Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm off topic today, but read anyway! (You know you want to...)

So I have something NEW to talk about today... something I've been excitedly procrastinating waiting to put up here on my blog.

First, a little back story for y'all:

I?
Am a huge Jen Lancaster fan.


Have no idea who she is?

*Gasp!*

Why she's only a regular NY Times Bestselling Author... like repeatedly.
And for good reason.

She writes mostly memoirs, but now adds fiction to her list of accomplishments as well, and she's just damn good at what she does. She's one of those (few) authors my husband ribs me for in the middle of the night in bed when I'm snorting and choking from laughing so hard from reading her books. (I often hear "Oh great, you must be reading one of JEN'S books again" as he grumbles and turns back over to try and fall asleep.)

And I don't gush OR laugh while reading very many authors- that's the straight up truth. I'm very selective with my picks and if I'm gaffawing out loud? Then you make my list of faves.
(Yes, I have a total girl crush- you see right through me, people.)

Jen's latest book is called "Jeneration X".


It came out this spring, and when I saw her book tour dates listed, I scoured the list like a mad woman to find anything even relatively close to me as I'd never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, living on the west coast and all.

And then I saw it, bam! San Diego area? I'm there!

Oh wait.
It's on my little sister's 29th birthday.
Huh.

"And the wheels in my head go round and round, round and round, round and round..."
I haz an idea!

What IF I take my lil' sis WITH me to the book signing? She's a big Jen fan too. That would totally rock.
Better yet, what IF I make like a mini vacation out of it and plan some other fun activities around it?
Now I'm a thinkin'!

So our mini vacation was born.

My good friend from elementary school (yo Tanya!) ironically offered up her awesome beach side apartment in Hermosa the SAME EXACT WEEK as the planned signing... the stars were obviously aligning in our favor, so I started planning our next wild sister vacation.

Flash forward to Tracy's big day a.k.a. "Book Signing Day".

After a morning of laying around on the beach by ourselves,


(Beautiful no? And bonus! All to ourselves!)


and then time spent walking past all the million dollar beachfront property homes and seeing this creepy yet hysterical cutout of the Bieb's in somebody's kitchen window:


(Totally unexpected. Made us giggle like lunatics, and in my determination to get a pic, we almost got run over by cyclists...)

this is the conversation my sister and I had about getting to the book signing later that day:


Me: "Let's just give ourselves about 2.5 hours. That'll be plenty of time to get there. Plus, I want us to be there half an hour early so we can get a good seat."

Birthday Girl Tracy: "Okay, you're the pilot here, whatever you think is best..."

Perhaps she shouldn't have let me "pilot" that part of things, as we ended up in gridlock on the LA freeways for THREE hours.
Solid.

I'd been forced to take my husband's Mazda 3 for the trip, which is no problem, except it's a stick shift and my fused spine hates stick shifts. Couple that with my cute-yet-giraffe-like stilts I had on my feet (which quickly got thrown in the back seat), the air conditioner vents making my eyeballs continually water and helping to remove all my pretty makeup I'd previously applied, and an "incident" involving loose plastic balls for Chuck E. Cheese-esque jump pits? You've got one stressed out Steph.

Picture of said Balls o' Death after having a close encounter of the ridiculous kind with a massive box of them:




It didn't matter, though, I was getting to meet my Jen, come hell or high water.

We arrived LATE (so much for being 30 minutes early) with our heads hanging in shame from the embarrassment of it all. Fortunately I am friends with one of the coolest chicks ever (yo Traci!) BECAUSE of Jen Lancaster (more on that later) and my sister and her had been texting the entire time we were driving in an effort to make sure we made it safely to our chosen destination. Being the rock star that she is, Traci had saved us seats in the 2nd row, middle. It was standing room only and I got to be this close to Jen:


 (Yay!)

Let me just say that 3 hours with a stick shift, eyes continually streaming with tears, and a ball incident were all totally worth it. She did not disappoint.

Here is a pic of my sister and I with her after the reading:


(I'm the blonde that looks like she's been through a war of some kind, sans makeup... my sister is the cute brunette on the left that held up much better than I that day.)

And here's a pic of the inside of my sister's book she signed for her:


(She drew a birthday cake for my little sissy! How cool is that??!?)

Anyhoo, after we begrudgingly said our goodbyes to Jen and my great friend Traci, off we drove to the Gaslamp District where we: 
a) signed into a haunted hotel 
and 
b) were muttered to and lurched at by drunk, homeless people while walking to her late birthday dinner celebration.

All in all, an exhausting but great day. (Coulda done without the ghosts though. Just sayin'.)

So why the heck am I talking about all this?
Because there's this really cool contest, and I totally have to win it.

Setting Jen aside for a second, she has a BFF named Stacey Ballis who's also a fabulous author. 
Totally different style than Jen, but I own all her books and think she's the bomb as well.

They've established a yearly tradition where they offer what they adorably call the "Stennifer Lunch Tour".
And I?
Have to win this contest.




So first, I have to get this legal-schmegal out of the way:
I accept the rules of the Lunch Tour Contest.
There!
Now, here's what's up, Chuck.

Stacey has a great new book coming out called "Off the Menu" pictured here:


(Gorgeous cover, huh?)

Stacey's book is available now for pre-order by clicking here

The jist of the contest is this: when you either order the book and send Stacey proof of a receipt, OR tell your friends about it in some fashion, you get an entry to win lunch with Jen and Stacey in the city of your choice!

Here's the entire contest explained WAY better than I could ever explain it:

I want to win this SO badly, it's not even funny. I ramble about it as I wander around our new house unpacking things, and my poor teenage daughter is sick to death of listening to me blab on and on about how cool it would be to meet Jen's BFF and to hang out with both of them. "Yeah, yeah YEAH mom! Enough already! Sheesh!"

