Monday, May 24, 2010

Recruiters and Dogs with Sticks

The fire trail behind my house is where I walk after staring  at job boards and postings on LinkedIn, a place where dog owners can let their pets roam off leash. Today after passing many packs of doggies, I wonder why they all seem to be partial to sticks--chewing, pawing, licking, and happily carrying them inside the vise of their teeth.

Sometimes dog owners pick up a second stick and throw it down the trail. Some dogs go for the chase, while others ignore the subterfuge. But this does not explain the basic stick fascination.  I polled dog owners along the fire trail about this phenomenon.  They reached a consensus:  dogs like sticks because of an instinct before doggie domestication to hunt and carry prey to the den. As someone growing up in the apartment buildings of New York City whose idea of a pet was a goldfish or a parakeet, I thank dog owners for their insight.

Now I'm almost up to the second bench along the trail, a marker that lets me know how far I've come before the path angles upward and climbs to the back of a local community college's parking lot.

I'm hitting my stride, relaxing into a new way of life called unemployment. In my particular line of work, I've discovered that there are a group of recruiters largely based East Coast who all seem to have the same job opportunity. I've been doing this long enough to know not to take them seriously. Any time they call they are in "round-up" mode, recruiters who need to submit a daily quota to their account managers who operate higher up on the frenzied chain.  Once my resume is submitted, they drop away from me like road kill along the Internet highway.

In a discussion today with a local recruiter, I didn't immediately jump at the job bait. I wanted to find out more, let her know that certain recruiting practices can give people like her a bad name.  She seemed to want to prove that she didn't run with that crowd.  All afternoon, she sent me email. By the end of the week, I still hadn't heard a thing.

Then there was that phone number on a yellow stickie, a note I had written to myself.  I called and it was the head of a well-known local agency; how I got the number I don't remember, except he put me in touch with one of the agency's recruiters who called 15 minutes after we had finishing talking and encouraged me to send along my resume and any attachments, which I did.  By the end of the week, I still hadn't heard a thing, called and found out the client wanted some specific experience that I lacked.

Silence means it's time to move on.

I hadn't dropped the ball, but I dropped my stick.  I got home hungry. It was time to make:

Very Poor Boy Sandwiches
Fish fillet (about 3/4 of a pound) from your cousin's fishing trip that have been at the back of the freezer for six months
Hot sauce
Lemon juice
Salt, Pepper
One Tablespoon of olive oil
Rolls (stale is okay)
Condiments to choose from (olives, pickled veggies, mustard, chutney, relish, ranch dressing, ketchup, etc.)

Defrost fish fillets.
Drip hot sauce on the fillets and squeeze out the juice of one lemon for a marinade. If the fish is a little on the stinky side, this will help. Season with salt and pepper. Let fish sit while you heat up a pan on a moderate setting. One the pan is hot, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add fish, and depending the thickness of the fillet, cook about 4 minutes on each side.
Heat up rolls. If they're stale, sprinkle with a little water to freshen and pop in the oven or microwave until toasty.
Spread rolls with your chosen condiment, or combination of thereof. (For traditionalists, add lettuce and tomato.)

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