JOBSEARCH: LEGENDS (Examples you can use in an interview)


Here’s some samples.

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Significant accomplishments past job, career, and personally

* I created the first formal mentoring program for minority non-college graduate employees to become programmers for AT&T of the initial class of 30, 29 were offered full time jobs and five years later 28 were still there. In an organization that lost 75% of each class in two years, this was a huge success. The program was turned over to HR and in two years results were worse than expected. Management just wouldn’t listen why it was successful. By using “busy programmers” as mentors, the company sacrificed some productivity (maybe theoretical imho) for developing a cadre with spirit de corps. It started with existing non-management employees working in “computer-related” positions with good performance and recommendations, who volunteered for the program, conducted on their own time, working with working programmers, and taking “freshman classes”, maintaining their positions. It was an easy chance for AT&T to develop scarce as hen’s teeth programmers, at a fraction of the cost they were spending. Thirty years later, I ran into one who was a Division Manage in AT&T, who thanked me profusely, for what I did. What a payoff. He was still trying to get the program restarted along the lines he had experienced.

* Being a “skunkswork” type of guy, when I heard from friends at DOD about the Windows NT domain problems, and when my warnings went on deaf ears to MER management, I took one old desktop, and three old IBM Thinkpads and installed NT on them, wrote some code and scripts, and demonstrated the “Monday morning” problem. An NT3.5 domain pdc can only do 2 password changes at a time every 60 seconds (due to a hard limit in the MSFT code) not counting network delay time. The “Monday morning” problem is that, with 70,000 workstations with a 90 day password rotation policy, about a 3,000 users will be forced to change their password on a Monday morning. So the last one completes about Tuesday afternoon. When demonstrated, a redesign was begun on the same day.

* At CSFB, disaster recovery was part of my job. When I met with end users (what a novel idea), I began to get a sense of the “timing” of their business day. Basically they came in on Monday, did some trades, cleared them over the next few days. Each day’s work relied on the prior day’s. So in considering “datacenter disaster recovery”, the metaphor that the datacenter was using said that they were ready in 12 hours. When the business was brought into the plan, recovery was accomplished on the following Monday, regardless of when during the week the disaster occurred. This was a shock to everyone. Recovery planning then began in earnest. The result of that effort was used in the first WTC disaster. I have been told that my wall chart was used in their recovery from the second one as well.

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Every seeker, at some time or another, will be asked to give and example of something or other. They need to be prepared with “epic poems” of great stories. It is certainly possible to have only one or two. But the well-prepared seeker has a virtual stable of these stories. I call them “legends” because they have to be true, easily rolled out when needed, and demonstrate the values that you wish to portray. During my last search, I had 82 when I landed.

A good legend starts as a written document of a true story. It’s at most three paragraphs. I like the PAAR strategy (Problem, Analysis & Actions, and Results). You are selling the A&A. When they hire you then they get the A&A. A legend tells the P and the R. With enough detail to whet the listeners appetite to hear more and ask “how’d you do that”.

A great legend matches the interviewers need. A fantastic one anticipates the problems they expect to have in the future. A rotten one gives away the A&A or generates a “who cares” reaction.

You have to have your legends well rehearsed, but not rote. You have to be able to recall them at the drop a hat with an indicator trigger.

Homer had his stories. Do you?

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LIBERTY: All empires fall

ORAL ARGUMENT: 10th Grade Vermont High School Student Speaks To Nonviolent Secession in an English Class
Submitted by Rob Williams on Fri, 06/01/2007 – 9:19am.

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All empires fall, few with grace. Although it is debated whether or not The United States is an empire, it shares two key characteristics: it is huge and highly centralized, which is highly unsustainable.

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So obvious, it’s apparent to a Tenth Grader, Ari Erlbaum. Wish I had that realization when I was in that grade. We have TV shows like “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”; we need a show “Do You Understand Political Philosophy as well as a Tenth Grader”.

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MONEY: Cash is trash?

Money Is Flooding the World Markets
by Hans F. Sennholz

Dr. Hans F. Sennholz was professor and chairman of the department of economics at Grove City College.

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A few pessimistic economists are convinced that a devastating economic cataclysm lies ahead. They usually point to three threats that may have a serious impact on the American economy. There is the burgeoning tower of public and private debt resting on a foundation of greed and overindulgence. There are a multimillion-dollar list of promises to a retirement system and a vast building of government guarantees and promises that are bound to be unkept. There even is a world of complex derivatives, the value of which depends on something else, such as stocks, bonds, futures, options, loans, and even promises. They all, according to these economists, will be the victims of the coming cataclysm.

