Monday, July 04, 2005

rant and FLAME

Life as a job hunter has been remotely interesting. What started off as a daily perusal of the Classified Ads and calling up every decently described job (note: very very rare, save for the Saturday Recruit section) has led to surprising encounters, in all senses of the term. As the title of the post already indicates, the focus shall be on the not-so-positive side of the hunt thus far.

Dialled a number for a job vacancy stated as part time admin work. Was told by the person on the other side that it was a company whose business is in the life sciences. Hooray. That ought to be more exciting than working in a shipping/MNC/dodgy company.

4.30pm swings by and I stand outside a decrepit brown door in a dingy building. I gingerly knock on the door and push it open, only to face an equally decrepit room with 2 guys lolling by the desks (though it seemed like 4 guys at first due to the floor-to-ceiling mirror on one side of the room). Faint tingling sensations of the heebie jeebies. First observations showed none of the paraphernalia depicting the usual life sciences-related icons. A suspicious frown arises within. But oh well, since I'm already here anyway, why not get it over and done with. Dutifully fill in a form handed to me by one of the guys, after which a third guy comes out from an ajoining room and directs the 2 guys to "show me around the company" before interviewing me. Right. Ok. Company pride. Way to go. BUT not before offering to shake my hand (common courtesy, I accept), where upon the OTHER 2 guys take it as their cue to offer theirs in half-hesitant and languid fashion. Fine. Shake clammy, lembeh hands, and am hustled out of the room to "get to know the company", which actually meant exploring 3 levels of DOORS, with a running commentary by my eminent guides. This is the office of our TOP director, Mister XYZ. [simpers] You know, he didn't come from a good family, poor background. But he worked his way up to where he is today. Good huh. [simpers again] I respond with a reserved smile. Yes. Hats off to any guy who makes it successfully in honest fashion, but is it any way for his subordinates to introduce him in such a scuttlebutt manner? It was only upon closer scrutination that I concluded my guides to be at most 19 years of age. This was getting waaaaay too suspicious with each passing second.

A few doors later, one of them attempts to break the 1-way conversation by gesturing at a frosted glass pane. Ah, this is Mr ABC's office, another of our top managing directors. Very funny guy. Got a lot of certs. Very handsome too. Why don't you take a look at him? [titters] So much for office decorum. Never, NEVER in my entire 22 years, had I EVER so fervently wished that I was shod in 4 inch stilettos, just so that I could cheerfully grind the kid in the foot.

The cryptic-ness of the entire situation was finally resolved when I was shown the "equipment room". Biomagnatism was their business, or so they proudly claimed. What lay therein comprised of 2 armchairs, a pre-80s computer monitor, a plastic model of what I perceived to be the layers of the skin, and their pride and joy, a microscope-looking thingamajig. The company was (to put it MOST politely) into alternative health practices, NOT the life sciences. I wanted to scream bloody murder.

That established, I knew exactly what to expect once the tragic tour was over and I faced guy #3 for the interview.

Guy: The admin position would be part time of course, and consists of filing, data entry, etc. But would you be interested in marketing and sales?
Me: No.
Guy: I see. But if there are no admin positions available, would you be interested in marketing and sales?
Me: No.
Guy: Why?
Me: No interest. [sickly sweet smile]
Guy: I see. Hmmm. Ok we'll call you in 2 days time if there's anything. [all the while making no effort to establish proper eye contact]

I think he knew that I was seriously appalled and disgusted. Having gotten today's event off my chest, job hunting hasn't been that much a drag, really. In the 2 days I've stepped out of the house for interviews, it's been an eye-opener and highly effective method for polishing up PR skills and what-have-yous in double quick time.

There are the downsides, on the otherhand. I've set myself a 1 year block starting upon graduation. Part time, temp, tuition, anything, as long as my time isn't robbed by a Mon to Fri, 9-5 work schedule, for reasons I'd gladly share in another post at another time. And already I find that resolve wavering when the possibility of a well-paid job in a reputable company is opened up to me. Would the prospect of financial independance and abolishment of peer pressure override a hectic 5.5 day week in the city? Can I truly afford to throw myself into such a work environment right now and not lose myself?

No. I can't.

Yvonne | 7:07 PM |
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