I've already made up my mind that me and one of my closest friends (who's also purchased and entered the contest so we're like uber-quadruple covered) will choose the "fly into Chicago" option to hang with them on their stomping grounds and get the coolest treatment ever according to Stacey's post. There will be wine! And some of the best food ever! (Yes, I'm excited... I can hear you all mimicking my daughter's latest mantra.)



Want to enter for yourself? Absolutely! (Even though it lessens my chances, if it means my readers get to experience the Greatness that is Stennifer, I'll take one for the team.)

Anyhoo, thanks for listening to my story today and please do yourself (or someone else special in your life) a favor and pre-order Off the Menu today!

Peace out my peeps.



PS Back to the resume funny next week!








Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Just In: Recruiting Insanity At An All Time High

Yes, it's sad but true... that title you just read? Totally accurate.


I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure if it's the desperateness of the recent grads being pressured by their parents to get the fuck out of the house, or the insanity of parents suddenly stuck at home with their cooped up children because it's summer time, but somethin's in the air lately, yo.


I've been sort of MIA for a few weeks now- sorry sorry- busy trying to get settled in a new house that had to be virtually gutted to be inhabitable. So ripping things out, trying to install new, and basically Shifting Shit around is what I've been up to. (Shit Shifter Extraordinaire- that's me!)


I actually have a great guest room I'd invite you all to visit, it's where you can go to be horrified and scared straight into being a Buddhist monk and give up material possessions for all of eternity. I call it the "Room of Doom" and it's piled high with crap people have either "bestowed" upon us out of the kindness of their hearts, or I've stupidly purchased in a previous tchotchke frenzy. 
So. Over. Stuff. 
NO MORE. 
No more freakin' STUFF. 
Gah.
(And yes, sweet husband of mine, I'm onto you trying to get me liquored up every night and encouraging me to put yet even MORE stuff in the "give away" pile. Don't think for one cotton pickin' minute I haven't figured that out... )


Anyhoo- I haven't stopped recruiting the entire time I've been up to my neck in blue painter's tape, ratty extension cords and a sea of boxes... I've been hoarding my bad resumes like a squirrel hopped up on some kind of acorn crack. 


So here's the latest laundry list of incomprehensible resume dribble that's floating around out there in job seeker land- you ready? Okay, seat belts on?
Here we go!


"My customer service skills are above and beyond. Period. I have no qualms with telling someone what they may not want to hear."


~Yeah, I'm totally hiring you. So you can make people CRY on a daily basis. Bitch.


"I'm submitting my resume for the Java Developer position that's not in your office, but I want you to pass it on to the appropriate people in HR anyway."


~Fuck you. Oh, and... no.


"I retired in January 2010. Hopefully you'll still want me."


~Why? Why would you lead with this?


"I'm a Wetlands Mapping Assistant. But seriously, I've got to get out of the swamp."


~Ahahahaha! I like your style. But seriously, I have nothing here for you to map.


"i am a teachers assistant. i taught k-5 developed lesson plans long term art and administured state testing"


~Oh dear Lord, those kids are SCREWED! And 15 years from now, I'm gonna be gettin' their resumes. So thanks a LOT!!!


"Profile: When I was three years old, that's when my life changed. It was the very first time I have ever played a video game. Ever since then I have been hooked by the interaction of video games."


~Seriously? Let me talk to your parents, like pronto. They deserve to be bitch slapped through the phone because you're SO in trouble for the rest of your life. You better hope and pray you get a job playing video games because really, that's probably all you can do now. Congrats. 


"Objective: To secure a full time or part time position in developing new skills to gain a better understanding of how to help others with their life processes and selecting and acquiring new skills that will gain the betterment of mankind."


~WTF? Whatchoo talkin' bout Willis?


"I worked at a yogurt place. My only job responsibilities were offering advice to each guest."


~Really? You mean like what flavor combinations are best? Or how you shouldn't wear that skirt with those shoes? 


"My desired salary is simple really. I would like $34,000-$500,000."


~Well why stop at $500,000? Obviously, we're dreamin' here since you're no where NEAR the $34,000 mark judging by your intelligence level, why not shoot for $1.5 million? OOOO or even better, $2.3 billion?!? Don't stop dreamin' baby!


"I already find a jobs."


~Whew. Dodged that bullet.


"I lice in Ventura County area pelease contact me thank you."


~Ewww. I'm not contacting you. I don't want you anywhere near our office.


"Things I have learned from working here were that customers need a lot of patients to deal with. I have an intended major at a local college in managmint science."


~God bless the teachers that are going to have to straighten this mess of a person out.


"I am a diligent and affable graduate."


~Ooo affable! Thatz one of those fancy big words. I'm not sure we can handle your type around these here parts.


"No thanks Steph. Even though my resume has sales all over it, the last thing I sold was cars and at least I had something interesting to sell then."


~Tooshay! Insurance is rather, um, *yawn*, boring. 


"I worked at Universal Studios. I was a Scareactor. I was paid to scare the bejesus out of people"


~Love this.


"I'm looking for an opporutnty to demonstriate my math skills."


~Well thank goodness you're not looking to demonstrate your English skills, that would be suicide!


"Objective: Insurance agant. Skills: Learn fast and fast pasted."


~Ahahahahahahaha!! I'm totally calling you. Not.


"I contribute drinks to patrons ensuring satisfaction for the drinking folk."


~Well that's an interesting way to say YOU'RE A FREAKING BARTENDER.


"If you wish to contact me, please do so with the contact information provided."


~As opposed to?


"Objective: to employ my knowledge and experience with the intention of securing a professional career with opportunity for challenges and career advancement, gaining knowledge of new skills and expertise, developing and expanding existing customer sales and or brand/product evolution effectively, using my expertise in human relations to improve customer satisfaction as well as utilizing my strong organizational skills while..."


