Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Missed Opportunities

I love young college students.

I really do.

I find it admirable that they're doing their best to get a higher education and to "better" themselves to make them more productive citizens of society.

I also understand that attempting to launch themselves into the "real world" can be a little scary.
Confusing.
Difficult.

I get the idea of "padding" up a resume if you've done nothing BUT gone to school. I've actually helped people in this predicament compose their resumes into what I would call a "reasonable" fashion given their circumstances.



I understand being desperate because mommy and daddy are breathing down your neck to GET A REAL JOB AND STOP BEING A PROFESSIONAL STUDENT ALREADY. If you've been one of those college students that's been lucky enough to live at home with the parental units getting free room and board and getting your tuition paid for as well, OR lucky enough that the parental units are paying for you to live SOMEWHERE ELSE on their dime, with spending money to boot and you just have to go to school, then eventually? Your luck's going to run out. That's just a fact of life. At some point or another it's going to be time to be a grown up and start supporting yourself and stop milking your time in college going to frat parties and pretending that carrying 8 units is absolutely KILLING you, that it's ALL that you can handle.
Although I wasn't lucky enough to be in that particular predicament, I had a lot of college friends that were so even though it slightly angered me that I wasn't that lucky, I GET ALL THAT.

What I don't get, however, is when a college student is insistent that our particular company fits into what they've been studying and that we'd have a "mutually beneficial" relationship if we hire them at a high wage for a mid-level position of which they know nothing about. I'm embarrassed for them that because they have a special piece of paper they walk around with the attitude that they are "entitled" to start much farther up the food chain than most of the other average folk out there. (More on my annoyance with the "Entitled Generation" to come in future blog posts...)

This particular charming college student took it to a whole different level when she emailed me a note with her resume. She took several circuitous routes to get to the end result, which was exactly... nowhere.
The road we traveled to arrive at The Town of Uselessness was ridiculous.

So without further ado- I present to you word for word (nothing paraphrased by yours truly)-
"A Missed Opportunity" by Taylor _______________.

"Dear HR,
I would like to come to a job interview. Like asap. As you can tell from my sparkling curriculum vitae, I am the perfect candidate for this job. I have been in college and am anxious to get started in the working world at your specific company. I should say upfront that I require an income of $4500 a month to start. Unfortunately today and tomorrow are not the best days for me to interview however, perhaps a week from the last week of the month? I've attached my CV to this email ThankYOU for your time."

Well darnit all Taylor that you can't come in today or tomorrow because as your









Curriculum Vitae points out,
"Analysis of Italian Fascism in the Countryside" would have been SUPER USEFUL FOR OUR INSURANCE COMPANY~!!!!
What an incredible missed opportunity for us.

Not.

Oh and PS- "perhaps a week from the last week of the month?" WHO SAYS THAT?!?














Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Letters of Recommendation

Ooo!
New topic for us here my little chickadees!

Today I'll be covering Letters of Recommendation.

Are they worthwhile?
Usually.

Would I recommend them?
In most cases, sure, why the hell not?

Do we think some people fake or forge them?
Of course!

Does it matter?
Eh. Maybe.
I suppose if we were to actually call the person that is endorsing that particular letter to verify said candidate's stellar performance and then we discovered it was all made up, then we'd have a problem. But usually, this is not the case.

So now that you know I'm generally on Team Letter of Recommendation (NOT Team Objective, but don't get me started on THAT again...), here's two examples of the kinds of letters not to use.

Some girl we'll just call "Erin" was a property manager. She submitted a LoR.

The ENTIRE thing read like this:

"Dear Sirs,
I'd like to tell you what a wonderful property manager Erin ________ is. I've been living here for almost ten years and never have I gotten such a quick response as Erin. I'm an elderly woman, so I need people to help me change my light bulbs occasionally and while I kept requesting this one bulb be changed for a couple of years, once Erin was hired, she had somebody take care of it immediately! And she was kind about it too. So in closing, I'd like to say that I recommend Erin immensely. She'll get the job done!
Sincerely,
Eleanor _____________"



While tempting to insert a "How many property managers does it take to change a lightbulb?" joke here, I'll just pass on that golden opportunity and skip to our next stunning LoR example.

"To Whom It May Concern:
If Ron __________ is applying for a job as a salesman, hire him.
I am a Director of Marketing and Sales Manager at ___________ company. I can tell you that Ron's suggestions on product introduction were important factors to the growth of our facility. We had an unfortunate disaster strike our company and again (and again single-handedly), Ron ground out the sales. He always sold around $600 to $800 per year extra despite the disaster. He did this strictly on his strength with store buyers in face-to-face situations. I think we and our customers are going to suffer badly by the loss of Ron ___________. If I may amplify any portion of this, please feel free to contact me. 
John ___________
Director of Sales and Marketing
________________ Company"


$600-$800 and 1 light bulb changed? Wow and big whoop.
I'm so totally not impressed.
Why can't people see how STUPID it is for them to be submitting these LoR's? It's shocking to me.

So if you're ever in doubt on whether you should use one, yes- but only if it's good.
If you're having any doubts about whether or not it's any good? For criminey sakes, ASK SOMEBODY.

