As a recent graduate then I’ve been applying for jobs like crazy, but this week I had the misfortune to come across a job as a Social Media Adviser for Team Knowhow. For those lucky people to not have had to deal with them before then they are the people who provide the services support for Currys and PC World, for those 2,497 people who have taken the time to complain about them on Trustpilot then they probably refer to them in a different way. There’s a reason why Knowhow has a 0.9 out of 10 approval rating, with 86% of people rating them the lowest score possible, and a lot of those reviews include comments about how they wish they could score Knowhow even lower.
Me, being the optimistic type, ignored these reviews and thought being a Social Media Adviser for them would be great, and would follow on nicely from my degree. Oh how wrong I was.
This is my story of how I met a girl called Amy (possibly), who was in charge of something (presumably) and hated her job (definitely).
So it all started when I received a text asking me to return her call, even though I hadn’t actually had a call. That should have been my first warning that they aren’t quite on the ball. I called the number given and reached the voicemail, which informed me office hours were only till 4pm, 40 minutes from when I called. Almost immediately I got a call back from a woman who didn’t give me her name or job title ( I call her Amy as after googling the mobile number from the text I found it linked to an Amy), and had the most lackluster voice I’ve ever heard. Maybe she was just ready to leave and had already turned off for the day, maybe she dislikes her job or maybe in another life I put her beloved pet in a bin.
She read the job advert back to me in a robotic, scripted way as I politely replied “yes” to each point as I followed her script online. Just when I was ready to slit my own wrists her monotony ceased and she informed me she’d be asking me about my education and past experience. I informed her I’d just finished my degree in Public Relations which had a lot of emphasis on social media and the impact it has on businesses, only to be told that her social media department isn’t the PR department and therefore my degree is effectively irrelevant. Or at least she would have said irrelevant if she could have mustered up the energy to use a word with more than two syllables. Everyone who understands the two-way symmetrical model of communication and how it relates to social media just spat their drink out.
We then moved on to how my CV is mostly secretarial work and how I don’t seem to have any relevant experience. Another red flag. While my CV does include the job title “Secretary”, reading the description would have told her it was actually social media account management. So now I’m dealing with a woman with no name, who tells me that PR has no place in social media and who has only skimmed my CV. I proceeded to tell her how I’d managed social media accounts for different societies at my Students’ Union, and the Union itself, but she interrupted me with her standard programmed response of “I understand that, but…” and told me how as I didn’t have experience replying to irritated customers on Twitter who had purchased a fridge that hadn’t arrived then all my social media account management was as pointless as my degree. I tried to turn it around by explaining how in other jobs I’ve had to deal with face to face complaints from customers, which got a lecture from her about how social media is very different from face to face as it’s on the internet for the world to see – basically my degree and the impact of social media on businesses. She couldn’t seem to fathom how by combining my experience managing social media accounts and my experience of face to face customer complaints then I could easily do the job.
Her condescension reached its peak and she told me that she wouldn’t be offering me an interview as other applicants more closely meet the job role in terms of experience. Every answer I gave to her questions was replied with “I understand that, but…” and I didn’t hear a single positive thing from her the entire phone call. I ended up feeling like I was one of her irritated customers ringing to complain about a late fridge delivery, and she was just fobbing me off with her scripted “I understand that, but…”.
I can’t understand why someone so negative would have read my CV and thought “hmmm, I must call this applicant to tell him how unsuited he is for the role, regardless of what he says to try to convince me”.
I also can’t understand why they seem to think the job is insanely difficult, after scrolling through their twitter feed then it consists entirely of apologising for things and using bad spelling and grammar.
Tl;dr: I spoke to a rude Knowhow employee who shot down every answer I gave to her questions, without even thinking about what I was saying, and acted like I’d annoyed her by making her do her job and conduct a telephone interview.
Here’s some negative PR from a PR graduate, I’m curious to see which department deals with this.