This Isn’t Our Job

We had a middle-aged guy approach the Reference Desk with what we thought was a question or two. It began with a question about how certain aspects of Google Maps work. The man was taking a test that accompanied a job application. The test that he had in hand must have been at least 20 pages long. It seems the man made it about halfway through and was then totally stymied. So he asked us for help.


One question became two questions became three questions, became THREE PAGES of questions! Finally my coworker and I looked at each other and just as I was about to ask the guy how much the job pays, since we were the ones taking the test, the questions veered into a realm of proprietary knowledge that we had absolutely no way of knowing without being very familiar with websites that we never even heard of.

Had the questioning turned around again I was going to point out to the man that we were already over the edge of the ethical boundary. Obviously the company is asking these questions because the applicant needs to know the answers to effectively do the job.

I am not amused.

~ by Woeful on September 30, 2009.

4 Responses to “This Isn’t Our Job”

  1. Guess he/you didn’t get the job then…. 😉

  2. We also have this at our library, though mostly it will be elderly who need to use the internet, have no idea how to do so, must type in a variety of personal datum (ssn, etc.), and are angry when we tell them we cannot put that info into the compputer for them, type up the resume, pull up and enter codes to print out airline tickets, etc. on our reference terminals (grounds for firing in my system), nor do we have the ability to stand behind them and coach them every step of the way (also liability grounds for us in terms of identity theft accusations, etc, and grounds for dismissal). We suggest they work with a trusted family member or friend to do this task and then attend one of our computer/internet orientations, or sign up at the local city colleges to take a class geared to someone their age and skill level.

  3. Hi Nursemyra!

    Welcome Teri: We are not allowed (nor would I want to) use people’s personal information for login purposes, etc… either. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Hopefully he wasn’t applying for a job as a commercial pilot.
    Google maps can only do so much.

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