I keep my resume on Dice.com which is advisable in today’s economy. Hell, it’s probably a good idea no matter what. I once got a job when I really needed one (I was employed at the time but too busy and too miserable to have gotten around to looking for a new job) because some intrepid recruiter found an old version of my resume on hotjobs (I didn’t even remember putting it there), applied my skill sets to the position she wanted to fill sent me an email. I was employed elsewhere two interviews and four weeks later at a job in the tech field in a position that expanded my CV, busted my brain (almost a little too much) and with a reasonable salary increase (which is always a lovely added bonus).
Back in March I put an updated copy on Dice in anticipation of full scale job hunt scheduled to begin in May which was scrapped in July when my salary cut was rescinded and I took a better look at the market and decided I liked it just fine where I was, thank you very much despite the fact that I’m still living on the edge. Better to live on the edge with a reasonable life balance and a good, solid working relationship with your co-workers. In other words, it’s good to be loved. Other than the money there’s the desire to fill out the old CV with one additional bit of product knowledge in my suite which I don’t happen to have. It’s the top part of Essbase called Planning I’m not worried about learning it on the fly (how the hell do you think I learned EVERYTHING ELSE I KNOW) it’s difficult to sell yourself as a Planning admin to a client based on your Essbase experience (Planning sits on top of Essbase) if you haven’t actually seen Planning since its inception in, uh, 2002 or something like that.
So that’s my story.
Recruiters phish daily. Just ignore them, they’re really easy to spot and I’m not going to bother telling you how either. I will tell you this though; Dice does its best to protect you. When a recruiter reads your blind resume they know where you are, more or less but they don’t know your name or how to contact you directly. They have to send you a request asking for a release of your particulars and you can do whatever you wish which includes ignoring the request entirely (obvious phishers MUST be ignored or they will NEVER go away).
Generally a recruiter will send as much information as possible, such as who they are, who they represent, the job description and the job location. If it’s a contract position they provide those specs as well and sometimes the hourly rate. They never tell you who the customer is. Why on earth would they do that? You’ll get that information later. Maybe.
There was a problem with this one almost immediately. In the beginning she stepped all over herself in little ways. Her communication was curt and bordered on grammatically incorrect (I might butcher the English language in many places but NEVER in professional communication and I don’t expect it from a recruiter especially since they’re going to be representing ME). Later she slipped right into grammatically preposterous. She also neglected to add the job specs and when she finally did they came un-formatted, copied and pasted directly from the employer side of Dice where I can go just as well as she can. Absolutely zero additonal information, serious badness. Red flags popped up all over the place.
I sent the email string off to Nomans. Every heard of this woman? Yep, got the same email; I think she’s just phishing. Since Nomans is a consultant and doesn’t take full time positions the only reason he talks to recruiters is if they also specialize in contract work or to send contacts my direction. I told him I was going to follow this one a bit to see where it went but that I wasn’t going to put a lot of time into it.
I sent her two paragraphs first explaining why the client was going to reject my resume without having a good introduction first. Those two paragraphs could have been read verbatim to the client and if the client had enough in house knowledge it was possible they might want to talk to me.
And then I got on the phone with her.
Talking to her was like listening to somebody from Yonkers spit into the phone.
And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
She was very up front but I gather the honesty came from complete idiocy. She told me that clients just wouldn’t talk to her anymore. The only way she could communicate was by sending resumes to HR (and I’m thinking this is for the best, Yonkers, trust me on this). I asked her if she could tell me a little bit about the position and she spit into the phone incoherently. Eventually I figured out that she was referring to the un-formatted job specs she’d copied and pasted into the body of the second email. OK, fine, that’s all you know except what’s the salary range? She gave me a salary that started barely above what I’m making now to be sort of worth having the conversation to something I’d definitely be interested in looking at. She asked what I was making now and I gave her a rounded up figure that exactly equaled the bottom of the offered range.
She asked if she could send them my resume and I said that was fine but not to expect to hear back and then I hung up the phone expecting to never hear from here again.
An hour later she called back.
Yonkers: Will you take the job for the bottom of the range?
Yonkers: Will you or won’t you?
Me: I will talk to them at the bottom of the range but I won’t even promise to take the job for the top of the range. The only information I have is the job spec you sent me!
Yonkers: I just need to know if you’d work for the bottom of the range!
Me: I might.
Yonkers: Can I tell them that?
Me: Sure, go ahead.
Later I’m thinking, she just sent an email stating the fact that I’ll take the job for that salary. She still hasn’t talked to anyone or gotten a response. Why am I even thinking about this? And I promptly stopped thinking about it.
A few days later she called me again. This time I let it go to voice mail. It was the middle of the day and there was just no way in hell I was going to deal with this. She immediately followed up with an email made up of half sentences that seemed to indicate something about a phone interview and PLEASE CALL ME RIGHT THIS SECOND.
Sigh. Clearly, no boundaries, this woman.
Ensuing email string:
Me: I’m sorry, Yonkers, I can’t do that. I’m working. I can, however, speak to these people next Thursday or Friday because I’ll be off those two days and won’t have to worry about finding a safe place to talk in a very busy environment.
Yonkers: WHEN CAN YOU BE AVAILABLE FOR A FACE TO FACE INTERVIEW?!!!!!!!! PLEASE CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Yonkers, I’m off the following week as well so anytime Monday through Wednesday would be fine.
Yonkers: CAN YOU CALL ME PLEASE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Yonkers, I’m busy. Let me know when you have a phone interview scheduled and then I’ll give you a call. When is the best time to reach you?
