I signed off the job sites for a reason…

Social Media

I killed the LinkedIn, Dice, Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and I don’t remember how many more, accounts because they were bringing no value and no job leads. They were however wasting a lot of my time.

These sites opened my email box to a seemingly never-ending stream of “Job Leads” that can at best be described as useless. I think of them as SPAM.

I relented recently. The company I work for kept telling us to join LinkedIn “Greatest thing since sliced bread” according to them… In reality it’s nothing more than a pain in the ass. I have no interest in reading the company propaganda on my own time.

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Recent events and the realization that I will not be able to advance in any way with the  company forced me to reconsider my position about using these employment oriented websites. 

So I also started a job search using the only method left to me, the job sites. 

Einstein said something like; Continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

So I’m crazy. Not by choice, but by necessity.

Knowing what I was in for has helped make this insanity a bit more tolerable. 

angryemail

I was looking at my email this morning and had 24 emails from headhunters that pretty much all start;

“Hi I’m a recruiter from (blah blah technical sounding name) and I found your resume. I think that you’re exactly what my client is looking for…”

The stroking goes on from there. Most often there is a considerable amount of boilerplate crap about what a wonderful, well respected, profitable, and important “mover and shaker” the recruiting company is. (Do a Google street view address search of many of these places and you’ll find a hole in the wall between a whorehouse and a bar.)

By the time the “recruiter” gets to the point and describes the actual position two things become obvious.

1) This “Professional” recruiter hasn’t read your resume.

2) They have no concept of geography.

Job Search Apps

I’ve written about this in the past.

I never bothered to keep any statistics on the emails, until now.

How many are actually valid?

How many are from real placement firms?

I got a sample set of 24 in the past week. I’m thinking about how to work up a way to represent the statistics in a nice chart form. If I’m successful I’ll post it here.

For now though, here’s a quick take away from the current sample of 24.

Of those, only 6 were for positions in my actual area of expertise.

Only 2 of the 6 were actually in the state in which I reside

Only 1 of the 6 was within 200 miles.

Yipeee! I’m going to have a new job any day now.

All but 3 of these “Leads” were from Indians (Dot, not Feather)

The 2 leads in my state were from people with European names, and were in fact, local recruiting firms.

1 of the original 24 leads started out with a bald faced lie. “I’ve tried repeatedly to reach you”

Uh, no you haven’t, there’s no record of anyone calling my only phone, from the area code, prefix, or number you listed in your email, much less a voice mail.

The remaining 18 “Leads” were for positions that were ludicrous. A one month contracting position in NJ. A 3 month position in NY (for the kings ransom of $15 an hour, No benefits) and all of these were nothing like what my resume says I do. I’m not a software engineer, or developer. I’m also not a clerical person.

Frustrating Job Search

At the bottom of each of these “Great & exciting opportunities” is a message, “Please forward this email to anyone you know that might be qualified.”

Nope! Won’t do it. I’m not going to do your job for you Mr. recruiter. If you want candidates to fill these positions, you probably better start beating the bushes.  I’d suggest getting on your knees and blowing me, if you want my help. But I value my dick too much, and wouldn’t want to contract some screaming gow gow that rotted my member off at the root.

Needless to say, I fully recall why I gave up on the job search boards.  Of the applications that I have submitted for jobs that I’m capable of…

Zilch! Nada! 

Those applications have disappeared into a black hole.

So tell me again how the job market in California is improving???

Not that I’m surprised by any of this. If have a couple of friends trying to get the hell out of the place that we work. They’re encountering the same BS and we’re wondering collectively what the next move is.

For the time being we all just keep holding onto the jobs that we have and keep working to get something better.

All of us are fighting the depressing reality that we may be royally screwed.

Well, Chin up. Think of England!

It Begins

Once again I find myself at odds with a woman in power. She’s not even in a position of anything but minimal authority. But like so many women she apparently thinks she’s got something to prove.  Unfortunately, an older white guy presents her with an easy target. 

