Wednesday, October 28, 2015

IT Career Suicide...not a chance!

As I've searched for a more stable income (AKA a "real" job) I've run into annoyances that anyone with a few years of experience under their belt is no doubt familiar with.

I call it the curse of the resume stacker....

These are the folks with funny accents who call you at all hours of the night because they don't understand time zones.  Their emotionless monotone pitch tempts you with empty promises like "A Great Opportunity" and you're a "Perfect Fit" only to never be heard from again once they get your information.

That's because you re dealing with "recruiters" (and I use the term loosely) who've likely never spoke to anyone at the company they're supposedly submitting you to.  Not that you should be surprised.  5 minutes on the phone is like talking to offshore tech support which is probably the job they'll get back to once you hang up.

It's not just phone calls either.  They send emails.  

Some are so bad you can almost hear the thick, unintelligible accent as you read the poor sentence structure and bad grammar. Worse, they're as cold and impersonal as a form letter and as worthless as junk mail.

No, I'm not a racist or some grammar Nazi but common sense says that if you can't understand them how is any potential employer supposed to?

Their intention is self-serving and disingenuous so don't shed too many tears for them.  You're just another name on a resume that they'll stack up hoping to lure a "real" client.  Sadly, not before you become homeless.

So I've taken to dealing with these "stackers" no matter what continent they're calling me from to make it perfectly clear that since their actions afford me way too much free time I will choose to use it to waste theirs.

Below is an example of a response to one of these stackers who didn't even have the courtesy to address me by name choosing instead to refer to me as "Hi Professional"...

Feel free to adopt a similar strategy.  It's my sincere hope to drive these bottom feeders out of business.  Don't worry about burning bridges or losing an opportunity either.  There was never any such benefit to be had from them.  If they happen to EVER place someone I can assure you it's by accident.

What follows is a personal response to a very impersonal "recruiter" [sic]

Original message followed by my response.

Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 1:36 PM
Subject: Need A Mid-Level Technician

Hi Professional,

Hope you are doing good today!!!

We are currently having a JOB opportunity with one of our clients, which I believe you may be a great fit.

Mid-Level Technician
Location: Chandler, AZ
Duration: 12- 18 months
Rate: Market
The client is looking for an IT Generalist with heavy end user/ help desk experience.Network Admin – Cisco experience, configuration and rack and stack Server knowledge

If you are fine with the requirement please reply back with your word resume along with rate & contact information

Please send your updated resume along with the following details.

1.Full Name:
2.Contact Phone No :
3.US Visa Status :
4.Billing Rate :
5.Current Location :
6.Availability :
7.Relocation :

Thanks & Regards,

Vicky Pattison
IT Technical Recruiter
Amtex Enterprises, Inc.


Hello Vicky Pattison,
I’m actually having a lousy day but that’s not your fault.  At least not completely...
I don’t particularly care for these form letter contact emails especially when I see the telltale signs of an outsourced Indian recruiting agency.  Signs like minimal job descriptions, bad sentence construction and overall difficulty grasping the English language.
If you really have something then I need details.  Like the company name.  If you have the contract there’s no way I can do an end run around you and cut you out of the process so the confidentiality part is bogus.  Without knowing who the job is for and what it is I have no way of knowing, for example,  if I was already under an exclusivity agreement elsewhere.
Let’s be honest here shall we?
You see, I’m not fond of “Resume Stackers.”  In case you don’t know what that is, I’ll be happy to enlighten you.
Resume Stackers are agency recruiters that abuse candidate information from sites like Dice, Indeed and Monster to build their stable of “potential hires” for no other reason than to meet their contact quota for the week.  Most of the time they don’t even have a complete job description let alone an actual client under contract. 
They only request the most basic of information and may or may not request a copy of a resume.  that can be stuck under the nose of a “prospective” NOT “contracted” client.  Stack up enough resumes and it looks like you’ve got an entire empire at your beck and call.
They could almost eliminate the candidate entirely since it’s unlikely they’ll ever get a placement anyway.  I’d surmise there would be something illegal about that at least on a civil level.
Meanwhile, the poor slobs that fall for the resume stacker’s evil plan sit by the phone in vain like some schoolgirl desperate for the one ring that gets her a date to the prom.  Of course those of the Indian subcontinent would have no idea what a “prom” was without a Google search...
But let’s assume you do know what a Prom is...
Alas, it’s not to be.  As the resume stacker has a placement rate of less than 10% and will soon be moving on to another recruiting agency sweatshop anyway.
Of course there’s always the off chance that said recruiter manages to get 2 placements in a year thus earning the coveted “senior” to proudly add to the bottom of their email signature.
So if you’re for real spill it.  If you’re just looking to add real names to your spreadsheet for this week’s quota then move along.  I have no time to waste with you.
At this point, I don’t even believe your name is Vicky Pattison. I’m betting it something more Southeast Asian like Bihari or Tharki causing a cultural rift that has you believing Patterson and Pattison are the same thing.
If I’ve offended you then you’re a stacker and judging by your website which looks like as prefabricated as your email I’d say I’m right.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Windows 10 alternative installation

So if you're like me and prefer to pick your own time to take the Windows 10 plunge then you're probably going to need some help when you finally push the go button.

That's because unlike most who'll take advantage of the free upgrade, disabling the automatic upgrade process requires a little more effort but no more than installing any other OS. It's still an upgrade so you still get to keep all your old apps ( so long as they're compatible.)

I haven't changed my position and the tight integration with Microsoft's ecosystem is ever present in Windows 10 but you can get around it.  In fact I'll be doing a series of videos in the near future on just how to minimize the amount of information you share.  

Microsoft may be taking a page from Apple's book with this latest version of the "one Windows to rule them all" mantra but for now it's more of an inconvenience than an Apple-like mandate.  

The reality of tech in the 21st century is that the more convenience you demand the more of your life you'll be asked to expose.  With Windows 10 it's still mostly your choice of how wide to open the Kimono but you need to know what you're buying into.  

For the most part, Windows users have gotten off easy with privacy but with an OS that's more connected than any previous version, it's high time we stop taking privacy for granted.  Look, if it's got a chip in it  somebody can hack it.  That's just the world we live in.  So make sure to clean up your act before upgrading to Windows 10.

That said, you may need some help when you finally do the upgrade.  That's what the series of videos below will show you.  I'll walk you through creating media for a manual install then using it to upgrade a Windows 7 Ultimate PC.

Check them out.  You'll find them a bit irreverent but likely similar to your own experience when you do upgrade.