The Worst Job Search Advice Ever

The economy and job market both suck right now and everyone is getting (or has already gotten) laid off, and as a result pretty much everyone is looking for a job right now, too. As a result, a lot of “job search” websites are popping up, some of which are legit, many of which are filled with horrible advice, and a few of which are even designed to take advantage of your situation and screw you over.

Bad Advice 1: You should bypass the internet and physically go to the company’s office to drop off your resume so they can get to know your face.
The truth: Not only is that soliciting, but chances are the office you go to won’t even be the same location that houses their HR department, and the conversation will go like this:

You: “Hi, I’d like to drop off my resume”
Them: “Um, ok. We’re a development branch. You need to talk to HR.”
You: “Ok, where are they?”
Them: “In (some other state). Visit our website and submit your resume online.”

And that’s if you even get someone to talk to that doesn’t give you a giant “wtf face” when you try to give them your resume. Or, they might take your resume and just toss it right after you leave because they don’t care.

Bad Advice #2: Send out your resume to everyone on Craigslist
The truth: Craigslist is a pretty awesome place. BUT, many of the “employment opportunities” on CL are scams. People make fake companies which are usually identifiable by a crappy looking website and no mention of them anywhere else on the entire internet and collect hundreds of resumes and email addresses from people on CL who blindly mail them their resumes, and they sell your info to spammers. I recently saw a job posting on Craigslist from an “established international company who has many Fortune 500 clients,” yet this company had no links anywhere on the entire internet other than the ones on their own pages. How many established international companies do you know who are mentioned exactly zero times on the entire internet? Also, their website was a complete piece of crap full of clipart and generic stock photos of happy-looking business people. How many established international companies do you know of who can’t afford to create a website? Exactly.

Bad Advice #3: While you’re looking for another “real” corporate job, it’s better to take a minimum wage job in the meantime even if it pays less than unemployment.
The truth: Are you serious? So you’re saying that working 40 hours a week and making minimum wage is better than working 0 hours a week and making more than minimum wage? That’s the dumbest and most illogical thing I’ve ever heard. Not only is it financially inefficient, but you’re also wasting 40 hours a week that you could be using to find another job or start your own company. Basically, you’re doing work in order to make less money. If that is really your philosophy, please use the contact button on my page and let me know because I’d like to hire you and pay you less than you’re making now. Actually, on second thought, don’t bother; if that really is your philosophy you’re probably too much of an idiot to work for me, anyway.

“Hey Is For Horses, Not For Managers”

At my first corporate job we used Lotus Notes and subsequently used an instant messaging program called Sametime. I’m sure many of you reading this are familiar with it. If not, it’s basically exactly like Instant Messenger except it says “Sametime” instead of “AIM” in the window.

Anyway, one day I had to ask one of my managers a question so I sent him a Sametime and said “hey.”

He replied “hey is for horses, not for managers.”

I’m not sure if he was trying to be funny or if he was trying to suggest that I should be more formal with him. But since I hated working there (in fact, it was that job that inspired this website) and I was already annoyed in general, I responded:

“no, that’s ‘hay’ with an ‘a’. I was addressing you with an informal greeting which has previous been established as being acceptable given the tenure of our professional relationship as evidenced by the fact that yesterday in the hallway you saw me and said ‘hey!’ and proceeded to initiate a high-five.”

He was kind of a tool anyway. He was the kind of manager who would get in an argument with you about how some system code or something worked, you would empirically prove him wrong, and then he would give you a bad performance review as revenge.

Are You Here to Grow With the Company, or Just For a Paycheck?

Have you ever been asked this before by your manager?

What a loaded question.

Obviously saying anything other than “I want to grow with this company” is going to get you a ton of shit. And don’t get me wrong, that is exactly what you should say. But consider the opposite:

Does your company want you to grow? Does your company actually give a shit about you? If your job suddenly became “redundant,” as the British like to call it, would leadership say “oh gee, it’s too bad Joe Schmoe’s job is being eliminated… we really like him and want him to grow with the company. Let’s create another position just so he can stay!”?

I’ve seen that happen exactly one time.

