interested applicants need not apply (on the monday before christmas): dispatch from the bread line, day 11

One would think that companies looking for prospective hirees would be especially diligent during the week of a holiday: the sooner an applicant is interviewed, the sooner a hire can be made, a position filled, a company is brought closer to full strength.

Thus appears to be the inherent tension between employee benefits and corporate interests: of course, employees need time away from the workplace to get away, take care of life or family matters or stay home and recharge from the stresses of work life. At the same time, people [like me] need jobs, to feed families and have an occupation that requires me to occasionally vacate. Optimistically, the soonest I’ll hear something in follow-up from company will be the end of the week; realistically, I probably won’t hear anything until the Monday after New Year’s.

All of which brings me to today’s dilemma: what sense does it make to job hunt today? Anything I fire off goes into the digital ether. It will likely be ignored for two weeks, at which point, some HR rep will access their system, fully hungover from their holidays, and be stuck with a glut of applicants. It’s asking for the form e-mail I can almost quote rote:

Dear applicant,

Thank you for your interest in [position for which I am likely severely overqualified, but am willing to accept].

(Really? Why bother? I know exactly where this is going. Save the data, and just say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

Now, at this point, the rejection letter goes in one of two directions:

Option 1: While we were impressed by your credentials and background, we chose a candidate we feel is a better match for this position.

(Translation: You’re overqualified and, frankly, if we interview you, you’re likely going to intimidate me in my position, as well. If we actually talk with you, we’re going to have a harder time not justifying that you belong here.)

Or, Option 2: After reviewing your resume, we have chosen an individual whose background suits this opening.

(We didn’t really review your resume, we just scanned your submission, didn’t see anything that really matched up to our predetermined code words, and are too polite/inhuman not to give you a response.)

This is usually followed by something along the lines of:

We will keep your resume on file… (You’ll never hear from us again.)

We encourage you to continue searching for openings with our company… (You can keep trying, but you know the definition of insanity, right?)

Thank you again for your interest. Good luck as you continue your job search. (“These aren’t the droids we’re looking for. Move along, move along.”)

Is it really worth it to do this, expecting some permutation or combination of that in two weeks? I don’t have the luxury of being stiffed in two weeks’ time; big decisions and bigger consequences loom for us if we don’t have some serious headway in the next days. Christmas is becoming more and more of a stumbling block rather than a time to relax and enjoy with family. Not only are we facing severe financial pressure, but the one time a year I can travel across the country and come home, I am not afforded the ability to vacate my anxieties about going back to Mecca and wondering what to do–or, increasingly, where to go–next.

All is calm, all is bright. Right.


Dispatches from the Bread Line are week-daily blog posts until I’m employed again. So I took a day off on Friday. What are you going to do, fire me?

New Director’s Cut post later today. A proper Christmas post coming Wednesday.


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