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This will be a short post.  It’s been in my head forEVER and I am finally getting around to writing it down.   Here it is.

In the absence of information, DON’T MAKE UP AN ANSWER.

Cleaning up after mistakes such as this sound like:

Well, I just thought … {{and why didn’t you ask?}}
I heard from someone that this is what I should do …. {{who?}}
I assumed …  {{we know how this ends}}
I wasn’t sure so … {{you didn’t think to ASK SOMEONE like the person who KNOWS THE ANSWER?}}

Several years ago, a vendor sent a candidate’s resume and cover letter directly to a hiring manager.  Despite direction from the hiring manager and the friendly HR office to apply online, the vendor told the applicant that he didn’t need to, that he (the vendor) would run interference and make sure that he could bypass HR.  (This is so unbelievably stupid but that’s another post entirely.)

When he wasn’t considered, not even interviewed, he was livid.  His answers to my questions started with many of the intros listed above.  He begged to be considered.  We had already filled the position.  I suggested that next time he clarify and confirm the information he receives from a friend.  Trust but verify.

It’s not rocket science.  It’s not brain surgery.  It really is so much easier to do it right the first time than have to clean up the mess and re-do it the second time.

Trust.  But verify.  And the world will be a better place.

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