I stayed up late last night working on my midterms. One is due tomorrow, and the other on Monday. After I went to bed, I was woken up almost on the hour, every hour, by my cats. Why do they have to be so nocturnal? One of my cats has gotten into this habit of bringing her toys and rubbing it against the door of the bedroom. (If we let her in the bedroom, she starts playing a game of “lets knock everything we can off the dresser!”) So, when my alarm went off at 6am, I really wasn’t sure if it was waking me up or not. PT wasn’t too bad this morning. Calisthenics and a 2 mile run. One of the faster guys in my flight let me pace with him, so I actually pushed myself pretty hard. It felt good to get out and run. (As easy as that is to say after the fact.)
Otherwise, work today stressful. I had another phone call with the Google recruiter for the Japanese Product Focus position, but I guess I need to bring you up to speed on this…
If you recall I had a phone interview with Google before. It went really well with the recruiter but the hiring manager nixed me right off the bat due to my lack of experience. After letting this sit for a little bit, I decided I wasn’t going to let that stand. I sent the following email:
I was hoping I could have a moment of your time and hopefully a little advice. I applied for this position late last month and was declined due to my background and experience. While I am aware that the military has robbed me of six years that could have been spend pursuing software engineering jobs, I have attempted to make the best use of the time and worked on school instead. Of all my loves in life, programming and Japan are two of my favorites and I would truly enjoy being able to work in a place that would allow me to work on both.
My question is, do you have any advice or direction I can use to prove myself beyond what my ‘background and experience’ reflect? If tested, I’m sure I could validate my C++ and software design skills. Also, pursuing my Masters degree in Software Engineering has given me skills in software design requirements and verification and validation that I’m sure many programmers lack. And finally, I feel my motivation and love for both programming and the Japanese culture will put me ahead of others even where they best me on experience. Do you know of a way I can convince your hiring manager to give me a chance?
I would truly appreciate a response. And again, thank you for the time spent reading this and any reply you might give.
Um.. yea.. I hope it doesn’t sound like I was begging… (To quote what a rather interesting person I spoke to recently said about me and my pseudonym, “The heir of Isildur would not stoop to such a thing, I’m sure.”) *nervous laugh*
Anyway, it must have worked since he emailed me back saying that he would like to speak to me on the phone again. That phone conversation was today. So, I spent all day going over code and programming practices just in case they decided to test me right then and there. So, when I finally received the phone call I was excited and ready! The recruiter was really nice, greeted me, asked a couple questions, and said, “I’ll try to run it by my hiring manager again.” Aigh. So, now I’m waiting again. (Please note, I’d much rather be waiting with a chance than knowing I was already declined.)
So, next week I should learn more. I really hope I get this.
A little fact about me.. not sure if I mentioned it before (or recently.) When I joined the Air Force, I started as a Computer Programmer, but was put on the delayed entry program. Basically, I was to wait a year until more room opened up. Well, during this time, they started to phase out programmers in lieu of contractors. This was also the time I was studying Japanese the hardest. My recruiter promised me I could become a Japanese linguist if I scored high enough on the DLPT (Defense Language Proficiency Test). In the end, I scored high enough to get ‘any language I wanted.’ Recruiters are sly beasts, I’ll give them that. So, I became Cryptologic Linguist and went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California to start my new career… When I got to Monterey, I was told that only officers were given Japanese, and I was given Arabic. I happily told them that Arabic wasn’t what I signed up for, and they happily told me that it didn’t matter. They owned me now. So, I did Arabic for eight months. I studied Arabic during class, and Japanese during my free time. Needless to say, my Arabic didn’t improve much at all. Finally, they gave up and gave me the option to choose new jobs. They gave me a list of a lot of interesting sounding intel jobs, and a couple computer jobs. And, just when I started to get my hopes up…
And they took away my top secret clearance, and made me a bus driver.
So, when I say the Air Force has robbed me of six years of my life, I mean it very much. I wonder if school was even an equal payment for the experience I lost. I definitely know the travel (read:Iraq) wasn’t.
And, after today, I’ll have two months and four days left. It’s finally time to get on with my life. And, if luck shines on me, I’ll have this job that will let me learn Japanese AND program. I really hope I get it. (Sorry to be repetitious.)
But for now, I need to get some sleep so I can be coherent enough to run the shop tomorrow and finish my midterms. I’ll re-read this tomorrow and attempt to clean up any spelling/grammar errors. As tired as I am right now, I’m sure there are some.
For now, I bid thee adieu!