Conversations with Phil.

Hey, everybody. Gabe here. I just wanted to start this piece off with an important note. This post has nothing to do with "Conversations with Phil," the incredible podcast made by my old buddy Phil Gerbyshak.
Phil Gerbyshak is a human being that I know, and he is entertaining and thoughtful. This post is about my ongoing passive-aggressive battle with robots.

I am currently "on the market" for jobs, so to speak. And as a result, I get a lot of email from recruiters. But one particular recruiter is very special to me. And I want to tell you more about him. 

Meet Phil. 

On Feb. 24, Phil, who is a recruiter with a primary placement agency sent me a job so new that not many people had applied for it yet. I dutifully clicked on the link, and sadly, the job was so new that there was no job there at all, just an ugly 404 Page Not Found error.

So I shot Phil back a message. "Hey Phil, your Robot sent me a garbage link."

Phil replied almost immediately. "Thanks so much for reaching out. Here are a billion links, none of which respond to your message. But feel free to call or write support."

"Talk Soon!" Phil wrote. Seriously. The email message says "Talk Soon!" Phil, whose email signature implies he's located in Santa Monica, Californa, thinks that he and I are going to "talk." And "soon."

"Phil, your robot wasn't super helpful," I said.

Phill did not reply. It would not be the first time I would be disappointed in my conversations with Phil.

Feb. 27th.

Phil writes to let me know that "he wanted to reach out" and let me know that he's aware of a job I applied for and that there are other jobs that are kind-of vaguely like that one, and if I click the 1-click apply button he'll go ahead and submit my application. That's super thoughtful Phil. Thanks, buddy.

And the tone of this email is so different than his previous emails. He might actually be a person.

I decided I had better ask..

Phil does not respond.

March 11th.

Phill writes again. I get a lot of email from Phil. I've received 27 emails from Phil in the past 25 days. This email, though, This email is different. This email is to an obviously scammy multi-level marketing company that has little to nothing to do with the kind of jobs I would consider.

I've had it. I'm sorry, Phil. But I have to say something. "Stop sending me multi-level marketing jobs. We both know you're a better recruiter than that, Phil."

Now I feel bad; I don't mean to chastise Phil. He's probably a real person; he's got a quota to meet. "Send me your picture,"]I add. See! I'm not a jerk. I should add more. "Are you human? Let's be friends."

Phil responds almost immediately. I've seen it all before. Blah blah blah, "Talk Soon."


Talk soon, buddy.


March 14

Phill found a job that he thinks lines up with my resume. "It's new, so they don't have many candidates yet..." I can't take it anymore. I know Phil is a human being, in my heart, I know this. But as I man of science, I must know for sure. I MUST DETERMINE FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL! ARE YOU A MAN OR A MACHINE, PHIL? WHICH IS IT?

That message was sent 38 minutes ago. And Phil has not yet responded.

Have I gone too far? Did my casual application of the Liars Paradox break the Phil robot? Have I killed him? Phil? Are you still out there buddy?

Oh god.

What have I done?