Friday, October 19, 2012

Oh Mr. Whipple, Let's Have a Conversation

This week has been hot baby (hot I tell you!) in regards to stupid job seeker behavior. I added to my folder with glee tonight when I came home and unloaded the last few days' worth of goodies to share with all my peeps.

But there was a certain conversation I had with a candidate on the phone today that stuck with me and sent me thinking about things rather "indepthly".

(I'm sure that isn't a word. And I'm sure somebody will email me to TELL ME that's not a word, but whatever. I'm still using it.)

This gentleman I called to chat with was like uber skilled in the industry I recruit for. Which (just for the record so you have some reference) is kind of rare.

He was also slightly full of himself.

We'll just call him Chuck.

Chuck told me I had proven myself "unique" while talking with him compared to all the "other" recruiters he'd been speaking to, and thus he apparently felt compelled to explore the possibility of gracing us with his talents. (In other words, a slightly pompous jackass was impressed by my shenanigans and ability to verbally spar with him on the phone for 7 minutes and decided my *uniqueness* (read: fruit loopy goodness?) was worth rewarding by coming in to interview with us.)

Big la-de-freakin'-da, right?

He did ask me though how long I'd been recruiting (almost 5 years) and how I got into it.
Well that's another story for another day, but I told him the career just seemed to "gel" with my personality, and left it at that.

There is a back story however, and this is where that word "indepthly" comes up again.

Story time my little chickadees!

When I was little, I was extremely shy. *Gasp!*
(I know several of you, perhaps the entire handful of people that actually read this, are shocked!)
I'm talking shy beyond shy, like I would go hide under the table so people didn't dare see me or try to interact with me.

My mom, however, wasn't terribly shy, but perhaps more importantly, had "not so shy" friends that I was exposed to.

There was one incident I remember very distinctly that stuck with me over the years.
And that is the pivotal afternoon I went with mom to visit her sorority sister, Karen.

Dripping in diamonds, sporting the ridiculous long, fake eyelashes of the 70's, and constantly flipping her long, bleached blonde feathered hair back like the fabulous Breck girl on TV at the time (which can be seen here if you have NO idea what I'm talking about), Karen was a bit on the "extravagant" side. Going to visit her in her mansion full of Roman columns, white marble flooring, and groomed poodles larger-than-my-tiny-self always proved to be an adventure.

Setting aside her ability to flip her hair like Erin Gray, Karen had an uncanny ability to do 2 things exceptionally well : play the violin and talk to anybody about anything.

I remember driving away with mom after that particularly long gab-fest/coffee klatch I'd been forced to attend. I was maybe all of 4 or 5 years old and I had made a comment about how "there's only so many times I can throw that ratty tennis ball for Rocco mommy" before she launched into the various high points of her friend and her lifestyle. One thing I will never forget she listed was Karen's unique characteristic of being able to converse with anyone. She specifically said: "That woman could talk about toilet paper with somebody for hours on end if she had to."

Perhaps it was the image of toilet paper and my immediate association to the Mr. Whipple and the "Squeeze the Charmin" campaign that made this memory stick in the vault that was my little, impressionable mind.
But I never forgot that saying.

(Don't know who Mr. Whipple is?
Well you're about to get schooled: your second 70's/80's throwback lesson for the day.)

So now, all these years later, I'm no longer shy.
I've somehow come out of my shell.
Time frame on that would be sort of in high school but more than likely in college, when I became the President of my sorority. Being in front of 80 women will force ANYBODY out of their shell for sure. (Not to mention also teach them important life skills like how to sneak a guy through your bedroom window and how to suck down 4 Advil and drink a boat load of water when you're drunker than a skunk so you don't wake up with a hangover.)

So back to the point at hand: as Chuck so forcingly reminded me, I am a fairly decent recruiter.
I can now say with the utmost confidence, I can pretty much have a conversation about anything, with anyone.
Including toilet paper.

What's most ironic about this discussion this week is the fact that just the day before, I received an email from a chick that had apparently applied for MY recruiting job, had an interview set up with my boss and then cancelled at the last minute, way back in early 2008. I only know this because we use GoldMine, which can track the fact that somebody sneezed or had a bowel movement back in 2005, should you choose to be so gross and do so. (Note to all job seekers- yes, some companies track ALL of their interactions with you. Keep that in mind.)

I pulled up her resume to compare what she had sent me now, and discovered (with great disgust) it was the same exact damn thing.
She hadn't added anything to it.
And it actually went back to 2006- she hadn't even bothered to update it back in 2008 when she had tried to apply before.

I feel I need to clarify- she wasn't applying for MY job now, she was trying to work under one of our established agents.
In order to do that though, she has to first get past the gatekeeper (read: ME) to be considered for this type of position.
I knew I wasn't going to have her come in to interview, and figured in the back of my mind she's been a stay- at-home mommy (which is FINE but you stay-at-home mommy's NEED to put that on your resume) but regardless, I decided to have a little fun with her nonetheless because quite frankly, anybody that's going to let their resume sit for 6 years and not update it then send it out to the world? Deserves to be messed with. 

Here's what I emailed her:
Dear Alanna,
Thank you for submitting your resume for the job posting I have up on CareerBuilder right now for the position of _____________. I just went to put you into our system and it looks as if you'd already previously considered interviewing back in 2008, but cancelled at the last minute. We have your prior resume on hand as well and after comparing them, I noticed it looks exactly the same as the current one you just submitted. That leads me to the need to ask- what have you been doing career-wise since 2006? If you could fill me in on this, I would appreciate it.
Best regards,
Stephanie ________
Recruiting Director
for _________
etc etc

Here's what she wrote back- in all it's beautiful glory, punctuation, exact phrasing etc, left perfectly in tact for your enjoyment:

"ive been unemployed,going to collage as well as taking care of my children but its a long time since i've worked and always had jobs and always enjoyed working and always a hard worker.I know a long break and need highly to go back to work since being at work me very happy and whoel .i'm extremely  smart,kind,and hardworking.Thats why i've never had finding work.Where u located in simi too.i would love an interview with u."

Okay. There's so many things wrong with this, I don't even now where to start, so I don't think I will. I'll just let it sit and fester with y'all like it did me.

Oh alright, you guys know me, I can't help myself, I HAVE to say something, so I will say these 2 things: "extremely smart" my ASS
she ain't no Stephanie. My boss man dodged a MAJOR bullet there.
I'd place some pretty major money on the fact that she can't talk about no toilet paper for hours on end, wouldn't you?

Now go squeeze the Charmin!


  1. I'm not sure if remembering both of those 70's/80's references makes me proud or just makes me feel old. Meh.

    Oh wow. That is just . . . wow. I think that physically hurt my brain. I may need to go lie down now. I want you to take that email into your boss' office and immediately ask for a huge raise. You soooo deserve it!

    How's the neck feeling?

  2. ^^^ Like... Bout like meeting your husband's ex & getting to say, "no wonder you two didn't work out."