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RAPID ASSESSMENT

About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Am I hiring security guards?

Few of my stories have produced the kind of reader reaction that Monday’s did on the new Spotsylvania hospital. The phone started ringing at 7 o’clock that morning and continued for two days. Dozens of people wanted to know more about the job fair that the Virginia Employment Commission hosted yesterday for the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

People called because they saw my name and phone number at the end of the story. Somehow they thought that I was associated with the hospital, and that I would be deciding who will be hired. Believe me, I’m not associated with the hospital and have nothing to do with its hiring.

Job fair participantsEven so, one caller wanted to know if she could apply online rather than go to the job fair. (Turns out that was a pretty good strategy.) One asked if I would hire someone who didn’t have a high school diploma. (Maybe. My back is sore from shoveling snow.) Another asked if I would be hiring security guards. (I don’t think so. People aren’t that mad at me.) One person said that her son has a criminal record. Would I hold that against him? (Again, it would depend. What does he know about fixing the steering on a ’94 Camry?) And after it snowed yesterday, several people wanted to know if I planned to cancel the event. (Come on, I knocked that snow away with a broom.)

The callers I really had to wonder about were those who read that the job fair would be held at the new VEC employment center on Carr Drive in Spotsylvania County.

“Where is that?” they asked.

“Off Route 1,” I replied.

“But where? I’ve never heard of it,” they said.

I confess that I ran out of patience with these folks. What I wanted to say was that employers want people who can solve problems. I wanted to say that if you can’t figure out where Carr Drive is, then don’t even think about applying for one of these jobs. I thought about it but never did.

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