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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alternatively, you could say, "I'm interested in the position you are offering because I have x and x skill sets, and you offer me a chance to practice those skills. Your job will give me experience in the field I have chosen."

That's not lying. It's just judiciously telling the truth in a positive manner. You do have these skills (hopefully), and the job does offer a chance to use them... even if it's not your first choice. You have chosen this field as the one in which you are looking for a job... just not long-term.

But yes, it is frustrating. I sympathize.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Nem: Going to have to agree with Asa on this one. Most of the time that answer is a place where you can give a little insight into why you like the company. Which is, as you say, company loyalty. Which, for 90% of jobs in that price range, is absolutely ridiculous. That said, it's a key step in getting hired, so.. pick your poison I suppose.

@Tinman: To be honest, you're a nicer GM than I would be. I have some small experience running games, and generally I would have just bumped the monster tables up a few levels. And by "few levels" I mean "things a Level 10 would have found". >_> Sometimes stats really don't matter. Leather armor and a simple longsword just will not a dragon slay.

Good luck to both of you, either way.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks. The dishonesty of the thing just tires me down sometimes. The skills comment is a nice answer though. ^_^
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karama9



Joined: 11 May 2012
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Location: Newfoundland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, play the game. Very Happy

Would it help at all to say the business is probably just trying to do what they can to hire someone who won't quit after three weeks? When there's training involved, and for a management position where knowing the store and having been there a while makes a sizable difference in how well the employee can do the work, turnover can get really expensive, and turnover in management could even affect whether staff likes to work there or not, affecting general turnover as well.

A company that knows most applicants are just desperate would be even more keen on doing what they can to find someone who's actually interested. Doesn't mean they will and they know it, but they're still better off trying than not!

... sorry to play devil's advocate, but I handle the budget for an entity with hundreds of staff and lots of turnover in certain areas, so I can sympathize with trying to find employees who will stay.

All that being said, I totally understand why it's frustrating that you have to be a bit hypocritical in your answers. Best of luck!
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karama9 wrote:
Yep, play the game. Very Happy


Bah! Screw the game! Overturn the board and kick the pieces into the far corners of the room!


...just as soon as we figure out how.




karama9 wrote:
Would it help at all to say the business is probably just trying to do what they can to hire someone who won't quit after three weeks?

Not really, no. Liking the company has very little to do with wanting to stay. You have to like the role. It doesn't really much matter which nebulous non-person legal-fiction is employing you. So the question "why do you want to work here?" (the one Nem's raging against) is a worthless one.
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TheBritishInvasion



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel your pain Nem. I donít know how many times Iíve lied to answer that question, or how many times Iíve been tempted to write ĎI donít want to work for you, I just want money.í

My rant is about automated messages:

Today I received a message from my bank asking me to call them without saying why, theyíve left a phone number for me to ring and Iím a little concerned because I tried to use my card earlier to buy a book off Amazon and the payment has for some reason not gone through.
I decided to call the bank and ask them whatís going on but before I called I checked their website and looked for the phone number that had been left on my answering machine. That number is not on their website which makes me think this might be a scam.

So I chose the general enquires number from their contact page and I was answered by a machine.

I hate those things. I also hate calling people and talking on the phone but if I do pick up the phone and call someone I want to talk to a human being. If I wanted to talk to a machine I would scream profanities at my laptop.

But I needed to get this sorted so I followed their instructions, the problem is that the instructions assume that you are set up to use telephone banking and ask you to enter your personal number. Iím not set up for telephone banking but I tried it anyway. What did not help is that the house phone is very old and doesnít work very well. In fact one of the numbers barely works at all. I had to almost break the phone in order to push one button.*

It didnít work anyway. It didnít recognise my personal number. I could probably set telephone banking up but Iím reluctant to do that because A) It might involve me breaking the phone out of frustration and B) Iím not certain that I would actually be able to speak to a living breathing human at the end of it all.

I could call their emergency helpline I suppose but Iíve checked my account online and my money is still there so I think I might just wait until tomorrow and go to the actual bank. I just hope the people there will be able to help me and wonít tell me to call their helpline.

Itís very frustrating that I have a concern and I canít just ask someone whatís going on.

Iím actually more annoyed at my own bank than the people who may be trying to scam me.

*If you are wondering why I didnít just call using my mobile itís because the genius who designed my phone did not design it with call centres and button pushing in mind. Stupid touchscreens.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pressing 0 to reach an operator doesn't work? Some companies have it set up that way, that 0 bypasses the whole thing. Then they redirect you a couple of times, but at least it's real people.
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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TheBritishInvasion



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got through to a person in the end. Apparently the trick is to ignore the recorded message until it puts you through to a person. Maybe if I used phones more I'd know these things but live and learn.

And my money is fine, they didn't really explain why they'd put a restriction on my card but it's lifted now, and the lady I dealt with didn't have any record of the number left on my machine, so that's a bit dodgy. Glad I didn't call them.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucky escape! Smile One wonders whether that is the scam - get your card locked and leave the number.

karama9 wrote:
Would it help at all to say the business is probably just trying to do what they can to hire someone who won't quit after three weeks? When there's training involved, and for a management position where knowing the store and having been there a while makes a sizable difference in how well the employee can do the work, turnover can get really expensive, and turnover in management could even affect whether staff likes to work there or not, affecting general turnover as well.

