Thursday, May 7, 2009


Last week, I saw an ad for a certain retail outlet that's opening at the Legends in Sparks. The ad said their recruitment office had opened at a hotel in Sparks and you could apply in person or online. I figured in person was best, and headed down one afternoon to find nobody there. The woman at the front desk assumed they went to lunch and would be back soon if I wanted to wait. So I did. For an hour. Just as I was ready to give up, they showed up, only to tell me that they were just setting up, but I could apply online and they'd set me up for an interview this week. So I set up the interview, and came home to fill out the application. They wanted to know everywhere I've worked in the last 10 years. They asked for my social security number in three separate places. They required a math test and ethics test. It took over an hour to apply, and all this, I learned at my interview on Monday, was for a position that would pay me half the hourly rate I am accustomed to. If I get the offer, I am allowed (per the rules of unemployment) to turn it down if it doesn't pay me at a certain level. But I'm not even sure I will get the offer. At the interview, I was asked questions I hadn't considered previously, and wasn't sure I'd wowed anyone.
Photo of today's Legends job fair from

Today, I went to a Legends job fair where this store and many others opening next month had booths. On the advice of our business reporter, I waited until the afternoon to go (it started at 11 a.m.) and, though I had to wait in line about 30 minutes, it was a much shorter wait than when the thing got started. I wondered what some people were thinking, wearing jeans or hats or T-shirts or sneakers or all of the above. One woman wore a spaghetti-strapped polka-dotted dress with her lacy green bra exposed. Yikes. But even as I judged these folks for their appearance, I discovered I was under-prepared. The hirers were asking for resumes and I had none. (Actually that's not true, I had some with me but they are all journalism and totally inappropriate in this instance.) I applied at two places, each of which said they'd be going through the applications and calling people in the next couple weeks. They didn't ask me any questions (even though now I was prepared answer!) and a third booth I went to asked me to - you guessed it - apply online and take an ethics test and, if I passed, I might get called for an interview. The companies represented have about 700 total positions to fill. When I left at 3:30 p.m. I asked the woman with the counter at the door what she was up to. She answered 3,500. And the fair goes until 7 tonight. Sigh.

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