~Huh, what? Were you saying something there? I totally fell asleep. Zzzzzzzz.


"Dear to whom it may concern: I recieve yoru meail and it was well read."


~Well yours, my dear, was not.


"I worked at this company in Guatemala from 1996 but don't remember the exact dates but was worked there for about 5-6 months."


~Really? REALLY?


And that's it for now folks. I could go on... my stack is SUPER DUPER TALL of resumes just waiting to jump on this screen, but you'll just have to wait for more Resume Mayhem. 


*This Resume Mayhem message brought to you by Allstate. A company I do not work for ;0)













Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phone Blunders 101

Occasionally people "other" than the intended job seeker I'm trying to get a hold of answers the phone when I call to chat about their resume. 


And really, I HATE it when this happens. 


This is one of the main reasons why I will NOT call a home phone number. Don't even bother listing them on your resume people. They scare us off. 


I know someone out there is all "Well what if somebody doesn't actually HAVE a cell phone? Hmmm? What then Miss Smarty Pants?"


Umm THEN FREAKIN' JOIN THE CURRENT DECADE AND GET ONE. DUH.


Ahem.


Anyhoo, one more time, why would I not want to call a home phone number you ask?


Because there's a 99% chance somebody OTHER THAN the job seeker will answer the phone. And then it gets Awkward. With a capital "A".


I had 2 examples hit me upside the head today ... and oddly enough, one right after the other. 


The first one was this gal's angry father/significant other/pissed off brother:
"She's not here. You can't talk to her until 8:30 pm every night. Now quit calling during the day." 
Click.


Excuse me? 
I'm so terribly sorry for interrupting your day, you big douche canoe, but your daughter/sister/unfortunate significant other listed only ONE telephone number on her resume, and THIS WAS IT.


That's what I totally said.
In my head.


The next example, however, took the cake. TOOK THE CAKE people.


"Roger" had listed only one number on his resume. It looked like it might be a cell phone number, but really, there's so many different kinds of numbers one can obtain in Southern California because of our massive population, it was hard for me to tell.


This is what went down (and for reference, it's around 10:00 in the morning...):


Little voice: "Hullo?"


Me: "Uh, hi. I would like to speak to Roger please."


Little voice: "Okay."


~then silence~


Me: thinking the kid just set the phone down and walked away forever: "Hello?"


~more silence~


~then slight noise, faint rustling in the background~


Little voice: "Daddy! Get out of bed! And get off Mommy!"


BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


OMGAWD
I'm sure my face turned bright red, right there at my desk. I could FEEL it turning all shades of crimson.

I didn't know what to do at this point, so I panicked and did the only logical thing I could think TO DO, I hung up.


Then sat there giggling to myself. 
For like 4 solid minutes.


Then thought, "Oh my gawd, what if he CALLS ME BACK? HOW WILL I HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH HIM?!?! I can't do that!"


And just like that, ring! goes my phone. 


Awww shit.
I can't NOT pick up the phone. He's going to hear my message and know it's me and what company I'm with. And then I'm just going to have to talk to him later anyway...


So, being the sucker that I am, I picked up the phone.


And then got stuck with him on the phone for 10 very long and PAINFUL minutes.


I kept trying to get rid of him, but he persisted, must've asked me like 120 different questions. 


And all the while I could barely focus because all I could hear was that little voice "Daddy! Get off of Mommy!"







Vision Boards for Dummies



Email address of today's charming candidate:



lawofattractions@ (fill in the blank).


He even put his NAME as "Secret Law of Attraction" on the email I got today. 


"I know honey! Let's name our child Secret Law of Attraction Jones! Don't you think that'd be swell?"


Ugh..


And while I want to be clear here by stating that I have absolutely nothing against thinking "outside the box" and actually prefer it when people get out of their fuddy duddy, unbendable, staunch way of thinking about things--- it's what followed after the email address and the supposed name that really REALLY stood out to me.


This was Secret Law of Attraction's personal email to me:


"Thank you for loking at me prifile mam. I gotta be honest from the start mam, my driving record is my set back at the momment. I had an inciddent in december and then I got sick and my credits not been so good eithir for the past 5 years or so. I don't have a car or insurence anymore but I would like to talk to you mam when you read thiss so that I can tell you how I can beter your comapny."


DUDE.


You should really start vision boarding yourself better. 





Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh go ahead... tell my your stupid life story, part 2


Hello my little chickadees!

Time for "Tell me your life story" part deux.

I was only planning on writing about one specific job seeker today, but guess what? I (we?) all got lucky as I had the pleasure of having a conversation with another random idiot that falls into the same category as the gal I was going to write about. So you guys get a two-fer and I get to blow off some steam ;0)
It's clearly a win-win.

Alright, let's dig in, shall we?

"Aretha" emailed me last week and decided to divulge a little bit too much info... just like lovely Bovine Surrounded Kevin did in my previous posting.

Aretha emailed me and didn't give me a copy of her resume, just her sob story.
Get your hankies and kleenexes ready, ladies and gents; here's what she emailed me:

"I am very interested but I must tell you I was convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Medication (Ambien), causing an accident. The way the story goes is this: I was prescribed Ambien for a sleep disorder and I had an adverse effect while on it, causing me to sleep drive and cause an accident. I could not afford an attorney, which lead me to receiving the maximum sentence. Thank you for your concideration as I look forward to hearing from you regarding an interview."

Ummm. Okay.
First of all, let me just say, I've read enough blogs and seen enough news documentaries to know that


 that Ambien shit's powerful stuff. 


It can make you do crazy things.

Now do I feel bad for Aretha?
You bet.
Do I believe her story?
I guess, I don't really have a reason not to.

What I don't understand, however, is the fact that she told me all this, instead of sending me her resume. I still have NO idea what her background is and yet, at the end of it, she says she looks forward to my call about an interview? Is she crazy? Or possibly still hopped up on Ambien?

I can't call her. I just can't. I'm not talking from a legal perspective here (although I could go a few different directions with that part of it) but how could I even have a conversation with her? I know too much about her tragic life, before we even have a chance to establish any kind of a professional one. And that's heartbreaking to me, all the way around. Because you know what? If she hadn't led with her Ambien-induced, car crashing, jail tainted foot, I MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET HER A JOB.

So dumb.
And sad.
Yet I go back to dumb.
And stay on dumb.

My next brilliant job seeker that told me too much info was a guy named "Ray".

Now Ray I had a serious interest in as he had a stellar resume on Monster.com that he had just launched up on the job board the night before.

There were only 2 possible glitches on his resume- one is that I had no idea what the hell he'd been doing for the past 3 years as there were no entries since 2009, which is unusual for a man. Women have babies and disappear all the time, but men? Not so much. So this factor both intrigued and disturbed me.

The other possible glitch was that he was licensed with the State of California Dept of Insurance and there were 3 possible "Rays" with the same exact name on the CA DOI (that's short for Dept of Insurance- see, you just learned a little sumpin' sumpin' now didn't ya?). 2 of the Rays were quality guys, but 1 Ray was a naughty naughty Ray. The Naughty Ray had his license revoked and had to pay a large fine... for what I'm not sure, but I didn't have the time to go poking around in the court docs as I wasn't even sure THIS Ray I was going to call was the Naughty Ray.

So I figured oh what the hell, what have I got to lose? I'll just call the guy and get clarification on those two particular things I'm not really happy about and we'll just see what happens.

Well what happened next I wasn't prepared for.

Ray answered on the third ring.
I could hear the traffic whizzing by him in the background so I was sure he was driving.

Me: "Hi Ray, this is Stephanie from _____________ Insurance and I saw your resume on Monster so I wanted to chat with you for a minute, is this an okay time for you?" I said, hoping he'd say no because I could tell he was driving, and even when people are driving with blue tooths, I don't like talking to them about their future career possibilities and scheduling interviews and such as it makes me nervous they're going to crash the car.

Long drawn out pause, no response from Ray... maybe he doesn't hear me? Maybe his cell phone is cutting out?
Finally, he shows a sign of life! He answers me!

Ray: "Whatz wuz your name? Persephone?"

Persephone?

Okay, I can see how this is close sounding to my name, but never, ever in my life have I been called this. Not that it's a bad thing, being referred to as a goddess of harvests or whatever great job that chick had in mythology.

Me: "No, it's STEPHANIE. Are you okay to talk now? Are you driving?"

Ray: "No, noze, I'm okays. (long pregnant pause) I have a blue toof."

Me: "A blue tooth? You have a blue tooth? Well that's good..." I say, immediately realizing I'm talking to somebody that's either got a major speech impediment or is drunk or hopped up on pills. Naturally I immediately think "BLOG MATERIAL!!" (Do you see how I'm always looking out for you people??)

Me: "So what's been going on with your job search lately? How's that been going? It says on your resume that you haven't worked since 2009, is that true? Or have you been doing contract work?"

Long pause again.
Me: "Ray? Are you there? Can you hear me?" ("now?" I'm adding in my head, thank you stupid Verizon commercials.)

Ray: "Yeah, yeahs I'm here. I... I... I don't know how to explain it all."
Long pause YET again.

Well this isn't awkward, not one bit.
I decided to forge ahead.

Me: "Well let's start back at your experience with _____ Insurance company. How did that go?"

Ray: "Pffft. That was a HOT MESS. That's how that went."
Then again... you guessed it... long pause...

Me: "Well it says here you got licensed with the State of California Department of Insurance and I just tried to pull up your record but there are 3 Ray ________'s so I'm not sure who's who."

Ray: "Oh yeah, well I'm the one in Los Angeles. No middle names."

Me: "Well they're all located in Los Angeles, and none of them have middle names. There's one on here that got their licensed revoked, is that you?"

Long pause, I wait patiently to see if he'll bite and tell me the truth or vehemently deny it.
It's GOT to be him, his behavior with me on the phone is erratic, it's GOT to be him. Fingers crossed it's him! (More blog material!)

Ray: "Well... you see... that wasn't me. Well... ummmm. It is me, BUT hearsh what happened..."
Pause.
I wait.

Ray: "I worked for this agent at ____________ Insurance. And I was supposed to be training under her to become an agent myself. But everytime she..."
Pause.

Me: "Yes? Everytime she what?"

Ray: "Everytime she wanted something, she'd never let me do it, she'd ask me to do it and then she'd get frustrated and do it hershelf. I never had a chance to prove myself. And then she went postal and turned into a screaming lunatic. That bitch was always screaming!"

Me: "Oh."

I'd never heard anybody on the phone with me refer to one of their previous bosses as a "bitch". This was new. Clearly, Ray was Loose as a Goose, hopped up on somethin'.


Ray: "And then, to top it all off, my fiance was murdered. In that building. And I still don't know what BASTARD did it, but I thinks I do. And he's gonna pay."

Me in my head: OMG I've stepped in it.

Me (outloud): "Wow. I'm sorry to hear that, that's just awful. So does that have to do with why you haven't been working for 3 years? Have you been working through your loss?" This is, after all, still a tragedy, people have to work through this crap. I'll give the guy a break.

Ray: "No, well, sort of. NO! That's not why! The stupid bitch offered to have me come back and work there after my fiance died but then she accused me of some crap I didn't do, she got my license revoked and it doesn't fucking matter because I can't go work in that building anyway. Could you? Could you go work in the building where your fiance was murdered??"

Me: "Ummm, no, probably not."

Ray: "Well there you go! THAT'S WHY I HAVEN'T BEEN WORKING FOR 3 YEARS."

