Why I Blog About Tendonitis

 Blogs, Tendonitis  Comments Off on Why I Blog About Tendonitis
Jul 222015
 

tendonitisIn August 1996, a severe tendonitis injury (lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”) suddenly appeared in both of my arms. It had been building for up to three years before finally making its presence known. I’ve been dealing with it ever since, along with a second tendonitis injury (this time medial epicondylitis or “golfer’s elbow”), once again to both arms, two years later in September 1998.

The injuries literally destroyed my life.  The list of activities that vanished would’ve covered both wounded arms. It’s easier to say what I still could do: watch TV, read a book, or pace.  And even those caused pain.  That’s why my life had been reduced to, not for days or weeks, but almost a year, and it took years more to get my life back.  I was temporarily crippled.

At some point, I looked up “crippled” to see if that’s what I had become. It’s defined as a permanent, severe disability.  Well, I permanently have tendonitis.  At the time, it was severe.  The question was whether or not it would be permanently severe.  The answer proved to be no, due to extreme rest, physical therapy, and alternative means of living, as I slowly got on with my life (or rather, a very different life), so that’s why I say I was temporarily crippled.

The injury isn’t taken seriously by most people.  I hope to change and help people understand the risk they face if developing it.  The impact can be devastating, as was my case.  Future blogs will delve more into my story and what you can learn from me.

Ten Reasons to Not Get Tendonitis

As someone who’s dealt with tendonitis in both arms for almost two decades, I can assure you this injury isn’t something you want.  If you’re not convinced, here are ten reasons you may not have considered. 1. It can ruin your sex life Your hands can stimulate your partner (or yourself) to great effect – until […]

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Ten Remedies for Tendonitis

If you have tendonitis, there are a number of remedies to try. You should consult your doctor before doing anything. 1. Rest Sadly, your best remedy is rest.  Avoid using your arms any more than needed and be careful how you use them when you do. Behavior modification is crucial to recovery.  If you keep doing what […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Tendonitis

In August 1996, a severe tendonitis injury (lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”) suddenly appeared in both of my arms. It had been building for up to three years before finally making its presence known. I’ve been dealing with it ever since, along with a second tendonitis injury (this time medial epicondylitis or “golfer’s elbow”), once again to both […]

0 comments

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

 Blogs, Learning Disabled  Comments Off on What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me
Jul 212015
 

define-learning-disabilityThe phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.  It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.

“…Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

“Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”: the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.

“A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge.”

The site lists a number of specific learning disabilities, but I’m not sure which one applies to me because these terms are newer than when I was diagnosed and treated from 1983-85.

But here’s what I can tell you: I can’t remember any sequential information given to me verbally.  This includes a stream of numbers (like a phone number), which made math very difficult.  I also cannot remember a series of steps to take, which made just about everything almost impossible.  I’ve often joked that there’s a stereotype that guys never stop driving to ask for directions when they’re lost, and I wouldn’t either, not because I have a big ego about my ability to get from one place to another, but because I wouldn’t remember anything you told me anyway.

I’ll soon post about how I overcame this.  And do every day.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Psychology

 Blogs, Psychology  Comments Off on Why I Blog About Psychology
Jul 202015
 

Philosophy StoneMy life of introspection has been a well-kept secret despite it dominating my life and outlook. I spent much of the 1990s pacing around after midnight, in turmoil, and in the dark (literally and figuratively), upset about something awful that family, “friends,” or strangers had just done to me. We all have ideas and expectations about how people are supposed to behave.  And sometimes those around us betray those ideas on accident or on purpose, whether for “fun” or to hurt us.

I’d fallen in with bad people, and there were so many incidents that I not only thought about the current one, but recent ones.  In so doing, I began to notice patterns in their behavior.  And soon I had names for these and an explanation.  It’s an awful way to gain peace and understanding, but maybe what I discovered the hard way you can learn more easily just by reading about them.

