EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Gosh, please don’t call me. That’s the message that I seem to get from time to time when I am trying to track down candidates for the consulting assignments and full time jobs I am handling through The FECG. I have also been alerted to this fear by one of our chapter chairs who noted that folks weren’t putting their phone numbers on his meeting attendance sheet.

Okay, you do have one phone number on your resume and you may even have this same number in your outgoing signature. That said, you can’t be reached there. If you are still employed, it is your home phone number. I’m sure you will find my message when you get there at the end of the day, but by then you may very well have missed the boat. When someone needs to reach you, they generally need to reach you NOW. I suppose you’re one of the 10 people in the USA who doesn’t have a cell phone.

If you are active in your search, I have to tell you that I am puzzled why you wouldn’t provide all of your relevant points of contact. Is there a hidden fear of my actually reaching you?

And for that matter, what about networking? If you have come to a meeting of your fellow members of The FENG, what exactly is the message you are trying to deliver? Is it “don’t call me, I’ll call you?”

I am always amazed by the folks who provide me with their phone numbers at work, but conveniently forget to give me their extension. Like a fool, I call the number and try to reach them. Do I want to press 4 and get to the directory by name? Well, I suppose I could do that, but they didn’t spell their name when they left their message. Do you think they really don’t know that you need an extension to reach them? The expression “dumber than a box of rocks” does come to mind. How could they not know? I guess they have never tried to call themselves.

And, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I do the name search and the “system” doesn’t bother to tell me the extension number when they put me through, to voice mail, of course. (Do you think there is some evil plan in action here to prevent me from reaching you?) I would say only 1 system in 10 is smart enough to provide me with your extension so I don’t have to run the high hurdles the next time.

Friends, you are either in the game or you aren’t. You should only be so lucky as to have someone call you for a great work opportunity or to network. Let me assure you that if I am reaching you at a bad time, or if you have a work situation where you can’t talk, I will be very understanding. You can call me back, or I can call you back. But, I will have reached you.

In keeping with this theme, if I do have a phone number for you and I go into voice mail, would you be so kind as to provide your name? I can’t begin to tell you how many times I get a home or cell phone voice mail and the message does not include your name. How do I know I reached the right number? Let me assure you that there are worse things than my actually knowing I dialed your number correctly.

As long as you don’t leave your SSAN# on your phone message, you are pretty safe with respect to identity theft.

The phone companies always encourage us to reach out and touch someone. Don’t be afraid. I won’t harm you.

Regards, Matt

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