Tuesday, at a job fair
"I'm sorry to tell all of you, but you just aren't what we want." The Interviewer gathered together our applications, and set them aside. "If you want to know why you aren't under consideration, you can stay and I'll tell you. I've got time. It's up to you."
All of us stayed. I don't know why the others did. But I figured that knowledge is power, and that if I knew why I wasn't under consideration in this case, that it might help me do better next time.
"Actually, I'm interested in all of you. I'm inviting you back Wednesday through Friday. We'll discuss more about the job descriptions and pay then, and I'll figure out who's the best fit. I just said I wasn't interested to test you, and see how you respond in adverse conditions."
Maybe that isn't word for word, but you get the jest.
That evening I told my family that I might have a job opportunity at a car dealership, and my brother teased me about becoming a used car salesman.
"I have plane tickets here, two way for two people." The Interviewer waved them around. "Who's interested?"
Virtually everyone responded immediately. I guess I was a bit slow, and was one of maybe two or three people who didn't have a hand raised high in the air.
"Why didn't you raise your hand? Why didn't you raise your hand?"
When The Interviewer demanded this I felt a little silly for not jumping at the opportunity. But I didn't want to get too upset about missing out on free plane tickets, and was mainly happy for the person who was the fastest to claim them. I'll admit this isn't always my attitude about missed opportunities, but it was this time.
Then just as The Interviewer was about to hand the prized tickets over to the lucky guy who beat everyone else to the prize, he pulled back.
"No, did you really think I was going to just hand them out? Did you really?" The Interviewer had a good laugh, and I think everyone who jumped at the chance for free plane tickets felt like idiots. Even I felt like one, for believing it was happening.
"But...everyone who comes back tomorrow, will get tickets. You'll have to arrive promptly by 10:30am, not a minute later."
Again, this isn't word for word. But you get it.
I wasn't there. I don't care that as a car salesman I could earn a ton of money. I don't care that I would have had a $6,000 training, guaranteed. I don't care that women tend to sell more cars than men. (Apparently we appear more trustworthy and approachable.) I don't care that I might have gotten free plane tickets today.
Yep, that's right, I might have gotten the tickets. Notice that little important little keyword there. Might. And that's why I don't care about the rest of it.
Because I'm not convinced. The mind game The Interviewer played on Tuesday was one thing. That, I could laugh off. I came back the next day, after all. But there were other games he played on Wednesday, of which the plane tickets was just one. And they left me unable to trust what he said.
Maybe some will say this decision proves I'm not really serious about finding work. I suppose The Interviewer might say that. But I can wait a little longer to find employment with someone whose word I can trust. I'll probably make less than I would have if I'd followed through on this job opportunity with The Interviewer. But that's ok. Because I'm not nearly desperate enough to take a job with someone who will play games until I question every little thing he says.
Time to move on.
I have three interviews lined up, which is a first for me. It turns out that putting my resume online means that employers will actually call me about job opportunities, instead of me having to go to them. How easy is that? And why didn't I figure it out before? Of course I'm still actively looking, but this makes life so much easier.