Like a used car…

I had another interview this afternoon. Different job. Different organization. Still in roughly the same geographic area I’m in now. It seemed to go well enough, though I may be a spectacularly bad judge of that sort of thing. I generally count not tripping myself on the way in the door as a personal victory.

What I’ve found in interviewing for positions in the local area is that you tend to run into some of the same people. Repeatedly. In both recent occasions, I’ve known at least one of the other people interviewing for the position. Some people would find that awkward. Maybe I should be one of them, but I’m not. One of the helpful skills I’ve developed over the last decade and a half is that I just don’t take any of this stuff personally. And for the most part it really, truly isn’t personal – because the bureaucracy just doesn’t have the time or inclination to care about you the individual. That may sound negative, but with hundreds of thousands of moving widgets it’s generally just a function of trying to find the one that appears like it would mesh best with the other cogs that are already in motion and then cramming it into the available opening.

Look, I’d rather get offered one or both of these jobs than not. I mean I wouldn’t have bothered putting on a tie if I wasn’t at least interested. What I’m not doing is giving these decisions a lot of life or death credibility no matter which way they break. I’d like the chance to do some different work and if neither one of these pans out it seems like I’ve at least cracked the code on getting my resume in front of the people making decisions. Having sent out hundreds of resumes in my time with Uncle, I’m secure in saying that’s easily 95% of the battle.

The other 5% is about selling yourself like a used car. If you’re feeling a little dirty when you’re done, you’ve probably done it right. Talk about life skills no one ever bothers to teach you.

Communist News Network…

Last week I was watching CNN, which is not something I usually do, but the hospital is too cheap to get a decent cable package apparently, although they do charge $10/day for using the TV. Lou Dobbs, who once upon a time was their financial guru, has been running a series of “special reports” under the headline “War on the Middle Class.” Now aside from the obvious political slant of the headline (Fox isn’t the only news channel with an agenda, people), the issue that I have with this particular episode was that it was decrying the lack of a federal response to the “home loan crisis” and calling for a government bailout of people about to go into foreclosure.

As someone who did my homework, read every page of my loan origination documents, asked questions, and bought a house that I could actually afford to make payments on, I am absolutely livid at the suggestion that the US government should subsidize people who either through stupidity or negligence saddled themselves with a mortgage that they could not afford. I used logic and financial analysis to make my decisions on how, when, and where to buy, so I am having a hard time digesting the idea that because I made good decisions, money should come out of my pocket to pick up the tab for those who made bad ones.

This isn’t a war on the middle class in America. This isn’t even the government offering aid to people who found themselves in harm’s way during a natural disaster or terrorist event. This is about people being kicked in the teeth by the free market because they chose poorly. It’s not my responsibility or yours to compensate them for their own bad decisions. Government interference in the market always has unintended consequences and the inevitable bailout of these people sets a dangerous and damning precedent.