By Jim Angell, special to MiLB.com
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to chronicle their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE.). In this, his second installment, Jim Angell rides the emotional roller coaster and channels his process-improvement self.
Day Two: Optimism Gained, Lost and Bill James (?)
Awaking to a warm morning glow, I prepared to venture onto the field of contest to test my mettle against a driven competitor.
If you read my “Day One” recap, you’ll know I had my issues with navigation through the Opryland Resort. But not today! Undaunted, I established a bridgehead (a better parking spot) and laid a course highlighted with way points (find Fuse sports bar, exit you will have, young Jedi).
So, armed with day one optimism, I trekked into the room where the job offers were posted and started preparing my resumes for submission with job number, job title and team name. All necessary for accurate delivery into the appropriate team binder/container. With optimism, each resume was sent forth.
Making sure I didn’t miss any potential opportunity, I backtracked over the job postings confident in my strategic selections. Then the waiting began.
Since I’ve waited a long time to get this Job Fair opportunity, waiting a bit longer to see if I was going to get an interview didn’t worry me much. But, as the day wore on, the process of stalking the interview posting room waiting for the all-important “interview” sheets to be revealed every 30 minutes became a stifling endeavor.
Still, you didn’t dare miss a reveal, because it could mean you could miss an interview or, if left off of a targeted job, you could cross that job off your list and mentally move on.
After half a day of watching job seekers perform the ritual over and over again through the scattered “interview” sheets, my process-improvement-self kicked. So, here are some suggested process improvements (with favorable approvals from other job seekers):
- Make the job posting, resume submission, and interview notification process “electronic” and “smart.” Most people today carry smart phones and have laptops. So, why can’t there be an app for this process? Maybe tie it into the Winter Meeting app.
- An all-electronic process accessible on both phones and laptops would make the process handicap-friendly. Not to mention making the postings easier to read for everyone. It’s hard enough to read 10-point type from a distance but when you have to look up at it, it’s almost impossible. Plus, with close to 700 people seeking jobs, there’s never enough room in between the tack boards used to display the job postings and interview sheets.
- Instead of paper submissions by teams, make them fill out an “on-line” form. This way text size and style is consistent, job numbers are automatically applied and all parties don’t have to deal with trying to read someone’s hand writing.
- Since we’re going electronic, post a “scoreboard” (idea from another job seeker) in the new workroom indicating to all what electronic interview sheets are ready to be filled in by those so selected. Or, have an alert chime telling people that new “sheets” have been posted.
- Establish a “Lunch” period where no job postings or interview postings can be made. That way all of the job seekers can go get something to eat and see a bit of the Winter Meetings without the fear of missing something.
As each 30-minute ritual revealed only swings and misses, the pendulum swung away from optimism for this job seeker. But as the PBEO staff shut things down for the night, ah, hope arrived with the kickoff of the Winter Meetings Trade Fair.
What a WONDERFUL sight it was walking into the display hall devoted solely to baseball. Wall-to-wall wow. A cornucopia of bobble heads, soft-t-balls, team t-shirts, bats, balls, pitching machines, popcorn mixed with Cheetos, mascots, beer (have to have beer) and so much more! Forget the bed back in the hotel room, I’m sleeping on an inflatable!
When I wasn’t drooling over a video scoreboard that would make any man-cave the talk of five counties, I took the opportunity to sell myself to select “baseball-stuff” companies.
All were quite nice to talk to me about possible employment and I even got a few hits. Like breaking out of a long hitting slump, that first solid liner to fall in felt SOOOOO good and I could tell Mendoza to take a hike. And look what returned: my friend optimism.
One point before I close: Optimism is not “the force” when you’re walking and checking your messages on your phone at the same time. We’ve all done it at one time or another, but this time I almost took out the statistical sage of our time…Bill James! Yes, Bill James! The father of modern baseball analytics!
So, do baseball a favor, don’t walk and text. The sole you may save could be Bill James’.
Will optimism remain with Jim, or will it remain a fickle friend? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.