By: Revanche

Bad times at the Med-Head Corral, thoughts, and links

October 15, 2012

Things went truly bad last week. Dark times bad. Withdraw from Twitter, my only form of consistent social interaction these days, no writing, bad. Stayed on the edge of the ledge, though, and was able to check back in with the few people who checked in with me, so didn’t totally lose it. Turned the corner on Sunday.

From Twitter: EEmusings of recent traveling thought that no one subscribed to comment threads. Yes? No? I always do, I like to follow conversations for a while and then I subscribe after a while. It annoys me when I don’t get the option to subscribe at all. Though, the stupid WordPress requirement that you confirm your follow is just as annoying.

This article on robo-resume sorting really annoyed me. As a recruiting hiring manager, there’s no magic formula that a machine’s going to follow that will hurk up the perfect candidate. It’ll probably pull out 20% of the decent ones but I absolutely have to read the cover letters and the resumes to find the intelligence and the spark that I’m looking for. The right stuff aren’t keywords, they are elegantly composed thoughts and they are interesting experiences and they have good perspective, common sense, humor and sometimes that includes keywords and sometimes it doesn’t but no machine is going to find each member of my super team. I will, thank you very much. It can take the resumes and letters and sort them so I can read them without eyestrain but that’d be about it. If people can’t figure that much out then no wonder jobs are going begging.  /rant.

Honestly, a large part of the problem tends to be HMs trying to force three jobs into one, writing an impossible job description and then of course you can’t find a person who will fit the bill. Five in a million will, and four of them are too smart to take the job, three of them wouldn’t have applied and your machine rejected the fifth.

Funny’s pointless Physical Therapy class sounds just about as worthless as my last one.  I was so horrified at having waited for an hour to get to the real stuff that I couldn’t believe the evidence of my senses. The “real stuff” never happened. Ugh.

Katie’s realization about the Emergency Fund:  You know, it’s sort of funny that I managed to completely miss that we were polar opposites on this topic at one point. Hah. But I understand, somehow. Go figure.  I think it’s funny she used to think I was insane but she’s really going to think I’m nuts now when I say I feel the need to have $100K in emergency money now.  😉 I blame that on SingleMa hitting that target:  I’m getting competitive.

No, it’s actually not, it’s obviously more than that and I’ll discuss more later, but it’s because there’s two of us and because we’ve got families that I don’t necessarily believe are 100% financially on the same page.  Not that I plan or expect to act as the next family bank but because I also don’t expect to depend on anyone anymore than I did before marriage.

The human capital that Flexo discusses here isn’t something I’ve ever counted on from family. When I was last unemployed, I had an incredible outflow of unimaginably generous and loving support from the blogosphere that knew nothing but my story for which I am still grateful, whilst support with regard to family flowed only outward.  Our cost of living has gone up, and my responsibility to my Dad remains, so should there be any catastrophic or major event like a job loss, we would not expect any more help than I alone could have expected: a meal or two, on the fly perhaps.  Nothing beyond what a busy acquaintance might offer when asked for a meeting, in other words. And I wouldn’t bother to ask, since time and energy is best spent doing something productive, to my mind.

I might actually be able to reach to friends among bloggers and bounce ideas off them and work with some of them, though, and that’s something to be valued.

DOGGLE UPDATE: He’s driving me batty. Insists on following PiC everywhere when he’s home. Me? Ehhh, he can take me or leave me. We are now fighting the battle of compresses wherein I must convince him to stay in one place long enough to keep a warm towel on him. Mostly I’m hanging onto his hind end lightly (no pressure applied, just have a hand on him) or his tail so he knows I’m there reminding him it would be really nice if he’d stay. He thinks about it, then turns to leave. Then I move my hand and tell him to stay again. Rinse, repeat.  He’s really not supposed to move at all except he loses his mind when he’s crated now and sedation upsets him AND his papa so here we are. Sigh. Silly puppy.

MONEY UPDATE: Back on the mortgage refinance trail. Doing a bit of research again. I’m also still feeling the need to save every penny, both for any closing and down payment costs, as well as for any possible house we might want. And there’s this tiny inkling that if we might-maybe possibly consider making any family type changes, I’m going to want every bit of financial stability possible.  Aside from that, there’s some travel coming up next year related to weddings and it could be a hell of a doozy. So, y’know. All instincts set to SAVE.

CAREER UPDATE:  If I could keep my eyes open during the day or sleep at night, I suspect I would get more done. Slowly becoming nocturnal and this flexible (almost) set my schedule work thing is not exactly doing me any favors. We’re in a crunch period so I am actually needing to do a lot more hours than I’ve actually logged but there’s not been too much pressure to do so because there’s an understanding about my health and a desire not to break me.

11 Responses to “Bad times at the Med-Head Corral, thoughts, and links”

  1. eemusings says:

    Argh, sorry to have missed you on Twitter (just don’t have as much time to be on it lately). I’m always here if you need, though.

  2. Katie C. says:

    O_O You were right! I definitely think you’re batty now! Hehe.

