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April 2009

Stop the Interview Lies (And Get A Fit For Your Culture) With These 2 Simple Questions...

When it comes to interviewing, Tim Russert or Chris Matthews you are not...

Fortunately, when interviewing for open positions in your company, you don't have to be.  I was reminded of this when I was reading a past Workforce Recruiting article focused on how to maximize retention, by being a more effective/efficient recruiter.

The primary thoughts?  It ain't rocket science, behavioral interviewing is your best option, and don'tHardball_1 forget to figure out what type of culture jazzes your candidates.

Inside the Workforce Recruiting article, T-Mobile's featured as using behavioral interviewing to figure out the cultural "turn-on's" of candidates, using the specific question, "Tell me about the company's culture you are currently working with".

That's a good start, but not HARD enough.  You've got to make the candidate take a stand, so you can evaluate what makes them tick.  Here's how to make it better and grind on a candidate to get exactly what you need.

When it comes to the workplace, there's a lot of theory out there regarding the best way to interview candidates.  Whether it's a Behavioral Interview, a Skill-Based Interview or an interview filled with hypothetical questions, everyone's got a system.  Most hiring managers, in my experience, ask way too many hypothetical questions (examples - "How do you deal with low-performing employees?"), a style I'm critical of since it's so easy to BS your way through that type of interview.

The fact that hypothetical questions are easy to fake (No strengths?  Just make some up and sell it baby!) gave rise to the behavioral interview, which attempts to cut through the hype/spin by asking candidates about specific experiences they have ACTUALLY had. 

Unfortunately, the Behavioral Interview is only as good as the interviewer.  You can ask a behavioral question ("Tell me about a time you had to tell your boss they were wrong), but if the interviewee gives you hypothetical soft stuff back, you've got to have the ability to interrogate/grind on them about what they actually did when faced with that situation. 

In my experience, even those with a lot of in-house training are limited in their ability to grind on a candidate.  Feels too much like interrogation, and most of us hate confrontation.  That's a problem, because your miss rate (defined as the percentage of hires you make that don't work out because they weren't a fit for the job or your culture) goes way up as a result. 

What's my solution?  I'm a believer in the Behavioral Interview, but if I had only five minutes with a candidate, I'd ask them the following two questions:

-Tell me when you have been most satisfied in your career...

-Tell me when you have been least satisfied in your career...

Those two questions measure Motivational Fit and are stunning in their simplicity to match a candidate with your culture.  Assuming you like the background and experiences of the candidate and are confident they can do the job, you really only need to evaluate if your company, the specific opportunity, and the candidate are a fit for each other.  So, ask these questions one at a time.  Once you get the response from the candidate, ask "why?" and say "tell me more" multiple times.  Then, s.h.u.t. u.p.   Seriously - stop talking.  Don't bail the candidate out, but rather force them to tell you what really jazzes them about jobs and companies, and subsequently, what drives them crazy.

Once you get that, you'll have what you need.  Candidate likes a lot of structure, but all you can provide is that circus you call a company?  Move on.   Candidate likes to play ping-pong for 4 hours a day, but your CEO walks around evaluating if people are working hard enough by how unhappy they look?  Probably not going to work out.

Give it a try and spend at least 5 minutes on each item.  You'll be shocked at the value of what candidates tell you in response to these simple questions. 

Coach K, Greg Paulus and the Freaky Power of the Employment Brand...

Think the power/aura of the employment brand doesn't matter as much as some people allude to?  Then you need to consider the curious case of Greg Paulus, who recently finished his career in college basketball as a point guard for Coach K at Duke University.

Stick around even if you're not into sports.  It'll be worth it Paulus .

First up, let's tell you who Paulus is and why I'm talking about him related to employment branding.  From the sports section of the New York Times:

"Greg Paulus, who is 6 feet 1 inch and 185 pounds, was the national high school player of the year as a quarterback at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, but he turned down an offer to play football at Notre Dame to become a point guard at Duke. He was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils, but his career faded as a senior last season. Paulus started 5 of 36 games and saw little playing time in the Atlantic Coast Conference and N.C.A.A. tournaments after Duke made Jon Scheyer its starting point guard.

Paulus will graduate from Duke in May, and he has exhausted his college eligibility in basketball. But under N.C.A.A. rules, he has one year of eligibility in another sport. After four years as a point guard for Duke’s basketball team, Greg Paulus suddenly has a future as a quarterback.

