Earlier this week Darth Jersey alerted me to my actor doppelgänger, woofy Canadian actor Geoff Gustafson. He was on a recent episode of Cult (which I’ve never watched) and was in Hot Tub Time Machine, a film with a ridiculous premise but was oddly endearing. I am flattered by Darth Jersey’s comparison but that doesn’t forgive the fact that he routinely kicks my butt at Words With Friends. I hear tell there are apps that will maximize your word strategy with the game and I often wonder…

In other doppelgänger news, I may go on a date soon with a guy who looks disturbingly like Durban Bud. I mean, he even purses his lips in all his profile photos. But of course I would never go on a date with a BrettCajun doppelgänger. Eeew…

I had a busy week starting my volunteer job. It’s only two afternoons a week but after six months of casually going out for coffee after waking up at 11am it’s a bit of an adjustment. We already had a violent “incident” there while I was working. Nobody was hurt but it was disturbing. I have encountered bouts of rage during rugby matches but when that happens during play you’re all kind of riled up at the same level of aggression so it doesn’t seem so bad during play. But when you’re sitting there answering phone calls and somebody flips out it’s another thing. I’ve already taken bloodborne pathogen training, and will soon get training in “de-escalation” for similar incidents, and training in identifying potential overdose patients. It is certainly unlike anything I’ve done before.

And I had a phone interview with a recruiter from a major outdoor clothing line in Portland. It seemed to go well and the recruiter and I chatted for a long time. By now I have a lot of interview questions down pat and did a lot of studying in advance. It’s a job I’d really be well suited for and am eager to hear back from them.

I had applied for that job independent of any contacts or leads, but later corresponded with two people who helped get my application on somebody’s desk at that company. Thank you loyal blog readers and you know who you are. Contacts are key, especially in a market where recruiters are getting hundreds of applicants. Earlier this spring I was chatting with a friend who was also looking for work who had been seeing a career coach. His coach confirmed the importance of leads and contacts over cold applications. He said something like 80% of jobs are found through networking so spend 80% of your time doing that and only 20% of your time responding to ads. And aggressively expand your contact list. It is essential to keep assembling your comprehensive list of acquaintances from all current and past associations. Do not leave anybody out. Through the graces of another blog reader I’ve also got some good leads from the Seattle area as well, and have been following up on those too.

But after three weeks I still haven’t heard a peep from the city job where I interviewed in person. This is the second instance in this region where an organization has invited me in their offices for an in-person interview where I never hear from them again, even after following up with brief messages of continued interest. I understand and am getting used to non-responses from initial online or email applications, but when you invite me into your house for a chat I expect a little more interaction later on. I don’t think it’s that I’m awful and abhorrent in the interviews either. I will remember this when I am on an interview committee and in charge of follow-up. Even if it’s disappointing news, it’s good to hear back from an interview committee. And it doesn’t take that long to get back to the eight people you spoke with for an hour each, no matter how busy you are.

I wonder if this behavior is part of what is interpreted as passive-aggressive in the Pacific Northwest. Rather than potentially disappoint someone, people here simply cease communication. That’s interpreted as Pacific Northwest Passive-Aggressive, but I call it conflict avoidance. People here don’t seem to know how to negotiate conflict, and/or are afraid to disappoint anyone. Sometimes people get disappointed, and that’s a part of life. It’s called communication.

14 Comments

  1. brettcajun says:

    It’s no secret… most of the best jobs are NOT advertised. Businesses have an opening… they tap THEIR network and start looking at candidates they have familiarity with and put out feelers to people whom they trust to make recommendations based on their networks. Sooo… the lesson here kids… IS BE NICE to everyone.

    And Jimbo… EWW… you are going to slip Durban Bud doppelgänger the tongue. That would be hilarz if he brings up his cat 1,000 times in conversation. :)

  2. Blobby says:

    you have to figure a brettcajun doppelgänger is safer/ better than the real thing – no?

  3. Mari says:

    We have Hot Tub Time Machine. We will totally look for your double.
    I am going copy and paste this and send this to a friend who is also looking for work. Though I wonder how useful the fanfic community network is when looking for non cos-play employment.

  4. Peter Maria says:

    If you can afford it and it is an option, please get vaccinated for Hep A and B. Takes 6 months (for B) and it is worthwhile to have a titer done to check your coverage at the end of the series; the B does not always “take” (my lover had to do another part of the series to get protection). Fingers crossed for success in your job search.

  5. Peter Maria says:

    Sorry! The above was in regards to your mention of blood borne pathogens; might seem a little apropos of nothing otherwise.

  6. Kevin M says:

    One more factor to think about with the non-responses: I have known institutions, particularly government ones, to hire all new people on a probationary status to see how they fit, and then they become permanent after 90 or 180 days or whatever. Some such groups prefer not to tell their 2nd/3rd/4th choices for a position that they didn’t get it, because they figure if #1 doesn’t work out quickly, they can contact #2, apologize for the delay in responding, but they’re getting ready to fill the slot and want #2 for it. I don’t think it’s widespread nor do I think it’s a good idea, but it does occur.

  7. Jeffrey C says:

    Not responding to people who you interviewed face-to-face is just bad HR … and rude.

  8. Mike says:

    You could certainly do a lot worse than a guy who looks like DurbanBud.

  9. Tim says:

    *detects subtle cues of frustration with fellow humans in the Communication field*

    good luck Jimbo, keep your hopes high!

  10. napoleonva says:

    You’re cuter than your doppelgänger.

  11. cb says:

    OMG… Wow. He DOES look like you. a LOT like you.

  12. kalalaumango says:

    People here don’t seem to know how to negotiate conflict, and/or are afraid to disappoint anyone. Sometimes people get disappointed, and that’s a part of life. It’s called communication./////are you telling me those chickens are not free-range?? i wish you well in your continued settling — i’ve been on the road for 12 years and have enjoyed reading you from time to time — yet, i hope you find something soon to shift the posts and of course your story. peace be with you.

  13. durban bud says:

    How did your date go with the guy who supposedly looks like me? Did you have anal?

  14. Melinda says:

    Good god, you moved from DC! And you moved to the NorthWest! I so loved that area, worked at the Navy station in Whidbey Island for a number of years… it’s absolutely breathtaking. Have you gone native and embraced sandal socks yet? Best thing since ice cream sandwiches.

    Am hoping you find something solid soon, have you considered looking at any of the military bases in the area? Oregon isn’t stacked with them, but Washington sure is… The sequester effect makes that tricky, I think, but it could be done… Federal is Federal, after all. Best of luck!