We’ve all been here. For whatever reason we have, we all had to get jobs at one point, because life is awful and requires it. But in a lot of ways, the mundane misery that comes with a paycheck and a title is dwarfed in comparison to the process it takes to actually get there. Thus, I give you a list of complaining that will do you no good and teach you nothing. Enjoy!
1. Everyone Wants Honesty, but No One Ever Gives it
How many lies have you told in an interview? If you’ve ever interviewed for a job, then you know the answer is all of the things. All of the things you’ve ever said in an interview are at best, hyperbole, and at worst, downright fibs. This counts for the interviewer as well. You don’t have to look much farther than the dead part of their eyes when they describe what working for this company is like to know that an interview is a delicate dance of polite say-the-right-thingedness while both of you silently wish you were dead. When you are sitting across a desk from some guy in a suit, wearing a painful smile, and he asks you why you are looking to leave your current job, you have to think of something to say other than “Because sometimes I think dying from severe diarrhea would make me happier,” instead you have to say something like, “Oh, well, my job is all kittens and rainbow farts, but I feel like THIS job would add magic sprinkles on top of that.” Does anyone buy these kind of answers? Of course not, except the dumb people – but those are usually the ones who hire you.
2. Hiring You is a Terrible Decision (most of the time)
Look, I’m not saying that you or I are bad candidates – we’re fine, even if we manage to get a job we are incredibly unqualified for. The biggest flaw of the interview process is that it relies on human beings. And really, we all know that we are terrible judges of people, and making decisions based on 25 minutes of research into a person produces the same amount of data that would make a scientist laugh you out of the room. And as much as companies now try to pad the process with useless personality tests and multiple interviews, the truth of the matter is that we are just too damn good at lying to give anyone a definite sense of who we are. If you ask me, the best interview would be letting a person spend a day on the job, or even a few hours – to see how they interact with prospective teammates, how quickly they grasp concepts – you know. Shit that actually will determine if you’re right for the job.
3. If You’re not a People Person, You are Screwed
I have a friend who is a quiet guy. He’s not a talker, he can come off as a little rough, and he has a habit of making ill-timed jokes. He’s the kind of guy that in that magical first five seconds of an interview makes the bubbly, happy hiring managers think, ‘Nope!’ Which is amazing considering that he has a work ethic that makes mine look pitiful – he’s the perfect worker in that he never complains, always shows up, and never leaves early. But again, because we have stupid humans in charge of finding the right people (i.e. people like themselves), they can’t help but automatically dismiss someone who is an introvert, even if the job said introvert is applying for is exactly the kind of position that suits the personality of an introvert. Which makes total sense! Because who would be better at a data entry job requiring no human interaction or speaking more than a talkative type-A? Literally Everyone. That’s who.
4. Prepare to be Pre-Judged
This one is hard to blame anyone for. We are all subject to pre-judgment, ALL OF US. Even of people who are just like us. I know that deep down, I judge fat people, even though I am of the pudgy persuasion myself. I don’t mean to, and it fades quickly, but it still happens. Now, I have plenty of things going my way regarding this. I am loquacious (any fucking excuse to use that word is awesome), I come off as being smarter than I am, I am confident, I am white, and I have distinct air of white collar to me, by nature. I also have a white name, which science itself proves gives me an advantage. Is any of this fair? No. But neither is the fact that I get judged because I also have a strong personality, a vagina, and more than a few extra pounds. I don’t know how many times I have aced a phone interview only to walk into an office and get that ‘Nope’ look right off the bat. And it doesn’t end there. Do you have acne? Are you a mom? Are you black? Old? Gay? Do you have even the slightest trace of an accent? Do you have a tattoo? Are you too plain or too attractive, male or female? Fucked, fucked, and more fucked. Again, does this apply to everyone all the time? Of course not, you silly billy. But if you are a black mother with tattoos and an accent who is overweight, and you have a professional job after acing the interview, please write a goddamn book to teach us all the secret, because science says you’re too awesomely you to ever get past a person’s not-like-me radar.
5. Sexual Favors Work*
Leave your dignity, bring some scope.
6. Crying Doesn’t**.
7. You Gotta Know When to Say No
The easiest way to explain this is with the preface that I have a strong background in sales. Also, sales is awful. That being said, what tends to happen to me now as I desperately search for any way out of customer service and sales, I often get called into interviews for jobs that I am qualified for, only to be offered other positions that they cannot fill except by goading people like me into them after dangling a better carrot to get you in the office. Not once, not twice, but three times, I’ve been brought into interviews for positions I actually wanted, only to be offered some variation of sales jobs – For example, I applied for an accounts payable position (considering 7 years in finance), only to be offered a job calling companies and telling them to fill out surveys. (No.) Another place offered me a phone sales job. (Fuck no.) Why? One, because those jobs suck, never stay filled, and good salespeople are hard to find. That, and I think they are trying to find every way that someone can politely “go fuck yourself and don’t be gentle.” I hope they write them down, that would make a great book. While it can be hard to walk away from a job offer, sometimes you just have to ask them to pay lip service to your frontal extremities. (If that ends up in that book, you owe me money, corporate America.
8. You Don’t Have to Know What Kind of Job Will Make You Happy
This has become evident to me over the years in an intensely real way. Even for those of us living our dream, every job has something to hate, mostly because jobs require we do stuff, and there may be nothing we hate doing more. Even a job like Professional Bikini Examiner (which I assume is a popular dream job, given its endorsement by comical t-shirts) would have its downsides. Like lack of dental insurance? I don’t know. Anyways, it’s hard to decide what kind of job that you are suited for pursuing might actually generate some happiness and gratification. The truth is there are so many jobs out there you might enjoy to at least some degree and for different reasons that it makes the scope too wide, to the point where you have no idea what the hell you want to do. What’s waaaaaay more important is knowing what makes you miserable, and avoiding jobs with those elements. If you’re like me, and hate schmoozing and small talk with people, but like working with people to make things better, then you need to avoid basically every job I’ve had. It may seem to be a cynical point of view, thinking you have to scour the earth for the things that make you least miserable. Did you think I’d have some sort of uplifting ‘however’ to follow that?
Nope. It sucks. And there’s no way out of it.
*I have never given a sexual favor for a job.
**I may have cried to get one.