Saturday, August 26, 2017
Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. (From the Urban Dictionary.)
The term “ghosting” became popular to describe the silent ending of dating relationships or potential dating relationships. No response to texts, emails, phone calls. Just crickets. Not even a Boo! or a KMA.
Now it’s found its way into the business community, especially in the triangulated communication between employers, job seekers and search firms. Let’s be clear on what qualifies as ghosting. If you are a job seeker and you submit your resume to company or a search firm and you do not get a confirmation response of some sort, that is not ghosting. It’s not very professional and reflects poorly on the recipient of your resume, but it’s not ghosting. By the same token, if a recruiter calls or texts or emails you and you do not respond, that is not ghosting. You may have just missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime (probably not) or the chance to build a relationship with someone who might eventually bring you the opportunity of a lifetime; but it’s not ghosting.
Ghosting looks more like this. You have a conversation with a recruiter and express interest in further discussion about new career opportunities. You say that you will get back to the recruiter with some days and times that would work for that next conversation. You might even commit to send a resume. And then you vanish. The recruiter calls you, emails you, texts you and gets nothing back. That is ghosting. However, if you are a candidate whose skills and experience are in big demand, you can get away with it and the recruiters will keep coming back. Or when the day comes when you’re finally ready to grace that recruiter with your time and attention, they will come running…because they see money. It’s just business.
But when the day comes, and it comes eventually for everyone, when those skills and experience are not so highly valued; the recruiters may not come running like they used to. Maybe you’ve had a few too many jobs or got fired or the company you’ve been working for has developed a really bad reputation or maybe it’s just that your career clock is ticking down. When that day comes, you don’t want to be remembered by recruiters as a ghost.
The flip side of the ghost story and one that gets more hits on social media, are the recruiters who don’t communicate with candidates. I’ll talk about those ghosts next time.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
One of my all time favorite comedians, the late Robin Williams, used this line in one of his comedy routines when describing some sketchy characters inhabiting a small town somewhere out in the California desert.
Apparently a lot of people in North America will ask to be excused so they can stare at the sun when the Great Solar Eclipse occurs on August 21, 2017. I guess this is a really big deal since there hasn’t been one like it since 1918. (Although another one is passing through Mexico and the Southern U.S. seven years from now). There is concern that in some places along the path of this eclipse there will be massive traffic jams. Small towns are bracing for an onslaught of SEWs (Solar Eclipse Watchers). Some have predicted up to a billion dollar negative impact on businesses from lost productivity as employees take time off to watch the eclipse. (Note to businesses: Between fantasy sports and gambling you lose at least that much every week, probably twice as much during football season.)
I don’t know, I just can’t get all that excited about The Eclipse. It’s going to be on every news outlet and will be replayed for days. It will be out there on You Tube for eternity. I mean we know how the eclipse works and exactly what it’s going to do. I just can’t get worked up about it. Give me a thunderstorm and lightning, some hail and high winds, a big old West Texas dust storm. That excites me. Shooting stars get my attention. A real UFO would really cause me to take notice. I even like sunrises and sunsets because they look different depending on clouds and temperature and the time of the year.
But a solar eclipse is pretty much the same thing every time. We know when it will happen, where it will happen and what it will look like. So even though it is indeed a rare occurrence, considering that it’s been going on the same way for billions of years and so many of my clients will be watching or doing double duty to cover for those who are watching…. I think I’ll just take a nap.
And then there is this about an eclipse from long ago:
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea. – Phlegon, Greek Historian
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galations 3:28
In the aftermath of Charlottesville, I decided to look back at some of my previous blog entries which addressed the racial divide in this nation. I didn’t realize how often I’ve been moved to write about it. That in and of itself says a lot about the problem. Sadly, if one wrote something every time there is an incident (and some do) you could have a daily blog about nothing but racial conflict (and some do).
Saturday, August 12, 2017
A recent study at the University of Southhampton in the UK has come up with some interesting, counter-intuitive results with regard to neurotic people living a bit longer than the normal, well-adjusted crowd (http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407963). The study is a mind-numbing read, so I suggest that you just read the introduction and discussion. The statistical evidence that neurotic personalities might live longer is sketchy, but it certainly would lead one to believe that they do not live shorter lives and “may” live longer than the happy people who worry less and take life on the sunny side.
This is good news for headhunters and very good news for those of you who work somewhere in the supply chain. If your job involves the movement of stuff from one point to another, you know that worry and anxiety come with the territory. Rarely does anything go completely as it is supposed to go. I laugh when I hear companies and carriers talk about service levels. Whether the bar is set at 100%, 98%, 95% or something less, I figure that service when measured against the “original” order and across all links in the supply chain is probably less than 70%. And that’s being generous.
My experience when purchasing goods and services is that “service” if measured against 100% buyer satisfaction almost never happens. I honestly cannot recall the last product or service I purchased where everything was perfect. Interestingly enough, one of the most critical, overpriced services we all need at one time or another is among the worst. Healthcare. If something like healthcare can’t come close to getting it right, how do we expect a piece of furniture being made from materials sourced on three different continents, partially assembled on two, finally assembled 1000 miles from point of sale, transferred to a distribution center, shipped via truck to a store or warehouse and finally handed off to a delivery service; to actually arrive at your house as originally planned? Somewhere along the way, something will get screwed up and “the plan” will change.
Service these days is a moving target of constantly changing expectations and commitments. Wal-Mart recently came out with a mandate to their suppliers that every order must arrive On Time, In Full (OTIF) or else. Let the games begin. I promise you OTIF will be redefined and renegotiated on virtually every order and the measure of success will be something like musical chairs. When the product is finally delivered and it’s not 100% OTIF, just make sure you’re not the vendor, carrier, or service provider left without a chair. It will become a game of cover your ass, track everything and point fingers.
This is pretty much the way all products and services are delivered. Nothing ever works exactly like it is supposed to. The directions are seldom perfectly clear and when they are, you’re likely to be missing that one nut or washer necessary for final assembly. Your mileage may vary is BS…your mileage WILL vary. Everything breaks down and fails, thus the Warranty business becomes a huge industry just on its own. There are even warranties on top of warranties. So a lot of us end up playing the “warranty lottery” game, buying extra coverage just in case. Warranties are just a way of getting you to pay extra so maybe that washing machine will do what it’s supposed to do for more than five years…maybe.
So whether you are hunting heads or moving stuff around the world or selling something or buying something; you know it never goes as planned. Those of us who worry about everything know that even warranties are only an expensive band-aid that will leave us with a hollow feeling about the quality of our purchase. And after the repair, nothing is ever as good as new, and it wasn’t all that good to begin with. But we can take some comfort that all of our worry and anxiety may help us actually live longer. Now we can start worrying about having enough money saved up to live out those extra golden years.