Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Qualifications and Rejections (or things that make you say, "Really??!!")

First a tiny bit of background, boring, but necessary.  Sorry!

I have been unemployed since the Army decided to medically retire me last year.  It was partially due to my disintegrating spine, and more directly due to my battle with bi-polar.  Now, I am fairly lucky, I have found a medication cocktail that keeps me very stable, by bi-polar standards. (Of course, it took over 2 years, and dozens and dozens of medication to get to that point.)  Unfortunately, however stable I am by bi-polar standards, by "normal" human standards I do have some issues blending in as well as I should.  I am pursuing a permanent disability rating, but that is very slow going, and is not guaranteed, therefore I have been job hunting as well.

I have worked in many types of jobs over the years... I've worked in an auto repair shop, I've managed bakeries, I've worked in a hair salon, I managed a commercial cleaning company, I worked as a caterer, I was a reservations phone operator for a major airline, I worked as a business trainer - training management staff to run bakeries and restaurants more efficiently, I've done costume design and production for a local theater group, I've worked as an Army administrator, keeping an entire unit running smoothly and getting them everything they need to stay that way, I've been a data entry monkey,  I've worked in graphic arts and design, I worked in financial accounting, I've been a secretary for a vice-president of a Fortune 100 company, I've run a home-based business, and so on and so on and so on.  Generally speaking, at one point or another, I've touched on just about every major job-skill group you can possibly think of.

The story:

I have been submitting job applications for various positions over the past 6 months or so.  I have applied for jobs for which I am eminently qualified. I have applied for jobs that are on the upper bounds of my qualification bubble, but are jobs which I know I could do, given the chance. For the vast majority, I might just as well have chucked my resumes into a gaping rent in the space-time continuum.  They go out, and that is the last they are ever seen of or heard from again.  It used to be, that when you applied for a job, if you didn't make it, you got a very politely worded letter that basically said, "We're sorry, but you are not qualified to work in this position; and, in fact, you are worthless pond scum, and we can't even believe that you had the audacity to submit your resume to us.  Have a nice day!"  These days, you get nothing, at least most of the time.

Now, having been unemployed for a while now, my finances are a tad bit strained, especially since I am feeding a teen-aged boy who consumes, on a daily basis, more food than your average 3rd world country; but, I digress.   This all means that I have lowered my job standards to the menial jobs for which an average Shih Tzu would be eminently qualified to perform. 

Last week, I applied for a position at the Veteran's Hospital.  Since I am a displaced government employee, I get some preference in hiring, over John Doe from the streets.  The position was as a laundry room worker.  Duties included, "Preparing standard hospital items for laundering, examining them for stains, tears, and other imperfections.  Operating the washing and drying machines, and sorting and properly folding the items for standard hospital use.  May also be tasked to perform minor repairs to items using a sewing machine."   Seems simple enough, right?

I just received a letter from the VA Hospital.  I opened it eagerly, thinking that I had received a request for interview.


The letter said, and I quote:

Dear Catherine Wise,

We appreciate the time and effort you put forth to complete the application process for a position with our Medical Center.

Your application materials have been reviewed and, unfortunately, your qualifications did not match the minimum qualifications required for this particular position; therefore, your name was not referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Department of Veteran Affairs, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, and best wishes for success in your employment search.Scott Harvey
(xxx) xxx-xxxx  (phone number hidden to protect the monumentally stupid)

Sewing Machine Operator/Laundry WorkerLetter Value: 17F18C-49FC1

Wow. Really?!!   I am so very tempted to call Mr. Harvey and ask him to expound upon which of the obviously myriad of qualifications I fell short.

Oh, well.  Time to start thinking about my next evil plan!




  1. For crying out loud! What a complete load of CRAP. I admire you for keep trying, I know, needs must, but it's enough to make anybody give up. xxx

  2. I wish you lived this side of the pond too! You'd be a massive help & friend. His meds are making him sick, I take him back to hospital tomorrow to see the psychiatrist so we'll see what words of wisdom he'll come out with this time! xxxxx