Tag Archives: Google

The Nine Stages Of Job-Hunting and Soulmate Searching (part ii)


Stage 6: The Honeymoon

I arrive at Google’s offices, on the corner of the busiest intersection in the heart of Toronto. Butterflies in my stomach, I enter and am instantly drawn to the company even more than before. I feel so at home in their bright, roomy offices, and the more I learn about their corporate culture, the more I’m convinced I can’t work anywhere else. Everyone is so friendly and everything is so colourful. First, I meet with the Toronto manager again. Then with another member of the Toronto team. After that, I’m linked up to a video conference, interviewing with three more members of Google’s team: two in New York and one in Ottawa. Overall, I fly through five interviews in under three hours. I’ve answered questions brilliantly and made people laugh. I know I’ve made a great impression, and I know they liked me. I’m on top of the world. I leave with the confidence of a man who knows he’s got the job, and wait to hear about next steps.

There you are with your date. Butterflies in your stomach, you remain drawn to her, perhaps even more so now that you feel validated in your attraction to her. You embark on the evening feeling confident despite your nerves. This girl makes you feel so at home, you can be yourself without fear of being judged. You feel right when you hold her hand, and she touches your leg. You imagine yourself doing this the rest of your life, and it makes sense. Your world seems brighter, people seem friendlier. You see her again. And again after that. You fly through several dates and you’re on top of the world. You answer her questions and make her laugh. You know you’re making a great impression and you know she likes you. One night after you’ve dropped her off, you drive home with the confidence of a man who knows he’s got a great girl in his life.

Stage 7: Washing Hair On A Friday Night

Two weeks pass with no word. Nerves wracked, I cannot understand what’s going on. Everything went so well, everyone said such nice things, but no one’s calling. What’s going on? Google said they’d call, regardless of whether I get the job. But where are they? Do I call them? Is that being too pushy? Exactly two weeks after my series of interviews, I decide to get in touch with Google to see what’s happening. They call me back the same day to ask whether I can forward my University transcripts, and whether they can contact my references. I’m ecstatic. I tell them it’s OK, and I go about securing the transcripts and giving my references a heads-up. Google contacts my references asking when it’s best to discuss my professional history. A week passes, and Google does not follow-up with anyone. I send them my transcript and hear nothing back. Nearly ten days after their last contact with me, I’m told they’ll be in touch with me Monday to discuss my application. Monday and Tuesday come and go, with no word from Google. I don’t know what to think.

A few weeks pass by and you’re a nervous wreck. You really like this girl, but she hasn’t called in a while. You’re worried about calling her because you don’t want to come off as desperate or pushy. But you really like her. You know she liked you, but can’t understand why she’s not calling. Finally, you grow a pair and give her a shout. She says she’s happy to hear from you as she’s been very busy lately, but can’t wait to see you again. You’re ecstatic. She sets aside a day to hang out with you, and that day comes and goes without any word. She calls the next day and apologizes, asking to reschedule. You’re more than happy to do so. Shortly afterward, you receive a message from her. “We need to talk…”

Stage 8: The Breakup

After three days of waiting, Google calls. It’s another HR recruiter calling from California. She tells me I made a very positive impression on everyone with whom I interviewed, and I was certainly qualified for the position. However, they decided to move ahead with other, “stronger” candidates, which I took to mean they might prefer someone with a professional history in the industry. Fair enough. And yet… my heart sank. In fact, I was heartbroken. I always knew that it may not work out, but I had been so confident and everything had gone so well… I convinced myself that no one could be better for this job. This job was going to be the jump-off for my future, and my life would grow around this spectacular opportunity. And just like that, with one phone call, it was stolen away from me. I felt like I lost it all. The job of my dreams… gone.

