I really thought i had heard almost everything on the planet after 35 years in the recruiting profession.  I should know better than that, we work with people so there will always be a new wrinkle because each person is unique.


I am working a position in Georgia for a high powered executive assistant to support three Sr. Executives.  These guys are some of my favorite clients, they are hands on execs, travel all the time, work like the end of the world has been announced and they have to have everything done before it happens.


I posted a job ad that read something like:  "This position supports three on the go executives who are great to work for.  They are resepectful, fun and very busy.  Top clerical skills are just the tip of the iceberg.  You need to enjoy a fast paced environment, you work 8-5, 5 days a week, they work  18/7.  Flexibility should describe your personality and the ability to "herd cats" at times without getting flustered will be a plus."


The ad went on a bit to mention the other skills, describe the industry as a wholesale distribution firm with international locations, etc. etc. 


I received an interesting resume so sent back an email asking for salary and reasons for change and a time to speak with this candidate.


Here is what i got back:




Thanks so much for your reply; unfortunately, my husband read the ad and saw that there are "cats" involved. He is allergic and doesn't want me bringing cat hair into the home."


Now i realize that we use all kinds of expressions that some people never heard of but..

When i wrote back and told her that there were no cats involved in the job it was just an expression meaning that one would at times have three people asking for something at once and going different directions so might be a little frustrating.  The only cats were the ones that sometimes come up on the parking lot that they run off.


She came back and asked, "Would i have to be the one to run them off the parking lot and my other concern is that if i work for three people would i ever be able to take a vacation?"


My response, "I don't really think this is the right fit, the cats and the vacation might be a problem so let's move on."


Let's hear the funniest turndown/questions you ever got from a candidate.

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Sandra you are terrific.  :)  I use "herding cats" all the time and never has anyone went there with it!


Ok, just yesterday I was talking to a few applicants about a warehouse position we're looking to fill, it's rather random as most of my reqs are technical types at our headquarters.  I forgot how much fun warehouse joes can be.  So I explain the hours, location, starting salary and rundown of the job (shipping and receiving, the usual) and after a brief silence the candidate (who had applied to the job online, mind you) sighs loudly and says "I just can't do it".


"Do what?"  I ask.  "Well any of it!" he replies.  Before I could think of a witty comeback to that he asks if we could move the distribution center closer to his house so he doesn't waste all his money on gas.


Am I on candid camera....?

My client says it's a good thing I didn't say the position would require someone to be busier than a cat on a hot tin roof.

One can only speculate on what her husband would have come up with if I had said "busier than a cat covering crap".

By all means, let's move the distribution center closer to his house before he files a discrimination claim because he would have to spend all his money on gas.

Are we entering an alternative universe or just picking a jury panel?

Jury selection for a kangaroo court, perhaps.  :)


Had one some time ago that turned down a position because her astrologist gave her a tarot card reading that indicated the job wouldn't last... it was a temp contract position...

Now there is a great astrologist.
Those kinds of responses make me more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

I can promise that this candidate was not "the cat's meow".


If any of you clever types puts anything on here about "Cat's on the roof top" you will be banned in Boston for the length of this play.  :)  Thank God it's Friday.


The opposite end of this response is the cover letter i got from another candidate that started out,


"Feline Wrangler looking for cats to herd, available immediately and even know the whole cat daddy microsoft suite."  I am talking to her this afternoon.

A turndown that seemed basic enough at the time was when an engineer laughed out loud at our job offer, thanked us, and walked away.

Later we received an official letter declining our job offer from this engineer, but with a list of demands for:  more $$, a corner office, private parking, etc.  This I thought was funny in the audacity of the demands.

A couple of weeks later I encountered this same engineer on campus, wearing our company ID Badge.  I greeted him with a smile, and possibly an astonished look on my face, and asked him, "Did we meet your demands...?"  To which he responded, "All of them."

When I touched base with the hiring manager I was informed that they enhanced the job title and responsibility; gave him a higher base salary; a sign-on bonus; and accommodated his other requests.  How was this justified? Upon further evaluation of his true capabilities they discovered he was one of three people on the planet who could work in certain highly classified areas.  Do to my limited security clearance they told me that if they told me about them, they would have to have me WHACKED! 

Now, that was funny.  Not so much on the Hardy HarHar level, but funny just the same.

Now that is one strange cat.  Nice of them to let you know that they had hired him.
@ Bill - HAHAHA!! I sound like a lunatic laughing by myself watching this....
I started this shit didn't i?  Bill i may send you a whole litter of kittens Freight collect.

To the strains of "What's New Pussy Cat", i am departing the world of adults looking at cats on the internet and recruiting.  I got run over by a horse who panicked when it thundered ..it has been a long time since we heard thunder in the Texas panhandle.  Now i am getting four emails a day with a link to "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer".  the cat video is the end to an otherwise insane week.


A Texas Hat tip to all you cat lovers, adios and bye bye!

Sandra,  You can't herd cats if they're sleepy...


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