Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Mental Magpie on September 06, 2012, 11:27:07 AM

Title: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 06, 2012, 11:27:07 AM
Tomorrow I have an oral assessment (read: interview) at the Department of Corrections for the position of corrections officer.  That's right, a prison guard.  I realize it isn't everyone's ideal job and I know the inherent dangers.  What do I say to people who make the most disgusted faces once I tell them?

One woman asked what else I did other than bartend since I only bartend on the weekends, so I told her that I am interviewing for a job as a corrections officer.  The face she made all but screamed, "WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!".  Her husband, who I spoke to later, made a face as if I had offered him his most hated food.

What can I say to these people?
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: TheVapors on September 06, 2012, 11:31:43 AM
Wait. People are disgusted about the job of a corrections officer?! That's a thing? I didn't know that was a thing.

If people are making a face at you (and they haven't said anything), you may just be able to get away with a genuine smile and, "I'm pretty excited about it. Bean dip?"

If they do say something, then I'd suggest the same smile plus saying with pride, "It's not a job for everyone, but it is a job for me. Bean dip?"
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: violinp on September 06, 2012, 11:35:04 AM
Wait. People are disgusted about the job of a corrections officer?! That's a thing? I didn't know that was a thing.

If people are making a face at you (and they haven't said anything), you may just be able to get away with a genuine smile and, "I'm pretty excited about it. Bean dip?"

If they do say something, then I'd suggest the same smile plus saying with pride, "It's not a job for everyone, but it is a job for me. Bean dip?"

POD. And good luck on your interview!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 06, 2012, 11:37:08 AM
Please help me cage EvilTraska.  She suggests telling them "The pay isn't great, but when I'm put on cavity searches I get to keep whatever I find!"
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Wulfie on September 06, 2012, 11:39:34 AM
POD. Good luck on your interview! A friend of mine when I lived in Hawaii worked for the prison there. He loved it. He was suprised at how much he enjoyed working with the prisoners. He said that you knew where you stood with them and for the most part, as long as you treated them with respect, they treated you with it.  Respect is a HUGE thing in prison.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: rashea on September 06, 2012, 11:53:12 AM
"Somebody has to do it. And at least this way it's a person dedicated to respecting the prisoners and helping them to turn their lives around."

Second sentence optional.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 06, 2012, 12:08:32 PM
Please help me cage EvilTraska.  She suggests telling them "The pay isn't great, but when I'm put on cavity searches I get to keep whatever I find!"

*snort*

Seriously, though, are there some positives like a good pension or medical plan?  'The benefits are good and I know I'll rarely be bored!'
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: otterwoman on September 06, 2012, 12:11:53 PM
Disgusted faces? :o Where I live CO is a coveted, sought after job. People are congratulated for getting it.

Best of luck on the interview!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: O'Dell on September 06, 2012, 12:42:46 PM
Wait. People are disgusted about the job of a corrections officer?! That's a thing? I didn't know that was a thing.

If people are making a face at you (and they haven't said anything), you may just be able to get away with a genuine smile and, "I'm pretty excited about it. Bean dip?"

If they do say something, then I'd suggest the same smile plus saying with pride, "It's not a job for everyone, but it is a job for me. Bean dip?"

I used to handle those looks like this. It is what I always considered good etiquette: the other person flubbed up and was a bit rude, I'll smooth it over so no one is uncomfortable.

I've learned not to be so quick to do that. If the person seems to catch themselves, maybe an oops look on their face or something, then I'll smooth it over. Otherwise, I cool off the interaction a bit and don't try to hide the fact that I'm offended. IME, the people that do things like this are repeat offenders.

I'm not rude or mean about it. I just pull back a notch: my smile and tone becomes just a bit cooler, I pause briefly before responding, etc. I'm still polite about it, but I no longer respond with "niceness" if that makes sense. I get far more respect.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: artk2002 on September 06, 2012, 12:58:27 PM
Give them a cold look and walk away.

