Friday, February 28, 2020

Microstory 1310: College Graduate

College Graduate: Thank you for seeing me, Mr. Warehouse Supervisor. I know you were wary of me at first. Though, I’m not entirely confident I understand why.
Warehouse Supervisor: Yes—oh, you can go ahead and sit in that rolly chair. I have to stand right now, because of this medical condition. Yes, I originally filed your application away, because it says you have a college degree.
College Graduate: Is that not a good thing?
Warehouse Supervisor: Well, it is in general, but not only does this position not require it, but I’m not sure we should allow it.
College Graduate: I don’t understand.
Warehouse Supervisor: I think you do understand, and that’s why you had your aunt swing this interview.
College Graduate: I didn’t ask her to do that.
Warehouse Supervisor: Okay, then I’ll tell you that, beyond this interview, I will offer you no special treatment. Nor will I hold your aunt’s actions against you. You came in for an interview, just like anybody else. I’ve already forgotten the circumstances of the schedule. But that doesn’t mean the college aspect of your résumé doesn’t lower your chances of getting the job. We’re in a warehouse, son, and the people I employ to work it are here because they can’t get anything else. Some passed high school, others earned their GEDs on the side while they worked; one guy’s doing that right now. A couple never got their diplomas in any form, and have no intention of doing so. We don’t have anyone like this on payroll right now, but we’re also our policy to be open to hiring convicted felons. None of my guys, however, has so much as gone to a semester of college. We’re all just normal, and people with your experience just don’t get people like us.
College Graduate: I recognize that I am, quote-unquote, overqualified to work here, but I do not believe that means I do not deserve it. The fact is that I’ve not been able to find work anywhere else. I have a degree in marketing, which opens me up to all sorts of industries. Unlike, say, a chemist, I could potentially work anywhere. Everyone could do with a good marketing strategy, because everyone is selling something. Yet here I am before you, because I’ve been looking for two months, and have only managed three interviews total. So maybe I’m overqualified for this, but I am also evidently underqualified for anything else.
Warehouse Supervisor: There are lots of jobs that are less fancy than marketing, but better than warehouse picking. Besides, everything you just said? You can’t talk like that here. Quote-unquote, yet here I am before you. No one’s gonna show you any respect if they think you think you’re a king.
College Graduate: No way could you interpret the way I talk to mean that I think I’m a king.
Warehouse Supervisor: Son. I can’t give you a job. I mean, we already have a hostile professional relationship.
College Graduate: Something tells me I’m not the first person here you’ve disagreed with. And what, you fill out human resources reports when there’s a personnel issue? You can’t have it both ways; claiming this to be a team of normal people, but also that you think you can’t get along with someone who’s a little different. You may think people with more education look down on you, but have you considered the possibility that it’s the other way around? Because from where I’m is you who’s looking down on me.

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