Monthly Archives: June 2015

What advantage does a new entrepreneur have over someone with 10 years experience?

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I remember when I was just starting out. I was so enthusiastic, and so hard working. I remember working seventy hours a week. I worked until it hurt. I slowed down a few years later as I couldn’t take it anymore. I watched each aspect of my business very carefully as I was concerned with everything. Although I lacked skill, I was so adament about everything I did, that my endeavors went well. I remember having trouble getting others to get things done, but I bugged the hell out of them until they accomplished their tasks. I remember financial risks I took, but I managed those risks so carefully, that I never lost big.

These days I am a lot smarter, and have a lot more experience. However, I make tons of mistakes just because I am too busy to watch everything I am doing with the same level of carefulness as before. When I was just starting out, I was so careful to make sure nothing went wrong. Just a week ago, I had a failed data migration that cost me a few hundred in lost labor. Sure, the cost won’t kill me, but the fact that I didn’t oversee the project with the carefulness that it deserved showed me something. I need to be a lot more on top of things, and that means managing my time better. I need to make priorities more as I am so busy.

Another thing that bothers me about my level of experience is that I have had so many different social media helpers, that I have become more complacent when their work doesn’t measure up. When I was first starting out, I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth from everyone I hired. As I got more used to particular companies, and individuals, I let them have a lot of slack. I feel I am paying for that slack. Sometimes it is good to hire lots of new people, because people often behave better when they are new, and then start slacking off four to twelve months later. This is a very realistic and unpleasant fact about hiring people!

Looking back, I think it is definitely better to have the spirit of a brand new inexperienced entrepreneur and mix it with the experience and knowledge you have as an older person. If you have lost that new entrepreneur spirit. Try to gain it back. Try to relive your earlier moments if you can remember them. Try to rethink some of those thoughts you had as you were very short on money. Remember, when you first started your business, everything was new to you. As someone more experienced, most of what you are working on is old, and you only hire new people from time to time. When you were just starting, everyone was new and everything was new. Get that new feeling back into you!

Do you hire for social, technical or organizational skills.

Categories: Hiring & Firing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

After assessing my new helpers’ skills, I see that hiring is not so simple. To be a good worker, you need to be strong in many types of skills. I hire people to do phone work which involves a lot of interaction skills. Americans tend to be best at interaction although many back offices tend to attract those who aren’t. However, the other skills such as showing up on time, knowing how to keep information straight, or understanding technical terms can get in the way.

Keeping it Straight
The types of jobs I hire for do not have a pool of ready-trained people. I rely on people who know nothing, but learn fast. I am more interested in tracking your learning curve and attitude that seeing what you already know. For the last year and a half I have been training a lady who learns fast. After three coaching sessions she can master any of the tasks that I have her do even better than I can do them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the time to put in the hours I require, but at least she can get the job done. I hired another person who gets very upset whenever she has to learn anything new that she doesn’t understand. Any time there is a small confusion, she blows her top. Working with me involves a lot of changes in pace, and there are always new things to learn. I am not an expert at training people as I only train one new person every 18 months. I am good at what I do daily, but not good at what I do year-and-half-ly. Can’t my trainees just understand that I can’t possibly foresee every possible situation that they might be in or every possible word a client might use with them that might be hard to understand? Just write down your questions and ask. When in doubt, have the client email me. Solutions to unforeseen problems are easy, so why get upset?

Technical Understanding
But, some people can learn technical terms well, and understand technical situations well while others remain confused for the rest of their lives. I had to teach many people about loan documents. Most people cannot keep track of the various attributes of the various documents. They always get the documents confused. Unfortunately, if you are giving tests on loan document knowledge, you need to know the basics, otherwise you can’t give the test!

Then there are others who can’t display their data in an organized fashion. The commas are never where they are supposed to be. Nothing lines up. Unnecessary information is always added, and critical information is systematically omitted. If I am reading a report, you will be wasting my time if the information is not orderly, and complete.

