what's the problem.
Sandra we retained a search firm on that one they have sent about four candidates that are ok but not a click, now they want to come in a meet with everybody and redefine the job listing because we haven't liked the candidates they have presented.
Really, paid them a 10K retainer did you up front and it's been six weeks and nada and now they are fussing at you cause they think they have covered the entire vertical and you won't hire.
You got it. Our docs are mad, the CEO is pushing and we can't seem to get the right candidate.
I have a deal for you. You have already sunk 10K into this search, how about i take a shot at it and i'll take your retainer off my 30% fee so it''s not down the rathole and you aren't trapped with the butter and egg pros from Dover.
Would you do that?
Sure, I'll have you a candidate by the end of the week.
Sandra, this guy looks great, when can we get him in.
I thought you might like him, he has checked the flight schedules he can be there tomorrow at noon if you can get your people lined up. If you are backed up with travel arrangements i will do his plane ticket so all you have to do is get an interview schedule set up. i'll bill you for it if you don't offer him , if you do offer and he accepts i'll take care of the plane ticket. Can you make him a reservation at the hotel across from the hospital and have them send confirmation directly to his email? Let's make this painless for everybody.
Sandra, Dr. x just left the hospital, they love him, we want to make an offer will he take 185K plus a bonus?
In a heart beat i discussed it with him you are about 5K over his asking so he will be pleased. I will give him a heads up that the offer is on the way. Can you email it to him this evening. He is on go. I talked to him as he was getting on the plane. He will sign and return as fast as he gets it and goes over it. He assures me that he can give notice as soon as background check is clear and drug test. Can you get those set for tomorrow afternoon? Dandy. Let's roll this thing.
Sandra, it's a done deal he starts in two weeks. I love this. It has taken three weeks from listing this spot till he actually starts. Why do contingency recruiters have so much more sense of urgency than the "retained".
We don't sit around scratching our nether regions so we can convince clients that it's so difficult it takes all this time and to lock you in so some high energy contingent recruiter won't come in and fill it before they justify being paid before they do the work. But this worked out pretty well. You have the guy that rang your chimes, You didn't loose money. I paid your retained fee so the retained don't have to spend another month redifining and fussing. I made money so everybody is happy.
You know your right, by the way we need a VP product manager of surgical services. We were going to put it with a retained firm but if you think you would like to work on it would an exclusive for a month work for you? My boss would be impressed if we could fill this without having to fork over another retained fee. He asked why we didn't call you first anyway after you filled the lab director so quickly. Would you do it for a 30% fee?
Nope, but i will do it for 20%. That's my normal fee plus any major out of pocket expenses.
Oh i thought you said you would take the 10K retainer off your 30% fee.
I did. They were charging you 30% so we had to figure out how to pay that retainer so you didn't get double dipped didn't we?
Sandra you are a hoot.
I know, you would really get a kick out of listening to these retained guys talk about the quality of the retained recruitment, micro economics, market share in the free market system ideology, eliminating the competition and having their patty paws on every swinging hoo ha in the cross section of the candidate niche. While they are rattling on about niches and formalising and verbing all kinds of biz speak some high energy contingency recruiter is going to come along find you what you want, figure out a way to keep you from having to pay anymore fees than you would have if the retained had ever delivered. See i figured out about 25 years ago that any company who needs to fill a position yesterday needs it done pretty fast but they also need the person they want. So it doesn't matter what they have paid or not paid up front. If they see what they want they will hire and if i can make it work so they don't pay double everybody is happy. Just do me one favor. Call the retained group and tell them that they don't need to bring three people in to talk about the job for two hours and redifine. You hired the candidate you wanted from a contingency recruiter who covered their retainer and filled it from cradle to grave in three weeks. Competition is always in the best interest of the client.
Trust me i will enjoy making that call, let's go to lunch.
Alpha - Omega…
o bring new meaning to the "slobbing of America" because it's hot. West Texas is in trouble big time right now due to heat and wind and a major drought unlike i have ever seen in my 60+ years in "God's Country". We have had zero rain as in ziltch, nada as opposed to the normal low end of 8 inches of rainfall we normally get in the spring. The temps have been 102 to Sat is supposed to hit 108 as opposed to our normal high 80's low 90's this time of year and to cap it off the wind has blown at a sustained 40 to 50 miles an hour for oh, since April. Wildfires are a daily happening. Ranchers are shipping cattle to the sale that should be on grass until Nov. There is no grass and a fire can wipe out a thousand head in an hour. That my friends is the backdrop for this day of lunacy in the world of recruiting.
