WTF? 3:30PM?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by redtop, Apr 29, 2013.

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  1. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    A district contacted my wife to arrange a Skype interview. They proposed 10AM. She replied that she's in class during the day, and suggested "4PM on that or any other day, although 4:15 would be more comfortable."

    The district replied "3:30 is the latest we can do it on any day."

    What are they thinking??? They can't stay a half-hour later? That she didn't have some good reason to pick 4PM as the earliest? Do they want to hire a teacher who will find ways to blow off classes for some personal reason?

    Let me add that they just emailed her this morning, and she offered to come in person this Friday (purely by accident, she was going to be in their area, which is 400 miles from where she lives), and they said "Sorry, our HR person isn't available." I'm not criticizing them for not changing their schedule.

    How does a teacher interview at 3:30? (In her specific case, class ends at 3:05 but it takes her 30-40 minutes to get home, let alone a few minutes to hook up Skype and catch her breath and get composed.)

    I obviously don't understand something about this process. I wouldn't say that teaching job candidates get treated like a piece of meat. That would be insulting to butchers.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It could be that they are conducting other interviews at her preferred time.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Maybe she should find a bookstore or restaurant with wifi and do her interview from there.
     
  5. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    Perhaps life has passed me by, but I thought interviews should be done from a place where you have privacy and quiet. (Although she did her last one from a hospital waiting room, and they ended up begging her to come in person.) Have things changed that much?

    As to the "other interviews" mention, I wasn't clear enough. They said the latest they can do it on any day is 3:30PM, not just the specific day in question. This is what makes me incredulous, that someone regularly in the business of interviewing teachers would not have availability in the limited window that would commonly be available to teachers. It's like a disability lawyer who doesn't make house calls. "Oh, you're so badly hurt that you can't even walk? Come down to the office and we'll talk about it."

    I'm not sure whether she could use an empty classroom after school or not. I think they have wifi at her school. (I can just imagine telling my boss "Hey, I'm booking the conference room from 2 to 3, I have a job interview.")
     
  6. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Interviews in any industry are generally during the work day, and you're expected to work around the employer's schedule. An interviewer at a consulting firm isn't going to stick around until 7 because you get off work at 6. People usually take the time off.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I don't see a problem with their time schedule. They have the job, if she wants it she meets their schedule. Otherwise, say no thanks!
     
  8. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I changed a flight and missed a day in Disney with my family to make an interview........there are thousands of applicants and either you want it or you dont!
     
  9. itsGrape

    itsGrape Rookie

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    Agreed. Especially with how things are, you/she can't be grateful just to even get an interview? I don't get why you always come on here just to complain about the process.
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Incredulous?
    Wow.
    Convenient, no. The only option they are offering, yep.
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Almost every time I was called for an interview, I was given the choice of one or two time slots and they have almost always been either before school or during school hours. The expectation was that I would take off a day of work to make the interview. If I couldn't work around their schedule, they had a few hundred (or thousand) other applicants who would.
     
  12. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    You think a consulting firm won't interview at 7?

    Don't know what consulting firms you've interviewed with. The company I work for now interviewed me on a Saturday and Sunday.

    This is a Skype interview, a first step, not an in-person interview. It is with someone whose only job is to screen teachers. And that someone is saying "I will never be available to interview a teacher without that teacher having to skip school."

    I've had plenty of phone interviews in my life, but I've also (almost) always had an office with a door that closes and no fixed schedule.

    If indeed they "have a few hundred other applicants" then it means that every word they say about looking for excellent teachers is a lie. Not all of those "hundreds" are equal.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sounds to me like you and your wife will be much happier if she just keeps her job in Canada, especially if her school doesn't even know she is looking for a job in the States.

    Are all the hundreds of applicants equal? Obviously not, but I'm sure the handful of applicants they choose to interview will have portfolios, credentials, experience or all of the above that indicate they are excellent teachers.