Remember this: No matter what job/hobby/interest you have, there's somebody out there who thinks it's the worst/most ridiculous/most disgusting thing in the world. Somebody who has no qualms about telling you so. Accept that this will happen. More importantly, understand that this is about them not about you. Don't defend yourself because there's no need to defend yourself. Let them have their negative opinion. In fact, letting them keep that opinion is doing them a favor. They have something that makes them feel superior but doesn't really affect you at all.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 06, 2012, 01:02:05 PM
Give them a cold look and walk away.

Remember this: No matter what job/hobby/interest you have, there's somebody out there who thinks it's the worst/most ridiculous/most disgusting thing in the world. Somebody who has no qualms about telling you so. Accept that this will happen. More importantly, understand that this is about them not about you. Don't defend yourself because there's no need to defend yourself. Let them have their negative opinion. In fact, letting them keep that opinion is doing them a favor. They have something that makes them feel superior but doesn't really affect you at all.

Conversely, *every* job is someone's dream job.  Keep them in mind when dealing with boors.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 06, 2012, 01:04:18 PM
I can't always walk away, unfortunately, as I am supposed to be serving them drinks (and other times, when it is a social interaction, I'll most certainly employ the walk away).  I like O'Dell's solution; it is a subtle way to let them know I'm not amused.  I have thus far been employing the, "I'm excited about it!" response.

Thanks everyone!  I hope I don't flub it tomorrow by being too excited :D
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: TurtleDove on September 06, 2012, 01:47:09 PM
I have thus far been employing the, "I'm excited about it!" response.


I like this - just be cheerful and stupid (meaning, don't let on that you grasp their disdain - act as though you fully believe they are supportive).  And good luck!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on September 06, 2012, 01:57:07 PM
Tomorrow I have an oral assessment (read: interview) at the Department of Corrections for the position of corrections officer.  That's right, a prison guard.  I realize it isn't everyone's ideal job and I know the inherent dangers.  What do I say to people who make the most disgusted faces once I tell them?

One woman asked what else I did other than bartend since I only bartend on the weekends, so I told her that I am interviewing for a job as a corrections officer.  The face she made all but screamed, "WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!".  Her husband, who I spoke to later, made a face as if I had offered him his most hated food.

What can I say to these people?

I like how you are handling it already.  Since some of these nasty faces belong to customers (and tippers?) of yours, I think responding with deserved pride/enthusiasm makes your point without risking any income potential.  ;)   When they pull a face you can smile and say, "Oh yeah, I am that awesome! But you all knew that already."

Most importantly, good luck on your interview!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: yokozbornak on September 06, 2012, 03:27:14 PM
When I worked in staffing/career counseling back in the day, we worked with recruiters from many different companies, but I always loved the recruiter from the Dept. of Corrections.  He used to attend job fairs and put in box out for people to sign-up to win a free weekend at any of the state facilities. :)  He said it was a great conversation starter! Maybe you can use his line:

"The perks are tremendous!  It will save me so much money on hotels because I can stay at any prison free of charge!"  You can laugh as they try to puzzle.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: #borecore on September 06, 2012, 05:28:14 PM
When I was in school for journalism and working retail on the side, I quickly learned that telling people my real ambitions was a good way to start a nasty conversation I didn't want to be a part of -- think "all journalists are biased liars" or worse. I kept it to, "I'm working on my bachelor's degree" and gave only the vaguest details.

I think it's 100 percent OK to tell white lies in a customer service role, particularly when it comes to your personal life. If they ask for details of the alternate position you're interviewing for, "A role related to my criminal justice degree. I can't get into specifics" sounds mysterious and cool to me and won't get you the third degree because you already said you can't talk more about it. Something else may work better for you, but I think vaguer is better.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Kiwichick on September 06, 2012, 06:01:30 PM
I can't always walk away, unfortunately, as I am supposed to be serving them drinks (and other times, when it is a social interaction, I'll most certainly employ the walk away).  I like O'Dell's solution; it is a subtle way to let them know I'm not amused.  I have thus far been employing the, "I'm excited about it!" response.

