It Costs Precisely $0.00USD to be Nice

Be nice. We all have bad days. I know I do. It seems like I get interrupted about 1,000 times more when I’m busy than when I’m not busy. Why is that? Is it some vast universal conspiracy to rob me of productive work? Is it all in my head?

I am not sure.

One thing I am sure of, though, is that it ultimately comes down to me. I read this years ago and it stuck:

If the Comic Sans font bothers you, please reread the message.

I Am Here to Help™

I get a bunch of messages from recruiters. Many of them via LinkedIn. Most of the communication follows a similar pattern:

  1. I receive a Connection Request from someone with “recruiter” or “personnel” or “people” in their title.
  2. I accept. Why? I like people. I’m just that kind of guy.
  3. I get a message – usually within 24 hours – that reads in part something like the following: “I came across your profile searching for someone to fill a position for a ______. I think you may be a good fit for the position. If you are not interested, please share with any qualified individual in your network.” This is sometimes followed by a promise of referral recompense, though I’ve never – not once, to date – ever been compensated for recommending someone.


Back in my Linchpin People days,  I actually did a little recruiting. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I made more money per hour doing recruiting than I have ever made – period. I mean, I didn’t do it for the money (and I don’t recommend people for referral compensation, I was just pointing that out…). I was actually trying to help a friend, or customer, or both out of a jam.

In short, IT recruiting pays well. So I understand why recruiters behave they way they sometimes do.

There was a time when I would have done almost anything to have recruiters reaching out to me almost daily. It wasn’t that long ago, actually – just a couple decades. I remember begging recruiters to just give me a chance! I knew I could do the work. I could learn anything and I have a strong work ethic. I knew I would succeed. But…

I Lacked Experience

‘nough said.

Lately, Though…

Most recruiters who contact me these days do so via LinkedIn following the communications pattern I shared earlier.

I don’t mind. I used to mind, but I no longer do.

“Why Don’t You Mind, Andy?”

I’m glad you asked! That’s an excellent question.

There are actually several reasons. Please allow me to share one of them. Last year Enterprise Data & Analytics was hired to help a team deliver medical-related data integration with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). The customer succeeded with our help and all was well with the world. But there was this one twist that bears mentioning:

We were hired by a company for which I worked years ago.
And my boss used to report to me.

“It’s a good thing you weren’t a jerk to that person, huh, Andy?”

Almost. That sentence has an extra five words in it. There at the end.

Don’t get me wrong. It is good I wasn’t a jerk to that person. It’s better that I wasn’t a jerk to anyone – well, almost anyone – at that place of business. Why?

Because you never know.

Back to the Recruiters…

So… here we are communicating with people whose specialty and experience currently lies with hiring IT professionals… and you decided it’s a good idea to “teach them a thing or two?”

Really? One question: Have you thought that one through?

Are you never going to need to change jobs again? Ever?
Are you going to leave the IT field when you do?
If so, is it possible – even remotely – that you might encounter even one of the recruiters with whom you interact on LinkedIn?

One Way to Respond

How do I respond? I have this note saved as a text file. It takes about 15 seconds to find, open, copy, paste, and edit:

Be Nice


Andy Leonard

Christian, husband, dad, grandpa, Data Philosopher, Data Engineer, Azure Data Factory, SSIS, and Biml guy. I was cloud before cloud was cool. :{>

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