    If your wife's school has wifi and her classes end at 3:05pm, I don't know why she didn't just take her laptop to school with her and do the interview from her classroom. She would be in a "quiet" environment, be dressed appropriately, and have enough time to compose herself and prepare for the interview questions.

    Several years ago, I worked for a home health agency delivering medical equipment to homes. I had also applied for Teacher Assistant job in my local district (before I had my certification). I got a call that morning for an interview in the afternoon. Before the interview, I had to deliver and set-up a hospital bed. It was the middle of summer, so by the time I finished at the patients', I was very sweaty and more than a little dirty...and I had JUST enough time to drive to the Central Office for my interview.

    I didn't call the committee and tell them the scheduled time really wasn't convenient for me. Instead, I turned on the AC to cool down and used some of my sanitizer wipes to clean up the best I could. When I walked into the interview, I apologized for my appearance and explained the circumstances. The committee assured me my appearance was no problem.

    As others said, when you're the one who wants a job and someone else is offering the job, YOU have to conform to THEIR schedule, not the other way around.
     
  14. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    Her school does know she's looking - but that's an issue I've explored in another thread.

    It was your choice to take the interview in the situaiton you described. My wife had another panel interview, and we eventually negotiated an 8:30 time for it. It was a phone interview so she was less constrained by technology. Her original plan was to do it from home on a day she had prep first period, but she ended up doing it in a hospital waiting room.

    My complaint is with the idea that this district will never interview teachers at a time that makes sense. I could maybe understand if it was a teacher from PDT, and they said "I get out of class at 3:30 my time, which is 6:30 your time, can we do it at 7?" and they said no.

    But this is someone who says "My job is to interview teachers, I know when teachers are available, and I will never, ever, not even on any day, be available. Teachers are supposed to be dedicated to their job and their classrooms and not skip school, but I expect them to skip school to interview here. I can't even be flexible by a half-hour."

    Imagine a stockbroker in California who says "Nope, I won't go into work until 8:30." That might be reasonable in some other occupation, but in this person's occupation their day starts at 6:30 (when the NYSE opens). It's not about their convenience, it's about their customers'.

    Everything I am encountering seems to be designed to discourage the best-qualified candidates, and cater to the most desperate.
     
  15. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Plus, half the people they are likely interviewing are newbie teachers without a steady job yet.

    Interviews at my school are always during the school day.
     
  16. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Yeah, that ^.

    If I was offered an interview, I'd rearrange anything in my schedule to get in at the time offered (other than, perhaps, a transplant or something).
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    HR folks have a schedule, too. With the budget crunches that most districts are facing these days, I'd be very surprised if HR people were given overtime hours to schedule after-hours interviews with people who preferred not to interview during the regular workday.

    The fact is that your wife is available for a 3:30 interview, given that dismissal time is nearly 30 minutes before that. If she (or you) chooses to act put out by that 30-minute crunch, that's on her (or you).

    A person can complain about a system, with the result that the person won't ever get a job within that system. Alternatively, a person can be flexible, find workable solutions for less-than-ideal situations, and walk away with what they want.
     
  18. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    I don't know if she has a place at school she can do it from or not. If she does, then she can do it. If not, she can't just materialize at home in 30 minutes.

    Sure, people have schedules and lives. I can do my job almost any time of the night or day. But if I were hiring people for a job where they are going to interact with people who aren't available until 4, I would say "The hours for this job are not 8-5, they are 9-6. If you don't have interviews on a given day and you want to work 8-5 that's fine, but we expect you to schedule until 6. We don't want to lose out on quality candidates because our office closed early."
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    ...Which is why I suggested finding a public location with wifi.

    People who want to be successful will find a way. Everyone else will find an excuse.
     
  20. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I had to take a half day for an interview when the last time slot they had was earlier than I could be there for and work a full day. It wasn't great having to take the half day but that's what I had to do so I did it. Would I have preferred a later time slot and not taken the half day? Of course, but I asked for a later time and they couldn't give me one so that was that and I didn't give it any further thought.
     