After a few days of waiting (and mental anguish), she calls you. She says you’re funny, you’re sweet, you’re a great guy and she really likes you. However, she just doesn’t see herself with you, and she’s decided that you should just be friends. Fair enough. And yet… your heart sinks. You’re heartbroken, in fact. You always knew it may not work out, but you thought maybe, just maybe, she was the one. You convinced yourself there’s no one out there better for you than her. She was going to be the jump-off for your future, and your lives would grow together, evolve into something meaningful and long-lasting. And just like that, with one phone call, it’s stolen away from you. You feel like you’ve lost it all. The girl of your dreams… gone.

Stage 9: The 5 Stages

Denial: “Whatever… it’s just another job. How good could it really have been? Besides, maybe I’d have hated working there…
“It’s not fair… I was perfect for that job! I had all the qualifications. I impressed them all… Why wouldn’t they hire me?!”
“I’d do anything to work at Google, even take a pay cut. I just really want this job, please…”
“All that hard work for nothing. All I learned about Google, for nothing. Why even bother looking for something else, nothing will ever be as good as Google could have been…”
“Whatever. It’s their loss. It just wasn’t meant to be, and I’ll find something bigger and better for myself.”

“Whatever… it’s just another girl. How amazing could she really have been? Besides, maybe I’d just end up hating her…”
“It’s not fair! She was perfect for me and I was perfect for her! She said I was funny, I was cute, I was sweet… Why wouldn’t she want to date me?!”
Bargaining: “I’d do anything to be with her, whatever she wanted. I just want to be with her, please…”
“She was perfect for me and now I have nothing. Why even bother looking for someone else, no one could ever top her…”
“Whatever. It’s her loss. It just wasn’t meant to be, and I’ll find a better girl in no time…”

What say you? Have you ever been unceremoniously dumped by a potential job? Would you go so far as to compare it with losing a girlfriend or boyfriend? Share your thoughts below!

The Nine Stages Of Job-Hunting and Soulmate Searching (part i)

The Nine Stages Of Job-Hunting and Soulmate Searching (part i)

Looking for a job is like looking for a girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or transsexual friend, if that’s the way you swing. Knowing you, that’s totally the way you swing. But I digress.

Looking for a job is like looking for a girlfriend. There are stages which one goes through when job-hunting that are eerily similar to those experienced when searching soulmates. This is something of a recent discovery for me, as I went through the dizzying highs, terrifying lows, and creamy middles, of applying for a dream job.

First, a quick aside. When I say “dream job,” it should be pretty clear I’m not applying to become the first-line center for the Toronto Maple Leafs (hardly a dream job at this juncture in time), nor am I applying to become the fourth Beastie Boy. I’m talking more in the realm of realistic and obtainable jobs, marrying professional and personal interests in a complementary corporate culture at a successful and desirable organization. For some people, this entails working at a bank. For others, it entails working for a beer company. For me, at this particular time in my life, it was the chance to work for Google.

Stage 1: Single

Before stumbling upon the job posting for Google, I was “job-hunting,” to use a dreaded term. Hunting for potential jobs is much like hunting for potential mates. To try and better my chances of employment in my field, I attended conferences and seminars related to my industry. I met people whom I’d followed on Twitter and LinkedIn, and introduced myself to countless others, all in the hopes of meeting someone who would consider calling me in for an interview.

Searching for the perfect boy or girl is much the same. You attend interesting social events in the hopes of meeting a member of the opposite sex to whom you’re attracted. You’ve met people online through Twitter or Facebook, and now approach them nervously in real life, hoping they ask for your number (or Twitter handle) to hang out in the future.

Stage 2: Guarded Optimism

I actually don’t recall how I found out Google was hiring in Toronto, though I’m pretty sure someone tweeted about it. Nevertheless, as soon as I saw the posting, I jumped at the chance. Never thinking it would actually work out, I gathered my courage, updated my resume, and reached out to them. In the back of my head, I quietly expounded upon the possibilities of working for Google. “It’s like playing for the Yankees,” I thought to myself. I was excited, but reserved.

