Thursday, January 19, 2017

Another job seeking experience

I applied for a librarian position at a state university in town. I received a phone interview invitation; then two days later I received an email message from the Search Committee Chair indicating that the position is limited to current internal applicant. SO that's it - I told myself.

Surprisingly, the initial phone interview call came. I told the Search Committee Chair that I was told the position was limited to current internal applicant; and I am not a current staff at the university. I heard she consulted with her colleagues. The she said, "Oh yes.. do you want to process the phone interview process?" I was so surprised for her request. I replied, "I don't think so." In my mind, what's the point?

Apparently the university HR department did not communicate with the Search Committee. Is it a surprise?! It's so unorganized.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Unexpectedly experiences of a job seeking librarian

Here are some of the unexpectedly experiences I encountered.

A false job offer?! - After I finished the conversation with the Dean, I "jumped "up and down because he offered me the position. Then an hour later, I received a phone call from the Search Committee Chair, she said, "The Dean probably called you too soon this morning...; We, the search committee members actually have not made our decision yet."

Undecided job description? - I was told by the Search Committee, "Please don't pay too much attention to the job posting because we keep adding and revising the job description."

Dysfunctional working environment? - "The biggest challenge we are having here in the library is that we're dealing with a malfunctioning unit." It is honest but un professional approach.

Cleaning the house? - "I will be removed from my [library] office and unit next week. It is always changing around here."

Monday, January 9, 2017

Job market for librarian ... it's very bad

It is very hard to land a full-time librarian job ... not only I have experienced many "unbelievable" interviews (see my previous posts), but also the logic of "supply and demand" - nowadays, there are too many online library schools and too many graduates every semesters. Plus the technology has been rapidly changing. It is tough.

I have gone through all the searching process and then I received email message informing me that the position is no longer available due to the unpredictable financial situation. ... And one of my applications sent me a message indicating that they search committee made a mistake - the position is limited to current internal staff...

The state university I served from 2003 to 2015 closed one of is graduate studies libraries and I was "let go". Since then I have been struggling to land a librarian job. It is now 2017; it seems that things have not yet turned around.

It is not what you think ... blood donation

I listened to KCUR 89.3 this past weekend and learned about the blood donation business. I was stunned to find out that the "do public good" blood donation in fact is a million dollar business!

People thought they are going to help someone who is in need of help and might not realize that they are helping the blood bank to gain profits.

The blood bank in Appleton Wisconsin declared shortage so they requested from the public. In fact it's the opposite. They did not have shortage; they have too much so they sold to a small tome in Kentucky  $10-$20 per pint. The Kentucky blood bank then sold it even much higher price, up to $300 per pint to New York City hospitals!

If we take a close look to the taxation of the blood banks across the country, we would find their annual revenue are millions!

Next time when you want to donate blood to help someone, think twice.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Question to ask during the interview...

At the end of the interview, I purposely asked the Committee members questions. But it is not always I would receive a positive feedbacks. Here is an example of my experience.
Questions I asked:
"why do you like working here?"
"Why do you like working here?"
 "What do you like most about your job?"
 "What do you like least about your job?"
 "What's the most innovative thing the library has done in the last year?"

 "Does the College offer funding for professional development and conference travel for library staff?"

"How does the college administration assess the library services?"
"Does the college provide mentorship for new faculty members and professional staff?"

Each question I asked received a moment of silence. It seemed that the chemistry in the room changed from harmony to very uneasiness...

They looked to each other speechlessly; they apparently were stunned by my questions. Everyone was sitting quietly hoping someone would take the lead and answer the questions.

I became nervous and thought,.. Oh boy! Nobody wanted to be the first answering my questions? "What's on their minds? What were they thinking? Did I ask inappropriately questions? What were they afraid of answering my questions?" I perplexed and wondered. Perhaps none of them felt that they had the obligation to answer.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Unorganized interview experience

I was invited for a job interview with a Catholic college. As soon as the interview started, I again found myself in a awkward situation witnessing the unorganized interview process. The Search Committee members were struggling who was responsible to ask which question.
For example,
One of the committee members turned to the person who sat next to her right, "XXX, is your turn to ask?"
The woman then unwillingness looked at the paper in her hand, "Which number of question are we now?" she asked.
The woman at the far end replied, "Well, I think we are on the question number 5."
"No. We just finished the number 5 question. It's your turn. Should be the number 6 question."
"Okay..."Then she read the question to me.
Confusing? Unorganized?
The entire interview just liked that; once a while the search committee members would look over the person next to her and asked who's turn to ask and which question. I increasingly found myself in a quite uncomfortable state in this type of interview. It was new to me; hopefully that was the first and last time I had to go for that kinds of job interview.

Remebering a great manga artist

Sadly, I just learned that the creator of Old Master Q 老夫子 passed away yesterday. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the series of Old Master Q was part of my "secret" reading books. In those day, manga was not considered as a proper materials. Literally, manga falls in the banned book category and it is in general considered as "no hopes" if children are "addicted" to those comic books. There were no comic book in public libraries. Students were not even allowed to bring any comic books to schools - e.g.the Catholic girls' school I attended. How could I get the manga books on my hands? Well, I saved my lunch money and rented from the local newspaper stands/rental bookstores. Of course, I read them under my blanket with a flashlight before I went to bed. To date, I still do not understand while the Old Master Q series are banned books.

The series are full of humor reflecting the Hong Kong pop culture, social and political changes from 1960s to 1980s.