A Thanksgiving Story

November 24th, 2008

Categories: Gratitude

Matt Mecs is a smart, successful, generous and giving person. He is juggling a million things right now yet he volunteered to write a guest post to celebrate Thanksgiving. We are thankful to him.

Like many other people who suddenly find themselves out of work (some estimates say it could rise up to 10% of the population), I find myself having to vigorously ‘network’ which I find quite distasteful.  It just seems phony that five minutes after meeting someone, you ask what he or she does and offhandedly ask, “oh by the way, do you mind forwarding on my resume?” 

 

Then you have to walk that fine line between being persistent and nagging to make sure it actually gets done.  Few things are more degrading than being a supplicant…

However, it has to be done, and I find myself pleasantly surprised by how helpful relative strangers can be.  Perhaps it is because they are doing so with no sense of obligation, but because they want to help.  There was one woman at a top company who met with me once, and it was a total waste of her time since I was unqualified.  However, I wrote her a thank you note afterwards, (apparently a dying practice), and we parted on very pleasant terms.

This was a few months ago.  After getting laid off, I reached out to her yet again, and asked her if she would not mind keeping her eyes open for me. My motivation was to cover all my angles, as opposed to actually expecting anything of it.  She wrote me back 10 minutes later, stating 6 companies that she had forwarded my resume to.

I don’t expect anything to come of this, but that is not the point.  She is just so sweet and nice to do this, and I feel enormously grateful to her.  I wrote her a 2nd thank you note for all her trouble, and said that I hope one day I can help her out in some way.  This is not out of any sense of debt, but because it gives me great pleasure to help someone who helped me. 

I am too cynical to tie this generic story specifically to Thanksgiving, and besides that, this is a feeling that can happen any time of the year. 

It is truly a warm, human, feeling to help someone, and such a pleasant surprise to be helped.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Matt

7 Responses to “A Thanksgiving Story”

  1. Jeanne Byington Said:

    I think 10 percent is far too conservative a figure, Matt. If you count the millions who are off the unemployment rolls because they’ve not yet found a job and their time is up and the others who are severely underemployed, the figure could well hit 20 percent in my opinion.

    However, I predict that the best and the young, like you, will be fine.

    But there are other far more important reasons that you will succeed in getting a great job: You are superb at sales, which is what you’re doing so splendidly for yourself. The stranger who helped you wouldn’t stick out her neck for you if she hadn’t been impressed. In addition, you write beautifully–a clear service to any prospective employer. And you know what service is about–how to be sensitive to the needs of clients, family and friends. Here’s to the fortunate company that wins you.

  2. Mimi Fukui Said:

    What a wise, lovely and positive story,
    It should be shared with as many people as possible, those in need of a boost and those who are in a position to open doors, however slightly. It also is in step with the new climate that is permeating our nation with interest in volunteerism.
    Lastly the writer’s manners are so correct and so thoughtful that it is delight to read!

  3. Frank Paine Said:

    Matt, I’m really glad that you’ve had such positive experiences. I doubt if many people have them. My experience, which includes two extended bouts of unemployment, is that most resumes are not even acknowledged, much less passed on or otherwise replied to. Likewise, networking channels are generally burned out. It helps a lot though, if you’re under 40 years old…Anyway, the best of luck to you…

  4. Ginny Said:

    Jeanne, this is wonderful. I think you have a new coup to add to your list of acheivements!

  5. Matt Mecs Said:

    First off,
    I would like to thank Jeanne for giving me the opportunity to post on her blog. In addition, everyone should know she has mentored me for over a year now, and is just the most giving, caring person you can possibly imagine.

    Secondly, I wanted to thank everyone for reading my entry, and sharing your comments. Unfortunately, the job market is a challenge, but I will remain positive throughout. On the off chance that anyone has any leads, please feel free to email me at mattmecs@hotmail.com (a networker’s job is never done!)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  6. Seneca Said:

    Matt,

    I changed jobs three times, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and found in each case that the people who helped me and were the most supportive were not necessarily those from whom I expected help or were close to me, but were people who were generous by nature. I think it says something about the personality of those of us who are service oriented.
    Given how beautifully and sensitively you write, I doubt that you will have any problem landing on your feet.
    Good luck!
    Seneca

  7. Tom Said:

    Why not tie it all to Thanksgiving? Among other things, isn’t that one day at the end of Novemeber all about gathering together all those wonderfully warm and human and selfless acts that have happened during the year and giving joyful thanks for all of them. Maybe it’s a way to counteract that step into cynicism that is only too easy to take. Maybe it’s a way of restoring or bolstering faith in the basic goodness in humanity.

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