Monday, March 29, 2010

Saw "Hot Tub Hot Machine" over the weekend and first of all, it was awesome. Second of all, the movie was kind of weird in that it's being marketed as a raunchy, hip, adult comedy aimed primarily at people in their late teens or twenties. But the thing is it's mainly concerned with Gen X'ers and is, in some ways, a Gen X nostalgic flick-- it's a movie about three guys in their late 30's/early 40's going back to their 80's youth. In fact, the movie is very cleverly a teen flick featuring lots of drugs, rock n' roll, and boobs mainly about coming to grips with middle-age mediocrity and being beaten down by the choices that we made.

So congrats, us Gen X'ers-- we finally have our "Big Chill" but it involves a time-traveling hot tub and people doing coke while listening to Motley Crue.
Somebody in our neighborhood drives a Smart Car and this weekend, the person who drove it used it to shimmy in behind another car in a spot it was maybe a wee too small for. The car isn't blocking a drive way but it's maybe a little in. Now, that might be fine if it's a normal car, like mine, but not so fine if it's a Smart Car. That's because Smart Cars aren't supposed to be put in a situation where they're up in somebody's driveway so if you do that, you're basically going against the whole point of the stupid thing

Monday, March 22, 2010

Of the many reasons why being President would suck, one of them would have to be the fact that they're always working. It's not like they can "call in sick" and stay home to go skiing or catch up on Lost DVDs or they can't just decide that they're not into it and spend all day playing Tetris. Hell, they can't even really call in sick for real and so have to deal with Congressmen and foreign leaders while dealing with anything from a bad cold to the runs. And even when they do get a break, like on a weekend, they still get briefed every morning and they still probably have to put in at least an hours worth of phone calls and random BS and if anything happens, there goes that 6:00 showing of "Saw VI." Even those times when they actually get a vacation-- usually in August (or in the case of our last President, summer)-- they, again, still get briefed every morning and still have to be President and still respond to floods hitting major cities (or not).

Why I'm wondering this is because you'd think after passing Health Care, Obama would probably want a day off or at least have a mellow day so he can both rest up after all the craziness and so he can have a reflective moments for him to walk around the White House and think "oh yeah, FDR, I'm one bad-ass motherfucker too. " But I don't think he can't.

When I'm working, I usually work at places that have this huge project and or campaign coming up and everybody works their asses off to do it and when it all gets down and everything is perfect, the bosses let everyone take a day or two off or they tell them to come on in but take it easy for awhile and if you want to take that three hour lunch, go for it.

I don't think they can do that in the White House.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm back

1)Had an interview with somebody who didn't describe the job responsibilities in typical third person ("we want this person to be able to do this and we want this person to be like that...") but in second person. As in "you would do this and you would that and when you start we'd have you do this and you'd have to do that." Due to her phrasing and several other odd things about the interview, I spent most of the interview thinking to myself "wait, does this mean I have the job? Should I start answer her questions as if I'm still trying to sell myself about the job or like I'll be seeing her next Monday to start working?" I didn't have the job.

2)Got a call from a temp agency around 10:30 in the morning about starting a 2 day job that afternoon at 1 PM. I told the guy I needed to think about it and called him back 15 minutes later saying I'd like to take the job. Since I took so long to call him back, he found somebody else to do it.

Now, you're supposed to say yes to whatever job you've been offered even if it starts in a few hours as it ultimately makes you look bad. However, the only reason why I didn't get the job is because I decided to think about it for about ten minutes. So bad for me, right? But he couldn't have expected that if he called me at 10 in the morning-- when I'm just drinking my coffee and checking my email-- that I'd be able to make a snap decision just like that could he? Some of us aren't good at making snap decisions like that, especially while still in their pjs.

3)Twice I've gotten calls about jobs in which somebody saw my resume somewhere (in these cases LinkedIn) and decided to give me a call based on what they saw. And twice now, they didn't really consider me for the job because they saw early on that I didn't have some of the experience they were looking for (including a computer program). But if they had contacted me over my resume, that would mean they saw my resume which would mean they could have actually seen what I had experience in and what I didn't. So why did they waste my time in calling me? If something's not listed on my resume, that's a pretty good indication I don't have the experience in doing it. Even worse, one of the people called me up about a phone interview and then completely flaked on doing the phone interview (flaked as in playing phone tag and then never calling me back). Thanks for playing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last night I saw that NBC was gracious enough to show an award ceremony of somebody who was not in fact American. He was, in fact, Norwegian. Lest think NBC would show this due to some sense that we're all part of a larger world, one that does not revolve around the USA, the silver & bronze medal winners were American so I guess if you have to Americans on the podium, than Americans are able to stand watching some foreign person feeling patriotic over their foreign country.

