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From the early 90’s, I wanted to be Elaine Benes of “Seinfeld”. She began her editorial career at her publishing company, after which she was filled with ridiculously floral depictions of fashion-like things like Urban Sombrero in the J. Peterman Catalog. I became a head.
I was on track in the early 2000s. I was climbing the ladder from a freelance writer to a cosmetology magazine editor. But then her husband and I decided to start a family. And I left it all because of the glitz and charm of getting up straight for 37 hours and becoming a human pacifier.
It’s been 16 years and I have two teenagers who don’t need me anymore, so I decided to look for a full-time remote job. I casually started perusing the online job board, writing my resume and cover letter, and putting myself there.My Mantra: The 16-year job gap is not It It’s a big deal. And anyway, age discrimination is illegal. fine.
I wasn’t fine.
There was a real cricket in my inbox.
Are you aiming too much? So why were companies like Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus looking for a remote copy editor, but not me? I’ve been writing and copying for years before my child was born. I still had crazy skills. Maybe they can seize me a chance?
Apparently, Ralph Lauren and I couldn’t agree with this because there was no reply from them. Two months have passed. I received some rejections, but most of the time I understood what it would be like to have a ghost. (I think that’s what kids are calling it now.)
But one brilliant day, the stars lined up in a row. A new job that I was perfect for appeared on one of the job board sites. A well-known Midwestern university was looking for a magazine editor. After pressing the “Apply” button, the preloaded resume was created in just a few minutes. To my complete shock and joy, a few hours later, I received a text message from the recruiter. This explains that I am qualified for the job and that HR is interested in interviewing me.
finally! My tenacity was rewarded!
The recruiter explained that the first information interview will be done via the chat messaging app. Remember, I haven’t had a job interview since 1999. At that time, I wore a very fashionable Kasper suit with semi-giant shoulder pads for all interviews. Since then, I have told myself that the times have changed. Was the company currently conducting interviews via chat? I guess? When I accepted the first interview, I sent back a text message and set the time.
That afternoon, the director of the personnel department contacted me. [Yeah, it was weird that everything was happening so fast, but (a) I had nothing better to do that day except school pickup, and (b) maybe that meant they were really, really excited about interviewing me.] My contacts introduced themselves in a chat and we jumped in immediately. She outlined her job responsibilities and started asking me questions. Are you a team player? How do you deal with difficult colleagues? What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I answered each question and was secretly pleased that I didn’t have to do it directly or beyond the zoom. I’m a writer, but I tend to lose my ability to speak sensual English in stressful situations. She apologized for conducting the interview via chat at some point, but she explained that this was her future path. Or something. Other than making food and driving the place, I didn’t really care because someone was really interested in me.
The interviewer answered my answer positively, saying that I was doing well and was perfect for that position. She told me how much the job paid (it was great) and then she asked me if I had any questions. There are several in the university, so I asked which publication to edit in particular. She wrote back, “If you are elected to this position, it will be communicated to you.”
strange. But she said I’m doing very well! I decided to ignore it.
She apologized for conducting the interview via chat at some point, but explained that this was the way forward. Or something. Other than making food and driving the place, I didn’t really care because someone was really interested in me.
Then she moved on to more housekeeping type questions: Am I interested in being paid weekly or biweekly? Direct deposit or via salary?
I answered each question again, thinking “OMG” as well as “strange”. I think they’re going to hire me! “
And her last question came. Which banking institution do you work with to ensure that it matches your school’s official payroll account?
You need to remember this before you judge me. I’m a 45-year-old housewife who screams at children for having the boldness to stir-fry vegetables for dinner. For almost 20 years, no one took me seriously as a professional. Sure, this question might have been a red flag, but my brain mellowed its bright red tint to a fairly pale pink, then threw a sparkle and shimmered all over. This was my big chance.
So I told her.
She told me to report to the chat at 9am the next day for the next step in the hiring process. I thanked her for her time, logged off, and made someone running in my kitchen.
Finally, someone wanted to hire me! What I wanted wasn’t a job like Elaine Benes in descriptive catalog writing, but it was something in the field of writing and felt like a win.
I have to admit, my gut told me something was wrong, but I ignored it. At least a few hours. Eventually, I logged back in to the job site and reread the position description. Immediately I noticed that it had been removed. There were 80 applications. This was strange. Other jobs on the site with hundreds of applicants have been active for weeks.
I searched for other recruiting jobs at the university on the job site. There were quite a few, but I had to apply for everything from the college career page. I applied directly from the post on the job board.
I started to panic a little.
I scanned the career page of the university. There was no mention of the work of the open editor.
I decided to call the university. For fun. Just to make sure I actually interviewed the HR manager. I was told to email them my concerns, which I did. I specifically named the interviewer who was legally the director of human resources and asked if I could confirm that this was the usual interview method.