Thanks everyone!  I hope I don't flub it tomorrow by being too excited :D

If you can't walk away don't discuss it at work.  These are random strangers, make something up or tell them about a hobby.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Cleargleam on September 06, 2012, 06:43:05 PM
The kindest thing might be to take the response in the bar as follows:

Crud Monkeys! I could never be strong enough to handle that job!

That's probably a close take on what they actually mean.  They can't actually say that of course, and because they feel ill-equipped to handle that type of job, they also suddenly feel ill-equipped to interact with you because you *can* handle that job.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: magician5 on September 06, 2012, 07:46:38 PM
What can I say to these people?

Nothing.

You have no need to "make it OK" with these people, and in the future I'd say even less to them about my personal choices.

BTW, good luck!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: RubyCat on September 06, 2012, 08:38:54 PM
Years ago, I worked as a receptionist in a medical office that was doing pre-exam physicals that had to be passed before the candidate could sit for the correction officers exam. It was a very tough physical exam, which included running on the treadmill & having to lift heavy weights.  I have never met a more impressive, professional group of people.  I can recall saying that it was a job I'd never want to do, but very grateful that these folks did. 

Considering the reaction you're getting, going forward, I would either steer the conversation so that you aren't asked the question or be vague in my answer. If pressed, I would answer in a tone that was positive & upbeat as this usually keeps the disparaging remarks at bay.  I guess disparaging remarks, I would try to shrug off & then bean dip. You don't want to get into debates with customers.

Good luck & I hope it all works out.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: AuntieA on September 06, 2012, 11:49:24 PM
BF worked that job for 29 years at the maximum security federal prison here. The pension & benefits are awesome.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: GSNW on September 07, 2012, 01:50:39 AM
I have had a similar response from people who say that middle school kids are "the worst" an ask how I cans age such a horrible, thankless job.  It is very rude but stupidly cheerful is my best response. 

"Oh gee, I feel so lucky to go to a job I love every day!  Some people hate their jobs - isn't that just SO depressing?".

All said with a huge grin.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: katycoo on September 07, 2012, 02:31:11 AM
There is a difference between people not wanting to do that job, and people thinking the job shouldn't exist.

Some suggested responses:

"We all enjoy different things"
"I'm looking forward to the change"
"I think its an interesting profession"

Or, your "I'm excited about it" response is just fine too :)
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Kitty Hawk on September 07, 2012, 04:23:44 AM
What can I say to these people?

Nothing.

You have no need to "make it OK" with these people, and in the future I'd say even less to them about my personal choices.

BTW, good luck!

Well, as a bartender, she does more or less have to say something to them.

I would go for something mildly flip, like, "as little as possible", "still looking for the perfect job" or something like that -- with a cheeky smile so they know you are joking.

And when they ask what the perfect job is, it is something like "oh, a really big salary, and very little work" or "doing dentistry on the bears in Yellowstone" or something silly like that.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: figleaf on September 07, 2012, 07:28:39 AM
I've got one of these jobs. I am automatically one of the most hate people at my work site due to my job. Nothing like having a huge cafeteria fall silent when you walk in to make you self conscious.

Whenever I get the "why would you want to do THAT?!?!!" I sa something like,"I've found it to be really rewarding," or if the person was a bit more polite, "I felt like I could bring something good to the job, and it feels really good to help people."

In my case, because I usually get into these conversations at work, where I can't just ignore them, I've found that treating a person's scoffing attitude as though theyqcty were posing an interested, thoughtful query puts them in the position that they will show themselves to be a huge jerk if they keep up the rude questions. You look like the bigger person.

