Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

Silly

“What’s Your Ideal Job?” and Other Recruiter Questions

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 in Featured, Silly, Work |

“What’s Your Ideal Job?” and Other Recruiter Questions

As most of you know by now, my company Threxy has closed. After six extraordinary years, I’ve decided to go in-house again. Why? Because I miss collaboration, I miss the startup feeling, the long-vision roadmaps. I miss the ability to see a project through instead of just advising others how to. I’ve been the Annie Oakley of outsourced marketing long enough and I can’t wait to begin working with a team again.

In the past few days, I’ve spoken with some fantastic companies and, as you’ve probably experienced yourself,  I’ve been asked the same battery of questions by almost every person I’ve spoken with. What do you say we make it easier on all of us? I’ll just go ahead and answer the questions now… then we can move onto the fun stuff like experience and interest and cool technology.

To the recruiters who are seeing my blog for the first time (welcome and, um, happy-ish reading), this, like most of my writing, is just plain silliness.

Q: What is your ideal job?

A: Well, I could be snarky and say, “Not having one,” but that’s not true at all. I love to work on projects I can wrap myself around. My ideal job today would be a VP Marketing role in a smaller size company that is building out or rebuilding their marketing initiatives. My ideal job would involve working with smack-down-smart brainypants, because, well, that’s what I call fun. I’d throw in a tasty product that is actually exciting to market and one that could benefit from my experience. I’d like to learn from my colleagues. Mama always says, “Learn and teach, learn and teach to keep the balance of work just right.”

Q: What is Threxy? It sounds a little dirty.

A: Threxy is not an adult business, although I’ve made sales programs for enough of them to know more than I should about it. Threxy stands for “Three Ex-Yahoos!” and it’s a company we started in 2005 with three ex-Yahoos (product, engineering and me, the marketer). We had a product idea that we incubated and took through the funding stage. A killer VC told me to scrap it, take the assets and create something new. He was right. From the bones of FamilyRoutes came a six-year business that built online products, developed product and marketing strategies and knocked back about $1 million in revenue. Not bad for a true cottage (like, really, in.my.cottage) startup.

Q: What are your salary requirements?

A: Now, really. Etiquette says to never talk about money, sex or politics and we’ve already covered two of the three. My consulting rate is about $150/hour. That would be over $300,000 per year if I applied the same metrics to a 40-hour work week. I’m not asking for that much, not even in the same ballpark. So there you go.

Q: What makes you a good fit for this role?

A: See, this is a trick question. No one is the perfect fit. It doesn’t happen. It’s about having the right skills to apply to the right company, at the right time, with the right team. Stars have to align — that or a great recruiter. Which is why I’m on this call anyway. So tell me, what makes me a good fit for this role?

Okay, maybe not the way to answer that one. I know people apply to hundreds of jobs online. I’ve known friends and colleagues who click Apply to every job with their keyword search results. That’s not my approach. I’m looking for a company to call home, a place to sink my brain into, and a place to enjoy watching a company grow and develop. I’m only applying to companies where I think I’m a good fit. That said, I’ve had two calls already where the job description and the job offered were different things. Thank goodness for great recruiters who can navigate it with me.

Q: So you graduated from Syracuse University in 1992?

A: <<Crickets>>. Most people don’t know that I didn’t ever receive a degree. I left Syracuse University in 1992 with a good education and a lot of life lessons, but no, I did not graduate, despite my genius IQ. Did I just say that out loud?

Q: Are you willing to relocate?

A: Nope. San Jose to San Francisco is about the max I’m willing to shift. I have too good of a life to consider anything else.

Q: Do you do SM, SEO/SEM, CRM, UGC, SCRUM or PCP?

A: Yes, I have been doing social media since before SM was a catchphrase and I’ll be doing it long after it is called by another name. Social media to me = customer engagement where customers are. SEO/SEM are in my planning and management suite but not my day-to-day job. There are people a lot more skilled than I at executing on SEO/SEM. CRM is old fashioned lead generation and customer retention. So yes, I’m a marketer to customers and CRM is about customers. I earned my chops building, monetizing and growing UGC. I’d consider myself well versed. I know the SCRUM philosophy because two of my clients are using it and because I try to follow what product and engineering are doing. After all, the whole reason you have a company is for the product, right? PCP, nah, but thanks.

Q: Tell us something unique about you so that your resume will stand out!

Are you telling me my resume doesn’t stand out? Okay, fine. Here you go: I once spent five minutes alone with Michael Jackson. There you go. Does my resume stand out now?

Q: It must be hard closing your company and going in house.

A: Not really. I’ve been looking forward to it for a year. This step was planned and I’m literally thrilled and like a kid waiting to open birthday presents over finding just the right company to work for. I am very proud of the company I built, but I’m also proud to say that phase of my career has finished and I’m onto this next one.

