They’re Hiring at the Department of Lip Service

Barry Maher’s 
Filling the Glass Newsletter
Speaking of Real World Tactics, Reality-Based Motivation
November, 2010    Vol. 10  Issue 10

Luckily I’m not looking for a job right now. But largely because of my web presence, I get unsolicited job interview requests fairly frequently. My favorite came by way of a phone call I got from the VP of Human Resources for a major division of a Fortune 100 company—on Easter Sunday!

She wanted me to fly across the country to interview for another VP position. She explained the opportunity, the exceptional salary and benefits package, and went on at some length about how interested they were in me specifically. And after all, she did call on Easter Sunday. Then I asked if she wanted her travel department to book the trip or if she’d rather I booked the flight and hotel and invoiced her.

“Oh no,” she said. “We don’t cover travel expenses.” She added, somewhat arrogantly I thought, “That’s an investment you’ll need to make if you want a chance at the job.”

“Actually no,” I explained in a friendly tone, “that’s an investment you’ll have to make if you want a chance at me.”

Ninety minutes later, she called back with an offer of a first class ticket and travel expenses, explaining she’d “cleared it with the powers that be.”

“I appreciate that,” I said. “But just to clarify a couple of points, when you called before you stressed how important it was for your executives to maintain a healthy work/life balance, isn’t that right?”

“That’s absolutely right,” she agreed.

“And you also emphasized how entrepreneurial your organization was, and how I’d have every bit of authority I needed to be successful?”

“Right again,” she said. “Across your full range of enterprise responsibilities. We pride ourselves on empowering all our people, particularly of course our senior executives.”

“Yet,” I said, keeping my tone as friendly as possible, “this is a company where calling people about work on Easter Sunday seems to be par for the course. And where a vice president can’t authorize travel expenses for a single trip without getting clearance?’

She was silent for a long moment. Then she actually said, “Hey, I just work here.”

        Fortunately, I thought, I don’t.

Interestingly enough, three months later she quit as well.

© Copyright 2010, 2013, Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates, Las Vegas, Nevada

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