Thursday, March 13, 2014

Whatever Happened to Email?

How you miss out when off Social Media?

I am a member of a fraternity and each year, the alumni get together for an event, at the college.  It is a time to meet with younger members (although this year, that is no longer the case as the chapter, sadly closed this winter), catch up with older members, meet as an alumni and party like we were back in college.  I have visited 13 of 14 years but the kid makes it more difficult as does lack of time/general life issues.
This year, being the first without the local chapter, it seems like; at least through the grapevine that more members are showing up.  It is likely due to Dana bringing his girlfriend (must be serious!) but probably because the chapter went under and distant alumni feel obligated to make an appearance to catch up on recent events, make new memories and discuss events of the past.  
While I have been told of the dates, I did not know the events, times, cost, etc.  I was randomly contacted by another brother via Twitter direct message with the following message:

Brother:  "Are you planning on coming to Alumni Weekend this year? ...." 
Me:   "I am doubtful and if I show, it would be a last minute decision as my birthday is that weekend...What's the plan? I have zero details"
 Brother " Everything has been communicated on Facebook. Golf on sat morning, brunch, and dinner sat. evening. Contact Busta for more details"
Me:  "That's great for those on Facebook!"
Brother:  Crickets (No response)

What happen to paper invites?

I followed up with an email and received a text message with the valid, much needed and appreciated details. The point of all this is if I wasn't on social media at all, would I have been notified?  Would anyone have really cared if good ol' Danny was there?  Likely not, well, maybe Dana would have cared if his roomie did not make the short drive to see him but anyone else?

Crickets (No response)

In all seriousness, I likely am going to try to make it up for the day on Saturday but who knows what life will bring, my point in the matter is we, as a society,  no longer communicate like we use to do.  In the 80's, it was via phone or fax, in the 90's it was via phone or email, in the early 2000's, it was via "text", cell or email and now it is via Facebook and text ---> except for the guy who is addicted to Facebook and completing an useless experiment that only 1 person actual reads, I get notified via Twitter!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

More than just Facebook

Learning to be bored

As I previously mentioned, work for me right now is finding a job.  Two days a week, sometimes three days, I watch my two year old while my wife goes to work.  Nap time is my "break" and Nap time use to be "Facebook" time.  On my "breaks", like during snack and Dora the Explorer time, I would be checking Facebook or applying to a job.  Now without Facebook and since I have applied to almost every job on LinkedIn that I may want or find remotely intriguing, I have to learn to be bored.  Today, I choose to write about being bored and how I do it ----> normally I am just a couch potato watching HGTV or DYI although I do tape "The Tonight Show" now that Jimmy Fallon is hosting.

I have learned that being bored, is, OKAY ----> In fact, I like my hour of downtime.  Would I rather be working and making money?  Absolutely but for the time being, my job is house Dad, blogger to my one fan and DYI network addict!


Positive Rejection

Finding the Silver Lining in No!

Being without work sucks, I am not going to sugarcoat ----> The last three months have been frustrating but with each rejection I become more positive that the next interview will be the perfect fit for both myself and the company.  Recently, I was given a "we do not think this is challenging enough but we like you and want to look within the company for a different opportunity for you" ----> Positively rejected?

I sent a text to a good friend, a mentor of sorts, a fraternity brother who I look up to and try to emulate in my daily life with the statement I received...Is that a good thing?
"Fuck Ya!"  was the response I received.  
 I responded to the company with positive disappointment, thanking them for the opportunity and requesting when I should follow up regarding the next opportunity after they speak with the person in charge.  I questioned, for a few moments, the sincerity of the rejection, was this just the way they reject people?  I, then felt the need to remain positive and keep plugging away as the company showed nothing but respect to me throughout the process and nothing about their tone changed even in their rejection message.  As a result, I wait, like those who survived the sinking of the Titanic, in the cold world of unemployment for someone on a boat to come and scoop me up, put a blanket around me and tell me, "I'm glad you are here"


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Inspired by Accident

Time on my Side

Last week, I took a train ride from the western suburbs to the city of Chicago for an interview.  During my ride, I found myself looking at updates of my connections on LinkedIn when I came across an article about the new president of Seton Hall University.   The story was commented on someone I went to college with briefly, Christine.  I clicked on her profile to see what she was doing for a career and I found she had written a book called, "Willing my Way Back."

I really do not read many books, I do not own a tablet and while I enjoy reading historical novels, I never finish anything because I get bored way too easily.  I was interested in finding out what Christine endured that she had to "Will her way Back" so I searched for the book on the play store of my phone.