  21. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    So, what's the big deal? She either can do the interview or she can't. When I was looking a couple of years ago there were some I couldn't do. It wasn't that stressful to me.

    I worked for a Fortune 500 company for over 20 years. When I was in HR I interviewed during the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p. m. That is when there was a recession and I had hundreds of applications. When it was the other way around we held job fairs, went to colleges, interviewed at midnight!!!

    Right now, in many parts of the country its tons of applications for teachers. Public education is much different then the private sector. If that gets on your last nerve...pick something else. You kinda sound like a drama queen.
     
  22. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I'd say she should still go for it. The job market is difficult right now.
    I had an interview at 3:00 and school let out at 3:00. The principal knew I was coming right from school and the locations were very close. She was understanding I was 5 minutes late. My principal let me leave 15 minutes early for an appointment. I had to freshen up in the car, and I wasn't the best I could do, but I got the job and they understood the situation was difficult.
     
  23. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Perhaps she could leave work early or use the wifi at her job.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The question all along, through all your vents, red top, is what is your wife willing to do to get a job in the US? There are many many candidates who do what it takes to make themselves competitive, qualified, and available for interviews. Much good advice has been given here...coffee shop, quiet room at school...one does what one has to....
     
  25. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I agree with czacza and what others have said. She'll either want the job and make the interview time work or she won't. You can't compare education to other sectors of the world all the time...we are a very different field. My P is conducting interviews and they are all during the school day. Almost all of the candidates they called are making it to the interview one way or another.

    There is a huge number of teachers who are searching for jobs across the country...while your wife might be a great candidate, it's her job to make the interview and sell herself, not the other way around.
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    If she wants the interview, she'll make it work. Redtop, you have got to understand that as a teacher that can be 100's, if not more, people applying for a single position.

    If she wants the job, she'll make the interview.
     
  27. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Yes, I chose to take the interview in the situation I described, because the other option was to not take the interview at all. They had 1 time slot open and they offered it to me. If I had declined, they would have offered it to someone else. Did I look my best? No. Did I look like someone who is committed to getting their job done? Yes. And even though I didn't look my best, having some chance at the job was better than having no chance at the job.

    You keep saying the interview panel expects teachers (including your wife) to skip school for the interview. Maybe for some other applicants, but that was NOT the case for your wife. Her classes end at 3:05 and they were offering to interview her at 3:30. That did not interfere with her class schedule at all.

    You also keep claiming they are ignoring or turning away exceptional teachers and settling for desperate ones. This is another false assumption on your part; that the fact your wife doesn't want to adjust to their schedule means that NONE of the applicants who do are highly qualified, excellent teachers.

    I hate to break the news to you, but I'm positive your wife is NOT the only excellent teacher that has applied for the position. I'm sure many other applicants are just as qualified as she. The difference being that they are willing to adjust their schedules for the interview while your wife (or you) are not.

    As others have said, if your wife doesn't want to accept the opportunity to interview, I'm certain there are at least a dozen equally qualified candidates who will be happy to take that slot.
     
  28. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Didn't read all of this, but I had an interview lately and I was offered two times, 10 in the morning or 1 in the afternoon. They knew that I am a teacher, so I had to take off to make the interview. I didn't get the job.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The screener has his or her own work schedule. The burden is not on this person to work beyond those hours to accomodate applicants.
     
  30. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Redtop is gettin' grilled!
     
  31. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Maybe Redtop needs to not worry about his wife getting a job in the US. It is too hard for him or too stressful for him.
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It seems like there is no good reason why redtop's wife should not get the time slot she wants. So what if there are 9 other people already scheduled that day and the interviewers actually have a life outside of school and need to get home to their families? :rolleyes: :whistle:
     
  33. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    I took personal half days when I had interviews. Of course, I always preferred that the interviews take place in the evening, but if you want the job you make it work. Does she get personal days?

    When I worked part time and had an interview scheduled I took a day/half day off without pay. My employer knew I was looking as my job was part time and without benefits.
     
  34. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    I don't mind the expression of different points of view.

    1) We did not expect the screener to be available at 4PM on some particular day. We expect it to be 4PM on SOME day SOMETIME.
    2) The idea of doing it from a public place really didn't occur to us. Maybe the world has changed, but I would never think of doing it anywhere but a place with quiet and privacy - although as noted, she did one recently from a hospital waiting room.
    3) I disagree that a screener should be hired and allowed to work a schedule that excludes the best times for candidates. In fact, I just generally disagree that professionals should be expected to crawl on their bellies for a job.

    I have to admit that there's something I'm forgetting, which is that the public sector sucks. I interviewed for a job once with the State of Oklahoma, who informed me that there was a state law prohibiting use of public funds for employee beverages. In other words, you had to put $10 a month into the coffee fund if you wanted coffee. My last company was founded by a guy who, while working on a state contract in the 1970's, was charged 10 cents for a cup of coffee. He vowed that his employees would never have to to through that, and the company now employs 11,000 people, all of whom get free coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks. I remember interviewing for another public job where they allowed me 25 cents per mile for driving to the interview when the IRS rate was nearly twice that. (Most of you will say that I should feel lucky that they paid anything at all.)

    Yes, we understand there will be obstacles. She will have to take days off and fly to the USA for interviews, we'll have trips that will cost us a grand. I don't expect people to pay for her plane ticket and interview her on a Saturday.

    I do expect them to have one time of the day though that a normal teacher can interview in a phone screen without taking off from school. Remember, they're not serious enough yet to invite her for an in-person interview.

    Now on that note, a curious development. Although she hasn't been interviewed by the district yet, she just got invited for an in-person interview by one of the district's high schools. We're really hoping they can meet her Friday, because by coincidence we're going to be there (Montgomery County, Maryland) this Friday. No, I won't be going on a tirade if the hiring manager happens to be unavailable Friday.
     
  35. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    While I would do everything I could to be there, also have your wife think about this...if they are that inflexible and it bothers you, is that a district where you want to work?
     
  36. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    And you've been told the latest they can schedule an interview is 3:30pm, which does NOT require your wife to skip or miss any classes. It would only require her to take her laptop to work with her one day. She would have 25 minutes to prepare for the interview and would be conducting the interview in a quiet, professional setting.

    If the screeners have been hired just to screen applicants, then I imagine they have a fair amount of paperwork to do after finishing the final interview of the day, which would be during the 3:30pm time slot.

    Public libraries usually offer wifi and are generally very quiet. I still feel her classroom would be the best option, but this is a 2nd option that offers quiet and (relative) privacy during the interview.

    Most screening committees set up one day for interviews. Interviews generally start by 9:00am and run through 3:00pm. After that, the committee members spend time discussing the applicants, comparing notes from all the interviews and determining which candidates made the cut for the next round. The committee members do NOT have enough time to discuss the applicants between interviews, unless someone is an obvious "NO". They have put away their notes from that interview and get out new question sheets for the next applicant interview. So the last 1-2 hours of the day is when they take time to discuss the candidates in more depth and decide which ones they feel should be eliminated and which ones should get another interview (or in this case, an in-person interview).

    Yes, public and private sectors are different, although I've never known of a public company that required employees to pay for their coffee. At most, I've seen collection cans/cups in the coffee room so those that do drink regularly can help cover some of the cost, because it is usually the supervisor that is paying for it out of his/her pocket.

    I've worked in private sector as well as public sector. I've seen good and bad companies in each.

    They DO have a time during the day when a normal teacher can interview without taking time from school. That's the part you seem to be overlooking. Your wife would NOT miss any school time if she accepted the 3:30pm time slot. Other applicants may be able to schedule their screening interviews during their planning period or during lunch, when they don't have duty. Others are going to have to miss some time from one work day. Those that really want the job will take that time to get the interview.

