Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh that? Hey, how about those Broncos? (Job searching Blues)

Two times in the past week, I have been asked during job interviews if I thought I could be deployed again anytime soon. Ughhh.

Never mind that this is a completely inappropriate, possibly illegal, question. In both cases the person asking had a feeling they shouldn't be asking, based on their sudden awkwardness, trying to make it sound like idle conversation. Clearly it wasn't and it could be a knock-out criteria when it comes to the positions I am interviewing for. It is the same reason I was told I would never make the step in a previous job, and should consider whether I want to focus on my career or the Guard.

So how do you answer this? I can't just refuse to answer or tell them indignantly that they can't ask such questions. I can't just turn around and sue - that would ruin my reputation in my field and I'd be done. So I did what any good "mess-kit repairman" would do and fudged the answer and deflected the conversation in another direction. Both interviews went well, but of course I walked away with a rotten feeling.

It seems to me this is emblematic of the broader attitude citizens in this country have taken for the war - thank you for your service, as long as it doesn't inconvenience me or affect my ability to buy more useless crap.

It's not that I don't understand - no one I knew had trouble after the Gulf War, but we are now in a protracted struggle (Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran?Hezbollah/Pakistan/Somalia/Yemen/Saudi Arabia/etc.) that we are only half fighting, and as a result will drag out for years. The impact on America's businesses and especially Emergency Services (many, many Reservists are police, firefighters, and EMTs) is really poorly understood. It is hard enough to lose any staff and have to protect their jobs in an uncertain economy, but senior positions are impossible. You have to replace the person immediately for the sake of the business. And then you just pray for the best upon return. I guess that is why you don't see many talented business people in the service. The only exception is Defense Contractors. The reliance on the Guard and Reserves has pushed many to the point of getting out. I have often thought we should either increase the size of the AD Army and Marines, or just call everyone up for the duration and fight to win, like in WWII. Constantly switching back and forth between civilian and military life is extremely taxing.

Either that or Guard Soldiers need to have a sugar momma/daddy and then just be Guard bums. I guess I missed that one!


dude said...

finding a sugar momma is great idea, if a guy is smart enough to keep her.

Sergeant Grumpy said...

Dude! Duuuude

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

this is one of my HOT f--king buttons. I'll post some crap about this.
the job I have now has a pretty smart chief. He knew that it might be illegal to ask that dumbass question "do you think you'll have to go again?"
but one of the butt heads on the interview board had to ask...
The chief told the dumbass he couldn't ask that question. I answered it anyway with:
"asking a question like that is like asking a cancer patient who's had surgery---will the cancer come back?"
I then told the dumbass it really depended on who got elected as president in 2008...
That shut him down for the rest of the interview.
There's not a question you can ask an interrogator that will rattle him or her. Be well armed and ready for dumbass civilain combat.