Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

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The Hotel Interview and many others (Written By Fable Fox)

There are two forum postings at I've caught interest in. They're on "the worst interview you ever had" and "outsourced game programmers" (sic).

Both postings talk about a lot of topics including but not limited to law, business, intelligence and many others. Instead of posting this story there, I'm better off to turn them into a collection of short stories for HUGI. It will stay longer on any person's hard disk this way.

The "outsourced game programmers" posting mentioned about being paid low wages, garment sweatshop, etc, etc. Then there's a person that mentioned that union is bad because they force a certain wage limit. Well, here is a nice story...

The Hotel Interview

Being able to speak and write in English, I applied for a job at a local hotel. At this time I worked at a car wash. The salary is RM 750 (RM 3.8 = USD 1.0. RM is the currency of Malaysia where I'm living). We're being provided with hostel (if I were to rent a room, it would cost me around RM 175). The hostel is always a short walking distance from the workplace, so I save on transportation too. To take minimum equation, it was like I saved RM 120 on transportation. So it's like getting RM 1045 per month (USD 275).

So I arrived at the hotel. That person (a woman) asked me a couple of question, and then she moved on to questions I thought unrelated to the job.

Q : Where are you staying right now?

A : At my brother-in-law's house at abc.

(Actually, I was planning to rent a room should I get a job, as my brother-in-law's house is a little bit crowded. But since I don't know where I will end up renting, I use my brother-in-law's home address to apply for job.)

Q : How do you come to work?

A : I hitchhike my brother-in-law's car. I take the bus on my way home.

(Actually, this depend on where I'll end up renting, I'll either have to take the bus or the train.)

Q: Your English is good. You get the job. The basic pay is RM 400, and a 'star point'. The value of the star point depends on business. Usually it's at 150.

A : So, it's around 550.

Q : Yes.

A : I'll think about it.

You see, 550 - (120 (transportation) + 175 (rent)) = 225.

Reality is, if I plan to have real food, it will cost me 390 per month. The question is, why is she giving me a salary something like 1/2 than my salary working at a carwash, when working at a hotel supposed to be better than working at a carwash?

Simple. She thought that I doesn't need to pay rent or worry about food, since I'll be staying at my brother in law house. As I hitchhike my brother in law car on going to work, I can save on transportation too.

Since working at carwash allows me to save (750 - 390) = 360, while working at a hotel I can't even make ends meet - I keep on working at the carwash.

I have had a lot of interviews, but this has been one of the worst. But seriously, there should be a minimum wage law, so people don't have to live in card box boxes.

Sex sells

If you think the story I've just told is the worst thing you could imagine, let me prove you wrong:

I censored the race, not the gender. Picking people for their race is another can of worm, but that's another story which I don't want to touch.

I've underlined it, so that you can see it better.

But do you really want to know what pisses me off most? Here... Tadaa!!!

Do I really have to underline it?

Actually, if I received RM 10 for an advert like the one above, I'd be rich. There are a lot of jobs such as graphics designer, casher (once for a bookstore), and other jobs for which the company wants females only.

Here is a short interview for a job at a bookstore (an international company, mind you). Too bad I crumpled the advert and throwed it away some time ago.

A : I would like to apply for a job at your bookstore please.

Q : We want only girls.

A : I note that in your advert, you want girls for casher. But I'm applying for storekeeper, not casher.

Q : We want girls for that position too.

A : Thanks for your time.

And so I throw the advert away. There are numerous times where I applied for a job at a fast food restaurant, the manager just turned me away instantly, saying that the vacancy has been filled and they forgot to remove the advert that they stick to the restaurant wall. It could be true, but mostly they want girls.

If you read the book "Pocket Idiot's Guide to One Minute Managing" by Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D, please turn to page 77. It's the start of a chapter on Equal Employment Laws.

I hope this person will read it too. I know that I'm not in the US, but good common sense should be practiced everywhere.

Oh well, I hope that one day I will get a good job that pays good money.

But first, I must move to the US :-)

Now let's start writing even more books. Wha ha ha ha! How much does it cost me for a flight to US, hmmmm?

- Fable Fox,