Paulus, 22, said he was weighing interest from college and N.F.L. teams, as well as potential opportunities to play professional basketball. He has worked out for the Green Bay Packers, and he confirmed that he had an offer to compete for the quarterback job at Michigan next season."

What's this got to do with employment branding, you ask?  Employment branding is about creating an aura around your brand - you're a great place to work, so naturally candidates will want to come to work for you.  In fact, the opportunity at your company is so special that candidates will likely take less money for a chance to work at a gig in your firm.  You're special, candidates know it, and as a result, you not only get more than your share, you at times might even get candidates you don't deserve when you look at the competition.

Duke didn't deserve Paulus, not when you compare the Duke opportunity for a talent like Paulus against the competition.  They got him because of the branding of Coach K and the Duke Basketball program. 

Think about it.  Paulus was the NATIONAL player of the year in Football, and skilled enough to still have opportunity even after 4 years away from the sport.  He was the top player in the nation in Football.  And in basketball, while he was good enough to play at Duke, he wasn't the top player in the nation - far from it.

They have a name for point guards in college basketball with average speed and average shooting skills.  Role Players... Bench Warmers.... Statistics...  I know, because at one time in my life, I was a college basketball player (at a much lower level than Duke) at the point with average quicks and a suspect jumper.  Life was hard.  I had to scrap for EVERYTHING I got.  Nothing came easy. (see photo above for perspective).

Which is why Paulus got benched this year at Duke.  He was average, and Coach K finally bit the bullet and sat him down for the majority of the year.

That brings us back to the concept of the employment brand.  Paulus traded being the national player of the year and a certain star in college football to be an average player for Duke basketball.  He ultimately gave up the glory to play for Coach K and Duke. 

May your employment brand land a Greg Paulus or two this year that you don't deserve, but get anyway. 

Obama and Kim Jong Il - Dealing With Outliers As a New Manager...

Interesting past couple of weeks for President Obama, and not without similar issues to any new manager on the scene.

Case in point - Obama's in Europe, and while he's attempting to build relationships and show he'sKim-Jong-Il-R different than George W. Bush, crazy Kim Jong II of North Korea has to go off and launch a test missile that has to be in violation of a couple hundred U.N. resolutions.

Translation from the workplace - new manager, reported to be calm and understanding, on the scene.  Fringe player with history of wild bull rushes sees game changing, maybe feels like he's not getting the attention/respect he deserves, and thus sends a message that in order to be successful, the new leader will need to deal with him - perhaps sooner rather than later.

More on the scene from Kathleen Parker at the Houston Chronicle:

"He says we should show leadership by listening. That we should work in partnership with others. That we should show humility. This is, of course, pure porn for women. But unfortunately, women don’t rule the world. Men still do. And we have to worry whether Obama will be viewed as weak and the U.S., therefore, vulnerable.

And because the world is thus, we are also necessarily concerned whether Obama will respond aggressively enough when appropriate. This is because Americans still don’t really know Obama yet. At each turn since taking office, he reveals new aspects of himself.

We now know that he is without qualm when he finds it necessary to fire corporate chiefs. But will he be as bold when rogue nations strap on their Speedos and display their missilery, as North Korea just did?

If life were a playground, one would have to infer that Kim Jong Il needs some attention. What he really wants is respect, according to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who met Kim in 2000. What he got from Obama was what the Chihuahua gets when the Great Dane shows up. Obama played it cool, in other words. He condemned Pyongyang for threatening stability and reiterated his commitment to reduce nuclear weaponry in the world — but was noncommittal about possible consequences.

For many, he was too cool by half. A Rasmussen poll reported that 57 percent of Americans want military action against North Korea. (Another war so soon?) John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the president’s approach constituted “hand-wringing,” which is a polite way of saying Obama is “girly.” But was Obama really too cool? Or are we not listening?"

Building off that, here are some choices for the new leader when faced with lower stakes in the corporate arena:

1.  Ignore the pest, at risk of being viewed as negligent by all onlookers.

2.  Take hard action against the fringe player, possibly cause sympathy for outlier across a portion of the workforce, but leave no doubt who's in charge.  If previous manager replaced was a hard charger, perhaps cause a "here we go again" vibe towards the new manager.

3.  Express tolerance and patience for the outlier, and attempt to box the outlier in with a combination of pressure from other parties and a reliance on dialog and process.

