Here I stand, hat in hand, balancing on the precipice of 54 years old, asking people young enough to be my children to please give me some consideration as a possible job candidate. After 10 years of running a retail business with my husband, we decided last summer to take our ball and go home. Our lease was up, bills and loans all paid, and we wanted to leave the retail world while we still generally liked people. We made a decent living, until you took the income, divided it by hours worked, multiplied by two. Oh, and a holiday or Saturday off might be enjoyable, as well.
I have always been a contrarian, with a slightly anti-establishment personality, ideal for self employment, perhaps not so advantageous as a worker bee. The reality check is that I am no way mentally or financially ready to retire, I need an income and some cash in my pocket.
It has been quite fun over the last few months relearning the hiring process and noticing the changes since my toes last dipped in that pool. Resumes are sent off into cyberland and seldom acknowledged. Well, the lack of acknowledgement is not new, but so many other things have changed. One big problem is me. I interpret literally, and I am confused. Just as R.S.V.P. used to mean “respond, please” and now seems to mean “I guess we will call you in a few weeks to see if you received the invitation and if you are attending,” many work missives seem to have changed meanings as well.
I understand no news is bad news, but a recent response puzzles me. I received an e-mail saying “Thanks for your resume and we will call you to schedule an interview in the next few days.” I mistakenly thought this meant they would call to schedule an interview in the next few days. A few weeks later I received a good old-fashioned ding letter (remember those?) in the actual MAIL. It was short, but to the point. I did not get the job, and then the writer listed eight reasons why I was blatantly unqualified and slightly idiotic to have applied for that particular job in the first place. Whatever happened to the generically mannerly “We found a candidate whose qualifications more closely suited our needs” or something of that nature? The actual nastiness of the ding made me scan the name and see if the writer was someone I possibly p.o.’d in high school.
To add just a bit of insult to injury, my first name was spelled incorrectly. I have to assume my resume was pulled up right in front of the writer to obtain my address, not too difficult to double check.
This job would have involved much communication. I can guarantee if I had gotten said job I would not send out letters with misspelled names, and I would not write insulting ding letters. I may be old, but so are my old-fashioned manners. Remember, you never know whom you will encounter as you climb up and slip down the ladder of life. Yes, I still use “whom” when appropriate, it’s just the way I was taught.