Every boy wants to be a train driver

When you’re looking for a job you spend half your time wondering what’s happened with your applications. Most job applications are made by email, or online, these days. You press submit and away it goes. Mostly you don’t have a contact name, and sometimes you won’t even know the company you’re applying to.

About 60% of the time you’ll get an acknowledgement once your application has been received. It’s no more than a form letter automatically generated, but it’s sufficient for what it is. Unfortunately, the other 40% leave you in the dark.

It’s a lot harder getting a resolution to your applications. Assuming they don’t contact you to organise an interview, I reckon no more than 10% of applications are followed by resolved with a response. Those 10% you might get another form email stating that unfortunately, blah, blah, blah… It’s disappointing, but at least it’s something. You know where you stand. In theory I have about 25 live applications right now, but I reckon that probably no more than 5 of them are really still active. The other 20 have gone by the wayside, and no-one has bothered to tell me. I find that incredibly rude, and just a little insulting. It says much about the times we live in where such casual discourtesy becomes the norm.

Still, you shrug and accept it. What choice do you have? I have the same conversation with my friends looking for work, and they have the same experience. Just another reason to despise the recruiting process circa 2015.

Now I’ve reported all of this to highlight a strange anomaly I recently experienced.

About two weeks ago I was sitting on the couch watching at around 9.30 pm when my phone beeped. I saw I had received an email. The email was the courtesy response thanking me for a job application. In this case the job was for a Trainee Locomotive Driver in Geelong South – a job, not surprisingly, I never actually applied for. So that’s strange, but I shrugged my shoulders and let it go.

I’d forgotten about it when a few nights ago my phone beeped again. There in my inbox was an email advising me with regret and after careful consideration that my application for Trainee Locomotive Driver in Geelong south had been unsuccessful. Believe me, the irony wasn’t lost on me.

Of course the greatest irony, if not the maximum hilarity, would have been been if I had actually got the job. Now wouldn’t that have been funny?


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