This economist, who has observed central bank policies since the 1950s, is in basic accord and feels sympathy for these pessimists. They seem to have a clear view of the principles of money markets and the policies conducted by governments ever since they discarded the natural money order, that is, the gold and silver standards. But these pessimists tend to ignore the countless ruses, devices, and stratagems used by government officials and central bankers to hide the consequences of their policies. Long before there will be a financial Armageddon, there will be a myriad of government regulations, controls, edicts, and rulings that hide the consequences of monetary policies. Policies will be readjusted frequently to cover the actual effects. Given the public confusion and unfamiliarity with monetary policies and their consequences, a large majority of the public is likely to accept official explanations and welcome the regulators and controllers.

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We know that the gooferment is broke, made promises it can’t keep, and will be mia when the you know what hits the fan.

Self-defense: Zero debt, save; save in things that don’t inflate or depreciate or disappear; be aware; be educated; be vocal; develop skills; stay healthy; be prepared; be practiced. imho

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TECHNOLOGY: SURFACE glitz and glamour signifying zip


Surface computing has arrived.
Posted by: “Vincent Wright”
c/o MyLinkedinPowerForum
Thu May 31, 2007 8:30 am (PST)

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Surface computing has arrived.

Vincent Wright

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At risk of being a grinch, I don’t see it. Maybe in the yuppie paradises for toys, but not in my life or times.

Has anyone looked at a computer monitor and seen the gunk that collects without a lot of fingers deliberately touching it? And, drinks on a screen … disaster?

Nice video, nice sounds, sell MSFT!

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INTERESTING: Ever been to an ER; don’t go if you can at all avoid it

Well unfortunately the always exciting always interesting saga of “Frau Reinke Faces Life” played out another episode yesterday. (Note: Frau Reinke is my beloved wife of 36 years whose fashion sense makes me look less like a nerd and common sense keeps me from making more social blunders. Hey, I r an injineer.)

So when last we left “Frau Reinke Mystery Patient”, she was quietly living out her days dealing with a weakening heart, a ton of drugs, and finding happiness in her “kids” and a daily dose of drool. (AKA Days Of Our Lives).

We went to a routine appointment with Cardio Doc (a nice mild manner man who always wanted my advice on computers; like I have expertise). Routine EKG. Not overly happy, but he’s usually becomes dour when “his problem patient” walks in.

SO then he asks the fateful question “How are you feeling?” Where she ADMITTED “not to good”! (Stunning! Like if she was that fellow with the iron rod impailed in his head, she’d have said “fine, but I might have a headache now and then”.) He ran through the exercise of extracting her symptoms from her (which I as an ex First Aid guy “knew” were angina, but I don’t have the MD or DVM after my name where my opinions might have some weight with her.)

He said “Off to the ER”. She said “how about next week. it’ll get better”. He said “Ithinkyoushouldgo today”. “But they won’t do anything today” “idfeelbettertoday” (He starts to talk fast and quickly when he gets agitated.) She turns to me, “but you have to go to work this afternoon for that meeting”. My bright response “It’ll go on without me.” So she concedes to go to the ER. (I don’t think he believed her. Hey, she’s been his patient for several years.)

We went home to get some stuff. And, lunch. We both knew this would be an ordeal. If you weren’t sick going into the ER, the process would make you sick.

She walked thru the doors at about 1430; she was in her room in ICU at about 2130. And, she was an “expedited at-risk cardiac” patient. When I left, the ER was over flowing with sick people just waiting. (Desperately in need of some free market solutions.)

Argh, I can NOT describe a worse experience. Even the old NJDMV with its rude workers and day long waits wasn’t as bad. I guess because at the DMV it really wasn’t important. If any of the old AT&T M&Pers (Methods and Procedure folks) say this they would be horrified. Chaos. No Customer feedback loop, massive numbers of people waiting around, no visual themes. It may be “organized”, but it was bedlam and chaos.

Cardio doc popped up about 1800 and praised her for coming right in. He had the blood work and told her she had had another heart attack. (He was “normal” in his appearance.) Kidney doc came by. Only the diabetic doc phoned it in, and the orders were wrong (I don’t like that broad!)

So with Frau firmly ensconced in CCU North 07, I called it a day.

Mentally tired, I went home and counted my blessings that it was me that was the sick one. I firmly resolve with the help of the Intelligent Designer never to get stuck in that world as a patient. But, (thinking about employment opportunities), it might be fun to make it better. Unfortunately, it’ll never be better because it’s run by gooferment diktat. Sigh!

Note: My attentions may be diverted from the blog, email, or such as I tend to my higher priority problems. Actually, stuff might be better as I might focus my time better?

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