Excited but reserved – the feeling of meeting someone for the first time and sensing an instant attraction. You size her up and quickly determine whether you’d get along with that person and to what degree. Once you’ve decided that she potentially suits you as a mate (or a lover… ooh la la), you get that feeling. You know… that feeling. In the back of your head, you quietly expound upon the possibilities of being with this person: What would it be like to touch them, feel them, taste them…

Stage 3: The First Contact

Google emailed me on a Friday morning to say they’re interested in speaking with me over the phone. I was elated, until realizing I had only received the email that morning, though it had actually been sent one week earlier. I was devastated. A wave of stress crashed over me as I scrambled to reply, hoping that waiting a week didn’t ruin my chances. To make matters worse, I use Gmail… so it was as if Google had cost me a job with Google. After a few days with no response, I emailed them a second time explaining why I had waited a week to reply the first time. They replied within four minutes, letting me know they were still interested, and we set up a time.

Nervous. Elated. Devastated. Relived. That’s your cycle of emotions as you call the girl you really like for the first time. You’re nervous before calling, and elated when the call goes well. Then you go back and replay the conversation in your head, and realize you said something so ridiculous and so stupid, you wouldn’t be surprised if she never called back. Then… a call back. Your potential mate didn’t even realize you had said anything remotely odd, and looks forward to meeting you for a date. Score.

Stage 4: The First Date

My next contact with Google was a phone conversation with an HR recruiter based in Mountain View, CA, home to the Google compound. We spoke casually on the phone for 45 minutes or so, as I walked her through my resume and professional career to that point. I cracked a few jokes but remained slightly guarded. I felt it went well, and she let me know that if I met certain qualifications, I’d be contacted for a second interview. I was nervous but confident.

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You pick a girl up and go for a drink. You’re nervous, but confident. You crack a few jokes, but you don’t take it too far because you don’t want to mess up early on. You speak casually and watch the time, not wanting to drag on too long. You go through each of your lives, discussing past dating disasters. At the end of the night, she thanks you for a lovely time and lets you know she’ll call if she’s interested in seeing you again.

Stage 5: The Second Date

An email from Google… it must be good news. They liked me. They want me to have a phone chat with their Toronto manager. I’m thrilled. We get in touch and talk for an hour. I walk her through my resume; she walks me through her responsibilities. It’s easy-going and comfortable. At the end, she tells me Google will let me know if they’d like to proceed. She seems confident they will. This could be the start of something big.

A phone call from your date the other night… it must be good news. She liked you. She’d like to see you again. You’re thrilled. You get in touch and talk for hours. It’s easy-going and comfortable, much more so than your first phone call. You walk her through your day at work; she walks you through hers. At the end, she tells you she’d like to get together again soon. You seem confident this is the start of something big.

To Be Continued…

How I Met Your Mayor

Back in February, I attended a City of Toronto event celebrating its 175th anniversary. It was a nice little exhibition at Nathan Philips Square, with live performances outside and a photography exhibit in the main foyer of City Hall. The photography exhibit was mounted by the Toronto Archives and featured a lot of great shots of Toronto from the 1800s until present-day. It also tied into a recently-published book entitled Toronto’s Visual Legacy, a great visual history of how Toronto became the city it is today. The authors were on hand signing books and I thought it would make a great birthday present for my brother. However, due to laziness, I didn’t buy the book that day.

Toronto's Visual Legacy
Fast forward and it’s May 6th, exactly one month after my brother’s birthday. I’m still looking to buy him that book but am having trouble. It seems to be sold only at the Toronto Archives themselves, which happens to be mere blocks from where I live. And they’re only open when I’m at work. Great.

Sitting in my office, I decide to call a local, independent book store to see if they carry the title. The girl on the other end of the phone is very helpful, and when she asks the author’s names, I have to Google them quickly. Turns out the store doesn’t stock that particular book. I hang up and go to close the webpage I found with the author’s names, when something catches my eye.

A blurb on the webpage mentions the authors signing copies of the book, and I think to myself: “Oh, I wonder if they’re writing about the event I attended?” I read on.