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A Little Marketing Humor

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 in Featured, Silly |

A Little Marketing Humor
Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

Angelina might be Salt, but I am pepper. La Gringa and I had a lot of fun playing around with the image and we laughed ourselves silly. We’re dorks, but we like it. You can see it live here: http://www.whoispepper.com

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A Long, Strange Day

Posted on Apr 6, 2010 in Silly |

You Are Here

I woke up this morning reading an NDA and a Gigya report, Social is the Next Search. By the time put the T-disc in the coffee maker, things were awry. My bangs sucked (and I even used Bumble & Bumble styling spray); my kids were sick but had to go to school anyway for school testing; my fridge so empty that the lowly apple in the back make an echo. It was a long day by 7:20 a.m.

Somewhere before 10 a.m., I’d done an incoming Kinder tour, pushing the Spanish Immersion program like a crack dealer, and then, busted out of it to take my best friend to get a facelift. I all but peeled-out of the plastic surgeon’s parking lot before heading to a marketing meeting on how to target Latino families in San Jose. Only being half Latino and not at all a part of their community, my marketing efforts were let’s say: malo.  In-between, I fielded calls on selling @la_gringa’s car. I’m not even sure La Gringa wanted to sell her car, but it was an action item and I do action items very well. By 1 p.m. I’d taken four pounds of Whole Foods mac’n’cheese to my mom in the hospital and pretended that seeing her sick doesn’t make me want to chuck her in a wheelchair and bust out of there.

Today I was reminded of who I was before being a mom, when my tasks were the most important tasks. Everything now has to fit between children and family and I like it that way. At 1:35 p.m. exactly I turned into a mommy — hugs and homework and snacks and stories. It was the happiest part of my day. I guess until the three guys showed up from their seven-hour roadtrip to buy the car. And then I did the car thing, working the deal:  yesithasadent, yesithasbeenserviced, noithasntcrashed. I worked the car sale until my Vicodin-induced BFF called post-facelift. She was chatty — how a woman with a face completely wrapped in compression bandages can be chatty is beyond me.

I made the cool Pakistani guys cookies and coffee. I poured wine for one that had gone astray from Islam and got teased relentlessly by their friends about watching porn. I wish I cared. Buy the car, buy the car, buy the fucking car already. Four hours later, they did.  And, just in time to pull out the Hooka pipe. They didn’t have apple flavor so I didn’t partake. Well, I wouldn’t have anyway but that was my excuse. Back to L.A. they went.

The phone rang. PTA needs a tie-vote broken. Um, okay, nevermind dinner.

Oh, and mom. I didn’t go back to the hospital to see mom.

And the pasta broccoli takes like crap with wheat pasta.

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Earthquakeville

Posted on Jan 9, 2010 in Featured, Silly |

Earthquakeville

We live directly between these two seismic activity sites. Red highlights earthquakes over 4.0. Red indicates the past hour; blue the past day.Putting batteries in the flashlights. After living through Northridge and losing almost everything in that quake, I’m a bit shaky over earthquakes.

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Vote on the Kitchen Color!

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 in Silly |

Paint Swatches

We are overhauling the kitchen and making a clean start for the new year. We put up a bunch of swatches that all look like something out of Put Me in the Zoo. Our buddy J showed up with some great ones that were a huge improvement. Ever heard of Devine Color? Me neither. It’s a line of female-owned and designed colors that were a truckload better than the nightmare you see in the photo.

The kitchen has a brown, black and gold granite countertop. The trim in the room is white. The floor is a golden hardwood. The accents will be white and one other spot color. We are now down to two choices: Olive or Cypress. Will you help us?

Option 1: Cypress. Cypress is a green color, it dries a bit on the blue side, believe it or not. The pros: it’s trendy and a warmer color. Downside: blue in a kitchen isn’t really a great idea (blue is not a food color and can tint the look of food). View Cypress.

Option 2: Olive. Olive is a green color too, but slightly more mellow and has more brown to it. It’s got a bit of a, well, olive tone. The pros: I like the idea of a natural color in the kitchen. Downside: it looks a little like 70s avocado shag rugs of my childhood. View Olive.

Okay, you have until Saturday, January 2 to place your vote!

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My Girl’s Spirit

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 in Holidays, Silly, Thing 1 |

Telling off Santa

Telling off Santa

I never saw it coming — my little 6-year-old, sweet as can be, full of life and laughter — that my daughter would take out Santa Claus. But she did. And how. Approaching Santa, my daughter asked him a question in Spanish, at which point he was unable to answer. And when he did with something like, “HO! LA!” she called him out. Full-stop.

Looking over at the hoopla, I saw my girl, hand on one hip, pointing with the other, giving Santa a talk. “You are a FAKE!,” she told him. “Santa knows every language in the world of every child in the world and you can’t even understand me!” Then, with all the conviction in the world, “You are a faker, faker, baker.”

I tried to stop her, but there was little I could do. A girl on a mission is unstoppable. I feebly asked her to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. In response she said, “If you know when I am sleeping and know when I’m awake. If you know when I’ve been bad or good, then how do you not know what I want for Christmas?” Shit. Score one for the first grader.

Eventually I got her to sit on Santa’s lap. She did it under protest, and only after I conceded that she was right, the Macy’s dude was not Santa.

As we left, he called her back and gave her a tiny pin. She snorted and said, “Santa gives candycanes, not pins. And anyway, your beard is too short.”

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