Oh and PS-  to poor little ol' Eleanor's family that wouldn't help her change a damn light bulb in her little ol' apartment- YOU SUCK.

And PPS- Did you all know there's clip art out there of light bulbs that snorkel? Me neither.

But now we all do.
So that means I can officially say we've all been "enlightened".
Hardy har har.
(Sorry...couldn't resist!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Meanie Monday! Installation #3


Welcome!
And happy freakin' Monday after the L-O-N-G holiday weekend...

Let's just get right to it, shall we?

I'm pretty sure this one will blow your eyelashes back a bit, just like it did mine.


I found a guy we'll just call  "Joe" (no that's not his real name) on a job board a few months back that had a slight background in insurance about 10 years ago. Although he had mainly been focusing on business and project management with some pretty impressive companies as of late, it appeared as though he had some excellent skills that would apply to our line of work.
So I tried to call him.
Phone just rang...no voice mail, no answering machine, nothing.
Next I did the only thing I had left to do at that point, I emailed him.

The following day I got his reply back which just left me sitting there stunned.

"Stephanie;
Thank you for the consideration and this opportunity of which you emailed. Under spiritual and morale issues, Insurance is gambling, betting on a flesh-ling being or not being injured. I cannot be a party to this scam. And furthermore, you are acting as if you are addressing an associated FRANCHISE when I am an Inhabitant, not a franchise nor a US CORPORATE 14th Amendment Slave-CITIZEN, here again I choose not to participate in this scam.
Respectfully,
Joe
A Free Inhabitant,
A Free Flesh and Blood Living Soul"

Ummmm say wha?



This was disturbing.

After reading it over several times, it was still disturbing.

I sent a copy of the email to my husband, who also decided that yes, indeed, it was disturbing.

He (fortunately) had the brains to put the Scary Person's closing lines into a Google search and guess what popped up? All this junk from all these weirdos out there that actually think like this. Apparently this is some kind of a movement or something as there's a ton of information about this.

I found one guy's rant online just now, about how he refuses to pay his mortgage based on all these "things" he cites and this is part of the quote he put up online on his blog... for reference, he's talking about some letter he sent to President Obama and his mortgage company:

"I have changed my name but everything else is how I sent it. I also included other legal documents which I have filed with the Secretary of State, to show my status as Sovereign and free, flesh and blood living soul. A transient inhabitant and NOT a "person", which the legal definition INCLUDES a corporate fiction. Yes, your name in all capital letters makes you a corporate fiction and NOT a living human being. You must seperate yourself and explain this to the State and federal "governments".
It is up to each and every one of us to set the record straight, then and only then will ANY change for the good take place. People who join groups or "Tea Parties" or other organizations believing that they are championing anything are being led around by the nose and distracted from the truth and what really matters.
It's all about "money" which is not real anyway. Sad world we live in. Hope more of you wake up to the truth before it's too late."

A guy commented on his blog right after he posted the above excerpt and amazingly, he did not pull it down. Here's the sane man's response that made me laugh:

"Yes, your name in all capital letters makes you a corporate fiction and NOT a living human being.
Signed,
STEVE (nope, still a human)."


You know how people talk about "Portals" for ghosts? I swear, my inbox is a portal for idiots, weirdos, morons and chumps.

Maybe I should have my cat start handling all of this for me.

I think she'd do a fine job.

Because after all, she's just as smart as these asshats.
Probably smarter.

















Friday, November 25, 2011

Today I'm veering off track...

Happy day after Turkey Time and/or Black Friday if you're one of those crazies out there that like to trample over people and wait in line for hours to save $2.50. Personally, I can't handle that action as it makes me hyperventilate like this:


But more power to ya if you can get out there and play like that! 

Seeing as how I have the next few days off (which basically means that I get a break from reading stupid junky resumes in my inbox), I wanted to post something completely unrelated to resumes. I'm sure this will bore some of you and if you showed up on my site today to specifically see me bash another great CV, I'm sorry to disappoint, you'll just have to scroll through some of my archives to read up and get your fill. 

Now, onto the topic at hand. 
Crafting!
 (I know some of you just yawned, but stay with me here, you might actually learn something new!)

My sister and I like to craft together. 
Since we are fortunate enough to live together in a very large house, we actually have a CRAFT ROOM. 
Finally.
 After years of us both just dreaming about it, we can say that we actually have one! 
Here are some random shots of the room and what we've previously worked on to give you an idea:


This is one part of the room. 
This is pretty much where I sit, look out over our beautiful back yard and bash the hell out of morons and their resumes. 
Yep, this is where the magic happens baby. 
Right next to my vintage Winnie the Pooh I've had since I was 4.

Here are some items my sister gets to take most of the credit for- although I helped her pick the designs and sayings (and lettered the sayings-big whoop) she is the incredibly talented artist. I can't draw a stick figure to save my life. 



And one of my faves- a Cockapoo puppy painting:


Here's a headboard for our master bedroom that I made with the assistance of my poor hubby that played along like a good sport:





So you get the idea, right?
While we are certainly not professionals, we try to have fun and come up with creative things to make the house more "interesting".
And although my sister and my schedules only seem to sync when there is a rare planetary alignment, we manage to scheme about new projects and work on them in shifts. So we each have our hand in whatever end product we're after and eventually it gets done. Sometimes I work on a project at 5am before work, sometimes she works on a project at 3am after work. But we ultimately have the end goal in mind and know what we're after and it eventually comes together. 

