Thursday 24 October 2013

The Digital Void

In the 21st Century we're all pretty used to job websites with huge databases full of tempting postings requesting electronic résumés and portfolios online. Some of them look perfect as if someone wrote a description just for you where you are the obvious ideal candidate. The truth is, however, no one ever hears back from anyone anymore. It's like there's this giant black vortex out there that just flushes our personal data into a parallel dimension called The Digital Void.

What happens to all the data you spend hours writing and formatting that represents years of your life? What happens to all that binary code when it gets overwritten on a hard drive or deleted from a database? Is it really gone forever? We've all heard stories about recyclers who pick up a hundred used, expired lease CPUs from a satellite office of a national government or some gigantic corporate kaiju of a company and somebody forgot to erase the drives. Thousands of memos and volumes of secure information is available to anyone who wants to sift through millions of files. Maybe WikiLeaks could put it online. At least it would get some attention from someone (even if it might only be a lonely, single, perverted field officer of a clandestine secret agency).

I've even seen jobs where you have to do tests and competitions where you write and design a project as if it was real. You can take a shot and spend a lot of time on it if you want to. It all depends on how much you want to work without getting paid. Then you upload it and wonder, "What if I started a company and got all the work done by unpaid freelancers who are just trying to get a job this way." You just don't mention it's real work, but that would be unethical. Sometimes you think stuff like that.

I won't even mention the heartache of interviews. Finding out you've been selected for an interview is like hearing a rumour you might be nominated for an academy award. Don't get your hopes up. Chances are when you read the HR minimum requirements they want a Knighthood, a Medal of Honour and a Nobel Peace Prize. The only trouble is, they're only offering 50 cents above minimum wage.

Of course, there is also the opposite situation where the former CEO of Ulti-Mega-Corp is trying to get hired by the local coffee shop, because the family doctor told him or her to find a job with less stress for health reasons. In that case, the applicant gets the same treatment as everybody else -  TDV - and that's why we have lotteries, casinos and racetracks.

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