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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

How your career parallels the odyssey of a lost dog

When you're job hunting there's one thing you have to get right and this proves it.

"Oh no!" That's what I thought when I saw it.

A confused black Labrador Retriever stood in the middle of the road, oblivious to the fact that any of the passing cars could instantly end him.

This big black dog had brought traffic to a crawl on a busy divided highway in rural Virginia.

Pulling my car over to the shoulder,

I got out and put on my best babytalk voice, "Hey buddy, whatcha doing? Come here..." He trotted over like we were old friends. Relief!

(This makes me sound like some sort of animal savior à la the Dodo videos. I'm really not, but someone needed to do something, and it felt like my turn.)

Traffic started whooshing by as he jumped into the passenger side of my car and settled into the empty driver's seat like a treat was coming. I pushed him to the passenger's seat (not easy!) and drove a half mile into the parking lot of a nearby Dollar General to figure out what to do with him.

Huffing like he'd run a marathon, drooling and shedding on everything, he was obviously well-cared for and well-loved. While looking up the local animal shelter on my phone, I noticed he was wearing a new-ish dog collar.

The woman who answered listened to my story about finding the dog and asked, "Where are you?"

"I'm at the Dollar General on Route 9." She didn't respond. Not even an "Uh-huh."

"We're full. I don't know where we're going to put him," she said in frustration.

"He's not really a stray," I replied, probably inaccurately picturing the starving, shivering dogs I imagine the shelter gets. Babbling, I continued... "I'm sure the owner will come looking for the dog. He won't be there long." I pleaded. This lady was unfazed.

She asked again, "Where are you? Where did you find the dog?"

"In my tiny car on a hot June day with a huge dog who's not mine chewing on my water bottle cap!" is what I wanted to say. Instead, I repeated, this time a little irritably, "I'm at the Dollar General on Route 9!" I emphasized it speaking "Dollar General" and "Route 9" slowly.

It's a small town, and this new Dollar General sticks out like an Easter egg between the soybean fields

"How can she not know where I am?" I wonder.

She sighed, "You can bring him, but there's a $25 drop-off fee."

"What's your address?" She gave it to me and after we hung up, I entered it into Waze.

And that's when I realized why she didn't recognize the route number or the Dollar General landmark. I'd called an animal shelter in a county with the same name in Minnesota, 626 miles away!

Why am I telling you about my dumb move?

Details matter.

When we get laid off, become unemployed, or find ourselves job hunting for whatever reason, we have this entirely new and important responsibility. Usually sudden and unwelcome. But it's your turn, and you gotta do it.

Sure, we've heard about the things we should do, but we're stressed, rushed, and not experienced in the ways of this world. It's easy to get the details wrong.

Details are what sway people. The details are what decisions are based on. If you get the details wrong, they're gone.

Get the details right and you're home free.

You can start with LinkedIn Profile Payday, or just stay tuned right here. I share loads of good info that will hone in on details that seem like they don't matter, but they do.

PS - I took Big Dog to the local vet. A Minnesota road trip was not happening.

PPS - For free, they gave me a leash, him some water, and scanned him for a chip - he had one - then they gave me the number of the chip company to call.

PPPS - Twenty minutes later, the Big Dog was back in the hands of his very grateful owner.


Get the emails people describe as "Hysterical", "I love the way you write!" and "I read all your emails!" 👉 Right here.


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