I got an e-mail today from my company’s HR department, setting up a meeting for one of my coworkers and I to interview a potential candidate. The e-mail came with three attachments: the job description, the candidate’s resume, and the company’s “interview guide”, covering all the do’s and don’ts of conducting an interview. The e-mail ended with the following sentence:
“Since we are running low on interview guides, the two of you will have to share the attached document.”
Let that sink in for a second. We were each sent a digital copy of a document, and told that we had to share it because they didn’t have enough copies to go around. Apparently, my company is suffering through an acute PDF shortage. Probably as a result of the sequester.
At first, I assumed this was a holdover from an earlier age, when documents were printed on paper by trained professionals at great expense. No, the e-mail specifically notes that the guide in question is an attachment to the e-mail. This isn’t a simple cut-and-paste error. Someone changed the statement to reflect the digital nature of the guide, while attempting to (I guess) retain the digital rights management on the file.
I talked to my coworker, and we came to an equitable arrangement where we agreed not to look at the document at the same time.
The interview is on Friday. It is going to take all my willpower not to send a reply e-mail back to HR, returning the PDF file to them for reuse, and thanking them for letting me borrow their precious set of 1’s and 0’s.
This was the best work day I’ve had in quite a while.