Another company wants me to stay unemployed

I finally had another job interview, after four months of nothing. During the drought, I managed to secure numerous interviews with various press outlets. They all wanted to talk about my unemployment. None of them, of course, wanted to do anything about it. So while a little more famous, I remain equally unemployed. For those playing along at home, the score now stands at 8-3; press interviews are beating job interviews pretty handily.

This most recent interview came to me out of the blue. I was just minding my own business – blogging and not finding work and tormenting small furry creatures who meow too much – when a contact from my last job reached out with an opportunity. His company places creative professionals. The opening was for a marketing director at an online agency. The details were fuzzy, but the job seemed within the realm of possibility given my experience and empty wallet.

I prepped for the interview as I always do – drinking raw eggs and punching sides of beef in a local meet locker. That just gave me salmonella¬† and bloody knuckles, so I decided maybe Rocky didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. (That’s the last time I model my life on a movie montage.) So I took to the interweb to learn me some stuff about the company and its industry. As it turns out, they and their competitors have websites – flashy ones with lots of fancy words. I read up, then reviewed my answers to common interview questions. Voila, I was prepared.

The morning of, on my way out the door, I received a message from my contact. The company higher up scheduled to meet me was in the hospital. I offered to show up bedside with carnations and play a ditty on my pan flute, but my contact thought rescheduling would be best. A few days later I found myself going through the same routine – drinking, punching, learning, leaving. The phone didn’t ring with word that aliens had abducted the company rep, so I figured the meeting was a go. And it was.

The company’s offices are located near Union Square – a great part of town to work in. A previous employer has a satellite location right across the street, and I fondly remember traipsing down to the year-round farmer’s market on my lunch hour and returning with a bag of fresh, homemade pretzels. I showed up on time, after killing 20 minutes in a Starbucks drinking liquid tar. I always allow for the subways’ unreliability. The 7 train has told me numerous times – in its own special way – that it hates my guts and hopes I get stuck in the doors. The company’s offices seemed nice, if sparse and oddly organized. They had that Internet bubble start-up feel, combining people and space in a way that felt a little unnatural. Maybe things were just moving to fast to stop and worry about decorating and organizing.

The interviewer was saddled with a severe limp and appeared to be in some pain. I asked after the injury and was told it might be a torn ACL. He didn’t seem terribly pleased about it, so I didn’t inquire further. We sat in a windowless office, and he reviewed the specifics of the company and position. The company is a leader in its field with a good client base. The position involved marketing the company to potential clients through a variety of mediums – trade shows, PR, advertising, collateral, Powerpoint. It seemed very similar to my previous job and well within my range of expertise.

We moved on to my resume and how my skills and experience fit the position’s requirements. I gave specific and concrete examples. He nodded and asked more questions when I stopped talking. The interviewer seemed more in the mood for a leg rest, a TV remote and a large dose of Percocet than a job interview. He was utterly humorless, but a good sport, especially given his circumstances. After an uneventful 30 minutes, void of any “gotcha” questions, the interview ended. He assured me that this was just an introductory, get-to-know-you meeting. The other company heads would have me in when they returned to the office. This was a good sign.

I received a call from my contact a couple weeks later. There would be no further interviews. The company already hired someone. He apologized for not relaying the information sooner, but he’d only just found out himself. The company had retained multiple placement firms to fill the position. I didn’t lack any needed skill. I didn’t smell bad or talk s**t about the interviewer’s mother. I just came along too late. That was that.

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  1. thomas wrote:

    F**ck “em Norm.You are probably more intelligent,witty,learned and capable than 99% of people.You will achieve something,believe me.

    Friday, May 8, 2009 at 4:35 am | Permalink
  2. underemployed wrote:

    its not you – its THEM. I am still working part time – and being severly discrimanted upon, abused and exploited which is making me extremly angry and hostile… I have been on 5 interviews since inception – 2 are mediocre entry level positions (half my old salary no bennies) and one I havent heard back EITHER way… they keep jacking me around – the other one I drove over 2 hours one way to meet with them only to get beat up – by the interviewer (passed the initial phone interview – this was the followup). Employers have gotten ridiculously cocky and insensitive. I swear to god, if this doenst change soon, I am ending it all… peace out.

    Friday, May 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  3. BigDaddyCool wrote:

    Like Underemployed said: It’s not you, it’s them. For some reason there are some company reps out there who seem to take a perverse pleasure in jerking us around. If the interview and your experience afterwards are any indication as to what kind of a company they are to work for, you may be better off. If they were willing to screw with you during the interview process then how bad would they be when you were working for them?

    Don’t worry, something better is going to come along real soon. A good company who treats their prospects as well as their employees with something we like to call “respect.”

    Friday, May 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  4. underemployed wrote:

    BigDaddyCool is RIGHT. Thing is when you are desperate, and have no remaining unemployment benefits and have zero financial support (no family, spouse etc.) its more difficult and you take what you can. I have NEVER been jerked around like I have been. I have made great salary in my trade (75k-100k), worked for fortune 500 companies and employers have always gotten back to me one way or another. I havent decided what is worse – the abuse I am enduring for a job that pays me under 30k and NO HEALTH INSURANCE which I need, if nothing else to see a therapist, because of all this sh*t, or not working and staring at a computer and waiting for the phone to ring. Its very sad indeed but I dont see it changing. Everyones morale has sunk deep below…

    Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  5. Chattwin wrote:

    At least you are getting phone calls and interviews! My resumes evidently go directly into the black hole, never to be heard from again. Occasionally I get the odd automated response, but mostly I hear nothing. One automated response said, “We have had a huge response to our ad, and having reviewed your resume, we don’t see a match, but thanks anyway.” Which, in itself, isn’t unusual. But they returned my resume as an attachment. What’s up with that? Did they think I might run short of electrons and need to re-use it?

    So, you do realize that all of this is material for your novel, don’t you? And impetus for forming the club in which we all plot our revenge against those who want us to remain unemployed?

    Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  6. underemployed wrote:

    Chattwin – how long have you been unemployed? I will tell you it takes a LONG ass time to get ONE phone call for an interview. I have literally send out thousands of resumes and while I have started to get called – its for entry level positions making less than 30k BEFORE taxes. I have been making 70k/base for over 5 years! Its VERY overwhelming and it feels like this will go one forever. I try and take it one day at a time but then the crazy thoughts creep in…

    Monday, May 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Frustrated wrote:

    Just found your blog recently and I’m so glad to find some place I can actually feel connected to. Thanks for putting this out there.

    It gets so discouraging, it does! I’ve had a few interviews that seemed so positive. Later I follow up with a card and email, and the companies do not even have the courtesy to acknowledge anything, so I’m left with no clue.

    Then, there’s this – Companies/recruiters find my resume on the internet and ask me to submit work samples, proposals, etc. I spend long hours or days putting an awesome package together…they need it asap. Not even a response acknowledging they received it. Follow-up calls do not yield any call back. After a couple of weeks, an email thanking me for my application, but – no thank you, we have no match for your skills. They contacted me based on my skills that they themselves reviewed before asking me to do the GD work!

    It gets tough, very tough! Trying to be positive doesn’t even work anymore. I get mad when people I know want to talk about it! Like “I’ve heard of …, did you do this…, have you tried this?” God knows I’ve done everything! Like you, I am possibly and Unemployment expert by now!

    Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink