Fatima's Blog

Archive for the ‘job interviews’ Category

I don’t know what to write about: my summer job interview when I was in college, my first job out of college, or my “real” job. Perhaps I’ll describe them all.

After my first year of college, I needed a job and not cleaning houses which was what I did when I was in high school. I needed I real job. My mother’s friend’s brother was the human resources (personnel they called it then) director at the Utica Mutual Insurance Company. They hired a few college students to work each year in their mail center. My mother made arrangements for me to get an interview with this gentleman in the hopes that I could work there. They paid minimum wage but that was more than I made cleaning houses.

I dressed in my best outfit and wen for the interview. There was no test or anything; it was just a pleasant talk with the head of personnel about why I wanted to work their and could I actually talk and act normally. I must have done well, because even though the gentleman said that they only took on a few “girls,” I got the job. The job was incredibly boring but I met nice girls my age and some I even knew from school. We received mail from agents and clients and then wrote out cards to have those files pulled and given to the main agents. Some of the files were not in the file center so that meant we had to search the entire office (it was huge) for the file which had to be on someone’s desk. So when the cards came back without a file, we then set out to locate the file. we had to go to every desk to find the file and then attack the mail with a paper ribbon to let the agent know there was new mail. We had a typed list of the files we we looking for and there was usually a prize for the worker who found the most files. There were about 15 of us “girls” who looked for the files after we had spent the morning writing out the file requests. One girl sat with the mail and we went from section to section looking for the files. It was incredibly boring but it paid relatively well. I kept this same job from my freshman year in university through my junior year. Then I graduated and got married.

Then came my second job interview as a caseworker at the Albany County Department of Social Services. My moth-n-law was good friends with two women who were very influential at the agency and my mother-in-law told them I needed a job in my field (sociology) and not just a plain old caseworker job, but one in children and family services. It was a requirement that the caseworkers have a car so they could transport children and visit their clients (the children) in foster homes. I swore up and down that I had a car which really wasn’t true since my husband was not going to take the bus that went right by our house to go to teach at the high school. He told me I could use the car if I needed it, but the problem was that you never knew is you were going to need it. You might come in one day to find out that a foster family had tossed a child out and you had to move that child to another home that day. So I would have to take a bus to the high school and pick up the car and be back there to pick up my husband at the end of the school day. It was very stressful to never know if I was going to have to play the “get the car” game or not. But I stuck it out for 18 months until I got my “real” job.

I had taken a test when I was a senior in university for a position of Educational Testing Aide, an entry level state job. In New York State, the agency had to select one of the top three people on the list to hire. They reached my number (they were hiring very few workers even though I did well) and finally reached my number. I met the other requirements (I had education credits) and I was well-spoken and interested in the work, which was constructing State examinations for high school students called Regents exams. I did well in the math section of the test and in the history section, so I was interviewed for the position of aide in math and history tests. The great part about this job was that after 3 years as an aide, you received a huge promotion to assistant automatically. The only trouble with the job was that you had to travel almost every month to help give licensing examinations for another bureau. My husband was not thrilled with that but it was a great paying job (more than he made) and led to better things. So after a day long interview with all sorts of people including the bureau chief, supervisors, the other bureau chief (who was a real fruitcake), and co-workers, I got the job. I was there 2 1/2 years and then had my baby, my only child. When I came back from maternity leave, I was promoted to assistant.

I was making good money, but my husband never thought of my job as important. His job was always more important. Here’s an example. When my daughter was about 18 months old, she took my husband’s car keys (he left them on a table) and they disappeared. He couldn’t drive his car to school. So he pushed his car out of our driveway into the middle of the street and took the other car to school (I took the bus to work). He called me and told me to get home and find those keys and get that car out of the middle of the street. Of course, I found the keys (Sabrina had “used” them to start her doll carriage) and moved the car. But I had to take the bus back and forth from work and lose a half day of work. He thought because his father could take time off without any trouble so could I. It was good that I had this good job because when we divorced when Sabrina was 2 years old, I could support both of us.

So there are my stories of my job interviews and my various jobs. I hope you enjoyed them.

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