As an amateur psychologist and philosopher, my field of study is belief and behavior.  What I mean is:

  1. How and why people use our behavior to work their way back into our heads and decide what kind of people they think we are, while usually missing the mark
  2. How and why our beliefs manifest, or fail to, in our behavior.

In the coming months I’ll be discussing my ideas on here and would love to hear what other people think about them.  Hopefully they can help you, too.

The Two Kinds of Ignoring

There are two kinds of ignoring: passive and active. Passive Ignoring Passive ignoring is the kind you’re familiar with.  This is when we pretend someone is not actually present.  If they speak, we don’t acknowledge this at all.  It’s as if they said nothing.  We don’t look at them, pretending the seat they’re in is […]

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The Two Kinds of Interruption

There are two kinds of conversational interruption: benign and malignant. Benign Interruption Benign interruption is the kind you’re familiar with.  It happens once in a while.  The person doing it often means to help you along or say something related to what you’re saying.  They mean no harm.  Since it’s technically rude, they will often […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Psychology

My life of introspection has been a well-kept secret despite it dominating my life and outlook. I spent much of the 1990s pacing around after midnight, in turmoil, and in the dark (literally and figuratively), upset about something awful that family, “friends,” or strangers had just done to me. We all have ideas and expectations […]

0 comments
Jul 202015
 

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go!

1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks.

This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially in writing.

I’ve had a couple guys yell at me (writing in all caps).  Someone once tried to tell me what kind of person he thought I was (it wasn’t flattering), just because he felt I owed him a call back.  Another guy shouted that I was wasting everyone’s time when I turned down the interview because I’d accepted another job in the meantime and called to tell him so.

Just don’t do it.

2. You don’t have a job for me.  You want to chat about my career goals when my profile and resume say what those are. You claim it will “only take 5 minutes!” and badger me into it, then won’t let me off the phone for 20 minutes of talking that is almost all you.

recruiter-illustrationRecruiters do this with the explanation that we’re forming a relationship that will bear fruit down the line.  It’s not true.  Not once have I gotten a job from this, in over 15 years, which is why I won’t do this, to the amazement of some recruiters.  It’s a recruiters job to talk and form relationships. It’s my job to code and avoid ceaseless, pointless blathering.  Yes, I know how it sounds, but it’s the truth.  The more I’m talking (or listening to someone else do it), the less productive I am.  It’s one reason coders hate meetings.

Besides, you’ll call me later, when you have a job for me, without this conversation having taken place, so there’s literally no reason for me to entertain this.  That you’ll talk my ear off is the real deal breaker here.  And the fact that plenty of other recruiters are contacting me about actual jobs at the same time that you’re doing this.  It really is a waste of my time.

Imagine if the 20-30 other recruiters did it. I’d literally be on the phone all day.

3. You insist on doing #2 in person.

Some firms want to tell their clients, “We interview everyone in person before even sending their resume so we know we’re sending good people.” This “selling point” for your firm (to your clients, not me) is more work for me and gains me nothing.  You’ll try to tell me that it gives me an edge over candidates that other firms are sending, but it probably doesn’t.

It is actually a big negative for me due to the hassle. Depending on time of day and distance, this can cost me an additional hour or two when you don’t even have a job for me.

I refuse to work with these companies anymore because there are so many jobs I can get without having to deal with this.

4. You tell me that writing a job description for me is a waste of your time when that’s actually part of your job.

I’ve actually heard this several times. It is hard to believe. Over 99% of your peers already provide one without me having to ask. It’s industry standard. In fact, when you don’t send one in your initial email, I’m very unlikely to reply at all. And never tell me my request is a “waste of your time.”  That’s just stupid and falls under #1 above.

5. You don’t tell me there’s a written or computer exam and I only find out at the interview when handed one.

This is something you always need to find out and tell people. These tech screenings are often unfair even with advance warning, but setting me up to fail/be broadsided tells me you aren’t looking out for me. Make sure you get it right, too (whether it’s verbal, written, etc., light questions versus very technical). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what to expect and it’s totally off. More often than not, probably.