If you hire new people, you might be very smart to test them on organizational skills before you officially hire them. Have them do some small projects. See if they actually finish the project without whining about if they are going to get paid. See if the data is arranged properly in a data output assignment. See if they can handle snags during customer service phone calls. Train them on technical terms and see if they can get them straight after an hour or two of training without getting upset. Most people cannot handle a task that is technical and that involves organizational and social skills. Some people might be good in one department or the other, but to line up all three in a row is hard to find. One solution is to simplify the types of jobs you give to others so that anybody can do it. That simplifies the hiring process and makes it easier to outsource work too. Idiot-proofing is one of the best strategies a business can have if you have trouble finding people who can be as smart as you!

A good organization has people who take charge without being overbearing

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There are different management styles out there. Some managers are very pushy. Others are more moderate. While some are slackers and aren’t really paying attention. There are manager who pretend to be paying attention, and others who make their rounds to show people they are being watched. There are really many aspects to being a manager. Figuring out how to allocate scarce resources, time, space, and deciding who will do what, and when. Figuring out marketing strategies, and financial strategies are part of the deal as well.

Be a friend
What managers need to know is that managing people involves many components. You have to be their friend, but not be too friendly. If you are too friendly, and you develop too many ties that make it complicated to control them. If you are not friendly enough you have distance, and people will not do their best work if they don’t feel close to them. If you are too close, you might talk about personal things which could develop later on into conflicts or complications in your relationship not to mention office politics, jealousy, and other trouble.

Be a mentor
You need to help people at work too. If you are always helping people, especially the new people, you will be appreciated and valued. People might look up to you for your skills as well. When you are helpful, but not too critical, that is wonderful. People will feel more comfortable working for you if they know that support is around every corner.

Be appreciative
Remember that a good manager needs to criticize from time to time. But, criticism is not normally well received unless there is a relationship of support, trust and appreciation. If an employee is so horrible that you can’t appreciate them, fire them. But, for the others, there needs to be at least five meaningful good things you say to them for every criticism. If an employee feels appreciation, they will do better work for you, take criticism better, and stick with your company longer too.

Be watchful
Employees tend to do more when they are being regularly watched. I like to call people who work remotely once a week to let them know I am watching. When I call it is very casual and we just do reviews about what they have been doing, or I ask them a few quick questions. If your employees work in the same building, make your rounds and pay attention to what they are doing. If they know that you know what they are up to, their efforts will be more genuine! The minute someone doesn’t want to be in communciation with you or evades you in any way, that is a sign that you should end that work relationship. The work will go downhill the minute they start evading you. I have seen this happen around ten times in my career. The problem is that you need a replacement before they start evading you so that you can fire them on the spot.

Be allocative (allocate work)
Figure out who is going to do what. See how well everyone does each task and have lots of people trained on each task you need done. Whomever does a particular task best is someone you should consider giving the most of a particular task. But, you always need backups in case that star employee is needed on some other more pressing work, or in case they quit!

Be authoritative
People need to know that you have deadlines in writing and enforce those deadlines. People need to know you have standards too. The minute you cut people slack, 90% of them will take advantage. If you work with people who possess a solid work ethic, you will be okay being lax, but for the rest of the human population, you need to show some authority! You can’t just fire someone for missing a deadline, or making a few small mistakes. But, they should get points every time they do something wrong. If you get too many points in a particular quarter, then it is time to get demoted or fired!

Be underbearing
Bosses who are overbearing might think they are taking control and gaining respect. This is not how it works. Respect is gained through many means. People might respect you because you are nice, rich, or have it all together. They might respect you because you dress impeccably, or take charge. But, you can be very in charge without raising your voice. Many bosses with smooth ships are always very polite and nice. They make it clear that you do what they say, but they are nice how they say it. There might be times in your career when you need to be overbearing. And there might be particular individuals who are stubborn who only respond to this type of behavior. Personally, I don’t like it and many others feel the same way. On the other hand, my attitude is cultural, and in other countries like India, bosses yell at their employees, treat them like servants — and the employees respond well to this. In India, adapting to more gentle ways of management might be difficult, and might not even work well. It is hard to say. But, as a manager in India, you can at least try to do more in the departments of being watchful without over doing it, being appreciative without being fake, being friendly, and being a good mentor.

A company has a board of directors, so why shouldn’t you?

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Some of us run large companies and others run micro-companies. My friend claimed that I was a CEO of a tech company. I argued that I was an Entrepreneur with one full-time person helping me and a few freelancers. I see my company as more of a marketing company that is based on a website which is technical by definition. So, perhaps my business is marketing / tech combined. But, putting aside whether I am a small enterprise or a huge corporation, the idea of a board of directors is an interesting one to ponder, so let me pontificate!

