Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

I kind of consider myself a stellar job-interviewer. I’ve been told by more than one employer that I interview well, and in fact, that’s how I got my last job, even though I wasn’t qualified.

Some tips I’ve learned:

  • Eye Contact: Keeping eye contact with someone lets them know you’re listening. If you’re looking anywhere but their face, they may think you’re daydreaming. Also, if you’re looking at your lap while you’re talking, they’re going to think you’re shy/nervous/guilty/ashamed.
  • No Fidgeting: Keep your hands in your lap. If you’re in a swivel chair, don’t rock back and forth, as much fun as it is. That would also give the interviewer the impression that you have a short attention span.
  • Be Friendly:  Small talk is tedious, but important. It shows you’re easy to get along with, and that you can think on your feet. It breaks the ice and will probably make you more comfortable with the interview.But be creative with it! And don’t act like it’s a hassle for you.
  • But not too friendly: If you have something in common with the interviewer, great! Discuss it very briefly. I read an article last week where a man was interviewing, and discovered that his interviewer worked at the same place he did. The man then proceeded to ask his interviewer if he knew every single person at that job, for about 10 minutes. No one likes that. “Yeah, I get it, we know the same people.” This morning, I had an interview where I mentioned the reason I type so fast is because I’ve been playing the piano for years. The guy interviewing me said that he played the piano till he was 12, and it still frustrates him that he can’t play very well. We talked about that for a second, and then we moved on.
  • Dress Well: Everyone’s heard it: Dress to Impress. This one is a hard one for me because I like to be comfortable, and I only have one pair of slacks. But seriously, your appearance is vital. If you appear sloppy, they may think you don’t care about the job or that you’re lazy. Trust me, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  • Be Clean: Make sure you smell good. But don’t put on perfume/cologne right before you go, because it might be overpowering. Just make sure you’ve showered recently. Your face needs to be easily visible. Girls (and in some cases, guys), don’t do the whole long-bangs-over-the-eyes thing. Pin the bangs back so the interviewer can look at you. (and don’t over-do the makeup. You want to look like a professional, not a hooker.)
  • Prepare Yourself: It’s not a bad idea to practice your responses to questions. There are interview questions that always get asked. For instance: What are your strengths/weaknesses, where do you see yourself in 5 years, what are your professional goals. One question that always throws me is “Tell me about yourself.”  I never know if they want me to tell them my love of crafts, or if they strictly want to know about me business-wise. I usually mix it up, saying stuff like, “I love working with people, and I have a lot of experience with computers. I make earrings, and I type fast.” But I’m not sure if that’s a good response or a bad response. I’ve been told you want to tell them something they’ll remember you by, so after they interview 10 other people, they’ll look at your resume and go, “Oh yes, the girl who’s fluent in Latin!”
  • Research: This is also one I’m bad at. 9 times out of 10, interviewers will ask, “What do you know about our company?” And I usually say, “Pretty much nothing.” Bad. How impressive would it be tell them you know about their company and what they do. But don’t say too much otherwise they’ll think you’re crazy. (i.e.: “Founded in 1995, 300 employees, etc.”)
  • Ask Questions: Interviewers usually ask, “Any questions?” and if you say no, they might think you weren’t listening, or don’t care. You can say things like, “If you were to hire me, what would my duties be?” You can ask about the pay or the benefits, or even how long they’ve worked there. just ask something to show that you’re interested.
  • Follow-up: After the interview itself, it’s smart to send them a follow-up email, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working for them. It’s also wise to insert that one thing that they’ll remember you by. My last job, they remembered me because I was working at a Mexican restaurant they really liked, so when I emailed them to thank them for their time, I said, “If you come into the restaurant in the near future, be sure to ask for me!” And when I was hired, my boss thanked me for the email and told me that was really good business.

Other than that, you just gotta hope they like you.  🙂 That’s all I’ve got.

