Monday, April 26, 2010

Mystery Date Redux?

Remember the Mystery Date board game?

Little girls loved playing Mystery Date. My mother, of course, wouldn't let me have the game. However, my neighbor, Joanie, an older teenager did have it, and at Joanie's house, I could—and did—sneak in a few rounds without Mom finding out.

The goal was simple: You always hoped to go on a date. You always hoped to get the handsome guy. You always hoped to not get the scary, sloppily-dressed date—the "dud".

That was then. This is now. Has my job search has turned into Mystery Date: Career Version?

Yep, that's right, folks! Decades years later, I find myself playing a real-life round of Mystery Date:

Phone rings.

It's Joe McSwain, a recruiter in Wyoming. (A long way from my Georgia town. I've never heard of him.)

Joe can't recall how he came by my resume. Perhaps from someone else who possibly got it off the CareerBuilder site, he thinks?

(Uh-oh. I've got a bad feeling about this.)

He knows nothing about the company, CEO, position or salary.

(Um, you don't know anything about any of the important stuff? You are the one doing the search, right?)

A start-up healthcare company is looking for somebody to head up HR. Nope, Joe doesn't know the title either.

"Overqualified," he says of me.

That's a bad word in my book. So why did he even call me?

"But," he hastily adds, "the company may give you part ownership 'to make-up for it.'"

(What "it" are they making up for—precious little money? I thought he didn't know the salary. Part owner? Part owner of what?)

"The company is ABC Healthcare, but don't try to Google it" Joe warns, "There's not much on the Internet about it or the CEO. The company is very new."

Is this guy for real, I wonder. The fastest growing scams these days target job seekers. I've had my share of suspicious job propositions, and one friend actually lost money to a job search scam.

I cautiously continue the conversation.

"The CEO," Joe states with certainty, "will call this afternoon."

I ask for a time frame; I do, after all, have other things to do, yet don't want to be tied up when the call comes.

"He didn't say a time--just 'this afternoon'. Be available." Joe says.

Praying this is both legit and promising, I keep myself available and near the phone all afternoon.

I do not make networking phone calls; don't want to tie up the phone.

I do not clean out the garage; don't want to be up to my neck in junk and lose the phone.

I do not vacuum the house; don't want to be unable to hear the phone.

I do not start cooking dinner; don't want to burn food while being interviewed.

I do not clean the cats' litter box—oh, who am I kidding? I just plain don't want to do that.

I do nothing but sit near the phone. For hours. While it does not ring. Not even once. (Well, actually, I did do one thing: I went to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Didn't want to get caught in a long interview with a full bladder.)

The phone never rang. Yep, not only was my mystery date the "dud", he stood me up, too. This never used to happen in the board game.

Okay, I wasn't all that surprised. This--or something eerily similar--has happened several times before.

Let's review the facts: a mystery recruiter gets my resume in some mysterious way. He calls to screen me for a mystery job at a mystery company at some mysterious rate of pay. A mystery CEO will call me at a mystery time to interview me.

And he never calls.

Tomorrow is another day. Once again I'll play Mystery Date: Career Version. I'll roll the dice, draw another card, take another spin 'round the board, opening the door and my mind to career possibilities.

My dreamy Mystery Date career is still out there somewhere. I just have to keep opening doors until I finally find it.

# # #

Just For Fun: Watch the 1960s Mystery Date television commercial (I particularly enjoyed the groovy 1960s theme music!).

And, For More Fun: Check out the Mystery Date board game.



Deanna said...

That commercial is great! I love how they describe it as a "thrilling" new game!

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