Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hanging On

Start Rant mode!

PDFs, the Internet and job apps/ required forms... really why do companies want you to print out a PDF and fill it out? Would it not be easier to simply have some sort of on line form that you can fill out, and they can print? Or not print? Something that will save them a tree? Now I realize that there is an entrenched culture of the pen and paper application, but isn't it time to enter the information age? I do know that there are plenty of places out there that have on line application systems, and take that information as their first point of contact with perspective employees... and many of these also require you to fill out a paper app once you have been hired, as if my writing my address, and the name of my last boss by hand is anymore valid then having it PRINTED out and letting me sign that document.

I guess my real problem in that I am insecure about my penmanship, the fact that I have trouble spelling sometimes, and when I am nervously filling out a job application it’s especially bad. I also hate the fact that the space that is often given for entering the information is too small for that information. Even things like phone numbers often aren’t given enough space, and if the last company or organization is long, well then that can be a problem as well… think about this, you don’t want to use an acronym (because that’s not professional) but imagine that you have to write something The University of Mississippi Department of Human Resources in a little box. Sure the idea of writing U of Miss. Dept of HR might cross your mind, and I am pretty sure that the person reviewing the application is going to understand what you are saying, but you loose point for not writing out the whole name.

This leads me to another issue, companies and organization ask for you to submit a resume, which is intended to give them an over view of your work history, but then you fill out the application it often times says flatly that writing see Resume isn’t acceptable. Or worse yet that you are not to attach a resume at all. Why not, I know that the resume is not a complete document of all the information that the employer desires or wants to have on hand, but it’s a good starting place. If it’s done right is has at least your current contact information and the names of the employers that you have worked for in the past and the names of the schools that you have attended.

So what is the solution? Other than the already mentioned on line application that would be printed out by HR and you would simply review it and then SIGN that printed document, I think that a generic form asking for all the information that a employer would want that you can bring with you and sign would be ideal. There could even be a space where company specific information could be added.

OK end rant.

So my job search as been moving along slowly I finally got around to setting up the pre employment screening for the University of Michigan only to be told that the status from my previous employment at the university (which ended when the temp job ended in 2002) is set as Do Not Rehire. I have no idea why this is my status as when I left the university I was told by the director of the department that I was welcome any time, when my former bosses all had positive things to say about my employment and two of them even agreed to be listed as my references for future employment. I need to get to the bottom of this, and find out what happened and if there is anyway that I can get it fix. I wonder if this is why I haven’t gotten positive responses (or in some cases any responses) from the jobs that I have applied for at the University in the last couple of months?

This leads to my next thought, how long do you hold a negative experience against someone when it comes to employment? People grow up and change as time goes on, but at what point do you forgive a mistake? Is it the level or severity of the mistake that you look at? Is it a change in personality or behavior over time? I don’t know, I am just asking at this point.

Ok. Now for the fun part.

One the Road, when I last left off I was thinking that I would be visiting Atlanta about this time, looking forward to the weekend in town. I have been to Atlanta before; I was there for the 1996 Olympic games, which was my internship for my degree. I was there when things were crazy and there were a lot of visitors in town, so maybe I didn’t get the whole experience of Atlanta. This time around I would love to revisit the Little 5 points, check out Wuxtry Records ( and poke around (I think I went there in ’96) ride the Marta, eat at Johnny Rockets which I know is a chain, but the first time I visited one was in Atlanta. I am sure that I could spend a couple of days in the city, drinking coffee, wandering though the college areas and prowling the record and bookshops. At some point I would have to wander down to Centennial Olympic Park and take a look at it again.

I think that would hold me until Sunday, when it would be time to wander on.

Another thing that I would want to have along with me for a trip like this would be a Mac book laptop. A easy to use and dependable, Wi Fi enabled book to use for posting on this blog, to send e-mails, keep track of the trip, and news… but may be most importantly help with the tunes on the trip. When I travel I like to listen to NPR as much as I can, but there are times when what I carve is music. For a trip like this one the idea of having a new and clean Mac book with iTunes and a iPod (that can dock with the car) to carry that music would be great. I would of course start out with a library of my music (all legal of course, ripped from MY CDs, or downloaded legally from the net); there would also be pod casts for the listening.

Currently I do keep a music blog over at (hint hint plug plug) and one of the features that I write every month is a overview of the tunes that have caught my ear over the past month. Being on the road would give me the chance to, not only keep track of that project but also to report on the regional and local scenes and bands that I could run across.

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