August 8th, 2005

I hate job hunting.

So a few weeks ago I interviewed at ARL (a lab associated with the university of texas). Got a call back for a second interview, told I was the leading candidate, everybody I talked to seemed happy with me, they contacted my references, it seemed like a really nice environment, the works. Could not have been a more positive interview process without offering me a job on the spot.

The second interview was on a wednesday or thursday, and that friday (evening) I get an email saying the position had been canceled. (Huh?) It seemed to be an automated email (definitely a form letter), and I had to fish it out of my spam filter because I wasn't actually listed as a recipient on the thing (it was to and from the same UT address). I couldn't figure out if it meant they'd yanked it from the UT website because they want to hire me, or because it expired, or because they hired somebody else (unlikely if they _tell_ me I'm the leading candidate)...?

So I call them on monday and the secretary I reach says don't worry about the email, they'll be contacting me by postal mail. (She assures me I'd made it far enough in the process that I'd receive notification even if they decided not to hire me.) Alright, so I give it another week: no mail. Today is again monday, I call back, whichever secretary I get this time says the person I need to speak to is in a meeting, I leave my number, and get a call back with "didn't you get the email? The position was cancelled."

So technicaly, I got an interview and a callback for a position they decided not to hire anybody at all for. Right. Not that I mind making social calls, but I'm now fairly deeply confused as to what that whole business was about at this point. (Was I interviewed by soembody who didn't have hiring authority? Did the job never exist in the first place? Is this a "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, but moves to stop it as soon as it finds out" kind of thing? Are they just so pathologically disorganized (or indecisive) that the interview process comes _before_ the decision to staff up? Is the whole mess just a bunch of UT psychology graduate students running some kind of study on the psychological effects of the interview process?)

Either way, I'm never bothering to interview for any future "jobs" at that place again, assuming there even are any. (There's a difference between entering a contest and having someone else win first place, and entering a contest and having the contest organizers announce "Nah, there's no prize and we're not even going to pick a winner, we were just fooling with ya". The whole thing leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it?)

So anyway, now I have to start seriously job hunting. (This wasn't really job hunting. This was more an excuse not to job hunt, really. This was just me following up on a lead my friend Stu heard about and forwarded to me, and I suppose it was the thought that counts there.)


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