Yesterday was one of those moments when everything finally came together on one project in particular we'd been slugging away at for what felt like months. In between cooking Thanksgiving dinner and prepping for our guests to arrive, we were finally hanging our latest masterpiece in the stairwell of the house.

Backstory: we have a curved staircase, it's rather steep and has this very tall wall shooting straight up to the roof line. It was a large empty space that we didn't quite know what to do with as a "regular" framed picture couldn't go there because of the angle of the wall...it's extremely curvy, matching the staircase. We've lived here for a full year next week and so this wall has been driving my sister and I bat shit crazy being all blank and stuff. It's like it's been taunting us every time we go up and down the staircase saying
 "Neener neener neener! 
You can't figure out how to decorate me!!" 
(Yeah- I know the wall wasn't actually saying that but in our minds? 
It totally was, so be a good blog reader and play along, alright??)

ANYHOO, after hours of snooping around on Pinterest (our favorite idea site that if you haven't had the pleasure of surfing around on you must go NOW to experience (or after you finish reading my blog is acceptable too)...just click here:  http://pinterest.com/
You're required to register on their site to look around but I promise you, it's safe, they don't ever spam you or annoy you in the slightest...) Tracy and I picked a project that looked perfect for our predicament. Although done on a much smaller scale with only real Scrabble tiles in the original picture we saw on Pinterest, we took it a step further and kicked it up a notch in true
 crafty * sisterly * fashion. 

And now, without further ado- I present to you our 
Scrabble Name Art:


Although somewhat deceiving in the picture, it runs 4.5' across and 5.5' down the wall. 
It admittedly took us some time to get all our names to work out in an "eye pleasing format", but we think the end product looks pretty damn good if we don't say so ourselves.

 Here's how we did it: we purchased white canvas blocks that are 4"x4", painted them a nice tan color with brushstrokes resembling wood patterns... printed and cut out type similar to that of the Scrabble font, taped them onto the blocks, hand traced the letters and the numbers, removed the taped on cut outs and then hand painted the letters and the numbers on and voila! 
Project is completed!

Time consuming?
Yes.
Worth it?
Totally.

Picture doesn't do it justice.
You'll just have to come over and see.

Our next project you ask?
We're already on it!
All the different cities we've all lived in, going to be placed on a wall in the house like sign posts pointing here and there- this is the halfway through it pic:


Sideways.
So that you have to crane your head to the right and look like a silly fool trying to read your computer screen. (You're welcome.)

Stay tuned for another non-resume type day where I'll show the finished product.

And it won't be sideways.
I promise. 





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fun with Puns

One of my many (yes, I know- some people think too many) pet peeves graced my inbox yesterday...

The use of the word "costumers" on a resume.

Over and over and OVER again, I see it all freakin' day long. Yesterday I could have put a small tree back together with the amount of paper consumed by resumes that had the word COSTUMERS on it.

Why is this so hard to get straight?

I've mentioned this before but unfortunately it obviously bears repeating...

Sorry to have to break it to everybody, but there are no costumes involved in the everyday life of an insurance person. And unless you have a job as a person that either makes or designs costumes, or you actually help people put their costumes on, you shouldn't be using that word on a resume.

The dumbest offender of the day goes to the server that put this as the description of his last place of employment:

"Served costumers in high end sole food restaurant."

Huh. I'm confused.
Were you trying to tell me that you serve CUSTOMERS in a SOUL food restaurant?

OR

Is this a fish restaurant that requires it's customers to wear costumes?  


PS Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

And on behalf of all the turkeys out there:


Go eat some fish!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Damn Auto Correct

First, the school lesson for the day.
Listen up my little chickadees!






When you're in the insurance industry, you frequently refer to your customer database as your "BoB" (said like the name Bob), which stands for "Book of Business". Every once in a blue moon I'll be fortunate enough to run into candidates that are already licensed with the State of CA Dept of Insurance and have been working in the insurance industry for quite awhile. These candidates tend to be smart enough to know to ask specific questions about the different positions I'm recommending for them and I actually enjoy having a rather intelligent, back and forth banter about our somewhat dull industry.


That being said, one of the most common questions I get asked repeatedly is whether or not we'll be supplying a new person with a book of business. 


One guy wasn't paying too close attention to his email to me, however, as he put this:


"Hi Stephanie, just wanted to know if you guys will be supplying me with a book of bunnies?"




BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


This made me almost laugh myself into an asthma attack.

I really gotta get out more often.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meanie Mondays Installation #2

Welcome to the 2nd Installation of Meanie Mondays.

Today's chosen jaw dropping candidate comes from a whole new genre...somebody that decided to drag God into his offensive behavior towards me. I've seen some weird stuff but I've never seen THIS particular kind of weird stuff.
So let's get started, shall we?