6. You ask me questions that make it clear you haven’t read my resume.

Doing your homework will make you look good. Not doing it will not.

7. After I tell you that the job doesn’t meet my criteria, you say “Let me tell you about this anyway” and proceed to do so, ignoring my attempts to stop you.

This is just rude. I don’t get it. Do you just want to hear yourself talk? Are you lonely?

8. I tell you my hourly rate for contract work and you try to talk me down by a whopping $20-25 per hour, as if $40k less a year is no biggie.

Are you that ignorant of the pay cut you’re trying to convince me to take or do you think I’m desperate? I can get a job for what I quoted you. If for some bizarre reason I accepted your job, I’d keep looking and quit the second I got a less ridiculous rate, so what’s the point for you?

9. Your English is incomprehensible.

I have no issue with foreigners or thick accents, but if you’re that hard to understand, email will be better for you.

10. You act like you’re doing me a favor by contacting me when there are another 20 recruiters contacting me the same day, sometimes about the same job.

Maybe this accounts for some of what’s on this list.  It’s a competitive world out there and this doesn’t give you an advantage.  I suppose this could fall under #1, so here’s a bonus:

11. Bonus #1 – You already know the job is off target but send it anyway and ask me to forward it to people I might know, doing your job for you.

Some people consider this networking.  I don’t.  It’s a touchy area and since you don’t know how someone feels about this, you should be super nice when trying this.  Bear in mind that lots of people might be doing that to me and with repetition comes my dislike.  You might not think it’s a big deal, but if every recruiter did that I’d get thousands of emails a day.

It’s okay to ask when the job also applies to me. It’s another thing to send jobs that have nothing to do with me. Don’t do it.

12. Bonus # – You threaten to blacklist me because you’ve taken something personally, like this list.

Remember that in the digital world, something like a threat lasts forever. It’s beyond just unprofessional.

Another 10 Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go! 1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks. This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially […]

1 comment

Ten Signs You’re a Good IT Manager

Since we’ve looked at reasons someone can be a bad IT manager, let’s look at reasons for good ones. 1. You ask staff opinions about technical concerns before trying to make a decision This is relevant if you’re less technical/current than your staff.  It shows you respect them and are a team player. It’s also smart because […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Bad IT Manager

Life in the corporate world is hugely affected by managers, so we’ll take a look at ten reasons managers can be terrible.  If you’re a manager, watch out for doing these things and earning a bad reputation. 1. You throw me under the bus Managers are supposed to look out for their staff, not screw them […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Recently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end. 1. After receiving […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter

As a professional programmer, I’ve interacted with technical recruiters for over fifteen years and have noticed that the good ones share certain traits.  Here are things I like in a recruiter, in no particular order: 1. You send me an email with the following info in the very first one: A job description A fairly specific location […]

0 comments
Jul 172015
 

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity.

adhdI’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed light on the ways it can hinder – and help – me, you, or someone you know, whether it’s in school, work, or life in general.  ADHD is not only a negative, as it can be a positive.  And it can impact the lives of others, too, as my mother’s undiagnosed – and untreated – ADHD contributed to me developing speech problems that ruined my life for two decades.

I have observations that I don’t hear others making and I’d like to do my part to enlighten anyone needing it.  And for you to really understand my life, story, struggles, and triumphs, you must know how ADD manifests in, builds, and destroys me and my life.  And I would love to hear from others about their stories, too.

Despite ADHD, and maybe even because of it at times, I’ve excelled and become very successful, so I hope my story can inspire you.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

 Blogs, Learning Disabled  Comments Off on Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled
Jul 142015
 

LDI’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve become quite successful academically and professionally and hope that some details of my story can help those in need of encouragement or help.

