Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Job Gratitude...

You know, one of the things that I always tell myself if I have a bad day at work is that someone always has it worse than me.

This is not to say I had a bad day at work today. In fact, it was pretty decent. I may have just got another candidate a job if everything goes well. I like working with good candidates; they make it fun. Now I’ve been doing this job a while, I’m learning the way I like to do things. My strategy is simply to get to know the people I’m working with. I was taught in my early training that building relationships is important and I’m finding that to be true. I have one candidate who is going to start a new job with us in a week and he’s so comfortable working with me that he tells me the contents of his freezer. This sounds odd but it’s actually kind of endearing, believe it or not. In a job like mine where there’s a lot of completion to get the good candidates, it’s nice to have that type of relationship with your candidate. It means they trust me and feel like they know me which is exactly the way it should be. Changing jobs is a big decision in life and I like to make it easy for people by making sure that it’s the right thing for them.

I’m sure I’m a bit of a sucker. Some of the other recruiting companies out there are all about the resume. They pull thousands off and each day and just call the people, promising good jobs, high pay and benefits. However, they have a bit of an impersonal approach. Even if the candidate doesn’t really fit, they’ll try to shove them in a job anyway because they have a quota, they need the revenue and their client needs an employee. It’s a quick turnaround.

I could work this way but I don’t. I try to find out what the person behind the resume wants. Are they fed up of their job because they’re bored? Is the commute too long? Do they work overtime and they’re missing their kids sporting events? There’s always a reason and I like to find out. This way, it’s easier to find them jobs that actually fit rather than trying to make them fit the job. My way is slower than the ‘resume farm’ companies but it means I build up relationships and my candidates remember me. In turn, they recommend me to their fellow IT job seekers. It’s a nice feeling to hear that I was recommended because I did my job well.

Granted, hearing the contents of someone’s freezer is a little extreme but it’s all part of a day’s work. It’s nice to have days where I really get to work with people.

As I said before, working with people was one of the reasons I left my last job. I didn’t get to work with people unless you count my coworkers and, well, I really didn’t. Certainly, there were some good people there but it was such a cliquish, awkward atmosphere that the rather insane quiet of the cubicle farm where I worked was just not a healthy environment for me.

Now I have my own office and the buzz of my coworkers is around me. We communicate here. We have meetings. We have gatherings. We chat. We laugh. We do our jobs. It’s the way things should be in an office.

So, I’m not blogging today to whine about my job. My original intention was just to say that I’m quite lucky to have the job I do and I’m thankful for it every time I see someone doing a job I most certainly would NOT want to do.

One of the jobs I find the most baffling are the sign-holders on street corners. They hold signs advertising a store or restaurant. Sometimes, the more interesting sign-holders get bored and do a series of spins and flips with their sign to get attention. Of course, this means you can’t actually read the sign but, well, it’s sort of fun to watch.

I don’t look down on the sign holders. They’re clearly doing it for the cash/paycheck at the end of the day. Instead, I question the need for sign holders. If there’s a big neon sign visible during daylight and darkness only 400 yards down the road for a business from a sign-holder, what’s really the point of the sign-holder? Am I really more likely to go to Bob’s Furniture Emporium because there’s a guy on the corner holding a sign and pointing me there than I would be if I drove by it?

I suppose some people might pay attention to the sign- people who, say, didn’t know Bob’s Furniture Emporium was there. But, really, it seems a little silly.

I’m always amused by the Chick-Fil-A cow too. Someone dressed as the cow is often outside our local Chick-Fil-A trying to get cars to honk at him. I suppose those that recognize it as the Chick-Fil-A cow as they’re driving by may suddenly think, “hey…cow. It’s the Chick-Fil-A cow! Oooh, Chick-Fil-A!!! MUST STOP, TURNAROUND AND GO BACK TO CHICK-FIL-A RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I WANT A #1 COMBO WITH WAFFLE FRIES AND A COKE!”

Most likely, however, people can see there’s a Chick-Fil-A right there and a waving cow isn’t likely to make them decide to detour through the drive through any more than seeing the restaurant might.

Other jobs I’ve noticed lately that I’m glad I don’t have are being a salesperson on those carts at the mall. More specifically, those that sell the lotion-type stuff. If you don’t know what I mean, you’re lucky. They are usually manned by pushy salesmen who have some type of ‘miracle’ lotion and they’re rather aggressive as people pass by, trying to get people to try their free lotion sample. This also applies to the hair straightener sales people and the mineral makeup that isn’t the name brand stuff. What I’d like to see is a stand for something like, cupcakes, where the salespeople chase you down to eat their free cupcake samples. Alas, the closest I come to this is the person standing outside the cookie place with teeny samples of cookies on toothpicks. These people are NOT aggressive and often give you a look as if to say, ‘cheapskate. You know what a chocolate chip cookie tastes like. Just buy a damn cookie instead of eating my free ones.’

I’m also glad I’m not a furniture salesperson. In the extreme heat that we’ve been having, I’m very thankful I don’t have to work outside and I feel bad for people who do.

Though the list of jobs I am glad I don’t have could go on for pages and pages, I won’t bore you any longer. Just watch “Dirty Jobs.” I don’t want any of those jobs. Nor would I want “Billy the Exterminators” jobs because he deals with dead animal corpses, bugs and alligators. You get the idea. What it comes down to is that even when I have bad days at work, I’m still grateful to have the job I do. It doesn’t involve chasing people with lotion, flipping a sign or crawling into a basement to pull out a rotted raccoon corpse.

I admire the people who do those jobs because it means that I don’t have to and, for that, I am immensely grateful to them. I’m also appreciative that I have the job I do. And though sometimes I do have to remind myself of that, all it takes is the sight of the Chick-Fil-A cow outside on a 95 degree day to drive that home.

Happy Thursday!

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