My travel bag used to be pretty simple. Laptop, charger. Done. If I was going overseas, I needed a wall adapter. Lately, the list has started growing. What’s interesting is how much of the technology is duplicated – laptops and phones have cameras and GPS units, for example. This current trip has added a number of things out of boredom, but if you’re going to travel on business, boredom is a good possibility.
Now, we have:
- Wall adapter and USB cable
- Wall adapter and USB cable
- Macbook Air
- Power cord
- Work Dell laptop (actually, in its own bag)
- Power cord
Photography (mainly because my backpack is also my camera bag)
- Nikon D5300 camera
- Fisheye lens
- 50mm fixed lens (added this trip)
- 18-140mm zoom lens
- 55-300mm zoom lens
- USB charger for Garmin vivosmart3 (“Fitbit”)
- CPAP (actually in suitcase)
- Glucose Meter
- Blood Testing Strips
- Alcohol wipes
- Garmin Etrex 10 GPS
- Bushnell Backtrack GPS
- Bad Elf GPS adapter for iPad
- Power strip (for CPAP or other needs)
- Amazon Fire Stick (added this trip)
- USB cord and wall adapter
- Bracketron Window Mount (for iPhone camera & GPS use) (added this trip)
I really need an additional USB cable to leave in the car. Next trip.
What have I learned from this?
- My back hurts. I may know why.
- Don’t get a GPS from the car rental company when you can use a Bracketron and your own phone, especially if you have a long USB cable for charging. Plus, when you buy the mount, you get the opportunity to sign up as a Uber driver!
- You can never have too many GPS units.
- You can never have too many lenses.
- You can never have too many USB cables.
- A Fire Stick, Chromecast or Roku is pretty useful now because almost all hotel TVs have HDMI adapters, even the hotels (<cough>Quality Inn<cough>) with crappy cable packages.
- Best Buy is a bad place to be when you’re bored.
A job search is a very painful process when you’re an old, white guy who has spent the last 19 years inside the same company (especially when the company is often an industry punching bag.) So, I should be used to rejection letters by now. I usually don’t mind rejection letters that much, since at least it’s closure, and it’s a chance to think, “I didn’t want to work there, anyway.” With today’s automated application systems, much of the time, your application and resume just go into the bit bucket and you never hear anything at all.
However, some rejection letters are really unnecessarily detailed. Like today’s.
I got an email from a corporate recruiter last week, thanking me for my application (I actually thought I was a reasonable fit for the job), and asking me for some times for us to discuss the position. (I was lucky I saw it, since it was in my spam folder, but I check my spam all the time because I can’t afford to lose a lead.)
It got my hopes up. I should know better by now, but hope spring eternal.
So, I replied, and heard nothing. It’s not a mega corporation, so I thought, “His mail went in my spam folder, maybe mine went in his.” So, I replied again.
This morning, I got a reply.
I reviewed your resume with the manager and compare to the job description and requirements we decided to not move forward. This system email was sent in error.
So, rejected before the screening call. A new low.
I’m not really sure why this hurt more than the others. I’ve gone through three levels of interviews in before getting rejected twice, but this one really hurts.
I think it’s the implicit “we were wasting our time reviewing your resume.” After all, the erroneous system email was the bright, cheery note that asked me for available times to chat.
So, their applicant system failed twice. First, it told them they might give a shit about me, and then it told me they might actually give a shit about me.
They don’t give a shit about me.
For any other recruiters who may be reviewing my resume, I really don’t need two reasons why I was rejected for your company. Just one is plenty, and is one more than the apparent industry standard of zero. Also, if your system is sending emails in error, an apology would be nice. You’ve wasted my time now.
I sent a “thank you for letting me know” note, but I really wanted to say, “If you would like someone to come review your recruiting system to determine why it’s sending emails to obviously unqualified candidates, please just let me know.”
Also, I wanted to say, “If your system email is a bright, cheery, personalized email from your internal recruiter, but the core system can’t accurately match candidates to positions, you’re customizing the wrong part of the system.”
The search continues.
The job search is ongoing. My manager said this morning that he’s been told to start the separation paperwork, so I should get some emails next week. I guess the divorce is about to become final.
So, no job, but a couple of prospects on the horizon.
I did update my resume, and that has started calls from some recruiters, so I recommend take a resume course if you’re looking.
I also accidentally discovered the fastest way to find a new job – become a recruiter.
I got a call from a woman in Houston yesterday at 2:25pm. She had a perfect position for me and wanted to discuss it at my earliest convenience. I was in a meeting (ironically with another recruiter), so I missed the call, but I sent her a polite email and said I’d call today.
I called at 11:34am this morning, asked for the recruiter, and the receptionist said, “She’s no longer here. Could someone else help you?”.
I said, “No longer with the firm?” and the receptionist said, “She decided she wanted to follow a different path.”
So, my recruiter found herself a new career and left the firm in a little under 22 hours.
I guess if you read job requisitions all day long, eventually, you will see one, and say, “Screw this! I could do this job!” and just send over your resume instead of your client’s.
I wish her good luck in her new career, whatever it may be. I hope she’s not a presales software engineer, as I really don’t need the competition right now.
In the meantime, the receptionist found my by my phone number, found the job requisition in question and gave me the name of my new recruiter, who had just left for lunch. She will call me.
I should have asked, “Are you sure she’s coming back from lunch?”
I was selected as a member of IBM’s Resource Action, Class of March 2017. So, after almost nineteen years at IBM, I am back on the job market, and immediately available.
I consider myself an experienced technical leader with a proven track record in first-line management, technical sales and support and development roles.
I’m most accustomed to customer-facing assignments providing pre-sales systems architecture guidance, technical education and technical support.
Any pointers are welcome.
So, day two of the Spousal Unit’s unscheduled visit to Forest Park Medical Center, and as I negotiated with our dog sitter to go walk the PsychoPuppies, and am getting ready to send out the patient update, I realized that I can’t live without texting.
Cell phones are great, but then you have to talk. Sometimes, it’s just not worth a conversation, and other times, you don’t want to give the recipient an opening to change the subject.
Email is useful – you don’t have to talk, so you won’t get off on side issues – but not everyone has a mail client available all the time.
Texting gives you the advantage of interrupting your recipient wherever he may be. It also forces you to get to the point, since you have a limited number of characters per message. (From a recipient standpoint, once your phone is on mute, you’re ignoring the world, and can reply at your leisure. Also, a text at the right time can get you out of any number of interminable situations, even if you didn’t really receive one.)
Unlike phone calls, you can send one text to multiple people – or I can with Google Voice, anyway. (There are services to create distribution lists, as well.)
During the weather shitstorm in Dallas earlier this week, newscasters were reminding people that everyone was trying to call friends and family simultaneously, and texting used a lot less bandwidth, so if a call wouldn’t go through, a text might.
About the only negative is that we’re all being charged for using excess bandwidth that’s there anyway. However, given the number of messages I’ve sent from a hospital room recently, it’s worth it.