Some Small Good News

Just got this message from Soldier’s Angels:

Our soldier, Cpt. Michael Valleta just notified me that— he won the Lexus for a year while he is deployed.

Shelle-

Just wanted to say thanks one last time! I was just notified by Lexus as the winner of the contest! I couldn’t have done it without you! Mike-

Here is the info below:

Dear Michael,

Congratulations! You have been selected to receive a prize in the Lexus HS Contest, administered by ePrize.

You have been selected as the winner of the use of a Lexus HS for one (1) calendar year, a voucher good for two (2) nights weekend accommodations at a participating Fairmont Hotel, and a Lexus Hybrid Living gift bag containing Sponsor selected Lexus branded products. Please see the attached Official Rules for further prize details and eligibility requirements. This prize has an approximate retail value of $9600.

Congratulations again and thank you for your continued patronage.

Prize Fulfillment Services

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Job Hunting Advice From the Armed Liberal

So I’m on a number of email lists, which I consider to be communities – meaning there’s some form of mutual obligation. So when someone from one of my lists reaches out to me, I tend to try and help.

It doesn’t always work out so well….

And it’s oddly connected to Joe’s previous post…

We start the discussion on Facebook, move to email, and back to Facebook:

Ms. X
July 9 at 2:31pm
I guess I don’t even know what you do. You travel a lot. Something like a project manager for big important projects, yeah that explains it.

Anyway, as you know, I’ve been looking for a job back in low cal So Cal. My industry is melting like the wicked witch after Dorothy doused her. My career went like this: public accounting > construction (job cost) accounting > accounting software development/programming > accounting software consultant (implementations for the construction industry)

[long discussion clipped ]

Marc Danziger
July 9 at 8:11pm
Happy to do it…there is a big (huge) demand for HC PM’s – but there’s a buttload of domain-specific info you’ll need to be competitive. Let me talk to a buddy at a big hospital about the best path to break in.

Off the top of my head, I’d pitch some of the big vendors – McKesson, Cerner, GE – and see if you can get in a door there. I’ll see who I know at any of those.

Send me your CV and I’ll comment…

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Ms. X
July 10 at 1:26pm
Thanks!! I’m glad to hear you agree with the demand I thought is out there. There is a vendor in this area EPIC that I am contacting.

You didn’t say what you do…and how you know all these people! (just curious).

Which address can I send my CV? I’m sure not [email redacted] ;-)

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Marc Danziger
July 10 at 1:27pm
Longer reply to follow…send to [email redacted]…

Subject: CV attached
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 15:30:52 -0500
From: Ms. X
To: Marc Danziger [email redacted]

Thanks for having a peek. I would be grateful for any comments you have
(and promise not to hold them against you ;-)

I want to setup a new email address just for this, but haven’t come up
with something catchy yet professional. I can use comcast.net or
gmail.com. Does the latter look too hokey or transient?


Ms. X

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From: Marc Danziger
To: Ms. X
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: CV attached

Short of your own domain, gmail is fine…will review when I get home Sunday…

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Subject: Re: CV attached
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 17:07:00 -0500
From: Ms. X
To: Marc Danziger [email redacted]

Hi Marc,

Any chance yet to have a look? Any ideas or feedback for me?


Ms. X

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Subject: Re: CV attached
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 15:08:38 -0700
From: Marc Danziger [email redacted]
To: Ms. X

It’s in the reading queue…probably Sunday night??

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Subject: Re: CV attached
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 17:10:34 -0500
From: Ms. X
To: Marc Danziger [email redacted]

Wow, you were just sitting around waiting for my email to arrive, weren’t
ya? ;-)

No worries, I appreciate any help you might offer. Epic Systems (my vendor
of choice) handily rejected my CV this week. They won’t say why, but word
on the street is they only hire right outta college so they can “mold their
people into Epic people”. Psssshaw!!!!


Ms. X

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Ms. X
Today at 10:09am
Are you ever gonna respond? I know its not polite to nag someone who’s offered a favor, but I was all excited to hear your work story…to hear of possible advice or connections you could offer…to get your perspective of my resume and my chances. I’m getting more discouraged by my attempts each day. Not just you, but how extremely tight fisted HIT seems to be. Epic Systems won’t hire me because I’m too old fer petesake!!!

