Thursday, February 03, 2005


So, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you've heard me moan and complain about my current employment situation (mostly that I don't have enough of it), then you know that it makes me feel more than a little antsy. So I made the big step yesterday...I applied for a job as a part time security officer. Yes, you heard that right. I want to be a rent-a-cop.

The whole situation was not without its humorous aspects. First off, it was in this industrial office-type building just in front of a shopping center. I took the elevator to the second floor, found the office, and rang the "for service" bell. A gentleman who looked suspiciously like the host of the PBS series _America's Test Kitchen_ informed me that they did not let their appilcations leave the premise (must be a security risk, HA HA HA HA) and showed me to a desk where I could fill out the forms.

The first clue that this might not be the most stable work environment is that the forms which had the work duties and requirements were laminated...I assume they either have a WHOLE lot of turnover or they are afraid of having applicants "discharge" onto them. The gentleman in charge walked me through the form (check here, check here, fill this out), and helpfully told me what suggested wage I should put in the "wage desired" box. I even had to fill out a hypothetical report on an auto break-in which might happen on one of my hypothetical shifts at "XYZ Enterprises." I resisted somehow the temptation to dress the imaginary perp up in a Motorhead shirt or give him a mohawk.

Then I got to take a personality scantron! Yes, scantron, the choice of teachers and top level psychologists everywhere. It asked such questions as "I believe everybody steals" and "If an employee is caught stealing, how much could they steal and still be given a second chance?" Of course, I had the Jane's Addiction song stuck in my head the whole time.

Really, the test was sort of pathetic. They are either going to determine that I am either (1) horribly honest (because I have never stolen), (2) a complete liar (because I claim I've never stolen), (3) incredibly naive and trusting (as I don't believe that everyone steals), or (4) a complete liar trying to tell them what they want to hear. Really, though, the only lesson they could honestly get out of it is that I hate absolutes and will answer "no" to ANY question that starts "I believe everybody...."

They are going to send the test off to be "graded," and if I "pass" (whatever that means), I get interviewed tomorrow...I will keep you informed. It will be a real shame if I don't pass, and I hope it won't get on my permanent record. I have suffered many such blows lately, though, and this would rank up there with finding out I'm not good enough to work at Aldi's Discount Grocers or the local gas station.

It's been my experience on the job market that many employers try to convince themselves and their potential employees that the company MUST be important if the application process is so long and involved. This is definitely the case with the Community Colleges to which I've been applying lately. Taken to the extreme, I guess that you could argue that really bad jobs like "sanitation engineer" must have an application process that would make you weep, while very important jobs like "President" have few if any application requirements...which would actually explain a whole lot....

To be fair, I can't imagine that they have a tremendous application pool...the guy who was leaving the same time as me looked like he just left his other job of "beachcomber." Just think of this application process, though, the next time you see a rent-a-cop kicking a teenager out of the mall.

np: Meatloaf, "You took the words right out of my mouth"

No comments: