January 31, 2003
Phun with Phones
Got off the phone not too long ago with someone about an interview. And it's not even through the recruiters. Here's the thing: While I was on the phone setting up that interview, I got a call about a different interview. (WOO-HOO!) Do you have any idea how many different noises a phone will make for call-waiting? Five ring-bleeps. One missed-call-ping. And a voicemail-ping. During which I couldn't hear the conversation.
So I got the lady's work number, and the place's address. But all the beeping happened while she was saying her name. I'd already asked her to repeat it once, so I couldn't ask again. But, wait! We have the Web available!
Step one: Go to Yellow Pages. Type in what I remember of the name ("Allegheny") and the city and state. Return several hundred possibilities. Step two: Get the ZIP code from the Postal Service. Use that to narrow down the Yellow Pages search. Doing good. Now, start looking for an address match. Nothing on page 1, but page 2 is good. Get the name, go to Google. Type in the name of the place and get their URL.
Go to their Web site and get into their directory. (Ah, public offices -- everybody's contact info is public domain so it's all on the Web.) Do a find for the last four digits of the lady's phone number. After all this, it turns out my guess was right. But at least I won't ask for the wrong name and sound like an ass.
As I was writing this I talked to a lady at CMU about another interview. "Are you familiar with the Carnegie Mellon campus?" "I got my bachelor's there." "Oh, then we're in [building and room]. See you Monday."
Five opportunities, and five interviews, in three weeks. Kick ass.