Let's say you're in the workplace as a new manager, and like Obama, an outlier makes a charge to see "what you're made of".  Of the three choices above, only #1 seems to be easily eliminated.  Doing nothing and ignoring the problem will likely irritate all involved, especially if the behavior continues.  That's why they call it leadership, right?

As for the remaining two options - where do you go?  What do you do?  Do you charge ahead and approach the issue head-on, showing strength?  Or do you work back channels and try and reel the outlier in?

Fascinating stuff.  What would you do?  Leadership 101, but when dealing with nukes and life, not sure there's a right answer to this Leadership question.  I'm pretty sure there is more than one wrong answer.

Why Lollygagging @Work May Be Good For Your Long-Term Career...

You're right.  You're a hard worker, and these slackers around you don't have what it takes to keep up.  In fact, that's probably a good thing, because it's hard to tolerate their lack of focus, desire to gossip and general questionable skills, isn't it?

Keeping your nose to the grindstone and displaying the unwillingness to participate in the office BS is theBrownnose perfect way to move from individual contributor to manager of people.

Of course, that's where your past zero-sum mentality can come back to haunt you.  When you actually NEED them.  Whoops!

More from the always accessible and relevant Jason Seiden:

"You go to work. You crank through your work. Everyone else is lolly-gagging, dragging their feet and doing anything but working.  You’re a model of efficiency.  You’re also annoying.

Hey, that’s a badge of honor, right? When slackers don’t like you, that’s validation that you’re a hard worker, diligent, focused, a true team player!

See, one day—maybe sooner, maybe later—you’ll need something from someone. You’ll need one of those slow pokes to rush a job for you. Or you’ll be put in charge of a project and you’ll need them to listen to you. Or you’ll have a little mystery on your hands and you’ll need someone else’s help to solve it. Something.

And you know what you’ll have? You’ll have a black-and-white situation on your hands, where the person either says yes or no to your request, and if the answer is no, the only recourse you’ll have is to go tell your boss so she can help you, you poor, misunderstood little worker-bee. You know why that’s what you’ll have to do? Because of what you won’t have: a relationship with the people that allows you to use personal influence or even referent power. All you’ll have, maybe, is formal authority and, uh, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but… uh… those people around you who are procrastinating today? Well, they don’t seem to have too much respect for formal authority, see… so I’m guessing when annoying, workaholic, do-gooder you shows up one day waving your “formal authority card,” they’re going to laugh in your face and ignore you."

If you aren't getting Seiden's daily rants delivered to you, go here and sign up now.  The clip above shows why I consider Jason to be the freshest voice going in leadership development. 

Just felt like sharing that today.  Brilliant clip from a smart guy.

Parade Magazine - Wrapping My Coffee Grinds Every Week, Except This One...

I don't mean to go negative on a publication that's been around since my grandmother was listening to Orson Wells on the BIG radio, but here are a couple of data points related to Parade magazine (the filler in every Sunday paper known to man):

1.  I'm not an intellectual when it comes to reading.  I like pictures, people.  BIGParade pictures...

2.  Parade magazine has lots of pictures... Usually with subjects who have BIG smiles on their faces.  Lots of happy people in Parade Magazine.... scary happy...

3.  That said, the content's a little light.  So light, I'm grabbing the Shoe Carnival circular out of my wife's hand as "preferred" reading, leaving her with Parade and the details of how Charlie Sheen has made it "back"....

So, that's the state of affairs 51 weeks out of the year.  But once a year, you get surprised by Parade Magazine... You know the issue - the annual "What People Earn" issue that hit this last Sunday.

It's the issue you love to grab.  Why?  Because it's time to judge all the participants.   Click here to see the full rundown and to get you started, I've pulled some highlights from the online version.  Let's get some quick themes from the data below:

1.  There's a dog sitter from St. Louis earning 100K.  Is there any doubt she's working for the Social Media Headhunter?  Insert your follow-up comment <here>...

2.  The world values a dog-sitter to a higher degree than a teacher and computer scientist...

3.  If you are in LA, the right title for your business card is director, not filmmaker.  Filmmaker likely means you are funding your own flicks and showing all revenue as "income".

4.  Tyler Perry made $125 Million last year. 

Why do people give up their info, for this survey, when they're earning 2K, without an explanation?  Enjoy the figures, and sorry the pictures didn't make it through....

Macro Employee Turnover Statistics - Worthless Until You Show Me The $$$...

I'm on record as saying in the past that the best way to to see HR pros judge one another is to say that another HR pro has 64 percent turnover in their shop.  Then step back to watch the judging and snobbery ensue.  Everyone generally tries to get just a little bit superior.  It's like Dana Carvey and the church lady, HR version.

