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August 11th, 2008 — , ,
No, I’m not looking for a job, but for some reason recruiters are still bugging me almost every week. Personally, I’ve never found a job that was referred from a recruiter so I consider most of them to be a waste of time. Today a recruiter annoyed me just a bit more than usual so I figured I would write about it here.
For some reason, these pesky recruiters find a way to find my work phone number. Honestly I don’t even know what this number is because I never use this phone. I think some people within this company is unleashing this information and it is rather annoying. My manager also hates calls from recruiters so he told me that if anyone calls for him I should tell them to contact HR. Apparently these recruiters just call random numbers and hope to be directed to some hiring manager. Today’s recruiter was named Anne and she called my phone and asked for my manager. The conversation went something like this (I’m replacing my manager’s name with BLAHBLAH):
“Hello, is this BLAHBLAH?” Without giving away my manager’s full name, I could tell you that this woman was pronouncing it like an illiterate fool. My manager’s name ends with an I, and she says it like it ends with an A. This persisted during the entire phone call.
“No, he is not in the office today. Who am I speaking to?”
“Oh, this is Anne. May I have BLAHBLAH’s extension?”
“Hmm, are you from my company?” I was getting a little suspicious here.
“Oh, no, I’m just looking for BLAHBLAH.”
“Are you a recruiter?”
“Why, are you looking for a job?”
“No, I’m not, but are you a recruiter?”
She chuckled a bit and said, “yes, I am.”
“Okay, my manager said to just tell all recruiters to contact HR. I can give you the number for HR.”
“Oh, I know HR’s number, they wouldn’t talk to me because I place so many great candidates and make them look bad. Could I have BLAHBLAH’s number?” Wow, isn’t she cocky?
“Well, that isn’t my problem. I’m a bit busy so…”
“Are you an engineer on BLAHBLAH’s team?”
“How did you get the job?”
“Oh so you didn’t go through a recruiter?”
“How did you find out about the job?”
“I looked, and a lot of my schoolmates work here.”
“Oh cool, what school did you go to?”
“Oh haha Berkeley, we used to call them weenies.” Well I guess this idiot went to Stanford. A dozen or so of the core people at my company’s engineering team went to Berkeley, so I don’t think it is a very good move to insult my school when you are trying to recruit for my company.
“Um, look, I don’t have time for this…”
“You are in Palo Alto right? That’s right next to Stanford!”
“No, we are in San Mateo. We moved last year.”
“Oh, I don’t know much about San Mateo, but Palo Alto has my favorite sushi restaurant!” Umm..I don’t care about your favorite sushi restaurant. Just when I was about to say that, she said, “So what do you guys do? Java or C#?”
“Why don’t you go to our website and find out? The location of the company is also on the website. Look, I have to go okay.” I hung up here as I heard her voice stream out of the phone.
So, what did Anne do wrong?
cialis 10 mg- When you are a recruiter you are supposed to know what your client wants. Obviously this woman didn’t even do enough research to call the right number and didn’t even know the location of the company.
cialis 10 mg – Okay, I’m not a hiring manager, but if you are trying to get information out of someone you shouldn’t insult them by calling them a weenie. That’s just excessively stupid.
cialis 10 mg- As I said, I don’t care where your favorite sushi restaurant is, and most other people probably don’t care either. The way she acted was just very unprofessional.
Now, Anne takes the cake for the most annoying recruiter I have ever spoken to, but the following are more characteristics of bad recruiters that annoy me.
cialis 10 mg – A lot of the times recruiters send out emails to potential candidates saying that they’re recruiting for a position that pays a certain number, and then when you do interview or get an offer the number is much lower. That is a classic bait and switch and that has happened to people I know. I think that is borderline criminal.
cialis 10 mg- I think a lot of recruiters search resumes for keywords, and never read the resume afterwards. So they end up spamming a bunch of people who do not qualify for the job they are recruiting for. It takes a bit of time and effort to screen resumes, but the results might be much better.
cialis 10 mg – There are a couple recruiters I keep in contact with because they were professional enough to take no for an answer when I wasn’t looking. If the candidate or client company do not need the services, I think it’s best for a recruiter learn to back off politely instead of annoying the crap out of people.
cialis 10 mg- Bad technical recruiters generally have no clue what their clients need or want in an engineer because they have very little knowledge about technology and thus do not understand the resumes and requisition orders. The best technical recruiters I have met were former engineers that know what to look for.
Anyway, I am ending this rant here. I’ve known people who had good experiences with cold calling recruiters, but most of them seem quite useless. Have you had a good experience with a random recruiter that wasn’t part of a company’s internal HR? I’d love to hear about it.