It's so damn hot outside (my journalism prof always said never use "very" unless you would use "Damn" and mean it). Well prof. let me put it this way, it's not very hot and really it's not damn hot, it's so mudder truckin hot that you want the dog to pee on a weed just so something will turn from brown to yellow, forget green. Anyway, it's one of those dog pp hot days that you know will wilt your candidate on the way to an interview into a smelly pile but you forge one telling them to wear a suit.
No discussion , wear the damn suit. So what if you have to stay downwind of the air conditioning so the interviewer doesn't get a whiff. The resume in your inside jacket pocket is so wet that when you take it out if falls apart. Wear the suit! So what if their air conditioning is fighting an uphill battle and is coming in four lenghs behind the slowest horse in the last race. They tell you to take your jacket off cause it's hot in the office, you do and you look like Al Gore at the last debate where he was the poster child for global warming. Wear the damn suit.
Ok fine, you were on the way, your car overheated, you popped the hood and ..ok i get it. I will call and let them know that you got caught in the traffic jam due to the grassfire that is burning close to their office. Forget the damn sweaty suit with the antifreeze on it that now smells like smoke. Get home if you can, put on some slacks and a white shirt with long sleeves and get someone to get you there in the next hour. They know half the Texas panhandle is on fire, most of them are calling their neighbors to see if it's close to the old homestead or their daycare so we have some latitude here due to heat and wildfires and blowing dirt.
Yes, goddamnit, long sleeves. I would prefer that Ms. Goodcookie the receptionist did not see the tat of the blood dripping knife with "mom" on it that you so proudly got the last time you got blasted with your Marine buddy. Yes i know, the CFO has a tribal tat on his back the size of a frisbie but see he has a job and you don't so let's save the blood dripping knife until you have an employee number. No don't call me if you have any more problems, just get your unemployed butt to the interview or i will find somebody who has a suit and knows better than to pop the hood of an overheated vehicle on a day when the temp is 105 wearing a suit coat.
Please let me know your visa status. I am sure you noticed that the posting said, "This client will not sponsor, candidates must be a citizen or have a green card." Oh, you did see that but you know that they will sponsor you after you work for them for 29 months since you are OPT. No tiger, that's not the way it works. If a company does not sponsor and they say that candidates must be a citizen or have a green card they are not going to hire you for 29 months then change that policy. See that's why we put that information on the post. It didn't say sponsorship available after 29 months or 29 years or 29 minutes. Uh no they will not hire you for 29 months. They would have to fire you at the end of 29 months. they are sort of hoping for a longer period of employment. Yes i know that on average people are staying someplace about two years but they are sort of hoping here to be on the longer side of that average if at all possible. If you were going to die in 29 months they wouldn't hire you either so it won't work. Yes i am running another ad for another company on the other side of the country. It says the same thing so it means the same thing.
No it doesn't matter that you have a local address for five different cities. You don't live in any of those cities now. There will be a series of three interviews so you would have to pay for three different plane tickets and pay your own relocation. No sorry if it says candidates must be currently living in the area or in the process of moving to the area they won't pay your interview expense for the second and third interviews and relocation if you pay for the first interview. Having a problem with this are you? Yes i can see how a company might think you were full of malarkey if you have applied with them for five different locations and given a local address for each location. Trust me if your resume shows that your last three jobs have been in Ohio and you are still employed in Ohio, you applied at five of their locations in different states using a local address for each app, even the most dense of the internal crew might notice that you are either independently wealthy enough to own five homes and don't need a job or that you are still in Ohio and using bogus addresses. I know you have a big family so moving would not be a problem. Listen up Cretin, they want a local candidate. No that is not discriminatory.
And so that's how my day has gone today. It's 4:00 PM I am going to go find artificial plants to put in the pots on either side of the office door. The evergreens that will grow in the Gobi desert have given up the ghost. I have been watering dead plants for three weeks. Gunga Din couldn't haul enough water to keep a weed alive in the Texas panhandle right now.
