I seem to have stepped on some people's toes pretty hard-- how do I fix this?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (17 answers total)
I'm currently looking for a job.
I answered a staffing agency's ad for an "Entry Level Operational Position", went to an interview where she said "Looks good. You are exactly what we're looking for. Let me set up the interview with our client, client X"
I follow up a few more times that week, no response.
The next week, I call and email, and eventually get an emailed response saying "Our client has pulled their order". No problem, it's a nasty economy, I certainly understand.
Thinking about it more, I realize that I'm particularly interested in the industry, and am in a position (personally) where I could take the job for a while and not need to get paid. So I send an email to the staffing woman outlining-- "Hey, I understand times are tough-- I'd be very interested and eager to take the position as an "internship"-- basically doing the job, understanding that I didn't get pay/benefits, etc for the first three months, then they're at liberty to hire/fire me."
I follow up once or twice more in the next week, and 14 days after her response of "I'll check it out", get an email saying "I'm sorry, but the client believes you are overqualified"
Now, I can communicate well, and know the basics (think: readers digest version) of the industry... but with no experience and only a university education, don't know how things really work, so I am a bit confused. (Also- I also wonder: "Wait. Are they not filling the position, or am I overqualified?" (because the way I'd go about following up is very different, depending on the situation.))
In my followups, I ask "Hey, who could I sit down in front of that actually works in Company X?", knowing that a cursory conversation with an operator show that I'm not overqualified for anything except basic-typing.
No response, so I talk to a professor. He works in the industry and refers me to a friend who works in Company X, who I call. The man at Company X talks to me, says "Well, times are tough, but we do have an opening for a file clerk-- you're overqualified, but sure, if you're really that eager to work, let me give you the phone number of the lady to talk to." I talk to her, she asks for a resume, I send it.
A few minutes later, I get a response from the staffing agency-- a pretty perturbed "You will not be allowed to work for them unless you go through us". I immediately think "Woah! Oh hell, I just stepped on someones toes" --- for the first time connecting the position which "the client decided not to fill", and the open filing clerk position.
I think "Oh man. Certainly didn't mean to step on anyone's toes-- of course, I'll go through the staffing place if that's the job--- but wait, this isn't the job I interviewed for."
So I addressed an email to everyone. The two people at Company X, the staffing lady, and blind copied my prof. (I didn't want his friend to call him saying "what the hell is going on with this kid?" and the prof not know the story)
I wrote a mea culpa and apologized for procedural mistakes that I'd made--- explained it just as I did here, (though with correct grammer, slightly more formal than an ask mefi question... ... the petty part of me wants to send back the pissed email to the staffing woman correcting things like "you were not suppose to contact" and "you will not be consider for employment").
So I sent this explanation "I took an interview. Offered to do the job without pay, in the course of confusion as to no-response-followed-by-"you're overqualified" talked to my prof who gave me name Y who told me about job Z... etc"
Not three minutes later, I got a very angry phone call asking "How dare you contact these people again?"
Arguments about freedom of speech aside (the last email wasn't soliciting a job, just offering an explanation ... and looking through the papers I signed at my staffing interview-- nothing in them says I can't contact them either-- they're all EEO/Drug/SexualHarassment forms), how do I smooth the waters here?
I'm not looking to circumvent the process, just tryin' to get a job using all available resources--- and trying to sit down and talk to a real person. (Emails are too easy to disregard--- and I know that I make a much better impression in person than on paper)