How many people does it take to change a light bulb in bad economy?

Only one, but 200 applied for the job. While one is changing the light bulb, others are making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to apply for the job, as well as an equal opportunity to be denied.

Mr. Adison, the light bulb owner and the hiring manager, has a tough job of choosing the best candidate for the job. The job is easy and very temporary. But Mr. Adison wants it to be done with a state-of-the-art quality. And he wants it to be done fast, because Mr. Adison is sick and tired of sitting in the dark.  Perhaps it would be easier for Mr. Adison to do it himself, but unfortunately he has no skills or education. That’s why he can only be a Manager. And now he needs to choose a winner. Two hundred people are in the running. Two hundred people, who are yet to find that Mr. Adison has a surprise in store for them. That is: Mr. Adison himself is affected by the economy. So he can’t pay much. He can’t even pay little. He can only pay very little. This is a good check of the contender’s character. If one of the 200 will be too proud to take the job, the next guy will take it and be proud of the underpaid job done well. You know, low income is better than no income.

Mr. Adison needs to select one out of 200. He needs to do it fast, while there is still daylight.

Okay now, who are these folks?

Mr. Adison sees a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist, a news anchor, a marine biologist and a music professor. These guys are definitely under qualified.  Out.

There are 15 history majors. What’s wrong with you, people? Get real and get some worthwhile education. Out!

Fifty seven applicants are women. Yeah… Mr. Adison is an equal opportunity employer, and ladies have proved that they are a valuable work force, but… you know… They may refuse to do heavy lifting, they are emotional, they have PMS … and Mr. Adison can get himself into big personal trouble. Mr. Adison’s wife is not happy when an employee is changing a light bulb, standing on a ladder, in a mini-skirt, under (or rather above) Mr. Adison’s supervision. Mr. Adison does not want to upset Mrs. Adison, so ladies – out!

There are 22 non-Americans. Yeah… Mr. Adison is an equal opportunity employer, and these guys are showing lot of light-bulb-changing knowledge and experience. But, you know, they need sponsorship. Mr. Adison will have to hire a lawyer and obtain a work permit. This is a long process, and Mr. Adison can’t wait. He is in the dark, you know. Aliens (including legal) – out!

A bunch of kids, right out of high school, have applied. They are young, energetic and healthy. They need some money for double cheeseburger and cigarettes. They claim lot of home-based experience (my mom always made me change light bulbs). But, you know, there is too much liability with the kids. They may show up late for work, they may show up a bit intoxicated, or they may show up chaperoned by parents. Mr. Adison wants someone reliable. Youngsters –out!

Many résumés are not chronological. They usually declare vast experience. Like, 10 years as a front runner in this recognized company (you forgot to say when it was – 1970s, probably?), 15 years as a leading specialist in this great corporation (that should be around 80s-90s of last millennium?) Mr. Adison can count. Fifteen plus ten is twenty five (or something like this). That means the applicants are something like baby boomers (no offense). With all the respect to the elderly, Mr. Adison, an equal opportunity employer, would like to stay on the left side of age 30. Mature people, with all the respect – out.

Mr. Adison appreciates this ‘experience’ thing. It means the employee can recognize a mistake when he makes it again. It’s a good thing.

But experience in Information Technology is not what Mr. Adison is looking for. These people are too time-consuming. Before actually changing the light bulb they will waste time studying feasibility, then gathering requirements, then doing system analysis, design, implementation, integration, testing, acceptance, installation, deployment… (whatever it is). They will not even screw in the light bulb altogether – they will do it in increments, using agile approach (whatever it is). Mr. Adison does not have this much time. He is in the dark, you know. IT people – out!

The candidates’ pool is getting tighter. You can do it, Mr. Adison! You are now down to electrical engineering professionals. People with PHD – out! They are a little overqualified. Masters and Bachelors will do. There is one guy who even claims that he invented the light bulb. This may be handy. Unfortunately, the guy’s last name is Edison. It is kind of similar to Mr. Adison’s last name. Mr. Adison does not want people to think that he is hiring family. Mr. Adison is an equal opportunity employer. The Edison guy – out!

It’s getting darker. Make your pick, Mr. Adison. You can do it! There is a lot of talent to choose from.

And the winner is… A 26-years old single American guy, graduated first in class from a renown University. He is a self-starter, a team-player, a creative-visionary; he possesses leadership, communication, motivational and inspirational skills. He is a ‘fast-paced’ person, a ‘can-do’ person, a ‘go-to’ person. His work experience is proven, his skills are impressive, his personality is irresistible, he has great employment record, education record, medical record, criminal record he does not have. And he is not greedy. He can change a light bulb!!!

Actually, he can do so much more. But the economy is bad, you know. So Mr. Adison is his best shot – for now. For now, it’s his bitter triumph over 199 pretty good people.

You know, it is never a bad time to reach for the stars. It’s just, when the time is bad; you reach for the stars which are closer. (Like light bulbs.)