Issues with a board
Putting aside whether having a board of directors is a good idea for an entrepreneur, it makes a great topic for a blog article. You could even write multiple blogs on the topic as your experience with a board develops — you can’t get bored with the concept of a board! The main issues is that very few people will understand the technology, analytics, or daily procedures and issues that my business faces. However, if I talk a smart person through my issues, they might be able to offer valuable ideas.

Others do not understand the technology my business uses – but, they might understand people
I know my business inside out. I don’t understand programming, but I outsource people to help me with that. The issue I have with programmers is finding people who will be reliable and not cheat which is almost impossible. So, the issue I have is not technical, and remains constant with the ever-changing technology as human beings are generally unreliable! I don’t need a mentor or board member to understand the technology I use, but to understand how to deal with people.

Others don’t understand the analytics I use, but they need to understand strategy
I don’t need others to understand the marketing analytics of my business as I already have a handle on that. I need them to understand strategy. If they can think of or assess ideas regarding long term business strategy, that could change the course of my business. Or they might think of something that I would never think of that could be the magic idea that could change my life forever.

Getting multiple people together is impossible
I cannot afford to pay people big bucks to attend meetings. Any meeting I would have would be one on one and possibly over the phone. I like the idea of having four or six people be on my board. I could be the tie-breaker or the swing vote. That way we would have a diversity of ideas, and an evenhanded way of originating, discussing, evaluating and choosing ideas. It might be complicated doing this entire process one by one, but you never know.

The Solution
Don’t laugh. I’m going to do this tomorrow. I work with a psychic who is strong in a variety of uncommon but useful skills. He understands past life regression, channeling, and spirit communication. The problem is that the people who I want to channel are living, so we can’t talk to their departed spirit. My psychic says that he can tap into the consciousness of a living person and get answers to questions in a reliable way. We are going to channel some of the best business minds and management teams in human history like Warren Buffet, Toyota, Google, Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, and more. It sounds far out, but I have been working with this guy for almost a decade and he is really helpful. Part two of this article will be about what we found out!

Hanging out with the elite, does it rub off on you?

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After studying Feng-Shui and Kabbalah, I am convinced that hanging out with the elite rubs off on you. Even Rocky once mentioned something to a similar extent. In one of the Rocky movies he explained to a young girl that if you hang out with smart people you become smart. If you hang around with dumb people you become dumb. He never explained what happened if you hang with people who can’t speak correctly though!

Your neighborhood molds you
If you grew up in a privileged neighborhood, you will generally do a lot better in school, and at your University of choice than someone who got in on a scholarship or from Affirmative Action from a lower income neighborhood. The type of people that you took for granted as a child who you mingled with molded an undercurrent for your success. Those kids who got into college with Affirmative Action might be achievers, and might be smart, but they probably grew up around people struggling to make a living, heard them complaining about their boss, and saw a lot of poverty, drugs, and gangs as well — not a fertile soil to grow a successful person unless you wish to make it in a gang or be a preacher in a Baptist church.

What about the elite?
I am from an upper-middle class neighborhood. I didn’t realize how privileged I was. As an adult I was not privileged as I had to live in semi-bad neighborhoods that were filled with people who didn’t like me. My car was stolen and broken into on schedule every several years. Yes, not as bad as the Bronx, but not great either compared to what I grew up with. As a child, we only knew a handful of filthy rich people. They behaved like ordinary people, but were educated, and a bit high brow. They didn’t talk about business much as they were more interested in academia and the arts — something I was interested in, but not as much as I was passionate about business. It is hard growing up in a community which frowns on business when that is your passion, and your only route to success! Part of the problem was that I grew up in Massachusetts in an area near Universities with a lot of academics. I wanted to be around tycoons!

