Sometimes a strange twist is a sign of things to come.
This a guest post by Daniella. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
A recruiter comes knocking
A recruiter contacted me for a marketing writing position in a nice, stable company close to my home. Since I am miserable in my current job, I was very much interested of course. The proposed job might not be that high-level but it would give me ample opportunity to build my own company so I went for it.
The recruiter told me that it was all very hush-hush since I am replacing someone who doesn’t know she will be replaced…
A friend needs “help”
Later that night at home, I got a phone call from a friend who told me in the strictest confidence that a friend of hers is unhappy in her job and is looking for something else. Could I help her? I got her CV and guess what? It was the woman I might replace! Life is funny sometimes… Needless to say, I am being “double discreet”!
The job interview is scheduled…
A few days later, I get a phone call from R. He whispered that he wanted to meet me. We set up a day and time, and when I confirmed his office address, he went into a panic. He told me that we had to meet after working hours in a coffee shop. Well, with my coffee addiction, no problem! He suggested a place that was located on the main street number 111… and emphasized that we should not be seen talking. He described himself as “tall” (just in case you're wondering, I described myself as a blonde reading a book – pretty accurate if I might say so myself).
…contact is made…
I came 10 minutes before the scheduled time to number 111 – no cafe! I called R. who informed me that it moved to the other side of town. Did I know of an alternative? Well, Israel is not exactly short of coffee shops (and coffee addicts) so my eye quickly spotted another and we decided to meet there.
I went in and ordered a double cappuccino. I positioned myself discreetly behind a small wall separating the two large front windows, so nobody could see me from the outside.
After 5 minutes a guy came in who measured close to 2 meters (turned out, he is 2.03m). He walked up to me, shook my hand and asked if he had described himself correctly. Dah, I never saw such a tall guy since my student years in Holland (I had 3 fellow students there who were 1.96m, 1.98, and 2m respectively).
We sat down at the table and he ordered coffee with cheesecake (another Israeli addiction). It came with a few chocolates that he pushed forcefully into my direction with the remark “those I don’t like”. Well, neither do I dear heart, so I politely declined.
He went on to inform me that he wanted to smoke and that we had to go outside (by law, you cannot smoke inside buildings – a wonderful attempt of our government to reduce lung cancer. As a non-smoker, I am eternally grateful that I am not forced to inhale the stinky cigarette smoke of others anymore). Well, I thought to myself, so much for our undercover meeting – R. is not cut out to be the next James Bond!
When I went out, I overheard a gaggle of octogenarian ladies refer to me as the “poor woman” who was treated so rudely by her blind date! R. was blatantly unaware of this (no Dr. Phil potential there!). We went outside, set down and started the job interview.
I hate this job but you'll love it
R. started by bitterly complaining about the company (“stodgy”), his job (“I hate it”), the company’s technology (“boring”). He told me that he used to work with mobile phones in Nokia and that’s sexy! Well, I thought to myself, working for a solid company doing a nice job and getting paid a decent salary on time, commuting to work in my company car in 10 minutes or less, sounds damn good to me! Oh yeah, their office is next to my beloved fitness center.
He asked for samples of my marketing writing when we were setting up the interview, so I handed him a nice selection of my marketing writing, including an article, product description, company overview, press release and brochure. Guess what? He wanted to see a PowerPoint presentation. When I told him that I didn’t print one out since it’s mainly many pages with bullets and graphics (trust me, a PowerPoint presentation printed in black and white looks horrible), he happily informed me that making PowerPoints would be more than 70% of my job. Mmm, wouldn’t it have made sense to inform me about that before meeting me?
Ah well, I sent him two presentations as soon as I came home.
We parted on the happy note that he would come back to me “sometime next week, or later, we are not in a hurry and nor are you since you work”.
Just in case you wonder, yes, I had to pay for my own coffee…
Two weeks later…
I decided to call R. It’s not usual for candidates here to do that, but I found out that either companies dislike it (in which case they already decided not to move forward with you anyway) or appreciate it a lot, since you show interest and it’s an extra nudge to get you hired.
R. told me that they didn’t know yet, haven’t made a decision and are still looking at all the candidates. He told me to be patient and he said that he appreciated the call.
Result: “That's your fault”
Half an hour later, I get a phone call. “Hi, M. speaking, did you get my letter?” I politely asked from which company she is calling and what letter she is referring to.
She told me that she called from R.’s company and it’s a rejection letter. I informed her that I didn’t get a letter.
“That’s your fault,” she told me. “You gave the wrong address”.
We verified my address and it was sent to the correct one. I have been living at this address for 8 years now, so it’s not like the postal service cannot find me. Trust me; the local tax authorities send me forms without failure, and I always receive them!
She insisted that I am to blame for not receiving the letter. I verified that it was a rejection, so as far as I am concerned, the matter is closed.
I did point out that R. told me half an hour before that no decision had been made which “puzzled” me. (My polite way of telling her that they are incompetent nincompoops). She started shouting (yes, really) and told me that she would “launch an investigation” (sounded rather Bush-like to me). I told her that for me, it doesn’t matter, since the decision has been made. With this parting shot, I softly closed my mobile.
As is written at the end of old European movies –
This article is part of the 2008 JobMob Guest Blogging Contest.