Tuesday, January 04, 2005

No long-term goals

I had yet another interview the other day for an administrative assistant position at St. Mary's. Bad pay, but I would get out of the house. Both she and the HR woman asked why I would want to leave the life I've been living for a job at the hospital. DUH? Benefits, why do you think? Sure, I love sleeping late, working till the wee hours of the night, not paying bills, and finding my own independent health insurance. It's all about the benefits.

But the nurse in charge of surgical services asked me "What are your long-term goals?" Oh my God, I don't have any. I wanted to say, "To pay my mortgage?" Question mark? As in, isn't that good enough? What do you want me to say, "Get a job on the ground level making $10 an hour and then owning the hospital one day?" I was born a teacher, taught for 6 1/2 years and never thought about anything more than being a teacher. I wasn't ever going to OWN the school district one day. When you're not in business, I don't think you think about the future. You just go to work and do your job. When I was an editor at a medical publisher, I never had a long-term goal of being CEO of the company one day. Who thinks like that?

I accidentally opened my mouth at the end of the interview and told my interviewer that my colleagues at my publishing company thought I worked well with surgeons because I had worked with freshmen in high school. I had to backtrack and say, "I think they meant that people are people. We're all human." But I know she knew I meant that surgeons sometimes act like adolescents. When I told one of my former surgeons whose book I worked on years ago what this interview might lead to, he said, "Good, you could keep those surgeons in line." See, he knows of what he speaks. Oh well, if I don't get the job, I don't really want to work in an environment with no sense of humor.

It's a cold rainy day in St. Louis, unlike the 70 degree weather from last week. Now it is truly January. After a phone call from the husband, I think I have done him proud by cramming a towel into the 2x4 of the closet to soak up the leak we found. The little Eagle Scout that he is had to give me detailed instructions on how to fold up the towel, pack it in between the wood slats and take the wet towel to the dryer. I'm a good do-bee.


At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a comment from another person who hates the question "what are your long term goals". Prior to "interviewing" to keep my own job during restructuring the new ceo said "you know, taking a job just because it pays the bills or provides benefits just isn't a good idea." What the hell does she know?

Shame on any employer who can't recognize that a person can NEED a job and still be able to do it well. Idiots.

Good luck on the job!

Jules of

P.S. Look up Mazlows Hierarchy of Needs theory as it relates to employees and their motivation for seeking or maintaining employment.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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