I applied for a job at one of the organizations related to this whole unholy pandemic situation. It was an office job, not anything frontline, but actually, it was related to the pandemic. Naturally, being in this field and in the midst of the pandemic, they invited me for a good old fashioned in-person interview.
An organization that is setting the guidelines and is one of the main bodies one would want to rely on to help us get through this ordeal? The one we are supposed to trust? Yep, the very same.
It was the very first interview, too. (Admittedly, I don’t imagine such an organization having more than two interviews altogether, but still.) And it was at the height of the second wave.
I can (and do) have sympathies for organizations feeling a bit uncomfortable hiring someone without ever seeing them face to face, of course. (Even though, if we are super honest, in person, you only see half of their face in current times.) And I do get it that some people just like the virtual less. But the very first interview seems a bit … unnecessary in these times. It just tells me someone is not willing to adapt, not even in the littlest of ways.
It was impossible for me to come to the office in person anyway, as I was still living abroad, so I asked them for a virtual interview instead. (I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, just a little bit. But in all honestly, I did also want to see what they were going to do. To test them, sort of. Their character.)
They replied (rather coldly, if I may add, and only after I contacted them for the second time, which also tells me something else about them) that if they decide to offer virtual interviews they will let me know. Which meant they were regularly not ready to conduct anything virtual anyway. Not as the first choice not as the last choice.
So much for setting a good example. So much for making me trust them.
I started to trust the signs I receive upfront more. Sure, I allow mistakes and don’t require everything to be perfect, but if someone is so blatantly not following their own advice (and in these times, oh the horror), this is a huge red flag. (I had ignored certain signs in the past, hoping they didn’t mean what I feared they meant. Well, they very much did mean just that. So I’m not falling for that again.)
it’s not impossible!
I knew that their response meant they wouldn’t call me back ever (considering they completely ignored my ask the first time around). But I decided to officially retract my application anyway.
It felt good, feeling in power. Especially because I also told them why. About the incongruency about what they were supposed to represent and how they were doing things in practice. I didn’t go into the whole speech, it was basically a one-sentence response, but it told enough. I don’t imagine it had any effect on them, but I can still hope they at least gave it a millisecond of thought. Of course, they never replied to that and I never expected them to. Even if this did give them a pause (which, again, pretty much unlikely), it’s not like they would write back ashamed and admit to it. (That would be a human and honest change of pace, though.)
Meanwhile, there was never a problem in any other organization, when it came to virtual interviews. Almost all of them had them as default during these times. A few that didn’t, gladly obliged.
Meanwhile, I got hired after a completely and fully online interview without ever setting foot out of my home. And I started working completely remotely, too. Without ever seeing anyone in person. And no, the company was and is not remote by default. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s possible if you really want it.
The guidelines of Health Institution
to fight the pandemic are clear:
‘Stay home is a good, tried solution
and don’t you let people get near’.
Then they tried to fill a position
and all out of the window got thrown.
They just went ahead with tradition,
in-person was all they had known.
May 24, 2021