The older white guy in this case is me. Either I must look weak, or she figures with all the recent events, “the old guy won’t fight back because he’s white, male, and knows I’ll win.”


Here’s the crux of the issue. The rules at work say, “Document everything.” The time it takes to do this, in part due to some of the shittiest software I’ve ever seen, the complexities of proper reporting, and my admitted unfamiliarity with said software, plus a steep learning curve means that sometimes I may take 15 minutes or so collecting information or filling out the documents in the right way.  Sometimes longer, If I have to ask questions.

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That being said, I’m taking more calls every day, I’m documenting things better every day, and I’m getting better every day at doing all this.

I know I’m improving and I know this because Each day I’m more comfortable and not spending as much time figuring out the “usual” stuff.

The totally wacky stuff on the other hand takes a lot of time. Especially if you’ve got someone on the phone who is randomly talking about every thing they’ve ever had happen to them. It’s being recorded, and so you can be chastised for missing or not reporting things too.

Enter little miss twinkle twat…

Mean girls mean girls 23781900 714 474

Who walks up to my work area and never bothers to introduce herself or even say hello…

“Can I help you????” said with a sneer or nasty edge, is not what someone says when they’re honestly interested in helping.

We all know it. The implied message is “YOU’RE NOT WORKING FAST ENOUGH” or “GOD! WHY IS THIS FOOL BOTHERING ME?”

And that means, that no matter how fast, or good you ever become… You’ll never be good enough.

My response was neutral, “Nope thanks, I was just documenting all the issues a call raised.”

OOOPPPSSS! Not the right answer. This is the problem men always have with the question “Does this dress make my ass look fat?

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In retrospect I probably should have said, “Yes, oh I’m so glad you’re here and thank you for your assistance I couldn’t have possibly done anything without your intervention.

But I’m kind of Harry Potter in that regard.

I shouldn’t tell lies.

Oppps, water under the bridge. 


The whole call / documentation process itself is somewhat problematic. Calls come in, problems are documented. If they’re not documented correctly, an oversight team sends the documentation back telling you what is wrong and to make corrections.

The problem is, this process is by necessity asynchronous. This means that by the time you’re being asked for corrections, days or weeks have gone by and now you have to research what was happening and try to recall why you did something the way you did.

Add to that, being saddled with a non-standard keyboard that you’re chasing all over the table and having to keep up answering phone calls and you’re always behind in everything and under stress.

My nature is to front load the process and do things ”Right” the first time. Apparently, that is not the philosophy of this “supervisor”

She’s also very new to the management scene. She’s not yet learned that whipping the slaves can be effective, but that whipping the slaves too hard, or often, inevitably leads to revolt.

Initially I assumed that all the new folks, (Like me) were under her scrutiny and being asked, “CAN I HELP YOU?”

As it turns out, apparently, I’m special.

Which ties back to my initial suspicion that she’s looking to make an example of someone and I’m the “Soft” target.

The first time, I wrote it all off to just her being concerned that I was taking too much time in the documentation process. Then IT relented and gave me a “Real” keyboard. Huzzah! I can freaking type again! So I’m accelerating and streamlining the way I do things and picking up helpful hints along the way.

The second time, I was surprised when I got the “CAN I HELP YOU?” because I was in fact working more efficiently and taking more calls. “Meh, whatever…”

She’d come over to my work area, from her work area on the far side of the building to ask her question. I was in the midst of documenting 12 issues from the last call, not including the actual corrective action.

The third time, she sent a higher level manager to check on me. OK Now, I’m pretty sure, we’ve got some kind of perceived issue… But no-one is being forthcoming about what that issue may be.

Yesterday, she was particularly nasty, while I was packing up to leave. I had one of those moments where you’re tired and I was checking around my desk area to make sure I wasn’t leaving something behind or undone and she happened to be speaking to one of her peers. I was standing there scanning my area and she interrupted her conversation to turn and look at me with what I can only describe as open hostility, “CAN I HELP YOU?”

