And the Fun Continues

Thursday was pretty solid heavy rain from about 11am through long after I went to bed. I’m not talking a gentle little sprinkle with the occasional burst. I am talking power washing your car, sheets blowing across the sky type rain. I had an appointment in the morning, but managed to get into the office before the downpour started. I did not plan my parking very well, assuming that if it rained, it would be finished long before 5, but I was wrong. I waited until the rain seemed the slowest I had seen it and headed into the mist. Halfway to my car, the sky opened again as if the angels were lying on the side of the above ground pool to let all the water out.

Soaked, slightly cranky, and starving, I make my entrance into what is usually a loving and happy home.

“Honey I’m home!”

Grumble grumble.

“How was your day?”

Sad face, grumble, pout.

“Are you going to talk to me? What’s the matter?”

Grabs my hand and leads me to the back room. The back room that is under an inch of water. The carpeted back room that should be under no water.

“What happened?! Do we have a leak?”

“Not from the ceiling.”

Are you kidding me, we have a leak from the outside? We have a huge sliding glass door and my first thought was the seal broke. That somehow the rain had poured at just the right angle to get through all the cracks. But I didn’t see any drips, nothing wet on the walls, and the majority of the water was in the corner of the house opposite the glass door.

My second thought was that maybe the roof was leaking in the outdoor closet. It is attached to the back of the house and the location of the water in the guest room made sense if the leak was coming from the closet. I ran outside to check. No leak in the roof. The water heater however…

One of the pipes had burst and was shooting water into the air. There was about 4-6 inches of water on the floor in the closet. Begin panic mode. Shelby turned off what he thought was the main line water but the water heater kept spewing. He turned knobs and opened and closed levers on the water heater itself but the leak just seemed to get worse. I started running around the house trying to find the home warranty phone number but called the HOA instead. If it had been a sitcom, it would have been hilarious. But since it was my house and my stuff, there was little humor to be found.

While I was on the phone placing the emergency work order (what a joke) Shelby was watching YouTube videos trying to figure out how the heck to make the water stop. After what seemed like an hour but was probably closer to 10 minutes, we found the actual main line to the water and cut it off. The tank stopped erupting. I swept as much water out of the closet as possible. We put down towels and picked up boxes. And started patiently waiting for the after hours plumber to contact us.

As I held my phone, it buzzed and shook and screeched and alerted us once again that there was a tornado warning for our area. Extra annoying this time seeing as how we just unloaded half our closet into the backyard. Not only do we get to be the neighbors that flood, but also the neighbors who’s beach umbrella broke someone’s car or whatever.

And then the power went out.

I’m not sure how we made it through the night without screaming or crying. No running water meant no flushing toilets. Constant rain and tornado warning meant no outdoor excursions. No power meant no TV, DVDs, music, fans to dry the floor, Wi-Fi to play our games and no way to charge our rapidly dying phones. We read books by candlelight. Sounds romantic, but in actuality, super boring.

The plumber never called. The power did come on somewhere between midnight and 3, but went out again. The water was still off. Friday was rough. But not as rough as Saturday…

I got connected with the plumbers who said they would be out between 2 and 6 Friday. Not exactly a small window. Luckily I have a house boy who can sit around and wait. They eventually came, replaced the section of pipe that was broken and extended it so there wasn’t as much pressure on the connections. They relit the pilot light and reinsulated the exposed bits. What they did not do was check the valves. While I thought everything was peachy keen, the mostly empty water heater was still sitting mostly empty by the time I got up for Saturday morning yoga.

I learned a lot on Saturday. Like how the hot water pipes are a closed system. All water comes from the water heater. So if there is not water in the water heater, there is not water in the faucet. And that means a spurty, weird, and frigid shower. I also learned that it takes about 4 hours for an empty water heater to heat to full capacity and that men have jokes about hot water and living with women which are not very helpful.

By 3:30 Saturday afternoon, we had power, water, hot water, and a still very wet, very smelly back room.  Oh yeah, and a huge rust stain on the carpet now. So that’s awesome. I guess that’s what we get for saying we didn’t need to replace that carpet. Why can’t anything be easy?

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Tell Me About a Time…

Tell me about a time, give a specific example of, describe a situation where…These are the basics of the behavior based interview. The theory being that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. I believe this to be mostly true, but I also believe it to be incomplete and in the hands of the wrong recruiter, a dangerous tool to rely on.

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully work with someone even if you did not personally like each other.

What happens if you haven’t had a job before? Or if you worked for your best friend, or ran your own business? The quick response may be that you haven’t. Worked successfully with someone. And that becomes the bigger question. Have you not been able to successfully work with someone if you had differing opinions? Have you never worked with anyone who didn’t have the same opinions as you?  And why have you only been in situations where you were bosom buddies with everyone you had contact with? Or are you so inept at thinking out of the box that you don’t consider the difficult client, or that group project in college might fall into this category?

And what happens if you have multiple experiences? Are you just that good at adjusting to others behavior? Are you a pushover who doesn’t stand up for your own values? Or are you just that particular and difficult to work with yourself?

A collection of questions geared in this direction may help to form an overall picture of who you have been, but they lack the challenge of figuring out who you can be. Just because I have never lead a group of my peers does not mean I can’t or won’t have the ability or skill set if given the opportunity. Even if I can translate my stage management experience to project management positions, the technological pre-requisites to coordinate with actors and designers is significantly different to medical directors and clinical organizations.

Relying on the interview alone is a half-assed effort at identifying a potential candidate. Relying on the resume alone is just as meaningless. An effective recruiter is one who considers all pieces of information available, and if the information is lacking digs for more. Asks follow-up questions to get clarification. Considers the multitude of outcomes of a particular hire, and desires to hire the best possible candidate. Does not settle or allow themselves to be bullied by a hiring manager. Fights for the good candidates and fights to pass on the bad.

I just had my review. I am proud to say that my boss thinks I am an effective recruiter. Even if I can give you several examples of successful work scenarios with people I do not like.