Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"So You Just Walked Off the Job???"

I don't know why it popped into my mind, but I remembered interviewing about a year back for a credit analyst position.  It was a hiring manager/HR ditz duo combo interview.  The hiring manager was asking pertinent questions and answering my pertinent questions in return.  It became very clear I knew more about underwriting and analysis when he didn't know what market-inference pricing was (a technique I use to value collateral), resulting in essentially me giving him a lesson.  Intermittently we were interrupted by the HR ditz with one of her canned questions.

But two stood out, not because of her questions, but because of my answers.

The first was "so you spent a pretty short stint at bank X.  Why such a short stint?"

I answered truthfully:

"They were corrupt, lending money to friends and cronies, and anytime I did any kind of analysis they disregarded it and wanted me to change the figures."

She then asked, "So did you give them two weeks notice."

"Nope, I just up and left."

She was shocked.  You could hear it in her voice,


 She literally couldn't believe somebody would have the audacity to just give their employer the proverbial bird and leave without notice.  It was almost as if she said, "So you just BEAT YOUR CHILDREN!!!???"  Never mind I might have had good reason to. Never mind it is more likely employers are more abusive and unjust than the employees.  No, I violated a cardinal rule.  I didn't give my employer 2 weeks notice.

The second question that she asked was about my book.

"So I see you wrote a book," referring to "Behind the Housing Crash."

I said "yes, I did."

"So what's it about?"

"It's an expose of all the corrupt dealing and banking practices I saw and endured while working at various community banks in Minnesota."

Thinking she had me she said, "So why didn't you put this on your resume!?" proving she had Google-Stalked me.

I said, "It is on my resume.  If you look on the second page at the bottom, it should be noted there." proving she hadn't done her job.

Soon enough the hiring manager piped in, "Actually, he did list it.  It's right here."

And then the money-shot quote, "But you wrote a book!"

I had to laugh inside because I wanted to say, "Yeah, my god!  People writing books!  Next thing you know people might start READING BOOKS!!! GASP!!!"

Again, I don't know why the thought popped into my mind this morning, but it did remind me that in the back recesses of my mind a theory or thought is starting to form.  A theory that goes something like this:

Two factors are giving employers and corporations the upper hand when it comes to the labor market.  One, the fact the labor market sucks right now with record high unemployment gives employers the negotiating edge.  Additionally the sheer length of time the average person is unemployed now makes these people even more desperate, giving employers an additional advantage.  Two, progressive credentialism has resulted in a wicked spiral.  Because everybody has college degrees, people now must get additional certifications in order to be the better candidate among their peers.  So people then pursue masters degrees.  The problem is that everybody is pursing masters degrees.  And so people pursue extra credentials or certifications.  The problem is everybody is pursuing additional certifications, and so on and so on.  In the end nearly everybody is overqualified and overeducated for most jobs.  So to outshine other candidates job hunters resort to softer skills,namely ass kissing and brown-nosing.  Impeccably sharp suits, spending time networking and attending job fairs, the job hunter is so desperate they'll spend more time trying to find a job than actually working.

Now, analogize this to a market where you have a score of suitors pursuing one woman.  The male suitors are the job hunters and the sole woman is the job.  What is going to happen to that woman's psychology when day after day she is asked out, pursued, inquired about and just plain lavished with attention?  Furthermore, what is gong to happen to her psychology when these men become more and more desperate resorting to tactics like flowers, chocolates, them wearing stupidly loud shirts?  100 to 1 she's going to develop and ego and an attitude.  She's going to become arrogant and cocky and instead of looking for what she really needs (a man) she's going to nit pick irrelevant things (I don't like how his nails are done.  I don't like his shoes, etc.).

And it's the same with employers.

Because of progressive credentialism and all the extra labor in the market, employers are adopting a very arrogant and cocky attitude.  So arrogrant and cocky the psychological torment you'd have to go through working the job would plain not be worth it (just like dating the entitlement princess).  And we already see evidence of employers getting this attitude.



By the way where is your Facebook password, I want it.  And no you can't have mine.

Oh, and we're going to Google-Stalk you.

And we want to run a credit check on you, but you can't request the same of us.

I even recall an investment bank requiring your ACT and SAT scores

It is also no coincidence HR is once again dominated by women.  The skills women develop nitpicking minor infractions among romantic suitors is the precise exact same skills they use to nitpick infractions against job applicants.  Of course, it is no surprise their success in picking qualified romantic suitors is the same as picking qualified job applicants.  There is no data out there to prove it, but nearly EVERY HR lady I've personally know has been divorced, had dating problems, or at minimum had some kind of mental problem.  Sure there were a handful of relatively stable women, but the majority were not.  And I'm willing to bet their woefully inadequate ability to judge character when choosing men is equally woefully inadequate when judging job applicants (which we do have actual data for from MErcer, which shows a r-square of .14 between HR questions and actual job performance).  This should not be surprising when instead of asking questions about accounting, valuation techniques, chemical processes, and HR ditz can only assess things like:

"I don't like his hair."

"He didn't answer 'if you could be an animal, which animal would it be and why' question to my satisfaction."

"Did you see her shoes!?  OMG!  Hideous!"

Not to belabor the HR angle, the larger point is that it is becoming very obvious corporations are developing a psychosis of their own.  It's almost as if they're becoming sentient even though they're organizations.  An entitlement princess mentality is developing which makes the proposition of working for them not worth the risk of spending 20 years of your life getting educated, certified, qualified, licensed and CPE'd to death, only to have a job where your psychologically abused.