The next little bit mentions Toronto’s Mayor, David Miller, also on-hand to sign books, and I think to myself: “Hmm, I don’t remember Miller being there…” I read on.
David Miller

Then I notice the date, time and location of the signing the blurb is referring to: Wednesday, May 6th at Indigo Books, and I think to myself: “What day is it today?” Sure enough, it’s May 6th. (If you didn’t see that coming, you may as well just stop reading right now. Seriously.)

After work, I make my way over to Indigo and find about 75 people sitting and standing, watching Mayor Miller and the book’s authors going over a slideshow of photographs and explaining the history behind them. After buying a copy of the book, I stand and wait for them to finish, then proceed to line up to get a few signatures.

As I’m standing in line, I notice a cute girl standing off to one side. Really, the only cute girl there. I guess the Mayor doesn’t bring out the groupies like he used to. Of course, if I were Mayor, it’d be like Beatlemania all over again, except wetter panties. Trust me, there’s been extensive research done on the subject. But I digress. This girl was obviously a reporter as she was holding a CityTV mic and had a cameraman in tow. We’ll come back to her in a moment.

If you’ve never been to a book signing, here’s what usually goes down: Once you’re near the beginning of the line, someone will ask to what name you want the author making out his signature. They write it down on a post-it note and stick it in the book, to expedite the whole process.

I give the guy my brother’s name and he does his thing. As the gentleman in front of me finishes getting his book signed, I move forward when our intrepid CityTV reporter bounds over and asks Mayor Miller if he wouldn’t mind answering a few quick questions in between signings. He turns to me, asks if I don’t mind (which I didn’t expect but was a nice touch) and I tell him to go ahead and do what he needs to do. That’s when CityTV decides they’d rather shoot and interview him as he’s signing my book.

The next thing I know, I have Mayor Miller on one side of me answering questions from cute CityTV reporter on the other side of me, and signing a book for my brother while the cameraman gets it all on tape. He’s asked two or three softball questions and the reporter thanks us and leaves.

The Mayor then finishes his signing and passes the book off to the first of its three authors. As she flips the page to sign her name, Mayor Miller notices a picture of the CN Tower and says to us quietly: “Now that the media is gone, I’ll tell you a story.” He’s interrupted by the author who asks me to confirm my brother’s name. I tell her and Mayor Miller softly exclaims: “Fuck, I think I wrote the wrong name!” Now mind you, he may have said: “Shit”, but I’d like to think he said “Fuck” because it makes the story sound better.

As a sidenote, I don’t understand why people seem to be so surprised that the Mayor swore. He’s human, just like the rest of us assholes and motherfuckers. Back to the story.

CN Tower

Mayor Miller flips back a page and sure enough, he’s written a lower-case “E” where he should have written a lower-case “O”. I blame the penmanship of the Indigo employee who took down the name. I also blame society. “How do I fix this,” he asks me. “Should I change it to an ‘O’?” I tell him not to worry, that his “E” looks enough like an “O” that it doesn’t need to be changed and besides, it makes for a funnier story. He says OK and passes the book back to the authors who proceed to sign their names as well.

As they sign their names, Mayor Miller goes back to his initial thought and proceeds to tell us a quick story. I won’t go into the details here (but feel free to ask me), but it involved a young David Miller, a girl named Suzie, a romantic walk along the Casa Loma grounds, a beautiful Toronto night, a dazzling view of the CN Tower and Miller inadvertently making a not-so-great first impression.

Miller Time
As he finished his story, I shook everyone’s hand and thanked them for signing the book and for an entertaining few minutes. My brother received a book on the history of Toronto personally signed by Mayor Miller, wishing him a happy birthday, and I received about one second of airtime on CityTV later that evening.

While I had debated asking Mayor Miller why he was wasting the city’s time and resources studying the prohibition of right turns on red lights (lousy Montreal), further ruining the already-awful infrastructure of the city, I must admit he charmed the pants off me. Literally. But that’s an even quieter story for another time when there’s no media around.