Backstory:
I found a *slightly decent* candidate on a job board. (I stand to be corrected on my interpretation of *slightly decent* later as time would tell. Silly me.) I emailed him, said I would like to speak with him about a couple of different positions that might interest him given his previous job listings. Those previous job listings (fyi) were in sales and the worker's comp aspect of the insurance world.
Two days went by and then one morning I came into work, opened up my inbox and found THIS as his reply to my email.
Time stamp you ask?
7:39 a.m.

Here we go:
"Attention Asshole:
It takes no talent to annoy my inbox with patented UNSOLICITED job opportunities that you KNOW are highly unlikely to be of ANY interest to me. Spare me your inane rationalizations. You KNOW you're full of shit, you bottom-feeding, no-talent, create-nothing douchebag. Our job site profiles are there for a specifically targeted reason. You've crossed all lines by emailing me.
Being that you're so mind-numbingly stupid, it's highly likely that you also believe in god. You clearly need help on many levels, but I can only help you overcome your religious delusion. Check out my website. You can expect regular updates.
Get a REAL job and then go fuck yourself. And have a great day!
-The Bastard"

And then he put a link to his website.
Which I'm not going to list here even though I bet I could get an entire tribe of people after him to retalitate for putting me through reading that email.

But he actually thinks I'm going to CLICK ON his link? Like I must be so stupid (like he said) that I'd just say to myself "You know what? I think he's right. I need help on many different levels. I have great religious delusion. I AM a bottom-feeding, no-talent, create-nothing douchebag. I really SHOULD click on this fellow's link. HE'S going to be the answer I've been searching for all along."

All I can add to this experience is this:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Are you KIDDING ME with this crap?

Plugging along through my day...


Things ironically weren't going that badly until I came to a resume that made me yell out at my desk, I imagine once again causing my co-workers to revisit the thought of talking to me about going into therapy.


Cute and clever little Dustin thought he'd impress me with his long-winded cover note as he must have read some online job-hunting tip  about how you should say what times you're available to come in and speak with your possible future employer. 


I've seen this done quite a bit, I'd say probably 25% of the people that send me their resumes do this. 


And to be honest, it's kind of annoying. 


I understand that it's supposed to trick the employer into thinking that you "gave it some thought" and actually looked at your schedule and really mean and intend for them to be hypnotized into calling you and that this in turn will result in them having you come in on one of the specific days and times you outlined...






but it doesn't work.


At least not for me.


And here's why:
Dustin started out his cover note in the typical fashion those 25%'ers do. Here's the beginning:


"I was very excited when I saw your open position for an Insurance Agent. I would be more than happy to come in for an interview and to learn more about the job position at your earliest convenience. I can come in anytime this Thursday or Friday between 10am and 1pm or sometime next week, preferably Monday or Wednesday between 2:30 pm and 6:00pm."


So did you follow all that? 
Because if you did then good for you, you might actually be better at this racket than I am. My point being-
Do you see how if a recruiter/HR type was to actually stare at a calendar and mentally block those days and times out 
a) it would be annoying as all hell and
b) the person's eyes would start to cross, ultimately throwing the resume up in the air and say "I GIVE UP!"


But wait, Dustin wasn't done.


"I could also meet on a Sunday from 4pm to 5:30pm. Please let me know what time would be best and how long you think the interview will take."


Ummmm, excuse me? Did Dustin just say what I THINK he just said?


How long will the interview take?


Whoa, back it up Jack. 


First of all, you've overwhelmed and annoyed me with your fancy "trickery" and/or demands that you think are so clever.


Second of all, unless there's an actual emergency requiring us to help our insured clients out in the field, the day my boss comes in to interview somebody on a Sunday from 4pm to 5:30pm is the day you're Jesus Christ himself. As HE would be somebody worth coming in on a Sunday for.


Third....how DARE you want to know how long the interview will take. That's not something you ask until you've been INVITED to actually come and INTERVIEW, and even then? A little ballsy. You've got to be a top notch candidate to ask me that on the phone, and that's only *slightly acceptable* after we've already booked the interview time on the boss's calendar.


You clearly have too much going on with your very important life to fit us in Mr. Dustin ...so best of luck to you sir. 


Oh and by the way, Dustin's current employment status?


Unemployed.


Dustin's current school schedule?


Not going to school.


Tsk tsk.


Dustin, as Napoleon Dynamite would say,


 "IDIOT!"    



DELETE!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cha-ching!

It's always good to think big.


Even when you're just starting out, you should think really BIG.


There's a famous quote from Aldous Huxley that says "Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right."


And so now that I've done the school lesson for the day, I can get on with my resume bashing.


A youngin thought it would be a good idea to THINK BIG.


She started out with this:
"I'm currently studying to be a medical coding and insurance specialist but in the mean time I need a job to help me get through school."


Although completely IRRELEVANT to the portion of the insurance industry that we are in (ahem) I'll play along and keep reading.


Next line down from the "I need a job" plea:


Desired salary: $400-$700 per hour


And while you should never, EVER talk about money on a resume in general (more on that later), that is one damn high ceiling she set.


And that's one damn expensive medical billing and coding school too.


Sheesh.















Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm scared for the future of America



I love typos.
You guys already knew that about me though I'm sure.


