Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Shit in the Bag

The pre-employment ritual has got to be my least favorite part of getting employed.

For starters, I always have to force myself to draft and submit the perfect resume. I had a business writing class back in college and we had a thorough discussion on resumes. Even then, I still do not believe that a person’s work abilities, attitude and overall personality can be summarized in a 2-3 paged resume.

I find interviews a bit old-fashioned, bordering on pretentious. HR and personnel people ought to device a more efficient way of getting to know their potential future employees other than merely interviewing them. Because in an interview, the interviewed do have the tendency to flaunt their best foot forward. We cannot blame them. After all, they are selling themselves. In an unfortunate situation, some geniuses may clam up during an interview. Too bad for them, they’ll remain as undiscovered talents for failing to wow their interviewers. Bottom line is, an impressive skill in rhetoric is key in acing an interview. Whether the applicant possesses the skills for the actual job is yet another story.

Panel interviews, on the other hand, can be a venue for intimidating the employee wannabe. And although they may partly serve their purpose, we cannot deny that, once abused, panel interviews can turn into one mighty power play. An applicant can only hope, that through the course of being grilled, his/her interviewers really are on the look out for whatever truths that may come out which may hopefully help him/her get the job.

I personally enjoy taking exams and personality tests. I would appreciate it further if I see the results for those exams I take to be aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I may then be able to work with my "bests" to improve on my “bads.” A warning though, some people like me tend to get carried away with personality essays. We end up maximizing the space allotted for our answers. For situation like this, I hope that the employers are prepared to read answers with remarkable abundance of words.

At some point, you have to haggle with your expected salary which is as awkward as it is embarrassing. But the truth is, an employee wannabe just wants to be compensated well for his/her blood and sweat in order to survive his/her everydays, feed his/her family, and at the very least, be able to save something. Meanwhile, companies wish to save as much as they can—what with all the taxes they have to contend with just to keep their business running?! Something has just got to give along the way. Needless to say, the most convenient something to let go of is the newly hired employee’s supposed extra cash.

After everything else that I’ve stated above are over comes the part I dread most: The medical exam.

Aside from having to reveal your height and weight, you have to take your clothes off. Literally.

I still panic every time the X-ray technician tells me to change in their sole lab gown. Because, God, how many people wore that same lab gown? Then you have to place your chin on top of the mounted plate which serves as your background when the technician snaps a photo of your lungs and ribs while you hold your breath. My mind can’t help but be flooded with more questions like, “how many chins have touched this thing my chin is resting on?”, “How many of them are healthy?”, “Or better yet, how many left any contagious imprints my chin is predisposed to picking up?” Wahhh!!!

As if that’s not bad enough, the doctor then starts peeking through all available holes in your body—at most a rectal check is included. Let me say though, that I don’t find this too embarrassing because, hey, it is worse to look at butt holes than to flash them. Don’t you agree?

For women, there’s the breast exam they can't do away with—well except if it’s their time of the month or if it’s about to be their time of the month which almost always happens to me. I wonder why. Even so, I think that maniacs will have a grand time getting paid for touching breasts the way doctors do. So if you find pleasure in feeling mammary glands, I suggest you send yourself to medical school. Your time and effort might just pay off. (A quick note: I know someone whose bosom unluckily fell into the hands of a pervert doctor. The pervert doctor may have thought about my suggestion first. But he forgot to be discrete. His days examining breasts for a living may soon be over.)

Now if you think that the things I’ve stated above are dirty, think again. Nothing can beat collecting blood, urine and…dandandan!...stool samples.

I can instantly melt at the sight of a sharp needle threatening to puncture my skin. It’s even worse when I see blood pouring out of me. I always warn my “injurers” that I have a morbid fear of needles for two reasons: one, so that they’ll realize that they only have one shot at me so they better make it good, and two, so that in the event that I pass out, they’ll know what caused it.

Perhaps the female genitalia is to be blamed for the mess in collecting urine sample. I guess, I need not expound further.

Then there’s the shit in your bag which took a lot of careful planning, cleverness and courage to collect. You can only hope that your travel time and time spent waiting to be attended to will not spoil the specimen you worked so hard to acquire. Because, God knows, you don’t want to go through it again any time soon.

I find it hard to imagine why some folks can easily take switching jobs frequently. It is after all, a painful process to go through the pre-employment ritual over and over again.

Then again, who knows what worse shits are in the bag your new job may surprise you with. You will never really know until you live through your first week to your last, right?

* * *

On forcing myself to fill up a bottle with my pee for the required VOLUNTARY drug test:

“If I drink any more water, I’d be giving you, guys [the people in the lab], a generous amount of puke sample, not pee. It won’t be pretty.”


gingmaganda said...

would you rather have them google you and have them read your blog, stalk your friendster and such? haha.

i prefer a lousy interview. hee.

-tye- said...

Hmmm...you have a point there.

Na-ooverdose na kasi ako sa interview. Kaya nga ba hindi ako nag-artista!