A company that knows most applicants are just desperate would be even more keen on doing what they can to find someone who's actually interested. Doesn't mean they will and they know it, but they're still better off trying than not!

... sorry to play devil's advocate, but I handle the budget for an entity with hundreds of staff and lots of turnover in certain areas, so I can sympathize with trying to find employees who will stay.


Whether they're better off doing it depends on how it affects the ratio of false positives to false negatives. They don't want a lot of liars working for their company; a lot of people who've demonstrated they're happy to commit fraud - which is what it really is when you obtain something by giving a false representation of yourself. It's very difficult to work with people when you know that their word's probably not worth much.

Now I dealt with them in good faith. That is to say, I was trying to come to an arrangement with them where we could both get what we want. If I deal with you in good faith, and you deal with me in bad faith - that is to say if I try for a situation where we both win and you try for a situation where only you win - then I'm going to lose all the time. If I always lose, then sooner or later I'm going to start dealing with you in bad faith.

Because we're rational, because we live in a society, we know at an emotional level that that's wrong. Every man's hand against every other man isn't a society. You cannot do business with me on those terms; I'll just take what I want, and you'll try and take what you want, and neither of us will ever grow, ever produce any more wealth - because there wouldn't be any security of investment, someone else would just take it from us.

The only system under which that makes sense is the system that presuppose that value can neither be created nor destroyed, and thus casts all transactions as inherent thefts. Under that system it's rational; you should steal and lie in the short term, even if it kills you in the long term, because that's all there is and all you're ever going to have. Law of the Jungle.

Similarly, here, they have to deal with me in good faith, and I have to deal with them in good faith, or the question doesn't work. If we're not going to deal with each other in good faith you may as well not bother screening at all; I'll make up a complete fantasy of a CV and get a couple of people to lie for me as references.

Now when they were rude in return for my answer they were not dealing with me in good faith. I had told the truth. What attracted you to this position? The money. What they could have said was 'Well, we're really looking for people who are interested in X, Y and Z - are those things interesting to you?' And if I'd said 'yes' they could have asked me more in depth about them, and if I'd said 'no' then we'd have known we were poor fits for each other. The only reason you would not continue the discussion in that way is if you entered the assumption that I was going to lie when I found out what you really wanted, (which I could have guessed all along, your potential employees are not morons,) and so decided to go for an, 'I win, you lose,' breach of good faith.

There's a reason that being rude and nasty to people who aren't rude and nasty to you first feels wrong, just as lying should feel wrong, just as breaking anyone's trust should feel wrong: it destroys the framework in which we can work together, it attacks the bedrock of society. And it does feel wrong. They make me feel... tired and filthy... for associating with them, because I suspect very strongly that whoever wrote that doesn't have those feelings - nor does he understand the cooperative framework necessary for living in an economy based on the principle of mutual aid. I suspect he just thought, 'Screw them, they're not what we're looking for' and couldn't resist getting his - oh so amusing - joke in to make you feel just a little bit worse about it. And neither did any of the people in the company above him who've seen his work.

It's not that I don't understand the motivation. I'm not an idealist - as anyone where will tell you =p - I don't expect them to do the right thing because there are bunnies and kittens and if they do the magical unicorn will take us all away over the rainbow to a land where there's no pain ever.... But, at a fairly fundamental level, what they demonstrated is that they.... Well, have you ever read Heinlen's Stranger? There's a line in it where Heinlen states that kids in a society don't need to be told not to eat their friends. The reasoning for which I take to be obvious - (societies where we eat each other don't stay societies very long.) Well, what they're telling me is they don't understand they shouldn't eat their friends - they shouldn't eat people who are trying to have a good faith relationship with them. That's just an elaborate way for a company to commit suicide.

All the research I've seen seems to back me up on that. Competency based questionnaires and interviews dramatically outperform first-date style informal 'what are you interested in' sorts of interviews as predictors of workplace success, including turnover. Because interests correlate with behaviours which correlate with skills. As I said above, if you make the assumption that I'm not lying about my interests then we can start having some sort of dialogue and work out whether we're suited for each other - (and if I have breached good faith you'll discover it fairly quickly then.)

So... uhm... yeah. It's not that I don't understand that they've got a profit-motive, that they're self-interested. But, I suspect that they're entirely self-interested and not especially smart about it, and that makes me feel bad about the whole deal.

And I've probably blathered on for long enough now. Probably repeated myself a couple of times. ^^;

karama9 wrote:
All that being said, I totally understand why it's frustrating that you have to be a bit hypocritical in your answers. Best of luck!