Yonkers: 7:30. I get in early
Me: I’ll call you at 9:30 if you’ve got an appointment for me.
Yonkers called this weekend. She called my cell phone. She called the house. She left messages all over the place. I didn’t even pick up the messages until yesterday. Yesterday I decided to put an end to this once and for all (and I do know who the client is, by the way, she did finally give that up as it was time to give that up and that’s important and I’ll get to that).
I called Yonkers yesterday. She answered immediately.
Me: Yonkers, have you managed to speak with anyone from this company yet?
Yonkers: No, I told you, nobody will talk to me anymore. They just don’t do relationships like they used to.
Me: Well, Yonkers, why do you think they want to talk to me given that I don't have a lick of Planning background and just the Essbase and nobody's had a chance to drive that point home?
Yonkers: I don't know. They must have seen something in your resume they liked. Maybe they have another position open. I gave them your cell phone number, is that OK?
(Really? Yonkers, are you freaking out of your mind? You gave a would be client direct access to an asset without benefit of a single phone call much less a handshake a contract, a what have you in either direction? Good God, woman)
Me: Yes, that's OK but you understand I'm going to be very busy through Wednesday because I'm off Thursday and Friday and all of next week.
Yonkers: I tried to call you this weekend but you didn't answer. I thought maybe you were away.
Me: I was working.
Me: Yes, really.
Yonkers: Don't you answer the phone when you're working?
Me: Not when I'm on the other line, no.
Yonkers: Well, I only called you once. See? I don't harass people.
Me: Well that's always helpful.
Yonkers: What were you doing?
Me: (Are you kidding me? OK fine, since you asked, I’m going to torment you with this.) Well, Yonkers, I was helping to bring down 228 servers and then bring them back up again and run the scripts and test the systems and make sure nothing was broken and if it was broken fix it and all that so that we could install a small upgrade to the VMware at the Richmond data center.
Yonkers: So you were out of town.
Me: No, I was working from home.
Yonkers: That doesn't make any sense.
Me: That's OK, it's just technical stuff, don't worry about it.
She then proceeded to tell me how this works. If you think they like you, you call and tell me, OK? And then I'll set up the next meeting if you think they want to see you again...
Me: OK, Yonkers, you send me an email if they reach out to you again and I'll let you know if they call me...
Yonkers: OK and I won't call you anymore because I know you don't like to talk on the phone. I'll just send you email.
Me: Yonkers, I don't mind talking on the phone, I just can't do it in the middle of a meeting or from work on my cell phone if I can't find a private place to take the call. I work in a very open space.
Me: bye now.
So there’s something I didn’t even consider until this morning because this has all been about dealing with the preposterous Yonkers who really deserves a bit of compassion because I think once upon a time she was a very different sort of recruiter for a very different sort of position and had a full stable of perfectly good resources and a perfectly fine book of business and that’s all dried up and gone to hell and now she’s floundering in a world that’s moved on and left her behind and no one will talk to her probably because of her email communication.
The thing I didn’t even consider was the company in question. There’s this issue of ethics. I was driving with Lucia to work this morning (oh, please don’t even ask me to explain that but we’ll be commuting until I get something sorted out) and we were discussing this and as the name of the company came out of my mouth my blood went cold and I said:
Me: I can’t work for that company.
Lucia: Why not?
Me: They’re predators of the very worst sort.
Me: They are at the forefront of the cause of personal bankruptcy. Lending rates that begin at 11% suddenly jump to 18% and then to 29.99% and beyond when creditors find out that consumers might be in a little over their heads and when the consumer might be able to get out at that 11% rate what happens when it jumps to 29.99% is the consumer is suddenly looking at what could amount to a life sentence or the difference between getting out and personal bankruptcy. It all depends on the circumstances.
Lucia: Why do they do that?
Me: Do what?
Lucia: Drive the interest rates up like that?
Me: Honestly, I really don’t get it even though I do get it because a lot of those people really would continue to use the cards and not ever default but there are a lot of ways to look at it and I’ve been thinking about this for years especially since I worked for that credit cleaning start up and found out how people actually get out of this if they happen to learn how to stand up to the credit card companies once you’ve gone and trashed your credit anyway.
Me: Anyway, I think I’ve finally hit my limit. I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can look at all that data. I don’t think I could be part of this legalized loan shark business. At least loan sharks are up front about it. I mean, you know the interest rate and you know what's going to happen if you miss a payment. Starts out with a beating and then it's a thumb and eventually you're dead in the Pine Barrens.
Lucia: What if you didn’t have a job and we were hungry?
Me: Different story I’m pretty sure.
I can prostitute myself apparently in only so many ways?
By the way - the photo at the top of the post and this photo at the bottom are after and before shots of the same woman. She's famous or infamous somewhere. I found the first photo at the top while googling Crazy Yonkers Lady Having Bad Hair Day and then had to change my key words to include Queens because Yonkers was giving me porn for some reason and I got this woman. I took the top photo because it was working for me at the time (and it still does) and then I took the bottom photo because it was there and you just never know when you might need something for your clip file and they do belong together.
After I typed the word prostitute and thought about the world having moved on and Lucia's question about what would you do if we were hungry I put that photo in there as a reminder. It isn't meant to illustrate Yonkers at all. This one is holding the mirror up at myself. It isn't meant to be degrading, so don't go there, it's a reality check about the world we live in and the choices we make and a reality check on my own judgement of Yonkers. Not that it isn't funny as hell and not that it isn't entirely true. Every last bit of it. And other things too. But I'm still not going to jump through hoops to work for TheBigBank. Am I?