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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Warehouse Worker Specializing in Manual Lifting

"Job Title: Warehouse asst. (Madison)
Date: 2012-02-22, 4:54PM CST
Established Company needs a warehouse asst that is: detail oriented, organized, hard working, has some computer skills. there is some heavy lifting involved. Pay based on experience. Over time available!
Please send resume if possible.
Compensation: $10-$12 Based on experience"

It seems that whoever posted on behalf of this “established company” is fond of understatements:

“There is some heavy lifting involved.” Right, this is a warehouse. Of course the successful applicant will lift boxes filled compactly with matter -- that’s what a warehouse stores.

Because there is no mention of using a forklift, it is common sense to infer the job entails lifting with one’s own unassisted bodily strength. The poster would have been better served by stating a maximum poundage to be lifted directly and another maximum poundage to be manipulated via simple machines such as by pushcart or block and tackle.

“Please send resume, if possible.” How else will someone get an interview? By sending a poem which incorporates industrial metaphors to describe his/her love of slinging boxes? Then again, prior work experience is less important for these positions, much like it is of minute significance for entry-level food service jobs: It’s not so much what you’ve done (except for possible forklift training, which would be added value in a warehouse), but what you can do (stack boxes for 10 hours a day without injury).

A telltale indicator that the job poster has little understanding of computers is when the job requirement says, “Have some computer skills.” That statement is too vague to be of any use, considering how many operating systems and hardware configurations exist.

Is the inventory system a database which is hosted on an AS400 server and accessed via thin client, or is inventory tracked in a spreadsheet which is saved to a local hard drive daily? These details matter when asking whether someone knows how to use your computer equipment and applications.

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