Thursday, June 15, 2006


Some people look for work the high-tech way - searching and applying for jobs online. Others look for jobs the old-fashioned way. You may know some of them -- because they knock on apartment doors in June, offering to cut the grass.

We found interesting examples of both approaches to the job hunt Wednesday. The old-fashioned approach could be seen at the Columbus Career Center, where interviews were underway for the area's new hospital. The fact that it's located in Phenix City didn't seem to upset anyone there.

The new Summit Hospital is scheduled to open in Phenix City in August. Yet executives apparently felt they had to come to Columbus to find workers. Is Alabama's unemployment rate that low -- or do that many jobless people have trouble finding the Fifth Avenue Extension?

You may recall the top executive of Summit Hospital was fired a couple of years ago, with construction barely started. There was concern about him wanting to live in Columbus, and not being "committed" to Phenix City. Maybe the people being interviewed Wednesday are expected to move on to the new Kia plant....

Yes, I know - Columbus has six times more people than Phenix City, so the "worker pool" is bigger. But it seems strange to hear about Summit Hospital hiring workers on the Columbus side of the river first. Will this medical center have doctors which Doctors Hospital throws away?

WRBL reported the search Wednesday at the Columbus Career Center actually focused on food workers. Hopefully the new hospital will pay more than fast-food restaurants do - and hopefully a consumer group won't file suit, over its trans-fats.

So what about the high-tech way to find a job? We found a surprising approach Wednesday, which also involves WRBL. Reporter Chris Sweigart is advertising himself -- on his own web site. Apparently the fees charged by eBay simply are too high....

I don't know when started, but he's clearly using it to offer his services as a journalist - and apparently not to WRBL. After all, that's the top item on his resume page. You'd figure the bosses there would know he works there now.

You can even see a short video clip on Chris Sweigart's home page, with some of his "Running With the Bulls" reports from Iraq. The clip plays automatically, whether you want it to start or not - so maybe he borrowed this idea from America Online.

Hopefully Chris Sweigart does NOT think he can find a new job simply by setting up a web site with his own video clip and resume. It takes much more than that to be noticed online these days - like a Myspace page listing all your enemies.

As someone who's had web sites and blogs for more than six years, I've learned the Internet is a good sales tool only if you market yourself in other ways. News spreads fast in cyberspace only if it involves outlandish politics or strange dancing.

Anyone can put out a "cyber-shingle" and have a web site or online business. But there's still no alternative for personal sales calls - and I mean phone calls, not e-mails. So many Power Frisbee e-mails have gone unanswered this year that I wonder if some people thought the frisbee came with an electrical cord.

A friend of mine put a nice and simple one-page resume online a couple of years ago, at a web site in her name. She
told me later she had to wait more than a year before finding full-time employment. Maybe if she'd put some of those cheap Google ads on it, for extra money....

We'll see if the personal web site works any better for Chris Sweigart - and now let's look at other Wednesday discoveries, on a day when admittedly I let an overtime hockey game distract me:

+ Top Junior ROTC members from Muscogee and Chattahoochee County participated in a "Leadership Challenge" camp at Fort Benning. We were able to see the agenda, and it included a lunch of "meals ready to eat." Don't they WANT these young people to become soldiers someday?

+ Muscogee and Harris County high school football coaches held a camp for young people at Kinnett Stadium. They celebrated Flag Day in a unusual way - by trying to avoid having officials throw any.

+ WXTX "News at Ten" interviewed a Notasulga couple which makes a soap made from goat milk. As long as no one fouls up the processing, and no goat hairs get mixed in....

+ Closing arguments were made in the Don Siegelman corruption trial. Prosecutors argued the former Alabama Governor had a "pay to play" policy when he was in office. So? What do you expect from a lottery supporter?

(Instant Message to Mr. Siegelman: Are you going online at night, and calling up some of Bill Campbell's speeches from Atlanta -- just in case?)

COMING FRIDAY: Is it time for an old blog question to have a second look?

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