“Uh, no… Just packing up to leave…” I answered very confused by her attitude.


When I was very young, I fought back, playing the same nasty political games, as my opponent. As I matured, I’ve tried ignoring situations like this, hoping they would go away. Later in my work life I tried more centrist positions between the two.

Where I played the political games, I won. Typically, I win, by using a scorched Earth policy. This is effective as hell but doesn’t win you many friends, and usually leaves you at the bottom of the list for promotion.

Where I tried to be “above it” I lost. In both cases I was completely miserable.

Trying more centrist positions, was just exhausting. Keeping track of all the bullshit and mounting moderate defenses takes a lot of time and thought. Time that I think is better spent doing the job I’m actually being paid to do. I know… What a fucking concept!

Memorial Day, had HR been in I’d have been in their office nipping this shit right in the bud.

Yesterday, I decided it was far more important for me to get the hell out of work and on my way home. I was tired and usually when I’m tired I tend to be a bit more direct than I would be otherwise. Folks sometimes have a problem with my “moderate” directness, I can guarantee there’d have been a major problem if I was completely unfiltered.

After being pissed off about the situation on Sunday and then pissed off again on Monday, I slept on it.

I’ve decided I’m going with a more centrist position. I think I’m going to talk to the higher level manager that she drew into this situation. I’m just going to bluntly ask what I’m doing wrong.

I’ll see if this situation is salvageable. If I get some guidance, I’ll implement what I’m told to do. If that helps, great, I suspect that it won’t, and am therefore going to begin looking for another place to be either within the company or, (more likely) outside the company.

However, I’ve also decided that if this crap continues…  I’m going to put the company’s “Zero Tolerance” policies to the test. 

If little miss annoying continues her passive aggressive harassment I’m going to file a complaint. Let’s see how Zero Tolerance works when the aggressor is a woman and the victim is a white male.

Should be interesting…

My instincts tell me that this will not end well, but I feel like I have no choice but to respond.

So twinkle twat, this old white boy ain’t gonna get fucked over AGAIN… Let’s fucking dance!

See ME! Dammit!

In my long and mostly fruitless job search one thing became abundantly clear. The internet is not the job-seekers friend.
Computer75

Dice, Monster, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and the myriad other sites serve only to give false hope, waste the job seeker’s time, mask real opportunities, and further isolate people seeking positions from companies with actual positions available.
“Now Hiring” signs don’t mean “We’re Hiring here at this location.”
“Now Hiring” means, “Go to our website, fill out an application and maybe we’ll get back to you… Probably not though.
But there’s something else I’ve recently been considering;
The Frustration!
Jobless americans

In times past, you could fill out an application at a particular location, and then check back with the same location via telephone to find out if you were likely to be called in for an interview.
Now you check back on a website, but what you get is something like “Under Review”, then you check with the website a few days later and the status is “Closed”.
Okay, fine, but couldn’t you have just sent an email rather than forcing us to log back into your system, and navigate through surveys about our satisfaction with the application process?
Job seekers

For God’s sake, most company’s SPAM us with truly useless shit all the time. Surely, a form email telling an applicant that the position has been filled, isn’t too much to ask.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
After 4 or 5 hours of that fruitless grind, plus filling out endless applications and personality surveys, (85 pages of questions in one case.) It becomes soul crushing.
As the unpaid bills mount up, you’re wondering when you’re going to lose your home, and while yet another “Placement Agent” blows smoke up your skirt… Well, you might tend toward getting well and truly;
PISSED OFF!
internetrainbow

As I’ve expressed before, the internet is a way to isolate us rather than unite us.
The internet allows corporations to ignore their customers while maintaining the illusion of being helpful.
Your call is important to us, Please hold for the next available incomprehensible offshore representative. Most of your questions can be answered online by visiting www.wedontgiveadamn.com
The Walled Gardens of corporate hiring processes allow CEOs speaking before congress to make the case, “There aren’t enough qualified workers.”
theytookourjobs

