So unworthy

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Posted by w0ep on May 4, 2019 at 8:43 pm

[Monday’s run: 3.4 miles; Wednesday’s run: 3.4 miles; Today’s run 3.4 miles]

Here I am, two posts behind again. Somehow I’ve been neglecting my blog-posting duties quite a lot recently.

I’ve been in a bit of a malaise recently. I spend a lot of time looking at on-line job ads, applying for jobs, writing cover letters, on and on. My spare-time job is looking for a new job. I don’t like my job of looking for a new job. I hope I can quit it soon.

It did bring me some humor last week.

I applied for a software developer position at Black Hills Energy in Rapid City, SD. I’ve visited Rapid City. I have done the kinds of things they wanted done. So I logged into their job website and went through whatever rig-a-ma-role necessary to apply.

Applying for these things is about par with applying for a car loan… actually, I take that back, applying for a car loan is easier. You have to get on their site and create an account. Then you usually have to build a “profile” which may or may not digest your resume and put it in the their standard format. Usually I have to fix that up with some manual editing. And maybe you do a cover letter and upload that. So it’s 30-60 minutes to get all of that sorted out. I don’t remember exactly how many hoops I had to jump through for Black Hills. But it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Then I received an acknowledgement email which pointed me to a video from the CEO about safety. That’s an item high on the list of all utility companies. I watched the video.

Then in the evening I got another email with a link to an “on-line safety assessment.” The next morning I woke up early and had some time to do the safety assessment.

It turned out to be a combination personality test, dexterity test, memory test, and a bit of general quiz. It didn’t really have much to do with safety except that the memory test used safety themes.

I was taking it at about 4 am thinking this was going to be like our safety videos and quizzes where I work now. They are very safety conscious, but they aim to teach it to you, which is a different goal. So I was a bit surprised, but I made my way through it and I thought I did OK.

A few minutes after hitting the end I received an automated email informing me that I had not passed the “safety assessment”, which, they now told me, meant that I was ineligible for this position and also could not apply again for any other position for six months. Bummer.

That was Friday morning. Later I called their HR department and asked if they could fill me in on what I did wrong. After all, if I wanted to try to pass in six months I could use the help by knowing how I flubbed it. The nice lady said it was a 3rd party test and they didn’t have the results available to them. But she said she would check it out and I would hear back.

Low and behold, she did call me back later on Friday. She said the problem was in the area of “aptitude”. I’m not sure what that means exactly. Did my personality say I was psychopathic? Maybe my hand-eye coordination wasn’t up to snuff for a Software Developer position?

Anyway, she said I could apply again in six months. I said, “Do you think my aptitude will be better in six months?” She said, “I can’t help you with that.”

And that’s where we left it. I don’t think I’ll be applying at Black Hills Energy again. First of all I hope to have a new job looooong before six months have gone by. But even if otherwise, I don’t think I can handle the almost inevitable rejection.

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  • On May 6, 2019 at 5:27 am Sue said

    As someone who isn’t looking for a new job at this time, I don’t like the robotic application process we use either. We direct applicants who call in to our website and tell them to start there. Even the ones who walk in have to start there. The process, I believe, is less onerous than it was a year ago as people would get discouraged and just quit applying. It took too much of their time, there was no immediate feedback, and they couldn’t get answers to basic questions like what is the base pay for a laborer position.

    Once they jump through the hoops and are awarded with a Skype interview the process goes much faster. Lori can usually tell right away if they’re a good candidate. Of course she still has to wait for background results before making an employment offer, but that usually takes less than a week.

    Not going to South Dakota isn’t so bad, but the anonymous testing with no feedback is harsh. I’m suspicious it’s a protective barrier to weed out people of a certain age, as well as other attributes they don’t want. There’s nobody to report or sue because you never really know why the rejection occurred or who was responsible for it.

    Morgan had a terrible time getting through to actual people when he was job hunting in Missouri. Until one day he saw a semi with the company information on it he was looking for and actually drove to their office to apply, he was very discouraged. They hired him pretty much on sight, so happy ending.

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