This is something the public isn’t very aware of, either – I want to do my small part to change that.  I’ve hidden this disability most of my life due to the likelihood of people having no idea what I’m talking about and jumping to unhelpful conclusions.  No one should have to hide basic facts about themselves for fear of misunderstanding, judgment, or discrimination.

Today (and for a long time, really) I don’t need any special help, so hiding it hasn’t been causing any problems for me.  But I’d still love to admit it and not get a bad reaction.  There’s a stigma associated with any disability, especially mental ones, when there shouldn’t be.  Frankly, many “normal” people are not exactly a pinnacle of mental health or rationality but don’t have a condition they can lay the blame on! And yet those very people can look at those with a mental disability as if we’re diseased or something.

I’m not at all ashamed of being learning disabled.  I’m quite proud that I’ve overcome this for decades and that most people have absolutely no clue what I went through, how it affected me, or what coping strategies I use everyday to excel at so many things I do.  I don’t think we’ll ever reach the point when I can say “I’m learning disabled” and someone will respond, “That’s awesome!”  But a guy can dream.

If anything I write resonates with you, please let me know in comments or with an email. I’d like to hear from other people and their successes or struggles.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments
Jul 142015
 
Izabel Laxamana

Izabel Laxamana

In May of 2015, public shaming led a girl to kill herself.  Or so it seems.

To sum this up, the 13-year-old girl’s father cut her beautiful long hair off as punishment and videotaped her tearful reaction. Someone else got the video and uploaded it to YouTube.  Izabel Laxamana then killed herself by jumping from a bridge.  Police have concluded that the public shaming did not lead to her suicide, but I don’t see how they can be certain of that.

This strikes a chord for me.  When I was 18, someone betrayed me to play a joke on me, trying to humiliate me in front of friends.  I’m glad YouTube didn’t exist back then.  The result was a nervous breakdown that made me suicidal for the next five years.

The point is that screwing with other people’s emotions, minds, and spirit can have devastating consequences, whether that person kills themselves or not. There are so many reasons not to do these things.  We can never know what impact our actions will have.  This doesn’t mean we need to walk around on eggshells, but it does mean we shouldn’t be needlessly cruel.

The father is guilty of that.  By cutting her hair off, he made sure everyone she knew would ask her what had happened.  She’d either have to lie or reveal the truth of bad behavior that led to the punishment.  Both are cruel for forcing her to relive the shame and for not allowing her some privacy with her shame.  The hair cutting offered no escape from the reminder of that punishment, which means that when someone turned it into public shaming, there was no escape from that shame.

People have dignity, and public shaming takes that away.  That someone else uploaded the video to YouTube doesn’t exonerate the father, because if he hadn’t taken the footage, the video wouldn’t exist.  He let this become possible.

The police seem to think she had other issues that led to her suicide.  Well, if that was true, then how can public shaming improve her mental condition and not be a part of her death?

I am angry about Izabel’s death.  Her lovely, sweet photo haunts me as I write this.  These are the people who need saving.

It is too late for her, but maybe if one person gets it into their heads not to be needlessly cruel for fear of unforeseen consequences, Izabel’s life and death can have more meaning.  Forward this as you wish.

Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

 Blogs, Corporate Hell  Comments Off on Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter
Jul 132015
 

recruiter-editRecently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end.

1. After receiving your email/call, I respond with my resume and the information you requested, but you ignore me, even when I follow up.

Ignoring people is seldom good, but it depends.  Whoever initiates contact risks getting no reply from the other person if the recipient is not interested. It’s just the way it works.  But when the contacted person replies, a dialogue has been opened. It must now be completed without ignoring. Otherwise, the next time you contact them, they may not reply because you’ll just leave them hanging again.

2. We go back and forth with emails and calls and then one day you just ignore me and I never hear from you again despite repeatedly following up with you.

See #1, but if the job has fallen through or something else has happened (or even if you don’t know what’s going on), you should communicate something to me about this.

