The Recruiter’s Biggest Nightmare…

So… I was working from home yesterday. Woke up. Had a shower. Breakfast. Brushed my teeth… Am I boring you yet? Sat down in front of my computer. Looked at emails. Responded to the important ones. Made a list of calls to make later. Then I jumped in the car to travel to the other side of town, for my only meeting of the day. The plan was to meet the client… then find myself a nice little café, and use my phone to make calls and send emails for the next few hours…

SONY DSCI guess alarm bells should have started to sound when I got in my car and the battery charger wasn’t working… well I thought the charger wasn’t working. Then maybe the penny should have dropped over the next 45 minutes on route to the client, when my phone didn’t ring… not once. Then definitely I should’ve known something was up when I couldn’t get my phone to turn on after I parked.

You know that feeling you get… right deep down in your guts when you know you have just walked smack bang into your own disaster movie? The turning in the pit of your stomach… helplessness… desperation… I felt like crying.

I told myself. ‘Don’t worry… it’s a minor glitch… give it a second… it will work…’ As I smashed every conceivable button until my finger hurt… I shook the phone… kept turning it around & around… I rubbed it soothingly… it still didn’t work… and no sign of a genie either. I even repeatedly pressed the apple symbol on the back cover, in the vain hope I was sending a secret message to Apple™ office, alerting them of my plight. Still… nothing.

Refusing to believe the phone was de… (I can’t even say the word), I fished through the glove-box of the car. I found a paper clip, and pressed the pointy end into the little hole in the top of my phone… too technical for you? Sorry. The back popped off & I took out the battery, the sim card, took a deep breath and blew in the back. C’mon… that’s fix your Iphone 101… I lovingly put the phone back together and again tried to power on… nothing.

I was starting to hyper-ventilate now. I looked at my watch… ‘Shit! No watch!’ I screamed maybe a little bit too loud… if you were to believe the looks I was getting from the people passing me in the street. ‘That’s right!’ I screamed silently this time. ‘The effing clock’s on the phone… The same effing phone that’s not working!’

I shoved my de… (still can’t say it), phone into my pocket, and hot footed it to my client’s office.

The meeting was a blur… I just kept thinking. ‘What am I going to do? WHAT am I going to do? WTF am I GOING TO DO?’

‘Pardon?’ Mr Client said.

Oh… nothing… Please continue.’ Memo to self… DO NOT move lips or make sounds when thinking thoughts!

nightmare2I made it through the meeting… picked up 2 roles thank you very much! And returned to the car. I pulled out my phone and absently pressed a few buttons. Nothing.

It made me realise just how dependant we have become on our mobile phones. When you misplace it, or it breaks, it’s like losing a limb…

In our industry your phone is the most important tool of trade. You speak to people on it… you send and receive emails & texts with it… you look up vital information on it… you check the weather, traffic conditions, news… It wakes you up in the morning and you tell time with it… Hell… it’s magic!

Utterly resigned to the fact that I had no contact with the outside world… at all… I went through my options:

  1. I could go to the Phone Store and have them tell me I need a new phone… and buy a new phone… and try to salvage the remnants of my Lost day.
  2. I could go home… draw a face on my basketball and talk to it until my wife & kids got home.
  3. I could write the day off and go to the gym, movies, pool…

What would you do?

Craig Watson


9 thoughts on “The Recruiter’s Biggest Nightmare…

  1. Katie on Reply

    I’d have the exact same reaction.
    But the quickest way to morn the de*** of your phone is to pour all your efforts into a new (shiny!) model.
    Plus it’s a great ‘common ground’ story to share with clients & candidates… evoke some empathy 😉

  2. Liz on Reply

    OMG Watto the exact same thing happened to me but a month or so ago… I cried real actual tears.
    I had no phone for 24 hours and while I enjoyed the digital detox for maybe *5* minutes of that time, the rest was spent in a severe state if FOMO.
    I thought I was better than that.
    Turns out I’m not.

  3. Rob Sheffield on Reply

    Craig, I learnt the hard way a few years back, not having backed it up and the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. I have 3 now all synced and backed up 1 day to day , 1 back up and one in a safe place. OTT I know but never again!

  4. Michele Stuart on Reply

    Funnily enough this happened to me about 9 months ago just after I’d set up Ivory Jacobs, due to my covenants I went after a different geographical area and booked a day of client meetings in a place I’ve been to ONCE in my life. Left house, 45 minutes down the motorway looked down and realised my phone wasn’t turning on, too late to turn back, I drove into town and found an Apple store – asked if I could have a replacement phone – answer was no unless I spent £600 so instead I used their landline, googled the clients number off their ipad 😉 and the client came to meet me at the Starbucks next door! I then had to navigate myself off candidate and clients instructions for the rest of day and somehow I winged it!

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