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Thursday, April 20, 2017

An unsettled kind of day

Today was somewhat unsettled at the Sparrow Tree house.

Gregg had an early appointment with a dermatologist to get a weird, colorless mole that popped up on his forehead examined. His regular doctor said it didn't look like much to her, but since he has a cancer history it would be a good idea to have it checked out. The dermatologist said he's pretty sure it's a common basal cell carcinoma, but the biopsy they did today will tell us for sure. As cancers go, this is about as "good" as it can get. It will be easily removed, and is unlikely to have spread or to recur. We're not particularly worried--after surviving stage 3 lung cancer, a pea-sized clear dot on the surface of the skin doesn't seem as scary as it might otherwise. We are taking it seriously, and will of course treat it immediately when the biopsy results come in, but I don't think it's going to be too traumatic. I sure hope not.

Late yesterday afternoon I was on my way to meet some friends for dinner before our April book club gathering, and I got a phone call. My phone is connected to my Scion via Bluetooth, so I was able to answer even though I was sitting in traffic. It was some lady with the Department of Social Services asking me if I was going to make it to my job interview in the morning? And I had no idea what she was talking about. She said something about an email that went out on April 11th about a group interview of several candidates for a job. I never got said email.

I was totally confused, and trying to navigate 5:00 traffic (not pretty in downtown Florence) and the woman on the line was obviously bored and checking off a list of people to expect, and pretty much said something like "Check your email. All the details are there. The interview is at 9am tomorrow. Bye."

I didn't know what the *&!% to think.

I sat in the parking lot of the restaurant where I was meeting my friends, and tried to remember which state job I had applied for that this could be. There's been a handful over the last two or three months, and I couldn't remember. When I got home after book club, I looked for the email. I finally found it in the "trash" email folder, not my regular inbox. It didn't mention what the job was for, but it said it was a group interview with about 8 other people, and to bring a "handwritten (not typed) statement about why you're the best person for the job", as well as photocopies of a picture ID, three references, and to come prepared for the interview to last from 2 to 3 hours.

There was no way I could prepare all that in less than 12 hours, especially without knowing what job exactly I was interviewing for! I talked to Marla, who works for the state, and she said she had never heard of an interview process like that. Just......bizarre. So I decided not to go. I sent a reply to the email and explained that I had only just received it and couldn't alter my schedule with such short notice. I apologized and stated that I would be happy to come for an interview if they were interested in rescheduling. I didn't hear back. Oh well.

It was a strange day, and not in the good 4/20 kind of way.


15 comments:

  1. Very confusing! I don't know what I would have done - go to the interview nonetheless, prepared as much as possible and explaining to the interviewers why I was not fully prepared? Or just leave it, as you did? Really strange, that!
    What is a 4/20 kind of way? I have never come across this expression, I think.

    Like you, I think Gregg's mole will not be something to worry too much about. O.K. has many moles and several have been removed in the past; one is currently under observation and I'd feel better if it were gone, too, but his dermatologist is not worried. Given that one of his sisters died of skin cancer, we are very sensitive to the matter, but think we are doing all that we can.

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    1. 4/20 is a pop culture reference to smoking marijuana here in the States. April 20 is the pothead's national holiday. Jokes about it abound. And in states that have recently legalized recreational weed, yesterday there were actually celebrations of that fact. I was just making a silly joke. :)

      I didn't feel good about an interview that was so last minute, where I would be one of several candidates all there at the same time, with such a long list of requirements. If a potential employer is interested in me in the way I want them to be, they will request an interview at a time that's convenient for us both. Not give me a "take it or leave it" date and time, which feels disrespectful to me.

      Gregg used to be very careless about getting lots of sun exposure on his face and head, and he's very fair skinned, hence the need for vigilance. I think it will all come out okay, though.

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  2. What a bizarre interview process.. especially for a government position. If that's the way they do business, clearly you did the right thing! Sorry about Gregg's latest doctor visit, but glad it's nothing worse. Good for him for not wasting any time.

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    1. I feel like I did the right thing, despite how badly I want a new job. I don't want just any old job...I want something that will be a good fit for me and will make me happy (or happy enough).

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  3. You did the right thing. Going to an interview unprepared and without the paperwork you were instructed to bring would not have been a positive experience. Something else will come along.

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    1. I thought so too, especially with a bunch of other candidates who probably had the advantage of a week's notice. I'm still not sure why the original email went to my "trash" folder, but I guess I shall have to start checking there!

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  4. I don't like the sound of that interview process. I don't think you missed out on anything by not going. Hope Greg gets on OK with his skin biopsy.

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  5. Those are usually a waste of time, they usually have someone internally marked for the job but are required to open the position to an interview process. So they interview everyone as required but chose that person they wanted.

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    1. So far every state job I've applied for (with the local school districts)have had someone internally already lined up for the job, and I've had several interviews that were a blatant waste of my time.

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  6. "My phone is connected to my Scion via Bluetooth" - I have no idea what that means. Perhaps you live in The Future... like a startrooper. I hope you are right about Gregg's little mole and that it can soon be resigned to History...which is where I reside...like a partypooper.

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    1. I drive a Toyota Scion XB. A Bluetooth is just a setting on the car radio that connects to your smartphone when you make or receive a call. You can talk without holding your phone, freeing up your hands for safety while driving. :)

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    2. Ahhhh! Now I get it. I thought a "scion" was "a young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting."

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  7. The interview process where I work in local government is very similar. They seem to make the candidate do all the groundwork these days in taking along references and originals of id to the interview regardless of whether the candidate is to be successful at interview or not. This makes a lot of work for all involved in my opinion because being on the clerical side of things we have to meet and greet all candidates, take all the paperwork from them when they arrive and photocopy it, sign for it when at the end of the day only one candidate will be successful. Then all but one lot of photocopying we do is shredded. References are obtained which are mostly going to be a waste of time and time is wasted for referees too. And at the end of the day we all know that they had an internal candidate lined up for the job in any case. All very depressing. I once again say Jennifer, I feel for you.xx

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    1. The handful of interviews I've managed to get in the past year or two have all (with a couple of exceptions) felt like a complete waste of my time, as they ended up promoting internally. I wish they wouldn't bother if they already know who's getting the job.

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