Sunday, June 26, 2011

10 Things NOT To Say At A Job Interview

We all know that going on a job interview is cause for varying degrees of nervous tension. We're uncomfortable, very concerned about making a good impression both personally and with our resume and work history. Saying the wrong thing…misspeaking…is upper in our mind.

All of this discomfort is part of the process. But, there are those who go beyond the bounds of mere jittery nerves. I recently came across an article about job interviews. The following comments were listed as having actually been said during the course of a job interview.

Q: Why did you leave your last job?
A: "I have a problem with authority."

Q: Why should we hire you?
A: "I would be a great asset to the events team because I party all the time."

Q: Do you have any questions?
A: "Cross dressing isn't a problem, is it?"

Q: Why are you leaving your current job?
A: "I was fired from my last job because they were forcing me to attend anger management classes."

Q: Why do you want to work for us?
A: "My old boss didn't like me, so one day I just left and never came back. And here I am!"

Q: What are your weaknesses? [related to job skills]
A: "I get angry easily and I went to jail for domestic violence. But I won't get mad at you."

Q: When have you demonstrated leadership skills?
A: "Well my best example would be in the world of online video gaming. I pretty much run the show. It takes a lot to do that."

Q: Is there anything else I should know about you?
A: "You should probably know I mud wrestle on the weekends."

Q: When can you start?
A: "I need to check with my mom on that one."

Q: Have you submitted your two weeks' notice to your current employer?
A: "What is two weeks' notice? I've never quit a job before. I've always been fired."

The following are random responses and comments made by job seekers at interviews.

"If I get an offer, how long do I have before I have to take the drug test?"

"When you do background checks on candidates, do things like public drunkenness arrests come up?"

"May I have a cup of coffee? I think I may still be a little drunk from last night."

Do you have any job seeking experiences you'd like to share…either as the interviewer or the interviewee?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

10 Weird and Wacky Laws

There is no question that many weird and wacky laws exist out there. You can only scratch your head and wonder what the various state legislatures were thinking about when they actually took the time to pass these strange ideas into law. And to take it a step farther, you can only wonder how some of these laws could possibly be enforced.

Many of these weird and wacky laws have subsequently been taken off the books, however just as many of them are still laws but obviously not being enforced. It would be interesting to know what the penalty would be if convicted of breaking these laws.

Here is a sampling of ten such laws that caught my attention (and tickled my funny bone).

In TEXAS, an anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims notice—oral or written—twenty-four hours in advance of the crime they're planning to commit and the nature of that crime.

In WAYNESBORO, VIRGINIA, it was once illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband walked in front of the car waving a red flag.

In the state of WASHINGTON, it is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the local chief of police before entering the town.

In IOWA, one-armed piano players who perform must to it for free.

In ALABAMA, it's illegal to wear a funny fake mustache to church.

In NEW HAMPSHIRE, you may not tap your feet, nod your head or in any way keep time with the music played in a tavern, restaurant or café.

In CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, it is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe's neck.

In FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, a person can be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing or wearing a hat to an event where dancing is taking place.

In MINNESOTA, no one is allowed to cross the line into the state with a duck on his/her head.

In DENVER, COLORADO, next door neighbors may not lend each other vacuum cleaners.

And here's a bonus offering that truly boggles the mind:

In MICHIGAN, beavers can be fined up to $10,000 per day for building unlicensed dams, according to a letter the state once sent certain beavers in Grand Rapids. This actually happened! After complaints about flooding on neighboring property, the state sent a letter to the land owner ordering him to remove unauthorized wood debris dams. The reply sent by the landowner was widely circulated around the internet as he pointed out that the "wood debris dams" belonged to beavers and he was not responsible for it. Eventually the matter was dropped and it seems unlikely that this would actually happen again.

Do any of you have weird laws in your state or country that have long ago outlived their original purpose but are still on the books?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

7 Weird American Museums

Museums…we've all been to them whether in our home town or on our travels. And there are all types of museums housing and displaying treasures depicting so many different themes. There are art museums presenting all types of art from the paintings of the old masters to modern art and all varieties in between, museums dedicated to specific historical events and times, living history museums including live demonstrations and presenters in period costumes, museums of cultural relevance, and museums such as those of the Smithsonian that cover just about everything from fossils to space travel.

I recently saw an article listing what it claimed to be the 7 weirdest museums in America. And I have to admit, I think they really hit on a good selection. So here, in no particular order, is their list of 7.

1) National Museum of Funeral History
This Houston, Texas, museum was founded in 1992 and claims that "any day above ground is a good one." The museum's mission is to preserve the heritage of the funeral industry. They offer exhibits such as a full-scale replica of Pope John Paul II's crypt, a 1900s casket factory and a Civil War embalming diorama.