Changing my environment
In my late childhood and adulthood I met people from Israel and the Middle East who were more like me in terms of their passion for business. Finally someone to talk to. Of course in those days I was a child and had no real experience. I would just listen to them and wonder how I would start a business of my own. The business stories were fascinating and scary sounding as so many deals went bad due to dishonest people who cheated and broke valuable relationships. As an adult, I eventually became successful. I learned that I could mingle with the top 1% by visiting the bars of really expensive restaurants. Although I don’t always meet amazing people at these places, sometimes I do. I met a Vice President of Nordstroms, I met a Disney Executive, I met an Italian Designer who flies to Japan to sell his stuff (they like it more than the locals do.) and others! But, what I learned is interesting. Talking to people has a benefit, but being in proximity to people also has a benefit.

Picking up on vibes
By sitting next to Mark in programming sessions, I began to have better technical thoughts myself. I was picking up on his consciousness without even having a conversation. By hanging out with Walter, my dream analysis skills improve. By working on comedy blogs with Andy, my sense of humor became better as new channels formed in my brain. But, by living in a 40% Korean neighborhood, my work ethic improved even though I hardly ever talk to them. I visit Bel-Air to have meals all the time. That is a place riddled with billionaires. By being around them my finances actually do improve. I only wish I could live there. Perhaps one day I will. If you want to be something — be around what you want to be, even if it is only for a meal. Even one hour will get the feeling of wealth into your bones!

Six Problems That Only Individuals Working In A BPO Industry Would Understand

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Six Problems That Only Individuals Working In A BPO Industry Would Understand
Anyone who has been working in a call centre, or has already worked there knows that there is no other psychological trauma quite like it, say for example hooked up on a phone call that would never end for the majority of your life, and is been subjected to the worst kinds of humanity.

Time is everything in a BPO Industry. We come across situations where you would have military walking in, your breaks being monitored, strict call length control, monitoring toilet breaks, etc. with each and everything being controlled and monitored. Welcome to the world of robots. Given below are some of the trials and tribulations one would have been experiencing in a call centre and lucky are the ones who escaped from it.

Being shouted at the entire day: You know what could make your clients angry for the things you are about to say. And things like it would take two weeks, or you do not have an account with us, or I would have to transfer your call, or my boiler has not been working and it’s definitely your fault. These are things that would sound like a red rag to a bull. So if you are lucky enough you would be getting a response like this I know it’s not your fault but before things go worse….and is something that’s unlikely to happen.

Being asked to work overtime: Each and every one of us have been doing this. We would have to work overtime in order to pull the given targets. We cannot let our customers down and would require someone who could answer their calls.

Taking up calls that you cannot deal with:These kind of things continue to happen a lot in the BPO Industry and is something that is never funny. Weeping people come forward and tell you their story whereas screaming customers would claim that they are going to come commit suicide with sexually inappropriate comments. And when such things happen you would here need to remember that you would have to wrap up the calls in 2 minutes or else would be fired.

Having to come up at 8.30 and starting your computer: You have been told that you need to be at your desk by sharp 8:30 am and it’s already 9.30. And it’s obvious that certain programme that you would need at your job would take half an hour of time to load. And off course you would not be paid for your extra half an hour then why would you choose to work for an extra hour.

Not wanting to be a part of clients call during day off: Do not try of contacting your customer success team during weekends, it would never ever happen. So try and use whats up, gmail, Viber, and Facebook instead.

Getting Back Home and Noticing That Your Friends Have Been On Facebook The Entire Day: Most of the times we come across situations where we did not have much work to do. And you could just read articles online with a limited access to internet like the fact of the day been written by your manager and your weekly column where your CEO would be describing the holiday he would be going on.
Author Bio:

Abhishek Jain has over 10 years of experience within the BPO Industry and Finance and Accounting outsourcing services. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services India delivers and manages various offshore/onsite projects in various technologies and domains


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Visit our Google+ profile

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We have a new and very interesting Google+ profile. It has links to great outsourcing, business, and other interesting articles from our social media networks as well as breathtaking travel photos, and more… Join us!

Hope you like it!

America should capitalize on its attractiveness

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America is a country with a defective immigration system. We are too tight about letting people in our country, yet too incompetent about controlling illegal immigration. We have a porous border with Mexico that lets in illegal workers, drug dealers, kidnappers, and even ISIS members! What America doesn’t understand is that we cannot compete internationally without having a very flexible labor force. That means we need a large supply of people who are willing to work here and we need to let them get quick work visas on an as-needed basis. That way we control who comes in rather than being flooded with whomever happens to be desperate at that point in time. We need to optimize by hiring the best workers for particular tasks out of huge pools of applicants rather than just taking what the cat dragged in.