In every other case, it was “yeah, we eliminated your position. Bye.” And this is for everyone from temps to middle- and upper management with 15+ years of experience.

In most cases, corporate loyalty gets you nothing. People live and breathe for their company, and then as soon as the company is done with them they are swept aside. This “company loyalty” mindset has even trickled down into “corporate etiquette.” You know the “two weeks’ notice” that you’re supposed to give before you leave your job? How many companies actually give their employees two weeks’ notice before they are fired?

“Hey, Bob, just so you know, we’re going to fire you in two weeks. Thanks for all your help over the years!”


So to answer your question, I am here for the paycheck. Our economy is such that money is required to live, and the easiest (legal) way to get money is to work, so that is why I am here.

But I’ll never tell my manager that! I love this company!

Reason Number 2 Not to Come to Work Sick: You Might Have Swine Flu

And more importantly, you might give me swine flu.

I’m just kidding. There’s already more than 2 reasons to not go to work when you’re sick. But now in addition to being unproductive, annoying, unsanitary, and a danger of spreading regular germs around the office, you geniuses* with your ridiculously convoluted sense of company loyalty who insist on going to the office and working all that unpaid overtime with a smile on your face when you’re sick are also going to be spreading around swine flu.

I know you love being in the office coughing all over your coworkers, but you know what?  We don’t want you here, either, because you know what’s cooler than being sick? NOT being sick!

Or, maybe you’ve got the right idea.  Maybe when review time comes around, your boss will say “hey, remember when you came to work with your 104 degree fever?  That was awesome.  You’re a real proactive team player.  I’m gonna recommend you for that promotion!”

Cuz that happens.

But seriously, genius*, think about it:

You love this  company so much.  Why else do you work 20-30 additional hours of unpaid overtime every week?  The company’s survival is your survival!  But sick employees are unproductive, and you coming to work and giving everyone swine flu is going to result in lots of unproductive employees, which is actually going to hurt your beloved company.  In other words, the small amount of work that you actually get done in the office when you’re sick is going to be overshadowed by the decrease in productivity from all the people that you make sick.

Stay. The. Hell. Home.


How to Tell if Your Company’s PTO Policy is Bullshit

A lot of companies will tell you that one of the perks of working for them is a “generous PTO package” or some baloney like that. Let me explain: You could have a PTO package that gives you 1,000 hours of PTO per year, but it’s completely worthless if you can’t ever use any of it. Fortunately, there is an easy way to see if your company’s PTO policy is bullshit by answering a simple question:

If you want to use PTO time, do you have to work extra to make up for it?

If the answer to that question is “yes,” then your company’s PTO policy is bullshit.

In other words, if you want to take Thursday and Friday off, but in order to do so you have to put in your normal 40+ hours from Monday to Wednesday in order to “make up” for the days that you’ll be out, then that is bullshit. You’re really not doing any less work; in fact, your company is punishing you by forcing you to work longer hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If you were going to have to put in a normal workweek that week anyway, then why bother using (and losing) PTO at all?

Of course, if your company doesn’t require you to work extra when you want to use PTO, then your company’s PTO policy is legit and fair.

Here’s a summary of “Bullshit PTO Policies” vs. “Legit PTO Policies”:

Bullshit PTO Policy – have to work extra to make up for PTO
Hours worked:
Monday-Wednesday: 40
Thursday: 8 (PTO)
Friday: 8 (PTO)

Total Hours Worked: 40
Total PTO Hours Used Up: 16
This is bullshit because you’re still working a full work week, but you’re losing PTO hours.

Legit PTO Policy – you do not have to work extra to make up for PTO
Hours worked:
Monday: 8
Tuesday: 8
Wednesday: 8
Thursday: 8 (PTO)
Friday: 8 (PTO)

Total Hours Worked: 24
Total PTO Hours Used Up: 16
This is legit because your PTO was correctly used in lieu of you being at work.

Hopefully your company falls into the “legit” category.

Please Stop Burning Your Microwave Popcorn

We all know popcorn is a delicious snack, but if you’re not sure how long to microwave it for, ask the woman who makes it every afternoon (every office has one!); I’m sure she will be happy to tell you.

