"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now you have it, now you don't

As you know, I've been out of work for quite some time and have been working with several employment agencies who are out there looking for opportunities for me.

Yesterday I had a phone interview that was set up through one of these staffing agencies with a software company here in town. The interview took place at 16:30 and lasted for approximately half an hour. When the interview was finished, I was asked to call my contact back at the agency to let her know how I thought the interview went and thus let her know if the job was something that appealed to me so she could relay my interest.

Being mightily short on cash, I told her that the job did interest me and maxing $x per hour, while not as much as I need, was better than making nothing at all. She told me that, since it was late in the day, she didn't expect to get any feedback back from the company until sometime on Wednesday.

Quarter to six, the phone rings and it's the woman from the staffing agency. She excitedly asks me what I'm doing at 09:00 on Wednesday. I reply quickly that I hadn't planned on doing anything (anything productive, that is). She then tells me that I'll be working at my new job!! Congrats follow and she then proceeds to lay out the details: what time to get there, what the dress code is, etc. and that she'll meet me there in the morning because there are a few pieces of paperwork that I need to fill out (hello W-4) again.

Obviously, I'm real excited to get back to work and I happily relay the story to every member of my family.

Today I get there fifteen minutes early (a robust 15 minute non-highway commute with traffic) and am told by the receptionist to have a seat in the lobby lounge. Right at nine the staffing people come and I fill out the necessary forms. The manager lady I spoke with last night comes down to escort me, with visitor badge/door key in hand up to the third floor.

The day goes by uneventfully and I perform the tasks required of me, being shown what to do and how to do it by another woman I'd be working with. The job is not rocket science and I pick it up quickly. During the course of the morning, the IT guy sets me up with a computer, email, etc. The whole shebang.

Aside from asking appropriate questions when necessary to do the work, I say little. The only things I asked were what time lunch was, how long it lasts and what time is the workday done? All important questions and necessary for me to know. At 16:00 when I was allowed to leave, I turned in my visitor badge to the manager lady, figuring they'd have a permanent one for me in the morning, said good night - see you tomorrow, yada, yada, yada and headed for the elevator with my lunch bag and book bag in hand.

After a grueling 20 minute commute (with more traffic than in the morning) I get back home. Half an hour later the phone rings and it's the staffing lady. She's calling, not to ask me how the day went, but to tell me that the company decided that I would not be a good fit for them long-term and thanked me for my time.

I asked staffing lady what the reasons were for my abrupt dismissal and the only reason I got (that she was given) was that I was not whom they were looking for. I inquired with her again later, pressing for a better answer. None was provided.

Now, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed sometimes, but I can't figure out why or how a company would be so gung-ho about me on Tuesday afternoon and decide on Wednesday, after one day's work that I'm not a good fit?

How does that work, exactly?

So it's back to the drawing board for me.

Good thing I have another interview scheduled for Tuesday morning. An interview with a company that, while a bit farther away, holds much more promise than this one day experience did.

Truth be told, I couldn't really see myself as a long term fit at that position with the software company anyway. However I kept that thought a-rattlin' around in my head. I figured that I'd be able to finish out the week before any judgment was rendered on my "fit."

Stuff happens for a reason, this I know.

It doesn't make it any less frustrating though.

This also bothers me, in general about "workplace etiquette": Why is it that courtesy calls for an employee to give notice, usually two weeks, before leaving a job, to not leave them hanging. But they can say to an employee, with no notice, that they're firing you? Don't let the door hit you on the way out type stuff. How does that not inconvenience me and leave me hanging? Who in the heck invented that rule? Can someone give me a logical explanation that makes sense?

That is why, generally at the jobs I've had, I don't give notice. Why should I be loyal to a company who won't show me the same courtesy in return?

It would be one thing if your boss came up to you and said, "Hey, we're going to fire your butt in two weeks, so you better start looking for another job."

If that happened then I can see giving notice.


Happy 63rd Birthday, Dad.

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At 24 May, 2007 23:24, Blogger Kayla said...

Workplace etiquette can be tricky.
Hopefully you talked about more than the lunch time and when the workday ends...if that was all you talked about, it would seem you aren't too excited to be there. And you know how it is..even if you're potting dirt, they want you to be fired up about it! Ha.
I hope your upcoming interview goes well.

At 25 May, 2007 09:46, Blogger green said...

kayla: I was excited to be there- just that I don't talk for the sake of hearing my own voice. I talked plenty to the woman who I worked with - asking questions about the job and really trying to focus and learn what that job would have entailed.

Oh, well, it's their loss.

Thanks for the good wishes on my upcoming interview. I hope it goes well, too.

At 26 May, 2007 07:46, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"I asked staffing lady what the reasons were for my abrupt dismissal and the only reason I got (that she was given) was that I was not whom they were looking for."

The thing to remember is that the people who are making these decisions are human, and the reasons that make sense to them may not always be obvious to us.

It could be they were looking for a certain work style. It could be that they were looking for someone who meshed personality wise with other team members (and for whatever reason felt that you didn't). It could be that they felt the work came too easy to you, that you'd get bored, and leave them as soon as you possibly could.

Most likely, they just made a gut decision and went with it. As hard as it sounds, I've learned that you have to trust your gut in situations like this. I've hired people and failed to listen to that little nagging voice in head that had doubts about whether this was the right call, only to be faced with disaster later.

It's easier for them to give you the boot now based on a gut level feeling, than wait till they've invested a fair bit of time and money on you and can you then.

Still, the fact that you've got to the point where you're being offered work is a huge step in the right direction. Slow progress is still progress.

At 26 May, 2007 07:50, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"Why is it that courtesy calls for an employee to give notice, usually two weeks, before leaving a job, to not leave them hanging. But they can say to an employee, with no notice, that they're firing you?"

Here in Oz at least, they have to give you notice (or pay you out the difference) unless they're firing you for cause.

But i'd recommend giving notice anyways. If you're hoping for a positive reference from these people in the future (or maybe even going back to them for future work), you don't want your last act to be one of stiffing them.


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