Thursday, June 22, 2006

This Blog Is Becoming Fax Only. Please Fax The Number Where you Want The Faxes Sent To

Since I received my work permit last month, I’ve been frantically looking for a job…and frankly, it sucks.

I got a letter yesterday from one of the places I applied at telling me that they’d received my application, and although they didn’t feel I was the best candidate for the job this time around, they wanted to assure me that they’d reviewed my application very carefully.

Well thanks! The fact you put so much thought and effort into finding me not good enough really makes me feel better.

I mean, come on! Instead of just “Sorry, you where unsuccessful.” It’s “We got a crack team of application reviewers on the case, they went through your application with a fine-toothed comb, and decided you’re crap!”

Not just they think I’m not right for the job, they’re certain of it.

Wow, thanks for destroying my sense of self-worth fellas! Nice to know those 5 years of further education really paid off!

It’s annoying, because up to now I very rarely didn’t get an interview for a job I applied for, and I have never interviewed for a job and not gotten it.

I also want to know why many employers make it as difficult as possible for you to actually apply. It’s like they try to make just getting in contact the first test:

Please submit all applications on fresh papyrus, written in Swahili, in a virgin albino stoat’s blood. Applications will only be accepted if they are hand delivered by a band of highly-trained, nymphomaniac valkyries…when the moon is in the sixth house, not the third, repeat not the third. People with butts for eyes who poop to see given priority.

Ok, I admit that I’m exaggerating a little, but up to now, applying for a job went one of three ways.

  1. Walk into a business cold and ask to see the manager.

  2. Call them up and request an application form.

  3. Send a resume by email or through the post and wait for a reply.

Now the standard steps are: Email your resume. Get a phone call that directs you to a website. Find the website. Navigate through the most user-unfriendly and clunky website on the face of the earth. Download a non-fillable PDF file of a job application form that asks for exactly the same information that’s on your resume. Print it out. Fill it in. Send it off. Get a letter back assuring you that while you were not selected this time, they where very careful in ascertaining your uselessness.

However, the worst offenders are fax-only applications.

You see, on job posting websites, there are a few jobs that simply have an ‘apply now’ button. You click it, attach your resume, and you’re done.

So, when this is possible, why do a shit-load of businesses only supply a fax number as their contact information?

Seriously, how many homes in this day and age, have a fax machine?

Fax machines are simply an outdated technology. They’re old. They’re slow, they’re crap! They’re email’s granddad (with Alzheimer’s). Faxes are to email what my AMD 64 is to a Sinclair ZX-81.

Why? I mean, My God, for all that is pure and decent, why?!?

Now I know a lot of businesses have fax machines because they need to receive a lot of signed paperwork quickly. I understand that as slow as regular mail is, faxing is faster. So for inter-business communication…fair enough. But a job application?

For example, a business could set up an email address and ask all applicants to email their resumes to it. Then someone simply has to sit in front of the computer, has every resume in alphabetical order, and can review them. If an applicant’s resume doesn’t get through, it gets bounced back so he can send another one. When they’re assigning interviews, write two emails, one asking them to come in for an interview, another telling them that you’ve very carefully decided they’re about as much use as a horny dog at a Miss Lovely-legs competition…two clicks, and everyone’s informed.

Instead they choose to use the fax, so they get a stack of paper, mixed in with all the other faxes. Some didn’t get through, and neither side will ever know. Then someone has to spend a few hours sorting manually through them…not forgetting that most people simply don’t have access to a fax machine!

You can probably guess where I’m going with this.

Yesterday, I found a job that I was qualified for, could do and was close enough for me to actually get to.

You guessed it, fax only.

I remembered receiving an email though one of the job-post websites offering to give me 2 free faxes that I can send over the internet, to try out their service. Stupidly, I tried it.

Of course, ten minutes later I discover that ‘free’ means ‘send us lots of money, sign a contract which forces you to subscribe to our service for at least a year, and then we’ll let you send your first two faxes free!’

Then something stirred in the deep dark recesses of my mind. Couldn’t you send a fax through your dial-up modem with a windows app?

I found and installed the app, then tried to plug the phone line into my modem.

Guess what? A 4 foot phone cord won’t stretch about 12 feet across the room.

In the end, I had a sort of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab set up where I had the phoneline, phone and answering machine doing a sort of freak outdated-technology relay across my living room. Surprisingly, it worked and I got a dial tone.

I wrote my cover letter, pasted my resume and tried to send it.

Then I heard:

beeeep beeeeep boooop! You do not need to include the prefix one or zero to reach this number. Please hang up and try again. Beeeep beeeeeep booop! You do not need…”

What the hell?!?!? I know I don’t need to include the number one, but winfax puts it in automatically, and you obviously know where I want my call to go, so why don’t you just connect it?

I mean, is it just me, or is this the equivalent of me sending a letter to someone in the same town as me, but putting ‘United States of America’ under the zipcode…then getting the letter back with a note that says “You don’t need to write USA, we know that’s where you want it to go…so send it again in an envelope without USA on it.”


Of course, I try to send it again, this time without the ‘dialing rules’ that automatically but the ‘1’ prefix…only this time Windows ‘helpfully’ recognizes the number and puts the prefix in anyway.

So I create a whole new ‘address’, under a different name, with the phone number.

Guess what?

“This number already exists in your address book.”


Anyway, in the end, I managed to get the thing sent. Of course, unlike email, I have no idea if it actually arrived, maybe the fax machine was out of paper, maybe it got lost, maybe it didn’t go through properly.

For the amount of time it took me to send off this application, I might as well have just walked and delivered it by hand…but I can imagine the response I’d get:

“Sorry, we’re only accepting resumes by fax.”


1 comment:

MC Etcher said...

Damn, I need a PEPSI! I love PEPSI! PEPSI is great!

Faxed applications are stupid. And they weed out all but the most determined applicants.