3. You send me a first email that says no more than “I have a job for you. Contact me if interested.”

That’s not going to cause interest.  I can tell you’re not trying and you’re probably not going to respond to me anyway.  Your peers are doing way better than this.  You must try harder than that.

4. You send me emails calling me “candidate” instead of my name.  Repeatedly.

You should always use my name. This impersonal approach sounds too much like headhunting, which is one the recruiting elements you should downplay.

5. You send one email to me and 20+ other candidates, and I can see their names and addresses (and they can see mine) in the address field. Repeatedly.

See #4.  Spamming is bad.  I do expect you to take the time to contact me personally, even if you’re pasting the same email you just sent someone else. Don’t make me think I’m just a body in a seat to you. And don’t give out my name and email address to a bunch of strangers please.

6. You send me jobs that are for skill sets/technologies that aren’t on my resume (not even close). Repeatedly.

I’m not expecting this and it’s not okay. This tells me you aren’t good at your job and I probably shouldn’t work with you when you do send me an appropriate job. It should be obvious that I’m not going to answer you.  You’re spamming me.

7. You don’t know what the technologies listed on my resume are and how they relate to each other.  Example: not knowing that .NET, ASP .NET, C#, and Visual Studio are all basically the same thing.

Knowing these things isn’t complicated and takes a few minutes to learn, so it really is required knowledge. Not knowing means you’re unqualified to be a technical recruiter for positions I’m seeking.  You must do your homework.  I might answer you if the job sounds good, but I don’t respect you.

8. You send me jobs that are between 100 and 3000 miles from my house when my online profile/resume clearly says I do not relocate.

I can’t fault you for taking a chance that I’ll change my mind, but with lots of recruiters doing this, I just don’t reply anymore. It comes off as desperate and spammy. If my resume had only a couple years experience, suggesting I’m young, single, and mobile, that’s one thing, but when I’ve got 15 or more years of experience, all in the same region, that means I’m probably in my 40s, married (wife has a job, too, and would need another), have kids, a house, and my whole life is here, the odds are just not good for you, especially if you’re talking about a 3-6 month contract. I’m not going to answer you.

The exception is Hawaii.  Always send me those jobs!

9. You send me contracting jobs when I only want FTE, or vice versa, and my profile/resume says so.

This isn’t that bad and can be an innocent mistake, and you can be feeling me out to see if it’s still true.  On the other hand, I’ve owned a consulting company for years (this is listed on the resume) and am only doing Corp-to-Corp (resume also says this), which means I’m all set up with 401k, insurances, health care, an accountant, website, and more.  I realize you likely don’t quite understand this is important.

It’s good to acknowledge that you’re aware of my requirement but that you’re taking a chance; otherwise it seems like you aren’t paying attention and haven’t read my resume.

10. You won’t discuss even basic details, like location, technology, FTE vs. contracting, unless it’s over the phone, even after I tell you this is difficult for me (can’t talk at work, while driving, or I’m watching a loud toddler once home, etc.). And you’re so set on this that you blow me off.

Respecting the preferences of candidates is a good thing. Your peers will do it and I’ll end up talking to them instead of you.  Insisting that I meet your preferences comes across as self-important and disrespectful, and why would I want to get on the phone with you when you can’t tell me such basics without me asking – or even after I do ask?  You’re hard to work with and I won’t do it.

