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Confessions From the Human Resources Department

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Ever wonder how human resources professionals really react when they read over your resume? One blogger is offering an inside scoop.

Jenny Lawson, the writer behind the popular blog The Bloggess, posted an excerpt online from her forthcoming memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) in which she details her experiences working in human resources for 15 years.

As Lawson puts it in the introduction to the excerpt, “Human resources is the place where people come to complain and/or shoot people when they just can’t take it anymore.” That’s probably a little bit of an overstatement, but then again the anecdotes she includes are certainly extreme.

At one company, Lawson and her co-workers created a special file for terrible applications which they labeled, “Never-hire-these-people-unless-we-find-out-that-we’re-all-getting-fired-next-week.” In another story, she recounts reading through several applications where men responded to the question about their sex by writing, “Yes, please” or “Depends on who’s offering.”

But our favorite anecdote is this one showing that it’s not always the most qualified candidates who get brought in for interviews:

This afternoon an applicant wrote that she’d been fired from her job at a gas station for sleeping on a cat. Everyone in the office read the application, but none of us could agree on what the hell she was talking about, so we brought her in for an interview. When I asked her about falling asleep on her cat she looked at me and indignantly replied, “What? I never wrote that.” Then when I showed her the application she said, “Car. My boss found out I was sleeping on a car. Duh. Why would my boss care if I slept on a cat?”

“Um . . . why would your boss care if you slept on a car?” I asked.

“Because I was the only person working that shift. But I totally would’ve heard if anyone had driven up. I’m a very light sleeper. It’s not like I didn’t have a plan.”

The lesson here is that sometimes you get brought in for an interview just to settle a bet.

Unfortunately, Lawson doesn’t say whether that woman ended up getting the job.

You can find the full excerpt from her book here. It’s worth the read.

(Hat tip to BoingBoing for pointing out this blog post.)

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at seth.fiegerman@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.

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