Whoa! Am I Behind… (#blogboost)

I’m what, five entries short on the Ultimate Blog Challenge? OMG! I’ll have to double up like crazy now…

There’s a good reason for it, though: I have a couple of possibilities on the job front. One called yesterday and sounds quite promising. It has me shifting gears from refreshing my PHP skills to refreshing my Ruby on Rails skills.

The logo of Ruby on Rails (source: Wikimedia Commons)
The logo of Ruby on Rails (source: Wikimedia Commons)

It has me kind of rushing around because I’ve discovered that a lot of the procedures for it have changed since I last worked on it. But it’s all coming back.

I’m also learning Git, the version control system that’s au courant these days.

Git logo (source: Wikimedia Commons)
Git logo (source: Wikimedia Commons)

What I’ve found about all of these server-side languages is that they’re all fairly close. Both RoR and PHP make use (or can make use) of the model-view-controller concept. I’m not going to get into a long discussion of that (I can see eyes rolling back), but suffice it to say that, if you know it for one language, you know it for all of them.

Anyway, wish me luck! We now return you to our regularly scheduled program.

It Must Be Karma (#blogboost)

When I started working, I hated hearing from recruiters, or as we called them, “headhunters.” They always called at the wrong time (e.g. when the boss was nearby, when I was on my way out the door to go to lunch or go home, when I first got to work in the morning, when I had had several cups of coffee and my bladder was full, etc.) and used the same high-pressure tactics that used-car salesmen use to get me to change jobs and to give up the names and phone numbers of my co-workers and friends.

I have to say that I was not all that friendly to them when they would call. I would insist that they tell me who told them to call me, and if they wouldn’t answer I would hang up on them, occasionally suggesting that they perform a physically impossible act. Even if I hated my job and couldn’t wait to find a new one, I wouldn’t want to deal with them.

Source: ponsulak, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Source: ponsulak, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now I’m out of work, and have posted my resumé to a number of job boards (e.g. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com) so that I can apply for jobs. I was encouraged to make my resumé searchable, so I did, and once again I hear from recruiters all the time. Now, I don’t mind hearing from them; I can use all the help that I can get, and they seem eager to help place me into a job.

That is, until they hear that I’m handicapped and need a job where I can work from home 100% of the time. I can no longer drive, and while Mary can, she doesn’t want to be driving around in Atlanta rush hour traffic. Working from home is not negotiable for me. When the recruiters hear that, their voices trail off, they make some vague promises that they will see if a job comes along that would allow me to telecommute, and wish me best of luck in my job hunt.

I understand: it’s hard to place someone in a job in an industry that is increasingly hostile to remote workers. That doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is that they will often kick off the conversation by stating, “I found your resume online….” All versions of my online resumé say “100% Telecommute” at the beginning. They might be finding my resumé online, but seem to be missing that minor detail.

So, to any recruiter that might have called me in the last 30 years or so, I apologize for hanging up on you. You were only doing your job. I get that now. To any recruiters who might be calling me in the future, I understand that you’re under a lot of pressure to place IT professionals in jobs, but please, there’s a lot more information on the resumé that the search engines don’t pick up. You can save yourself, and me, a lot of frustration by reading it before calling or emailing me.

Rule Number 1: Don’t ever pay anyone for a job

I’ve been using the job boards a lot in my current job search. Or trying to, anyway. What this means is that my resume gets into a lot of hands.

Some of those hands actually try to be helpful. I got a call today from a recruiter (one of those people we used to call “headhunters”) who had an exciting opportunity. So exciting, in fact, that I could barely understand the message he left me. The only word that I was able to figure out was the name of the company that I used to work for. Finally, the guy sent me an email explaining what he wanted. When I read where the client was located, I knew who the client was, because I had been there, leading a training session. (They were possibly the rudest people I have ever worked with. They were late coming to class, late coming back from breaks and lunch, wouldn’t do the exercises, sat and did their emails and took phone calls while I was talking, and wanted class to be over at 3:30 every afternoon. The last thing I wanted to do is work with them for the next twelve months.)

But, here’s the thing that really gets me:

You get an email from a board with a number of job openings, and find one that sounds interesting. You click on the link and are brought to a screen that shows you part of the job listing… then, if you want to see the rest of it, you have to pay them. You have to subscribe to their board to apply for the job.

Now, they aren’t asking for a whole lot of money. It works out to what you’d pay to buy the Sunday papers (which evidently no one does anymore when they’re looking for work) every week. But it’s the principle involved. It’s like they’re saying, “if you want the job, you have to give us money.” I learned years ago that you never, never, never pay someone to find you a job. A legitimate recruiter or job board gets their fee from the company with whom they placed the candidate.

Needless to say, I’ll find other job boards to do business with.