The suits speaking in front of Congress have stats to back up that claim. They in fact, aren’t lying when they say they need more H1B1 visas. The data holds up, because the information they have, is generated by their HR department, and their HR department has such narrow focus, that no out of work American workers are even considered.
After all, very few American workers seeking positions are recent graduates of Bangalore Technical University! But there are plenty of H1B1 Visa applicants who are.
THE PANEL

It’s safer and easier for an employee to pass something up the chain of command than to make a “wrong” decision about anything.
bossmentor

Hiring decisions are no longer at a manager level where the Manager of a department can say, “This person is qualified enough. What they don’t know, they’ll pick up in a week or so, and the PERSON, the human being, would fit nicely in our corporate culture, and my department.”
Instead a manager must sit, or more often a designee sits in a committee and the group decides who gets hired, much like the decision about who gets to be prom queen.
Landru

The frustration and anger simmering in America today is not, as South Park says, “They Took R jobs!”
It’s “We never got the opportunity to even be considered by anything other than a computer system or some Orwellian group think.”
We’ve taken the humanity out of employment, and business, which simply feeds the cycle of frustration and anger.
We need to start dealing with each other as people again.
Facebook friends are not actual friends, if you’ve never met them in person. Twitter friends are nothing more than names.
If you’ve never met the people behind the screen do their opinions really matter?

New Diggs!

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Well I’ve been up since 5am today. Grabbed a shower tossed stuff in the car, and high-tailed it to Escondido.

Where I accepted delivery of my furniture.

I really do like the “Shake & Bake” moving method!  If you’ve got the money or a need (Such as you’re leaving a household intact) This is the best way to go.

I’ve still got a lot of washing up to do, new plates, new pans, glasses etc.

No dishwasher. Ugh! But then again it’s just me most, if not all of the time.

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Not a bad little place. actually and it’s a lot more homey now that There’s furniture in the place. I need to get some plants, and / or little table arrangements to bring some visual interest to the place. But for two days work its not coming together too badly.

Not having assigned parking is gong to be a serious annoyance but perhaps not so much of one once I’m not carrying arm-fulls of stuff up the stairs and into the place.

So I’ve got a few things left on my list of stuff to buy. But once that’s finished I’m going to be pretty much good to be here for at least 14 months.

Can’t take any pictures of the bedroom right now because there’s no light and the furniture just arrived a little while ago.

Internet should be here next Sunday so for the week I’m on my phone’s hotspot.

Which means that my connectivity is likely to be in burst mode for the next week, however I’m going to be having so much new to deal with I’m figuring that I’m going to be intermittent anyway.

Fingers Crossed that this job thing works,  otherwise I’m so screwed I can’t even begin to describe the depths to which things go South.

Wish me luck I could use all the good JuJu you want to send my way.

When it comes to it…

T minus 24

The move to San Diego is progressing better than expected. I’ve managed to put this whole thing together in less than 2 weeks. I’m convinced there’s been divine intervention, my luck is never this good and stuff in my life rarely works smoothly. I’m not looking the gift horse in the mouth. I’m saddling that baby up and riding it.

  • Apartment secured (And not a moment to spare.)
  • Power (established)
  • Furniture (being delivered)
  • Linens (using what I’ve got around the house here)
  • Internet (Coming online next Sunday)
  • New job (Starting Monday)
  • Bank Account (local to the area)

I’m still within budget but financially, it’s going to be tight for a while. I’ll be working any overtime I can get so that I can widen the margin between Income and outgo. The plan is to start pumping cash back into the mountain house, and continue making progress toward paying off the existing debts.

No matter how positive all of this sounds. 

Canyon

I can’t help but be somewhat depressed.  It’s raining and that’s not helping. I’m standing on a line. Behind me is what’s familiar and comfortable. Ahead of me is uncharted.  

I’ve lived in this meshuggina town for 24 years. While I’ve wanted to leave for a while, I wanted to leave as a family.  