Another 10 Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go! 1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks. This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially […]

1 comment

Ten Signs You’re a Good IT Manager

Since we’ve looked at reasons someone can be a bad IT manager, let’s look at reasons for good ones. 1. You ask staff opinions about technical concerns before trying to make a decision This is relevant if you’re less technical/current than your staff.  It shows you respect them and are a team player. It’s also smart because […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Bad IT Manager

Life in the corporate world is hugely affected by managers, so we’ll take a look at ten reasons managers can be terrible.  If you’re a manager, watch out for doing these things and earning a bad reputation. 1. You throw me under the bus Managers are supposed to look out for their staff, not screw them […]

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Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Recently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end. 1. After receiving […]

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Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter

As a professional programmer, I’ve interacted with technical recruiters for over fifteen years and have noticed that the good ones share certain traits.  Here are things I like in a recruiter, in no particular order: 1. You send me an email with the following info in the very first one: A job description A fairly specific location […]

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Suicide Is Not Forever, Unless You Do It

 Blogs, Suicide  Comments Off on Suicide Is Not Forever, Unless You Do It
Jul 062015
 

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it will not last forever.  You didn’t always feel this way, and while you might feel this way all the time now, this too shall pass.  It’s important to remember this.

Never-Lose-HopeWhen I became suicidal, it followed a mental breakdown, and I felt that I had once been one way and was now quite another.  Something had broken in me and would be gone forever.  There was no going back.  The new reality was a terrible one I couldn’t stand, and with me assuming the past version of me was dead and gone, I wanted to be dead and gone with it.

I’m fortunate to not have killed myself that day, or in the five suicidal years after.  I’ve done a lot of great things and had good times, with more on the way.  I’ve also had some bad ones, but life is never perfect, nor should we expect it to be.

The point is that recovery is possible.  People do it all the time.  This is not a before-and-after thing.  There’s a part three, the part where you get on with your life.  The part where you’re glad you’re alive, that you didn’t do it, that you have a better story to tell than one that ended that way.  That’s what you deserve, and if you don’t think so now, just hang in there, because you will one day.  I’ll do what I can to give you ideas on how to get there.

A Public Shaming Leads To Suicide?

In May of 2015, public shaming led a girl to kill herself.  Or so it seems. To sum this up, the 13-year-old girl’s father cut her beautiful long hair off as punishment and videotaped her tearful reaction. Someone else got the video and uploaded it to YouTube.  Izabel Laxamana then killed herself by jumping from […]

2 comments

Do the World a Favor By Killing Myself

In the spring of 2014, a 16 year old girl named Maddie Yates committed suicide after posting a YouTube video in which she stated that she’d be doing the world a favor by killing herself.  I can’t disagree more. I don’t know the first thing about Maddie, but I know this dark thought.  I used […]

0 comments

If I kill myself, they’ll be sorry

If you’ve ever thought, “If I kill myself, they’ll be sorry,” you’re not alone.  Teenagers are especially prone to this sort of thinking.  It doesn’t mean that you’re really suicidal.  So then why think it? It has a mollifying effect, meaning it makes us feel better.  Maybe we’re feeling uncared for, so we tell ourselves […]

0 comments

Protect Yourself From Suicide

If you’re prone to suicidal thoughts, you’ve probably noticed that they come and go, often with depression.  During one of those times when you’re feeling better, do yourself a favor – remove easy means of killing yourself from the places where you live or otherwise spend time.  That way, when the darkness comes upon you […]

0 comments

Suicide Is Not Forever, Unless You Do It

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it will not last forever.  You didn’t always feel this way, and while you might feel this way all the time now, this too shall pass.  It’s important to remember this. When I became suicidal, it followed a mental breakdown, and I felt that I had once been one way […]

0 comments

Why I Write About Suicide

Due to speech problems, I was isolated and often depressed as a teen, but my suicidal ideation turned serious at 18, when someone betrayed me to play a joke at my expense in front of others who’d gathered to watch me be humiliated.  This caused a mental breakdown (or nervous breakdown), made me believe in God […]

0 comments

Protect Yourself From Suicide

 Blogs, Suicide  Comments Off on Protect Yourself From Suicide
Jun 292015
 

If you’re prone to suicidal thoughts, you’ve probably noticed that they come and go, often with depression.  During one of those times when you’re feeling better, do yourself a favor – remove easy means of killing yourself from the places where you live or otherwise spend time.  That way, when the darkness comes upon you – and you sort of know that it will – you’ll have made it harder for yourself to go through with it.

