This is the letter I wrote to HR Director. I doubt they will ever answer, or do anything about it.
Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
Dear Human Resources Director,
I wish to make you aware of a situation that took place over the past week, when my son interviewed at the Sears Store in Vineland, NJ.
My 20-year-old son is two credits away from his BA in Criminal Justice/Forensic Science. He was awarded an internship to spend a few months this Fall in Washington, DC. This would not only give him ten more credits more than he would need to graduate, but it would give him valuable life and career experience. He has a 3.6 GPA, and likely would be better suited to be the interviewer than the interviewee.
Jonathan, my son, went in for a first interview for a cashier’s job, part time, last Tuesday. The “manager” interviewing him was unable to read the questions from the survey, and unable to write the answers to his questions. Jon came home and commented to me, “this is the first time I ever saw an illiterate supervisor.” My son was so embarrassed for this “manager” that he almost offered to take the pen and write the answers down for him.
The “manager” failed to mention the internship in the written survey, and my son was called in for a second interview today, June 7, 2011. Another Manager, named Scott, appearing more literate and professional, interviewed him this time. When Jon mentioned the internship, the Manager said it was not mentioned on the report, and because of it he would not consider Jon for the job. At that point, my son enlightened this Manager of the details surrounding his first interview, including the other “manager” being unable to read and write. The interviewing Manager appeared very surprised, but I don’t know why he should have been given the elaborate application/interview/screening process your company has on its website!
I am concerned by this because I have retired (due to a disability) from teaching after 26 years as a Chemistry teacher. I have taught honors middle school, high school, and served as a college adjunct. I taught 19 years of my career here in Vineland, and I am deeply embarrassed by the likelihood that your disgraceful “manager” was a product of our local public schools.
I have trained both of my sons in how to present themselves in an interview, how to write a resume, how to apply for employment. It is usually the complaint of employers that graduates of high school/college are not equipped with the skills to obtain employment. This is the FIRST TIME I have ever heard of a “manager” poorly educated for the task of hiring employees, and for the demands of his job, which should include reading and writing. HOW did this person get his job? WHY is this person still in his job??
If my son would have to work for an uneducated “manager” such as this one, and spend his entire working day cleaning up the messes this illiterate left behind, it is a good thing he did not get the job. Had your management people had any foresight, they would have looked at my son as a potential Loss Prevention specialist, or a supervisor, and hired him on to train him in the summer, to return to the job when his internship ended. Jon has already had two interviews with companies interested in placing him in Loss Prevention when he has his degree in hand (December 2011). Perhaps jealousy or intimidation kept them from taking a chance on a very intelligent, polite, hard-working young man, who would be a trustworthy, valuable asset to your company.
Sears used to take chances on college students, giving them an opportunity to work while they were in school, then hiring them into higher level positions when their education was completed, making them career employees. Now it seems that the opportunities go to those who are without skills, without an education, and who do not check the “white” box in your survey. With employees and “managers” like the one interviewing my son, it is no wonder that Sears is losing retail market share. I can tell you as a certainty I will never shop in the Vineland store ever again, knowing that it is run by management that would lose if they participated on the show “Are you Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?”
Hopefully you will get with the program, and give your “managers” literacy tests before you turn them loose on the public.