Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From Student to Struggler

A tale of disappointment and frustration...so far.

My phone rang about three days ago, but in typical fashion, I missed the call.  I didn't notice the voicemail until around 8:00 p.m., hours after the initial contact.

With all the random phone numbers that show up on the screen of my now-old-tech iPhone 3GS, I get nervous.  Is it the power company? Or is it Comcast, calling to steal even more from my wallet?  I knew it couldn't be a job offer.

And it's not from a lack of trying.  In the month that I have lived in Denver, I have had more than five interviews with different companies, and that doesn't count the number of applications I filled out - more than 25.  Not only were most of the managers interviewing me less professional than even myself, the sessions lasted less than 30 minutes.

The Interviews

The first interview I had was an awkward joke.  After sailing though the group "interview," which turned out to be an informative meeting and round-table with two questions for each of us to answer...all 15 of us. So I made it through that, only to be thrown into an interview with a malicious lady and a stoner manager.  About half way through the interview, she asked me "So, why are you so nervous?  You seem nervous."

"Ummmm..."  What was this lady implying?  It's a entry-level position at a massive corporation.  I'm not too paranoid.  "I'm not nervous at all, sorry for seeming so."

"Oh, that's ok, maybe it's just your energy level."

Ok so now I'm neurotic?  Well, as you can guess, I got a call saying they were going another way.

My third interview was at another, similar job.  But everyone employed by this branch is female.  I don't care, my sexuality lends itself to being respectful to women - both of us have to deal with men.  But the manager asked me, "And, how would you fit in with this group of women?"  In case your eyes aren't wide yet...that question is illegal.

But not to worry, I covered my ass quickly.  I consider that to be a great personal trait.  But, when after a week I hadn't received a phone call, I went into the store.  The manager informs me, in a "Cash Cab" type of response, "Well, we offered the job to another person...." (long pause)  "And she accepted."

"She?" Amazing...

I'm still considering a lawsuit.

Yet, in what I consider to be the worlds shortest interview, I not only said very little about myself, I was more or less asked to conduct the interview.  "So, what kind of questions do you have about the position," my interviewer asked.

"Well, what about the sales goals for team members?"

"We need to sell...." Blah blah blah, same as any other retail interview.  And after a quick discussion of advancement, I was asked again, "Well, do you have any questions about the position?  Any more?"
"No, I think that's it," I said, subconsciously shaking my head.

A total of less than five minutes.

Needless to say, as I left that interview, I was more or less done with the job search.  If I was meant to make money then the job would come to me.  Maybe I'm not getting these jobs due to fate.

The Outcome

-- It's 10:00 pm now and I still haven't listened to the voicemail I received earlier.  By this point, I was having a good time, celebrating the 4th of July a bit early.  So I gather the courage and tap the voicemail.

"Hey Mark, this is ___________ from ________."  Ok, here we go, moment of truth, could be one way or the other.  "Just wanted to talk to you about your application with us, please call back."

SO CLOSE! I almost didn't have to stress for that night.  But now, I had to worry about having to call in and hear, live, the outcome of my interview.

When I finally called, I heard "We had about 300 applicants for the position and we have decided to go ahead and hire you."

".......Wait, really?!"  I actually said that.  Oops.  But he laughed it off and said I should come in and fill out some paperwork to get me on my way.

So here is the long and short of it.  I no have a job.  Here are the things that I am disappointed about:
     1) The job I have is retail, starting position, and only part-time, paying minimum wage.
     2) It's not in journalism

But, this is the life of a newly graduated student from Colorado State University in the college of Liberal Arts, the school Journalism and Technical Communication with a concentration in news and editorial.  It's a tough job market, full of filled positions and unbelievable competition.

I am grateful for this job I have been offered.  Every day I go, I am going to remember that there is a chance that I can move up in this company, maybe even head the marketing one day.

Hey, I have a business minor.