That’s not happening. I’m only going to be two hours away, but it’s impractical to make that drive all much more than once a week.

I’m not going to be here for either dog, both of whom are getting up there in years. They know something is up, but they don’t know what. The other half is upset, everything about this house and the pups will fall on their shoulders and that’s bumming me out. 

There is no choice I have to get, and stay employed. Any income is better than no income. That knowledge is small comfort.  I’m a creature of habit and my habits are 24 years in-grained. 

On the plus side, I think I’m going to like the area I’m moving into. I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook, and look forward to the changes and the future.  I think a lot of this is first day of a new job jitters.

But nonetheless it’s taking a toll.

 

Change is in the air

Change

As of this morning I’ve got a new job.

Without going into all the details, I’m returning to the work-a-day world. This job is something I think I can get into, and it’s a foot in the door to a new industry.

The initial pay is a bit on the low side, but it’s a foot in the door.

I’m looking at it as my package of vacuum packed potatoes. If you haven’t seen The Martian you’re not going to have any idea what I’m talking about. So rent the movie or read the book.

Many changes are forthcoming not all of them easy, but then again when are big changes ever easy?

I’m going to be very busy over the next month or two, so blogs may be sporadic because there is a whole lot to do.

Frustrating Job Search

What I can say, is that the Job search sites and most of the headhunters that will contact you or that you’ll contact are pretty much useless. It turns out that the best way into a new position is still who you know, or who’s willing to give you a “heads-up” that positions within their company are available.

Who knows, I may end up writing a book about the insanity of the job search in America.  At the very least, as I have time I’ll likely post a series of blogs about my experience. Perhaps my experiences will save someone else some of the pain.

As always, your milage will vary.

Talk about taking it right down to the freakin wire! Less than 2k left in any of the accounts that translates to about 2 months or less. Of course, now all the calculations about burn rates go right the heck out the window. 

Moving

For the first time in 20 years or so I’m going to be working hourly. But I’ll have corporate insurance and various benefits. 

I’m also moving.

There is no way that a commute is possible.

So I’m going to be in a rental of some sort that will cost at least half of what the mortgage on this house is.

Yes, I’m keeping the house too, the other half needs to remain in this area.  I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to pull this rabbit out of the hat but I’m creative, driven, and I could afford to lose a few pounds too.

LATraffic

The distance is only twenty miles further than I used to commute, but the freeway conditions make that completely out of the question. If it’s not construction, it’s accidents, or car chases. So I need to find living arrangements.

On the plus side, I’ll be able to work overtime, and still have time to make some new friends. 

The overtime means my base take home pay will probably be more than the amount a 40 hour work week would provide, and the new friends means that I’ll be socially stimulated which I desperately need.

People

There’s another upside, I won’t be spending a ton of money on gas, and auto maintenance monthly. As I think about it, it might be nice to have access to things like choices when it comes to internet and I won’t have to necessarily pay premium prices for repairs like plumbers and such.

I do pretty much ok alone, but I’ve become very lonely in recent years, and a loner in the process.  I look forward to a little more social interaction. Living where I’ve been living has been likened to living where Jesus lost his other sandal. It might be nice to live somewhere that I don’t have to pack summer and winter clothing for a day’s outing.

SSherpasadly, I still haven’t made it out of the Republic of Kalifornia. But at this point I’ll take what I can get.

The funniest part of all of this is that I was only in one interview for this position. That was a refreshing change. I’ve sat through interminable interviews with companies and (One was six full hours with various groups. Talk about fear of commitment!) even though I felt I’d answered their questions and been a good little boy, I didn’t get the position.

SanDiego Skyline JohnBahu 1280x642 downsized

As was said in House of Cards, “It’s so refreshing to work with someone who’ll throw a saddle on a gift horse rather than look it in the mouth.” 

I mean when I was talking with these other companies, I was talking about working really cheap!

So sunny San Diego, here I come.