Friday, March 28, 2008


I’m a dumb ass.

At least that’s what the University of Chicago’s HR automated program says.

When I went to register for the University’s internal temporary admin program, I was told that I didn’t meet the basic qualifications.

Oh. My. God.

Per the University’s HR website, basically qualified is defined as possessing the knowledge, skills, education and experience listed at required on the job posting.

This is the job posting:

High school diploma or GED required; Bachelor's degree preferred; advanced degree preferred; previous secretarial experience required; ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing required; meticulous attention to detail required; ability to multi-task required; ability to work with confidential information discreetly required; ability to work calmly and quickly in a fast paced environment required; ability to work under pressure with frequent interruptions required; experience with Word and Excel required; experience with Access and PowerPoint preferred.

Now I wonder what about my application said “loser.”

I graduated high school---college even.

I’m not quite sure if a blog qualifies as being to effectively communicate but people seem to be able to understand what I write. I also happen to also speak the “King’s English.”

Attention to detail? Multi-task? Discretion? The ability to work calmly and quickly in a fast paced environment? Work under pressure with frequent interruptions?

Not only does that define my entire adult working life but did I mention I’m witnessing in Hyde Park? Hell, if keeping a tables of diverse ages, races, socio-economic classes happy doesn’t provide a good example of those requirements, I don’t know what does.

Note: Waitressing is not as easy as it looks.

Experience with MS Word and Excel----check and check.

The only thing that I can think of that may have dinged me is previous secretarial experience required.

While I’ve been an admin before it isn’t on my resume as it was in the early ‘90’s.

I think I’m going to pay a personal visit to the HR next week. Perhaps if they get a look at me I’ll be deemed worthy.

Plus I gotta know what disqualified me via the automated program.

Kindly excuse me. I have to open the restaurant for the lunch rush in a few hours.

That is if I can get my limited abilities in check so I can schlep to work without getting lost.



ChiKat said...

I was turned down by UC, too. I'm convinced they don't actually have a temp program and instead just leave the posting up there to look inviting to the community.

FYI, as someone who has complained about the Woodlawn food desert, I thought you might be interested in this:

"Dear Friend,

The Experimental Station cordially invites you to a fundraising benefit for the 61ST STREET FARMERS MARKET that will take place at the Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue, on Friday, April 4, from 5-8pm.

The 61st Street Farmers Market project, undertaken by the Experimental Station with the assistance of committees of volunteers from the surrounding community, is intended to bring sustainably grown fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products, and other items to the Woodlawn neighborhood in which we are located. Woodlawn has been identified as one of Chicago's "food deserts." The 61st Street Farmers Market seeks to provide an 'oasis' in that desert. It is an effort by members of the community to take control of our food destiny and to create food resources for ourselves. One of the features of the market will be an Electronic Benefits Transfer system that will allow people on foodstamps, WIC, and the Farmers Market Senior Nutrition Program to be able to purchase foods at the market.

The 61st Street Farmers Market will take place on Saturday mornings, from 9am-2pm, and will aim to draw market-goers from Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Kenwood, and South Shore. The market is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 17, and will be located on 61st Street, between Dorchester and Blackstone Avenues.

For more information, go to"

Brendan said...

This is no joke. I work for a job agency in Evanston and was lucky enough, upon starting at the org last spring, to be assigned the weekly task of sorting through all of the new craigslist, ccjobnet, and job postings for the week each Monday. It's amazing to see how high the expectations are for some of these employers. I've seen restaurants asking for applications to a hostess position with bachelors' degrees, basic "entry-level" admin jobs requiring five years of experience, and too many cashier positions that "required" a high school diploma or GED.

Some employers really have their heads up their asses...

bornatreese said...

The right words have to show up on your resume to not be screened out by the automated screener. You have go far enough back into your job history to include those words.

Assuming the temp program actually exists.

chicago pop said...

I applied for a job as a U of C staffer once. I should mention that I'm a graduate of the College and have all that other stuff that they prefer, but my app got kicked back. One of the deal-breakers was that you had to have some knowledge of whatever the hell internal software they use for that particular job, that you would only get if you had had that particular job.

Makes loads of sense, right? Way to screen out all but 4 other people in the country, 3 of whom don't live in Chicago. And if they only knew how many of their employees kill time by reading blogs at work like this one and another one I' won't mention...

doh! wasn't supposed to say that...

eternal footman said...

I'm glad I found this. I work at the U of C but my husband, who has applied numerous times, has been turned down AND has not even been called to interview for jobs he qualifies for. And this is with my help AND using my name as a reference.

To say it is frustrating is an understatement.