14 January 2010

On the job hunt...

It's a new year, and I'm on the job hunt again.

It's a very different world out there for the job hunter, from what I understand. Fifty, heck, even twenty years ago, a person could start work right out of high school or college and expect to stay at that company until retirement. Not so today. It's an incredibly competitive market out there now, and I'm in the thick of it.

I think my biggest hang-up right now (*gets out soapbox*) is the testing I've been taking at the various staffing agencies I've been going through to try to find work. Most of it has been typing, alphanumeric and ten-key - pretty standard stuff (I type at just over 50 WPM, my ten-key is at between 6,000 and 7,000 KPM and I can do alphanumeric with no errors, if you were wondering...) - but what really gets my goat are the Microsoft Office applications tests.

At my previous job, the computers ran Vista (since about March), and therefore had the sexier, sleeker Office 2007 interface with the programs. In these tests, I've been running 2000. The other issue with them is that they expect a very specific combination of keystrokes and button clicks in order to perform the task at hand - not something I'm used to. I have my own way of doing things that still works. Microsoft Office has that capability - several different ways of doing the same thing (like editing a filter - something I can do with proficiency, but not if you look at my test scores! The 2007 filter system is a lot different from 2000, but I can still do it.

I am reminded of the movie "Blazing Saddles." There's a scene where Gene Wilder - "the Kid" - is asked to shoot something. The bad guys or adversaries or whoever tell him he has to hold still, and they instruct him how to shoot. He misses. He then asks, with that wonderful drawl and a glint in his eye, "Can I move?" He then hits the target perfectly.

So, how 'bout it, Microsoft Office applications testing... "Can I move?"