Thanks ^_^
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karama9



Joined: 11 May 2012
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Location: Newfoundland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed... there's no excuse for rudeness and it makes no business sense anyway.
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Land of the troll.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ug, Britty I totally sympathise. My card has been locked too so I have to call the bank. Not looking forward to it because I've had such a terrible time with anything out of the ordinary with this bank. They do not like it when you go abroad. They do not like it when you try and send money abroad. They do not make it easy to go into the branch (when I lived in Scotland the nearest branch was three hours away) to do the aforementioned money-sending and they do not like sending you a new bank card when yours is stolen abroad.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blarg, panic time. Have an entire 20 page paper to research and write, in two weeks. At the same time I have to write two short papers (one page each) on classroom research I'm supposed to have done and one on the presentation I gave last week. I've done one of the 'research studies'. I've been trying for two weeks to get a student to sit with me for the other. But my main panic is this paper. I have a minimum of three papers to read and highlight in the next two days, up to five, for a total of eight papers for this report. Then I need to build the presentation, and then I need to write the paper. If I'd spent all year working on this, as I should have done, it wouldn't be a problem, but now I've literally left it to the last minute since I ALSO have the play to perform that week. Plus the short papers and research. Actually, I also have a whole other 24-page seminar paper, but that's not due til August, so the work isn't getting done til after June. And, oh yes! Three final exams!!

So blarg.
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
They don't want a lot of liars working for their company; a lot of people who've demonstrated they're happy to commit fraud - which is what it really is when you obtain something by giving a false representation of yourself.

My own experience in companies is that this statement is 90% false. Most of the time, the people above the action only want two things:

1) Results (good numbers, high sales, etc).
2) No Complaints (customer, federal, employee, etc)

The way that these two things get done? Generally, the higher ups are not incredibly fussy. People who are willing to succeed at those two things while adding a third ("Integrity/Honesty/Serve the Customer") are actually very rare, despite how often those buzz words like "integrity", "honest", and "service" get thrown into company slogans.

At the end of the day, it boils down to a simple fact: These are businesses. Businesses have, truthfully, only one goal; Making money. In my experience in business, there are only a handful of ways to make that money more than your competitors. Perhaps you have a product that sells itself and that people need (gasoline/petrol, water, electricity, and so on). More likely, you have a business model that provides a service people want (most service industry falls into this group). There is one final method of business, which is epitomized much more rarely. The idea that providing the best customer experience will supplant one's rivals.

It's highly effective, but the problem is that you have to hire people who don't necessarily share your idealism. Even these businesses, founded on the idea of being the best they can be, struggle to actually provide this service. Your average minimum wage earner doesn't buy the company's line, because they can get the same reward anywhere else. You can't just pay them more, because then you're buying their loyalty wholesale - and they aren't going to epitomize your idealism.

Business is kind of a tricky world. I understand it as well as one can with the training I've had (which has been very useful), but I have about zero desire to spend more time in it than I have to.

TheBritishInvasion wrote:
I got through to a person in the end. Apparently the trick is to ignore the recorded message until it puts you through to a person.

Oy, I've dealt with a similar situation. I'm glad you managed to get it resolved, though. I actually appreciate my bank, in a way. Any time I make a lot of purchases (usually at the beginning of a semester - textbooks, yuck) they give me a call to make sure I am still me. They also like to check with me when I make long road trips, though that hasn't happened in ages. In a way, it's kind of nice.. but I think maybe your bank as gone a bit overboard, no? @__@

I would also recommend getting in touch with your bank and giving them the number that you received. If nothing else, they can confirm that it was legitimate. If it wasn't, then you're at least giving them the tools to track down the scammers.

Asa has a point. If saying nothing doesn't work (defaulting out of the entry menu), then pushing zero can sometimes get you through as well. It's not foolproof, but now you know. ^_^

Asa wrote:
Blarg, panic time.

*nags* Ahem... More realistically, you can do this. You just need to put your mind to it, stay focused, and keep positive. Don't give up. Prioritize. If you get stuck, switch to something more attractive that also needs doing. And good luck.

I don't have anything to rant about, myself. I wanted to support my peeps.
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the bank went ok, that's all sorted, but now my flatmate has fallen foul of the Norwegian public transport system and their incapability to organise their way out of a wet paper bag.

Herein follows the tale of "Oslo or bust!"
In which our heroes' flat is turned into the center of operations for major transport arrangements.

Northern Norway, 1300

Strike action in the public sector has caused our heroes to be on their guard. Airline pages are regularly checked for information on closures and delays but all is looking hopeful. Bags are packed, room inspections are passed and goodbyes are, for the most part, said.

1700

Agent J returns from a bike ride and a chance meeting with Agent E. E informs J that the airport is closed. Cue lots of profanity.

J returns to base and passes on the knowledge to me. I swiftly consult the computer and find the source to be reliable.

1800

J and I posit numerous back up plans, but the train is full, there are no buses and the boat would take too long.

Agents D and T are called in and arrive within 15 minutes. D and T both have local knowledge and contacts so while T is consulting the possibility of alternative transport D is calling his contacts in the train department.

1900

D comes up trumps, with a train part of the way and flights the remaining 500 km.

D, T and J leave for the station. J is still raging, but now at least he will get to Oslo.

The punchline of the whole affair is that workers are striking over a 4% payrise.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, don't you love when planning like that works? I always feel like a spy or a secret agent or something when I call in contacts and find alternate routes.
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