How's the weather in your part of the world? Ya think it might rain? It's gonna be 106 here.
The only bright spot is that the flys are dying of thrist. HA!…
ld rescue all the dogs that aren’t cared for properly. Homer wouldn’t dig that too much but he would sure have lots of friends and butts to sniff ... He’s our kid, he’s my little rescue, and our million-dollar baby"
"... one of my colleagues and they had to find a bathroom, switch pants and clean the wet ones. I’m not kidding. This all happened in a 30 minute span. All I remember is pants under the hand dryer. That single event told me I have to source better, and ask better interview questions. "
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
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Doug Kerken has been in the "Internet Recruiting" space going for over a decade. He has been through mergers, acquisitions, and total liquidations. What Doug refers to, as "The stuff that makes your skin thick and your eyes a bit keener." Doug began his career selling resume database access and job postings on a website called InfoWorksUSA in the late 90's. He recruited and sourced for a CMM and Function Point Analysis firm in New Jersey. He has worked at JobCircle.com, HireHealth.com, and BioSpace.com learning, selling, consulting, and schmoozing alongside "some of the best and most animated salespeople and colleagues ever."
Doug loves working with HR professionals, "we are humans too, and for the most part we are a pretty cool bunch."
Doug's Specialties include Job Marketing, Employment Branding, Employment Marketing Strategies, Career Fairs, Search Engine Optimization, Job Descriptions, Lead Generation, Forecasting, Cold-Calling, Negotiating, and Closing.
Q & A with Doug Kerken
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
DOUG: I’m lovingly attached to my girlfriend, my one and only, Amber Forbes. 2 years ago she moved all the way from beautiful, sunny, San Diego to Point Pleasant New Jersey to live with…me. We met at a Career Fair I was hosting while I was working the West Coast region for BioSpace.com. We don’t have any children but we do have a very needy mush of a Black Labrador retriever, Homer. He’s our kid, he’s my little rescue, and our million-dollar baby. He was rescued from a puppy mill and has had major reconstructive surgeries to correct lots of joint problems. He’s in great heath now and pretty much just wants to be on you, all the time.
I’m a HUGE car and music guy, HUGE! I have an old Land Cruiser and a retired Police Mustang which I have now turned into a pretty nasty (but legal) race car. I love the science of space, planets, stars, nebulas, galaxies, random space dust, wormholes, you name it. I’m utterly astonished that we’re really so insignificant in this place we call space and I really do wish I was some type of scientist or engineer or astronaut. Mostly so I could take a trip to the dark side of the moon and break out a telescope. How cool would that be?
I’m an animal lover, but dogs are my thing. Nothing against cats, but I’m allergic to them, so I stay away. Dogs on the other hand, love ‘em. I love big ones, little ones, hairy ones, crazy ones and even drooly ones too. My little man Homer is a rescue and I really wish I could rescue all the dogs that aren’t cared for properly. Homer wouldn’t dig that too much but he would sure have lots of friends and butts to sniff. I donate to the ASPCA regularly, and also random charities and walks, I also play in charity softball tourney’s that people ask me to donate to. Softball is a big part of my life as well. I play from April through November and It’s great, but I’m getting older and things are starting to hurt in places I never knew I had things.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
DOUG: I’ve been in different parts of the staffing and recruiting the staffing industry since 1999. Worked for job boards, staffing agencies, hosted career fairs, SEO’s pay-per-click aggregators and I’ve even had a hand in publishing a magazine. Yep.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
DOUG: I actually got started in the industry selling resume database access and job postings to recruiters at a company called TheWorksUSA.com. About a year after starting there, I then made my debut as a recruiter at an IT staffing firm called Software Management Solutions (SMS). It was a very specialized shop focused on Function Point Analysis and the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). I was in charge of locating any and all Function Point professionals as well as their support staff, which would have included system admins, developers and project managers. It only lasted about half a year, but it was worth it and I learned so much.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
DOUG: The single most shocking event that changed my recruiting career was actually twofold. One of my admin candidates was on his way to an interview in the World Trade Center in May of 2001. He was a jittery guy to begin with, then an elevator cable broke and the elevator seemed to fall 3 floors in an instant. His bladder couldn’t handle it, his pants got wet, and it was our responsibility to clean him up before his interview. He was basically the same size as one of my colleagues and they had to find a bathroom, switch pants and clean the wet ones. I’m not kidding. This all happened in a 30 minute span. All I remember is pants under the hand dryer. That single event told me I have to source better, and ask better interview questions. Second part is, the next day, while at local New Jersey Technical Recruiters Association meeting, I was approached by one of the founders of JobCircle.com about selling their products to recruiters and HR. Based on what had just happened, I thought, maybe sourcing and recruiting isn’t my game right now, I should try my hand at the job board game again. The economy wasn’t great, and so were job boards weren’t killing it. So, I got fired for not selling enough in the 4 months that I was there. Never had a chance, but it was the best thing that could have ever happened.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
