Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cleaning Out the Notebook, Part 1

Okay, so I've been out of commission for a while. Last week was an exercise in insanity, and I've spent the time since then just letting my batteries recharge. Here are some miscellaneous ramblings to make up for lost time.

On Work
Our catalog deadline has come and gone, and the new boss somehow finds himself still in charge. Most of his redesign ended up being vetoed or redone yet again by the company owner upon his return from vacation. That necessitated an absolute blitz of frenetic activity in order for us to get all the pages done in time, but we did it. Now he's preparing another round of changes for our next catalog. He seems to be going about it much better this time around--asking for input, having pages mocked up, etc. Radical ideas, I know. I think he's starting to figure out how things work, at least to a certain extent. That doesn't make him any more likable as a person, but maybe it'll help him to be a better boss. He's taking us out for pizza at lunch tomorrow as a reward for our "successful" deadline. I'd rather just go through my normal Friday routine, honestly, but I suppose it's a nice gesture.

On the Job Search
I got my first return call at the end of last week regarding a job in Dayton that I applied for. That's a good thing, at least potentially, because I definitely need a job down there ASAP. However, there are several things about it that irritate me.

First off, during the very first phone call, the HR representative told me that no employees smoke, either on or off company premises. I don't smoke, so that's not a problem for me, but I'm not terribly comfortable with an employer exerting that kind of control over their employees' personal lives. Ban smoking on the premises? I'm totally in favor of that. Away from the premises? I don't think it's any of their business.

Secondly, the entire application process is a pain in the ass. I don't even know why they bother having anyone send in a resume, because you have to duplicate all the information on an application form anyway. Everything on my resume--contact information, work experience, education history, additional skills--had to be essentially copied over onto their stupid form. I had to fill that form out online, print it, sign it, scan it, and email it back to them because they had to have my signature. I also had to email them a copy of my degree. I've never been asked for a copy of my degree before, so I don't keep it with me. It's at my parents' house, so I had to bother my parents to find it and take it somewhere to have it scanned so they could email me a copy. Getting all of this stuff together was more of a hassle than seems necessary.

I also had to do an online personality assessment, which was fine, and a skills test which had absolutely nothing to do with the job for which I applied. No huge deal. After completing those items and sending in everything for my application, I figured I was done. Not so. On Tuesday of this week, they emailed me a link to an opinion poll I had to complete. That was filled with statements I had to rate on a scale from 1-10, from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree"; statements like "An employee who steals $5 from the company should be fired"; "Everyone takes an occasional sick day when they're not sick"; and "A person who uses marijuana once a week has a drug problem." Hopefully my responses won't automatically rule me out, but I'm not going to be terribly surprised if they do. I have a feeling that my opinions on topics like these don't mesh with the opinions management-type people think their underlings should have. For what it's worth, I'm not down with stealing from the company in any amount, but I have a pretty cavalier attitude about some of the other things I'm pretty sure they were trying to get me to condemn.

Anyway, as far as the job goes, we'll see what happens. The money would be quite good, but the job itself doesn't thrill me (at least not in my limited knowledge of it--I'm open to the possibility of it being awesome once I hypothetically start doing it), and the preliminaries have made me a little leery of the company. I need a job, though, and I'm also totally aware that I'm likely blowing all the rest of this stuff way out of proportion. That being the case, here's hoping they call me back.

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