Adventures in capitalism

Ever wanted to be an executive? Let me give you an anecdote of boundless corporate stupidity. Some of it mine.

(Note: this is a Belgian company with a US corporate parent, which itself has a Swiss corporate parent)

We’ve been trying to hire a Brexit-specific Compliance person for some time. Months. It’s a new position. Just between us, it’s going to be a shitty job but the pay is decent. And it’s a brand-new field, so survive it for a year, don’t fuck up, and then they can move into a much better management job.

Anyway, we have received no applications until today, when one finally made its way across my desk.

The job requires bilingual French and English, and our ads all request a cover letter in French as initial screening. They’re going to be dealing with EU bureaucrats, and going to a LOT of meetings, so fluent French is NOT optional.

HR is required to input all application info into the Corp HR tracking system. It’s all automatic-ish. There’s no paper. Pretty reports come out and get emailed to senior managers so we can all track our metrics. I don’t pay a lot of attention to them, that’s why we have an HR manager.

Well, it turns out that Corp’s HR applicant tracking system doesn’t speak French. Further turns out that some low-level HR flunky at Corp thinks rejected means rejected, so no further action is needed on rejections, they go right into the bit bucket and a tick goes in the “rejected” column on the report.

The one that made it to me had the cover letter in English, so instant fail. Though at least it finally made me think about it, and start asking questions.

So I opened a No Help desk ticket, which was promptly closed and marked as “will not fix” because the system is working as designed.

In case you’ve been missing Dilbert… he works here now.


Never, not even for a minute. And that was before I read your tale. Good luck, @RatMan!