At the end of last week, Brad Ross and Adam Giambrone each tweeted that the TTC was looking for a “public member” to join the TTC’s nascent customer service panel, and they invited Twitter users to promote themselves for the gig with the #TTCpanel hashtag. Presumably they did this without realizing that, while social media is good for a lot of things, it’s not really that useful for assessing a person’s strengths in conducting a particular duty. This is why nobody interviews you over Twitter in real life. Indeed, many Twitterers pointed this out.
Also, people made jokes about Adam Giambrone.
For the most part Twitter delivered in earnest, with all the usefulness we’ve come to expect from Twitter when it’s not being used by Iranian insurgents trying to outfox a desperate tyrannical regime.
Possibly this would go on a resume under “skills.” Or maybe “interests.” We’re not sure. However, we do know that a lifetime of playing “Hey! It’s That Guy!” prepares one for all sorts of trials in the workplace.
Now, this person clearly doesn’t understand the concept of buttering up your potential employer. Even if the TTC recognizes that its customer service is pathetic, that doesn’t mean you start out an interview with the Twitter equivalent of “wow, your breath smells like feet.” Maybe next time you compare them to something unappetizing but healthy, like cottage cheese. Nobody likes cottage cheese. But then you put it in a recipe like… Okay, we can’t think of anything with cottage cheese in it that we like either. But you get where we’re going with this.
See, now this is what we’re talking about. In 140 characters, this person wrote the most succinct generic cover letter ever. All that is missing from this is “punctual” and maybe “my only flaw is that I’m a perfectionist and I demand the best.”
Can you actually put “visionary” on a resume? Is that a thing now? “Hi, I’m Steve Baker. I’m a dentist and a part-time visionary on the side. If you need vision, or maybe a root canal, I’m your man.” Is being a visionary like being one of those people who show up on cable news to tell everybody about trends? Is Faith Popcorn a visionary? Maybe Adam Giambrone should hire Faith Popcorn to be on the panel. Then again, maybe not.
We’re all for expanding political spectrums of panels. A wider range of views is great. Assuming that a given political view makes you a better candidate by further assuming that absolutely everybody on the panel is a raving lefty… Well, you know what they say about assumptions. They make an “ass” of “u” and “mption.” Samuel L Jackson taught us that. (Okay, so probably everybody on the panel will be a raving lefty.)
Why does everybody keep harping about their customer service experience? Here’s the thing: a lot of customer service experience mostly means a lot of retail. Maybe, if you’re lucky, it means a lot of phone-bank work. Why does “hey I work a really shitty job that’s fairly easy to get and I have done so for years” make you a good candidate for the Customer Service Panel? Especially when we’ve all worked at it before and know that most people suck serving customers anyway, but they never get fired… Oh, wait, maybe that’s an actual strategy to make it seem like you’d be a good fit.
You need to differentiate yourself! Make yourself stand out from the crowd!
Like this guy! He’s all over social media, man! He saw that Adam Giambrone somehow thought that appealing to Twitter was a good idea, and he’s buying into the boss-man’s personal hype! It doesn’t matter that when you translate his application into normal-person-speak it reads “I will ask my friends what they think,” because he is web two point oh just like Adam Giambrone is!
This is known as the “drive your enemies before you and delight in the lamentations of their women” method of rocking an interview. Sometimes, you just have to oil up your pecs and go full Conan the Barbarian on your prospective boss. It shows gumption, and bosses like gumption!
“Well. Screaming internally. That’s… nice. And you say you also know how to type? That’s good too.”
But the most moxie-licious candidate of them all was Justin Kozuch, founder of Refresh Events, who knows so much about socially media-ing that people pay him to get other people to tell them about social media. Justin figured out before everybody else that it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.
And Justin knows a lot of people on Twitter.
Many, many people.
At this point it seems safe to say that Kozuch has it in the bag. He’s got the critical mass of support from people who use Twitter. He knows social media. He’s got the skills. And he knows all about panels. At this point only a true grassroots challenge, or alternately something masquerading as a true grassroots challenge, can hope to destroy Kozuch’s hopes. And nobody’s going to launch one of those.
Or are they?
That’s right, Justin Kozuch! You brought down the lightning and now you must face the thunder! I’m going to steal that plum Customer Service Panel job right out from under your nose, as a hundred thousand Torontoist readers all raise their voices in unison and demand that I get the gig! I expect no less than five thousand retweets of my bold plans by tomorrow morning! Adam Giambrone will tremble before my internet-based might!