Friday, April 27, 2012

Construction Work Ahead–Part 2 of 4


Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of a guest post series by a dear friend, A. Scot Tedisco.  See Part I for a full introduction.

You recall where we left off?  I’d shot a message to Erik thanking him for passing me on to Patrick. Not ten minutes later, an auto-email response tells me that Erik is no longer with that company.

What the...? Yep, that’s was I thought!

The auto-reply also gave a new contact person for that Company. I shot her a note explaining I was just in contact with Erik and if she would now like my info. Of course she does, who wouldn’t?

I also get to speak with Patrick and ask him some more info. We got to talking about Erik and Patrick said that Erik’s company had just merged with another out of San Diego and Erik’s position was a duplication of the new HR dept.

Patrick eventually gets around to asking if I was interested in yet another company. Sure I am, but I tell him to wait for a new resume, as I’d found a couple small problems with the one he had. As of this writing, he hasn’t gotten back with me, even after I shot him a follow up email!

In the same time frame, I get a message from Doran saying that Erik was no longer at his company. I knew, I told him, and he replies asking for a copy of my resume. Though I already shot a copy to their new HR dept., I shoot him one too.

Now, Randy calls me. He tells me more about his company and what he’s trying to do (getting their LA office off the ground). He wants to know if he can use my resume in some of his proposals and says, “if we get a job, you get one.” Sounded good to me, so I shot him a formal copy of my resume.

The next day he calls me up. “Scot, what are you doing? Are you busy? Can you do me a favor?” I’m not doing anything critical so I tell him to give me the low-down. What he needs isn’t all that hard. Just show up at a pre-bid job walk that conflicts with another that he needs to go to. It turns out that this “walk” is at the same campus where I managed the Child Development Center, turning a hostile project into a letter (email) of recommendation for Bernards. That project is the one I am most proud of, as it was an achievement of managerial skill not technical prowess. The walk was in a couple of days, so I get all the vital info from Randy.

Another day goes by and I get a call from Sam (from Erik’s old Company). Doran has given over my resume and Sam says Doran had a lot of good things to say about me. In our short phone call, something odd strikes me about Sam. At this point, you the reader, needs to know that my Resume is six pages long, four of which are a listing of all my projects with budget size, description and if they were General Contracts or Construction Management.

So, Sam asks me how many of my projects are Construction Management? I was a little confused, though gave him the answer, and asked if he had a complete copy of my resume. He says, “I don’t know.” I ask if he has all six pages. He says, “I don’t know.” Really? How can he not know this, the page numbers at the bottom say “x of 6”. Whatever, I let it go.  We schedule a meeting for that Friday, a few days after Randy’s job walk.

Throughout all of this, [my significant other] is telling me all of these people really want me and I am worth more than what they could pay me. Okay, I am paraphrasing a little. She is very supportive and eager to give words of encouragement and confidence.

The day of the walk is a Tuesday, and I’m scheduled to be there at 9 AM. With traffic (going right through downtown Los Angeles) I figure 45 minutes to an hour, so I leave at 7:45’ish. So, me being me, I end up getting there at 8:30. Oh well, I always have music to listen to.

A few minutes before, I head over to the meeting room on the campus. On the way over, I notice an estimator from the Construction Management team overseeing all of the projects on the campus. He’d worked on some of their internal estimates to compare to my change order requests on the CDC project. I couldn’t remember his name, but he noticed me and said, “Hi, Scot” and put his hand out for a shake. The CDC project ended in January of 2009, and he still remembers me, more than two years later! Fortunately (or Unfortunately, depending), he sees that I can’t recall his name and says it’s John. Now, I remember. He says, it’s good to see me there to look at the job. I didn’t take the time to tell him I was out of work and just doing a favor.

The meeting room is packed to the walls, 20 General Contractors, at least, for a $13 million project. They go through the general, usual spiel.  I won’t bore you with it.  During all of this, I notice someone who should recognize me, but it isn’t until nearly the end that she does. It turns out Angela will be the Project Engineer for the new project.  Technically, she works for another company as a subcontractor under Harris & Assoc. (the main Management firm at the campus). She’d come to the CDC project after me and after most of the hostility had abated.

We stayed back after the meeting and talked a bit.  It was the typical pleasantries and “what are you doing now” questions. She also says, “I hope you get this job.” I let her know I’m not with Bernards and she says, “I still hope you get this job.” Meaning that she doesn’t care who’s my employer!

