This was no more than about 4 months ago.
So desperate was I to get out of Minnesota I was applying for jobs that were paying as little as $9 an hour. I didn't care. I just wanted to get out. Minnesota was a veritable prison where it claimed to have a major metropolitan metro and it seemed it would have the ability to provide younger adults a promising career, but it just wasn't happening. The banking sector was helplessly corrupt. The overall economy was infested with nepotists and cronyism to the point you couldn't land a job unless you knew somebody or your last name was "Dayton" or "Cargill." And to top it all off 50 years of socialist liberalism was driving any real economic growth and entrepreneurship to the Dakotas or Mexico.
And so despite my impressive track record of hard work, academic achievement, ability to predict economies and general super-awesome economic genius, it was nothing but a day in and day out to eek out some living in this dying economic entity for the past 4 years.
4 years is a long time, and the 12 before that were at best described as "hostile." Inevitably this wears on a man and I was quite depressed. Not suicidal, but the days ended up becoming things to live through, not necessarily stepping stones to a greater future.
Inevitably, I had enough. I knew that if I stayed another year, I would be pushing that suicidal line. Besides which, my "Enjoy the Decline" philosophy was starting to cement and my own naturally derived logic told me to get out. At any cost, because, well, working as a Wal-Mart stockboy for $8 an hour in Rapid City during the dogshift would be infinitely better than working in the Cold Detroit for what inevitably end up being about the same.
So I started applying for jobs.
Long as it was in the Rapid Citya area.
Park ranger, stock boy, chief risk officer, police officer I even applied for a pawn broker position.
Anything I could simply "do."
Inevitably, I came across a "sales rep" position at GE Capital located in Rapid City. It paid $10 an hour and no benefits. This didn't matter to me because I did have ancillary income from online classes, books, etc. (thank you Cappy Cappites!) and could afford catastrophic insurance. All that mattered was I was in Rapid City, would be out of Minnesota and be among the mountains and more or less saner more conservative people. The pay cut would be worth the mental health.
And to my luck I received a call from their HR department. She gave me the regular rigmarole of stupid HR questions. I was answering in boiler plate form. But when she asked why I wanted to work for GE, I (stupidly) answered truthfully.
"I want to move to Rapid City, always wanted to live there and I inevitably want to settle down and retire there."
Then came an odd question from her. One that stuck in my mind;
"But you want to work for GE too, right?"
I answered, "Uh, yes, of course."
I must have answered correctly because a month later I was at an actual in-person interview. Two middle aged men sat across from me. One overweight, the other with a beard. Both leaning over as if they were eager to meet me.
The questions ensue, I answer them, and I quickly realize that because this is such a low-paying job, their primary problem is not just retention, but alcoholism and drug use. More than 4 questions about my use of drugs and alcohol and can I manage the simple and expected task of showing up on time and not hung over.
I look at them as if they never looked at my resume and kind of laid it on the line for them, "Look, guys, I'm 35. I've owned rental property, ran my own business and have worked in the financial service industry for over 14 years. I'm not some 21 year old kid out of college who is still partying. I'm going to show up on time and be sober. That's the minimum I can promise."
Their concerns seemed assuaged by my mini-speech. They then asked why I wanted to work at GE and I gave them the same response I told the HR gal.
"I've always wanted to live in Rapid City, blah blah blah."
And eerily enough, they asked the same question,
"But also because you want to work for GE, right?"
"Uh, yeah, right."
2 weeks later I got the rejection letter.
Now I'm not bitter (they only were paying $10 an hour), but let me explain something here to those of you at GE, or any other firm that is looking for some kind of "sworn allegiance" to your firm or your company.
Are you kidding me? $10 an hour and you think people WANT to work for you?
Is this a joke, or just another baby boomer derived sh!t test to see if you can get people to lie and tell you what you want to hear, thereby another sick and twisted "test" of loyalty?
I am literally speechless at the fact you expect people to parrot or make some comment of allegiance to a firm that pays $10 an hour. Do you think anybody WANTS to work at GE? Let alone a crappy call center position? Let alone WORK AT ALL?
The answer to your most inane question of "why do you want to work here" is a simple one;
You are going to pay me.
Expecting another answer is simply testing out ability to kiss ass and brown nose.
Now, if you want that, ask that question.
"How much are you willing to brown nose, kiss our asses and bend over?"
There are people out there who will answer truthfully. Matter of fact, I think most of the US civilian labor force is so desperate, not to mention fed up, they'll tell you right off the bat.
But Jesus H Christ, to think you're being "sneaky" or "really clever" about asking us why we want to work there and think somehow our answer, if ass-kissing or not, will determine our level of loyalty and efficiency is only the pure bunk that can come out of the aging and decrepit HR "profession."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the public sector is the primary threat. But since this is a democracy, the public sector and government we have is merely a reflection of the general population that voted them in there. And while the government is the single biggest threat, that doesn't mean the idiots that voted this latest moron into office don't infect the private sector either. And so infectiously stupid are they, not only do they ask you stupid questions like "why do you want to work here," they then go out of their way to suggest, "but it's also because you want to work at GE, right?"
Right, just so I might have the off-chance of meeting your rent-seeking CEO so I can shove a lightbulb up his....nostril.
You enjoy filling those alcoholic, drug addict $10/hour jobs with automotonic "GE cheerleaders."
I wonder if they interrogate the Chinese laborers they hire so intensely as they do the American ones?