I really need to get off the phone with this guy, and like pronto.
Then I hear him cussing under his breath and the squealing of brakes and he starts screaming at some guy that possibly (?) cut him off.
I sit there stunned, not knowing how to get out of this one. Obviously this guy is drunk, shouldn't be driving. I should probably be calling the cops. At this point, this phone call stretches beyond a friendly chat about past employment situations and possible future ones. People's lives are clearly in danger here.

Me: "Ray, are you on a freeway?"

Ray: "Yeah. NO, I don't know. What does that have to do with the job you're calling me to interview me for?"

Me: "It doesn't, I'm just curious. I didn't mean to rattle you with my questions. Having to divulge all of that stuff is hard to talk about I'm sure. What were you looking to do, career wise?" Not that it even matters at this point. I'm just making petty conversation and trying not to get screamed at.

Ray: "I don't fucking know. Can I just get an interview, then I can talk about it?"

Me: "Well, I'm thinking that the license being revoked is gonna be a problem for my company, so I don't really think I can get you past the gate over here. But I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your search though Ray. You should probably just go home and relax for a bit, take your time looking for jobs online."

Ray: "Take my time? You don't thinks 3 yearsh is enough time??!?"

Me getting panicky: "Well thanks for talking to me Ray, I've got somebody that just walked into my office here, I have to hang up now."

Ray: "Goddammit, drivers are so fucking stupid!"

Me: Click.

It took me a while to regroup after that... I was obviously hoping I could get a location from him so that I could call the Highway Patrol and they could hunt him down.

I'm saddened by the crap that happened to him and don't underestimate what it must be like to go through having your fiance murdered, but seriously people ... get your shit together before you market yourself as a qualified job seeker. Man.




Thanks for listening and letting me share my experiences with job seekers this week my peeps!
More funny next week- no more of this sad and tragic crap eh?
Yeah, I agree.
Peace out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Oh GO AHEAD ... tell me your life story- Part 1


My work email inbox scares me.
It just does, there's no way around it.



Therefore, I click with great trepidation, all day long.

Months ago it used to be that I was only afraid to click on an email in my inbox if there was no attachment with it. As no attachment meant no resume, and no resume usually meant "Fuck off".

But lately, even the emails with the attachments are scaring me.

They're arriving with alarming messages attached to them...messages that aren't just a simple "Yes, I'm interested in XYZ position you have available." Messages that should never, ever go to a recruiter.

Now, I've covered TMI and time stamps (the time your email was sent) before in previous posts I've written... those posts can be read here and here. But I have some ridiculous new stories to share with my faithful readers that again, just leave me scratching my head.

I'm going to break this blog posting into a 2 part event as I've got 2 great examples, but feel I can only overwhelm you with them one at a time.

First off, let me just tell you, the time stamps on the 2 examples aren't abnormal. The emails were sent between "normal business hours" or I should say, "awake" hours for most folk. That doesn't detract from the loopiness and stupidity factor though, as it's still rampant with these two.

For our first example, and the topic of today's posting, I give you "Kevin".

Now Kevin decided that instead of sending me a regular resume, he'd send me this charming email instead. Keep in mind, I do not have his resume, ergo, I have NO idea what field he's been working in.

Here, in all it's glory, is Kevin's email, with my commentary interjected here and there as you KNOW I can't help myself...I HAVE to make commentary:

"Hello my name is Kevin _________ and I'm looking forward to hearing back from you. i've been working forever, really since I was in juinior high school as i would repair and maintain my friends, teachers and family's as a hobby till it escalated to a passion." 

Whoa.
Hold on there buckaroo. You've been repairing and maintaining your friends, teachers and families as a hobby until it escalated into a passion? What does that even mean? Are you some super duper counselor type? Or did you just forget to mention you've been repairing their TVs. Or computers. Or flat tires on their bicycles?

"After HIGH school I instantly went into the workforce where Iworked a job there packing personnel and slowly moved up to Supervsor in which I was in charge of 140 or more (I dont' remember how many really) people."

Okay, again. WHOA.
You had a job PACKING PERSONNEL? As in, you were packing people up? Into boxes?
Or were you an employee that packed things? Like on a conveyor belt type line up? I'm so confused...

And you were made a SUPERVISOR.

Let's just take a moment to chew on that little diddy.

This concerns me on multiple levels, not only because you don't know how to spell it but because somebody made you, the person that packed people up, in charge of a minimum of 140 people...but possibly less OR possibly more as you can't really remember how many. Did all of those people end up sealed up in boxes and shipped off to some foreign country? And why the heck would you mention a number to me if you don't even know if it's accurate? And then purposefully TELL ME you don't know if it's accurate?
Kevin, you're starting to scare me.

"This job did not challenge me and there's where Iknew Imust do something about my career. During that time i was working I already had vast knowledge. Currently I'm Working and would love to be challenged at this career and hope to expand my horizons."

Okay, that's a lot of general fluff. You say you weren't challenged (oddly enough), that you already had "vast knowledge" (this I'd like to challenge) and you're currently working and want to be challenged and expand your horizons.

Yawn.
And besides the fact that you like to use the word "challenge" too much, I STILL don't know what the heck it is that you do.

"I work hard and prideful at what Ido knowing that one day I'll be able to use these skills to imporv the prople around me and most importantly myself."

You're going to "imporv" the "prople" around you and most importantly, yourself?
Gah.

"I've been working hard to expand my horizons but the area around me limits me I feel trapped in a cage wanting to expand my horizons but when you're from a farm town your light seems dim. My firends and I came to the conclusion that I need a new environmnet to improve my abilities and goals. For this reason my friends have reached out to help me by offering me a place to stay. My goal is to relocate to this beautiful city full of opportunity and take it by the horns. I'm grateful to my "family" at work for giving me the chance at such a young age to hold this much responsiblity  but it's time for me to move on and get out of this one cow town."

