recently i posted an advertisement on a popular bangladeshi job search website, seeking an assistant to support me on my projects at work. the ad was posted three weeks ago and expired today, and in the meantime i received 261 applications. the requirements of the job were as follows:
- bachelors of business administration or bachelors in economics from a reputable organization
- age: 20 to 30 years
- some experience with the private sector
- some experience with development partners (donors in politically correct language)
- excellent knowledge of the english language
- proficient in using various totalitarian microsoft products
for this purpose, i stole some cool-sounding things from the job description i was issued when i worked for a certain development partner:
- must develop an encouraging innovative approach and create, together with other staff, an open, team-based environment.
- must create a work atmosphere conducive to teamwork, continuous learning and innovation; building alliances and promoting open communication and collaboration to achieve joint objectives;
- must maintain high standards of personal integrity; establishing straightforward, productive relationships; treating all individuals with fairness and respect. Influencing and resolving differences across organizational boundaries.
which is basically a fancy way of saying that, even though the rest of us incessantly bitch about everyone else, the accepted candidate would avoid doing so, at least to our faces.
personally, i was of the opinion that the job requirements were quite simple and easy to understand, and would lead to only qualified people applying.
if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, i’m sure you know by now that i’m always wrong about everything.
so, of the 261 applicants:
- almost 100 had majored in something other than business administration or economics, preferring to study subjects like geography, sociology, islamic studies, and, in one case, something called “peace and conflict studies”. as for the first three, i didn’t realize people still studied this crap. whereas the last one: wow, what the fuck?! what in the name of all that is sweet and holy is peace and conflict studies? what precisely does it involve studying? if i were to study peace and conflict studies, i would expect to learn about war strategies, or about the different types of tanks and fighters that have been used to fight in wars. come to think of it, that would actually have been pretty cool. fuck you, economics!
- 74 were age 30 or more: the reason i asked for someone between the ages of 20 and 30 was so that i could boss this person around without any serious ethical and emotional issues about mistreating the elderly. one applicant was actually 57 years old!
- 127 had completed their MBAs, but had no jobs: now this is actually a frightening statistic. it just goes to show that, in this country at least, an MBA is no longer valued as highly as it once was.
- 183 were not proficient in english at all: this is best exemplified by this one resume i got which i could not, for the life of me, figure out. i mean, i understood the random word, mostly conjunctions and some verbs, but the rest of it was pure gunk and the word order had severe problems. to this day, i have no idea what “to study more well i want fine works in government anti organ baby since” means. if you know what this person meant to say, please let me know as i would love to find out. personally i think he was just drunk.
- at least 130 do not check their email frequently: now, if you were applying online for a job, and gave your email address as the contact method, you’d theoretically check the account for replies more frequently than, say, once a month only, right? WRONG. i’ve received emails late in the process from people i shortlisted at the beginning and called for interviews. needless to say they were rejected. of course, this does not include the 12% who do not know their email address: i’ve had to deal with my fair share of hotmil.com (i agree, a million is hot), yaho.com (sounds like a pimp’s website) and mailg.com (or its younger brother mgail.com, which i wouldn’t know how to pronounce). of course the best was this enterprising fellow who deciding his email address was a website: his email was www.[username].yahoo.com. and speaking of email addresses, i was severely annoyed by the fact that people use emails that were theoretically supposed to be for personal use as their job application emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and coolmanXXXXXXXXXXXXXX@hotmail.com (where the Xs represent his entire bloody mobile number) were probably the highlights.
but the absolute corker of it all, of course, was the fact that i had built a small test into the advertisement, and, at the absolute bottom of the ad, i placed some application instructions, basically asking the applicants not to apply through the website, but rather to email me directly.
guess how many out of the 261 actually followed the instructions or bothered to read what it said?
come on, guess!
okay i’ll tell you.
only 16 out of the 261 actually followed instructions and emailed me directly. the remaining ones were either too lazy to follow instructions, or simply did not read what the ad said.
therefore, given this cornucopia of entertainment and joy that arose out of the fact that people in this country cannot read, not to mention the constant calls on my phone with really stupid questions (“what is a recommendation letter?”, for example), you won’t think i’ve been hasty when i tell you that i ended up shortlisting only 11 out of the 261 applicants.
only thing is, now i wish i had shortlisted less.