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August 8th, 2008 — , , , , ,
Well, it’s finally 8/8/8 and the Olympics started in China with a grand show of . A few months ago I wrote an article and drew a slew of mixed and highly polarized reactions. Honestly, I was surprised that it bothered me so much that people were so against the Olympics in China since I have been so far removed from China for so long. I guess I was swept up by what the San Jose Mercury News calls a “. Hah!
A couple days ago I asked a friend if he was proud that China is hosting the Olympics, but he is Taiwanese American so I expected he would say no. He said that he identified himself as an American and he just didn’t care about the Olympics that much and he wasn’t even proud when America hosted it. He reads my blog so he knew that I actually cared about the Olympics being in China and I consider myself Chinese. Then he said that I have a lot of American values and a lot of and it is about 60/40. At first I said to him, “what American values do I have besides eating burgers and getting fat?” He laughed at me and said that is a big part of American culture for better or worse. Then he said that I believe a lot of things that are “American”. For example, I think that compensation should be merit based and that I am a Christian. I suppose I did pick up those traits in America, but it is hard to say what is truly American because this country is like a mosaic of so many ideas and cultures. That is one thing I truly love about America.
It is hard to deny that America is a country with incredible opportunities, freedoms, and diversity. There is really no other place like this in the world and every single day I am still amazed by this country’s creations, influence, and wealth. When I was younger I actually wished that I was born in America and I was an actual American citizen because I would be granted everything this country had to offer. I hated that so many Americans have had so much for so long and they didn’t appreciate it and I envied them for being so lucky to have been born in this country. Very few people knew how I felt because everyone thought that I was an American by the way I spoke and acted. I am actually eligible to apply for American citizenship in a few years, but I am thinking twice about it because I no longer want to give up my Chinese citizenship. I have grown to see the value in being Chinese as China is becoming more free and economically developed.
The greatest problem with America now besides is that it is so very disjoint and everyone bickers all the time. It is no longer the United States; it’s the Blue States and the Red States. Theno longer belong to the people, but to corporations with lobbyists. There is just so much discord and dissatisfaction within United States now that it is hard to love this country that taught me so much. At this pace, the United States’ growth cannot match what can be accomplished by more than one billion people united in China and it makes me sad that this brilliant country is doing so little with so much.
As I have said before in my first article about the Olympics, China still has a deluge of problems that it needs to work out, but I am definitely proud of how far it has come. I am so glad that this event is happening in spite of so many naysayers and attacks. Just yesterday I heard a couple coworkers say that they’re surprised that China pulled it off and the Olympics actually started despite a gigantic earthquake and years of international disapproval. I chuckled a bit in my cube because I thought it was funny how Americans generally underestimate the Chinese. Anyway, this Olympics will be fun to watch, and I will be rooting for China.
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August 7th, 2008 — ,
Yesterday I just didn’t feel like getting dressed and after taking a teleconference at 10 am I decided to work at home. I rarely work at home, but it is actually amazingly productive. I did quite a bit of work, and also managed to do six loads of laundry and bake some chicken.
Today I went back work and I realized why I can’t concentrate very well there. People are just talking constantly over each other and I hear them from my cube. Then I’m constantly distracted by people walking in the hallway because I happen to face the hallway. Additionally, there are too many snacks and drinks in the breakroom so I find myself going there every hour or so. You would think that an office environment lets you concentrate on work, but it is rather distracting. Being in my home office is much more comfortable than coming to the office. It is much quieter and much more relaxing.
Knowing this, I might ask my manager to let me work at home once a week. Several of my coworkers actually work at home full time so it is not a huge request. If I work at home once a week I could save a gallon of gas every week and also cook instead of going out. I could also shave off some snack calories. We will see how this works out.
How about you? Do you find working at home more productive? Or do you need the human interaction at the office?
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August 4th, 2008 — , ,
Recently I just read this list of on CNN. They list the following sectors as still growing in the current economy:
- Environmental sector
- Health care
Looking at this, it seems that my family has the bases covered. I am in a software security firm, my mom is in education, and my dad is in the non-profit environmental sector. We all switched jobs in the last two years to our current positions and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
I used to work for a company that focused on retail shopping and mortgage leads. Last year everyone’s bonuses were cut drastically because of the mortgage fall out and I sort of knew that it was going to get worse. So I looked for a new job, and I specifically looked for companies that I thought wouldn’t be affected by real estate very much and ended up in this software security firm last November. I think it has been a good move because this company is doing well despite the current economic atmosphere.
My mom used to be in commercial real estate, and all of the properties managed by her company were sold by the owners and her management company basically shut down completely. She was given an extremely generous severance package and after looking for a couple months she landed a lower paying job in a university this January. She complains about the bureaucracy sometimes, but she seems to be adjusting to her new job.
