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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? - (Part 1 of a 3-part series)

Word Count 830

Ponder this thought for a moment if you will: Are you your own worst enemy? Recently, it occurred to me while talking with a job seeker that many of you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to conducting an effective job search. In this 3-part series we will highlight how good people get in their own way.

The following letter may seem unbelievable but every word of it is true, except for the confidential information that has been deleted, and, like me, you probably question this job seekers sanity or at least their business sophistication. Imagine how this company felt towards this applicant to take the time to fire off this response.

Dear Mr. John Doe:
I am enclosing a check in the amount of $748.68 to reimburse you for certain expenses incurred in connection with your interview trip to _______ located in ________. Please note that adjustments have been made to the amounts that you submitted. The adjustments are explained below

1. Hotel

Without consultation and prior approval, you selected a “5 Star.” Your decision to stay at the resort had no business purpose. Such accommodations are inconsistent with our reason for bringing you to _________. The resort was a great distance from our office and, at $222.00 per night, would not be cost-effective. It is our practice to provide comfortable lodging, which is within walking distance to our office, and at a rate of $99.00 per night. As such, we have adjusted reimbursement for lodging to $125.00 per night.

2. Room Service

You submitted a request for reimbursement in the amount of $36.68 for two room service charges. This is approved without adjustment.

1. Telephone

You submitted a request for reimbursement of 15 long distance telephone calls and one local call which were charged to your room at the resort totaling $98.56. None of these calls were to ________ or appear to have any business purpose related to the interview session. In the interest of fairness, we have allowed $15.00 as reimbursement for telephone calls.

2. Airfare

You submitted a request for reimbursement of air travel in the amount of $402.00, plus an additional of $50.00 penalty for changing your ticket. You have not provided any substantiation for the $50.00 penalty. Notwithstanding, we have approved the entire amount of $452.00

3. Transportation

You submitted a request for reimbursement of limo service in the amount of $260.00. Had you selected the hotel nearest our office transportation to and from office would have been unnecessary. In addition, limo service at $70.00 - $80.00 per trip versus taxi fare at $20.00 - $30.00 per trip is absolutely excessive. We have allowed $120.00 as reimbursement for transportation. This amount allows you every benefit and is more than fair in our estimation.

In summary, your decision to stay in a four star resort and being squired about by limos was yours alone. ___________ will not be financially responsible for it. It was our intention to bring you to __________ to discuss employment opportunities and to provide you with reasonable business accommodations during your stay as our guest. We have been more than fair in the determination of what is reasonable in this matter. If you would like to discuss this further, call me.

Not preparing for drug testing. I’m sure many of you don’t think of this – you have to prepare for a drug test. Believe it or not, certain everyday substances can indicate the presence of an illegal drug in your system, and this will eliminate any change of you getting the job.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times New Service, a study of 161 prescriptions and over the counter medications showed that 65 of them produced false positive results in the most widely administered urine test.  The moral of this story – for three weeks prior to a drug test you may want to avoid the following substances that can cause false positive drug test results or tell the human resources what you have taken over the last couple of weeks.

THC - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Dronabinol (Marinol)
Ibuprofen; (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Excedrin IB etc)
Ketoprofen (Orudis KT)
Kidney infection (Kidney disease, diabetes) Liver Disease
Naproxen (Aleve)
Promethazine (Phenergan, Promethegan)
Riboflavin (B2, Hempseed Oil)

Amphetamines - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, propylephedrine, phenylephrine, or desoxyephedrine
(Nyquil, Contact, Sudafed, Allerest, Tavist-D, Dimetapp, etc)
Phenegan-D, Robitussin Cold and Flu, Vicks Nyquil
Over-the-counter diet aids with phenylpropanolamine (Dexatrim, Accutrim)
Over-the-counter nasal sprays (Vicks inhaler, Afrin)
Asthma medications (Marax, Bronkaid tablets, Primatine Tablets)

Opiates - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Poppy Seeds
Tylenol with codeine
Most prescription pain medications
Cough suppressants with Dextromethorphan (DXM)

Don’t ask how you did at the end of the interview. This is not grade school. You are an adult, capable of presenting yourself in a confident, mature manner. That's the final impression you want to leave your interviewer with.

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