Monday of this week started off on an upbeat note. Two potential placements coming to a close after months of what I am beginning to regard as not recruiting but “search and rescue missions”. Rescue for my clients who need that very specific candidate who has the skills, will fit with their group and is in the range they can afford. Rescue for candidates both active and passive who for whatever reason are worried if employed or really worried if not employed.

The first portent that the planets might be getting out of sync came when the rescue puppy (yes I rescue puppies and ponies too, can’t help it I have been a “fixer” all my life), yes rescue puppy , managed to find a large pine cone that adorned the coffee table in my office. New pups stay with me 24/7 until they know where their business is to be done and when. So as I was preparing to discuss the relo package with my candidate who had been made aware “he was the one”, the pup shredded the pine cone.

The mail carrier opened the door, the wind blew pieces of pine cone all over the office, the pup chased the pieces, barked at the mail carrier who dropped her handful of mail, much to the delight of the now VERY excited puppy who loves to shred shit and does it better than any electric device.

Then Fed Ex showed up with about 5 cartons of stuff that had been shipped freight collect, handed me a bill and I said, “YOU WANT WHAT?” Ok, I was the one who asked for expedited shipping, fine done. Please ignore the puppy and the mail carrier and all that stuff, it’s what used to be a pine cone. Alrighty, that handled, the boxes stacked, mail picked up, pine cone vacuumed, I was ready to close. Then the pup peed on the floor, then ran to the door and scratched to go out. Great, now” YOU WANT WHAT”.

Being a somewhat astute animal trainer I decided that there might be something else on the pup’s mind besides a wet spot so out we went. Where we ran into the group of kids from the day care down the street. Kids and puppies are a hard act to follow, it’s done at a dead run. The person in charge of the kids came over and said, “Could we take the puppy back to the school so the kids can play with her?” “YOU WANT WHAT?”

This is a 3 month old puppy half lab, half great dane, not house trained and has very sharp little puppy teeth and no manners. Without meaning to she will eat a kid’s lip or chew too hard. You will get sued, I will get sued and some poor little kid will be at the ER. while some parent is threatening to kill both of us.

Ok, all that over with it’s time to close this placement and make enough money to support all these rescue missions. I call the candidate, money is fine, loves the job, loves the people, loves the company. Let’s talk relo. You are 100 miles away, I told you upfront that they don’t want you to lose money moving but they don’t have a big relo budget. They normally, as I told you, do a uhaul move of household goods and a hiring bonus of 5 to 8K to cover some temp housing and incidental moving. How does that sound?

Candidate: “I was thinking a lot more than that”.

Me: “How much more?”

Candidate: “ Well I read online and have talked with a career consultant about relo packages and I told my wife that I would make sure with this move we didn’t get burned.”

Me: (with that chocking feeling one gets when one hears something like that) “Talk to me”.

Candidate: “I want 6K for temp housing for three months, mortgage payments on existing home for three months, closing costs on sale of home, assistance with buying new home or first and last months rent on leased home, moving cost for three cars and I want a moving company to pack, move and unpack household goods as well as storage for household goods for three months during the time we are in temp housing, deposits for utilities in new home and it would be nice to have board paid for the dogs since temp housing will probably have pet restrictions. I think 40K grossed up for tax would probably cover it.” “Oh and I really want 5K more salary the amount I gave you and them is my minimum.” “Oh and I have to have family insurance coverage immediately or they will need to cover COBA.”

Me: “YOU WANT WHAT?” “This is a manager level position with one direct report to be able to hit the salary you gave me which we have reinforced for three months so that’s out”. “What you have just described is an executive relo package, they won’t do that, I can tell you the answer now.”

Candidate: “ Let’s ask.”

Me: Ok

Call my client, close my eyes and grit my teeth and give him the request. Stunned silence. “HE WANT’S WHAT?” Not doable and this is troubling because we discussed this with him several times as did you. What’s the deal? He just lost a lot of credibility.

Me: “Career Consultant and read a bunch of stuff on the net.”

