Mary and Leo smiling in a field of purple tulips

Tiptoeing through the tulips

First, a story:

Two years ago I was approached by an external recruiter who had read my blog posts. He asked if I had time to talk about his client, Navigating Cancer. I responded that I was not actively looking for new work, and in fact would be taking maternity leave in three months, but was interested in the opportunity and would be happy to talk given those caveats. We scheduled a phone call for later that week, and then he never called me. Never apologized or explained, UNTIL… exactly three months later, he contacted me again, with no mention of our previous correspondence. “I know you’re super busy at [former place of work],” he wrote, “but can we schedule a time to chat about a company you might be interested in, Navigating Cancer?”

The email arrived while I was in labor, and I can’t remember if I later responded that I was literally having a baby when he wrote oh and by the way, he stood me up last time, or if I only imagined doing so. It was memorable to me because his first email was so personal and diligent — he had tapped into several of my social media profiles, and commented on their content. When I told him about my upcoming maternity leave he even said “3 months! How exciting!” And then somehow he managed to blow all that goodwill by not calling me when he said he would, and contacting me again at the very worst possible time.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago:

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