Sometimes it's the little things, or How a runaway grape ruined my tea break

So I’m sitting at my desk, drinking my 9:00 a.m. Lady Grey tea, black with one sugar, and munching on some green grapes. This little break is Nancy Nirvana where I enjoy delicious fresh fruit and a wonderful lightly sweetened tea while reading my email digests, checking out recruitingblogs.com, etc. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining – you get the picture.

Delicately picking my gorgeous grapes off the vine and placing them into my bow-shaped mouth (I wish!), one teeny tiny little grape came loose and bounced to the floor, rolling out of view. Unconcerned, I completed my tasty snack and then decided that I should hunt down the wayward grape before it became a little raisin in my “workspace.”

That is where the headache started.

If a large grape had fallen from the vine – I would have had that baby in the trash in about 3.8 seconds. But this smaller grape was tiny enough to roll halfway under my desk’s leg and when I went to pick it up, the little guy scooted completely under the desk leg. It refused to be coaxed out with my pen and it was quite dark so I couldn’t get a visual on the grape to assist me either.

Now a small problem became a large issue. I had to clear off my desk, explain to my boss why I was on the floor scooting my desk to the side, and using a variety of magic words to assist the whole process. I removed the errant grape, but my previous Lady Grey Tea/Grape Euphoria had completely worn off.

It’s amazing how sometimes the smallest things turn out to present the largest problems not only in life, but in recruiting. That one teeny tiny question you neglected to ask, that little nagging doubt in a candidate or hiring manager’s mind that you could have addressed had you known, the opportunity missed due to a mis-read of the situation, or not following up on something when you should have. If the devil is in the details, we all know that the devil can be one tiny little dude.

Sometimes the easiest fix is a small change in our behavior. Ask that one extra question, then ask another one; make yourself available after hours to address the remote possibility that a candidate gets lost or a hiring manager gets unavoidably delayed and can’t make the interview. Other times a complete process overhaul is needed to address numerous "little" issues that are hampering your success.

Putting yourself out that tiniest little bit can earn you great rewards, and it doesn’t cost much either.

Views: 9

Tags: candidate, career, change, euphoria, jobhunter, recruiting, success

Comment by Sally Raade on June 26, 2008 at 1:01am
Hi Nancy,

Love this post! If it was me, I would have let that grape be a raisin providing the company has janitorial services. If this happened in my home office...that's a different story. This story reminds me of things we are worry about like, did I close the garage door? did I unplug the iron? The list can go on......

When we are in the "I'm enjoying my space such as enjoying your beverage along with all the great surround sounds of birds and the warmth of the sun." it best to enjoy that time during non peak time; whatever your definition of this is.....
Comment by Rob Clarke on June 27, 2008 at 1:13pm
Great read, I enjoy your posts- so true that the little things can ruin what looks like a "sure thing", always have the courage to question reality- the answer may hurt but you always need to know. I love it when some of the junior recruiters feel like they lost the deal at the last moment or on the "goal line".......if they asked better questions and interrogated a little further they would have known the differences were insurmountable.

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