American Life, Business

Top 10 Outrageous Comments from Managers Who No-Hire You

It’s hard to tell sometimes whether managers, after they no-hire you, are simply trying to be helpful and are doing so cluelessly, or they’re on a power trip and just can’t resist, or both.

I had this post in the works before I ever published Top 10 Ridiculous Recession Job “Offers,” but the unbelievable replies from that post helped me fill in the rest of this top 10. You’ll see why I had trouble ranking them.

Don’t worry! I will be publishing a follow-up with even MORE ridiculous recession job “offers,” but you’ve sent me so many incredible (and not in a good way) details that it’s going to take me a little longer to put something together.

Until then, here are the Top 10 Outrageous Comments from Managers Who No-Hire You, true stories of American job seekers between fall ’08, when the market tanked, and the present. As before, believe me, I’d give anything to name names!

#10 “You’d be better at my job than I am, so if I hired you, they’d give you my job and lay me off.” (I wonder if your employer knows that.)

#9 “Have you considered selling your house?” (You mean my house with the underwater mortgage? Or, the house I’m glad I never bought because I’d be losing it right now?)

#8 “You’ve been out of the workforce ‘so long,’ your market value at this point is zero.” (Does it matter that I’m an award-winner in my field, with a 6-figure salary history?)

#7 “We usually only interview people who have full-time jobs already. We made an exception in your case.” (Employment discrimination laws don’t apply to the unemployed.)

#6 “What line of work is your husband/wife/significant other in? Maybe that industry is more stable.” (Maybe your spouse can keep your family afloat with one income indefinitely.)

#5 “Are you single? Sure you couldn’t hook up with some rich guy? You’re pretty hot.” (Where do I even begin?)

#4 “I could do you a favor and give you a full-time unpaid internship, so at least you could get some experience.” (I have a graduate degree and 15 years of experience in the field, about twice as much as you.)

#3 “Two of the other people we considered for this job have Ph.D.’s. You’re lucky you even made it to the final round.” (The real reason I’m lucky is that I won’t be working for you!)

#2 “You really should consider long-term volunteer work.” (Nice.)

…and, from Boston, Massachusetts, the #1 outrageous comment from a manager who no-hires you… “Maybe you could try work options in your home country.” (This IS my home country. Although I may look “foreign” to you, my great-great-grandparents immigrated – legally, in case you’re wondering − in 1910. Too bad your family came over on the Mayflower and hasn’t learned anything since!)


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