DOUG: That’s a great question, I have a few. The first is Matt Zeto. We worked together at TheWorksUSA , SMS, and JobCircle. He taught me how to sell and more importantly, how to sell to HR. He’s also the guy who fired me which gave me a chance to meet the guy that I’d attribute overall outlook to, Chris Amato. We’ve worked together since late 2001 at HireHealth.com, BioSpace.com, GetTheJob.com and OptiJob. He’s a clear thinker that knows what the industry wants and he’s great at adapting to the environment. He’s taught me how to think quickly and roll with the punches. Working with Chris, we’ve seen the recruitment landscape change and technologies come and go. We’ve survived the highs and lows and we’re still out there making a difference.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your organization, OptiJob :
DOUG: Our organization, OptiJob isn’t a huge company but each one of us has specific roles in the OptiJob machine and we all get along very well with each other because we’ve been together so long. Currently, my title is Business Development Director. That means on any given day I can be the sales manager, reseller contact, partner manager, tech guy, resident auto mechanic, happy hour location manager, driver, breakfast order guy, and also business development director. I’m sure most people who read this interview can relate to that.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
DOUG: I admire large companies like Hyatt and Microsoft that are using their established brands to pump out great, engaging content to their millions of potential applicants every day. Organizations like ARINC, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Gulfstream Aerospace are doing great things as well. I also admire the companies in our space like Jobs2Web and Arbita who, like OptiJob, have great ideas and technologies that will undoubtedly help companies solidify their position in the changing web 2.0 environments.
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
DOUG: I think the bigger companies have a name that goes a long way and they’re using it to their advantage. The smaller companies don’t necessarily have the huge name recognition the big guys do so it’s their content and their message that drives their applicant traffic. We’re always working together on great ideas to attract candidates in places they never thought of. It’s not easy, trust me.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
DOUG: Well, I think the whole Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter thing has really helped put the social media/social news scene in the spotlight. Now it’s pretty hard to avoid it, the Web 2.0 revolution. It’s all around us. Everything we do is centered around a Facebook page or a tweet, a Digg page or a YouTube video. Our favorite actors, politicians, sports stars, even random people who we didn’t know existed 2 years ago are now influencing us in ways we never thought imaginable. My work is constantly impacted by someone’s blog post, or website, or a tweet that can radically change the way we think or recruit. Companies are racing to get on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, even to the top of the Google listings. It’s making us think harder and faster than ever to come up with more innovative things to make it easier for companies get there.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:
DOUG: I try to attend as many conferences, meetups, and industry events as possible. I’ve been and still go to events like Search Engine Strategies, SHRM, ERE, BIO, AAPS, DIA, you name the acronym, and I’ve been there. This year has been tough though. You see, I’ve just turned 30 and this seems to be the time where all of my friends want to get married, but they hesitated to check the schedule of some of these events. I’m slated to miss pretty much everything this year, but watch out, I’ll be back in 2010. I haven’t done much speaking at said events, although I’d love to. I think I have a unique ability to relate with lots of different types of people and I also have a great way of conveying my ideas and opinions. If you want, I’m ready to go. Sign me up to speak at your next event.
Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?
DOUG: The recession has definitely affected the staffing/recruiting industry as a whole, from job boards, to SEO’s, to advertising and staffing agencies, you name the industry niche, it’s taken it’s hit. The recruiters and sales people, who haven’t produced, have been the ones that have felt it the most. Every company has had to make some kind of cuts. In most cases I’m close to, people are given a new lease on life and a unique opportunity to re-brand and network themselves and really learn a lot about what they’re capable of. I have also found that this particular recession has enabled me to get back in contact and even do business with some of the greatest minds I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.
Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities. Are there specific groups, both online and in-person that have proved fruitful in extending your personal brand and job seeking prospects?
DOUG: For the most part, I’ve been trying to practice what I preach. Becoming involved in all the social and professional networks where not only my peers are, but also places and networks where my clients also want to be seen and heard. I’ve attended local Meetup groups and other networking groups that I never thought I’d be going to. But, to get ahead and make the right friends, you have to go outside the box. A great example is RecruitingBlogs.com. I always had a profile, but I wasn’t active. I found myself reading everything I could and even commenting and chatting with my peers and colleagues. I’ve since joined all kinds of different communities and networks and it’s really given me the opportunity not only to learn, but also sell my ideas to a broader audience. I’m not much of a blogger yet. Mostly because I’m not sure if I want to blog about the last concert I saw, the awesome steak I had or the wild conversation about user-generated content I had with my client this morning. Maybe I’ll just start blogging about all three. But, if I do start, will anyone even read it?
Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?
DOUG: Be passionate. It’s easy to connect with someone who’s passionate about what they’re selling or their abilities as a recruiter. It makes you want to learn from this person and absorb everything they’re saying. I know for sure that I’ve been boring and I’ve looked like I’m just going through the motions, and I’ve blown it. I’ve also tried to be too slick and also blown it, quicker. Also, don’t be someone you’re not. Be genuine, don’t over promise, and don’t make outrageous claims that just can’t be backed up. When I go to networking events there are people you want to network with and then there’s others who can come across as totally unbelievable. But, no matter what you’re doing, you want to get people to trust you and enjoy talking with you. If not, they’ll see right through you. Then word spreads and you’re doomed.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
DOUG: My next career goal, that’s a great question. Well, besides honing my skills and helping grow OptiJob to take it to the next level; I guess my ultimate goal is join my peers as a thought leader in this industry. Our industry is chock full of outstanding talent and great thinkers that the road ahead won’t be easy. I know it will take a lot of hard work, a lot of blogging, great feedback, results, and most importantly, respect. It’s not easy getting people to trust you and what you think. Maybe this interview will help. But like I said, it’s going to take a ton of work on my end to stay relevant and come up with great content and opinions that others will not only trust, but pass along and maybe implement in their lives or at their organizations.…
ader’s Christmas play that she had not gone to the play. My candidate explained that yes she had gone. She had pictures on her cell phone of the play with the date reflected. One of the other managers had a child in the same grade at the same school , they had gone together. She did not come back to the office after the play because she had a retirement luncheon for one of her team who was retiring so the other manager had dropped her off at her car, she had picked up the gift, gone to the luncheon and then returned to the office. She had been out of the office a total of 3 hours for the play and the luncheon. She offered to show her boss the pictures or if necessary to bring a note from her son’s teacher attesting to the fact that she had gone to the second grade play. Her boss told her that would not be necessary she believed her and the boss did recall that the retirement lunch had been scheduled . My candidate told her again that she would be happy to provide proof that she had gone, her boss could ask the other manager and of course the other employees who had attended the luncheon. Her boss again told her that would not be necessary she was satisfied that the report had been untrue. Thinking that the whole bizarre thing was over, my candidate walked by the other manager’s office and asked him if anybody had said anything to him about her not going to the play. He told her that one of the other managers had asked where she was because he came back and she did not return for another hour and a half. She thought no more of the incident other than to realize that one of her co-workers was obviously watching and reporting any and everything she could think of to the boss. How nice. Two weeks later she was called in again by her boss, a witness was present to take notes. She was told that she was being written up on a formal violation of the code of business conduct because she had interfered with an investigation. Blown away, she asked what investigation and how had she interfered? She was told that when she asked the manager who had attended the Christmas play with her if anyone had said anything to him she had interfered with the investigation of the report that she had not attended the play. The conversation went like this: Boss: You interfered with my investigation of the report that you had taken time off to attend the play and had not gone. Employee: You asked me about it. I offered to show you pictures with dates and times, told you to call in my co-manager for verification and offered to bring a note from my son’s teacher. You told me it was not necessary you believed me. According to policy you are supposed to tell me if I am the subject of an investigation, you did not. In fact you told me that it was closed you were satisfied that I