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At work, I have a lot of down time, so I use it to look up random facts. Most of these are ones that I’ve researched and made sure they were at least partially true. Enjoy.

  • It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.
  • Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.
  • The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.
  • The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.
  • St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.
  • The word “nerd” was first coined by Dr. Seuss in “If I Ran the Zoo.”
  • The word “chortle” was coined by Lewis Caroll, in Through the Looking Glass. It’s a combination of chuckle and snort.
  • Combining two words into one (like chortle) is called a portmanteau
  • The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.
  • “Miranda Rights” were so named because of a man with the last name of Miranda, who got out of a kidnaping/rape conviction because he didn’t know he could remain silent.
  • The hippocampus comes from a Greek word meaning “horse sea monster.” Early scientists thought that part of the brain looked like a seahorse.
  • Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for Rocky, and sold it at a very low price in exchange for starring in it. That actually made his career.
  • During the filming of Fight Club Brad Pitt chipped his tooth , but waited to have it capped until after filming because he felt it added to his character.
  • One inch of rain over one square mile is 17,378,700 gallons of water.
  • Scratch-and-sniff works by taking the aroma-generating chemical and encapsulating it in gelatin or plastic spheres that are a few microns in diameter. When you scratch the sticker, you rupture some of these spheres and release the smell.
  • WD-40 stands for “Water Displacement, 40th attempt”. WD-40 was invented in 1953 and was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion. Another random WD-40 fact is that WD-40 dissolves cocaine.
  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • The cost of raising a medium sized dog to the age of 11: $6,400
  • The world’s youngest mother: 5 years old!
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team his sophomore year.
  • The opposite sides of a dice cube always add up to 7.
  • The name Wendy was first used in Peter Pan.
  • Endocannibals eat people belonging to their own society. Exocannibals only eat those outside their tribe.
  • The tall chef’s hat is called a toque.
  • Richard Gere played Danny Zuko in a London production of Grease in the 1970s
  • A gelotologist studies laughter
  • The most overdue book in the world was borrowed from Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, England and was returned 288 years later
  • One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water
  • The average length of engagement is 16 months. The average time the bride actually spends planning the wedding is 7 months.
  • The world’s longest engagement was 67 years. The couple was 15 when they got engaged and 82 when they got married.
  • quinquennium is a period of five years.
  • In the 1985 Boise, Idaho mayoral election, there were four write-in votes for Mr. Potato Head.
  • In 1985, a pregnant women was falsely accused of shoplifting a basketball.
  • Hitler was voted Time Magazine’s man of the year in 1938.
  • A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for approximately sixty-nine years.
  • Medical research has found substances in mistletoe that can slow down tumor growth.
  • Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Harriet Tubman all had epilepsy.
  • The average adult has approximately six pounds of skin.
  • The average person spends two weeks of their life kissing.
  • Chef Boyardee is actually a real person. His real name is Hector Boiardi and he was born in northern Italy in 1898.
  • A googol is the large number 10100, that is, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros.
  • Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.
  • The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.
  • German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.
  • Adding a drop of olive oil and lemon juice to an ice cube then running it over your face gives you better results than some expensive skin care products.

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I got a real job.

That’s right, you read it right. I got a job. One that doesn’t involve the words, “Can I take your order?”

I’m a personal assistant to two real estate agents (brokers? I’m not sure what they are), and so far, I’m bored to tears.

It’s a giant change, going from carrying food to filing papers. Last week, I was constantly on my feet, surrounded by sweaty servers and exhausted cooks, pausing to to converse with my coworkers, exchanging gossip and telling jokes. Now, I sit at a desk all day, playing solitaire, carrying out orders, and occasionally picking up the phone, watching the minutes tick by and cherishing my bathroom breaks. Instead of carrying around an apron full of straws, napkins, and pens, I carry around a purse with two cell phones and a palm pilot—a true business woman!

I’m starting to miss the waitressing life. Dumb, I know. I have this great job with steady pay and benefits, and I miss my old job, one that would only provide about 15 hours of work a week!