Okay, there's so many things to pick on here, my mind is reeling and my eyes are crossing.

Oh, and also?

There's a lot of Bovine Imagery going on-- farm town...take it by the horns...cow town. 


I feel it might be helpful to yell out a mighty "Yeehaw!" here just for the hell of it.



And did your friends, err, excuse me, "fire-ends" do an intervention on you? I'm pretty sure one went down. 


And where are you? You say your goal is to "relocate to this beautiful city"--- ummm, what? Relocate means you plan on heading somewhere, "this beautiful city" implies you are already here.
Where the hell are you Kevin?



So now I've got some image in my mind of a depressed and confused, large belt buckle-wearing cowboy that packs up people on a conveyor belt for a living... I just really have no where to go with this now. And I CERTAINLY don't know what I'm going to do with poor Bovine Oppressed Kevin in regard to MY company.

Kevin:




"If given the opportunity to work for you I promises to dedicate and apply myself to the fullest extent of my ability to perform the task applied to me and overachieve not only as a worker but as a person."

Yeah yeah yeah. You "promises" to dedicate and apply yourself and overachieve and... yawn again.

Oh Kevin.
I think you need more help than I can offer buddy.
Thanks for sharing your messed up life story with me and best of luck to you...whatever it is that you do and wherever you are.



Stay tuned next week for "Oh go ahead...tell my your life story... Part 2" !!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can you say La-La-Loopy?


Sometimes ... people get a little loopy.

And also?

I've discovered there are different degrees of loopiness.

Some people ramble on and on and ON for pages in their cover emails to me and when this happens, the first thing I'll do is look at the time stamp on the email. 

Did they send it to me at 4 o'clock in the afternoon or 2 o'clock in the morning?

Because believe it or not, this matters. 

Why you ask?

Because people drink at night.  

Or they take Ambien.

And, not being completely lucid by any stretch of the imagination, they do the following:

Drunk or Sleep eat



Drunk or Sleep Ebay



Drunk or Sleep fill in the blank __________ 


or
Drunk or Sleep email.



So!

Depending on how wild they got,
hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of calories got consumed...








Barbie heads were mistakingly won and paid for after a round of incessant spite bidding...







Or perhaps the worst offender of all: 
Things get said. 
Things that usually shouldn't be said.

So while it's easy to figure out one or two of the offenses once you awaken from your drunken/Ambien induced stupor as there's usually SOME kind of visible evidence--- such as...

the 3 empty cartons of leftover Chinese and the shameful remnants of a tub of ice cream you hoovered that's melted and dripping all over the counter and down the cupboards... 

OR- your doorbell rings three days later and your UPS driver hands you a package that makes you scratch your head and go "WTF?" when you open it up...

Unless you know how naughty you get and make a habit out of checking your "sent" file in your email account the following morning? 
Damage that you may have done might not be so glaringly obvious.

So all that being said, for now let's skip over the drunken/sleep eating, ebaying, and whatevering (which may or may NOT have happened to me- ahem) and get right to the drunken/sleep emailing shall we?

One of the emails I got yesterday obviously started me off on this rant as it was a real wild ride. 


As in my examples above, this very bitter woman that we'll just call "Lisa" was either drunk, hopped up on Ambien or just plain crazy. 

So children, are you buckled up safely? Are all your arms or any other possible limbs inside the roller coaster and ready for take off? 


Good. 
Okay ... here we go! 


Lisa launched into her message to me as if we'd been carrying on and conversing via email for weeks, just dumping me straight into the middle of a make-believe conversation. I instantly felt like I was being thrown into the middle of an angry tape she's been playing OVER and OVER in her head for years. 

This is how the email started:

"You are correct. I did work for them from December 1992 to October 1999."

Really? I'm correct?
A) I didn't say anything to you in the first place and
B) I'm not psychic. How the heck would I know those exact dates? And furthermore, what the heck company is she talking about?

Next line:
"The field director thought it would be best to let me be laid off even though I was the only claim assistant that lived close enough to the building in Woodland Hills. Apparently that wasn't good enough though."

No, darlin'...sometimes just the fact that you lived closest to the building vs. your other co-workers isn't enough of a reason to keep you as an employee. Sorry to have to break that news to you.

Next:
"My liability supervisor who I did have a GREAT repor with and she was my mentors told me in her Christmas card to me that the field director who laid ME off, got laid off in 2000 HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hmmmmm HMMMMMMM!!! That's what she DESERVES!!"

Wow.

Next:
"The reason I have not returned is because my liability supervisor retired the year after that, so what was the point for me to even try to return? I ask you, what was the POINT?!??!!"

Ummmm starting to get a little wigged out here.

Next:
"Getting to the point of this reply. My main experience is in claims and I have been trying to get back in this department since I was laid off in 1999."

Really? You'd been trying since 1999? Wait. I'm confused. I thought you said above what was the point of you even trying to return? Crap. You're losin' me here. I'm tryin' to follow you but I'm on the verge of hitting delete Lisa...

Next:
"The field director, back in 1999, gave the available position to the claims rep who DID NOT have any experience working with WORKERS COMP because she had a bachelor's degree. That's ridiculous and this angers me."

K. Getting scared now.

Next:
"The computer DOES NOT make me scared."

Well you having use of the computer is legitimately scaring me.

Next:
"Please kindly FORWARD my resume to the APPROPRIATE people."

Uh...do I have to? Cuz I'm leanin' towards no right now.

Next:
"I kinda do not like when people say "NO" to me."

Oh shit. I think she heard me.

Next:
"Best wishes to you!"

Oh give me a break.

I'm scared. I'm totally and completely wigged out and can't delete this email fast enough. I do however check the time stamp from when she sent it before I send it into never-never land. 

3:36 pm. 

Yup. 
She's just plain nuts. 


