Rut City, Population: Me

I’m fried. Burned out. Toast. Beat to a pulp. Dead behind the eyes. Numb.

And I haven’t done anything physically taxing. It doesn’t make sense.

I’m suffering from knowing that I have no purpose, nothing to offer and nothing to show for my roughly four decades on this rock.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Being unemployed blows fucking donk.

It has zapped my energy, my will to create as well as my will to be out among the living. Sure, teeny, tiny freelance gigs trickle in from time to time, but that ain’t enough to put the thoughts of tri-state crime sprees out of my noggin. I listen to my friends bitch, whine and moan about their jobs, and I have to turn off all of my impulses to fucking throttle them with my she-woman strength.

There are times when I feel like this character from Game of Thrones, is hiding in the  surprisingly under-utilized section of my soul–she’s a loyal, badass who will fuck you up if you cross her.

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

A bit maudlin, I know, but I’m allowed. I still scroll through shitloads of job leads every day. Some I apply to, others get trashed.

Then, there are those job leads that cause me to utter aloud WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK??

Don’t believe me? Here, check out this gem from a Houston all news-all the time-radio station.

Enjoy.

jobdescription

The actual requirements for the job–news editor/managing editor–were much shorter, see. And, they were typical news editor/ME duties like solid news judgment, assignment desk duties, AP Style knowledge, etc. When I read this list of “requirements” my first thought was, “Huh, yeaaaahhh…aren’t these requirements for being a well-adjusted adult?”

Not so fast.

So, as the news editor/ME, I wouldn’t be allowed to do my job–which entails being direct, sometimes demanding and expecting professionalism at all costs–but I’m not really allowed to express what I want for fear of hurting feelings or putting someone off.

I did send them a resume/cover letter combo platter and here’s a snippet of what I wrote, but nicer.

I’m a seasoned professional who is capable of working with others under stressful situations, and I expect that out of my colleagues as well. I’m tough, but fair because I realize that the news business is not always so. As for ‘evolving self-awareness’ — if you can explain what that is exactly, you’ll be able to hire whomever you choose.”

Of course, they called me.

Turns out, they have no clue about anything, and want tons of experience for roughly 9 bucks/hour and no (surprise!) relocation expenses paid even though this was advertised on a NATIONAL journo jobs website. A friend pointed out to me that the previous news editor/ME probably either got fired, or quit because he/she was doing their job, and not playing wet nurse to a bunch of fucking over-sensitive, pants-wetting, maladjusted dipshits.

Yeaaah … I’m gonna have to give you a big, fat NO.

The bigger picture here is this is what I am (and the millions of other US citizens who are unemployed) up against: These wish lists of skills put together by completely clueless hiring managers and HR departments who don’t know what they hell they’re talking about. I was recently asked to take geometry/algebra test for an editing job.

Yep, I shit you not.

I said no, then told the hiring manager that if I was going to be eliminated from consideration, is should be on a level playing field. I told her that testing me on something I haven’t done in almost 30 years is grossly unfair. She agreed and I didn’t have to take the test. I interviewed, and we’ll see if I get a call back.

Back to Houston, care to wager that they have an incredibly high turnover rate?

PS–I’ll be in NYC next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say. So, watch this space.

Interview THIS!

During my unemployment tenure, I’ve been playing past job interviews on a loop in my head, and I’ve come to one main conclusion: They were all an amalgam of this infamous one from Monty Python:

Obviously, I am doing something wrong. Yes? I think so.

I’m too formal and stiff in my interviews. I wear interview clothes. I speak interview speak. I glop on interview makeup. I style my hair into interview goodness (read: I hide the purple highlights). I research the shit out of any position I’m up for as well as the company and the people with whom I’ll be meeting.

Yeaaaah….that tactic ain’t workin’ no mo’. So it’s time I change things up a scosch.

I’ve even perused all of the drab “How to Ace An Interview Without Shitting Yourself and Smacking the Crap Out of the Clueless Interviewer” vidyas the Internets. None of them are helpful and I swear a few of the ‘actors’ featured are ‘stars’ of some of the low-rent porn I’ve seen lurking around the web as of late.

I’ve found a few examples in my travels and could use some help. That’s where my three readers come in–I need y’all to help me figure out which example displayed below would work for me. Well, maybe not exactly the same as what I’m offering here, but perhaps a combo platter of several, or maybe you know of others I haven’t thought of yet.

Here’s Bachelor #1–from one of my fave movies “Trainspotting”. One caveat here–I won’t get stoned before an interview–not my style anymore. I mean, I’m not in Hollywood anymore. That’s a non-negotiable at this point. However, the accent is a possibility. I can do just about any accent too–but my personal faves are South Asian (Dot Head is NOT the preferred nomenclature I’ve been told) and Little Asian Girl.

This one is good too, but I don’t look good in a wife beater unless it’s wet and I’m dancing on a bar in Waco. But, I do like Gettin’ Jiggy Wif It’s attitude here. Works for me

This one is just too smarmy for the most part. Topsiders? Nope. But, Ben Affleck is wicked hawt all the time so that’s something to consider.

I actually called an interviewer Pam in an interview when her name was really Pan. True story. So, this scene flashed through my mind during that 2 hour-long snoozefest of an interview at California Psychics.

Don’t know if I’m as clever as Sacha Baron Coen. I’d never be able to keep a straight face or wear that type of Jewfro.

Arthur Spooner is a folk hero. He was deftly portrayed by Jerry Stiller, and when Stiller first joined the cast of “King of Queens”, I was half-expecting a Frank Costanza Redux, but Arthur Spooner quickly became his own character. He was the best part of “King of Queens.” So, in this episode where he offers Spence Olchin (Patton Oswalt), job interviewing advice, it almost made me wet my Costco knickers.

and this one because it’s funny ..

