Archive for January, 2012

Star Warped..

Posted: 28/01/2012 by C. Matt Hewes in Bits 'n' Bobs

Do you ever have the feeling you just don’t want to move…at all? It happened to me, yesterday afternoon..

The most productive thing I did yesterday was defrost some bacon, and chop some tomatoes and mushrooms for tea, apart from that, nothing, nada, zero..

By 3pm, I was completely done with online job-hunting, checking my E-mail (for the umpteenth time) and sending out applications, most likely for positions I’d already applied for (see previous post, Lost in the Forest).. To break the mold, I decided to put on a movie, Star Wars, to be precise. Episode II as I’d watched Episode I the night before and thought it’d be nice to re-acquaint myself with the whole story, and I wasn’t exactly in the mood for heavy psychological dramas (I do watch ’em, ocasionally). The ulterior motive was to empty my mind (some, if not many of you, will agree Star Wars to be the ideal stuff to go into a state of mind-numbness; I can’t concur after yesterday..) but instead I got engrossed in the story, and ended up watching Episodes II through to Episode V..

WOT? Yes.. Twelve hours of Star Wars (include a pause for tea, and Corrie for the Missus), and I was very tempted to put Episode VI on too, were it not that the clock was showing 03:15 (I’ll have to put it on today, somewhere, just for completeness). And you know what? I enjoyed it! OK, so I’ve seen them all before, but you have no idea how little of what you’ve seen, movie wise, sticks in your memory; Many a time did I think: “Can’t remember this bit..”. Of course, I’m not referring to the Star Wars buffs, who watch the movies on a daily basis, but to people like me, who watch a movie back like, less than once a year (if not five..).

At first, I thought the transition from ‘Star Wars New’ (Phantom Menace et al) to ‘Star Wars Past’ would be rough, with the techniques used for the prequels being of such higher calibre than the ‘rough edge’ technology used in the first two I watched, but I was gladly surprised to see the transition wasn’t all that bad.. I noticed slight blips in the frames when the light sabers were ‘fired up’, and the (physical, not the story) pace was slightly slower in the two ‘originals’. I uderstand the olden epsiodes have had a bit of a digital face-lift, with added CGI an’ all that but you can’t change the speed of a film without it being noticed (methinks…)

So did it empty my mind? No. Instead, I ended up being completely engrossed in the story and knitting the stories of the different Episodes together. And however intense it seems, it was, in its own weird way, relaxing. I never even dozed off, not for a single minute, which is normally the case, however briefly..

All in all, I just enjoyed not having to stare at my laptop, virtually all-day-long, and not having the urge to frantically check my E-mail, every time the ‘New Mail’ tune sounds..

I think it’s valid to deduct that, after yesterday, I’ve officially been Star Warped…

.. of Job search sites and vacancies..

I was checking my applications the other day, just to -sort of- keep duplication of applications at bay. And whaddayaknow.. it appears I applied for a certain position six times! No wonder those Recruitment Agencies don’t bother sending a confirmation of sorts. Their reaction is very likely one similar to: “Oh, here’s him again..”, their auto-response engines set to ‘send once to recurring senders’, or Employers will just delete your response upon reading your name for the umpteenth time.

It’s not deliberately though.. More often than not, the same positions are advertised by different Agencies, just in a slight different wording. Another chance of duplication is the fact that the position is auto-released every single day! If you filter on the latest new vacancies, they’ll be there every day, over and over again, till someone realises it needs removing as the position was filled three months ago (OK, exaggerating here, keep yer hair on)!

And then there’s the different sites which are really one and the same (think TotalJobs & CWJobs, Jobsite & the-one-I-forgot-the-name-of).. Apply on one site and both get updates, you’d think.. WRONG! Not so.. Hence, it’ll happen that you apply for a position on both sites, through different Agencies, repeated the day after.. that soon adds up to.. er.. tens of applications by the one person for one position.. – dizzifying, innit? I wonder how many soft-copies some of those agencies must have of my CV by now!

Anyway, I hope there’ll be some Recruitment Exec’s, or acquaintances of aforementioned who reads my Blog and can appreciate my plea / idea:

Can you Agencies not create one single, shared database of vacancies in the Cloud (after all, what’s it for, eh?), and flag them as “already applied” when a certain candidate attempts to apply for the same role via a member Recruitment Agency? It could be done quite simple, by providing a unique identifier to every vacancy posted and stored; the unique identifier would relate to the record stored in the Cloud and, in combination with the Username or E-mail address trigger an “already applied” message..

Heck, I’ll even be the Business Analyst to get all Recruitment noses pointing the same direction (hint, nudge).. I could even use my writing experience to document the whole process (re-hint.. re-nudge), in several languages (re-re-hint, re-re-nudge)!

I’ll vacate the Soap Box now but be warned; I’ll be back, as a famous Austrian Philosopher said..

Enjoy your weekend, all!