I need to start a “clue-finding” business…

Because some people need to get a clue.

I had a rough morning. I had to rush through rush hour traffic so I could get to my office in time to have someone take my blood. I also had to fast for the 12 hours leading up to it, so I was not in the best mood.

Last week I posted a job for an administrative assistant position, and I listed the salary as 9-12$/hour based on experience. If by “administrative assistant” I mean “secretary.” I know, you can’t use that word anymore. So anyhow, we started getting a pretty steady stream of applicants, and several of them actually look like good options. Hooray us.

But this morning, still woozy from my lack of glucose and my recent blood-letting, I opened my email to find this message:

“I was intrigued by the position you had advertised. I am an Executive Assistant and have about 20 years experience in performing the duties you require for the position posted. What amazed me is that you want this highly skilled and polished assistant and yet you don’t want to compensate her for what she is worth. $9 to 13 an hour, you’ve got to be kidding me! I understand the job market right now is filled with applicants all looking for work, myself being one of them. But if I went to work for you it would be until I could find another position that would be willing to pay me for my experience and skills.

You might want to rethink your salary requirements, actually its insulting what you want to pay for an experienced Executive Assistant. Good luck with that!

Needless to say, I responded in a snarky manner, which I could legally do since she didn’t actually apply for the job. Here’s my response.

“Thank you. I take it from your response that you’re not interested in the position and you’re just taking out your frustration of your unemployment on us? If you aren’t willing to work for the salary advertised, why take the time to respond to the post, except just to be rude?


I don’t think I was wrong to point out her rudeness or guessing as to the reasons. Not to be outdone, she responded yet again:

“I don’t mean to be rude, and its impetuous of you to to think I’m frustratuted about my personal job situation. If you would check the internet on salary searches you will find that the normal pay range for the experienced assistant you are seeking will be in the mid to high $30’s. Where I am frustrated is that potential employers such as yourself are wanting all this experience but are not willing to pay for it. I bet if I was a man you would Mr. Lucas. There are a lot of people out of work in Kansas City and the job market is flooded with experienced Administrative Assistants, its just too bad that companies like yours takes advantage of the situation. Do you really think we’re going to stay at your company on $9.00 an hour, who can possibly live on that wage in this day and age?

All I’m asking is that you consider in all fairness what you are asking of an employee. I’m sure one hte illegal alien’s who are flooding our borders will be more than happy to work for you.

I won’t trouble you again.”

Yeah. Can you even believe it. First, notice that the salary has now dropped to $9.00, instead of the published range. It’s more “shocking” if you use the smallest number. My favorite part BY FAR is the “illegal alien’s” part. She’s honestly blaming illegal aliens for the fact she can’t find a job. Good god. You all who read here know how I feel about illegal immigration. You also probably know that there isn’t a businessman alive who thinks you should pay more than you have to for any given position.

Perhaps she needs to lower her salary expectations OR maybe just lose the chip on her shoulder. Here’s my latest response to that ridiculous crap.

“In the free market, a company makes an offer and those who are willing to work for that pay apply for the job. If only unqualified applicants apply, then the company must reconsider either their salary offer or their requirements, based on what is feasible for their situation.

Many administrative assistants with experience are asking for 50-60k. Our company simply can’t pay like a Sprint or a GM can pay. I apologize for responding so curtly, but I was befuddled why someone would take the time to critique a posting of a company he or she knew nothing about. You also assumed that we aren’t aware of market realities and implied that we’re trying to take advantage of people. Both conclusions are incorrect and unfair categorizations.

In our company’s case, we are looking for someone with as much experience as possible who’s willing and able to work for a salary we can afford to pay. A student might well be looking for a 9$ an hour job (and incidentally someone without experience will be offered the lower end of the salary scale), where someone with a few years of real world experience might expect 12$ or more. Obviously someone with 20 years of experience and education is going to want to make significantly more, but that’s outside the scope of what we can do as a company. I hope this helps you understand our position.

Best of luck in your search,


The clueless meter is pegged off the scale.

  15 comments for “I need to start a “clue-finding” business…

  1. September 4, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Illegal aliens aren’t taking admin jobs. They’re taking the jobs most people think they’re too good to do. She also has way too much time on her hands if she’s going around telling every employer posting job openings whether or not their salary offers are comparable to her level of experience. No wonder she’s out of work.

  2. September 4, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Well, I hate to say it, but I can see her viewpoint vis-a-vis employers wanting to underpay experienced and skilled workers … being as I am currently making $5/hour less than my last job and have no health insurance or PTO.

    HOW-EVAH, her spelling is atrocious (assuming you copy/pasted) so her sense of self-worth in the employment market might be a tad over-inflated.

  3. Dave
    September 4, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Can we say ‘Soap Operas.’ If she has that much free time while she’s unemployed, perhaps she should accomplish something more useful, given her great experience, like watching Soap Operas…

  4. September 4, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    I’m a firm believer in letting the free market determine a person’s salary. I’m both an employer and an employee. As an employee, I think I’m highly underpaid, but as an employer, I think I’m paid way more than I should be. It’s completely a matter of perspective, as the primary goal of business is to maximize shareholder value, which means keeping costs as low as possible.

    Still, if I was unemployed, I doubt I’d take the tact of harassing and insulting potential employers.

    I’d say something, perhaps, like “Dear sir, I’m very interested in the position you describe in your ad. I have a great deal more experience than you are looking for, so I am confident that my contribution would add tremendous value to your organziation. Of course, we would need to negotiate salary and benefits. If that is a possibility, I would love to come interview with you. Regards, Incredipete.”

    Not: “Your ad is stupid and insulting, you capitalist pig bastard. I hope you are slayed by an illegal immigrant hobo. Regards, Incredipete.”

  5. September 4, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I wish you were paying 15, I’d have Bouby work for you! she has all of the necessary requirements and she is more than reliable!

    Oh and I would have told that bitch that she was obviously not playing with a full deck since she played the sex AND race card in the second paragraph.

  6. September 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    I liked that. And I loved how (ironically) pedantic she was about it…

  7. September 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Besides, if you can accuse me of anything, it’s of FAVORING women above men… not the other way around.

  8. September 4, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    “I’m sure one hte illegal alien’s who are flooding our borders will be more than happy to work for you”

    i’m with danjerus…. was that a cut and paste, or did you type it out all angry-like? because if it’s the former, I would have just sent her own letter back to her, only with spelling/grammar corrections.

  9. Your Lady xoxo
    September 4, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    When I started reading that, I was all like, “Does her expertise involve bed romping?”

  10. Your Lady xoxo
    September 4, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    ..did I spell that right?

  11. September 5, 2007 at 8:10 am

    I too see her point…that isn’t enough money…but my response to jobs with salary ranges I find unacceptable is not applying…or doing what you suggested and seeing if I can talk them into more money in an interview.

    However, if I decided for whatever frustrated reason to get my snark on….I would make damn sure that no grammar or spelling errors were present. Were I the hiring manager and receiving that snark, I too would snark back. Breaks the monotony of having to be nice to people. 🙂

  12. September 5, 2007 at 8:12 am

    As a wiser man than I once said, “Some people should just be shot.”

  13. Doug
    September 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    With nothing witty to say… I just say WOW… I mean, WOW.

  14. September 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I’ll be your admin. Assitant for 10 buck an hour. I ain’t proud, yo. But only if I can use the term “yo” at the end of each letter I type up for ya… yo.

  15. YM
    September 7, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    I have to say, my favorite part is calling you “impetuous” for thinking she’s frustrated. (giggle)

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