… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

What’s wrong with America these days?

Now, I’ve had some tough conversations with job candidates before. It’s never easy having to tell someone they failed a pre-employment test, or that you hired someone else, or even to rescind a job offer. It’s even worse when you get a call from a candidate desperate for a job because she has 3 young kids and has been unemployed for almost a year but in no way do you have anything that she is qualified to do. Gah. Those are the days it’s tough to do HR.

And then you get a call that makes you sad, frustrated, and exasperated, all at the same time. The other day I got a call from a candidate who stated he had stopped by the office to fill out an application and was told we only took applications online. But when he went online to apply, the ATS required an email address and because he didn’t have a computer at home (he had gone to the library), he didn’t want to get email. Sigh. Oh boy. I bet you can already see where this is going.

After explaining to him that an email was necessary because that was one of the main ways we communicated with candidates (application, offer letters, pre-employment testing) I did something I rarely do with candidates: I tried to give him advice. I explained that whether he had a computer at home or not, he was going to encounter this much more often and he really needed to get email because most things are done over computers these days.

And that’s when his frustration let loose and the diatribe started. Not at me mind you, but at the world that he didn’t understand anymore. About how “This is what is wrong with America, that you can’t just do things in person anymore like it should be, why can’t it be like the 60’s and 70’s, and why don’t people understand that not everyone can afford computers?”. Wow.

I feel for this guy, I really do. He probably spent the last 15/20+ years at the same company and has never needed or wanted to keep up with all this new technology. It probably intimidates him and makes him feel obsolete.

But at the same time it also frustrates me. Here is a guy who has kept himself willfully ignorant of the changes, who has purposely decided that he was not going to adapt and stay current because he longs for an overly mythologized past where things were “right” in America. If he is unprepared, he only has himself to blame.

In the end, he is the epitome of the struggle a lot of people are facing today. Technology has changed so many things about how we live our lives and we can’t just pretend everything has stayed the same. Even if you can’t afford the latest gadgets there are plenty of free resources, like the computers at the library, where you can learn and keep up to date. You don’t have to like change to be able to adapt to it. I suggest you do it by choice, before that choice is taken away from you.

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