And let me just take a moment to say here that I'm not perfect, I make boo-boos all the time. So I'm not sitting here with my Grammar Police badge and my Queenie Crown on criticizing every lil' thang that I come across.
(That's right, I just got twangy on you)




I start sentences with "and" and "so" all the time. My writing's consumed with fragmented sentences like it's goin' outta style. And although I'd be the first to defend myself and point out that I write like I talk and therefore hope I'm being more "relate-able", my high school English teachers would have a FIELD DAY with me and my inappropriate "wayz".


Typos on resumes, however, are just... how shall I say? Unacceptable.
TYPOS

There's this really cool feature in every program known to mankind, it's called "SPELL CHECKER". And also-- you do not live in a bubble. There are other people around you that could look at your resume before you send it out to the planet for mass criticism. And even though the people in your immediate vicinity might be just as stupid and illiterate and typo-laden as you are, you can branch out a little bit and find someone that's smarter than you and can spot your mistakes that you couldn't seem to fix on your own because you were too stubborn to press the spell checker button. (And you should buy that person a Starbux or a frozen yogurt or something for catching your mistakes and savin' your ass. That'll teach you not to use the spell checker button.)


But back to my point and the Resume of Stupidity Du Jour.


I just really REALLY love it when I find a particularly, hysterically stupid typo. It makes me absolutely giddy.
(Yes, I know, I have issues...)


"Darren" called himself "intellectually superior" in his description of himself. That's pretty ballsy in general because you just know I'm gonna be snoopin' around the resume to find anything to prove him wrong, just for the self satisfaction of saying "Ha! You are NOT, braggy butt!"


He made it easy for me though because only 3 lines down he put this:


"GPA is 3.4, minor-Buisness Management"


Pffft.
Intellectually superior my ASS.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I love monsters, don't you?

Oh boy.


Today's unfortunate display of resume idiocy is something new.
Never EVER have I seen this before.


Ms. Carolyn submitted THIS as her whole resume to me:


"Now you can upload your resume directly to Monster using Word 2007!
1. Install Monster's Easy Submit add-in by clicking the "Install" icon on the menu ribbon.
2. Once installation is complete, restart Word.
3. Click on the "Upload" icon to upload your resume to Monster.
For any issues or questions, please visit the Easy Submit installation support page.
To close this reminder, click the border and then press DELETE."


But not just once, it repeated, THREE TIMES.


I think the Resume Monster ate her brain.

RAWR!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meanie Mondays -or- Why Ya Gotta Be So MEAN?? Installation #1


Today kicks off a new weekly series I'm gonna call
 "Meanie Mondays"


Every week I will add to this new series but only 1 a week (and obviously on Mondays) so I don't run the chance of you guys getting as depressed as I can get about this topic.

I think this new series deserves a theme song. So because this talented young lady won Entertainer of the Year TWICE (and by the age of 21 to boot) AND because I'm forced to listen to this often in the truck while taxi-ing my daughter here and there, I'm choosing little Miss Taylor Swift's song:

"Mean"

In case you've been hiding under a rock and haven't heard the song before and would like to know what the heck I'm talkin' about, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYa1eI1hpDE&ob=av2e


So let's begin, shall we?






I get a TON of abusive messages every week.

Betcha didn't know that now, did ya?

Us HR/Recruiter types, we're on the firing lines man. It doesn't matter what company I work for, EVERY company is going to have disgruntled previous customers and/or clients. Especially in the insurance industry. It's just a fact of life.

Fortunately I work for a company that is top ranking and actually cares about people...but of course that's just MY opinion. The people that email me? They have a different opinion.

Let me first off be clear here, I do not have an aversion to swearing/cursing/cussing etc.

To give you an idea how far back this "affliction" goes, I'm going to let you guys in on an embarrassing little secret.



One of my very first full sentences that I formed together as a teeny tiny child wasn't in the best "taste". 
 This is how the story goes 
(as repeated by my parents for years after the fact):

Setting- back in the *very* early 70's, I was in our small living room, watching TV by myself,
 sitting on the floor in my cloth
 (yes I'm old)
 diaper, complete with yellow ducky large safety pins and those AWFUL rubberized plastic diaper cover/pants things on. 
Remember those people? 
(Because if you do? You're JUST as old as I am.) 

I was watching Captain Kangaroo-
 remember him? 
(Again- if you do, YOU'RE EFFING OLD) 

and all of a sudden a commercial for PSA Airlines came on.

Now in case you aren't as effing old as I am and, in fact, are legitimately too young to remember this... these were planes that had a big black nose and smiley face painted on the front of them. Apparently the commercial startled me so badly towards the end of it that I stood up, backed up a few paces, and then watched in horror as the smiley face came at me on the screen exclaiming
 "What the HELL is that?!?"
 (I think that unbeknownst to me, my mother was watching this go down from the kitchen if I remember the story correctly). Anyhoo- thanks to modern technology and the glorious wonders of the internet, I just found a similar commercial for the airline so you can get an idea of what the hell I'm talking about. Run in 1985, they used the same "nose of plane coming at you" method as apparently, (and as evident from my reaction as a wee thing) it was effective.
Here's a clip of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH7QUSnNCtE&feature=related

So that was my first sentence.
Not a terribly naughty word, but still kind of alarming for a two year old to be forming as her first token sentence to go down in the baby book.

