austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Got a feeling that I'm wasting time on you

I was called downstairs --- literally, as in through voice --- about a half-hour into the prospective candidate's interview, with no idea what had been talked about or even really what the boss was thinking of hiring the person for. Some sort of entity to be in charge of Geographic Information Service (GIS) stuff. This is kind of what I do now, but I'm on-the-job trained and while I'm passionately interested in maps I don't think I have the consuming interest that makes a really good GIS Entity. I'm also not sure we need a GIS Entity just yet, but if the current trends are reliable we probably will sooner or later, so there might as well be one on-hand before the need is critical. Plus maybe I could make the stuff that's less exciting to me, like updating already-loaded data, some of the GIS Entity's workload. One who likes that should get to do it.

About the only good question I had was donated by my brother, which was, ``Are you on Foursquare?'' Or, more generally, does the prospective Entity do stuff that's GIS-related out of the pure fun of it? By this standard I wouldn't fit, sure, but I was hired for web and database stuff, and I had done some reasonable web pages and some moderately challenging database stuff for my own amusement. The prospective Entity wasn't, and didn't seem to have done anything, but there were other projects, particularly bringing-order-to-chaos type projects, from previous work which, assuming they were actually done, suggested the right sort of habits.

So I'm afraid that I did descend into one of those interviewers that asks wholly non-job-related questions like, ``what TV shows do you like?'' But, well, I didn't have much to go on, and supposed that an inquisitive mind would like stuff for interesting reasons. I did get at more substantial questions, and remembered to call it a résumé instead of a CV, though, and the boss --- who listened and a couple times added or followed-up to what I was asking --- seemed satisfied with my questions.

The only catch is we were left at the end not sure whether we need a GIS Entity, and if we do, whether we need this one.

Trivia: When James Buchanan Duke moved from the tobacco business into the cigarette business in the 1880s he brought with him the Bonsack cigarette machine, which could produce 125,000 cigarettes per day; the fastest human worker at the time could do about three thousand. Source: The Company: A Short History Of A Revolutionary Idea, John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge.

Currently Reading: The Federalist Papers, Editors Charles R Kesler, Clinton Rossiter.

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