We also reminisce about the CDC and she tells me that Emilio, the Construction Manager for Harris, left and started his own company.  She asks if I would like to talk to him. Sure! She calls him, tells him what’s up and hands me the phone. Emilio is doing well, paying the bills and is generally happy. We promise to trade contact info and stay in touch.

Angela and I say a few more words and then our goodbyes. All that was left for me to do was to tell Randy of the meeting. I couldn’t help feeling a little odd over how Angela and the rest not only remembered me, but with such … fondness? Not something I am used to anyway.

Now I have to call Randy, AND tell him that I will be interviewing with Sam at Erik’s old Company!!!

What Do You Think?

Feel free to share your comments below.

Photo Credits

A. Scot Tedisco

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Construction Work Ahead–Part 1 of 4


ScotEditor’s Note: The following guest blog post is the first in a series from a dear friend, A. Scot Tedisco.  Scot is one of those rare breeds of professional who believes in long-term commitment to a company, so long as it’s reciprocated.  At one point or another, many of us have changed employers seeking a challenge. Scot always seeks those challenges internally.

His dedication has worked well for him.  So much so that the economic meltdown of 2008 didn’t seem to affect him, even though he worked in the construction industry as a Senior Project Manager.  He was gainfully employed through all the rough patches of our Great Recession. 

...And then the day came when he was asked to come into the central office, instead of going to the work site. He was given a three-months notice to find new employment.  The company recognized his dedication to the firm and extended him the courtesy of looking for work and remaining with the company through the holidays at the end of 2010.  Nevertheless, he was out of work.

Given he’d spent the greater part of 15 years with one company, he’d not spent much time building relationships outside of it...or so he thought.  In this and the posts that will follow, he shares his story and the lessons learned along the way. 

I originally received a copy of this story in August of 2011.  I asked to share it in this blog since there was so much that others could relate to and learn from.  So, keep that date in mind as you read these posts.  Also note that Scot’s former employer was Bernards.


Well here it is… I’ve been unemployed for about 8 months. It doesn’t seem that long.  Time has flown by in just a wink of an eye. Sure, some of the time has been spent helping [my significant other] set up her office, but that was not all. I spent time filling out the unemployment forms too, with the most time spent looking for work!

Thanks to advice from a best friend (who shall not go unnamed, Arash) I learned how to search the job boards for possible opportunities, [network] and to completely rework my resume. So, week after week, I searched and shot out ever-revised resumes to companies large and small, with prospects strong and weak.

Most leads quickly went nowhere, as would be expected in this market. Then, six plus months into bouncing off walls, Arash says, “this is when your initial contacts dry up and a new flurry spring up” [Editor’s note: From the onset of unemployment, Scot had begun attending industry events and making new connections, helping the people he met along the way. This was the main reason for the resurgence of leads].

How right he was!

2012.01.12_ScotLIOn the same day he made this comment, I noticed one of the former Executives from Bernards, Randy, had moved to a new company.  I quickly shot him a congratulations message through LinkedIn. Later that same day, I received a message through LinkedIn from Erik, an internal recruiter at another company.  This third company is a General Contractor with which I was familiar in that a project manager from Bernards, Doran, had taken on duties there. Doran and I had collaborated on writing subcontracts for his last Project at Bernards, and I remembered we’d worked well together.

Eric’s message asked for a copy of my resume.  So, I thought things were looking up. This took a couple of emails over a few days, during which, Randy (remember him formerly from Bernards?) shot me a message thanking me for congratulating him, and asking for my contact information.

LandscapeI wondered. Would there also be an opportunity with Randy’s company? So, I shot Randy my info and waited to see.

Less than a week from Erik’s introduction, I get an odd voice mail on Google Voice from someone named Patrick. I listened to it a couple of times. It turned out that Patrick was a recruiter for the Construction industry. He was given my resume by Erik.

Odd, I know!  Why would a recruiter from a GC give a resume to another? Patrick explained in a later phone call  that he used to be Erik’s boss and they maintained a collaborative relationship. Patrick also mentioned that he was the one that introduced Randy to his new company. Are you lost in these circles, yet? Don’t feel bad, it was quite odd to me too, even being there first hand.

Over the next couple of days a lot happens: I shoot a message to Erik thanking him for passing me on to Patrick. Not ten minutes later, an auto-email response tells me that Erik is no longer with that company.

What the...?

Continue to Construction Work Ahead, Part Two… 

What do You Think?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Photo Credits

A. Scot Tedisco, The U.S. National Archives