Thursday, May 03, 2007

OK, but I don't kiss on the first interview

I'm told that the job interviewing process can be seen a lot like dating.

In that case, can I just have a beer first?

I mean, I never really got this nervous about dating. I just baked Paul some brownies and that was that. Can I just do that now? I can bake the hell out of some brownies.

I am supposed to have various witty tales of funny things, fabulous things, inspiring things I've done. Most of these involve getting tossed off of a dirtbike several times and then going over the bars in front of a bunch of strangers. (funny, perhaps could be twisted into a tale of perseverance, or just blind stupidity, but, hey, we made it! Teamwork!) Or, as Paul reminded me, that one time I nearly broke a glass over some jackass' head (I didn't, so this might be a wonderful tale of my ability to think clearly under pressure and execute alternative solutions that are more satisfying to all players involved?) There was that one time, at Burning Man... oh, nevermind that one.

Project management? um? No, wait, it's there, I just have to dig for it.
  • The James Cornell Fund, definitely. Talk about a motley crew. It's really challenging to work with volunteers, and we did it, and pulled off some wonderful things. I was central to getting these things done, acting as secretary to meetings, creating action item lists, pre-digesting information for people who needed to get work done, but didn't have time to deal with all the other details, finding people and resources to get work done or bring services to events, and pep talking the heck out of some clearly insane people. I pushed completion of a good chunk of those activities and needs. Followed up with vendor-types, worked out details and who could best execute them, planned and ran meetings, gave status reports along the way. Did I mention that most of the people involved were insane? OK, maybe not most, but the vocal minority. Volunteers are a special challenge, and we were all in a very emotional state. And nobody got killed in the process! Yay, teamwork! I did not do this alone. There were other wonderful people working on this.
  • Ostensibly, every pant we develop is a little project around here. Which means every day I'm juggling 5 definable projects, and a lot of more nebulous ones (wherein we can't really think of it as a project because it can't be described-- the goal posts move constantly, and there is an odd culture of non-communication here. It's actually a lot easier for me to work with outside customers in many cases)
  • And I'd love to say the implementation of the Gerber system (which was already here, but not used much) but the fact is, it all fell apart when my boss decided he didn't want to support the use of technology and would prefer the many-paper-napkins-of-information style. (it's an odd work culture around here, and one of the things I find most un-appealing). Oh well, whether they use it or not, I did it, right? I think with the new tools I'm working on, they may be persuaded, since it's a really robust tool, and more flexible and secure than what they are doing now. Well, I can create all good arguments, but some old dogs don't like new tricks. I'm creating a manual for it so that it can continue in my absence, and hopefully grow to use more of its potential.
  • Project management might better be expressed through the work we did at my previous job, breaking out large scale sample projects into bits that could be moved around as necessary to be flexible with the arrival of changes or materials, and involving outside vendors.

I'm just thinking out loud.

I guess in order to make it more like dating, I just need to interview a lot of places that I don't really have any interest in, just to get the practice in. there's another good story, about the time I went out with a guy I met in the gutter, just so I could say I went out with a guy I met in the gutter. (for the sake of a good story, I guess) It gets better, it turned out he had been arrested for trying (poorly, very poorly) to rob a bank. It was his own regular branch, and while he was waiting in line to make a deposit or something, he had the brilliant idea that he could just pretend he was armed and get money from them. OK, but A.) they know you already since it's your bank, and B.) you're an idiot and the money was marked. He also asked me if he could watch me drain my carb, because he didn't know how. this involves a tool and one moving part and about five minutes! I told him not to bother, after springing his motorbike out of the slammer from getting picked up for riding without a license. It's a funny story though, right? Worth it, I think.

I guess that's not the sort of story an interviewer is looking for though.

Brownies would be a lot easier.

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Phiala said...
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