But please, do not just guess. Just because your old 1980s microwave at home takes 5 minutes to cook a big bag of popcorn does not mean it’s a good idea to try to cook the small bag you got from the vending machine for 5 minutes in the industrial-strength 1100 watt microwave in the office. Seriously. I’m actually working on something important right now and I’m not in the mood for another building evacuation because you set off the fire alarm (again).

Today Is Not “Bring Your Baby to Work Day”

Why does everyone get so excited when someone brings a baby into the office? It’s like a sudden explosion of maternal instinct hysteria. And it’s always the same:

Someone walks onto the floor and you notice something odd is going on because their gait is different than normal: they’re bouncing ever so slightly with each step.

Then you see the reason: they’re carrying (and simultaneously entertaining) a baby.

You keep it to yourself because you know what events are about to follow…

“It’s a baby!”

Followed by…

“IT’S A BABY!!!”

And there’s always at least one slightly aloof woman who says…

“What? What do you mean there’s a baby? Where?!”

And all of that is invariably followed by a cacophony of “Oh, my God!”s and “Aww!”s.

After that, everybody stands up at their cubicles and stares with absolute fixation at the baby as it makes its rounds to everyone’s cubicle so they can ooh and ahh and coo.

When the baby finally leaves the floor, then you get to have the pleasure of listening to everyone talk about it for the next 30 minutes. “Can you believe it?”

No, I can’t! I’ve never seen a baby before!

The worst part is that this is just another example of people being fake; No one actually thinks babies (besides their own) are cute! It’s true, and you know it.

Tales From HR: I May Be an Evil Bitch, But You Are a Moron!

This article is a guest submission from someone who has worked in HR for a while. She says the idiots with which she must deal on a daily basis often drive her to drink (just kidding (no, I’m not)). So without any more delay, here is her contribution:

Greetings from the world of HR!

Despite being a card-carrying member of corporate America (thank God my company doesn’t suck that much — and no, we don’t currently have any openings, so don’t ask), I feel compelled to write this article for in an attempt to show you just another aspect of corporate life that does, indeed, suck.

If you should ever feel inclined to work in corporate America, you will eventually need to create a resume and a cover letter. You will also need to fill out an application, which usually asks you to re-state at least 80% of your resume in basic question and answer format (annoying!).

There are a lot of decent, free resources out there to help you in this endeavor, but let me also point out that common sense goes a long way; unfortunately for those who made the following statements, they had none. These are actual examples of statements I have enountered while trying to find worthy applicants, arranged as follows:

Where it was found
What it said
My comments

Scholastic Achievements: Graduated in the top 50% of my class
My comments: “Wow, that must have been a real challenge!”
ADVICE: Even if you’re attending an Ivy League school, this is not, I repeat NOT an “achievement.” If it were, there’d be some fancy Latin title for it like “Magna Cum Average;” until that day comes, don’t waste precious space on your resume with this

Special Skills: Thypeing
My comments: “Hey, at least you didn’t say you’re a good speller!”
ADVICE: Have someone else proofread your resume, cover letter, and application if possible — especially if you’re going to claim you’re detail oriented. Just make sure the proofreader isn’t a moron.

Personal: 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 hamster
My comments: “Well, I see you have a hamster! When can you start?!”
ADVICE: On a serious note, do not mention your family life in any pre-employment document or during an interview. Corporate America continues to be riddled with morons who will discriminate against you for your family status. Finally, including information about your pets is a pet peeve (pun intended!) for resume reviewers. I love my pets, too, but they have no relevance for 99.9% of job openings in corporate America.

Job Title: Package Handler
Job Duties: Handled packages
My comments: “No. Way.”
ADVICE: When your job duties are obvious, make an attempt to set yourself apart by quantifying the results of your work, such as “Loaded 3 trucks per hour; 1 truck more than the average for my team.”

Objective: A part-time position that will support my shoe fetish
My comments: “I appreciate your honesty, but too much information can sometimes be a bad thing.”
ADVICE: Your objective should be short, simple, and relevant to the position for which you’re applying.

