The Askhole

The Askhole

Originally posted 2014-05-14 11:06:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank.

“Don’t ask the question if you don’t really want the answer” – me

While at the front of the room for another Shifting Gears class yesterday giving our “10 Commandments of Job Search” presentation, Bob and I relayed our usual cautionary tales of job seeking failures that we’ve seen (and done ourselves) over the course of our careers…but it dawned on me that we never really hammer on the worst kind of offender.

The one that infuriates us, and others, more than anyone else.  The biggest waste of time that any of us encounter.  The one that makes us shake our heads in frustration over and over again.

Of course I’m talking about The Askhole…

IMG_33383227600125“Who is the Askhole?”

Oh, it’s pretty simple.

The Askhole is the person who constantly hammers on you for your time – they need advice about their job search, or they’re having problems at their job and are wondering how to handle a certain situation, or they’re stuck on a piece of code and turn to you for input…

…and then completely ignores everything you say.

Which is stunning, and I’m sure that most consultants have been in this position with clients from time to time, but at least then you have the ability to sit back and think “Well, you’re paying me what you’re paying me because of my experience, background and skills…so if you choose to then ignore what I say…meh, I’m still getting paid.”

But there’s no bill rate at our networking events.  There’s no timesheet entry for answering phone calls and emails from whoever demands your attention that day.  There’s no dollar figure attached to talking someone down off a proverbial ledge.

And you can never identify the Askhole in advance…that’s the worst part.  You can’t just be completely jaded, bitter and cynical about everyone as soon as they ask for something (well, I guess you can…but then you suck) and so you have to put the time in to try and help them resolve their issue(s).

yodaadviceBut then you find out that they’re still sending out that same, horrible version of their resume…complete with typos and woefully underpopulated…even though you spent four hours giving them feedback and specifically where to tweak and change things.  And then they show up asking…again…why nobody is calling them back.

No, I won’t be having this conversation again.  It was obviously a waste of time the first time.

Or you follow up to ask about how that job prospect you’d set them up with worked out when they were so desperate about being out of work…and you find out that oh yeah, they got a phone call / email two weeks ago and just didn’t get around to calling them back or replying…but hey, can you reach out and find out what’s up for them and if they should call back tomorrow?

No, I won’t be making that call.  Well, actually, I might be making that call…to apologize for having sent them someone who flaked out on them and make sure you haven’t damaged the relationship.

And let’s be 100% above board and perfectly clear here – I’m not saying “don’t ask for help”.  It is always okay to ask for help…

…but understand that your follow up and follow through has a significant impact on how much help you’ll receive, and how useful that help actually is to you.

You can’t save someone from themselves, no matter how hard you try.  Took a long time to learn that lesson…but it’s been learned, and you should learn it, too.

That’s all for this time…go read something else.

 

 

David Phillips is the geek that’s been pushed into management roles over the span of his career. He’s been a helpdesk jockey, a team lead, a systems architect and even a Vice President over the course of his more than 20 years in information technology for a variety of industries. He’s been profiled by CNN’s Money Magazine for his work with the group, as well as being a regular speaker for the Michigan Shifting Gears program, winning 2013’s “Outstanding Contributor for the Transformation of Careers and Lives”. The views and opinions expressed here are solely in his own, and relate to IT in the D only.

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