had gone to the play and attended a retirement lunch. I had no idea that when you told me the issue was closed that there was any kind of investigation as you refused to even look at the pictures I had on my phone. How could I interfere with an investigation if I didn’t know there was one? Boss: You should know without being told that I will investigate and have to investigate any report of misconduct . Employee: I asked you if you were satisfied, you told me that you were and it was a closed issue. So if you told me it was closed how could I interfere? Boss: When you asked your fellow manager if anyone had said anything to him you reopened it. Employee: So did you determine that I was in fact at the play? Boss: Yes that was verified but you interfered with my investigation by asking your coworker if anyone said anything to him. Employee: Let me get this clear, you verified that the report was false after you had told me it was closed and you believed me but even though you told me it was closed you went on to investigate. When you asked my fellow manager if I had said anything to him did you also verify that I had not made any suggestion to him in any way to tell you anything one way or the other. All I said to him was to ask if anyone had said anything to him when he came back to the office. Boss: That is correct and because you asked him about it you reopened the investigation and you have violated the code of business conduct so this is a formal write up for violation. Additionally, you body language and the look on your face appear to be insubordinate so I will warn you that if you reflect any more attitude by crossing and uncrossing your legs I will expand this to a write up for insubordination. Employee: My foot is asleep. I am not being insubordinate I am simply blown away by this whole thing. It seems to be one big catch 22. I didn’t do what I was accused of doing. You told me you believed me, you told me it was closed. I had no reason to think there was any investigation going on and now I am being written up for a serious violation of business conduct for interfering with an investigation of something you knew before you investigated that I did not do. When this young woman showed up in my office again in tears after this mindless mess I asked her if she had shared with her boss that she had filed for divorce, talked with her or tried to about the stress she was under etc. etc.? Yes, she had told her . I asked how that conversation went. My candidate turned red and said, “This is really embarrassing and I don’t know how to really talk about it.” I told her to try me, as a recruiter I have heard about everything there is to hear. I thought. When she had told her boss she had filed for divorce her boss immediately wanted to know who she was sleeping with. She was a little shocked but told her she was not sleeping with anyone. Her boss launched into a graphic description of her own sex life, her affair with the UPS driver who delivers to the office while she and her husband were separated. Became more than intrusive in questioning my candidate about her sex life. My candidate told her that she really didn’t want to discuss all the details of her divorce was seeing a counseling minister and appreciated that although her boss felt she could discuss her own marital problems with her she felt uncomfortable talking about things like that so just wanted her to know what her situation was and if she seemed stressed wanted her boss to know why. Her boss repeatedly over the next few weeks had called her in to talk to her about how bad divorce was, constantly asked her for details of what was going on , who she was dating, told her she was under a spotlight and had to be careful, pressured her to go to the counselor that the boss had used. My candidate finally told her again that she didn’t want to talk about details. She was happy with the minister at her church that she was talking to and had her children in counseling with a child psychologist to help them with the situation. She was focused on getting the divorce over with, had no intention of reconciling just wanted to focus on her job and her kids. My candidate talked about how emotional her boss was, she would cry and want to hug her. Then tell her she was like her daughter it was a love –hate relationship and she didn’t know how to manager her. Realizing that this situation was now past my pay grade to advise anybody about I asked my candidate if she had the option to talk to someone in HR with the company. She indicated that yes she did and she was considering filing an ethics complaint against her boss due to all the weirdness, crying and talking about sex. I suggested she probably should speak with HR and see what they advised. She did so and was advised that she could arrange to have a meeting with her boss’s boss to discuss the situation. She requested the meeting and was told that the boss’s boss would contact her. The meeting did not take place until March. In the interim my candidate was called in and told it had been reported that she had used the daughter of one of the reps to babysit for her children. My candidate told the boss the girl she was using to keep her children was the daughter of a fellow who worked at the sheriff’s office, his daughter happened to have the same name as the daughter of one of the reps so no she was not having anyone’s daughter to babysit for her who worked at the company. The boss said, Oh, I see. A week later my candidate came to work a few minutes early, her boss was in her office at five minutes after eight and said. “Well I hear you had a good time in the bars last night, I hope you feel like working.” My candidate looked at her and said, “I feel fine, a friend of mine and I play volleyball