Since we’re human, it stands to reason that HR pros have been known to judge one another. Since ourChurchlady part of the business isn’t known for quantifiable metrics, turnover percentages in the businesses we support represent a rare opportunity to feel a little bit superior. Of course, we conveniently forget that industry, pay strategy, and culture all intersect and conspire to make such comparisons ridiculous.

Case in point, the big turnover numbers that are rolled up by industry and sector.

More on the game of turnover from the gold standard of Compensation, Ann Bares:

"And now, in response to reader demand and a begging email on my part, Compdata has generously shared the following 2008 turnover data, both voluntary and total, by industry.  This data is particularly robust, having been collected from nearly 5,300 participating HR departments.

2008 Turnover Rates

There's no question that voluntary turnover is waaaaay down due to the economy.  Still, this type of macro-level turnover data is pretty useless in helping you on the street level.  That's not Ann's fault, because she's reporting something of interest to all of us.  Still, you need to dig at least one, if not two levels deeper to find information of value to you in your business.

Here's why:

  1. Turnover is relative, and many HR managers in organizations don’t understand that. This is especially so if they’ve never worked in a high turnover business. Retail, big-box call centers and hard-knock production environments are all examples of places where 40 percent turnover can mean you’re best in class.

  2. Many HR pros don’t understand that money and working conditions drive turnover. Do the jobs you have lead or bring up the rear of the market with turnover? If you pay $9 an hour in your call center and the market pays $10.50, budget for turnover and evaluate your business plan for talent costs at least annually. Still want to pay $9? OK, just make sure everyone knows that turnover is going to run 70 to 100 percent. It’s a business decision. Maybe not a great business decision, but a business decision nonetheless. Sue Meisinger herself couldn’t get turnover below 60 percent under those circumstances.

  3. Many HR pros really don’t have a great understanding of how to calculate turnover. I send out my turnover calculator about 20 times a month upon e-mail request, and let’s just say the method is not well known. Example: If you have 100 people in your company, and you lost two this month, and that trend continues, your annualized turnover would be 24 percent, not 2 percent. Lots of folks add up three months of turnover and report it quarterly as, say, 6 percent, and then repeat the process for the next quarter. I’m not being critical of those who haven’t been exposed to the correct way to report annual turnover. I’m just encouraging my HR colleagues not to judge those with higher numbers who are reporting their turnover accurately.

Don't feel good or bad according to the macro turnover stats.  Get street level data to validate whether you're struggling... or should feel superior.

Full Pay Transparency - Only If the Cameras Are Rolling....

Privacy issues reign supreme when it comes to pay transparency. You have a silent majority in your company. This majority doesn’t have fundamental issues with the way they are paid, and are fine with your system as is, especially if they are high performers. They also value privacy over transparency. Increasing your level of pay transparency, even by publishing ranges for every position in your company, will feel like an invasion of privacy to this majority. Pay is personal to them, and they don’t want people speculating about where they’re at in their own job’s salary range. When you increase your level of transparency, they’ll feel sold out. They’ll also blame you.

Still, there are folks - usually those who don't have to deal with the fallout of the employee issues thatWorkplaice_goss result - who call for full and complete transparency. 

To that crew, I think I have your product.  Allow employees to raise their hand if they want to know what some other people make, but in exchange for that, two things happen:

1.  The employees who want salary data on others have to fully disclose their own pay to others who opt into the program, and

2.  Everyone who agrees is immediately thrown into a special group that will be taped as a part of a 10 week reality show.  Each week, one person has their position eliminated as the tribe (those who opted in) decide collectively who adds the least value.

Why didn't I think of this?  It's the perfect solution for those (in the minority in America, btw) who want full transparency but don't understand the consequences. 

What?  Someone's already got the idea for the TV show?   More from Variety:

"Fox has found a way to help struggling small businesses as they downsize in this tough economic climate. Sort of.  The network has picked up the reality competish "Someone's Gotta Go," which enters real businesses across the country and gives employees the power to decide which one of them will be terminated.

Endemol USA is behind the show, which is already in production -- and could be on the air by late summer or early fall.

"It's 'Survivor' meets 'The Office,'" said Fox reality chief Mike Darnell, never shy when it comes to provocative series ideas. "When someone is arbitrarily let go the first reaction usually is 'How come that person was fired when another idiot is still here?' This finally gives employees a chance to make that decision instead of a boss."

