Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dear Headhunter (Part 2),

How wonderful to hear from you again! Truly. I know that I asked you to not call me at work, but when you called me yesterday during business hours, you were just showing me how determined you are! You didn't let the fact I didn't give you my number the last time deter you. Good for you! Once again, you went through the switchboard at work. Because if I'm looking for a new position, my goal would be to make it as difficult as possible for you to reach me.

You're so clever, you even called me at lunch. How nice of you to assume that if I'm too busy to leave my desk at lunch, that I would want to talk to you on top of everything else. I know I was a bit short with you, and I apologize. After all, you were simply interrupting my day at work to take care of something that is really important to you. I really should be thinking of your needs a bit more.

I will admit that I'm a touch confused as to why you are contacting me again for a position that you discussed with me less than a month ago. The exact same one we talk about at length. You acted like you didn't remember this, but certainly that can't be true. Is your record-keeping really this poor? Should I be trusting my career and livelihood to someone who is this disorganized? Surely, you wouldn't expect that! And the fact that you didn't apologize for wasting my time is more my issue than yours.

Just to remind you, we discussed, in detail, that not only am I not interested in relocating at this time, but I am not a good fit for this particular position. There were a number of reasons: geographic, wrong field, etc. Maybe I wasn't clear: just because the position is in the same state where I live, it's not a reasonable distance for me to drive. I suppose use of a map and a basic knowledge of DC traffic is too much to expect from someone who's in New York City, but I ask you to believe me on what I view to be a reasonable commute.

I did think I made it clear that this position is not a good fit for me. I have skills, but not the right ones for this position. I am not an MD. Trust me as a person who's actually working in this field, I know what's required here. The HR rep who told you otherwise is looking to fill a slot and not exactly looking out for my career. But I'm sure your determination is enough to get me a promotion years from now.

I have to say, I am curious as to how far you will ramp this up. Will you stop by my workplace in person? Will you send flowers to my home? A horse's head in my bed, perhaps? Oh, I kid, but you do realize that you're pushing really hard. When I mentioned that you were being invasive, maybe you shouldn't have been so offended.

I'm sure I'll be hearing from you again, whether I wish to or not. Until then...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

One touch

There was a morning after a storm, I driving to work in New Jersey. It was a drive I did every morning, on auto-pilot, changing lanes without thinking. I was maybe half-listening to the radio, when the announcer pointed out that some live wires had come down. I looked up, and the wires above me were intact. But my mind started wandering: what if a wire came free? What if I touched that wire? What if, for one instant, I abandoned logic and instinct and reached out and grabbed a live wire?

For some reason, that scene in my head haunted me. The idea of one stupid thing changing everything. You'd like to think that you'll always do the right thing, but we know it's not true. We know that we do dumb stuff; what happens when the dumb stuff is a big deal?

I guess I've been lucky: I haven't done anything major like (obviously) touched that live wire. But I have done stupid little things that ruin a perfectly wonderful occasion. The overreaction to something so minor, it's embarrassing. ("The meal was delicious, but I noticed that the frosting on the cake was a little too sweet, so I am freaking out in the kitchen!") In fact, it's so embarrassingly stupid, you can't even believe you are acting that way over something so silly, so now you need to make it a big deal to justify it. ("Everyone knows that that frosting sets the tone, not only for the meal but for the year. It's a birthday, after all, yeah, that's it! It's important that this is perfect, so my reaction was not kooky or nutty!") Justifying the overreaction rarely works.

The reality is that you want to make that moment of crazy go away, but it's out there. People have already reacted to your outburst. In fact, you're now upset that you've gotten everyone else upset and you've behaved like a five-year-old, but everyone still thinks you're upset about the first hunk of crazy you've delivered. And you will never make it go away.

In case you are wondering, right now I am embarrassed by so much previous bad behavior. I am thinking of one thing in particular, though. One stupid bit in a sea of amazing.

I am so sorry. I can't untouch that wire. All I can do is hope it didn't cause too much damage.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why I don't write

I love writing here and I feel guilty when I don't have time to write more often. The reasons vary but it's usually that other things crowd out time for writing here. The past couple of weeks, it's been visitors, work, house stuff, the life stuff. I have intentions, but taking the time to put the thoughts down doesn't happen.

Sometimes I don't write here because I honestly can't think of anything to write about. (It may be hard to believe that rants about American Idol make the cut, but there you have it. Spoiler: I may not be very deep.) Of course, if I think about it, that's not entirely true. I always have an opinion, but sometimes I'm not sure exactly how to say what's on my mind. There are thoughts, but they're flitting about, not so interested in forming a cohesive narrative. Sometimes I send emails to myself with a line or two. Sometimes those emails sit in my inbox for years.

Often I am writing, just not for this blog. I actually make my living as a writer. I also do some writing on my own, keep a diary, write the usual emails to folks, etc, which means that there are times I just really don't want to write another word. Sometimes the creative outlet goes elsewhere, like when I end up taking pictures rather than writing. Sometimes I get tired of my own thoughts.

I am trying to grow comfortable with the fact that writing here is a sometimes thing. There may be a time when I write a bit more regularly but, right now, I hope you're alright with the occasional rant about "Glee."