I had to laugh the other night when I arrived home at my apartment. There was a message on my machine from a New York City employment agency, wanting me to call them back about a job.
Don’t even try it, agency!
Years ago, those places were so unscrupulous that they were the most reviled establishments in town. They would place totally bogus ads in the newspaper. You should have seen them – glowing descriptions of fantastic jobs in the entertainment industry that any college kid looking for their first opportunity would love to have: work on special projects, be involved with publicity and research, coordinate special events for a movie company’s headquarters, etc.
Know the saying about how whenever something looks too good to be true it probably is? Exactly!
Whenever I’d answer the ad, I’d always – always! – be told, “That job was filled this morning, but we have another one you’d be perfect for! It’s at an architectural firm.” Or a dentist’s office. Or the lumberjack’s union. Or the elevator repair shop.
I’m not easily intimidated and I’m not easily impressed, either. So I’d shoot back with, “How can I be perfect for this? I answered your ad for a movie company. I have a degree in Media. I want a job in public relations. Why would you think I’d want to work for some elevator repairmen?”
The agents, the same ones who initially sang praises about my resume, wouldn’t like me after that. Oh, no. They wanted scared, moronic, malleable little minions. The sooner they could push a candidate into some awful spot where they might have a chance of making a commission, the better. What the candidate needed was completely unimportant and irrelevant. What talents a job seeker could bring to a company didn’t really matter, either. Their whole rotten attitude seemed to be, ” Degree in Media? Talented in writing? Want to work in PR? Screw you – go type up memos for the lumberjacks or get lost!”
My battle stories about these people are legion. I recall the one with a mouthful of half-blackened teeth who screamed bloody murder at me, saying, “You have bills! You have to pay your bills! Take this interview!” I was living with my parents at the time and didn’t have any bills. Nice try, whack job! Now go fix your teeth!
Another one lied like a rug about what kind of company she was sending me on an interview for. When I complained she said, “Well, didn’t you want to work there for the decor of the place?” The decor? What decor? She claimed to be surprised by my erudite reply. It was, “Hell, no!”
One agent did get me a nice spot at Orion Pictures Corporation, which is now bankrupt and gone. If it wasn’t, I would have stayed there until retirement. However, the ad I answered was for a spot in PR which – surprise, surprise! – did not really exist, or rather, “It was filled this morning.” It was for a Legal Assistant in the Legal Department. I took it anyway to get a foot in the door, but it got caught there and went no further, since Orion was a failing company.
They are unethical as Hell, these agencies. Years later a lot of them got in trouble for pressuring people to take jobs that they didn’t want. I hadn’t realized at the time that that was illegal. Pity. I could have sued a few of them and might have wound up living off the proceeds even yet.
Meanwhile, an agent from the worst agency of them all – W-I-N-S-T-O-N, it calls itself, though I call it W-I-N-D-B-A-G – left the message at my house the other day. Oh, no! Oh, God! W-I-N-S-T-O-N! The worst of the worst! The craziest of the crazies! The top nut on the employment agencies’ collective fruit cake!
The last time I went there was the last time I set foot in any agent’s office anywhere. Why? Well, the agent I had to deal with was Miss New Age Flake of the Western World. She claimed I didn’t like my then-boss because I’d been “a Southern slave owner” in another life and a different century and had once OWNED that boss. It was, she informed me with her creepily wild eyes, my fault – and my “karma.”
I was a slave owner in a different century?
I’d once owned the boss?
It was my karma?
Where does anyone even come up with this kind of stuff, let alone think they can inform an applicant for a position who walks in the door in good faith that it’s “the truth”?
The agent in question then began yelling and screaming at me as a way of attempting to persuade me to take an interview that I did not want in yet another industry I had no desire to work for. That’s typical, but the screaming wasn’t. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, she got so crazy, and had such a psychotic look in her eye. Ethical, these agencies are not. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
Normally I would not mention the name of the agency in a blog post like this, but I feel strongly enough about the unprofessionalism and illegality of this one that I’m going on the record with it. Once again, the offensive place is called W-I-N-S-T-O-N.
I just Googled them, and guess what? While she’s not the agent who called me, the looney-tune agent is still there!
Their upper management and owners clearly don’t stop their agents from being beyond impossible to the jobseekers so they must approve of this kind of crap. Well, I don’t, and they won’t be placing me in a job and making any money off me any time soon, as a result, thank you just the same. The leadership of Windsor should be ashamed of itself and take corrective action to prevent their agents from continuing to behave like this – immediately. The blog category I’m choosing for this post is CORRUPTION.
If they don’t like hearing it – freedom of speech is legal, W-I-N-S-T-O-N! What you try to do to people isn’t. Call this post part of your “karma!”
Sorry, agencies, but I’m not available for target practice – aim at someone else!