Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Red Flag I Didn’t See

Boy oh boy, this was a red flag that I never saw or completely ignored. I was not a fresh-faced high school kid but a reasonably educated college student (okay, fairly reasonably).

I did have a small honest excuse for ignoring the red flag: it was a full-time position WITH benefits. While I had interviewed for other full-time jobs (with benefits), I never knew someone who worked at the company. In this case, I knew someone in management and I knew her daughter.

She knew the HR Director and she promised to put in a good word for me! Wow! I was dancing on cloud nine and ten! When trying to land a job, it isn’t always necessary to know someone at the company but it doesn’t hurt.

She was not only patient and wise but very motherly with a great sense of humor.

And she proceeded to tell me all about the company. Oh! The things she told me! It was the stuff that would make a college kid drool! You know the words: “good job,” “competitive wages,” “company believes in promoting from within,” “company is progressive,” “the company believes in education and has a strong training program,” “employees make decisions” and "employees are part of the decision-making process.”

Did I mention this company had a dental plan?

Well it wasn’t long before I was knocking on the company’s door saying, “Let me in!”

And by golly, I was called for an initial interview with the HR Director immediately after I submitted my application.

I was ready.

I went into the HR Director’s office and we spoke for a long time regarding myself, my education and the company.

The HR Director was awesome. She was like an older sister who didn’t mind if you borrowed her clothes on a Saturday night and then returned her clothes on Sunday all wrinkled. She was cool and she gave a realistic overview of the company and her experience.

During the interview, I marveled at her level-headedness and plain speech (corporate-lingo free). The job sounded too good to be true. She continued to speak at great length of her years at the company. And then she said that tiny little comment.

The tiny comment made my little mind go into overdrive. “Wait, what was that comment? She said something, something really small. What did she say?”

My facial expression must have said, “I didn’t quite catch that, could you say that again?” because she repeated her teeny-tiny comment.

“Moonlighting is a great way to make money.”

Moonlighting? Isn't that a television show? Oh yeah, Bruce Willis, that's right, it's all coming back to me now. Hee! Cute show. So, do you guys really have a dental plan?

If I played my cards right, I could meet Bruce Willis at work!