The thing America forgets is that many people want to come to America — and that is a huge asset. Can you imagine what America would be like if it were not so attractive? Nobody would want to come here. If we were short of programmers, we wouldn’t be able to get any. If we were short of farm laborers, nobody would come. America is a beautiful place, yet we don’t take advantage of what we have. We are analogous to a hot girl who makes it impossible for rich guys to meet her without filling out endless forms. Sure, the girl ends up with a boyfriend, but not the best one she could get. If she would spend a little more time analyzing the opportunities and make it a little easier for those opportune people to meet her, she could get a much better boyfriend.

America lets immigrants in and then after a long time offers them citizenship. I feel this is the wrong idea. We give citizenship to people who are here to work, and who are not here to be Americans. I feel that citizenship should be exclusively for people who want to be American for richer or for poorer while the others should come on renewable 5 year work visas perhaps without their families. The minute their kids get used to America, if there is a problem, it is no longer easy to send them back!

If parts of America could be designed specifically to entice foreigners to come and work, that might really stimulate the economy. We’d have the high tech staff needed for our big technical companies to grow, and we’d have the cheap labor to be able to compete with China and El Salvador! I’m very in favor of special economic zones to be created in America which would not only be beautiful, but cater to the cultural and linguistic needs of people from particular other countries.

Since America makes importing workers such a headache, many companies are heading overseas. That makes sense. If Donald Trump runs for president, perhaps he will put a 35% tax on outsourcing, but maybe he will let foreign workers come here to work. That would be a wonderful twist on fate. We’ll wait and see.

Why you Should Hire a Comedian Instead of a CEO to Co-Blog.

Categories: Humor, Popular on Twitter, Semi-Popular, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carbonating my Business Blog with Some Fizz
I am a business person, and if you read my blog regularly, it is likely that you are too! I struggled for a long time to find people who could help me blog. Sometimes people would think of generic sounding topics while others came up with bizarre and interesting stories. However, to have a constant supply of zany and interesting ideas, I needed more. Since I am a business person and very active on social media, I am bombarded with blog titles of every description and have no trouble thinking of more. I can easily write about business themes. So, if I hired someone with a business mind just like me, what would be the point — we already have a business mind here. What readers like, is some pizazz, and some clever jokes thrown in — and some professional proofreading never hurts ether — make that “either”.

Business + Humor = Success
Laugh and the world blogs with you. As a writer for three blogs, I like to throw some humor in on a regular basis. However, as a shrewd businessman, I’m shrewd enough to know I have no business writing comedy! The point is to align two different types of minds with different but complementary skills. In my case, I have a business-oriented mind with some industry-specific knowledge. My comedy writer is not only a comedian, but is a seasoned writer capable of professional proofreading — and that’s no joke. (The last time I put an ad in the paper for a seasoned writer, I got a Cajun guy from Baton Rouge with absolutely no experience applying for the job!)

Collaborative Brainstorming With Finesse
My writer and I join forces and in an hour can brainstorm more than a dozen interesting and funny blog titles. Then, we sometimes work together to develop themes. The actual writing of the blog might be done by him, or by myself and then “touched up” by him. He’ll clean up some small mistakes, find some areas that need finessing, and he’ll also ramp up the humor wherever possible. The other people I interviewed either couldn’t think of even one blog title, or came up with titles that sounded as cookie cutter and generic as the description cookie cutter and generic. My comedy writer comes up with stuff that is off the wall, but that is always a hit with both of the industries that I cater to.

Two Similar Minds — a Two Headed Monster?
If two like-minded business people wrote blogs together, there would be no jokes. They would debate whether or not to have pie charts, or graphs. Whether to cater to the lay-person, or higher level professionals. You might learn something before falling into a deep slumber reading their informative articles. If my comedy writer worked over their blog, he would chuck the charts and throw the pie graphs in their faces and start all over again to find a more laughable way to present the facts! Graphs and charts enhance the digestibility of information, but without a spoonful of sugar, the medicine won’t go down.