    When I worked for the home health agency, I applied for a job with the local Dept. of Social Services. The application process included going to the DSS office during a time scheduled at their convenience to take two written tests, in addition to the interview. I didn't complain that they must not want the best applicants because they scheduled the tests when qualified applicants would be working. Instead, I adjusted MY schedule to accommodate theirs instead of expecting them to accommodate mine. Some companies may be more flexible, but you will find many companies (in private as well as public sectors) do expect applicants to adjust their schedules rather than the HR department.

    That is an excellent opportunity because she can possibly skip the district interview entirely if this one goes well. I hope the P and/or others will be able to meet with her while she is in the area.
     
  37. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    1) My understanding is that my wife cannot be guaranteed privacy in a classroom after school. Although she has a classroom she teaches in more than others, no teachers have 'ownership" of a classroom. Perhaps that is a difference between Canada and the USA; I seem to remember than when I was in school, right before the invention of the electric light bulb, my teachers did have "their" own classroom.

    2) The interview is with an individual, not a panel. She did recently have a panel interview, which she was able to schedule before school by "taking off" her prep period.

    3) This is just a screening interview. It's not even for a particular job. It seems like the more serious they are about you, the more they have a right to show you are serious in return. This goes back to my other thread about references, where schools that are not even serious about a candidate in the slighest expect to impose on the time and effort of their references.

    4) The school has called off the in-person interview because she has to go through the district first. Please notice that I'm not whining and bitching and moaning that they should turn the world upside down just because we happen to be spending the weekend in some particular city. If they're serious - serious to the level of an in-person interview for an actual opening - **** yes, I'll plunk down the $750 or so for a plane ticket, hotel, etc. Sure it would have been nice if they could have recognized the somewhat unusual situation and bent the rules, but I understand if they won't.

    Please note that in none of my threads have I ever remotely suggested special treatment for us. I've suggested that the entire process be handled with respect for the candidates and for the references. I believe thare are situations where the hiring districts can show much more consideration for the candidates and references with only a small disadvantage to their own convenience, but they choose to put all the burden on others. I don't think that's appropriate.
     
  38. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    But unfortunately right now it is 100% an employer's market. They don't have to accomodate or be considerate when there are hundreds or thousands of possible candidates. Is it right? No. But it really is how things are right now. My friend got down to one of two candidates for a job. She had taken multiple days off to interview and do a demo lesson for this school (as a paid per day sub no less). She didn't get the job and the school didn't even have the courtesy to call and tell her. Could they have made one more phone call? Yes. Did they have to? No.

    Putting all the burden on the one being interviewed is the reality of the teaching field in the US right now. It's crappy byproduct of a saturated market.
     
  39. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Since when is serving on an interview committee a paid job?! I need some back pay!!

    These people are volunteering to do something extra for the school. Their time is valuable as well.
     
  40. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    With the interview STARTING at 3:30, it is likely to extend beyond 4pm, then, as others stated, there is paperwork that goes along with an interview. While it is inconvenient for you, it is very possible that there are obligations that the screener cannot alter, such as daycare pick up, in order to interview a candidate any later.

    I know in the summer that my district will only interview in the morning hours. If I do not get the job I interviewed for last week, I may not be able to interview in the month of June because my grad course will take place from 8am-3pm. I cannot demand that the principal remain in the building until 3:30 so I can get there when he leaves around 11:30, I will just miss out unfortunately. Yes, it stinks, job hunting is rough, but let's think positive about how your wife can make this happen rather than how inflexible the process is.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2013

    :huh:

    Well thank God his employees don't have go "go through that". To endure the suffering of having pay for the coffee your drink! To have to contribute to a coffeefund if you wanted coffee!

    Free drinks and snacks are wonderful and I would appreciate the offering. But...really?
     
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