I began to read the book and in the first few pages learned that several years back, Christine went into the hospital with a migraine and a few days later was heading into surgery to  remove a brain tumor.I went to college with Christine and while she is a couple years older than me, we interacted at Fraternity/Sorority functions and FBNC related events. I spent quite a bit of time with the other members of my fraternity and as a result, knew Christine.  As the President of the sorority, Christine's leadership and outside the box thinking projected to her chapter.  My learning, that after many years of not knowing she had any  issues, potentially endured and survived a brain tumor peeked my the book.  After reading several pages, google books yelled at me that my preview was over so I purchased the book and continued reading it until I arrived in city.

Christine told her story how she went from a migraine, to a brain tumor diagnosis, into surgery, to an actual finding of a blood clot, to not being able to follow conversations or do daily things again, simple things, that she learned as a child, like how to bathe.  The story intertwines emails written by his sister to her family with updates about her condition and their replies as she does not have a full memory of the events. I got about 1/2 way through the book on the way  to my interview.  

I attended my interview and then on the way back home on the express train, decided to continue to read the story.  I did not expect to finish it on that train ride but an accident between a train and a car caused a 30 minute train ride to become a 1.5 hour train ride (thankfully the stupid lady who went too far on the tracks and her dog were okay, her car...not so much!.  As a result, I finished her book.

Thankfully, Christine has fully recovered and has been fully healthy for over a decade.  Her inspirational story reminded me that life is WAY TOO SHORT and WAY TOO UNPREDICTABLE.  She inspired me to look forward in life and not backward, she inspired me to keep  plugging away and apply to more jobs so that more opportunity could present itself.  After finishing her story, I reached out to her and told her the story of how I found her story, how it inspired me and I requested her permission to share it with my audience (all 1 of you). She sent me the below reply:

"Of course, you are welcome to write about it on your blog.  I didn’t know you had one; I’ll have to check it out.  Hope the interview was a huge success!"
Sweet - 2 readers!

I realized that while I was reading her story that had I not gone off Facebook and spent more time networking and trying to connect with people on a more professional basis, I would not have found Christine's story.   There are things I miss about Facebook, like making fun of people or complaining in a social form in more than 140 characters but I definitely have a ton of extra time, time I can use to read a book, 75 pages on my phone or 1000 pages on my phone.  If anything, Christine taught me that you can do anything if you work hard enough to reach your goal, overcome your fears and  inspire others by example!

So check out Christine Emmerich's book, "Willing my Way Back" - it is a quick, short read and one that should inspire you to achieve even the simplest of tasks in life.


The Group Interview & The future of Facebook

I've become an expert on many things in a short period of time and interviewing is one of them.  I can now basically predict the questions I'll be asked.  While this makes the process more challenging because I have to keep it fresh, it also makes it more interesting.  One of my last interviews was a group interview where a panel of potential bosses fired questions at me like a firing squad.  About 1/2 way through the interview I had decided that this group of people was really a great team and someone I would like to work for in the future. Teamwork is important and  this seems to be the message that Facebook is trying to jettison going forward with their purchase of message at WhatsApp.  Text Messaging is the current wave of the future and my prediction is that Facebook will use their new found 19 billion dollar company to eventually allow users to post Facebook statuses as text message.  They current allow you to text your status to other people but not the other way, this type of two way communication will help Facebook compete with up in coming apps like Snap Chat.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wish Me Luck

Interviewing without Facebook Support

Since I have lost my job on November 15th, I would post updates on interviews or job offers received.  It was a way of keeping people up to date and a way to look for moral support.  Unlike, Stepbrothers,John C Reilly isn't sitting directly behind me and without Facebook, I don't have this moral support of multiple people outside my family.  (Sarcasm alert) My wife, her family, my parents are very supportive but not as uplifting as multiple likes on Facebook.
"Interview went well today ---->Praying for an offer!" = 64 likes!  Now that feels GREAT!
 So, I ask for prayers today as I try to sell myself to the hiring managers at a downtown office.  I need this job for my family, for my sanity and for the sanity of those around me.  Like my blog and share it with others.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Forum to Complain

Facebook - Biatch fest!

One of the nice things about social media is that you can use it as a forum for anything you want.  It is more difficult to complain about your day on Twitter as a complaint in 140 characters is just more of a blurp and not a session.  Facebook provides you with multiple lines and multiple forums to air your dirty laundry or just complain.  It is used when someone dies, it is used when someone fires you or when someone doesn't do what you want (although if it is work related, it's best to not say what you actually feel).

Today, I am certain I would be making some shameful comment on Facebook but since I am not on Facebook, I cannot so that complaint will just have to wait until I sit on my therapist's couch tomorrow night.