Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 64: The Vision Thing

Spent a long time yesterday putting together not just a cover letter but a communications business plan for a prospective employer.

Today they sent the form letter saying "thanks, but no thanks."

Really? Barely 24 hours and that's it? They may have an internal candidate lined up and so the posting is a formality. That happens not infrequently; I worked one place where there was a requirement to post jobs internally, but learned that they had already hired someone before they had done that... and somehow I was the square peg because I raised the question of corporate procedure. Then again, that place never was great about pursuing excellence...

I'm just puzzled that they weren't even intrigued by my pitch. It went way beyond the run-of-the-mill cover letter approach; this was a well-conceived strategy.

So that's a little disappointing. And helps explain why Carlson has been shutting down restaurants and losing market share for some time. Just today, two of its hotel chains fared poorly in quality surveys from JD Power... Radisson finished next-to-last, and Country Inn and Suites finished in the middle of the pack.

Carlson has owned TGI Fridays for 36 years. When they bought in, the store in Dallas was a sensation. Now the Applebees-class restaurants are more known for their presence in airports than their stand-alone stores. Is that business model working? When I think of airport operations, I think of Sbarros and over-processed, overpriced foods.

An infusion of new ideas might be good. The local TGIF closed down in late 2009; I went there a lot and their staff was treated pretty poorly... just days before Christmas, everyone was called together and the plug was pulled. Happy New Year!

BTW, that Dallas store in Old Town has been shuttered a long, long time.

Alas. Carlson is privately owned so digging up performance data is a challenge. Wiki says they had $38b in sales in 2008. The company has also gotten some positivity for its diversity practices. It's a huge global company. I hope it works out for them.

But in my case, I pitched them *hard* and their response indicates to me they didn't even read what I sent. That's disappointing. For a company with some strong relatively recent press regarding its people, I expected more humanity. That's probably where I went wrong.

I suppose if I had gotten this notice after two or three days, I would have felt a little better about it. A rejection is a rejection, and at least they had the decency to respond to it. But I invested real thought into giving them some concrete ideas, and they just dismissed it with the press of a button. That's hard to take. It's obvious no one even absorbed what I proposed.

Oh well. Maybe that job in St. Croix will come through...

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