One Hundred Monkeys in Texas

October 7, 2008

Passing through ripples in time

Filed under: Business,Work — alancochrum @ 8:20 am
Tags: ,

I had no idea how off my clock was.

I spent almost twenty-five years in the newspaper business. That meant that every 24 hours, we were putting out a new product. (My last paper had an afternoon edition for part of my tenure, so you could say it was every 12 hours, but that didn’t really affect me.)

And in my part of the paper, planning was almost exclusively short-range — very short-range. Generally speaking, a week or so at the most. Definite decisions about the next day’s page were made less than 12 hours before it was sent to the presses. (Now, of course, with cable TV and Web pages, a once-a-day news cycle is a dinosaur. But I digress.)

Stepping out of that environment and into my current job-hunting situation is like going through a time warp. All of a sudden, everything … has … slow…ed … doowwnnn …

I recently received one of those “Thanks, but we decided to go with another applicant” notes. (Make no mistake — it was nice to get the note. At least I know what happened. These days, e-mailing a job application is like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s verse: “I shot an arrow into the air / It fell to earth, I knew not where.”) The pertinent point: I had applied for this job 10 weeks before.

Of course, the nice thing about the Internet for employers is that it enables you to find all those candidates who otherwise never would have known about your opening. And not having been responsible for hiring decisions, I’m sure that I don’t appreciate all the problems involved.

But after spending half my life in an environment where the time frame for decision-making was usually less than one day, and almost always less than one week, it’s quite a jolt to find myself in one where taking months is not unusual.

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