Skipping ahead to more recent years--- those that have either worked with me or hung out with me on any kind of a level more than "fleeting" will know that I occasionally have a potty mouth. Not every other sentence kind of potty mouth, but you know, a few times a day at the very least. (With my days and my inbox? I'm sure you'd all agree that it's not unwarranted.)
I would even go so far as to venture to guess that all of my many housemates would nominate me for 
"Housemate with the Biggest Potty Mouth"
(Yeah, I know... SO proud of myself.)


(Although just for the record, my sister would come in a close 2nd...hi Tray! Love ya! ;0)

ANYWAY-  I'm very AWARE of the fact that I have a 13 year old precious, innocent, darling daughter for those of you whose brains just went there...but let me give you some perspective here:

I grew up in print shops and around a bunch of drunken sailors in yacht clubs. Aside from tattoo shops and jail, these 2 environments would easily land at least in the top 5 for "world's worst gathering of cussers."

So my stupid parenting philosophy is this: if I act like it's not a big deal and the world isn't going to suddenly end if Darling Daughter decides to cuss, then you know what? She's probably not gonna think it's that great and isn't going to be inclined to drop the F bomb every other word when she's at school with her friends. I say this only from observation- I grew up with a lot of friends that had strict households- you know the kind- they aren't allowed to say Crap, Crud or Shoot without getting in big trouble? 
Yeah, those households. 
And how did those friends act when they came to school?
Like cussing lunatics.
They made it so HARD to have a normal conversation with them because of the verbal assault being bestowed upon everyone in our group, it was downright ridiculous. 

My brilliant parenting philosophy even extends into areas such as hair color. So the heck what if Darling Daughter wants a purple streak in her hair? It's not the end of the world. And in my pea brain if daddy and I don't refuse, if we don't say to her: NO WAY, WAIT TILL YOU'RE 18 etc, I feel we just might actually be reducing the chances of her shaving her head and getting 20 nose rings at 18.5 years old. 

Reverse psychology? 
Totally.

Will it come back to bite me in the ass some day, causing me to chuck my brilliant parenting method out the window?
Probably.

But I digress...I'm kinda getting off track here...

Back to the meanies in my inbox.

They cuss a lot. 

Like I've told you guys before on a previous post, I always check the time stamp. And yes, most of these offensive emails are done late at night, so people get a little "looser" with their inhibitions. 
But as thick of a skin as I try to have, it's still terribly unsettling to open up my inbox at 8:07 am and start my day off with reading the assaults. I've gotten to the point where I'm actually AFRAID to click on any email sent to me that doesn't have an attachment with it. (If there's no attachment, that means there's no resume, ergo there's a 95% chance they're going to tell me to go to hell in one or more various ways.)

Here's the email I'm choosing to showcase today.
And if you have an aversion to cussing,
a) I'm sure I've already offended you and can't believe you're still reading and
b) you should just stop reading the blog right...about....NOW.



Back story: I found an excellent candidate on a job board late one afternoon. He had a strong insurance sales and management background, plus a great real estate background. He was a member of Toastmasters, and a California State Finalist in Impromptu Speaking & Policy Debate Competitions. He even deemed himself an "Award-winning communicator." Hmmm. Seems like a good catch, eh?

I called him, left a message.
I emailed him, saying I left a message and that I'd like to chat with him when he had a free moment.

This was his email back to me that I received in my inbox the following morning when I came into work (time stamp on his email- 10:38 pm):
"Fuck off Stephanie- fake job asshole, why the fuck are you contacting me? Put me on your horrible companys do not contact list. Oh and fuck off."

So, okay, like, wow. That's actually not so bad compared to what I normally get in my inbox (unfortunately).
But for some reason this guy really chapped my hide. 
Creamed my corn.
PISSED ME OFF.

Normally I don't say anything back and just put the Meanies on our company's do not contact list and move on. For some reason this one made me feel like I had to defend myself/my company so I wrote this to him:

"Dear _________,
I received your email in my inbox this morning and wanted to let you know that you've been placed on our do not contact list. We were originally interested in the "Insurance and real estate sales and team management" portion of your resume, as well as the CA State Finalist competition winnings you listed as clearly those could have been incredible assets for you and our company to work with in a mutually beneficial setting. Although it's a little shocking to see "Fuck off fake job asshole" as a response from a gentleman with a resume reading "Award-winning communicator", we are sincerely sorry to have bothered you and I can reassure you it won't happen again.
Regards,
Stephanie Norberg
________________ (company name there)

Oooo he did NOT like that. Not one bit.
Thirty minutes later he came back with:
"I have reported you and your company and all the career sites will be blocking you. Eat my asshole, Bitch.
Best,
_______"

Really? I mean seriously?
Reporting me for what? Apologizing that I thought he was a good candidate and have placed him on the do not contact list? 

My blood was boiling, but like any good worker, I kept my cool, tried to remain professional and let it go.
I didn't respond.

Three hours later he must have had some MORE whiskey to calm himself down as he suddenly had a change of heart and emailed me YET AGAIN:
"I didn't really report you. It's just really frustrating in this job market you know?"
and that was all.