Fox and Endemol are keeping some aspects of the show under wraps, but here's what's known: Each episode will revolve around a different small business -- usually one with 15-20 employees -- that has been forced to make staff reductions because of the sour economy.

The company's books will be opened up to the employees, who will learn what everyone makes and what's in their human resources files. Employees will also get a chance to say, face to face, what they really think of one another.

Ultimately, the employees will vote on who should be terminated. That person will likely receive a small severance, but that's it.

The concept for "Someone's Gotta Go" came about after Darnell saw a TV news report on a business owner who had been struggling -- and decided to disclose to her employees what they all earned. That sparked a discussion among those employees on who was earning too much and how to cut costs."

It's shocking that real companies and real employees would sign the waiver required, yet perfect when viewed in the context of pay transparency.  The moral?  The wisdom of the crowd will undoubtedly focus on someone the pack views as overpaid without context to what that person does for the company in question.

Alliances will be formed, and over a short period of time (10 minutes? 20 minutes?), people will go into self-preservation mode.  The end result will have little to do with reality in a business context and everything to do with the pack.

Rome was the mob.  So is the workplace when it comes to pay transparency.

I gotta get some concepts from the workplace together for my own reality TV show.  Maybe one with nothing but HR folks.  Check that - probably not racy enough...

Hey Switzerland-Like HR Pros - Still Think Unions Are OK?

I'll admit it.  I don't get it when HR pros don't know what the EFCA stands for, and even when they do know, don't care.  I don't get it when HR pros think that they can't have an opinion about whether unions are good or bad for employees, or as a result, good or bad for companies.  Or god forbid that they think that being organized is actually OK, even if it happens under their watch.  I don't get it when they don't get irate about the confidential vote potentially being eliminated under the EFCA.

I'll step off the soapbox for now and offer up the following to the HR pros out there who think unions areStand_neutral_lg_e OK, and perhaps part of a broader "partnership" that holds hands with companies to create a greater good.  I call you the Switzerland of HR, because you're scared to have an opinion.

The following is from a CWA website organizing brief designed to rally union members as the CWA tries to hammer out a new agreement with the landline operation of AT&T.  From the Communication Workers of America:

"We are still at the table, arguing over every line, but this will not be fixed at the table.  Your Locals have been given information on what it means to work without a contract.  The Union still has the option of calling a strike at the time WE want one.  We will not be driven into the street by a Company that is ready to have managers, contractors and scabs do our work.  Now it is your turn.  If there is "business as usual" in your office, that list above will become your new Contract.  YOU MUST mobilize in every workplace.  You must affect the Company's bottom line and show them you will not stand for these attacks on our members and our Union.

That clip was from a bargaining update on 4/7/09 at the site.  Here's a clip from the 4/9/09 version:

"For those of you working this weekend, remember – NO BUSINESS AS USUAL."

So let me break that down for you.  If you click through to the brief, you'll see an update on the various items being negotiated, and the general theme is "how DARE they" (referring to the company).  That part I get - it's their union, and whipping the troops up is a part of their business.

But wait - look at the words in bold - no business as usual, mobilize and affect the company's bottom line.  Think about that for a second.  The union in question is working without a contract, carrying the old contract forward while both sides remain at the table, so they elected not to strike.  In the place of that, they're suggesting that any behavior - slowdowns, disruptive behavior, as well as a lot of things they won't put in print, are the responsibilities of employees who are union members to pressure the company.

WOW.  No business as usual, huh?  Then you see reports of fiber cuts on the AT&T network.

Hey HR Switzerland, still feel like you shouldn't have an opinion?  Here's some theme music to get you in the mood for what you're inviting:

Sales Pros - Born or Made?

I think all HR pros should recruit.  It's part of the future DNA of the HR pro.  Talent agent, salesperson, etc., all rolled up into one.  Recruit or die.  If you don't want to recruit on any level, you're probably an administrator.  Why wouldn't you want to be involved with bringing talent into the organization?

So, the first openings I've picked up at DAXKO (me serving as the primary recruiter) are as follows - VP ofGggrfilm Sales and Account Executive.  We're a software company, so I'm looking for peeps who have sold software or at least been involved in some type of technology sale with a fair amount of complexity.  Hit me in the comments, email or twitter if you've got a lead for me.

But, I digress.  Chasing openings on the sales front has made me think about the candidate flow that I have seen over the past week, and more importantly made me think of an age old question - are sales pros (good ones) born or made? 

