Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still Looking

As the one or two readers of this blog know, I am still looking for a job. Right now I am working phone support and making about 1/3 of the money I was making last year, which is really not a good thing. What I am not liking, and I may have written about this before, is how some companies handle their applicants and their hiring processes. Maybe I am a bit old fashioned, but I do like getting some feedback. A couple of weeks ago is a case in point. One night after work, I sent in an application to an outsourcing firm that handles technical support for many well known companies around the world. They called me within 12 hours to set up a couple of screening interviews for the next day. I went in, did well on the interviews, and as I was driving home, they called to tell me that they had sent an online test to me and asked me to fill it out as soon as possible, and could I come for another interview the next day. When I got home from work, around midnight, I did the 24 page test, involving UNIX, windows and other commands, server, SQL and various other questions, I did well, at least that is what they told me the next day during my 2 hour interview and tour. So a few hours later they called and asked if I could have a phone interview with someone from the vendor. My feedback from that interview was good, we even discussed pay and benefits. So after that whirlwind recruiting extravaganza, I hear nothing. I was at their beck and call for two and a half days, and nothing. Not even a letter, Email or voice mail saying "never mind". I am a little put out by all of that. My time is worth something, but they did give me a doughnut, so I guess that paid for it. The pay would have gotten me up to 50% of what I was making last year, which would have been nice. Nothing. Give me some feedback. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What I have learned

What I have learned in my short career outside of education. Working in a warehouse: Warehouse work may not be good for us folks with ADD. Too many flashing lights. I noticed when working on “the line” with my back turned toward the warehouse, I made few errors, but facing the warehouse...I was too distracted, with the forklifts and their blinking lights zipping around. Too much to take in. Found it was hard to let my mind wander too far while stacking pallets, or whatever else I did, made it hard to enjoy the movies and voices in my head. Phone support: I would think that working with numbers is hard enough without having dyslexia. But reading phone numbers, taking credit card information and writing dollar amounts is very hard with it. I don’t make too many mistakes, and usually it is caught by the system or the customer. It gets worse as the day grows longer. I have also learned that I am not cut out for second shift work. I would prefer going in early and getting the day done. My most productive part of the day is around 10 am, and working second shift means I am just getting some stuff done around the house at that time. It is possible to make it thorough anything.

Friday, November 4, 2011

On Call

It has been a long and difficult job search, but I have found a job that may be somewhat long term. I am still looking, schools, business and with my current employer. I am happy to be working, and have been working at this position for a month, and still upset that I did not get some of the jobs I interviewed for, but so it goes.

This past spring and summer were taken up by looking for jobs on-line and in the newspapers, remember newspapers? So many applications, so few call backs. Finally in desperation, I went to the local temporary job agency. That was an eye opener into the world of entry level jobs. Part of the hiring process involved a questionnaire, as most do, but this was different. Other pre-employment questions usually involve something along the lines of, ‘have you ever been convicted of a crime?’ or ‘Have you ever been fired?’, this was more interesting, it presented scenarios to react to.

For instance- You have a disagreement with your supervisor do you:
a) Punch him
b) Storm off the job
c) Do what you are told
d) Stay at work, but don’t work hard

If you feel that a fellow employee has disrespected you, you should:
a) ignore it, if it continues, contact your supervisor
b) wait until after work and fight him in the parking lot
c) start yelling at him to draw attention to how bad he is
d) slap him

Have you ever taken drugs or drunk alcohol while on the job?
a) during lunch only
b) only before work
c) never
d) I sneak some in and use it now and then

and so on for about 50 questions. It was strange. But I did pass that test, and got a call to work in a warehouse at $9 and hour. I was there for a few weeks, but was subsequently offered this position, and a $3 an hour raise! I have many stories to tell about the three weeks “on the line” but, may just let them fade away, like my aches and pains from working there.

Now I answer phones.
Talk to people. Someone is paying me to talk on the phone. I really do not like talking on the phone. But you have to do something or it would not be called work. I work for a multi-level marketing firm, actually a subsidiary of them, which sells VoIP services. I work in billing. So I get calls from folks who need to change credit card numbers, stop service, start service, check balances. These are all good calls. We of course get others who are angry when they call in.

I have noticed that some of my co-workers take that type of caller to heart, and start arguing or being defensive. I don’t. I understand their frustration, and manage to keep everyone calm or calm people down. Then after the call is over, I forget it. I average about 50 calls in a shift, and can remember very little about any of them. I wonder how I would have reacted a few years ago, I think I would have been like some of the others and gotten into arguments. Being calm is good for the blood pressure.....

more later