Yesterday I received an email from a recruiter (re: headhunter) wanting to know if I was interested in doing web development for the Federal government. I don't want to get too terribly specific with which branch of the government (I'm being supersititous here, which is silly, because I'm an atheist), but suffice it to say I was very excited to get the query. Taking a look at the website of the department in question -- which was pretty sorry stuff if you ask me -- I told him I was very interested in hearing more. And of course, I haven't heard a peep in response after that.

I felt uncomfortable the more I thought about the initial email. For starters, I get three messages a day from headhunters, sometimes more. I'm wary of recruiters, anyway -- wary of contractors in general. The whole idea of outsourcing your human resources staff just seems like yet another unnecessary level of abstraction mounted to an organization, just one more middle man to deal with. I told him my salary requirement (probably too high), plus my desire for continued tuition remission or a similar commitment to training. I'm sure I was asking for too much, this is an employer's market right now, unlike the heady days of the late 1990's when anyone who knew how to use a shit WYSIWYG application like FrontPage (or worse -- GoLive!) could get any job they wanted.

The lack of response is somewhat bothersome, just as the lack of response from the last job interview I was on really troubles me. Is the economy so bad, that these people don't feel it matters to tell the candidate "No, we're not interested"? I interviewed exactly one month ago this coming Friday, and I've heard nothing. I had to get friends of mine in the company to find out what the story was (a person was offered the job, but never responded to the offer). Numerous email messages to the guy who interviewed me garnered zero response. I know they're getting flooded with resumes, but come on! How long does it take to type a short email -- just three words are necessary, "No, not interested."

Ultimately, I'm glad that I have a job -- a lot of people in web development don't. But I sit here chafing with boredom, desperately wanting a new challenge. And yet that challenge keeps eluding me. It's frustrating to do the same things day in and day out -- to follow a cycle attuned to the rhythms of higher education and the constant turnover of students you have to deal with. Yet, the job market is terrible. I can't help thinking that it might be better for me to just bide my time until things turn around again, as they inevitably will.