P.S. One of the images above was borrowed from  http://freevector.com - must give credit where credit is due. ;0)

Friday, June 8, 2012

An oldie but goodie...


Hello!
Thanks for stopping by.



My ass is up to alligators right now... what with the working full time, recruiting for my afternoon replacement person, moving and painting at night, the kid having walking pneumonia and graduating next week, the helping people with their resumes stuff ... I'm truthfully doing my best not to hyperventilate. 
Or pass out.


Quite frankly I am just happy I get out of the house with clean clothes on every morning. THAT should tell you how well I'm functioning right now.


So seeing as how I don't have any time as of recent days to put together a new blog posting and no one wants to hear me wax eloquent about my new found love of Valspar's "Stormy Weather" shade of paint... I thought I would just re-post one of my oldies but goodies!


Sit back, relax and enjoy!
(And my apologies to my long time followers who've already read this. More funny next week!)


Okay, here we go...




Times are tough right now, aren't they? I know I bitch about being on the raw end of the Resume Reading Stick but I get it, I know people are going through some serious shit right now, being unemployed and all. Despite the specific slant on my blog, I am tapped into this and do feel for people. A good percentage of the job seekers I do speak with get my sympathy vote, but certainly not all.

Yesterday afternoon I got a surprise of all surprises though- a female job candidate called me and sheeee waaaasssss a little l-ooooo-ppeeeeeee.

Okay, she was drunk.

Or hopped up on pills.

I'm not quite sure which.

But seeing as how my fearless co-worker Tammy (who I mentioned before stays calm 99% of the time) answered the phone first and then put "Janice" on hold- she had a chance to warn me. And if Tammy's actually taking the time to warn me? Somethin's freakin' UP Chuck. 


I think Tammy said something like "This lady sounds a little weird. Like she was surprised she got (insert our company name here)_____________ Insurance and was shocked as all heck that you were even here, even though she called asking for you by name. Her name is "Janice" _____, does that sound familiar?"

Yes, why yes indeed it does.

"Shit." I replied back to Tammy. "Yes, I know exactly who it is."

Usually I have to keep the person calling in on hold for a little bit so I can dive through my folders (appropriately categorized according to my last interaction with them in my different color coded system as I'm totally anal like that) and pull out their resume so I can have it for reference. In this case there was no need for that, only for me to brace myself and take a deep breath.

Back story time my chickadees!

For the last 3 damn days I have been in a massive email entanglement with Janice and this guy named "George". Without boring you with all the incredibly complicated employer snapshot of a candidate's resume details on CareerBuilder discussion (that was a mouthful), I'll try to explain it rather simply this way:

Janice was emailing me her resume, telling me she wanted to be considered for a new career. (She is currently a nurse.) This is fine, except Janice emailed me some dude's resume copy instead of hers. I'll just call the other dude whose resume I was suddenly viewing "George". George is apparently a private investigator (and yeah, I'm sure he's reading this right now considering the entanglement we've all had as of late, what with him being a P.I. and all...so HI GEORGE!!)



Anyhoo- it went down like this:
Janice emails me with a reasonable cover note about herself and her new found desire to ditch the nursing scene, attaching George the P.I.'s resume.

I scratch my head, search through my different job board data bases I have access to and discover that the problem ALSO exists on CareerBuilder. Huh. Her info is listed as the contact and person searching for a job, but George's resume is the one uploaded as if it's her.

This was confusing to me.
So I politely emailed them (her?) and said this:

"Hi Janice,
I received your interest email and there is some confusion on our part... when we pull you up on CareerBuilder.com, your resume comes up as George __________? I've attached our employer view below so that you can see how we see it. Thought maybe you could address this issue...do you know George? I don't know why the two of you would be entangled in such a fashion, haven't seen this happen in all the years I've been doing this.
Best regards,
Stephanie __________
Recruiting Director
for ____________ etc"

The following day, this email showed up in my inbox:

"Hi, this is George __________, Janice __________'s husband. How my resume got mixed with Janices is beyond me. this was definitely an error on CareerBuilder's part. I don't know how to fix this. In the MEANTIME, I'm attaching her resume for your consideration she is a registered nurse, looking to start a new  career. Sorry for the mix up, but just to make it clear again, THIS IS NOT OUR FAULT.
Respectfully,
George ____ , PI"

Ummm, okay.
They are married. They have 2 different last names. This isn't that unusual...but the way he was EMPHASIZING certain words and INSISTING it wasn't their fault?? Umm, a little off, no?

I open up Janice's resume--- she's an RN that works in a bungalow with psychotic patients who were "more stabilized on their meds" (her words). Uh, yeah, you don't say? Psychotic patients do better on their meds? Huh.
That's news to me.

I read through all SEVEN pages of random mentions of incidents with patients (totally none of my business and major HIPAA violations to boot) but certain things caught my eye. When a Resume Submitter STARTS USING THE CAPS LOCK FOR SEVERAL SENTENCES and then abruptly stops mid-sentence for no apparent reason... it gets my attention. This went on like waves crashing on the beach, then retreating, then crashing back. It was - eery.

Then I read about the hostage negotiation team she was on and other pertinent information on convicted psychotic arsonists and the "hodge podge of alcoholics" (her words I swear) she took care of.

This is down right freaky.

And just for the record, my last job before I became a recruiter was in a mental health outpatient facility in downtown, drug infested Reno, NV. So if you're scaring me on paper? There ain't no WAY I'm gonna deal with you in person. (Even though I'm trained to do so doesn't mean I'm going to volunteer for it.)


About ready to shred it and just completely ignore and DRE code her (which in my land stands for "It was heinous and necessary to shred as quickly as possible) I catch the address. She's 2 hours away from us.
She's also 2 hours away from her husband.

This is my out.