So really now, what was Psycho Boy expecting of me? To get sympathetic with him after he said such "award-winning" things to me? Pulll-ease. I didn't respond to him again (I'm ballsy, but not THAT ballsy)...

But WTF? WHY do people feel they have to send horrific emails out to people as a vehicle to take out all their aggression? Don't they know there's an actual person that has feelings on the receiving end of that horrible spew of filth? 

In other words, WHY YA GOTTA BE SO MEAN??



And now, I think I need to go have some whiskey.








Friday, November 11, 2011

Things that impress me...

Hmmmm.... let's see here...
Things that impress me:

1. Single parents working hard to raise their kids by themselves.


2Anybody that has the willpower to not have a TV in their house.


3.  The men and women that compete in the Volvo Ocean Race. Seeing as how you probably have NO idea what the heck I'm talking about as people's eyes usually glaze over when I bring this up, here's a link you can click to get some perspective on these fine athletes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZcE9w-tv1I


4. People that try their best to overcome a physical or mental disability or illness.


5. Teenagers accomplishing incredible things most adults only dream about from their cozy living room recliners.
For example:
Jordan Romero- youngest male to climb Mt. Everest  http://www.jordanromero.com/
Jessica Watson - youngest female to solo circumnavigate the globe, unassisted http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/
Abby Sunderland- youngest female to round Cape Horn- came close to becoming youngest female to solo circumnavigate the globe, unassisted  http://www.abbysunderland.com/
Zac Sunderland- successful completion of solo circumnavigation- held record for youngest male in 2009 until Mike Perham took the title from him. http://www.zacsunderland.com/index.php
Mike Perham- youngest male to solo circumnavigate the globe http://www.totallymoney.com/sailmike/

4. Polyglots (Go look it up if you don't know what that means. I'll wait...)

5.  Iron-Man Triathlon participants.


6. Our brave Police, Coast Guard, and Fire Fighting men and women.


7. Authors that can crank out a book a year.


8. Older adults finally going back to school to finish what they started.


9. People that are married and stay faithful to their spouses.


10. Entrepreneurs.


11. Housekeepers. Anybody that has the cojones to clean other peoples' toilets is impressive. No ifs and or butts. (Sorry, couldn't resist)


12. Anybody with a higher IQ than me. (Yeah, I know...that's a LOT of people...)


13. Old day and/or present day lighthouse keepers. Enduring all that solitude and rhythmic annoyance to save lives? Impressive.


14. Comedians. Good or bad, anybody with the nerve to stand up in front of a group of people and possibly make the biggest fool out of themselves just in the hopes they can make someone laugh? On my list.


15. Crime scene investigators.


16. Amos Nachoum- famous underwater photographer. I've met him, he's awesome. If you don't know who he is (and very few people do) at least check out his sitehttp://biganimals.com/
And for those of you that absolutely FREAK THE HECK OUT over sharks and how HORRIBLE they are- you need to watch his link I'm posting here, called "No Demons of the Sea"- this is from the TEDx Conejo conference my daughter and I attended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sy72DGDb45E#!



17. And last but certainly not least, our military men and women and their awesome families. I come from a very military family- both of my grandfathers served in WWII and my father was a Green Beret in Vietnam. I'm proud of the military men in my lineage and not only want to say thank you to them, but on today- Veteran's Day- want to say thank you to the men and women that proudly serve our country and to their families that support them and make it all possible.


So now- why am I making a list of 17 random things that impress me you ask?

Because "Jarrod" decided to put this at the tail end of his silly 
bo-billy resume.


"I studied German for 3 years in school and this has impressed my fellow co-workers."


I know I'm a bitch for saying this but.....


BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!









Thursday, November 10, 2011

Awww that's sweet

Corn dog!
Get your corn dog!  
From this fabulous corn dog maker, who delivers love with each dog...


"Objective: I want to make a positive difference in the day's of peoples who cross my path."


And I'll add to that..."one corn dog at a time."


Awww how sweet. 



Stupid, but sweet. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh the hostility

Today's topic is something I have yet to bring up in any of my posts. Yes, it naturally errs on the side of stupidity as most of my candidate "examples" do, but this is a phenomenon I've run into off and on over the years that I wanted to vent about.

There's a lot of different job boards one can "put themselves" on. And as most people know, this means you can upload your resume onto certain websites such as CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com and then sit back and hope that multiple employers will start ringing your phone off the hook. 

If you're lucky.

And by lucky I only mean you have some actual, viable skills that some employer will deem valuable to their organization.

I wear a lot of different hats during the day at my job such as:
Contract submitter
ACA banking hook up gal
Printing and supply ordering chick
Dept of Insurance monitor person
Phone answerer 
Gatekeeper
Lobby Court Jester
Oh and let's not forget the most important one of all-
Thermostat Adjuster

The main bulk of what I do, however, is peruse the job boards and look for "qualified" individuals. This, to me, is equivalent to looking for a needle in a haystack.

It didn't used to be like this though.
As I was explaining to a friend on the phone this past weekend, many people would think that recruiters and HR people would have an easier job of it now because there's SO MANY people to choose from. That's not the case. And as a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. Because there are so many new fish in the pool, that pool is crowded. Therefore it takes us much longer to search through and pull out the decent ones because the MORONS are crowding the whole damn thing up.

