Came for an interview but it was a trial day... I left

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‘Noped’: Worker arrives to office for job interview. It’s a ‘trial day’ instead

"Do I have 'STUPID' written on my forehead?"


Jack Alban


Posted on Jul 23, 2023

Reddit’s r/antiwork sub is rife with tales of people’s dissatisfaction with their employers and the state of the American workplace. Workers have bragged about refusing to pick up their boss’ phone calls when they’re not on-the-clock, along with exhortations that folks should go out of their way to strike/protest in order to voice their displeasure with certain political agendas. There have even been horror stories that gainfully employed folks have relayed about being denied pay for hours that they’ve worked upon quitting their jobs.

One user on the platform, @Ophelia1988 recently penned a viral blog post on the r/antiwork subreddit detailing how they “noped” out of a job offer upon discovering that their interview was actually a “trial” which they believed to be a way for the potential employer to extricate 5 hours of “free labor” out of them.

Upset that the interviewer put them in this position, and instead of engaging in the “trial” day they decided to ditch the job altogether.

Came for an interview but it was a trial day… I left
by u/Ophelia1988 in antiwork

Ophelia opens their piece up by stating that they were told to come in for their job interview at 9am, and that they would stay afterward to work a trial day until 3pm.

However, when they showed up at 9am for their interview, the employer hit them with a change of plans: They were told that because the business was understaffed, they’d have to do the “trial” day portion of their interview first, and then from 2pm-3pm they’d have time to discuss the particulars of the job, which included information about salary, pay, benefits, and any other bits of information about the gig.

This didn’t sit right with Ophelia, who said that there wasn’t any way they’d be able to work for the company without knowing further details. They also added that they have 10 years of experience working in this particular industry, and that they are “not cheap” to keep around.

However, Ophelia went on to say that the supervisor said that they had to have the interview later on in the day, as they wouldn’t be able to leave the “apprentices” working at that time unsupervised.

That’s when the Reddit user hit the interviewing manager with: “perhaps it’s better if we reschedule when you’re not understaffed”

Ophelia further explained their reasoning for not performing the trial work toward the end of their post: “Do I have ‘STUPID’ written on my forehead? You want 5 hour of free labor out of me only for me to find out your pay and benefit suck? Made me wonder if they use people that are looking for a job as a replacement for sick or absent staff as a routine.”

Commenters applauded Ophelia’s decision to exit the situation entirely, with one person writing: “Good for you. There probably was a job waiting for someone at the end of all that, but they were making sure they’d only hire the doormat.”

The redditor responded to the fellow user, stating that in their particular line of work, even though understaffing is a persistent issue, finding a gig with suitable pay is an oftentimes difficult prospect. They also added that they had no interest in working for a “desperate” company that would attempt to hoodwink potential job candidates out of free labor: “But the question is, do I want to work with desperate people that would work for free and almost nothing? That’s no way to treat a candidate. I work in a sector that does not have enough staffing and still doesn’t pay a competitive wage to work around the problem. Meaning if I do get a job, I know from the start that understaffing is going to be a chronic problem.”

Someone else remarked that requesting folks perform “trial” periods, but not paying folks to participate in these trials isn’t legal: “Unpaid trial days, “working interviews,” are not legal, they must be paid”

Wirehouse Employer Services has stated that there are several trial “schemes” some employers attempt to hatch on unsuspecting prospective workers, with some businesses attempting to get up to 30 days of unpaid work from a potential hire.

A piece on unpaid trial shifts published by the Young Workers Advice Service supports multiple Reddit users’ claims that it is entirely illegal for a business to expect prospective employees to work trial shifts without being paid to do so.

The organization went on to say that if a business wants to hire someone for a “trial” period, then they must be at least paid the federally mandated minimum wage, and that anything below that is unlawful: “Some dodgy employers may ask you to work multiple unpaid trial shifts. This is unlawful. If an employer wants to spend longer assessing your skills after an unpaid trial shift, they must pay you for all hours worked. It is also illegal to be paid less than the minimum wage – for example a ‘trial shift rate.'”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @Ophelia1988 via Reddit Chat DM for further comment.

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*First Published: Jul 23, 2023, 9:35 am CDT