I actually always liked seeing the award ceremonies centered around people from who aren't American because I like to hear other foreign countries national anthems and because I'm an American, still amazed that other people actually love a country that is not us.

So because I was so curious about the Norwegian national anthem, I dug around (meaning went to Wikipedia), and found the lyrics to their anthem:

We are Norway
Our country is so boring
And full of snow and fjords
We like to eat herring and pine for the fjords
Really, nothing happens here
Or ever happened here.
We are Norway, Our country is so dull

We are Norway
And we have free health care
We also have no poverty and there are no drive-bys
And nobody drives planes into government buildings
We are Norway
Suck it USA

Monday, February 08, 2010

For those wondering what the latest trends in job hunting are, this is what I've been seing:

-Email screenings to determine if there's going to be a phone screening to determine if an actual in-person interview will happen. Sadly, none of the "How to Get a Job" books detail what you are and are not supposed to do on an email prescreen.

-Outsourced recruiters. Yep, that's right. I think some of the recruiters with whom I've talked to are in Bombay not in San Francisco. I could be wrong but I've gotten way too many calls from recruiters with thick Indian accents coming from all sorts of weird area codes. There is a certain irony, however, to the fact that people who help people who've been outsourced look for new work are getting outsourced themselves.

-Long, drawn out processes. Usually, if a company needs to hire somebody, they like to do it ASAP. This doesn't stop them from taking several weeks in between going from one part of the interview process (the prescreening) to the second part of the process. Of course, this could be because they didn't really like you that much and are just telling you that or it could mean that they're just so busy they don't even have time to hire somebody to help them be less busy but it could also mean that they've received so many resumes over the past few weeks that they're going to be really, really, really choosy. Why just talk to several people when you talk to 30 of them?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Being President is an extremely tough job but one of the reasons for it is the fact that pretty much the moment they get sworn on, they are the Man in Charge and have shit to do even if their email systems might not be up. From there on, they have their standard "100 Days" thing in which they propose the bulk of their legislation and deal with whatever foreign policy mess issues left by their predecessor. In a lot of ways, their first year in office is their most important because it's their best chance to get things done and change things and when the expectations are at their highest. This means that a President has to be at the top of their game at the start of their Presidency. Make a foreign policy or legislative mistake and they're stuck dealing with it for the length of their Presidency.

What's tough about this is that in the real world, nobody expects you to be at the top of your game when you start. You just started a job-- how can people expect you to know and do everything? Whenever you show up for your first day on the job, you're usually told to go sit at your cubicle and given a manual to read, something you're stuck doing for a few days or so because usually your phone and email isn't set up yet. Then you're trained by either your boss or the person with whom you're replacing and only allowed to do the job by yourself after a few weeks of being there. Then, for a month, maybe two months, you're allowed the excuse that you've just started and only then will you start being held accountable. And yet, you're still not considered an expert in everything and whenever something big or major happens, people either go to the person with more experience, more senior than you, or the most knowlegable one. It takes a while before you've become a go-to person for everything.

But if you're President, there's no sitting at your cubicle for a few days reading instruction manuals. You have advisers but on day one you're in charge of making decisions and you often don't want training from the person you're replacing because you've spent a year bashing them while running for office and in some cases, you have to spend the better part of the year trying to clean up the hundred messes left by them. And, even worse, you don't get much of a leeway in regards to you being new. Nobody says, well it's okay he bombed North Korea or well, it's okay he gave away too much in the stimulus bill in a stupid attempt at being bipartisan because they're new.

It is, in a lot of ways, maybe the only job in which you have to be at your best at the beginning of the job then the remaining part.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm trying to do something really crazy in Hotmail which is to set up a contact list of email addresses, mainly made up of people who aren't my contacts but with whom I need to correspond with. Because they keep on making Hotmail infinitely more complicated, thus suckier, I've had to click on the button for Hotmail Help to figure this all out. When you click on the button for Hotmail Help, a pop up window appears in front of your Hotmail page and gives you a menu of things to choose from in order to find the answer to your questions. The thing is that whenever you click on a subject, the first two things listed as instructions are to go to Hotmail and then log into Hotmail with your account information. This, of course, is really helpful information in that in order to get instructions on how to do things, you have to actually be logged into your Hotmail account.