I know you have a life, but I’d really rather hear you’re not interested in helping or you don’t have anything to say or you regret offering advice. If you don’t want to bother, just say so. Otherwise “I’ll take a look at it Sunday when I get home” is kinda long gone.


Ms. X

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Marc Danziger
Today at 11:48am
So, first, apologies for not pinging you…you’re right I have a life and am kinda busy and focused on other things, so I let it drop.

Next, I did send your (perfectly fine) CV over to the guy who runs the PMO at my vendor (Medplus, a division of Quest), with the question of what it would take for you to break into their shop, or health IT in general…we’re going to be talking next week sometime – if you haven’t heard anything by Friday ping me.

And…finally, here’s the rub. Instead of writing a personal and nonabrasive message like “Marc, I’m really stressing – I’m so sorry to bug you, and appreciate what you’re doing, but can we talk in the next day or so?” you send the message above, which I think most people would find pretty unprofessional and unnecessarily abrasive.

Which presents two problems to you – it disincents me to do stuff for you in general (why help people who aren’t appreciative or nice?), and much more seriously to me, it makes me doubt your maturity and self-control – which means that if I armtwist to get someone to look at you and they hire you – and you pull something like this and blow yourself up, I worry that some of it blows back on me.

I’ll try and get you in front of my vendor, and chat with some people about you. But you really – really, really – need to think about how you present in the context of work.

I’m not saying this to one-up you, or kick you when you’re down, but in the genuine hope that it helps you – I really hope you can take it in that light. Let’s communicate next Friday.

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Subject: a really fun rebuttal, I promise
From: Ms. X
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 15:37:23 -0500
To: [email redacted]

Marc,

Dear. Darling. You amuse me. I do hope that you will indulge my rebuttal. Please note that what follows is a PERSONAL communication, not to be construed as, perceived in or related to the context of my work or yours.

While I agree that some might judge my message “unprofessional and unnecessarily abrasive”, it was sent to a friend (I might be stretching that definition) with whom I’ve enjoyed a playful and extremely casual, not to mention unfettered, association through [email list].

You don’t really know me personally. Nor do you know much about my stress levels or my maturity and certainly nothing about my professionalism. Had I realized that I would be judged so harshly from a freaking FB message, I would not have sent it at all.

Additionally, I think you may have vastly overestimated what I expected from you, or at the very least, what I asked for in the first place. I was interested in your job (ya know, what you do for a living?) and how it was related to where I’m trying to go (still don’t know). I gladly accepted your offer to comment on my CV (got two words on that…just now). I asked for whatever help you might offer….and only then did you mention you would “talk to a buddy at a big hospital about the best path to break in” – How that morphed into personally presenting and supporting me, I do not know. But thanks for the vote of confidence….oh, never mind. Not sure if I’ve lost your vote or not.

I really think your attack, disguised as helpful advice, is defensive…because you feel guilty about responding enthusiastically, then dropping the ball. I’d really rather you say something like – oh, shit, Ms. X…I’m such a heel. I shouldn’t have ever promised Sunday night then completely written you off. – You could have gone on to say that you had actually done something…like forwarded my CV! Or better yet, you could have said from the beginning – you know, I’m really not comfortable backing you, ya seem like a real infantile bitch and I wish you the best of luck finding a job washing dishes somewhere – .

Honestly!! I would have preferred *either* to an attack on my 1) appreciation 2) niceness 3) maturity and 4) professionalism.

I *do* appreciate what you have offered, I just have this odd habit of believing people when they say yes and then being irritated when they don’t follow through. Oh, and you’re right…I do have self-control issues. I’m pretty sure you can empathize ;-)

So, if you’ve read this far, maybe you’ll care to see my comments on your specifics:

So, first, apologies for not pinging you…you’re right I have a life and am kinda busy and focused on other things, so I let it drop.

I do accept your apology, even though it is weak, like a man’s apology can be. My ex-husband used to say “I’m sorry that you feel that way” – as if my feelings were the problem after what he had done or said. At least your apology includes a statement of self-responsibility! Bravo.

