I was feeling really down yesterday because I went for a job interview and the boss was an unprofessional rude ass.
Anyway, I went in all bright and cheery-eyed because the job advertised was for a writer/editor, and a topic I liked. My pitch even emphasised on ‘fun and dynamic’, which I’d like to think I am (at least, people who have worked with me can attest to this) and which most *creative* companies would love to have.
Turns out, I was wrong.
I passed the first test, no sweat. The HR lady was nice. Asked me why I wanted to leave my previous company, the usual, etc etc.
And then said boss came in. Brisk, very business-like, etc. Fine, you’re a boss, you’re probably very busy. So he asked me to tell him more about myself, which I started off doing – before he cut me off and proceeded to the next question. He did this throughout the interview.
First of all, good sir:
a) You don’t bother remembering my name throughout the interview. Fine, you’re a busy man, I get that. You probably think names of the lowly are beneath you, but:
b) You cut me off continually throughout the interview. You ask me a question, I’m halfway through answering, before you jump into the next question. That kinda tells me you’re not at all interested in what I have to say, ay? Also, didn’t your elders teach you that it’s bad manners to interrupt?
c) You stereotype and assume, when you don’t allow me the chance to fully explain things. Here’s a sample:
- Him: So why did you leave S company?
- Me: I didn’t want to be constrained as just a writer and doing reporting, so I joined a smaller company where I also got to do other roles like marketing –
- Him: *interrupts* Yeah, so why’d you leave?
- Me: (inner Sakura – I was getting to that, Shanarooo) I felt that the environment at S was too rigid, as I could not contribute new ideas without having to go through a long process –
- Him: Oh, we’re really rigid here too. We have systems, and they work, or else we wouldn’t be in business for xx years.
- Me: Yes, I understand that, but –
- Him: *interrupts again, goddamnit* We do things our way here. If you want to contribute new ideas, it must be proven that it’s better. But if you were so good, you’d be running your own company, right?
At this point I simply blinked at him because I was so stumped. I have worked at the largest news organisation in this country, and even my bosses and editors there have never spoken to me with such blatant, scathing disrespect.
If this was his idea of ‘showing others who’s boss’, he is doing a sorry job of it, Little Napoleon (he’s not so little though lol.) And trust me, when a company is in trouble, you’ll bet that the only thing holding people back is loyalty and respect. If you don’t have that, your employees are apt to jump like rats fleeing a sinking ship.
Coming back to the interview, he then asked me why I didn’t request for a change within the different departments at S company.
- Me: I did, but they’re apt to have the same structure and I’ve seen other colleagues who did so who got thrown to departments that they didn’t request for –
- Him: *Cuts me off – OMFG can you stop doing that?!* So? You can still learn.
- Me: yes, but –
- Him: So why’d you leave this company that you’re at now?
- Me: *grits teeth* Same reason why I left S. I would like to be at a company where I can contribute ideas, and this is not the environment for me so I thought of changing –
- Him: You Gen-Ys are always hopping jobs, that’s the problem. You’ll never learn anything that way.
Dear Sir. You have already dismissed me the minute I opened my mouth, and formed unfounded views of me without giving me the chance to explain my side of things. Why the fuck are we even in this interview, wasting your time and mine?
So anyway, some inner God of Patience lasted me through the interview, and I got up, shook his hand, and said thank you for your time, it was nice meeting you – even though that was the last thing on earth I felt like.
What really rang in my ears was how cockily he had said these words: “We’ve been in this industry for xx years and we’re good at what we’re doing, we know what we’re doing, we are good, we are good, we are good.”
First, everyone knows that if a company is truly good, they don’t have to harp on it. Sure, advertising yourself is a good thing – bragging is another. As you scathingly remarked, if I was so good, I’d be opening my own company.
Same principle applies – if you’re so good, why are you still an SME in a run-down building where the lift has no lights and people get plunged into total darkness when they’re heading up to your office? You compare yourself to S company, the largest news company in Malaysia – in terms of rigidity and systems. They have a 20-floor building of their own with thousands of employees, a penthouse suite, and a company worth triple digit millions and are on the stock market.
What are you?
Also, as a reader, I was not impressed with your so-called publication. It was more a boring compilation of data, which I bet any Tom, Dick and Harry could have done if you made them stay at the office until all hours of the night. I was excited to fill in the role and make it better, but if this is the way you treat potential employees… good luck.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, because I got home and did some research (yeah, I should have done it earlier but I didn’t have time coz they called me the morning immediately after I applied: desperate for people much?) – and it turns out this company has been bitched and ranted about in any number of forums and blog posts – mostly about their treatment of employees + so-called really great system. You guys must be something for ex-employees (and me, even!) to spend the time and energy to write such nasty things about you. And you wonder why your turnover is super high lol.
Somehow after reading on their experiences, I felt like I dodged a bullet. I wouldn’t want to work for a company whose boss is inadvertently calling an interviewee (not even an employee yet!) trash. Sure, I’m no bigshot, but I have my own set of skills which companies will find useful given the right environment and incentives. I wasn’t at S for close to three years for nothing – if I was that useless, they would have fired me.
Here’s something I read: People will forget what you said to them or did to them, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. During the interview, you made me feel worthless, you spoke down to me, you stereotyped me and you dismissed me even before giving me a chance to explain myself. I went back and beat myself up for abit because I believed it, but then I realised the problem was not me, but you. I was civil, I was polite, I was enthusiastic and ready to pitch my talents, and I was not rude even though you were to me.
Oh boo fucking hoo, you say. Look at this baby cry about how I talk to her. Suck it up, that’s the way of the world.
Sure, I know. There will be people who will try to undermine and make others feel worthless because they are insecure asses despite being in so-called positions of power. That still doesn’t mean you can speak to me that way.
Nobody has the right to speak to me that way or make me feel like trash. Not even the President of the United States. Even my mother, who endured so much pain to bring me into the world, does not speak to me that way. So you sure as hell do not have the right to speak to me or make me feel that way.
You want respect? It’s not given just because. Respect is earned.
And you know what they say about the measure of a man’s worth? How they speak to those who they think are below them, rather than to their equals or peers. Karma is a btch, man. Run your company as you have for xx years, as you have so kindly pointed out numerous times – and keep running it that way while I go and do something that makes me happy and live a fulfilled life. Bye.