September 1987 was both an exciting and frightening time for yours truly. Audrey and I were married in July of that year. I had a good job as a salesman with a company that manufactured automotive test equipment. The company based in Crystal Lake, IL, paid me well as employee number 23504. Audrey had a good job as office manager for a neurologist. It was the combination of that job, a bit of savings, minimal monthly bills and no children that allowed me to take the risk of starting the recruiting business that I still manage today.
Howard, my partner at the time, and I had zero experience at recruiting. All of our work experience centered around being vendors to the auto industry. We rented some office space in Long Island City. We had phones and some early generation desktop computers in which we planned to store data. But alas, we had no clients, nor job seekers, to present to clients. We needed to get onto the phones to gain traction in securing customers and candidates.
We invested in one other key item to help us start our business. We bought a dozen copies of a professional organized and bound book of automotive related companies. The book had a list of over 25,000 companies located across the country. The company name, full mailing address and phone number were categorized alphabetically.
We were a group of six, none of whom had ever been in the recruiting business before. We picked up our handsets with purpose that September and began “dialing for dollars”, as we feverishly tried to generate business for our new recruiting practice. “Hello, my name is Jack Young, I’m an executive recruiter, I take it you know what I mean. Yes, I’m a headhunter.” And so it went. Click, click, click and then a nibble, and then a conversation—and now today’s technology has changed all that.
Today, my challenge is vastly different. Today, I am gratefully on the phone most of the day assisting many long time clients with their needs for new management personnel. But my challenge is the never-ending, never-wanted interruptions I receive regarding my supposed back pain. Evidently, there’s nothing wrong with my credit card, except for the fact that I should be paying zero percent interest on any balances I may have. While I am not the most enamored customer of my local oil provider, or PSEG, I must emit this tepid relationship somehow because every solar heating provider in the country is trying to come by my house to give me a quote on installing solar panels to my roof.
I guess these “robo-callers” have purchased my home and business phone listings from more sophisticated providers than Howard and I did back in ’87. I can’t figure out how they’ve gotten a hold of my cell number?
It seemingly doesn’t matter the time of day or the device we use. We are bombarded daily with offers of loans for a quarter of a million dollars or more, if we’d only spend a few minutes with a loan representative on the phone.
Yes, I’ve tried adding the incoming number to the “blocked number” list on my phone. It doesn’t seem to work. “Sara’s” robo-call offering me relief from my chronic back pain generally shows as an incoming phone number from an area code and prefix that seems familiar to me.
Man, I would certainly pay for an app that could eliminate the robo-call from my life. Sign me up for that.
Jack Young has lived in Plainview for 25 years. He owns a recruiting business and is the vice president of the Plainview-Syosset PAL.