I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 68 - Suit Yourself

Preparing for my interview tomorrow. It's an interview with a placement firm so it's not exactly likely to immediately result in a dream job. The baseline goal is to avoid the interview going like this classic example:

I have a blue skirted suit. When I wear it, I look like a mailbox.

I've never enjoyed interviewing, no matter which side of the desk I was on. I slipped into Porkus without an interview, something that I was everlastingly grateful for when I learned that the standard Porkus manager interview with multiple HR people and the CEO would last about four hours. Candidates would stagger out, dehydrated and delusional. (It's entirely possible that they were delusional on the way in but they were buoyant enough to cover.)

Porkus had an interesting interview trick that I had not seen before. Candidates would be brought in for two or three interviews. As a "final test," they were asked to prepare a presentation on an area of their expertise that was identified as a new company opportunity. The candidate would strut his or her stuff, PowerPointing all the way, and we were invited in to listen attentively and take notes. This counted as employee training at an affordable (i.e. free) price. The hiring manager would always ask to keep a copy of the presentation and the candidate was not in a position to refuse. Sometimes these people would be hired and sometimes not.

My last boss was one of those who ran the gauntlet and emerged with a job. He gave a presentation on "Voice of the Customer." This is a methodology that can be used in Lean and Six Sigma and also Quality Function Deployment. As the name implies, the central point is figuring out what the customer requires and expects and then trying to deliver that. Conceptually, it's not astrophysics. This was particularly evident when the training was delivered by my former boss, who said that he developed it; he put his name on the first page but neglected to remove the name of the real author on the rest of the presentation.

Perhaps tomorrow's interview will go like this:

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