Job Requirements: None?

Note to employers the world around: If the position you are trying to fill has 1 important requirement, please make sure that your selected candidate can actually handle said requirement.

Case in point: I spent the majority of my day yesterday sitting on my butt, watching movies, and playing my Nintendo DS from 8:45AM – 3:00PM. I was called upon by the state of Arizona to do so. Now, on this particular day, it was very apparent to me (and probably the other 100+ people there) that there was a new employee in training. His job was to accomplish 1 thing: Read a list of names that have been given to him (apparently selected at random) over the loudspeaker so that everybody can hear him. That, in essence, is the job (at least what I could see of it). Read a list of names.

Unfortunately, this cat – who is definitely not speaking his native language (and was not from a country located less than 400 miles from Phoenix) – cannot pronounce 90% of the names on the list. So, what should have taken 3 minutes for an English-as-a-first-language speaker, took 10. It was painful. It made the agony of expecting your name to be called, but praying that it wouldn’t be, all that much more terrifying.

Would it be so hard to give an interviewee for this position a list of 15 names, mix some english- and spanish-based names in there, and have them read it to you during the interview? Isn’t that like asking a software developer to show you how to write a function and call it, or having a telemarketer show you how to answer a phone?

Fortunately, my name was only mentioned once – at the end of the day (to make sure I was present) when they released us. And for as basic and simple of an American name as mine is, it was still butchered: Joe-Shwaah Smitt.

Lady and Gentleman, Your tax dollars at work.

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