I'm feeling kind... (that'll come back to bite me in the ass for sure)...I email her and her husband TOGETHER and say that I noticed she's in __________ city, that's too far a commute, so she can contact this office closer to her instead, giving them the info of some poor unfortunate dude whose office workers were going to be hating me within 18 hours. I also made a friendly recruiter suggestion that they completely delete the CareerBuilder.com account and start over from scratch, since they indicated they didn't know how to fix it and that (of course) it WASN'T THEIR FAULT.

I went home, tried to forget about it.

The following morning I get yet ANOTHER email in my inbox from her husband. "No, you don't understand, she lives here in Sherman Oaks with ME. I don't know why you thought she was in ___________. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?"
and that was all he wrote.

Really?
You don't FREAKING KNOW why I thought she lived in another city?
PERHAPS BECAUSE SHE'S LISTED THE DAMN CITY ON HER RESUME YOU FREAKING MORON. HOW ABOUT YOU TELL YOUR WIFE TO FIX HER RESUME SO THAT THE ACCURATE CITY IS LISTED??? DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THAT?!??


Okay, sorry, calming down now.
Ahem.

I ignored. 
Ignore, ignore, ignore.
"These people are whacked," I told myself.
"I shouldn't have to deal with them. I was just trying to be nice. This is what I get for being nice. I'm so gullible. I need to not do anything further with them so I don't go postal on them."
(Yes, this is my glorious self-talk, now you've been clued in as to what goes on in my head...)

And then the phone call from Janice came in.

They let it rest for a good 6 hours between contact times... however perhaps "rest" isn't the best word here- "fester" seems more appropriate.

I already told you how the call came in to Tammy- so let's take it from where I take a deep breath and pick up the phone, shall we?

Me: "Hi Janice, this is Stephanie. How can I help you?"
Janice: "Oh hi. You're there." 
Silence.
Very long silence.
Me: "Yes, I'm here. I'm assuming this is Janice _____ who I've been emailing back and forth with?"
Silence.
Janice: "WOULD YOU SHUSH THE FUCK UP!! I'M TRYING TO CALL THESH PEOPLES YOU MADE ME CALL DAMMIT! GODDAMN YOU'RE SO FUCKING STUPID. NOW BE QUIET!"
Me: Gulp.
Me in my head: I think (?) she was yelling at George...I don't think she's yelling at me, but I'm not quite sure.
And who says "Shush" the fuck up?
I've never heard that in all my life. "Shut" the fuck up, yes. But not "shush". This is new.
Me still in my head: I think this will be blog material.

Me actually speaking now: "Uh, how can I help you Janice?"
Janice: "Well, I'm a liddel comfused...I see your job desscripson as being a unit nurse, I don't want to be a unit nurse."
Me in my head: Oh dear. She really is wasted. How am I going to get her off the phone?
Me outloud: "You don't want to be a unit nurse? Well what did you want?" (May as well get some mileage out of this...)
Janice: "Uhhhhh. Well. You KNOW, I don't want to be a damn unit nurse. I've had enough of that for a lifetime."
Silence again.
Me: "Well I'm not sure you're calling the right place. This is ___________ Insurance. I don't have a need for unit nurses."
Janice: "Well I TOLD YOU, I DON'T WANT TO BE A DAMN UNIT NURSE!"

Insert loud crash in the background in Janice's home/hovel/vat of vodka she's swimming in...

Me- knowing I need to calm her down: "Okay Janice, well if I remember correctly from your email, you were looking for a new career correct? Because my company doesn't have anything to do with nursing, we help people get licensed with the State of California Department of Insurance and train them to become insurance agents or employees under existing insurance agents. Does that sound like something you are looking for?"
Silence.
Janice: "Uh-huh."
Silence again.
Me in my brain: I'm just gonna wait here and see what she says. I'm not gonna say anything.
More yelling commences, this time it sounds like George, whose also possibly been swimming in the vat of vodka with her. "Where'd you put the remote?? Whys you gotta be hidin' the GODDAMNED REMOTE FROM ME ALL THE TIME. I SWEAR WOMAN..."
Janice: "OH SHUSH THE FUCK UP! I'M TRYIN TO TALKS TO THIS LADY! DON'T BE INTERRUPTING ME ABOUT THE REMOTE AGAIN! YOU'RE ALWAYS STALKING ABOUT THE REMOTE!"
Me: "Janice?" (trying to get her attention focused back on our lame attempt at a career counseling conversation...) "Janice, are you there?"
Janice: "Yes! I'm here. He'z alwayz askin' me about the remote. So I don't want to be a unit nurse."
Me: "Yes, I understand that. I don't have any unit nurse positions."
Janice: "Good, then what do you have available? I need to interview. I've got 25? No, 30? Years essperience and I need a job. So I can get OUTTA THIS HOUSE BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT REMOTES ANYMORE."
Me in my head: "I should really milk this conversation for some more blog material but I've actually got real work to do..."
Me outloud: "Janice, I think that we probably aren't a good fit for you and you should continue your job search elsewhere."
Janice: Silence. 
More silence.
Janice: "Ellswhere?" (totally confused by the word)
Me: "Yes, best of luck to you with your job search."
Janice: "Uh-huh."

And then I hung up on her. 
Even though she was still talking. 
To me or to George or to herself...I'm not sure and, quite frankly, don't care.

As soon as I slam the phone down I immediately start yelling back at Tammy "OH MY GAWD SHE WAS DRUNK! SHE WAS TOTALLY DRUNK!" and the giggling and conversation recounting commences.


How stupid people search for jobs.

Now just for added humor sake, I'm linking up a very funny YouTube video that's one in a series called "My Drunk Kitchen". 

I'd totally take a phone call from this girl anytime. (And possibly want to be her new best friend.)

Now THIS is the way to be drunk in the afternoon. (Safely at home, not calling potential employers, doing something useful with yourself like hysterical cooking demonstrations...)