Of Hiring Managers, Insanity and Halo Polishers

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

In these tough economic times, with so many skilled, talented and experienced workers sitting idle hoping for a foot in the employment door, I have been floored by the myriad of stories regarding interviews with and job postings from company hiring managers.
I have read countless stories from countless job board forums about the requirements for potential job candidates and more specifically, the position itself.
There seems to be an almost deliberate attempt by companies to list impossible (…or laughable at the very least) requirements for a position. Here’s an example:

Are you a tech-savvy person with great communication skills? Do you enjoy solving problems in unconventional ways? Do you like gadgets and cool tools to make work easier? Are you a former Web project manager looking to make a move into new media?
We are currently looking for a qualified candidate for a Media Technology Analyst position.

This position would include, but is not limited to:
• Project management
• Research and test new business and media technologies
• Development of new products.
• Train employees on new and existing software
• Create efficiencies in new or current processes through the use of technology.

Requirements:
* Bachelors Degree or higher
• Former project management experience
• Excellent organizational and analytical skills
• Strong technical background, with the ability to learn complex technical concepts on the fly.
• Strong attention to detail, ability to multi-task and follow-through projects to completion.
• Strong communicator.
• Able to react to change productively.
• Great team player

We are looking for candidates with degrees from the following degree types, but not limited to:
New Media, Interactive Media, MultiMedia Design, Web Development, Database Management, Software Development, Graphic Design.

Experience in the following areas.
• Applescript
• Actionscript
• Javascript
• jQuery
• HTML/HTML5
• MySQL/SQL
• Flex
• XML/Data Integration
• FBML
• Creative Suite software.

Hourly compensation based on required experienced. ($11-14hr)

This posting is fantasy land…a great example of insanity turned loose on all of us looking for work.
Any person that could even remotely provide ONE HALF of the skills listed in this posting would command somewhere in the neighborhood of $75-100k a year. A company couldn’t OUTSOURCE a job with these requirements for the insulting, meager pay they somehow have the testicular fortitude to actually list. Now, transfer this madness to damned near every job posting out there. I’ve honestly seen job postings for trash collectors that require at least an Associate’s degree. I kid you not. Peruse your local state labor department job boards and be prepared to slam your head into the keyboard over and over again. You can expect to find jobs ranging from minimum wage to mind-blowing $13hr careers.
The poverty level in this country has fallen to such a level that a single person’s poverty level is now $11k a year and a family of 4 is just under $23k a year. Do you see what’s happening here? Re-adjust the poverty level to reflect the recession and $13hr looks pretty appealing to the damned near everyone. However, consider the single young professional that might somehow be relatively qualified for the above position. This person, no doubt, holds some amount of student loan debt. Now think about other debts this single person has, to include:

Rent/Mortgage – $800mo
Auto Payment  – $250mo
Utilities     – $300mo
Insurance     – $100mo
Credit/Loan   – $500-1000mo

We are already talking well over $2100mo just to meet the essentials. Notice how I didn’t calculate food, gas, clothing, and other payouts that come along? A job position that pays $13hr can’t possibly cover the expenses of daily, real world living. Sure, you can reduce rent by living in an apartment the size of a jail cell or do without some luxuries like food briefly. And this is a simple formula for a single person. Imagine those with children! But what kind of life is this…for anyone? The world around us is structured in such a way that you are kept in a ‘poverty spiral’. You’ll be allowed to earn just enough (or not enough in most cases) to pay many of your bills and keep a little bit of food in your belly. But, you can rest assured that saving any money is rarely possible. So, this keeps you in line and part of the system.
We are told by the ‘halo polishers’ that we should be thankful that we HAVE a job and that we should take 2 or 3 jobs if we have other financial obligations. As if finding 2 or 3  jobs is as simple as strolling into a fast food joint or a call center and taking your pick of all those empty chairs! It’s damned near impossible to find ONE job in this economic environment, let alone three! Reality has no place in these people’s lives. Reality has nothing to do with hiring managers and their desire to hire, humiliate and over-work their ‘gold standard’ new crop of American cogs for their massive, greedy, ugly wheels. And regarding those  ‘halo polishers’ that have all the answers for us poor, wretched, ‘to-be-looked-down-upon and-pitied’… I hear from them everyday. They have no idea of what we’re going through out here. They all might be well reminded of the old qoute:

“…be nice to people on your way UP, because you’ll meet them on the way down”…Wilson Mizner

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Comments
  1. J. Eloise says:

    I was laid off nine months ago. I’m a legal secretary in Boston. Every day I send out, on average, 5-6 resumes per day. I’ve had three interviews. One I came in second; the other I never heard anything back. I also had a phone interview that lasted about 40 minutes and I was offered the job. I was told the salary would be $28,000/hr. and 3 weeks’ vacation. I then inquired about health insurance, etc. I was then told that the salary and vacation were it! No health insurance, no 401K… nuthin’. The job qualifications went on and on and I’m being offered what I made when I first started out (30 years ago). Boston is an expensive place to live. There is no way I could live on 28K a year. And you know what? I almost took it! But common sense ruled and declined the position. There is a lot of part-time work. Average pay: $14./hr. 20 hrs. per week. No benefits. I am willing to take a cut in pay but there is an amount I need to pay for basics and to live on. I also need some type of benefit package. I want to work; I need to work. Other than the three examples I gave, I’ve heard nothing. What is working against me? It could be my age (58), my experience (30 YEARS), how long I’ve been out of work (nine months) and what my credit rating is (let’s not got there). It’s sickening what is happening out there. But… tomorrow I will contact agencies, post my resumes, fill out on-line applications (some of which take approx. two hours) and odds are I’ll hear NUTHIN’. It’s pretty sad.

    • svp333 says:

      J.Eloise,

      You are so right. Have you noticed how salaries are tanking across the country while the workload expands and a gallon of milk (and every other product) still costs what it did during ‘the good ‘ol days’? Funny how that works. That is, it WOULD be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. We are in midst of a recession seemingly about to boil over into a depression and yet I still see the same ‘ol cavalcade of commercials and advertisements on television bombarding us to buy, buy, BUY…as if nothing has changed in America.
      Living in the Boston area (or any larger metro) is criminally expensive. It’s almost as if they expect the younger, fresher, dumber crowd to hire on and into the cities all the while pushing we ‘has beens’ out to pasture. I swear, it’s like the old one liner from Hollywood once you’ve angered the wrong big-wig, …”You’ll never work in this city again!”. Except we haven’t done a thing to deserve the threat.
      It is, indeed, pretty sad. Hang in there! You’ve gotten more interviews and possibilities than many here (including myself!) so there is hope. Keep coming and posting here and let us all know how you’re doing…and how you’re doing IT!

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