It's not you... It's me... Just kidding - It's You!

Most people hate awkward conversations. I am not the exception, but I think I might be from this point moving forward.
He may be an ass, but at least you know where you stand.

As you may know, I'm unemployed right now and deep in the throes of a job search. I didn't realize how much I had chronicled in this sparsely kept blog... eek! Before this time in my life, I had never ever been on a job interview and not gotten an offer. I've had LOTS of jobs (often 2 or 3 simultaneously) but I am by no means a job hopper.

Professionally speaking, I've stayed with my employers no less than 4 years, with the exception of the last one that just laid me off. That being said, I am a firm believer in the adage If you don't use it, you lose it. So, in an effort to keep myself sharp I would apply for jobs here and there. The opportunity had to interest me to the point that I could see myself leaving my current-at-the-time wonderful job. Inevitably it wouldn't be enough money, or the supervisor was a megalomaniac helicopter boss so I stayed put.

I promise I have a point and I'll make it soon!
In the event the person we hired
instead of you can't fulfil their duties...

This experience has been a real eye opener. I've met a lot of great people. Learned more about a few fabulous organizations.  Interviewed for some amazing opportunities. And the ones that have had the awkward conversation / email / letter it's been shared that I've been named runner-up for those amazing opportunities at the fabulous companies with the great people more times than I care to admit. Honestly, I'm okay with that - there's some stiff competition out there and I know some of them are better than me! 

My problem is with these fabulous organizations that don't bother to tell me that the job has been filled. Like it's some big secret.

Here's the deal - If I schlep myself out to your place of business, give you a great interview (or a shitty interview for that matter), and take the time to write thank you note / email and I'm not chosen for the position - let me know! I'm a big girl, I can take it. 

Not only is it free, it's respectful
There are more than a dozen organizations right now that if I were called and offered a job today (mind you my unemployment benefits expire in 5 short weeks) I would say thanks, but no thanks. 

It's about respect.

Respect for my time. Respect for my professionalism. Respect for me as a human being. 

Since good 'ol Bill Gates invented Microsoft Word and his buddy Al Gore gave us the internet it's never been easier to let someone know they didn't get a job. (Do you hear that HR people - it's called a mail merge?!? I'm willing to do a tutorial on it, just ask.). 
I guess I should give this back now...

I might be crazy for putting this out there since I'm still job searching, but the thing is - who wants to work for an organization that can't be bothered to tell someone who's spent time (the only truly non-renewable priceless resource we are afforded) that they position they applied for is filled. 

WOW! That was cathartic. I feel like I've just channeled Chevy Chase in the timeless holiday classic: Christmas Vacation -  Holy $H!7! Where's the Tylenol?


What you think vs What you know

When I went to work with a bunch of engineers at a local university, I figured
that I would be okay because my dad is an engineer and nothing can quite prepare you for working with an engineer like living with an engineer...

I grew up with a very analytical father (an engineer), I too am quite analytical but I lack the scientific brain to back it up so most of the minutia that I word vomit tends to be more subjective and creative. This is where I got into trouble. Fast forward to the university job.

I worked for one of the (seemingly) most intimidating men ever put on the face of the earth. Picture a 70-something Westpoint grad / former military interrogator / all-around bad ass that knows everyone in the defense contracting world and is very politically connected. We shall call him "Mr. Westpoint". 

I'm in a meeting with lots of executives and very important partners / stakeholders and Mr. Westpoint asks me a question about the capacity of a room for an event I'm planning. 

"I think it holds a maximum of 750 people for the set up we've been discussing." I reply in an innocent 27 year old wet-behind-the-ears fashion (because, ya know... I am).
Mr. Wespoint leans in and says really quietly, sternly and for the sole effect (I believe) of making my blood run stone cold "You think or you know."
This is one of those situations that makes or breaks a person; I can feel it. I calmly look down and flip through my notes where I see, that YES - the room will hold 750 people in a classroom style setting. 
"I know it will hold 750 people in a classroom-style setting, Mr. Westpoint." I feel my face turning the color of a ripe strawberry, but I hold his gaze and speak with as much confidence as I can muster.
"Thank you." Mr. W replies and we move on.

Professionally speaking - that was the last time I started a sentence with "I think...". I realized that when you are looked to as a subject matter expert you can't afford to think you have to know. You're hired for a job because you have the expertise in that arena, repeatedly responding with your opinion or like you're guessing systematically chips away at your expertise. 

I don't want someone who thinks they know how to disarm a bomb - I want a freaking bomb disarming EXPERT! 

Do you agree? Do you have any similar stories? Did I leave anything out?