    Thanks for the link and the thoughtful (as always) comment. I’m glad you’ve turned the bend, though I hate that it was so bad you had to retreat from the world. We miss you when you hurt, but I understand needing to shut down into “take care of me” mode, though I have no comprehension of the level of pain you suffer.

    I’m really glad Doggle is doing so well, though I would have to be Mean Mommy and sedate him anyway. The cat drove me insane when he wouldn’t be still long enough for me to put eye ointment in his eye, so if the doc had offered me a sedative, I would have been all over that.

    • Revanche says:

      Hah. I knew it!

      He’s always going to drive me a little batty during recovery, but it’s part of the doggy-parenting life. 😉 I’m pretty sure we only get the sedative because he has to be SEDATED and he refuses to relax. Silly dog.

  3. Kris says:

    Take care of yourself! I haven’t been on twitter as much either – too busy. Hope things turn the corner soon! Also have been thinking of you and your dad, and hoping things are OK there now.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks – I’m super busy too but run to Twitter for a little mental health. Things are, I think, a little better with Dad. We’re talking a little more frequently even if that’s still emotionally fraught for me and I’m still worried about whether or not we’re really on the road to recovery. I can hope.

  4. SP says:

    I’ve largely abandoned twitter – but I’m sorry to hear it has been a rough time as of late. :/ I think I missed something re: career. Did you have a recent post implying you are looking for / taking a new job?

    Being a large company, I think my company does do an initial resume filter, but only for the most basic of basics. I agree that we might discard “out of the box creative thinkers” the article talks about – but you can fill out required boxes and still be creative. beyond that, piles of resumes get looked at by an actual person, but more likely a team of 10-15 people volunteering over lunch rather than the hiring managers themselves. We are told what to look for, and we phone screen anyone looking promising.

    Glad to hear Doggle is on the mend, even if he can’t sit still. 🙂

    human capital… my family gives love and support and doesn’t ask for much, but I wouldn’t expect much from them either. Other than an offer to return to my childhood bedroom in the midwest. 🙂

    • Revanche says:

      Yes, I actually recently made a pretty significant change – went to a new job.

      I’ve often wondered if there was any training given to screeners, I’ve watched some companies give groups of people free rein to sort through resumes where no training or guidance was given outside of “well you know what kind of person we want” (no, that’s not training and no, they don’t actually) and make some fairly unfounded (positive and negative) judgment calls in order to get to the point of screening calls. It’s one way to do it, certainly, and I still think it’s a step above keywords and machines.

      I had to think about this for a minute because I wondered if I was being unreasonable. WAS I expecting anything or resentful over entitled expectations? And at first I thought I was. But I think what I was thinking of was really along the same lines as you: At most, I would like love and support, maybe know that I’d have a place to go (even if I didn’t need it or want it). Love and support equals knowing and caring what’s going on and not using the line “Well, it’s not like you have anything else to do because you’re not working anyway”, to my mind. But given past performance, that won’t be an expectation either. 🙂

      • SP says:

        We mostly look at college hires, which I think it is a lot easier (at least at the resume stage) than a high level employee. A high GPA and relevant coursework actually matter, and industry related experience in our area is almost a guaruntee you’ll at least talk to someone on the phone. There is a fairly standard process for phone screens as well, though I find it harder to judge, since they have limited work experience to talk about, and as neat as they may be, a school project just isn’t the same.

        Yes, while I think maybe I don’t get much “capital” from my family, it seems you often have the problem of negative capital… which is frustrating to say the least. A person doesn’t have to be well off to give emotional support and understanding. :/

  5. Ugh! I’m glad you’re feeling better. It’s like a dark cloud has been hanging over the Western part of the continent. :-/

    One reader commented that something called “Manual Physical Therapy” is a huge improvement on the usual three- or four-at-a-time assembly lines we’ve experienced. I looked it up and found an outfit called the Organization of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. You have to poke around their site a bit to find it, but they have a search where you can put in your city or even just your state and it will disgorge a list of local members. This might be worth checking into.

    If it’s any comfort, those of us who have applied for jobs so value an actual HUMAN BEING who’s reading the endless resumes, especially knowing that at least one such human being has a functional brain. To apply for the handsomely paid f/t tenure-track jobs at the Maricopa County Community College District, you HAVE to apply online through the district’s web page. Friend of mine who’s served on a number of search committees advised also sending one’s application materials to the chair of the department that’s advertising the job, because, said she, they had discovered that often the District, whose underlings pre-screen applications and throw out the ones from the truck drivers, had failed to forward packages from highly qualified individuals. One would like the people who are actually doing the hiring to decide whose application to toss and whose to consider.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, it was a while getting back up but I guess the end result is all that matters.

      I’ll have to look into the PT stuff but need to figure out where I’m going to find the dratted time!

      Seems like people would eventually wise up and realize that recruiting is a valuable skill and employ someone to work on with the person in charge of hiring to get the “routine” but *still really important* stuff done. I do understand why people try to run to systems. At one point, I was reading 100-200 resumes per single job I hired for and I filled twenty positions in less than two years. There’s no way that’s manageable with all the work that was part of my job. But it was absolutely critical to get the right people in so I had to do it. Eventually your mind wants to break! But still.

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