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Monday, August 25, 2008

chutzpah of the entitled

Liz Handlin has a great post up about the chutzpah of people who take advantage of the time and expertise of people in their network (or even people not in their network) and don't bother to express any sort of appreciation.

This resonated with me because of some irritating experiences I've had lately. Here's the thing: I do this blog for free, on my own time, because (a) I have an apparently pathological need to share my opinion, and (b) it's incredibly gratifying to help people figure out how to navigate the sorts of sticky situations we talk about here. Sometimes people write back to thank me for the help, or to let me know how their situation turned out, and I love love love that. It feels awesome.

Here is what does not feel awesome: When I spend the time to send someone a private response not intended for publication (sometimes an immediate one, because their situation is time-sensitive), or when I spend not insignificant time giving them feedback on their resume or cover letter, and I hear ... nothing in response. Literally nothing. It's rude. And it's bizarrely common. (And it is not smart; I will go way out of my way for you if you express appreciation, so you should at least be machiavellian about it, if for no other reason.)

So go read Liz's rant and make sure you are never, ever doing the sort of thing she describes.


Liz said...

Thanks a lot for reading and posting a comment on my blog. And for blogging about my post. Really appreciate it. Unappreciative "networkers" really bug me because, like you, I will go out of my way to lend a hand to people but when they act like clods it's just really disheartening.

Have a great day.


HR Maven said...

Concur. Have similar issues -

I can't believe what people expect. It's sort of crazy.

I have started asking this question - what are you prepared to spend for help with your job search? If they stutter, I know. If they are honest and ask what I think, I give them some ideas and potential costs. Let them decide.


sara said...

I think that's just people in general these days. It is so rude. I always try to help people out but am always surprised when I never hear back from them. I just try and help others if I can because I would hope that others would do the same for me if I needed something. I really enjoy reading your blog!

HR Godess said...

I'm shocked that a thank you is the exception to the rule, rather than the rule. I can't tell you how many interviews I conduct with no follow up from the candidate! That's not going to get you hired!

People expect something for nothing these days and I can't figure out why. It is a shame because they will miss out on getting great advice from people like AAM!

Evil HR Lady said...

Umm, yes. I'm surprised that people don't at least hit reply and say, "thanks."

Rachel - I Hate HR said...

I'm shocked.

Sounds like you're being taken advantage of. Time to be less nice.

Jenny said...

I don't think I ever thanked you for some personal advice you gave me earlier this year - I apologize if I didn't thank you, and I really appreciated your taking the time to reply. It doesn't really mitigate the rudeness of my not replying, but when people are in a depressing situation it's hard to do the things we should. Fortunately things are better now and this is an opportunity to say what I should have said then - thank you so much. I read your blog every day and have really benefited from your advice on many topics. Thanks for kicking my butt on this one too.

class factotum said...

A former co-worker and I both had the habit of baking brownies or cookies for, writing thank-you notes to or emailing the bosses of colleagues who had gone through extra effort for us. We mentioned this to a third co-worker who asked, "Why would you do that? They're supposed to do that -- it's their job." We tried to explain that people still want to be appreciated, but then stopped when we realized that 1) he wasn't getting it and 2) we didn't need him to get it because then his emergencies might be handled before ours!

Ask a Manager said...

Jenny, that is such a kind note. Thank you!