Computers can be cruel

Watching both my sons struggle to get fully employed has been painful for them….and me. The online application process is just out of control. There’s no personal interaction-the applicant tosses their resume into the pre-programmed decision making tree which is designed to scan for key words and employers are inundated with resumes which spit out a few “lucky” applicants chosen to continue to run the gauntlet of virtually begging for a position they are often over qualified for. Such is the current state of the economy and well, rejection is just part of the game.

Yesterday, I applied for a position at a large healthcare hospital system in Chicago… Advocate. I upload my resume and complete the tedious application because I know how it goes. I submit the application and almost immediately I get an email saying I need to take a “Patient Experience Profile” within 72 hours. I know how this works, their computer has scanned my application and determined that I meet the basic requirements. So, I open up the link they sent me and it says there’s no right or wrong answer just try to pick the “best” answer. I go through the 50-60 “questions” -some are 3 words like compassionate, determined and frugal (?) which of these describes you best and which least.  A bunch of other questions ask how many times you’ve had unexcused absences or how would your co-workers/supervisor describe you. It’s all really ambiguous and annoying but I muddle though.

So keeping in mind that they say there are no right or wrong answers- imagine my surprise when I finish and get the following message:

Thank you for completing Advocate’s Patient Experience Profile.

Candidates must receive a passing score in order to continue in the selection process. At this time, you will not move forward in the selection process for positions that have patient contact. You will be eligible to re-take this assessment in six months. Until then, you may apply for a position that does not require patient contact.

Clearly there are right and wrong answers??

I am really starting to understand what my sons have been putting up with. I obviously have  a very good job and this gives me some insulation from the harshness of this message but what about people who are desperately trying to get a foot in the door?

Today I got the same message in an email and here is my reply:

Dear Advocate Health Care Recruitment,
I have provided compassionate and professional care to all of my patients, received positive feedback from colleagues and outstanding performance evaluations from managers over the past 20 years.
I have never been so insulted and degraded in my whole career as to be told by a computer that I am incompetent for a position with patient contact.
I am truly shocked and speechless.
Regards, Tracy A
To think this all took place over the weekend without any human intervention whatsoever. I wouldn’t want to work at a place that treats people like that anyway…

NHS, you temptress

I had to get phone numbers for my NHS employers for my pending NYC job. When I was on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital website the job vacancy tab was calling me….

Yes, I clicked on it and found a posting for a Lead Nurse, Infection Prevention and Control, band 8b. I was previously a Band 6 and would have been demoted to Band 5.

I feel like a slut for checking out the job description, person specification and application. It doesn’t pay as much as my NYC job but I could easily live in my little 2 bed semi detached house on the salary range.

This evening I got an email from my potential lover:

Dear tracy,

Recently you started to apply for the following vacancy on NHS Jobs:

Application reference:      AR-119-644-967
Job reference:              304-004512
Job title:                  Lead Nurse Infection Prevention and Control
Organisation:               University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Hold me back

is this really a job?

i have to leave my house tomorrow morning at 6.30am to get to london for a meeting at 9am…just had a email that one woman can’t get there til 9.30…her job title???

Consultant in Creativity, Innovation & Improvement

you have got to be kidding me?!?  sounds like a kindergarden teacher….

after spending the last few weeks reading scores of studies about nurses, stress, bullying etc…i’ll stick with my job title: critical care nurse

this is better than cleaning SH*T!!

that’s my new motto…i love being a nurse, a real bedside nurse but some of the things we have to do are just plain yucky and disgusting…real gag inducing stuff!

yesterday i got an email “inviting” me to a meeting in london…my new bosses PA has since made travel arrangements for me to go from birmingham to london…on the train…first class!

 i’m sure the only reason it’s first class is because i will be traveling with my boss. when i have to go on my own i’ll probably be told to buy a bus ticket!

today i got this email related to the meeting

Dear All

The forthcoming Matching Michigan Core Group meeting will be taking place on the 17th of July from 13:30pm – 16:30pm at the Wellcome Centre Trust,  London, Lunch will be available from 12.30pm.

Please find attached the agenda and documents relating to matters under point 6 of the agenda, which will be discussed at the meeting. I have also attached minutes of the previous Core Group meeting held in March.

I would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance to the meeting. If you will like to attend the meeting, but cannot do so in person and wish to dial in, please coontact me.

those that know me probably know that i have never had a job that included meetings….let alone bi monthly meetings with lunch that required me to get there by a first class train ride~~~

like i said, this is better than cleaning SH^T!!!!

my gratitude and appreciation for this job can’t be overemphasized. i am increasingly feeling like all the waiting, all the hard work i have put into my career has finally been rewarded. i didn’t fall into this job by any stretch of the imagination…but i do deserve it…and that is sweet!!


the day after success

i was feeling a little stunned, wondering if i had imagined being told they would like to offer me the job…i worked last night and felt nervous about telling people but slowly i told a few people and this morning the nurse that did some of the questioning came up to me and congratulated me!! i asked her how she thought i did during the interview and she said i could have been a bit more in depth on some things but everyone does that. i hate to rattle on and realize i am completely on some other topic and didn’t even answer the question!!

i have also recieved at least four emails that make it very clear i am in…

Dear Peter, Annette, Gowri, Vivian and Pamela,

I am pleased to tell you that we appointed Tracy A*****i to the NPSA-MM research nurse post today.  Tracy has 14 years of critical care experience, ten of which were acquired in the USA where she trained, before coming to England to take up her current position as a staff nurse.  She would like to develop research capabilities.  She should be able to take up this appointment in one month.  I will be meeting with her soon to bring her up to speed with her role in the project, and involve her in completing the protocol.

i am soooo impressed that prof B has managed to spell both my first and last name correctly in all his emails!!!! i find that very professional.

i also was contacted by the bosses PA to set up an initial meeting, 26th june…

i can’t tell you how relxed and happy i am this afternoon…sitting in the garden, in the sun, watching the cats work on their mission to rid the world of butterflies….

james has started his job in chicago, matt is visiting…i am waiting for photos of them all together.

just a note: i am somewhat limited in my online content…mr a has switched to his computer because this is the football dry season and he was unable to top up his footie fix levels by playing football manager on mine. so i can’t download pics at the moment…but i will be fixing that soon.

mr a is probably happier than me that i got the job…he doesn’t have to listen to me complain anymore!!!!!


after all my job interview drama of the last year or so…or has it been longer?? i didn’t say too much about this but i put in an application for a research position…had my interview this morning and drum roll please, dddddddddddddddd~~~

i got it!!!

i have officially been offered a position as a research nurse on this project.  i’m a little scared now but really, really excited!! and the best part???

no nights!!! and no weekends!!!!

that’s it…that’s my big news~~~~

“The successful always has a number of projects planned, to which he looks forward. Anyone of them could change the course of his life overnight.” mark caine