Hey, Head Hunters! Listen Up!

Look, in this economy, I’m happy you think I have one of the hot skills. It’s good to be loved. And while I’m working at a company I like doing work I enjoy, I’m certainly open to talking to you about the right opportunity. That’s just good business.

However…

When I’m at work, where someone’s paying to, yanno, work, you might want to take the hint when the receptionist puts you straight to voicemail and maybe not call me on my company phone. Because getting me fired is not going to make a favorable impression.

Now, the rest of you are probably wondering, “What is up with Jim today?”

I am a computer programmer. I work in a language called C#, which is kind of like Java. In fact, if my LinkedIn account (don’t bother looking for it. Only a handful of people could connect it to here. For a reason.) advertised that I wrote Java code, I’d be in the same situation. Ever since I took my job at Medishack, I’ve been getting phone calls from potential employers. Most of them are contracting firms, which I studiously avoid since I am permanently employed. That said, I’ll talk to someone if it’s interesting enough: Salary, benefits, type of work, proximity to Chateau Nita. Why wouldn’t I? As I said before, it’s just good business.

But I would say roughly half the people calling me are a tad clueless. Here’s what I want you to do. Google the Kenwood Towne Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Find it? Good. I can walk to the Towne Center from my house, so this should give you a rough idea of where I sat when I typed this. Now, you’ll notice the hit probably has a link to get directions. Ask for directions from… Hmm…  Let’s say Dublin, Ohio. Ready? Go.

While you were doing that, I did it along with you. It took me less than a minute, and Google came back with a 1 hour, 48 minute commute, from suburban Cincinnati to just north of Columbus. Some recruiters, most of them based out of state, can’t seem to do this very well. I frequently, in fact regularly, get emails asking me to talk to a firm about a six-month contract (even though I’m permanently employed) in Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and, in one case, Atlanta. Granted, anyone can do Cincinnati to Atlanta in a day. It’s eight hours, and the mountainous part is pretty smooth compared to freeways in Colorado or North Carolina. It’s an eight-hour drive. One minute of research would have saved that guy typing up an email and sending it to someone permanently employed and living hours away.

But that’s not what prompted this little rant. That was the appetizer. The main course comes courtesy of a company I’ll dub Bill Lumbergh & Associates. They’re a management recruiting firm, and prior to getting hired at Medishack, I actually had fond memories of them from the late 1990’s. They got me a job with a company owned by BigHugeCo, which eventually led to my being hired there. So steady work for 11 1/2 years? I’d be giving them a different name on this blog if it weren’t for their current stable of recruiters.

About six months after I started at Medishack, I get a call from Ben. Ben calls me on my direct line, introduces himself, and explains he has an opportunity for me. Wanting to be a professional, I politely tell Ben I’ve only been on the job a few months and would like to actually accomplish something before I walk out on the company that basically saved me from financial ruin. Ben is insistent, explaining that I will never know what I passed up on until I come in for an interview. Meanwhile, I’m trying to be both polite and discreet and finally say, “Look, I’m sitting at my desk with my coworkers in earshot. I really don’t want to be having this conversation with you, and I’m really not looking to make a change anyway.”

Ben proceeds to scold me for not making my cell phone number available.

“There’s a reason for that,” I say.

Finally, I get Ben off the phone. I don’t hear back from Lumbergh & Associates for a while.

Until this past week. I get a call from a receptionist, who informs me a guy named Brian is calling for me. He says he’s my friend. I only have a couple of friends named Brian: A guy I went to high school with, and writer Brian Thornton, whom I had up on Google chat at the moment. The first Brian and I interact on Facebook, live in different cities, and work in different fields. Hell, our politics are mutually offensive. So I don’t think he’s calling me at work. Brian Thornton is online and hasn’t really asked me for my cell number. I tell her to put this new Brian to voicemail. No message.

Two days later, Brian gets through to my direct line. His pitch is identical to Ben’s (whom I discovered now works for another firm.) About ten seconds in, I hang up the phone. Then I search for him on LinkedIn. Yep. Lumbergh & Associates. I find their web site. I send an email that professionally says I require them to stop calling me on my work line, disrupting my work and basically getting me into trouble with my employer, whom I happen to like very much. Read between the lines, and it basically says, “Tell your recruiters to quit being unprofessional douchebags!!!”

I got a response. The owners will return on Monday to review my email.

Yeah, they’re going to need Brian to go ahead and come in the office for a meeting, ‘mkay?

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2 thoughts on “Hey, Head Hunters! Listen Up!

  1. I’ve been employed for five years, and I still get calls and emails from these bozos. I’ve also been put on email lists I never signed up for. With short term contracts in places like Atlanta and NY. I know none of my profiles anywhere online say “willing to relocate.” Thankfully, I never gave out a cellphone or work number. Sheesh.

    • The funny thing is I don’t give out my work number ever. This guy took enough time to research Medishack and get their main number. With an extra 90 seconds of effort, he could have just clicked on the email link in LinkedIn and wrote me a message.

      He’s already behind the 8 ball with me because I suffer from Groucho Marx Syndrome. I wouldn’t join any club that would have me.

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