When I was waiting for a reply by email, things went black in my head. fast. Chat interview? Do you offer virtual jobs on the same day? Without even talking to me directly? Was I expensive?
At the moment of nausea and panic, I realized I was convinced that I had been scammed.
Then, one hour later, it was confirmed in the form of an actual email from the actual university. No, they didn’t offer an editorial position and the HR manager was told they didn’t interview in chat. I thanked them for their prompt response and commented that they hoped to be able to actually interview them someday. And after I pressed send, they realized that they didn’t want to have anything to do with the fools who believed that chat interviews were standard practice.
To avoid overbreathing, I went back to the interview chat and focused on all the personal information I gave to these evil scum-sucking predators. They knew my name, the city I lived in, MY BANK. Perhaps my biggest weakness is that I sometimes made a little too much effort to the point where “fixing” something doesn’t always improve. , As they say, “Perfection is an enemy of goodness.” I said that I might want to choose a weakness that is less unpleasant mentally.
What the hell was wrong with me? Why were you so stupid? I was always making fun of fraudulent idiots on the phone. I thought I wouldn’t be so stupid as to be absorbed in such a thing. I have never mentioned buying an extended warranty for my car.
I called my husband and wept hysterically, fearing that this scary person might have run out of our bank account when we were talking. I was so embarrassed and embarrassed that I didn’t want to tell him what happened. He assured me that it wasn’t a big deal and that this male / female / demonic being couldn’t do anything with the sparse information I gave them. I didn’t understand.
I called our bank, and a great customer service representative agreed that this person didn’t have enough information to do any damage. I made a follow-up call to a personal information theft company that has been a member for free for one year. They also said that it was unlikely that personal information would be stolen at this point.
I think this scammer has been in the game for a long time. The plan was to return to chat the next morning, provide a job, and ask for bank account and Social Security number details.
I sent an email to the job board site explaining what happened and asked to notify 79 other applicants that this was a scam before it was too late. There is no reply.
What the hell was wrong with me? Why were you so stupid? I was always making fun of fraudulent idiots on the phone. I thought I wouldn’t be so stupid as to be absorbed in such a thing.
It’s been a few days since the “incident” I’ve always mentioned, but I still feel very stupid, embarrassed, deceived, and unable to find a job. I was scammed during the job hunting stage, but how can I succeed at the actual office?
I’m not on the road to becoming Elaine Benes. In fact, that’s not entirely true.I no J. Peterman himself is on his way to Elaine Benes in an episode where he finds her on the sidewalk in New York City and offers her a job in his catalog in the rain.Me morningBut in the episode Elaine Benes she interviewed for her dream job at the Viking Press, she pretended to be out of town, putting her in the plaza, and she was supposed to read. Ignore the manuscript and see it as a helpless confusion, and then blow away the job interview. She desperately tries to explain to the interviewer. My friend had fleas! My other friends couldn’t taste his peach! “
This is Elaine where I am.
Maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to upgrade to Elaine Benes. Elaine Benes is tasked with spending a full week choosing the perfect white tube socks for her stubborn employer, Mr. Pitt. Girls can dream.
This is definitely a reminder to job seekers, but I realized that the embarrassing truth about myself was revealed. I ignored my gut and continued this ridiculous interview because I wanted it. is important. success.
At this stage of my life, I’ve been at home with my kids for almost 20 years, so I’m under pressure to do more. Who is putting pressure on me? Especially for everyone, and at the same time, for everyone. Not only do we have great relationships with well-behaved children, but every time we see a laundry detergent or peanut butter commercial starring a woman killing at work, we feel pressured. Every time I talk to my mother who has decided to return to work, I feel pressured because the children respect me. Even if I “lean out”, can I really get everything? Even without nerve weakness? And even if I did the perfect job, do I finally feel I’m good enough?
i don’t know. But based on what happened, I seem a little anxious to feel more valuable than I admit, no matter how much it might cost me.
If you’ve learned anything from scams, it means you need to take more care of yourself, regardless of your employment status. Just as my self-esteem shouldn’t be based solely on my value as a mother, hell shouldn’t be based solely on the work I can get.
So listen to my advice: take good care of yourself as you are.
And don’t tell anyone where you put your bank for God. Good Lord.
Meredith Towbin writes five novels and one memoir. All six of her books live together on her laptop, and she dreams of being pulled out of ambiguity by a loving literary agent or publisher. One of her essays ranked in the top 10 of the 2021 Montana Humor Awards (determined by Jimmy Kimmel). When she wasn’t writing, Meredith was baking and knitting, and her whole family had a hard time finding a meal to eat for dinner without complaining.
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This article was originally HuffPost It has been updated.