Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 318 – More Recruiter Craziness

Apparently I've learned to draw an expression that approximates eroded self-worth and an underdeveloped sense of entitlement. Nothing like experience to inform one's art.

          I got some more craziness from the recruiting profession this week. Is it that they are so overwhelmed by bad circumstances that they can’t rise to the occasion? Times may be difficult, but I just don’t understand what is going on that makes it impossible for recruiters to just follow up on what they say they’re going to do. The nature of what they do hasn’t changed at all. There may not be enough jobs to place everyone who is looking, but the drill from the recruitment standpoint is still the same: match a qualified candidate to an available job.
          I got a call on Thursday evening from a recruiter in Tampa. I was out riding my bicycle with my wife at the time. We’re on a diet together and trying to throw regular exercise into our regimen. If I succeed in losing a few pounds, at least I’ll have reduced the gross weight of the total unemployed. It may be my only contribution. Anyway the recruiter thought my skill set matched up nicely with a controller position opening up in the Tampa area. A sporting goods manufacturer is expanding and opening a new facility there. This was a new position—a rarity in the current economic climate and a welcome one.
          I was glad to have picked up my cell phone on the way out the door. I stopped the bike under some trees so I could talk to the recruiter without sounding breathless. She wanted to know if I was okay with relocating to Tampa. I am, of course. My kids and grandkids are over there. I told her so. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Maybe the grandkids date me, although anyone who can add and subtract can tell my approximate age from my résumé.
          We set up a time for an in-depth phone interview. She was to call me back Monday morning at 8:00. I had a good feeling. Something in the tone of her voice, the flow of conversation, the pace of our exchange made me feel confident that I was finally on the road to gainful employment.
I spent the next three days going over in my mind how I would respond to the likely questions. The usual questions I already know how to answer. It’s the new ones that are problematic for me—the questions that get at the core of my severely eroded sense of self worth—the ones about what I’ve been doing with myself in my long idleness—the naturally implied question under the veneer of sympathy that accompanies long-term unemployment—‘what’s wrong with you?’
I needn’t have worried as it turned out. No one called at 8:00 on Monday. No one called in the a.m. and no one called in the p.m. No one called on Tuesday either. I gave them a day to have got the date wrong in their calendar. I’m always ready to extend the benefit of the doubt. What else have I got to do?


  1. Makes me want to cry. However, look out of the box. You would be a good artist. Your drawing is excellent. :)

  2. I will be a happy artist just as soon as I figure out how to make all these creative impulses pay for a kayak.

  3. Oh boy do I hear you on this one. Finding "gainful employment" as a writer is a similarly painful experience and it cuts deep welts into the old sense of self worth, just as you describe.


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