Good luck!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Missy2U on September 07, 2012, 02:40:04 PM
How'd the interview go???  I'm pulling for you!

Edited to add - I think it would be a COOL job!! :)
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 07, 2012, 03:05:00 PM
How'd the interview go???  I'm pulling for you!

Edited to add - I think it would be a COOL job!! :)

I'm on my way there now. I'll update in a few hours when I'm done. The interview is only 20, I just live that far away from it.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: furrcats on September 07, 2012, 06:29:25 PM
I think it's great what your doing
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 07, 2012, 06:35:53 PM
I guess I thought my "I'm excited about" approach was a weak response. Thanks for the other suggestions. I won't go into detail next time, though I like Traska's suggestion  >:D.

It went really well! I'm confident with my responses, and I'll hear back in about 2 weeks whether I go onto the next phase. Here's to hoping! Thanks for all of the support.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: AustenFan on September 07, 2012, 07:11:46 PM
Excellent!

I'll keep my fingers, toes and anything else you think necessary crossed!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Calypso on September 08, 2012, 10:06:37 AM
When I worked in staffing/career counseling back in the day, we worked with recruiters from many different companies, but I always loved the recruiter from the Dept. of Corrections.  He used to attend job fairs and put in box out for people to sign-up to win a free weekend at any of the state facilities. :)  He said it was a great conversation starter! Maybe you can use his line:

"The perks are tremendous!  It will save me so much money on hotels because I can stay at any prison free of charge!"  You can laugh as they try to puzzle.

Oh lordy, that is too funny  :D

Hope you get the job, DarkM!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Tea Drinker on September 08, 2012, 02:19:03 PM
Maybe a smile and something like "Fortunately, I have the strength to handle it"?
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 12, 2012, 09:00:17 PM
Maybe a smile and something like "Fortunately, I have the strength to handle it"?

I like that.


I just got the e-mail that says I passed the oral assessment and now get to do the background check.  My integrity interview is next week! 
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 12, 2012, 09:18:22 PM
Woo hoo!  Congratulations! 
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: diesel_darlin on September 12, 2012, 09:22:02 PM
Maybe a smile and something like "Fortunately, I have the strength to handle it"?

I like that.


I just got the e-mail that says I passed the oral assessment and now get to do the background check.  My integrity interview is next week!

WOOT!!!!! ;D ;D



Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: violinp on September 12, 2012, 10:47:36 PM
Maybe a smile and something like "Fortunately, I have the strength to handle it"?

I like that.


I just got the e-mail that says I passed the oral assessment and now get to do the background check.  My integrity interview is next week!

YAAAAY!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: furrcats on September 13, 2012, 12:02:41 AM
Can't wait to hear about it.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: kglory on September 13, 2012, 12:33:40 AM
Good luck to you!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Giggity on September 13, 2012, 11:43:22 AM
One woman asked what else I did other than bartend since I only bartend on the weekends, so I told her that I am interviewing for a job as a corrections officer.  The face she made all but screamed, "WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!".  Her husband, who I spoke to later, made a face as if I had offered him his most hated food.

What can I say to these people?

Nothing, because making faces =/= making conversation. Unless you want to make one back ... I suggest the Spock raised-eyebrow quizzical look.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Zilla on September 13, 2012, 03:15:29 PM
I think it's a really cool job, can you ask them why on earth are they reacting that way?  Is it a regional thing perhaps?
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 13, 2012, 06:21:33 PM
Thanks for all the well wishings! I'm thankful for the support!

I don't know if it is regional, honestly, but I can't imagine so simply because we're all from the same region.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: #borecore on September 13, 2012, 06:35:44 PM
I imagine it's more politics or class than region.

Or just individual preferences.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Noph on September 19, 2012, 10:59:40 PM
one of my awesome neighbors is a prison guard. I have a hard time imagining at work because whenever I see him is he laid back and very sweet natured.  I know he has to be tough to do his job and I'm inspired by his ability to not let his job get to him.   Looking down on this profession is like looking down on the hard working guys that pick up the trash every week.  They are some of the most important parts of society and I'm thankful there are people like my neighbor that can and will do these difficult and thankless jobs.  I wish you luck!

