22. Employee Aptitude Tests

The job search is like a rite of passage for young adults. I’m not talking about the job search you go through in high school. That shit’s easy. Businesses love hiring high school students for the same reason they love hiring illegal immigrants. They’re all naive, desperate, and will do whatever it takes to hold down a job, even if it means staying until midnight using a power scrubber to strip the shit off of the bathroom walls. The game changes once you get your high school diploma. Being a college student and trying to find a job is a humbling experience. It’s the beginning of a very long process, starting with your first college kegger, that systematically strips away the idealism and optimism of grade school and settles you into the evil soul-crushing realization that the entire world is out to get you.

Possible employers have many insidious tools at their disposal to jerk around their young applicants. One of my personal favorite experiences was when I sat down for an interview at a local coffee shop that took a grand total of five minutes. During these five minutes, my interviewer forgot my name twice, informed me that he had never actually read my resume, and cut the entire thing short after the manager whispered something in his ear that caused him to stop speaking and look at me gravely. Either they were fucking with me or I looked remarkably like someone that ran over the manager’s son.

The worst trial, by far, is the employee aptitude test. This is the hallmark of nearly all online applications. In theory, an online application is great. You can fill in all your information from your own house at a degree of sobriety that YOU dictate without feeling rushed for time. This is, of course, until the employee aptitude test portion kicks in and the online application shifts from being a carefree activity and becomes the Most Fucking Retarded Thing In The World.

The questions range from “well-no-fucking-duh” range (Would you ever consider offering drugs to a co-worker?) to the downright intrusive (Are you happy with your life?). We all know that it’s a dirty trick. This doesn’t stop us from spending precious minutes agonizing overquestions like Are you talkative? How am I supposed to answer that? If I say “yes” then they’ll peg me for some loudmouth asshole (This is not inaccurate, but they don’t need to know that) and not hire me. If I say “no”, they’ll take me for some wallflower that will piddle himself if a customer asks about today’s specials and not hire me. The shit is all bogus. I’m just gonna go downtown and start panhandling with the rest of the beggars. Maybe they’re the real smart ones.

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