in a city league, we were not playing until late so he picked me up, we stopped by Buffalo Wild Wings got a sandwich and didn’t have a drink because we were on our way to play volleyball. We saw several of the reps come in, they said hello and went to their table. Did not even come to our table but no I was not drinking. The boss informed her that it had been reported that she had been seen playing pool and she was advised that she was under a spotlight if she was anywhere and any of the reps came in she should be cordial, say hello and immediately leave. My candidate told her it was a small town, she didn’t think that it made much sense to tell a friend that they had to get up and leave a restaurant or anyplace else just because a few of the 170 people who worked in the office came into the same place. Her boss told her to do whatever she thought was wise, the boss was just telling her what she would do. ( From what I have been able to ascertain the only company policy as to fraternizing with other employees is that people in management can not date anyone who reports directly to them.) I asked why this was such a big deal to her boss. I was told, it was just her , she was constantly telling managers and anyone who would listen “Not to get their honey where they got their money”. She was obsessed with rumors of anyone having an affair or who was sleeping with whom and would bring up in management meetings that she had heard so and so were having an affair and had anyone heard anything. In February another male rep was called in and asked if he was having an affair with my candidate. He told the boss that no he was not , he had talked to when he reported to my candidate about his marital problems, my candidate had advised him to see his priest and to pray about his situation but she couldn’t counsel him. The boss informed him that his wife had called her and told her he was having an affair with my candidate. The guy finished with his meeting went to my candidate and apologized. My candidate told him she had received a call also from his wife on a Sat. morning accusing her of having an affair with him. She had told the wife if he was having an affair it was not with her. The fellow apologized again and told her it would not happen again he was sorry and his wife was way off base. My candidate was not questioned about it and didn’t think much of it other than it was another witch hunt and an upset wife getting a slap in at her husband. The next week she was called in and told that it had been reported that she was having parties at her apartment inviting some of the reps and there were pictures of the drunken parties. Nope, there were no parties. In fact my candidate had leased a house the previous July, had not lived in an apartment since July of 2009, had not had any parties and if there were any pictures she would like to see them. No pictures were forthcoming and nothing else was said. The meeting with the boss’s boss finally took place. My candidate explained everything that had happened, indicated that she was ready to file an ethics complaint, she was being targeted, was very uncomfortable about all the sex talk and accusations etc. etc. The boss’s boss asked her what she wanted. My candidate told her she wanted to be treated with respect, her personal life left alone, no more digging at her about what she was doing outside of work and assured the lady that she was not involved with anyone at the office or for that matter anyone else. She wanted the violation of business conduct removed from her personnel file as she felt it was totally bogus and ridiculous. The boss’s boss asked her to hold off on filing an ethics complaint, let her talk to my candidate’s boss and see if they could get the situation worked out. She would get back to her. Within a few weeks the boss called her in and told her that she was sorry that she had not given her a written notice of the investigation and in the future if there were another situation she would be sure and do that as she have done so. She would make an effort to be more effective as a boss. They seemed to have a good talk about the gossip and rumors that were instigated by the kind of “investigations” that the boss had with people. The mess seemed to stop. My candidate reported that things seemed to be going much better. She had been asked to take over all responsibility for escalated problem calls for the whole region, was being trained on all the fiber installation setups for half of the U.S. and had been designated the subject matter expert for fiber ops and had taken on the responsibility as project manager for the integration of another region into this office location making this office a hub for the Midwest, SW and SE. in addition to managing her sales team. All seemed to be going well, she had been contacted by several managers in other divisions about positions that would be opening up in 2011 that they wanted her to interview for if she was interested. So all looked good on the horizon. Her divorce was finalized in Oct 2010. She had the opportunity to buy the home she was leasing and was looking forward to advancing her career with a new job sometime in 2011. The boss was off her and the nitpicking had stopped along with most of the sex talk.
When she received her copy of her annual evaluation at the end of the year there was no Code of Business Conduct Violation on it regarding the the second grade Christmas Play or her dastardly interference with the investigation. So all looked finally right with the world and there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Stay tuned for an Alfred Hithcock almost ending. Give some thought to anything you can think about as to what might happen next. You will probably be wrong.…