2) Leila's Hair Museum
This Independence, Missouri, museum is dedicated to…you guessed it…hair. According to the museum, in Victorian times it was popular to make wreaths, jewelry and other ornamentations out of human hair and Leila's Hair Museum keep the tradition alive. Visitors can see 159 wreaths and over 2000 pieces of jewelry containing or made of human hair that dates back before 1900.

3) Mutter Museum
This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, museum is probably the best known of those on this list. I've seen it in show segments on the Travel Channel. It's a museum of medical oddities and specimens such as Grover Cleveland's tumor, a conjoined liver from Siamese twins, a slice of a murderer's brain, a woman who turned to wax after death.

4) Trash Museum
This Hartford, Connecticut, museum personifies the old adage that one man's trash is another man's treasure. The museum is run by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. Exhibits include an operating recycling facility, a mural showing the history of trash management and a visualization of how much trash a single person produces in a year.

5) SPAM Museum
And we're not talking about unwanted email. This Austin, Minnesota, museum is dedicated to SPAM, often heralded as America's favorite canned meat. The Hormel company created SPAM in 1937 and today there are 13 SPAM products. Museum visitors practice canning SPAM and brush up on SPAM trivia including its role in World War II.

6) The Museum Of Bad Art
Good art can be found in museums all over the country, but bad art? That's a whole different thing. This museum, founded in 1993, has 3 Massachusetts locations—Dedham, Somerville, and Brookline.  It's "dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory."

7) Devil's Rope Museum
This McLean, Texas, museum was founded in 1991 and is the largest barbed wire museum in the world. The barbed wire museum gives the history of barbed wire (appropriately nicknamed devil's rope), displays artifacts, tells the significance of the invention, and the impact it had on the development of the Old West.

Do you have any weird museums in your town or have you come across any in your travels?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

10 Bizarre Tips For Mosquito Prevention—True or False?

Even though it's not officially summer until June 21, the fact is that Memorial Day has come and gone and it's now the summer season. In most states school is out and summer vacations are underway.

And summer time means being outdoors whether a picnic in the park, a barbeque in the backyard, or a camping trip. Unfortunately, being outdoors has one very large stigma attached to it—mosquitoes. With this year's excessive amounts of rain and flooding in many parts of the country, that will undoubtedly translate to more mosquitoes than usual which is not good news for the outdoor enthusiast.

I recently came across an article listing 10 bizarre tips for dealing with mosquitoes, some of them real and others merely rumor. Here's that list.

Tip #1) Drink Lots Of Beer
This is a rumor. The reasoning behind this wishful thinking tip is that alcohol and yeast are not appealing to mosquitoes. In reality, the opposite is true. Mosquitoes prefer the blood of beer drinkers over anyone else.

Tip #2) Fire Up A Bubble Machine
This is real. It's been shown that mosquitoes have been repelled by soapy solutions. This is less about bubbles and more about the soapy suds.

Tip #3) Mix Up Some 'Dew
This is sort of real. Someone made a suggestion that mixing up a solution of Mountain Dew and dish washing soap, putting it in cups, and leaving them around the yard would keep mosquitoes away. Attracted to the soft drink and repelled by the soap. Perhaps save the Mountain Dew for the refreshment stand?

Tip #4) Wear Only White
This is a rumor. The theory behind this is that when you wear bright and dark colors your clothes absorb heat which attracts all kinds of bugs including mosquitoes. In reality, when it's hot outside you're going to have a higher body temperature no matter what you wear.

Tip #5) Rub Chives On Your Pulse Points
This is real. But do you really want to do it? Mosquitoes do not like the smell of chives, but that also applies to the friends and family around you.

Tip #6) Eat Plenty Of Garlic
This is real. But, as with the chives in tip #5, do you really want to do this? If you happen to be eating a garlic laden meal, mosquitoes hate you. And you'll also be repelling vampires if you're eating this garlic laden meal at night when they're out and about.

Tip #7) Vacuum Them Up
This is real. However, how many of us have the reflexes and eyesight to be able to vacuum a mosquito in mid air?

Tip #8) Try This App
This is real. But there are reservations about doing it. There are a few iPhone apps available that are designed to put out a noise that repels mosquitoes. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on all varieties of mosquito and it drives cats and dogs nuts.

Tip #9) Rub Yourself With Fabric Softener Sheets
This is real. This tip agrees with tips #2 and #3 about mosquitoes not liking the taste or scent of soap. However, it sounds as if it would be irritating to the skin.

Tip #10) Spritz With Mouthwash
This is a rumor. It has been suggested that using a spray bottle and spritzing yourself with a 10 to 1 mix of water to Listerine will repel mosquitoes. It's true that the menthol and eucalyptus in the mouthwash doesn't appeal to them, but the 10 to 1 dilution negates that. And applying mouthwash directly to your skin will dry it out.

So, there you have it—the bizarre suggestions for avoiding the mosquito bites that seem to come along with summer's outdoor activities. Perhaps it's best to stick to the conventional choice of a product manufactured as an insect repellent. I, personally, find that Cutter Insect Repellent is a brand that works well.