My dad has always worked in non-profits, and decided to take a new job after working at the same place for almost 10 years. He seems to be very enamored with his new organization’s goal of combating global warming around the world, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
The fact that we have jobs in these sectors now shows that these types of companies are still hiring in a downturn. I think if you are working in an industry that is suffering the effects of the economy now you could still move into the better sectors as long as your skills are fairly transferable. You do not have to wait for a layoff to start looking because the job seekers who have a job already usually have better bargaining power and have a better chance at landing a new job. As long as you have a job throughout a recession life should go on normally, and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for a recession by moving into a growing sector.
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August 3rd, 2008 — , , , ,
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I told Jane that I was familiar with work in the kitchen. She asked me if I had guaranteed hours for working and I told her that I was a student at the college and I can guarantee that I would work 2 hours a day and 10 hours a week. Later I found out that the cafeteria is extremely busy during the lunch hours and they must have people that get there on time and guarantee the smooth operation of the cafeteria.
After listening to me Jane handed me an application, and told me to fill it out and bring it back. Additionally, she asked for a copy of my last health checkup. I think that is because I would be handling food and they need to guarantee that I am not diseased.
The next day I brought the finished application form and a copy of my health check to Jane. She brought me to the kitchen’s grill. There I saw a very muscular and tanned woman grilling many pieces of hamburger meat. As she flipped the meat the oils that seeped out sizzled on the grill.
Jane said to that woman, “Morri, I found you a student helper! His name is Jian, and now he is yours.” Morri is one of the cafeteria’s chefs, and she was my supervisor. Her supervisor is named Craig, and they’re both native Hawaiians and are both tall and large. They’re both very nice and humble people. Later I heard that Morri is actually 1/8th Chinese. I guess most people in Hawaii are very mixed and a couple of her great grandparents were Chinese. However, she didn’t look Chinese at all.
Since I kept my promise and always came to work on time no matter how busy I was, Morri liked me and treated me very well. Even though I told Jane that I know how to cook, but I never worked in a kitchen that served hundreds to thousands of people before.
After I was hired by the student cafeteria, I would work there two hours a day, and I usually served lunch so I got there at 11am. After I finished class, I would go straight to the cafeteria. My main job was to help Morri make hamburgers. Even though making hamburgers looks easy, it took a bit of practice for me to make them efficiently.
For example, the tomato slices in each hamburger must be even. It is not good to have some thick pieces and some thin pieces. At first, I was not good at balancing the tomatoes and my hamburgers looked lopsided. Additionally, it is important for a hamburger to be cooked to the right temperature. At that time the cafeteria made three types of hamburgers: beef, fish, and vegetarian. Each type required a different cooking temperature and time. The beef needed to be cooked the longest and at the highest temperature to kill the germs in the meat. However, you couldn’t cook for too long because if all the juices are evaporated then it would be dry and tasteless. If it was cooked for too short a time the meat would be raw and the consumers could be seriously sick.
The fish and vegetarian burgers were different. First, these two types didn’t ooze oil like the beef so they didn’t create big oil flames on the grill. They were quite easy to cook. Finally, there was quite a bit of skill involved in wrapping these burgers after they were cooked. At first, I wrapped them extremely slowly and my products were quite ugly and the wrappings fell off easily. After quite a bit of practice, the hamburgers I wrapped finally had the right shape.
Each day when I went to work, I would cut up the tomatoes first, and then prepare the lettuce. Then, while I cooked the patties, I would lay out pieces of the wrapping paper and split the buns. On each sheet of paper I would prepare the buns and place the tomatoes and cheese. At the same time I would flip the patties. After the patties were done I would put them on each of the buns and start wrapping. When the students start to come in it gets extremely busy and my hands and feet were constantly moving.
Besides making hamburgers, I would sometimes help with frying the French fries and onion rings. The hot oil often splashed onto my hands and body and it hurt like needles. However, this bit of oil is really small potatoes compared to the heat I experienced in the steel factory I worked for during the Cultural Revolution. At that time, I was only 15 and I lifted molten steel measuring thousands of degrees and passed many months chanting the mantra of “defeating heat and compete for the highest production”. In that seven years of physical labor and training, I lost a lot of time for education, but in that environment of “thousands of hammers and hundreds of purifications” I acquired an extremely strong will. Another slogan that the Communists often taught was that “people need a bit of spirit”. This will or spirit is what gave me the power to conquer the trials of starting over again.
After one month, I became a hamburger making expert. However, I really wanted to bring the real “Yangzhou Fried Rice” to the cafeteria.
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