A few months ago I sent out a flurry of applications for work-from-home, set-your-own-schedule types of jobs. One of them was doing background checks on people who are trying to get security clearance to work for the federal government. It didn’t look like something that would be super fulfilling as a life goal, but my mentality at the time was basically fuck it, apply anyway.
Forward to the end of January, yesterday specifically, and I get an email from these people, informing me that I’ve passed the first stage of screening (which apparently just involved reading my resume and cover letter) and need to take a couple of online tests as the next stage.
Tests? ‘Kay. Sure, why not, and I was stuck on the manuscript anyway so I needed something else to do. The tests turned out to be childishly easy once I figured out what was actually going on; the first was a Flash replica of a Windows desktop and they asked me to perform several basic tasks like “attach this to an email,” “delete this file,” “rename this file,” and things like that. They allotted fifteen minutes, I was done in five. You get to make one mistake on each question before you fail it, and I made a mistake on the very first question because I didn’t quite get what was going on (if they want you to open the Start menu to open a program, and you click anywhere other than the Start menu, that’s an error) but I was perfect from then on.
The second test was literally “write these three emails.” The first was explaining a policy to an employee, the second was giving directions to a place to a job seeker, and the third was informing the staff of a mandatory meeting. In each case they gave me a bunch of details they wanted me to include but otherwise let me write the message as I saw fit.
I resisted the urge to make the second email dude, here’s our address, if you can’t figure out a way to get directions in 2016 other than bothering me for them you don’t get the job.
I got another email late last night informing me that I had passed Stage Two and asking me to email them several times in the next few weeks where I would be available for a 30-minute phone interview. Included in that email was a description of the training process for the job.
Which is three months long, full-time, mostly out of town, and unpaid. And, furthermore, if I were to complete the three-month unpaid training and not spend a year in the job,(*) I would have to pay them for the training.
They will not be receiving a list of times to call.
The really sad thing is, that entire story legitimately represents the closest thing to good news on the job front I’ve gotten lately. Whee!
(*) And if you thought to yourself I bet they haven’t said how much the job pays, you get a cookie, because no, they didn’t.