I know, I know. I need to stop complaining.

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How am I supposed to get a job when every job I apply for requires experience? I mean, you gotta start somewhere. No one was born with 3-5 years of receptionist experience already.

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Fortunately, it’s fall. Unfortunately, it’s 70 degrees outside.
I mean, seriously. 70 degrees? In October? I remember several Halloweens past, when it snowed. I minded then, because I was trick-or-treating in a mermaid costume, but now that I’m too old for such fun, I demand some COLD!

Fortunately, it’s Halloween on Friday. Unfortunately, I have to work.
“We will be closing at 9:00 on Friday in observance of Halloween,” says the sign on the door of my work. I think it’s hilarious. What I don’t think is hilarious, is that I have to run the cash register instead of going out on my favorite holiday. But I’ll be okay, because…

Fortunately, I have the best costume ever. Unfortunately, the Nazis that employ me say no cross-dressing.
For Halloween this year, I’ve chosen to dress as the second leading killer in the United States. No, not cancer. CHUCK NORRIS. I’ve got the beard, I’ve got the denim jumpsuit, I’ve got the gun holsters. But then, my manager tells me that there’s not cross-dressing. Well I’m going to do it, and if I get in trouble, I’ll just say I’m a bearded lady. They can’t get mad at me for that.

Fortunately, I know some fantastic Chuck Norris jokes. Unfortunately, there is no unfortunately to that fortunately.

Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball

In my opinion, this was my best costume ever. Lucille Ball. Used it two years in a row. (I was going to be Jessica Rabbit, but the costume was a bit skanky and I was going to a pretty kosher party, so I pulled the only thing I had in my closet—Lucy.)

(I’m always a famous redhead for Halloween. This year, it was between Miss Frizzle, Winifred Sanderson, and Lizzy Borden. Then someone suggested Chuck Norris and I was done for. He may not really be a redhead, but I don’t care.)

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I’ve reached a dead end. I’m a waitress living in an attic, progressing neither mentally nor financially, and I have no motivation to fix it.

“Simple solution,” you say. “Go to school. Get a degree, get a good job, do all that travelling you’ve been wanting to do, and grow up.”

“Oh, well wouldn’t life be just beer and skittles if it were that simple,” I say.

First of all, I don’t want to go to school. I love learning, but I only like it when it’s something I’m intrigued by. For instance, as of late I’ve been gazing up at the stars (what one may call “stargazing”), curious about them. I’ve been studying astronomy on my own, because I want to. I don’t want to be required to take X amount of science credits and Y amount of history classes. I want to see something I don’t understand, and answer my own questions. I hate the education system.

Second of all, even if I wanted to go to school, how am I to pay for it? I don’t want to get a student loan unless I absolutely have to, and I don’t want to go into debt unless I absolutely want to go to school. I can’t go to school unless I have a high-paying job that can support me while I go, and I can’t get a high-paying job unless I go to school.

Typical Catch-22.

It seems my only option is to crawl back to my last school, beg forgiveness for wasting a perfectly good scholarship, and promise not to do it again.

Either that, or work at a Mexican Restaurant for the rest of my life.

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….are the bane of my existence.

Every job I’ve had (except my current one. I’d had enough) has been at a call center. Phone surveys, tech support, customer service, etc. I had no idea that my jobs were horrible until I started working as a waitress. Go figure, eh? Now, I have no desire to return to the world that is “Hi, this is Janeal with Comcast—” *click*, because I have seen the light. I know now that there are better jobs out there that don’t require you to sit on your butt all day.

Unfortunately, the time has come for me to leave my waitress job. Or at least find another part-time job. I don’t make enough waitressing, I don’t get as many hours as I want, and the hours that I do get are crappy. I’ve been looking for a job, but the only ones I get responses to (and that pay enough) are call centers. It seems as though I’m doomed to wearing a headset and being bored out of my mind for the rest of my life. Yippee.

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