Have you tried walking your resume into a place you would like to work lately?  Did you have success or did you get the modern-day equivalent of the bum’s rush?  That is, did you hear, “Sorry we can’t take paper resumes, please go to our website and apply.” from some flunky? 

A few weeks ago I went to SnagAJob.com and saw where a bowling alley near me was looking for a bartender! Since I have a couple of “degrees” in bar mixology and have tended at upscale pubs from New York City to Washington, D.C., I figured that since this place was only three miles away from my house, I’d get my business attire on and ride on over there to impress them and maybe even get to mix a quickie off the top of my head if challenged to.  After-all this is a bowling alley, right?  I left there asking how the little pee-on who brushed me off even got her  job?

Well I schlepped back to my home workstation and found the AMF site.  The first things they asked was for the most personal information, like social security numbers, and made it plain that if you didn’t provide one, you would not be able to complete the application.  My red flag for scams began to wave briskly in the breeze; I never give out that kind of 411 on the internet, but then my progressive, “you have to change with the times” conscience said, well AMF is a long-standing company, so they couldn’t possibly get away with scamming people.  First waste of time mistake. So I fill-out the personal information and then got to go to step two, a bunch of psychological style questions that took me at least another forty-five minutes on-line to complete with the disclaimer that if you took too long the page might “time-out” and you would have to start all over again.  So they are like, rushing me, ok?  The questions were mutiple-guess (choice)  of the tone of, “If you saw one of your co-workers stealing something, would you a. do nothing, b. alert the authorities, c. think it was okay for you to do so, or d. none of the above?”  Then a few questions down the pages, they would re-word the same question as if you wouldn’t notice the red herring. 

After all of this, at the end of the questionnaire, it told me that I was NOT qualified for the position applied for, that my information would be “kept on-file” for, like sixty days or something, and thanked me for my time. Done. Booted. Finito.  With about an hour-and-a-half of my afternoon wasted, not including the original trip down the street and the gasoline used. I had the same experience a month later when, again humbling myself further, I applied to be a “detailer” with the local CarMax in the same area.  They even sent me a paper letter, however, which included, “Thank you for taking the time to submit your employment application for the Detailer position at CarMax. We’ve had a chance to carefully compare it with the requirements of the position./We appreciate you sharing your background with us, but we have decided to continue our search.”   In other words, with a Bachelor’s degree, I am not qualified to wash CARS???  I wash mine all the time in my driveway, and people comment on how clean it is  ( it is white, by the way)!! WTF??  Again the stupid pseudo-pyschological questions you only encounter with these popular on-line applications.  I can go on and even site temp agencies I applied to prior to the present “high unemployment”  that do this, like Randstadt, but I will not digress.

My conclusion is that this “new world” with all of the impersonal digital aloofness in the marketplace is a corporate creation in which the conspirators have gotten together and figured-out ways to discourage people from applying for work. How are you going to show-off your engaging smile, speaking skills, conversational aptitude or personality when you cannot apply in-person? Maybe this is further exacerbated by the fact that I am in my mid-fifties, but it seems to me now that whatever your age, unless you can invent some kind of new “job” or “career” for yourself, the scrap heap of life or worse is your destiny.  What do you think about it?