Monday, March 20, 2006

Names have been changed to protect the guilty, but the letter is real

Dear "recruiters",

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me at the job fair and interview me for a sales position with your company. I regret to inform you that I will not consider a position with your company, and I feel you should know why.

You both were extremely honest and polite in representing your company. So much so, that my original plan of seeking a position with the service department was swayed to sales. The conversation with "D" at the recruitment center solidified that decision. The demands of the job and realistic earning potential were addressed and I felt my reservations about a commission role were overcome.

However, I was then turned over to the "Hoo Haa" location and things fell apart. Originally, "D" had set my interview up for 1:00pm on Monday, March 6th. I arrived at 12:50 and checked in with the receptionist. At 1:15, "J" came over to me, introduced himself and took me into an office for an interview. I was told that "Mr. GM" was not in, that they hadn't known I was coming and given the impression that I was interrupting his day. Fortunately, by the end of the interview, I'd felt that "J" was probably caught off guard and I just caught the flack for it. He lamented that the other managers were not on site, as he would have liked for me to interview with them as well. I offered to come back.

I arrive at the dealership Tuesday at 12:45 and again check in with the receptionist. No one comes to speak to me until 1:15, when "J" comes up to me and says "I didn't realize with the Tent Sale that the other two managers would be off today. There's no one else here to interview you." Okay, I've waited again without apology and offer ANOTHER time to come in, this time Thursday at 1pm.

Now it is Thursday. I call ahead of time to make sure someone will be available to meet with me and "J" assures me that there will be. I arrive at 1:10 and one of your salespeople informs "J" that I am there. I wait another 20 minutes before "C" comes up and introduces himself. The same "C" that was walking around, conducting business on Tuesday when I was told that the other managers were off. Excuses I can tolerate, lying I cannot. Was "J" thinking I was so oblivious to who was there that I would not recognize this person as being there Tuesday afternoon?

It gets better. "C" seems to prefer the confrontational style of interviewing. The first statement made to me is "Selling cars is HARD work". Not a question, not even a query into why I might think I'd be a good candidate for this position. He continues on, "You can't pick your kids up from school," "its not as cushy as your job in the AIR CONDITIONED mall," "Its an 80 hour week," "It's hot out on the car lot," "You'll never have Saturdays off," and after asking how much I expect to earn, proceeds to tell me he has salespeople who make 150 to 200 thousand dollars per year.

I don't know if any of this bothers you, but it sure made a negative impression on me. It makes me wonder if "C" recieved any training on what is acceptable to state in an interview, with regards to EEOC guidelines. My kids are not to be mentioned (I sure didn't), I never said that I expected Saturdays off, and I sure as heck understand that if the cars are out on the lot, the minimum expection is that I'd be out on the lot to meet clients as they look at the vehicles they're interested in. After a few minutes of this, "C" then asks about my employees. He then states that I could probably move into management rather quickly. While all of this is going on, he keeps staring at my chest. I am not kidding. I would stare at him, waiting to see how long it would take for him to make eye contact. You really don't want to know the answer.

You mentioned that you provide one week's training for new sales people. My suggestion is that you offer a similar program to your management team. In it, you should address honesty, integrity, EEOC guidelines, and how to conduct oneself while performing interviews. A concern that you had was that there were no women at this location. I think the experience I relate to you is a good indication why you haven't hired any women. If you've sent women over in the past, and they encountered what I did, they would NOT want to work for your company. Part of me wants to accept a position to show "C" what a true professional can do, but I can't bring myself to do that.

It is only because I would like you to succeed in placing individuals that I bring this to your attention. The professionalism that you showed in our interview won me over to selling cars. Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience accept a position with a company whose managers display this kind of behavior to prospective employees. If this is the way they present themselves to a job applicant, what is the customer getting?

If you wish to discuss this with me further, feel free to call me. Perhaps both of these managers are accustomed to "Mr. GM" conducting all sales staff interviews. If that is the case, please make sure they understand what they can and cannot say in an interview. Most importantly, let them know that a reasonable excuse can be forgiven, but a blatant lie cannot.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and to meet with me. I wish you much success in staffing this location.


Sincerely

ME

Yes, I did send that!!!

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