I really make no sense.

I even confuse myself sometimes. Today being one of those times, it has given me a perfect opportunity to blog about my warped mind.

I was interviewing a candidate for a project manager position at my company today. Normally I would refrain from speaking of work, but I can’t help it this time. This time, daytime Kathy and nighttime Kathy have crossed paths (a bit…). You see, this candidate seemed nice and all. Nothing too particularly special about her. Kinda beige perhaps. What did stand out though was a particularly odd answer to one of my questions. “So why did you leave your last position (only 1 month prior to today)?” Her answer – while rather honest – was far more revealing of her working behavior.

“I left because I had a baby a year ago and they needed me to work too many hours. My baby is a huge part of my life and I need to work somewhere that understands that”

Hmm…

I do not like this answer at all. I do not like it because she might as well have said “I totally don’t want to work but I have to. So if I can convince you to hire me, I will give you less then 20% effort for 110% pay. I will have excuses valid reasons for needing to leave every other day to tend to my baby and any extra effort needed in busy times will not come from me. I am a Mom first.”

I do not want to hire this person.

You can say it. Go on. I’m a sexist, discriminatory, bitch. I am the reason working moms struggle so much harder to be treated fairly. And lastly, I don’t deserve to be a mom with that kind of attitude. Have we settled that now? Alright….moving on….

In my defense, it is not the fact that she wants to put being a mom above her career. I absolutely understand and respect that. I hope that I, too, can find a reasonable balance someday. Contrary to what a lot of you might think, its not even because she’s one of those lucky bitches that gets to procreate. Nope. The reason I am not impressed with her professionalism lies much deeper within her answer then the surface.

Quitting your job, a job you worked at for well over 2 years, because it “suddenly” needed too much of your time is odd, yes. But quoting that as your reason for leaving while sitting face to face with your next potential employer is a whole new level of odd. Honesty really has no place in an interview am I right people? It doesn’t take a genius to know that impressing hiring managers with wild, outlandish, even stupid answers to questions about ones previous employment will get you a lot further then the truth – which is that you just want a job. You just need a paycheck and your last job sucked.

So why do I feel so guilty about this? I feel like I am going against everything I want to believe in and that rather then be supportive of the working mom – a mom that i will BE someday – I am actually part of the problem. I’m no different then those judgemental stay at home moms that feel self riotous about their choices. Or the stubborn working moms that hate the stay at home ones. Or even the corporate executives that discriminate against moms saying they lack dedication and are “too emotional”. I. Am. All. Three. Of. These. Things. I basically suck. I want it all and if I can’t eat that damn cake too, I’ll scream!

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9 Responses to “I really make no sense.”


  1. 1 geohde October 11, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Well, for what it’s worth, I’m stupidly honest in interviews.

    I told an amployer (who would have been retarded not to realise) that NO they weren’t my first choice and that I would only be working for them if I didn’t get my first.

    I couldn’t be bothered making something up.

    For the record, fortunately for me, I got my first choice.

    J

  2. 2 geohde October 11, 2007 at 3:26 am

    employer.

    And the A key isn’t anywhere NEAR the e.

    I blame it on the wine….

    J

  3. 3 Tracy October 11, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Honesty is a bitch sometimes…

    But wouldn’t I *love* to be her?

  4. 4 Eviena October 11, 2007 at 7:46 am

    (((HUGS))) Some women need to work because their DH is not bringing home enough bacon, so to speak. They probably need a dual-income thing.

    If given a choice, I don’t think any moms would want to work, unless she is a workaholic and doesn’t like taking care of kids??? Hmmm, I don’t know. I have no idea how people juggle work and family.

    I like your weblog, can I put a link to it? 🙂

  5. 5 Hilary October 11, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    I think you are so right Kathy. Just reading about your interviewee’s answer made me dislike her as a person. Probably mostly because I’m jealous that she has a kid, but also because it was truly an inappropriate answer. I think you should absolutely lie (or at least not be THAT honest) when faced with interview questions like that. It sounds like work is not a priority to her and she is inexperienced at the whole interview thing.

    I was asked that same question when being interviewed for my current job. My answer was that “it wasn’t a good fit for me”. (The truth was I didn’t get along with my boss AT ALL.)

  6. 6 Deliciously Naughty October 11, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t know.