Client: “Offer him the salary we talked about a uhaul load, move and unload move and 5K hiring bonus, take it or leave it. We might work with him on insurance coverage but not unless he agrees to the money and moving.”

Sent it to the candidate with a note that said this is firm offer and all they can do. He comes back with now wanting 10K hiring, pack and unpack and insurance , moving cars and a couple of other goodies. Ignored the “this is firm and all they can do”. Sent him back a note. Can’t do sorry , hate to lose you but that’s it. He comes back and says, me too but just can’t do it, thank everybody and good luck. Deal over.

Having just survived a bad case of sticker shock, developed an even deeper dislike for “career consultants” bordering on hoping they all starve to death in a rank pit, I shook it off, gathered up the peeing puppy, went to the barn, hooked up the horse trailer to haul the lawn tractor in to have somebody who knows better than to overfill a mower with oil try to rescue the mower from my last mechanical act. As I turned the truck and trailer my tailgate that I had failed to securely shut dropped and the sound I heard was the crunching of the tailgate against the pole on the trailer. Dandy, managed to get the tailgate shut, hauled the lawn tractor in for repair. Got the estimate for that endeavor. “YOU WANT WHAT?” Ok fix the damn thing.

Took the Escalade to the dealership, got an estimate for the minor crunch (I thought) on the tailgate. Holy Hell, “YOU WANT WHAT?” Ok, fix it but I have to take this puppy home and have somebody follow me to bring this  vehicle back..

I looked at the puppy , who was all wags and wiggles at all the adventure and said, “If you want anything forget it and don’t ask.” She stood up in the back seat all wiggles that I was talking to her, peed on the back seat and licked me on the side of my head causing my ear ring to drop between the console and ash tray. Maybe they can recover the ear ring. If they look at me and say, “YOU WANT WHAT?” I am going to make a career change to just working with animals who can’t talk and are already savvy about “bidness”.

Oh, and the candidate came back at 8:00 that night and said it was such a good job and he liked the people and company so much that he would take the deal they offered. YOU WANT TO DO WHAT?” Client said, “He WANT’S TO DO WHAT?” No sorry, after he turned it down twice that is NOT WHAT WE WANT TO DO.

Views: 556

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 26, 2011 at 2:49pm

and THAT, my friends, is a cautionary tale about why you should not turn to the internet gurus for career advice.  Except RBC of course - most of us know what we're talking about. :)

Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 26, 2011 at 3:24pm
Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 26, 2011 at 4:16pm

LOL, leave it to Tino.  That was exactly the way i felt.  It has gotten funny.  I will start all interviews from now on by asking candidates if they are working with a career consultant and find out what the guru's are telling them.

We learn something or are reminded of how diligent we have to be with every disaster.  Even puppies there are no more pine cones within puppy reach.


Comment by Cheryl Sterling on October 27, 2011 at 10:41am

Thank you, Sandra, for that story.  This kind of stuff usually happens to me on Fridays for some odd reason.  Thanks for sharing!


Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 27, 2011 at 10:50am

You're not alone Cheryl - Friday always brings the weirdness.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 27, 2011 at 11:17am
I put it in my first email to him. Told him in first phone interview. Employer told him in three different interviews. I told him absolutely no at time of verbal offer and what the top possible relo would be. Told him no when he insisted on asking for it. Told him no when he refused their offer and that their offer was firm and final take or leave it. He countered again anyway. Told him no to his counter.

So about nine times before he turned it down and one more no when he came back after turning down the job, saying it was such a good job he would take their offer.

Most bizarre thing I have ever been a part of, but client and I both now feel like we dodged a bullet. New candidate phone interviewing this afternoon who says he doesn't know what a career consultant is or does and is happy to pay his own relo.

Why people think some nut on the net has more credibility than the employer and their recruiter is very strange. I am seeing it with what they put on resumes, what they do in interviews and things they are doing to try and direct contact hiring managers and people in companies. I guess it is going to take misfires like this for people to wise up.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 27, 2011 at 11:53am
It just goes with the territory. One has to just shake one's head forget it and hit another one and "drag old Alice" if one wants to play 18 and the old girl dies on the 16th hole.


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