The telephone pole (far one) where I lost my soul.

The telephone pole (far one) where I lost my soul.

I was fortunate.  I was only “actively suicidal,” as I call it, a single time.  I happened to have run out of the house where someone had just betrayed me for sport, and when I’d trusted that person to protect me from others doing that very thing.  I had a mental breakdown but didn’t know it at the time.  I just turned and ran.  Within minutes I was crying, to my surprise, and seconds later realized I believed in God when I’d never cared before.

I was climbing a hill, for the house I’d left was in a rural area and there had been nowhere to go when I burst through the back door.  The only real path before me had been a hill.  I was halfway up when I started crying.  I made it over the other side and realized I had nowhere to go, so I sat beside a telephone pole while I lost my soul.

A few minutes later, I became suicidal and looked for a way to end my life.  This was when luck kicked in.  I had no way of doing it except the cars passing me by.  But I was atop a huge hill with a speed limit of 35 mph.  Even speeders were barely doing that by the top, and on seeing me sitting so close to the road, people slowed down even more.  I’d never jump out in front of one and get myself killed, just maimed, if that.

And so I didn’t do it.  It was a horrible moment, having let go of my will to live, committing to killing myself, and then discovering I had no means to go through with it.  A few minutes later, I ceased to be “actively suicidal”, which I define as “doing something right now to bring about your death”.

If I’d stayed in the house, various means would’ve been available to me.  What’s often amazed me is that it didn’t occur to me for 7 years (seven!) that I could’ve gone back, gotten in my car, hauled ass down the hill without my seat belt on, and purposely missed the turn at the bottom.  The trees would’ve taken care of the rest.

If you have access to guns, maybe you shouldn’t.  Get rid of them.  Or ask those who have them to make sure they’re locked up well.  Make a point of not knowing where the key is. Don’t make it easy to kill yourself. Make it hard.  You deserve that.

A Public Shaming Leads To Suicide?

In May of 2015, public shaming led a girl to kill herself.  Or so it seems. To sum this up, the 13-year-old girl’s father cut her beautiful long hair off as punishment and videotaped her tearful reaction. Someone else got the video and uploaded it to YouTube.  Izabel Laxamana then killed herself by jumping from […]

2 comments

Do the World a Favor By Killing Myself

In the spring of 2014, a 16 year old girl named Maddie Yates committed suicide after posting a YouTube video in which she stated that she’d be doing the world a favor by killing herself.  I can’t disagree more. I don’t know the first thing about Maddie, but I know this dark thought.  I used […]

0 comments

If I kill myself, they’ll be sorry

If you’ve ever thought, “If I kill myself, they’ll be sorry,” you’re not alone.  Teenagers are especially prone to this sort of thinking.  It doesn’t mean that you’re really suicidal.  So then why think it? It has a mollifying effect, meaning it makes us feel better.  Maybe we’re feeling uncared for, so we tell ourselves […]

0 comments

Protect Yourself From Suicide

If you’re prone to suicidal thoughts, you’ve probably noticed that they come and go, often with depression.  During one of those times when you’re feeling better, do yourself a favor – remove easy means of killing yourself from the places where you live or otherwise spend time.  That way, when the darkness comes upon you […]

0 comments

Suicide Is Not Forever, Unless You Do It

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it will not last forever.  You didn’t always feel this way, and while you might feel this way all the time now, this too shall pass.  It’s important to remember this. When I became suicidal, it followed a mental breakdown, and I felt that I had once been one way […]

0 comments

Why I Write About Suicide

Due to speech problems, I was isolated and often depressed as a teen, but my suicidal ideation turned serious at 18, when someone betrayed me to play a joke at my expense in front of others who’d gathered to watch me be humiliated.  This caused a mental breakdown (or nervous breakdown), made me believe in God […]

0 comments