When I think sales, I immediately think of Glengarry Glen Ross - it's just the natural thing to do.  When I think born or made, I think of Eddie Murphy in trading places.  With those images in mind, I went out to see what people were saying recently about great sales pros being born or made, and found the following nugget of wisdom from sales training guru Dave Kahle over at the Marketing Minute:

"Are successful salespeople made or born? It is the eternal question: the sales manager's version of nature versus nurture.

Since I spend most of my time teaching salespeople how to become better at their jobs, I'm 100 percent in the "made" camp.  A good salesperson acts in the right way. His or her behavior is ultimately what determines his degree of success.

Thus, I believe that anyone can be taught the principles, processes and practices of effective sales. I like to characterize it like this: On a 1 – 10 scale, I can take 7s and make them into 10s. I can take 4s and make them into 7s. I can take 1s and make them into 4s. But I can't take 1s and make them into 10s.

But, from one person's perspective, here are my observations of the essential character traits of a successful salesperson.

1. They truly want to be successful.

2. "The ability and propensity to learn."

3.  Successful salespeople deal successfully with adversity.

4. "the ability to focus."

Click through to the article for more detail regarding Dave's thoughts on the character traits.  What I got from Dave's article is the following - he believes that Sales Pros are usually made, not born.  He feels he can coach anyone to the next level, which is really a demonstrated skill I should be looking for in our VP of sales.  That being said, he's not going all the way - he's looking for character traits that are actually behavioral characteristics that a candidate either has or doesn't have.

My take - you should believe the candidate can be coached to maximize their effectiveness, but from a behavioral interviewing standpoint, you've got to look for anchors that have made them successful.  Are those behaviors they were born with?  Maybe not, but if they don't have the behavioral history you're looking for, you're probably going to pass since you don't feel like you have the time/ability to teach someone to focus, deal with adversity, etc.

Enough with the heavy talk.  Here's some Trading Places to get you into the born/made thought process.

Get the iPhone, Skip the Mac - A Cautionary Tale for New Employees Everywhere....

So, I'm the new guy.  Starting a new job, life is full of promise and opportunity.  I'm with a great new company, some great people - the works.  Life is good.

One of the little perks that DAXKO offers is that we're open enough to offer employees a choice of whatSteve_jobs type of laptop they want.  You're a PC?  Of course, we can handle that.   You like the Mac?  We'll let you have that, if that's what you need.

How cool is that?  We'll let you be you, and support your platform without hesitation.  Unless you want an Acer laptop.  That's where we draw the line.

So coming into DAXKO I thought to myself, "You know, I've always heard how super it is to work off a Mac, so if DAXKO will provide that hardware to me, why wouldn't I give it a try and experience it?"  So after some quick research about how the windows environment was supported on the Mac (Windows still can run on the Mac, it's just a virtual session), it was on like Donkey Kong - I had a Mac the first day.

And that's basically where it went wrong for me.  After a lifetime of the PC platform, working off a Mac felt like I had moved from the Marriott to a funky little hostel on the outskirts of Amsterdam.  You know the type - the one with features that make it feel more authentic than the Marrott.  The 80 year-old faucets, small TV, etc.  The problem is that once you're used to Marriott, the "authenticity" of the hostel wears off the second time it takes three steps to do what used to take you one.

You want details?  No problem, I'll give you the top two:

-Mousepad on the MacBook Pro - no right and left click buttons.  Crippling to a long time PC user.

-No backspace button.  There's actually a "Delete" button that works like a backspace button, but there's no button that offers "delete" functionality.  So in order to delete text, you have to get to the point where you could backspace over text, then do that using the delete button.  So the delete button works like the backspace, but there no button that works like the delete button you're used to.  Which is where the Mac starts looking a lot like the funky hostel.  How do I get hot water? What's the number for the Marriott again?

There's much more, but I'll leave it at that.  If you're used to the Windows/Intel duopoly and are lucky enough (like me) to work for a company like DAXKO that lets you have it your way, my advice is simple:

Skip the Mac.

On a related note, as part of my season of change, I switched from a Blackberry to an iPhone when I moved to DAXKO.  To show I'm not a total hater, allow me to modify my stance.

Get the iPhone, Skip the Mac.

My name is KD, and I'm a PC.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to jet to take back all these black, mock turtlenecks I bought a month ago at Banana Republic.  As it turns out, I won't be needing them.