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Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

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[Apr. 2nd, 2005|02:28 pm]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
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It's been a grim month. Can't believe it's been a month, but it has. I got a bite on a resume cast on the waters nearly a month ago. Went over and talked to the guys. It's a test engineering job. Been there, done that. I spent most of the time trying to convince them to call T in for an interview. He would be happier than shit to get a test engineering job. I felt like my exhortations were falling on deaf ears, though. They saw three years of test engineering on my resume and wanted my ass bad. T's leans heavily toward project management. Unfortunately, it's the resume he sent out the day after he got biffed at TWoT. If he had known what they were looking for, he could have tailored it toward test and verification which he has done plenty of.

I think they will make me an offer. Don't know if they will even call him in for an interview. I thought I was helping, but in retrospect, maybe I should have shut up about him and just had him submit a new resume. If I hadn't mentioned him, they probably never would have read his current one and, to them, he would appear to always have been a test engineer. It is very difficult to read the mindset of people who are hiring. They have certain prejudices and are running on certain assumptions that you can pander to if you know what they are, but it's almost impossible to guess what these are unless you have an in at the place.

That's probably why I've have nearly always been hired by companies where friends of mine already worked. The management looks at my resume and says, "What? No bachelor degree? This guy's no engineer!" But, my champion, sometimes hoping for a recruitment bonus, sometimes hoping to get some real help with a bear of a project, sometimes just doing for others as he would have them do for him, steps in and says, "No, really. This guy can do the work and he won't require any training. He can already do the job."

I have called my best contacts at Goodrich, where I was a test engineer, and told them that they need to scarf T up before somebody else does. He hasn't heard from them. Yet. The hiring process at the last job I got, where T already worked, took nine weeks. They asked me to apply, on T's recommendation, took three weeks to call me in for an interview, then another six to make me an offer. If I didn't know people there, I would have assumed I'd been blown off. Even when these things happen the way you want them to, they take time. A lot of time. People in an HR office think they're really on top of it if they can process a resume in a week. To an unemployed person looking for a job, a week is an eternity. I have no luck whatsoever trying to motivate the bureaucrats where I work. I can't imagine what I could do to build a fire under them at a company I'm barely acquainted with. You just have to wait.

One positive point about the place I interviewed is that they are relatively small, about 160 people, and growing like wildfire. They currently occupy three floors of one of those mid-sized bank buildings and are moving into a new tailor-made building at the end of May which they fear they have already outgrown. It is much easier to advance at places like that. If you can do more than they hired you to do, they will quickly recognize that and take full advantage of your capabilities. It's in their best interest to make the most of the people they have. Older, bigger, stagnant corporations often intentionally retard the advancement of their people to "keep costs down". Of course, they're also keeping their revenues down, but "cost cutting" has become a religion and they are tightly focused on saving money and nearly blind to making money.

Eli Goldratt, who has written at least a dozen books on management, says that that is one indication of an unhealthy organization. In many corporations, when you ask middle managers what their primary focus is, their "prime directive", they say "cutting costs" or "controlling costs". Goldratt says it better not be. If saving money is truly your most important objective, then turn out the lights, lock the doors, send everybody home and save all of the money. Be 100% successful. Your prime directive had better be to make money, not to save it. Of course, intelligently managing your costs is part of successfully making money and it does require your attention, but only in so far as it helps you to make money. Or, in the immortal words of Captain Beefheart, "Those who breath in and don't breath out are going to [eventually] suffocate."

. . .

Well, I didn't mean to write any of this. Just more rabid drool for the spittoon. Which is getting pretty full.
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