References furnished upon request
My comments: “We both know this. Why include this information? It’s not like the inclusion or exclusion of this fact is going to stop me from making the request if it’s part of my company’s hiring process.”
ADVICE: Don’t include this on your resume.

Cover Letter
At your earliest convenience, please overlook my resume.
My comments: “Your wish is my command. I’m gonna skip the rest of this cover letter, too.”
ADVICE: Again, get a proofreader. And a dictionary.

Cover Letter
You’ll find I’m a hard worker, etc.
My comments: “Care to elaborate?”
ADVICE: Be specific. Anything vague is useless; it does nothing for you. Although it does help us identify whose resumes to ignore.

(Note: actual legal name changed to protect the moron)
First Name: Joe
Last Name: Schmoe
Known As: Crow Bar
My comments: “Hi, this is the HR Bitch from Corporate America, Inc. I’m calling to schedule an interview with Crow Bar…”
ADVICE: Unless you are applying for a position in the public-facing sector of the entertainment industry, refrain from sharing these moronic nicknames; they have no place in Corporate America… or anywhere, for that matter. Crow Bar? Really??

References: I can give you names, but I don’t know phone numbers. Do you really need them?
My comments: “No, I just wanted to see if you could furnish your references upon request. Guess not. Better take that line off your resume, huh.”
ADVICE: Most companies will complete reference checks on you (or at least employment verifications), so as tempting as it may be to send that “Fuck You!” email when leaving a job, think twice. Additionally, if information is requested on an application, you need to fill it in (even if it’s clearly stated on the resume you will be submitting). “Incomplete Application” is a legitimate rejection reason. Finally, when it comes to references, we don’t want to hear from your gardener, babysitter, etc. We want professional references from your work life.

I hope these examples have helped you understand what not to put on your resume. If I can leave you with one final piece of advice, it’s don’t be a moron.

Smoking Is a Great Way to Get Out of Doing Work

I do not smoke, but I think smokers are absolutely brilliant. It’s the greatest excuse possible to excuse yourself from working, and it’s absoutely, 100% legit.

If you’re not a smoker and you get up to go stretch your legs and take a break, chances are your micromanaging boss will see you and will cite “slacking off” as a reason you’re not getting a raise at your next performance review.

However, if you are a smoker, you are free to excuse yourself whenever you want to go have a smoke. The entire corporate infrastructure is based around understanding nicotine cravings. Not only will you get out of working for a while, but you will get empathy from your coworkers and boss (who probably also smokes). In fact, chances are at least 3 other people will come out with you to join you for a smoke. So not only are you getting out of work, but you’re also building your relationship with your coworkers (“putting in face time”). And if your boss joins you for that smoke break, you can bet on getting a fantastic raise after the next review cycle.

To make things even better, if you’re a hardcore smoker who needs their fix every hour or so, you can effectively reduce your workweek by a few hours on a regular basis:

Say you work an 8 hour day (yeah right), and say every 2 hours you need a cigarette. Suppose that you can get outside, smoke, and get back to your desk in 10 minutes. So in your 8 hour day you will take 4 smoke breaks, each of which lasts 10 minutes, or 40 minutes total. If you do that every day, that’s 200 minutes per week, which is 3 hours and 20 minutes total. In other words, every week you get over 3 hours of break time without penalty.


Do Japanese Corporate Employees Love Working Even More Than Americans?

Japan is legendary for its insane work schedules. Corporate employees in America are known to love to stay and work unpaid overtime, but in Japan it’s not unheard of for employees to keep inflatable beds around so they can sleep at the office. The Japanese language even has a word, karoshi, that means “death from overwork”.

The main difference between American’s long hours and the long hours worked by Japanese employees lies in the context.

Americans love being at the office because they hate their lives and hate spending time with their families and would rather be at work. Japanese, on the other hand, do so to show loyalty and spirit. Indeed, Japanese corporate employees have told me (off the record) that they feel bad about being absent for much of their children’s lives, but they cannot leave the office because no one else is leaving; it’s like a giant game of “Chicken” that everybody wins*. And staying at the office makes them look good in front of their boss.

It’s not that Japanese workers necessarily love working the way Americans do, it’s just that that’s how it’s done in Japan.

*or loses, depending on how you look at it.