There’s a worker shortage.
The city I live in is getting by with less than 50% of the seasonal staff they typically have for the summer months. Once the weather gets nice in Minnesota there are acres of parks to mow and canopies of oaks, elms, and maples to trim. On eighteen year old who applied said he would consider the job if he was given a city car to drive home in the evening.
But the most perplexing trend, for those of us of a certain age, is the no response option. Applicants set up times for interviews and simply don’t show. No call; no attempt to reschedule; no ‘I changed my mind.’ Perhaps for the seasonal part-time workers that is understandable (perhaps). But apparently no shows for interviews even happen for fulltime, full benefits jobs with a major suburban city.
Another manager in a different field said she had fourteen openings to fill so she scheduled an afternoon of interviews. Not one applicant showed. There she sat, spinning a pen between her fingers.
The ‘no communication’ modus operandi started about the same time texting became a popular means of conversing. It’s like a wave of people who might as well have yelled down the corridors of society “we don’t want to talk to you” changed how we make plans. Or like some grouchy teenager proclaiming indignantly, “We don’t want to have to listen to what you have to say.”
Texting is a great way of cutting the personal out of the conversation. No chit-chat. No opportunities to ask a few extra details. The fumbling around of thumbs on tiny screens makes for short replies. Plus you are not on the spot to get back to someone. You can control when and how you choose to respond as you can leverage the uncertainty of whether you’ve received the message.
As these folks age, maybe they’ll notice the benefits of being civil. Maybe they’ll consider the fluidity of the process of general customer service is beneficial to amicable relations. Maybe they’ll notice when you open a dialogue, you might actually learn something else that is useful.