Ahem.

Now, that being said, once I finally get the few *star* people I can find in one day that I want to talk to, I act like they're a hot potato on my desk because:
a) I'm very excited I finally found somebody and
b) it took me so damn long to find them in the first place, chances are maybe they already have 4 interviews with various companies set up and I want to be at least in the top 3, but preferably 1st. 

So when I finally get to dial the phone, it's basically a monumental moment.


Sounds lame, but it is. It's taken a lot of work to get to that fabulous person.

Therefore, when said *fabulous person* answers the phone, they should make it a point to remember that they've actually put themselves on a job board. 

Because the different ways people answer the phone when they are job hunting says a LOT to me.

Examples:

Me: "Hi, this is Stephanie from ___________ Insurance company. I saw your resume on CareerBuilder.com and I have it here in front of me right now. I wanted to chat with you for a moment about it, is this a good time for you?" (That's my typical opening line- notice how courteous I am to said *fabulous person*?)

Fabulous Person #1's response: 
First- a grunt. 
Then silence.
I now know I woke them up. 
At 10:30 in the morning.
Then a groggy "Wait, um, WHO are you?" followed by a yawn.
Um- despite your glowing Curriculum Vitae, with a simple grunt, outward display of annoyance in your voice and a yawn, I already know that you're not a real go-getter. 
Your resume says you're currently unemployed Fabulous Person #1, at least have the brains to act like you're awake and weren't up late partying the night before, Einstein

Next candidate:
Me: my standard diddy...
Fabulous Person #2's response: "Oh hi. Can you hang on just a sec?"
Me: "Sure, no problem."
#2: (in the background, hand slightly over phone but I can still hear) "Erika SHUT THE FUCK UP!! STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER RIGHT THIS INSTANT AND COME DOWN HERE AND FEED THE GODDAMMED DOG LIKE I TOLD YOU TO! I HAVE TO TAKE THIS CALL!!"
Hand released- F.P. #2 for some reason thinks I didn't hear ANY of that...
"Hi, thanks for calling. What was your name again?"

And then I cautiously regurgitate what I said in the first place and then on and on this conversation goes until I can gracefully exit left stage. I won't be contacting her again because:
A) I know she's got unruly kids (which can make any HR type think "Uh-oh" too many possible sick days or visits to the school's principal's office in her future if I hire her) or
B) She's a pistol and she's got no tact. Is that how she's going to treat her fellow employees or our company's clients? No thank you.

But I think my most favorite example is Fabulous Person #3- who doesn't pick up the phone.
I leave a voice mail, hang up, then send them an email just to let them know that
a) I left them a voice mail and
b) I would really like to talk to them.

And then this is what I get back in my inbox from FP #3:

"So what I'd really like to know, "Stephanie" (if that really is your name) is this- where did you get all my information? I don't know how you found me but I just really want to know so I can make sure I get myself off the world wide web so people like you can stop bothering me. Please, enlighten me." 

Unbelievably, this happens a LOT. 

So OKAY FP#3, I'm obviously not calling you back as you've taken yourself out of the running (which you were lucky enough to be in the first place) but now? I feel I MUST "enlighten" you as you say.

First of all, I already said in the message what effing job board I found them on and so I will take it a step further. 
I'll email them back and tell them not only where I found them, I'll even go so far as to outline to them how many times they modified their resume on that job board, and what DAY they last touched/modified their resume on the job board. Because you know what? 
Us HR/Recruiter types-WE CAN SEE THAT SHIT. 
We pay a hefty amount of money every month to be able to have access to job hunters and with that privilege comes fringe "benefits". Seeing when you last touched or launched your resume is one of them.  

And if they think they've made themselves a "Private" or "Anonymous" resume (which is an option on these sites) and they didn't follow the instructions the site offered on how to do it correctly? I'll tell them their exact address. And if they were particularly mean, I'll tell them I google mapped them and dropped myself into the middle of their street and that they should really clean up their yard and their red Mazda needs to be washed. 
That'll teach FP #3 to MESS WITH STEPH.

(Okay just kidding on that last part, but be aware people- if you put your physical address on resumes, us scary HR/Recruiter types will do that... you only really need to put the city you live in, not your actual house or apartment address. And yes, the rumors are true, some of us will look you up on Facebook too, so lock down your profiles if you think you've got something to hide or you think that's a massive invasion of your privacy.) 

So the moral of the story is this my little chickens- if you put yourself out there and you click "accept" to whatever job board company's terms? You've just given permission for possible future employers to CONTACT YOU. Gasp!!

So let's recap, shall we?

#1- Don't answer the phone like a hungover schmuck or a screaming evil spawn of Satan mother yelling at her kids. If you aren't in "acceptable phone answering condition" then JUST DON'T ANSWER THE DAMN PHONE. Let it go to voice mail so you have a shot at composing yourself, and thus fooling us.

#2- For crying out loud, don't get all pissy when we contact you- either in person or via email. REMEMBER that you'd actually placed yourself on a job board and EXPECT to get calls from people looking to interview you.

Just put your best foot forward. That's all.

Peace out.