employers should be more honest
December 14, 2008 7:58pm CST
This is more of a rant than anything else and YES, I am well aware that in this day and age, having a job is a wonderful thing. Not that long ago, I applied at my local Bath & Body Works for holiday help. I love the store, know everything about it, get regular emails from B&BW and felt I would have no problems working in the store. I got a call from the store manager, asking me to come in for an interview the following day at 2:30pm. I was there at the store at 2:25pm. I was told that I needed to pick my favorite product as I would be selling it during the interview and that the product must have a "try me" sticker on it. Very hard to pick a favorite, but I decided on the room spray. Approximately 15 minutes later, I'm made aware from other women in the store that we are all there for a group interview. There are six of us and we're ushered in to a very small hallway where there are metal folding chairs set up in rows of two (told you the hallway was small). I am 95% positive that the back of this store violated fire codes based on the amount of boxes everywhere. I was disappointed that the manager of the store thought so little of a prospective employee that she didn't feel I needed to know I would be participating in a group interview and that even though she told me to be there at 2:30pm, the actual interview wouldn't start until 3pm. I'm wondering, if she withholds this much information now, how much is she going to withhold if I actually work here? The interview went just fine, as I knew it would. It was an hour and a half long and at the end of that time, she announced that the hours available were three hours a week. Not three hours all at once per week, but three hours a week. Yes it's possible you could work more than that, say, if someone called off, but basically the six of us were looking at three hours a week. I live 20 minutes away. Three hours a week wouldn't even pay for my gas. Why wouldn't she be upfront with all of us and tell us this at the beginning of the interview? She just wasted an hour and a half of my time. She also informed us that we would not be paid minimum wage but we would be paid "based on our experience". I found out employers don't have to pay minimum wage for the first 90 days. As holiday help, we wouldn't even be working 30 days. She announced brightly that if we worked "real hard", she might keep ONE of us on afterwards and if we continued to work "real hard", we could possibly increase our hours to 5 to even 10 hours a week. How do you work "real hard" three hours a week? She asked if we had any questions and some of the other women were asking about specific products, so I asked about the little cupcake bath bombs that I saw online. I asked when they would be coming into the store. She didn't know, she said, smiling. Our customers know more about our products than we do, she continued, still brightly smiling. Wait a minute. She just bragged for at least 15 minutes about how she's worked at this store for 6 years and she's admitting that she's too damn lazy to sign up for emails from the store she works at? I left that interview extremely angry. Why would anyone want to work for a person like that? This employer didn't feel it necessary to inform a prospective employee that the interview would take place a half hour late, that it would be a group interview rather than an individual interview and that the hours available would only be 3 hours a week at less than minimum wage. It really bothers me that she treated all of us that way. What bothers me even more is I still wonder who actually accepted that job? When she called me to offer it, I immediately turned her down and yes, she sounded miffed, but there's no way I'm willing to work for someone like that. I've worked for some hard bosses before, but they have always been forthcoming and told me up front what to expect and what they expect. Is this what the workforce is like now? Are all employers that uncaring?
• United States
15 Dec 08
Fortunately, not all prospective employers are like that. I agree with you that this woman should have been more upfront, but, I can't help but wonder if you thought to ask about the details ahead of time yourself. I am not, by any means putting you down, I just wonder if she would have been more upfront if you would have asked about it. I know you wouldn't have thought to ask about the interview, but the job position itself. I wouldn't dwell to much on it, just chalk it up for a learning experience, and remember it the next time youa re called for an interview.
• United States
15 Dec 08
I understand what you're saying and yes, next time around I will definitely press for more details. Unfortunately, there was no possible way for me to know that this was going to be a group interview. I'd never even heard of such a thing. Now that I know, I will always ask. As for the hours, well, on the application itself it asked what hours I was looking for and what days I could work. I had to complete a week's schedule on the application and I had down 20 hours a week. If you are an employer and you have someone needing 20 hours a week, why would you offer them only 3 hours a week? I had already applied at roughly 7 other stores, all of which wanted over 20 hours a week for part time people so there was no reason for me to believe otherwise with B&BW. Like I said, I was upfront on my application as to what hours I needed and could work. If they would have called and said, "we can't give you 20 but we can give you 10", that would be different. To not mention it until the very end of the interview, in my opinion, is just plain wrong. But like you said, it's a learning experience - lesson learned!