Incompatible Minds
On the other hand, if you partner up with someone whose thoughts are completely out of sync with yours, you won’t get anywhere collaborating. Finding your perfect match is not easy in the writing world. Rather than a comedian, it could be a stunt driver or a bartender — and I’ll drink to that, preferably not while stunt driving! But, whatever you do, don’t hire a CEO to help you with your business blog!

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Zen and the Art of Collaborative Blogging

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Collaborative blogging is the art of assembling complete blog articles using components created by two or more individuals.

Are You a “Collablogator?”
There are many ways to collaborate. One person might focus on overall themes while another could zero in on specific topics. Other skills could include polishing, proofreading, and even the final addition of the blog article to a WordPress platform. Some “collablogators” invent titles together (if not words) and even write blogs on the phone with each other if not in person. But the partnership only works if both individuals live up to their collablogations.

Partner Selection
This could be the most crucial choosing of a partner that doesn’t require a prenup you’ll ever do. You should ideally find one whose strengths make up for your weaknesses, and vice versa. If you’re an industry specific person, you might pair well with someone good at proofreading. If you tend to be more serious, you might pair well with a funny person. If you’re a content-oriented person, you might pair well with someone who excels at style, presentation, and execution.

At what time of the day is your creative sweet spot? Do you burn the midnight oil along with the virtual page with your brilliance? Is your partner more in the zone after he’s had his morning coffee and the afternoon mail has yet to arrive? In that case, work separately, not simultaneously!

Assembly Line Blogging
Some people blog together at the same time while others divide blogging into many separate outsourced tasks that happen consecutively. The boss might come up with a theme, a creative person might come up with a great title, another person might do the writing, before someone else polishes and proofreads. The final step: Publishing the blog online. But, there’s more — with the popularity of social media, the cherry on top would be creating popular tweets for the blog entry. The biggest issue with assembly line blogging is that if any of the team members are behind schedule, a la Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, your efficiency could dessert you!

Outsourcing Some of the Processes
There are thousands of eager blog writers in India who can write blog articles for $5-12 and are more than happy to research industry-specific content. Proofreading is a higher level task that is best left to a seasoned professional. However, there are many people with this specific skill. The hardest position to fill in your blogsembly line is the idea creator. Sure, the boss knows he wants to write about the financial crisis in Myanmar, but coming up with a specific and catchy title is not easy even for the most highly skilled writers. If you are hiring a team, evaluate each member’s skill at each of the stages in the assembly line.

Comparing Blog Assembly to Henry Ford’s System
On the auto assembly line, you’re faced with manufacturing new models every year. On the blog assembly line, there’s a new model every blog! In each of these cases, the aim is for greater mileage. Ways to improve mileage on your blogs? Make them understandable in ways that surprise and, if possible, enlighten. Make them candidates for retweeting. Assembly line blogging can not only speed up the process, but take advantage of those who specialize in individual components. If you have residual such specialist “understudies” waiting in the wings, they can take over if and when the “star” assembly line expert becomes unavailable. On the car assembly line, there can only be one person at the station and they all have to be there at the same time. On the blog assembly line, you could have multiple people at each stage of the process. And any one member could pass off their work to whichever stage two member was most readily available. Each could be in a different country or work a different shift, as long as they’re all on the same page.

I have to end this blog prematurely because my blog writing union just informed me that we are on strike.

If you were already successful, what would you do differently in your business?

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If I was successful, I would have a nice office. Or perhaps, I would buy a nice big home in a nice area and have a home office or loft where workers could come and work. I don’t like commuting in the morning as I am very sluggish before 3pm and get up late. Hmm, what else would I do? Oh! I know! I would have a company jet.

I would hire more helpers
But seriously, are any of these suggestions practical? What types of things could large amounts of money do to facilitate the successfulness of your business? Personally, I might hire more people to help me. I do most of my work myself now because I want a high salary. If I hired too many others, I would have to share my money. But, what if I hired part timers by the hour to help me with various tasks including management tasks? I don’t have time to do everything myself, so getting quality help in small amounts might really be a good idea!

I would get a part time manager
My biggest business problem is that I have a lot of work I need to do myself and also need to keep track of others. I can’t do both at the same time especially if others are not being responsive or slacking off because they know I am too busy to watch them. Hiring someone to keep track of everything and get back to me would simplify managing others. You might think of it as an Executive Assistant paid by the hour! They could hire people, make suggestions of who to fire, research candidates for various tasks, keep track of everyone’s progress and the general check list, plus more. Hmmm.