Then, there’s this one. It’s not exactly a job interview, I just love Red’s “Yeah, fuck you” attitude in this scene. To me, it’s the best scene in film that’s loaded with best scenes. Also, I’m not into using swears during a job interview. I think that sets a bad precedent because I believe if hired, I’d be expected to swear all the time. While that’s very easy for me to do (I’m fluent in Salty Language), I don’t think I’d be long for that job, you know what I mean? Anyhoo, I do like Red’s attitude. He has nothing to lose and I’d like to be more like that in my next interview.

So, folks. There you have ’em. If you have nothing better to do, please feel free to drop me some advice. The winner will get a pony.

Musings on random crap redux

I’m back.

I’ve got much to say.

The human race has been busy — and not in a good way.

First, this little tidbit from Good.is

Forced Friends: Want a Job? Give Up Your Facebook Password

Side note: A few months ago, I had two phone interviews where my age came up. During the first one, the M.E. of a publication in Florida flat out asked me how old I was. When I politely reminded him that question was illegal, his response before he hung up on me was, “What are you going to do about it? In this economy, I can ask whatever questions I want! It’s my word against yours!” At first I was outraged and contemplated telling the useless EEOC, but then realized that I’d never want to work for a company where the folks in charge felt the laws were troublesome guidelines rather than binding agreements.

The second place, located in Chicago, tried to be a scosch creative with trying to figure out my age. The youngin’ asked me what type of music I listened to in high school because the company “wanted to get a feel for their prospective employees’ tastes and whatnot.” I saw right through this little ruse, however, and sang the praises of Edith Piaf and Benny Goodman. When the desired answers weren’t flowing threw the black wires, my interviewer tried another angle: “What were your favorite television shows when you were growing up?” Answer: “We didn’t have a television.” The interview was over soon after, and I was bathed in relief.

FYI-I’m not THAT old. Sadly, ageism is alive and well, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Onto the article.

“Concerns about the safety of Facebook profiles are valid, especially as the company grows and people share more information on the site. Facebook has had frightening breaches of user trust in the past, and some questions about where its loyalties lie—with consumers or with corporations—remain unanswered. Nobody can predict whether Facebook will end up taking advantage of the information provided by the millions of people who log into it every hour. But while Facebook itself waffles between creepy and benevolent, it turns out some people are using the site to get downright evil when it comes to online privacy.

An in-depth report from MSNBC reveals numerous documented instances of American colleges and employers demanding that students, employees, and applicants open up their Facebook profiles for review. Tecca.com reported last year on a police department in North Carolina that asked people applying for a clerical job, “Do you have any web page accounts such as Facebook, Myspace, etc.? If so, list your username and password.” The Maryland Department of Corrections also asked applicants to hand over their passwords, until an ACLU complaint killed that practice. Still, some applicants report being asked in interviews to log into their Facebook profiles and allow the interviewer to look over their shoulder while they click around their photos and wall posts.”

Glad that the ACLU put the kibosh on the whole handing-over-the-passwords bullshit.

“It doesn’t end with the job market. College students—athletes in particular—are also subject to this invasive line of inquiry. In the new player handbook for athletes at the University of North Carolina, a passage reads, “Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings. The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts.” Elsewhere, students have been told they have to friend their coaches, thus giving the coaches total access to their accounts.”

Could you imagine being the person who is in charge of lurking around some athlete’s Facebook page? It would either be boring or frustrating — by frustrating I mean I’d want to correct the horrible grammar and spelling I came across.

More …

“To be sure, there are ways to lock down your Facebook account, even from “friends,” but should anyone be forced to to resort to such lengths?”

That’s a good question, and that is why I’m private on Facebook. It’s tough to find me and once you do, you can’t access my account or any info without my permission. Then, once you’re a friend, I’m still tough to figure out.

“In an effort to catch law up with society, two Maryland state legislators are sponsoring a bill that would prevent schools and potential employers from seizing access to people’s social networking sites. In the meantime, it’s important to take note of at least one major factor driving these insane invasions of privacy: the terrible economy.

It’s simple: In a world in which options are plentiful, people don’t subject themselves to totalitarianism in order to secure employment. They go to a job interview, and when the interviewer starts demanding to rifle through their personal digital lives, they get up and leave, confident they can go somewhere else for work. The reason anyone is allowing potential employers to treat them like this is because a job is hard to come by these days, and so you do whatever you can to get employed—even if that means having your right to privacy trampled. Illegal immigrants have suffered with this “steady employment vs. avoiding abuse” dilemma for years. Now it’s come to the Maryland Department of Corrections. When economic stability erodes, so does the list of things people won’t do to get that stability back.”

Simply put, employers can do sneaky stuff to prospective employees because the economy is in the shitter, and since so many folks are looking for work, we are more than likely to put up with all of it. Like the article states, hopefully these questionable screening tactics will fall by the wayside once the economy improves. Who knows when that will happen though.

Onward.

Some things are just too gross to discuss. My stomach hurts just thinking about ingesting this.

These have got to be the ugliest fucking things I’ve ever laid my hazel eyes upon. Looks like Mr. West is spending too much time with a glue gun and believing his minions when they spew the words “genius” and “renaissance man” in the same breath as his name. Also, any stylist (even the trash peddlers Kim Kardashian hires) who thinks this is a good look, should consider spending some quality time at Trembling Acres and give E.S.T. a try, AND invest in a good mirror. But, for fun, look at them again. Then again. And again and eventually you’ll either want to gouge your eyes out with a spork, or will want to move to Death Valley, never to return.

And last but not least, I have a feeling that the throw-up I just produced in my mouth, tastes a lot like this stuff.