  I did promotional for an unpopular industry while in college.  Perhaps not the most polite response, but whenever someone would turn their nose up/comment on my job, I had a ready response.  "oh, yes, it is an unpopular job.  Do you know of some one hiring that pays at least xx an hour and still allows me the freedom to make my classes my highest priority?"  Usually once commenter understood I was doing the work I did because it paid VERY VERY VERY well for a college kid working less than 20 hours a week, they would bean dip on their own (er..what are you studying? etc.etc.)  (or in a few cases led to some good 'networking' opportunities. I eventually landed a new, better job from this response.)   
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 19, 2012, 11:20:52 PM
I don't know if I see that as rude, Noph; I think you were politely making them uncomfortable as a means to make them rethink their positions.



I have my last interview in just over 12 hours!  I'm really confident and only a little bit nervous, but here's to hoping!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Syfygeek on September 20, 2012, 07:32:43 AM
Good Luck!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: O'Dell on September 20, 2012, 09:03:47 AM
Good Luck!! Got my fingers crossed for you. :)
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 20, 2012, 05:31:10 PM
The integrity interview went very well.  I'll know in about 2 weeks whether I am considered eligible for hire.  If so, then my scores from the last two parts will be combined; the top scores will be hired.  I am confident I am one of those top scores.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: AustenFan on September 20, 2012, 05:33:49 PM
Congrats!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: violinp on September 20, 2012, 06:37:17 PM
The integrity interview went very well.  I'll know in about 2 weeks whether I am considered eligible for hire.  If so, then my scores from the last two parts will be combined; the top scores will be hired.  I am confident I am one of those top scores.

Crossing fingers and toes for you!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 25, 2012, 05:47:56 PM
I just got the call!!!  I start on October 22!   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Wulfie on September 25, 2012, 05:48:32 PM
YEA!!!!!!!  CONGRATS!!!!!!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 25, 2012, 06:19:36 PM
Congratulations!  That is great news!

And we expect stories.  :D
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Ceallach on September 25, 2012, 06:25:40 PM
Congratulations!   I have always thought CO would be a personally satisfying (although extremely challenging) role.   Good on you for taking it on and best of luck with the role.  It's an important one for so many reasons.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 25, 2012, 07:05:43 PM
Thanks everyone!

I'm sure I'll have a few stories for the Gross Out Thread for sure, and probably some in SS, too.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to post 'em!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: furrcats on September 25, 2012, 08:08:15 PM
Can't wait to read them
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: rashea on September 26, 2012, 07:59:41 AM
Yeah!! Congrats!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: BeagleMommy on September 26, 2012, 09:56:51 AM
Congratulations, Magpie!  I have a lot of respect for CO's.
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 26, 2012, 11:58:30 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Tabby Uprising on September 26, 2012, 12:56:01 PM
Hooray!! Good news is my favorite!  Congratulations!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Elisabunny on September 26, 2012, 03:08:48 PM
Congratulations!
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Cat-Fu on September 26, 2012, 03:11:06 PM
Congratulations! I, for one, hope you don't end up having too many bad stories! (Cause that means you'd have to experience them...)
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 26, 2012, 03:26:29 PM
Congratulations! I, for one, hope you don't end up having too many bad stories! (Cause that means you'd have to experience them...)

But what if they're stories about co-workers?   ;D
Title: Re: It may not be your job choice...
Post by: bansidhe on September 26, 2012, 06:47:36 PM
Congrats! That's awesome.  :)

Several of the people my husband works with/comes into contact with in the police force (he's a civilian member) got their start as corrections officers, so it can be a stepping stone to other law enforcement careers as well as a career all on its own.