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A Tale Of One Job Opening

Nov 10, 2009

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Sarah Handel

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Today my sister sent me this article, from the New York Times a few weeks back: "$13 an Hour? 500 Sign Up, 1 Wins a Job."

It's not news that finding a job can be all-but impossible these days, but there's something about the minutiae of this story that really brings it alive. Briefly, a trucking company in northwest Indiana had an opening for an administrative assistant. They received hundreds of applications in the three days the posting was online, and it was recruiter Stacey Ross's job to go through them.

Ross passed candidates along to Chris Kelsey, who makes the final hire. "We like to get the fair and middling talent that will work for the wages, and groom them from within," he told the Times. 28-year-old Tiffany Block's one-page resume made the cut, and after her first interview, she scored well. Down to Block and one other candidate, Kelsey called her for a second interview.

Then, trying to gauge her ability to be assertive among truck drivers, he added a new hypothetical: if she were in the stands at a baseball game and a foul ball came her way, would she stand up to try to catch it, or wait in her seat and hope it fell her way?

Block said she'd go for it, and got the job.

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