Getting Back to Well

You know, now that I think about it, I’ve always been a slow healer. My colds and flues seem to last longer than those of others around me. I remember this one time where I must have been sick for about a month. On the other hand, I think that was the time I had pneumonia and I don’t really know how long symptoms stick around. Anyway, I’m still sick. I don’t think I’m running a temperature and I’m not vomiting anymore, but I am really congested. I spend roughly ten minutes of every shower just clearing my sinuses. Yeah, it’s not a pretty sight. Thank you to everyone who has wished me better health and special thanks to everyone who has fetched me medication and comfort food. Hopefully, I’ll be 100% by Monday. Cross your fingers.

“What do they call it when they give you the shaft, Uncle Frank?”

“Passed over.” In the rough waters of these economic times, it’s a smart play to swim to the stable shores of a job that you know will be there for you every day that you’re there for it. Navigating can be difficult, of course, especially when you currently have a day job. So, I burned one of my sick days to go to a couple of interviews in Irvine. They both went well; the second one went better. I got a callback from the first one. The timing sucked, because I was right smack in the middle of my cold, but I still dragged myself out to the interview.

Reminiscing about my history in the workforce, I find that I’ve grown very confident in my abilities. I think that most people BS during interviews because they’re trying to force their square work experience into a round job position and they need a little lubrication. I can understand that to a degree, but I think it’s better for everyone involved when the applicant – and the potential employer – is just forthcoming with information. It prevents any surprises down the road. If anything, I think the employer should be the flexible one. Unless the job requirements are extremely general, it’s rare that a potential employee is going to be a “perfect fit.” I’m at a point in my career where I can confidently state what I know and be honest about what I don’t. It’s probably a gamble and in the end probably decreases my chances of landing a job, but I think that when I do land a new job, it’s going to be an enjoyable and beneficial relationship.

I said as much to the first Job at both interviews. The Monday after the second interview, I got this in my email:

Thanks for coming in a second time to meet with the marketing team at [company name]. As promised, I wanted to get back to you with my choice. I decided to make an offer to another candidate whose experience and qualifications were a closer match to our needs. You were a very close runner up! Should circumstances change I will definitely give you consideration. I was very impressed with your accomplishments and work ethic. Truthfully, I think the market will pick up this year and you’ll find the right job in no time. If I can be of any help don’t hesitate to call or write.

That is the most eloquent, professional and personal rejection letter I’ve ever received in my history of job-hunting, and I’ve received quite a few.

As for Job #2, they just picked up a new Marketing Director and need to re-examine their budget for 2009. My hope is that they’ll still have money to bring me on-board.

I Love Google

I posted recently about how my RSS feed was broken through FeedBurner. I had blamed it on my upgrade to WordPress 2.7. I noticed that my feed was still intact; I just couldn’t read it through FeedBurner’s services, which sucked, because they have a bunch of cool gadgets to really dress up the feed, like email subscriptions and AdSense monetizing. Anyway, I thought it was something I had done, since I’m only an amateur Web developer. I figured I’d have to reinstall WordPress, delete the database or some other drastic maneuver. Before that happened, I threw up an SOS on the WordPress forums for help with my issue. A couple of days went by and I didn’t have any responses, but then I noticed someone from Google going to my site via the link I left in my forum post. Soon enough, someone from Google posted on my thread with a solution to the RSS problem. The member went by the name: Joe Kottke. If you Google him, you’ll find that he’s FeedBurner’s Director of Network Operations. Here’s his page on FeedBurner’s site. Since Google bought FeedBurner in 2007, I’m going to extend the responsibility of great service to Google. The fact that their employees actively crawl forums to resolve issues speaks very highly of the company.

If I could work anywhere – except for my dream of writing screenplays professionally, of course – I’d work for Google.