General Ramblings comments edit

I get a lot of calls from recruiters, and I’m always happy to hear about interesting opportunities because I don’t like to close any doors. Hey, if someone wants to pay me a million bucks a year to eat candy bars or something, I’m gonna take it.

That said, I’ve got some huge pet peeves about the way some recruiters deal with things.

For example, I’m pretty clear about what I like to hear about. I’m only interested in permanent, full-time positions (no contract or contract-to-hire). I’m not interested in relocation (that includes the “keep an apartment where the job is and fly home on weekends” notion - that’s relocation, too). I don’t want to travel extensively.

Being very clear about that, it’s interesting to get incessant calls about “a phenomenal three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” I’m not interested. You know I’m not interested. Stop spamming me with crap and show me something I’m interested in.

Here’s another one: recruiters love the phone. Love it. And I understand that, since salespeople also love the phone and recruiters are basically job salespeople. The thing is, I hate the phone. Hate it. I can’t do anything else when I’m on the phone (I can email and do other things). It’s hard to get a private conversation on the phone (you can email people without people hearing what you’re emailing about). It’s not memorable (I can tell you over the phone that I don’t want to relocate and you can ignore it; you can’t ignore a documented email).

The big pet peeve with the phone is that recruiters abuse it. You do not need to schedule a time with me where I can take your call and talk privately and you can reel off the company backgrounder to me. You do not need to schedule a time where I go to the effort of calling you before work or when I get home so you can tell me about “a phenomenal three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” You certainly don’t need to call me right in the middle of the day and stop me in whatever I’m doing so you can tell me you just got my resume and then promptly start asking me to restate everything that’s already listed on my resume.

A recommendation to recruiters everywhere: Get off my phone. We’re in an electronic age - use the facilities provided. Use a database to keep track of people and pay attention to what it says. If the “no relocation” box is checked on the form, don’t send me the opportunity no matter how cool you think it is. If the “no contract” box is checked, don’t tell me about that super-awesome week-long contract in Australia.

Does that make me hard to work with? I don’t think so. I just think that a recruiter is more valuable to me when they choose to maximize the value they get out of my time and their own. Respecting my time shows me they respect me and really do pay attention to my needs, and in turn I’m more interested in hearing what they have to say. If I want job spam, I’ll sign up for a Monster search agent.

halloween, costumes comments edit

We rang in at 155 last year, but this year we had 162 trick-or-treaters show up at our door looking for candy.

I think we had far fewer “too old for this” kids, and I didn’t run into any lippy ones this year. Here’s the breakdown time-wise:

2006 Trick-or-Treat

The 6:00 - 7:00 hour was our most productive, with the block from 6:30 to 7:00 topping us out at 59 kids. I thought about trying to tally kids by age group and time, but it’s too hard to tell with the costumes on and the kids come in far too fast for any accuracy beyond a basic count.

I wore my Joust costume and the kids seemed to like it, but the parents loved it. Comments included “You’re my hero!” and “That’s the greatest costume ever!” One dad stooped down to address his kids and explain the merits of classic arcade games right there on my front porch. I claim that as success.

A couple of folks told me they had seen a costume like mine earlier in the evening. Is someone out there reading my blog and ripping off my ideas? Bastards. (That said, what the hell else would you do with an inflatable ostrich costume. Kind of obvious what it lends itself to, isn’t it?)

We, again, didn’t run out of candy this year, so it looks like two big Costco bags will work. We didn’t know how far it would go, so from 6:00

  • 7:00 we were giving out two mini-candy-bars each, but at 7:00 we switched to one because we were running low. We had enough left over that I think we could have stuck with two bars per kid and maybe had just enough.

halloween, costumes comments edit

It’s Halloween once again, and this year I went as a knight from the 1982 video game, Joust.

Joust! Complete with

I’m pretty stoked with this one, especially considering it came together so quickly. I didn’t have a chance to make anything this year with the wedding and such, so I had to put my costume together from all store-bought bits.

Earlier in the month I had thought about being a Joust knight and making the ostrich, but it was too much work for this year. Then when we got back from the honeymoon, I hit Party City and holy crap they make an inflatable ostrich costume. Sold.

Picked up the knight costume separately (also from Party City) and the gauntlets and sword are from Target. (They don’t sell lances, which is understandable from a safety standpoint but does make things a bit less authentic.) I think all told I did spend about $80, but come on, it’s frickin’ Joust.

Won the “most original” award at the party I went to on Saturday and got “coolest” costume at the contest at work today. I’d say that’s a success. I think I’m going to wear it while handing out candy to the kids tonight. Of course, none of them will get it because the game is from 1982, but maybe their parents will get a kick out of it.

We had 155 trick-or-treaters last year so we bought more candy this year. We’ll see how many we get.