So, to sum it up, if I were rich, I’d have a great home office, an Executive Assistant for 15-30 hours a month, and more helpers. Maybe I should do all of that or some of that now… But, enough about me.

What would you do differently?
Think about what you really need that you can’t afford. If you keep that thought in mind, eventually you will be able to afford more, and you will be able to get what you need little by little. The corporate jet idea still needs to be kept in the air, and the limo idea needs to be put in park for now. But, you might find some practical things that can really change your life that are affordable like some better quality help, and perhaps a treadmill or an espresso machine to perk you up.

A series of interviews with a programming company

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I won’t say who these interviews were with. But, they are a big company in Eastern Europe. I thought they would be the best in the East since they were so large and had such good sales staff. However, the programming staff who were introduced to me were a disaster. The thing to learn here is when to draw the line. Donald Trump knows when to say, “You’re fired,” but sometimes I drag things on far too long.

Interview #1 — an exercise in slowness
My first interview with this company involved a long discussion with a Human Resources Manager. I went over exactly what I was looking for. I explained what type of personality I want, the types of languages the person should be able to program in, etc. What I got was someone who could not answer questions. There was a deep thought process about even very basic questions. I always ask a question about what you would do if you inherited a million dollars. Tech workers normally say they would give it to their family, spend it on education, unspecified stocks, or start an IT business. Someone who can barely conduct a conversation will not do well in an IT business or in any business. Commerce is about communication!

I feel that my mistake was that I talked too long to the manager, and I let the discussion with the slow programmer drag on too far too. I did not make sure they had three programmers to talk to either which is my normal strategy. I rarely like programmers, so if there are choices, the chance of me liking a single one improves a lot. The interview was a failure in so many ways. The candidate was long, the interview lasted over an hour including all of the supplemental discussions, and there was only one applicant. So, we scheduled another meeting.

Interview #2 — inability to do math
I went through the same stupidity in the second interview. I talked too much with the charismatic manager. Then, I got to the programmer who was yet again very awkward and obtuse. How can someone obtuse do a job that is for the most intelligent cut of society? This I will never understand! But, anyway, I asked him how to convert a million dollars into rupees and there was a long silence. I had to help him out by suggesting that he look up exchange rates. He didn’t think of that. Then I asked how to fit a giraffe in a refrigerator and got some very slow and awkward questions. I know how much trouble I got into in the past hiring dummies to do smart work. So, I would just rather not do any work than take any chances. On the other hand, smart programmers are not available to do anything these days, so you have to compromise somewhere. I ended the interview and requested a project manager for the 3rd interview.

I feel that yet again, I spent far too much time gabbing with these people who were in no position to help me. I think I need to have a policy about interviews that the first interview lasts anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes. If I like them then we can talk again later. Normally what I get is sluggishness and garbled English language skills! Once I hear garble, it is time to end the interview!

Interview #3 – inability to communicate
The 3rd interview started with the same waste of time gossiping with the manager. This time I got an expensive project manager whose wage was $70 per hour. But, I could barely understand what he was saying. A project manager’s job is to coordinate and communicate. This guy was a basket case at both. So, I had wasted my time again.

My Question of Where to Draw the Line
How many chances should I give an IT company? No company has purely good employees in my experience except for companies like Google who don’t offer web services to small businesses like mine. I feel compelled to give a few chances to companies, since on average, only 20% of overseas IT workers are up to my minimum standards. But, how many chances should I give? Do I give two chances or three? I think either is acceptable. But, the amount of time I wasted on this company was the real problem. It took more time to coordinate a meeting with someone than it took to talk to that someone. Ten back and forth emails to coordinate a meeting with an incompetent fool. What’s the point? I learned to do my interviews one after the next by phone. I would stay up until midnight, call people up in India and Russia and line the interviews up. If you were slow or missed an interview, you get another chance, but only one other chance. I weeded companies out, but after the weeding, there was only one company in Noida left! Oh well, I guess that is the way things are until something changes!

The moral of the story is that three chances is fine — just make sure each chance doesn’t take longer than a few minutes otherwise you could waste your entire workweek gossiping!