Corporate Dumb

Things I enjoyed about living in Mexico were many. Being self employed was top of the list. No one to blame for failures but myself. Not that there were too many failures. No one to reap the rewards of success but myself. And none of the corporate nonsense that infests large companies up and down the country like a ravenous cancer.

There are advantages to having corporations in our world. The ability to scale being one. Corporations don’t have to be dumb. And yet, to a sadly increasing degree, they seem to be hell bent on being dumb. Dumb and dumber, no Jim Carey required. Political infighting, bureaucracy and waste are rampant.

One of the joys of having a job is that I can poke a thumb in the eye of potential employers who show their corporate hand straight away – if they’ve holding a joker out instead of an ace, then I can choose not to play their game. I’ve applied for a couple of jobs where the HR dept have shown a full hand of jokers from the get go. Normally I ignore them. Sometimes I bother to reply. I’m wasting my time, I know.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your response regards my application for the position of Deputy Manager. However, I live in Ringwood, Hampshire and had applied for a job in Ferndown, which is just a couple of miles away. I have given your invitation due consideration, and have decided to decline the opportunity for an interview.  I did at first mull the possibility of requesting a more local interview, as opposed to the appointment you have suggested which would require taking two days off of work and booking a hotel for the night. I came to the conclusion that any company that thinks a first, rather tentative, group interview should be scheduled such a distance from the prospective candidates host store can only be mired in a tangled web of corporate self-importance, bureaucracy and waste. That’s not an environment I would feel either comfortable or happy working in.
I apologise for my barely concealed frustration, but I am tired of corporate inefficiency and senseless protocol. I’ve been there and done that. If T-Shirts were handed out for each example, I’d have an overflowing wardrobe. I will continue my search, perhaps in vain, for a retail management appointment elsewhere. This is unfortunate, for us both. On the one hand, I would relish the opportunity to work for a national chain with the potential of ****. I visit the Ferndown store regularly, and can see both the shortcomings and potential. On every visit. Nothing changes. The shortcomings remain unresolved, the potential remains unfulfilled. On the other hand (and again I ask forgiveness for what may appear to be arrogance, but after a couple of decades in the retail industry I feel qualified to comment on my own abilities) I am confident that I would be able to walk into any Lidl store and be amongst the top 10% of performers within 12 months, earning **** money.
For the record, a more suitable recruitment process would first involve a telephone interview, followed by an interview at the host store by the manager and/or Area Manager. Three hour candidate assessment mornings held at an HQ should be reserved for the most senior positions, and only for the final selection process. I am sure you will successfully recruit personnel for the vacant positions. Whether or not you recruit the most successful personnel for the positions is debatable, however.
Kind regards,
PS. If it is any consolation, your invitation doesn’t come close to the ludicrous appointment made for me by the **-********* to attend an interview in Edinburgh, earlier this year. Which, needless to say, I also declined. 

8 thoughts on “Corporate Dumb

  1. tancho says:

    I often wonder in amazement of how these corporations can make such enormous sums of money, based on their inept management models. If I had run my business the same way, I may have endured 6 to 9 months at the most before my funds vanished. Seeing the inefficiencies and the lack of communications of some of these huge corporations that I had dealt with, made me wonder exactly how the books are cooked to show any profits at all?
    Worse yet, finding anyone that can actually perform that change required to make them more efficient and operational with a smidgeon on common sense is impossible because of the inbred bureaucracy.
    I am sure they will have a perfectly reasonable but foolish reason for their decisions……in their minds.


    • I suspect that one of the reasons they survive, even profit, despite their inept management is, ironically, one of the plus points I gave – scale. When you screw things up on a grand scale, you can bet a high enough percentage of customers will just accept it, piling up the profits, which allow them to drown the little guy.

      I was pondering this today. I had a positive experience with a corporation. I made a call, it was answered (in English, to boot!) and my query resolved. I marvelled at the efficiency. It was such a refreshing change.

      That made me a little sad. I’m trying to think exactly what moment in time was it that doing something very basic – correctly – became a significant and unusual achievement.


    • Wanna place a bet as to whether I’ll get a reply? Or whether someone will read it and have a moment of enlightenment, and realise ‘Holy smoke, he’s right! We do have a dumb as *&%$ recruitment process!’?

      I’ll offer you odds. Long odds. Go on, take a punt!


      • My guess is that they will get you on a no-fly list somehow, lol.

        I had a strange interview experience with a company years ago. It was a position managing a staff of limited-English people (Spanish speakers) for a small branch of a franchise. They could never make a decision on hiring me. I had two interviews, then a tour of the facility, then another interview. They would wait a week and a half, then some other doofus from the company would call and want to interview me, then a week later, yet another one. The job just wasn’t that serious to go through so much. After I’d had my fill, they called and wanted to interview again. I said “sure”, then didn’t show up for it. They called and threatened to not give me a job that had never been offered. I gave them the verbal “up yours”.

        They forgot about all that and called again three months later and wanted me to come for an interview. I said “sure”, and stood them up again. They called…and you know the rest.

        The next year I saw their facility vacant. 🙂


        • Would you believe, I just today got a message in my inbox from an agency about a job I applied for. A job I applied for last March. They wrote to tell me I haven’t been selected for the job.

          After I had applied for (and spoken to the employment agency rep) about the job, I just went and applied at the firm directly. They’d let the company name slip. So I have today been told by the agency that I have been unsuccessful in my application for a job which I started about eight months ago. And have been at ever since, doing a perfectly good job for them.

          Idiots. They need shooting. They’re breathing in too much good air that could be better used by others.

          I’ve never had any faith in agencies thought. They are the worst of the worst.


  2. Kim G says:

    This is hysterical. But you forgot to wish them luck in their future endeavours at the end of the letter.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we haven’t gotten a new job in so long that we’re not sure we’d even know how to begin.


    • I would suggest, amigo, that you simply keep your current job until you are in the enviable position to not need another one. The job hunting experience, whether ye be a beginner or veteran, is an experience that is overrated.


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