The thing I hate most in this life is people who waste my time. Well, that’s not true. I hate war and famine and all the various atrocities more, to be sure. The thing that pisses me off the most is people who waste my time.
You know the people who do it unintentionally – the lady in the checkout line at the supermarket that’s too busy reading the tabloid she doesn’t plan on buying to notice that the cashier is waiting to take her money; the guy going down the highway at twenty under the speed limit because he’s too busy talking on the cell phone to pay attention to anything else around him – and you can get cheesed at them for a moment then go on about your life without too much spent energy.
No, it’s the people who string you along, people who purposefully dawdle, who really get me. And it’s not necessarily about the time that they waste, although that is a factor. It’s more about their attitude. Wasting someone else’s time tells that person that their time isn’t important, that they aren’t worth the energy it takes to do what you need to do in a timely manner.
Several weeks ago, I went in to a big box store I used to work for, hoping they would hire me again. I had the job when I left fifteen minutes later, but it took a week for them to call me and tell me I had the job, and another week to get me in to start orientation (Monday, February 13th, for anyone keeping score). I was told when I left after orientation that they would call me to let me know when I could start training. A week later (seeing a pattern yet?) I worked my first real shift. I worked three shifts that week, and was told when I left Friday night that they would call me when they were able to get me on the schedule. That was thirteen days ago.
I’ve had a knot in my stomach for days, but I refused to acknowledge what my gut was telling me, or just praying it wasn’t right. I finally gave in this morning and called them myself. Turns out that when I left the company so many years ago, my manager screwed me over and gave me a termination in my file. I won’t go into details, but I didn’t do what the file says I did. It doesn’t matter, though, because that mark means they can’t hire me now. And they waited almost two weeks to tell me that.
If I had known about the mark on my file, I wouldn’t have wasted their time, or mine, by attempting to get the job. As it is, they wasted at least two weeks and at most five weeks of my time. Time I could have spent writing and looking for another job and potentially earning money. Instead, I sat here hoping and waiting, thinking I had finally made a decent step in the right direction.
What hurts the most is not that I lost the job, or even that I lost all that time. It’s that they didn’t even have the decency to call me. I had to call them. Because I wasn’t worth their time.