Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rejection slips, corporate America's way of saying they care

You're going downtown!

Sur la Table
in this case, "Dans la Poubelle" would be more accurate.

Well, amazingly enough, I got an answer from Sur La Table, one of the places that requires an online job application. It came from someone named donotreply@surlatable.com. They said this:

"Thank you for your interest in Seasonal Sales Associate position at Sur La Table.

After careful consideration, the decision has been made to pursue candidates whose qualifications more closely meet our needs.

Thank you,

Sur La Table"

I doubt that even an A.I. could have formulated a less human response, nor one that gave less information as to what, exactly I didn't qualify for. "More closely met our needs". OK, fine. In what way? What needs does a store hawking cooking supplies have, if not knowledge of the goods being sold and sales experience? 

What the hell is "careful consideration"? Do they have "careless consideration"? Did someone get a message stating, "We carelessly considered your application, and after a few beers, a kiwi martini and a couple of drinks we'd rather not name, we decided we don't like you. Go away.". What would the careless process be, exactly? Darts? Dice? Cockroach races?

I also love the use of passive voice: "The decision has been made". As though they didn't make it, as though some other agent made the decision, but they're going to keep who it was vague. Perhaps a well-worn ouija board kept in the closet for seasonal hiring? Did someone channel a nameless dybbuk out of the void?

Then they "pursue candidates". Right. Hello! If YOU were pursuing candidates, they wouldn't need to fill out your application! YOU would contact THEM! Get this: candidates pursue YOU. That's how this whole nasty, degrading, depressing evil corporate mindfuck works. They apply, you reject. Get it? Just say "contact", "follow up" "respond to". Not "pursue". Wrong verb. 

This said, I do like Merriam-Webster's definition of "pursue": "...overtake, capture, kill, or defeat". Maybe I should count my blessings and be happy they're not "pursuing" me after all.

It's not like I was applying for the position of CEO. I was going for Seasonal Sales Associate. Expendable, temporary, and not necessarily highly qualified. So WTF? I didn't list elf boots as an asset? Not enough, ho ho ho?

Your application was processed. You don't fit in. The Decision Has Been Made. Go away, and never come back. You're off the table.

I had a painting gig (watercolor) in the area, so I decided to pop in and see what their "more qualified" people looked like. They looked kind of like this, from memory:

The design creeping under the woman on the right's top is a tattoo. She is not sheltering a large green creature on her breast. Yes, her top did plunge like gnocchi dropped into hot water.

None of them looked to be over thirty years old. Some of them didn't even look like they'd hit twenty-five. Is age a qualification?

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