Monday, April 12, 2010

What are they thinking??

Employers, that is.

Especially employers who fail to give me jobs.

Well, more specifically, HR people - since it is usually they who somehow fail to forward your application appropriately to the nominal 'decision-maker'.

And, even more specifically, the HR people at..... well, one of the Embassies. You can probably guess which.

A little while ago, you see, succumbing to mounting despair about the dwindling income stream from my freelancing efforts, I applied for a job at one of the Embassies processing visa applications.

And I got a bit pissed off with them when they didn't even acknowledge the application. I mean, that minimal courtesy shouldn't require so much effort; and it is, I think, essential in a country like this where the ricketiness of the Internet architecture and the huge amounts of government interference in the normal functioning of the Web add to the general glitchiness that computers and e-mail providers everywhere are prone to - resulting in frequent uncertainty of transmission. If you don't acknowledge my e-mail, I'm going to have to assume it went astray - and keep re-sending it ad infinitum, or until I do get an acknowledgement from you. Sorry.

Well, the HR crew at the Embassy did respond - suitably sheepishly - to my first follow-up; but they still didn't give me much of an idea of a timetable for the selection process, just a very vague suggestion that a short-list would be drawn up soon. And I heard nothing further from them.

Again, I don't think it's asking much to expect an actual "Sorry, you didn't make the short-list this time" notification, rather than just being left to assume the worst from an ongoing silence. It's easy-as-pie to set up a single group-mailing to all the unsuccessful applicants (and I don't suppose there were huge numbers of people pursuing this particular opening). Indeed, in circumstances like this, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a small amount of feedback on why you've been unsuccessful.

Otherwise, the suspicion lingers that they've just somehow misfiled your application.....

In this case, it does seem particularly odd that I wouldn't even make the interview stage. They didn't like my long experience of working in China? Or my involvement in the visa process from the other side, helping Chinese students prepare their applications? Or the fact that I am a trained lawyer, with at least a modest background in immigration appeals work???

Hmm. Perhaps they thought I was overqualified?!

Or perhaps I failed the security vetting (without having even been told I was to be screened)?? [I did fail one once before, many years ago - when my then still outstanding student loans required a rate of repayment outstripping the disposable income I would have had in my initial training period as a government accountant.]

It would be nice to know.

So, I chewed off the HR people a little bit more. Pointless, but cathartic - made me feel better.

And now, it seems, they are trying - in their own modest, illogical, HR-y way - to make amends to me...... by sending me notifications about every single bloody job that comes up at the Embassy, the majority of which I am patently unqualified for. Why, oh why???

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