Friday, February 21, 2020

Microstory 1305: College Dropout

Engineering Manager: You can have a seat right there.
College Dropout: Cool, thanks.
Engineering Manager: I’m afraid the résumé you sent us didn’t work. I’ve never heard of an fdj file extension.
College Dropout: Oh yeah, Functional Digital Jotter is a rare word processing software that only works on Kwartek computers.
Engineering Manager: I’ve never heard of a Kwartek computer.
College Dropout: It’s pretty rare too.
Engineering Manager: Why would you send us that, knowing we would almost certainly not be able to open it?
College Dropout: I dunno. I guess I didn’t really think about it. It’s just what I use.
Engineering Manager: Well, do you have a printout? We set up an interview, because your application looked promising, but we do still need it for our records.
College Dropout: Yes, of course I have a copy. Here it is.
Engineering Manager: I see. This appears to be a little different than the work history you filled out online.
College Dropout: Yeah, I never understood that. Why do you need it in both places? If you have the application, why do you need the résumé? It feels redundant.
Engineering Manager: Let’s just say we do that to test your commitment to applying.
College Dropout: Oh.
Engineering Manager: You have less job experience on this than you listed on the app.
College Dropout: Yeah, maybe it’s not entirely updated.
Engineering Manager: No, I have it right here. You didn’t just miss the last few jobs you had, or something. There are gaps in your résumé that you don’t have on the app.
College Dropout: Oh, weird.
Engineering Manager: Did you pad your résumé?
College Dropout: I’m not sure what that means.
Engineering Manager: Did you lie?
College Dropout: No. I promise you that my résumé is one hundred percent accurate.
Engineering Manager: Right, because your online application is the one full of lies. Nice try with the wording. We’re done here.
College Dropout: Wait. Let me explain.
Engineering Manager: I’m waiting.
College Dropout: Okay, I don’t really have a good explanation for you. The truth is that I lied when I said my résumé was the accurate one. Neither are. I did go to the college I listed there, but I didn’t graduate. I dropped out after my junior year.
Engineering Manager: This position requires a bachelor’s degree.
College Dropout: I know, which is why I lied. Even though much of my work history doesn’t exist, I haven’t just been lounging around the house. I’ve put so much effort into finding work. I have to prove to myself, and my family, that I made the right decision about school. I have been applying to so many jobs, and they’re all the same. All employers see is a wall that’s missing a dumb little piece of paper, so they dismiss me out of hand.
Engineering Manager: You’ve had interviews at your own house?
College Dropout: No. I just mean theoretically. They see that I didn’t graduate, and they don’t even bother getting to know me. They throw my application in the trash, and move on to the next one. I only lied because I really want this job, and all I needed was a chance to show you that in person.
Engineering Manager: So, you haven’t been getting interviews at all?
College Dropout: That’s been my whole problem.
Engineering Manager: That’s not your problem. Your problem is that you are applying to jobs for which you are unqualified. I can’t tell you if all those others should lower their requirements or not, but I can tell you that we can’t. This is an engineering firm. It’s not something you can just jump into. Either go back to school, or focus on employers who are looking for someone with your experience and level of education. It is no one’s responsibility to hear you out, and give you a chance. It is yours to show them that you deserve it. Good day.
College Dropout: Please, ma’am.
Engineering Manager: No. Goodbye.

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