness: Uh, no.  (Would our employees be able to change their schedule on an hour or two notice to go interview for a new job?  Oh, hell no they wouldn't.)
    MisManager: I'm starting to rethink calling him back.

    Well that's convenient.  Seeing as how I've already had a conversation with the dude.  I'll just call him right back and tell him that we've changed our minds again.

    See, this is the problem.  She acts like these applicants already work for her.  I have to remind her that they have prior commitments.  Especially the ones that we passed on three months ago.  This call came completely out of the blue.  I thought that he showed a real interest in agreeing to show up first thing in the morning on Monday.

    All is ending well (for today...you all know how this circus goes).  We interviewed him this morning and I talked MisManager into calling the recruiter to get started on his onboarding before she changed her mind.

    In a few short weeks, I'm gonna have my very own Coffee Bitch!  Life is good.
    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Other Things Left Unsaid



    Last week, I wrote a post for my forum about things that I leave unsaid, forget to mention, assume is assumed, you get the picture.  I was feeling pretty down on myself at the time because I didn't feel like I participate enough with the people who reach out to me for friendship.

    And then I remembered....

    Sometimes, I think you need to whine less and think more.
    Sometimes, I want to tell you that you unfairly judge people based on rumors from unreliable sources.
    Sometimes, I think your baby is ugly.
    Sometimes, I want to nominate you for What Not To Wear.
    Sometimes, I think that your holier-than-thou attitude about crap that doesn't even matter makes me want to shake you.
    Sometimes, I'm really thinking about absolutely nothing.
    Sometimes, I am too insecure to share my own problems.
    Sometimes, I need a break because life just won't quit for 10 minutes so I can collect my thoughts.

    Not always, just sometimes.

    The lesson here is that it's actually better that I don't try to reach out on some occasions.

    *Note that in the above post, the term "you" is a generic amalgam of many, many people that I encounter during my day.  It in no way refers to you personally.

    **Or does it?