Might I suggest that if you are “kinda busy and focused on other things” – that you not promise higher than you are willing to deliver? My suggestion does not diminish my appreciation (nor my nicety). Please take it in the helpful light in which it is offered.

Next, I did send your (perfectly fine) CV over to the guy who runs the PMO at my vendor (Medplus, a division of Quest), with the question of what it would take for you to break into their shop, or health IT in general…we’re going to be talking next week sometime – if you haven’t heard anything by Friday ping me.

Wonderful news! Had you shared that with me, my nagging query might have been avoided. I’m not sure what “my vendor” – means in relation to your job, nor do I know what PMO means, and I’d love to know more about Quest. Remember, I am trying to change horses midstream here. More like changing from a horse to a zebra in the middle of a raging river!

And…finally, here’s the rub. Instead of writing a personal and nonabrasive message like “Marc, I’m really stressing – I’m so sorry to bug you, and appreciate what you’re doing, but can we talk in the next day or so?”

First, I’d like to point out that you admit you perceived the message as personal…so why the professional slam? Second, you apparently inferred from my message that I was stressing, so my not saying it probably wasn’t all that important. Third, I did hint at an apology (and even appreciation) when I said “I know it’s not nice to nag someone who is doing me a favor – .

you send the message above, which I think most people would find pretty unprofessional and unnecessarily abrasive.

I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that I have been accused – many, many times – of being abrasive. I do not have the gift of diplomacy, nor have I enjoyed much success in trying to develop it, although I have mellowed over the years, believe it or not.

I might also suggest that the casual, written and internet environments make it really easy to overestimate said abrasiveness and/or take something in such a way that it was not intended. I mean, when I say “Shut Up” – to [so and so] when he’s being an annoying ass, or call [such and such] a “fuckwad” – back when he used to come after me onlist like a rabid dog…you can be pretty sure I meant what I said. But otherwise, I am not nearly as bad as I sound in an email, I promise you.

Which presents two problems to you – it disincents me to do stuff for you in general (why help people who aren’t appreciative or nice?),

Well, by all means, Mr. Mrac, if you are disincented (not a word btw, I looked it up) then please say so and I will grudgingly accept the retraction of your offer of help.

and much more seriously to me, it makes me doubt your maturity and self-control – which means that if I armtwist to get someone to look at you and they hire you – and you pull something like this and blow yourself up, I worry that some of it blows back on me.

If you want me to believe for even one second that you would armtwist (I believe this should be hyphenated, but now I’m just picking on you for fun) someone to look at me, then you should add a fifth insult to your attack, because you obviously think I am stupid…and maybe you are too….if it were really true that you would do that.

I’ll try and get you in front of my vendor, and chat with some people about you. But you really – really, really – need to think about how you present in the context of work.

As I said, I will accept the retraction of your offer, and I never asked for “getting me in front of your vendor” – . I wouldn’t want you to stick your neck out for me, especially considering how my message today made you feel. I am sorry for that, by the way. I hate to do anything to offend; unless of course I am trying to…then it is kind of a rush!!

I’m not saying this to one-up you, or kick you when you’re down, but in the genuine hope that it helps you – I really hope you can take it in that light.

My theory is defensiveness (which is a form of one-upmanship but I digress), not helpfulness, but only you can know your true motives.

Let’s communicate next Friday.

I leave the ball in your court. I thank you for getting this far, and I completely understand if you never say another word to me. I also promise that I won’t nag you Have a great weekend!


Ms. X

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Subject: Re: a really fun rebuttal, I promise
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 14:56:25 -0700
From: Marc Danziger [email redacted]
To: Ms. X

Look, I’m not even sure how to respond to this mess.

I do know that you think I’m dishonest and – at best – defensive. So I’m
probably not much help to you anyway.

Genuine good luck to you…

So there are a few lessons there; for me, when doing favors for folks don’t do more than I promise and do it late, and be thoughtful about who I’m doing them for. For those seeking favors, engage common sense before engaging keyboard (or mouth).

…and for all of us, that some conversations are just plain amusing in and of themselves!
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