And just like men are boycotting women, so too I believe employees will boycott abusive employers.

Enjoy the decline!


Phil said...

New reader courtesy of Schiff Radio. Enjoyed this.

Eric S. Mueller said...

I had a job a few years ago I wanted to walk off so bad. I had several times I stormed out to the street and had my key in the car door before I talked myself down. I have a family and debt burden, and the job market in the area was horrible. I'd been looking for a new job for months and wasn't finding anything.

I was forced to endure that job for another month or two until I lost my temper, called my "supervisor" an idiot (with an additional qualifier that starts with F), and was laid off.

I'm working to eliminate the debt burden so I never have to be a wage slave to a bad situation like that again.

Blinding Buddha said...

Being a person who has been in the position of job hunting many times in my life. I have found out that companies tend to or are becoming primadonnas in choosing who they want to fill a position. The pool in which they tend to use is full of desperate people who want to work and will bend over backwards to get it. They know this so they make you go through the whole sing and dance crap. Asking you stupid questions which have nothing to do with your skill set. Then finding out that you are not going to make a low wage and have shitty medical benefits.

Anonymous said...

I have a BA in economics and am currently classified as U6 with respect to the unemployment data. I've been underemployed now for about two years.

I recently applied with my state's department of workforce services as a labor market information analyst. Needless to say, I have plenty of firsthand experience with labor market conditions; however, that didn't phase the people interviewing me. They wanted to know if I knew how to use software they were planning to train me on anyway. They wanted to know if I was a veteran because then I'd have preference. They wanted to know how much of a team player I am for a job that I would spend all day staring at a computer screen. Basically, my experience and education aside, I don't qualify.

ScottB said...

Women are god awful when they are given a shred of "power"

Anonymous said...

Captain, we have lots in common. I just walked off the 'job' 30 days ago. Similarly I was dealing not just with a Ditz woman, but found out she is a drama queen, and researching into the psychological vocabulary I found the right term "Histrionic personality disorder", read wikipedia for it.
These women are either divorced, with dating problems, come from a family with problems, or have scattered children. Do a good to evolution, don't pay taxes which go to benefits for these women, and let them die happy death. dont serve them. avoid them.

By The Sword said...

If women ruled the world... There would be no jobs.

maxx said...

Some managers understand and are spreading the message about HR departments. Here's a man who seems to be channelling the Captain.


Anonymous said...

I looked at the chart from the St. Louis Fed you provided and wanted to ask for your comment about an observation.I entered the workforce in 1970 when the minimum wage was $3.oo or $3.25/hr and acually was a "living wage" On the graph the workforce participation was 60%. Thru the 70's and 80's percent employed increased pretty much the same as inflation increased. My wages didn't catch up to inflation untill about 1987.After the 80's the graph shows the effects of bubbles; tech. housing.After 2000 it showes the effects of bubbles bursting.Could you comment on the relationship of percent employment, inflation,bubbles and bubble collapse and what that might mean for percent of worker in the near future.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"so too I believe employees will boycott abusive employers."

Actually, workers should boycott employment all together.

the dude said...

Last job I had, I wanted to walk off so many times. I'd worked there for a year and a half when the office manager quit (she got a new job), and I discovered just how much she kept things in line. My regional manager (the boss) was one of the biggest bitches of the business world. The only thing that would have been worse was if I worked in the same office she did- my coworkers constantly bitched about how much they hated working with her, but they couldn't do anything about it. Sad thing was that I couldn't go to HR about her, cuz HR is in Texas, and she DID know how to cover her tracks. I could have gone to the state labor board (yeah, she violated labor laws frequently), but I would have been left high and dry by my coworkers who needed the work.
Then I got a better job and quit. Left her in a bind because I had turned into one of the most valuable employees, but I did it with a smile.
Tl;dr- Cap, dead on with crappy women in positions of power and corporations taking advantage of the desperate.

Aurini said...

This also flows into the problem of companies hiring incompetent employees - especially management.

An outright blue collar gig is hard to screw up - and if you screw it up people notice, and they can you.

But middle-management attracts the worst of the worst, over-educated dullards who like to play golf, who then proceed to enforce unworkable policies and undermine the work that the blue-collars are trying to do.

The reason everything breaks nowadays isn't because of planned obsolescence - it's because of structural incompetence.

Anonymous said...

The correct answer to the "you wrote a book"
Is "yes, why haven't you read it yet?"

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking in the new economy, your should be self-employed.

Corporate life is becoming more nonsensical and brutal at the same time and competency matters less and appearances matter most.

The old model doesn't work anymore and you can tell those corporations to F.O.A.D.

Rumbear said...

In retrospect, I always gave two weeks notice. However, sometimes I would forget to tell them.

My bad.



AuricTech said...

I just saw this PartiallyClips strip, which seemed to fit at least one of your themes in this post: the utter pointlessness of the "what animal would you be, and why" question that some folks feel (not think, that's too much work) has anything to do with one's potential value as an employee.

Anonymous said...

Being a person who has been in the position of job hunting many times in my life. I have found out that companies tend to or are becoming primadonnas in choosing who they want to fill a position. The pool in which they tend to use is full of desperate people who want to work and will bend over backwards to get it. They know this so they make you go through the whole sing and dance crap. Asking you stupid questions which have nothing to do with your skill set. Then finding out that you are not going to make a low wage and have shitty medical benefits.

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