    On one hand, when I have a baby, it is a nonnegotiable that my work place understand that my kids are a priority. I’m one of those women whose husband’s make a decent salary, and we could potentially live on just it (we currently are) but the lifestyle cut backs have really sucked, and at this second we aren’t saving anything beyond retirement.

    The truth is that in general I need to work so that we can afford to save up enough money to send our kids to college, and to have a better quality of life. I, personally, want my kids to see more of the world than I did–I didn’t ever get onto a plane until I was 20, and I will have to work to give our kids those advantages.

    The other truth (and this is where I get upset when I read what Eviena wrote) is that I like working. I don’t think this will make me less of a mom. Staying home gets boring, and as adorable as they are, I can tell you that 10 hours with my 4 year old niece is exahusting and not exactly the most intellectually stimulating experience on earth. I don’t think it’s fair to intimate that I’ll love my kids less or value them less than a mom who chooses to stay at home. It really pisses me off when people tell me I’ll have to give up everything to be a mom–yes, I will have to give up sleeping in (sleeping in general for the first year), spur of the moment travel, spur of the moment shopping, shopping sprees, and many many many many other things. However, just because I’m becoming a mom shouldn’t mean that I have to give up pieces of myself that are essential components of who I am and what makes me happy.

    If I had the choice to stay home, I still might volunteer like 10 hours a week to get out of the house, and have a piece of my identity that isn’t “wife” or “mom.” I think it’s good for the kids as well. My niece’s mom has been a SATHM for her (my niece’s) whole life. As a result, she is a very clingy, needy child. My mom worked, and at her age, I was very independent; a personality trait I really admire. Granted, some of that is who I was and who my niece is, but I think creating situations where the child is with a trusted caregiver, and learning to negotiate the wider world without a parent (although with an adult) present is a good thing. Just as I think it’s a good thing to get a break from your kids every little while.

    As for the hire thing, maybe it wasn’t the best answer, but it is true that a lot of firms ask new mothers to do additional work to basically create a situation where they want to quit, because they can’t be fired for being moms. I admire her for being upfront.

    However, I wasn’t there, and I would hope that there were other clues beyond that one statement that gave you the impression that she wasn’t a hard worker, or didn’t want to work. If so, you’re very much justified in your call. If not, I’d try to reasses carefully and attempt to be as unbiased as possible. And remember, if you don’t hire her, and she suspects it’s because she’s a mom, she would have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit, so I would tread very carefully.

  7. 7 A October 11, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    I think the last points are good ones. My mom didn’t work or spend any time away from me until I was old enough to stay at home by myself, at which point she started vounteering in small doses during the summertime. I had a huge complex about her being gone–I would be in a total panic that she was going to be in a car accident and die every time she left, and I would freak out and call her incessantly. The couple of times when she needed to put me in day care when I was younger so she could go to the doctor, run errands and such, I would have massive crying fits for hours.

    Not good! I assume I’d want to stay home for a while if I had a baby, but there is something to be said for slowly helping a child develop independence. We talked about this recently, and she said it wasn’t even worth it for her to try to make time for herself when I was growing up, ever, since she couldn’t enjoy it while knowing I was a mess. Balance is what it’s all about!

  8. 8 katarinajellybeana October 12, 2007 at 6:04 am

    I have done a lot of hiring in all my positions. I would nix her too. Not because of the kid, not because of her desire to be home, but because of her complete lack of saavy.

    She could have easily clued you in to the kid/need for flexibility without making it a demand on her part. It shows she doesn’t understand that there needs to be give and take on both sides to make such arrangements work. Her honesty, while refreshing in other contexts, puts it all out on the table. “This job is not and will not ever be my first priority, even if once in a while you need me to have it as my first proirity for a short time.” She’s not coming in and saying “Hey, my family is really important to me. I want this job, will work hard and think I’ll be great at it. I hope we can make it work.”

    You aren’t sexist or discriminatory or anything of the sort. She’s made it clear she won’t offer you what you need in an employee. There are other jobs out there that would be a better fit for her.

  9. 9 kittenroar5 October 14, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this very topic. A friend of mine at school is preggers and will be taking fmla in Feb. She wants the full 12 weeks, but is being pressured to cut it shorter. Fuck them all, I’d say.

    I do agree with katarinajellybeana, though. Complete lack of savvy is probably a clue to something bigger.


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