Part I of this series can be found here.
This is the second part and continues the Sourcecon phone sourcing (surprise) saga. As you know there are four of us phone sourcers sitting here in the bar at the Sourcecon AfterDark affair jabbering over the best way to help Bill, our disappointed and alarmed Sourcecon co-attendee sitting next to us, half-listening, his attention wavering between what we're telling him and the siren glare of the LinkedIn interface.
We four sourcers, we happy four, we band of brothers raged and rattled and roared at each other over past victories and bitter phone sourcing defeats for about an hour and decided a best plan of attack against the bastion that held the promise of deliverance for our disappointed young brethren who had the sense God gives few to ask for help where it can best be found.
Let me ask you something, Reader.
If your house is on fire are you going to text or email/InMail 911 for HELP or are you going to CALL SOMEONE ON THE PHONE and scream for HELP! knowing someone will hear you?
Bill was calling 911.
As a parting exchange one of the phone sourcers, a seasoned gentleman from Canada, nodded to Bill and said, “Don’t you worry - by tomorrow morning all this is going to be fixed.”
Young Bill looked at him like a deer in a headlight, not knowing what to believe.
How much money would recruiters pay – how much money would a CEO or a CFO of a company be willing to pay - to hear those words from a sourcer’s lips and know he could believe them?
I looked at Bill and nodded.
“He’s right. Don’t worry. Go have yourself some fun. Come to Room 334 at 7:15 and we’ll get this thing done.”
He looked so young and vulnerable.
I wanted to make him some hot chocolate.
Pam and I left and went to bed.
It was past our bedtimes.
It was about 11.
7:15a.m. came and went and I was beginning to wonder if Bill was going to show.
Did he remember? He was absent mindedly nursing a beer when we last left him sitting slouched back/slightly hunched forward on one of the bar’s couches, hoodie up with the eerie bright glow of the laptop casting a rather cherubic flush onto his young, fresh-scrubbed face.
He was earnestly searching LinkedIn and CareerBuilder like all of salvation laid within their gated districts.
7:18 and a knock sounds at the door.
Pam is sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the door putting on make-up and I ask her if she’s ready.
“Bring him in,” she says.
She’s quiet, getting her game on; pulling herself together - thinking.
“Good morning,” I say, as I open the door.
“I wasn’t sure I had the right room,” he stammered, slightly.
“He’s nervous,” I thought.
“Daylight’s burning in the Midwest,” I say to him.
He looks at me like he’s just realizing the midsection of the country is two hours ahead of us here in Seattle on Pacific Time.
“That’s right!” he exclaims.
“It’s 9:15 there!”
“9:19,” I correct, glancing at the clock.
He’s clutching his laptop.
I imagine him sleeping with it clutched next to his chest.
I shake the image off and ask to see what he has.
Sure enough he opens his laptop.
But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?
Before he’d arrived I’d looked up the number of the airline we’d be calling.
I had to dig a bit because the first number most commonly found is an 800 number.
We don’t want to call 800 numbers because in general 800 numbers are a pain in the ass (too many prompts/they identify my CallBlock number/take too much time to wade past.)
Time is money.
I found a number that uses a regular area code exchange and called it before Bill arrived to see how it worked.
This company employs near 90,000 people and it’s using a number that offers entry to an employee directory and an option to hit zero for “the receptionist” and when you do that it instructs you to “leave a message.”
Figure that one out.
Someone do that and send me the answer – okay?
Deciding the best way to approach this is to “stab in” (call directly in to the company number-by-number reaching individual employees at their desks) I had begun that process around 5a.m. PT to find that it was a very simple one-after-another number assignment to individual employees in the company.
Piece of cake
I was locked and loaded when the knock came.
“Let me see what you have,” I demanded.
He hands me a list with four names scribbled on it.
I’m pretty sure they’re all off LinkedIn.
Pam is standing next to me craning to see the list.
“That woman’s no longer there. I checked,” she said, pointing assuredly and shaking her head.
I looked at her, sideways, “You did?”
I was surprised.
“Last night. When you went to bed. I’m ahead of you on this, Maureen.”
I looked at Pam and laughed.
“I’m glad somebody is. This isn’t going to be easy,” and felt myself relax some knowing Pam is every bit as good a phone sourcer (if not better!) as I am.
There are many times I know for sure she’s better.
“Then you know what to do; you know they use-”
“-an answering machine?” Pam almost shouts back at me, emphasizing the absurdity of it all. “I know! Can you believe it? We’re gonna have to stab in. Here’s the- "
“-internal dial system? I have it; found it this morning,” I counter back and we both looked at each knowing we each knew what the other knew and not a whole lot more needed be said between us on the subject.
Bill looked from one of us to the other like, "What's goin' on?" with that "Who's on first/who's on second?" look.
Pam then says, “I did find one woman on that list, though, in the company phone directory. The Sr. Manager for Loyalty Marketing that Bill thinks his Traitoress-Consultant works under. Her extension is 1156.”
Let’s start with the 1100’s then, with the hope some of her team members will be assigned numbers nearby. I’ll go in there (pointing at the bathroom) and I’ll do the numbers above 1150 and you take the numbers below,” I said as I picked up my phone and headed for the bathroom.
To be clear and to help you stay on track with what we’re doing to this point:
We’re going to be “stabbing in” (calling in) to the company – one number at a time – one number after another and keeping track of who answers as we go – until someone answers and then we’re going to ask that person (who answers) if they can help us locate numbers/names/any information on the team members of the Consultant that Bill so desperately wants to identify in hopes of replacing the candidate that was just lost.
That’s what we’re doing and that’s what we did and I hope you stay tuned to find out what happens next!
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
William Shakespeare, Henry V