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Questar Assessment Gives Me an F for eFfort

October 11, 2013

Everyone knows Google Maps is terrible at time estimates, so I knew to take the 1 hour, 14 minute commute time with a grain of salt.  Questar Assessment wanted to bring me in for an interview at nine, but I talked them into bumping it back until 10.  I left at 8, got breakfast at Whole Foods since there was no way to be presentable for the interview if I got breakfast at the shelter, but I had to wait a while to get a MetroNorth ticket, and once I got that, the train I needed was a 9:23 arrival.  It was hard enough getting on the 4 train.  I was literally not let on because the first one to pass was packed.  I had trouble enough getting on the second one.  Once when I was going to Brooklyn College, after three 4 trains went past and the 5 for which I had been waiting arrive appeared, I had to force myself on.  there was some grumbling, but when I said “I’m going to Flatbush. I let three trains go by,” people shut up about me and started talking about how much worse the trains are in China.  A woman mentioned riding with her neck cocked for the entire trip and how this wasn’t as bad.  So many of them were getting off at the next three stops that they knew I had more right to be on that particular train at that particular time than they did, since the 4 train, which is more frequent, was going their way but not mine.  In this case, I didn’t have anything of that nature, and waited for the next one.

At 9:57, the train was departing Scarsdale, and was in Hartsdale by 10 AM.  I called them to let them know I was running late, and they told me not to bother because they wouldn’t be able to see me, after I had already spent $13.25 to get there and would need a return trip.  I called some friends (including the one who told me not to pass up the opportunity over distance) who recommended that I show up anyway, especially since I need to have documentation that this was not a pleasure trip.  So I arrived at 11:05, from a $23 cab ride.  The woman rather rudely told me that there was no interview, but at least provided me with a business card that shows I was there.  I then wrote to the e-mail address on the business card that since they knew that I was coming from lower Manhattan, I found the treatment I received very rude, and mentioned the expense and that it took a third of a week’s unemployment insurance to cover the travel costs.  I figured it would even out if I got the job, since I’m going to have to move out of the shelter when I get a job, anyway.

This incident made me think of the scene in Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home, in which Scott says he came millions of miles (McCoy “correcting” him to “thousands of miles”)  and complaining about how he was being treated at the polymer plant.  After getting the business card, I sent an e-mail explaining my frustrations to them.  It was answered by the woman in charge of the editorial team who wondered why I had showed up after my interview was cancelled.  She said it was the last day for the position and and I got a standard line encouraging me to apply again if another relevant position becomes available.  

I am not blaming Questar for anything.  I’m not blaming the friend who recommended that I go ahead with the interview in spite of it being in Brewster.  It’s just a really crappy thing that happened at a point in my life where the overall theme seems to be crappy.  People who have jobs don’t realize how impersonal job searching is today.  That guy who calls himself Bruce Wayne on YouTube bragged that he has never applied for a desk job without getting an interview.  I responded that he is either a liar, very well connected/rich, or so old that he is out of touch with the way things current;y are in the job market, to which he had no further response.  It’s been more than a week, and I have seen no further trolling from him.

My general policy has been to go for interviews only that I can reach via Metrocard, either in the 5 boroughs, Westchester (Nassau if that applies), or on the PATH line.  I went out on a limb because it seemed like a really good job, but I have nothing to show for it but receipts and a business card.

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