Sunday, January 27, 2013

Things NOT To Say At A Job Interview

With the current status of the economy and so many people being out of work, going on job interviews is a timely subject.  We all know that job interviews are cause for varying degrees of nervous tension.  We're uncomfortable, very concerned about making a good impression both personally and with our resumé 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.  The following responses to these standard questions actually happened during the course of job interviews.

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 need 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."

And finally…
[During a telephone call to schedule the interview]  "Can we meet next month?  I am currently incarcerated."

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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Electronics Don't Like Me

Seeing news reports about the annual Consumer Electronics Show just held in Las Vegas showcasing all the new and upcoming gadgets brought to mind an old television show.

For those of you old enough to remember The Twilight Zone (the original black and white series with creator Rod Serling also the on-camera host), do you recall the episode first aired in 960 that starred character actor Richard Haydn as Barlett Finchley? Finchley was an odd man, a writer who lived alone in his Victorian surroundings. He contributed to food magazines and similar types of periodicals. He was always in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another to fix the damage caused by his frustration and impatience when something didn't work precisely to his expectations. As time went by, he seemed to be in a constant battle with machines—his typewriter, television, car, even his electric shaver. All his household appliances had the same message for him: get out of the house. He stubbornly refused to acknowledge the messages, so the battle escalated.

And what, you might be asking yourself, does an old television show have in common with this year's Consumer Electronics Show?

Well…it seems that some of my machines, my electronic devices and gadgets, have taken a dislike to me.

My digital cameras clearly don't like me. I've done an extensive amount of photography for decades. In fact, photography is how I got into writing. I've always used Nikon cameras and knew my old film cameras backward and forward. I made maximum use of the various settings to my advantage whether my concerns were depth of field, stop-action, emphasizing motion, or manipulating exposure. I didn't need to think about it, I automatically made whatever setting adjustments I needed to achieve what I wanted.

But that was then and this is now. Photography has become a digital world. I finally gave up my film cameras and traded that skill for the world of DSLR Nikon cameras. It seems like hundreds of different settings and adjustments, none of which come naturally to me. The result is that spontaneity—being able to respond immediately to something I see and produce a creative image—is now difficult. It feels as if the camera is now in charge rather than me having the control.

And then there's my computer. There's something very wrong inside my desktop. There have been numerous times during the last few months when I've been tempted to throw it out the window. I seem to have a lot of things that just aren't working right. I'm afraid I might need to do a reinstall of the operating system. Hate that thought because it will take the better part of 2 days getting all my programs reinstalled and all the updates downloaded and all the files put back on my hard drive and…and…and…. Well, it's an option that I don't like.

Then there was the most recent problem, but I resolved that one after spending half a day fighting with the blogger program on Saturday, January 5th. In all fairness to my computer, for a couple of months Google had been giving me a warning telling me I was using a browser they would no longer be supporting so that some elements of my gmail/blogger might not work properly. Google naturally suggested that I download Google Chrome as my browser. I basically shined it on, ignored the warning and continued to do things just as I had been—until 2013 arrived. Suddenly I couldn't add a picture or graphic image to my blog. After a few hours of battle, I decided to go ahead and download Chrome, but not as my default browser.

Well, guess what! Chrome is now a shortcut icon on my desktop. When accessing my gmail (not my primary email address) or my blog, I double click that Chrome icon to access the internet, go directly to my blog, and everything works perfectly just as it did before the first of the year. No jumping through hoops, looking for some alternative back door with several steps just so I can add a picture. And all's right with the blogger world on my computer.

But my electronic problems continue…there's this new (well, a little over a week ago) problem with my car having to do with some of the dash warning lights (not all, just some) and dash monitoring text readout malfunctioning. It seems to be cold related. Not necessarily the car engine being cold, but the outside temperature being cold.

I have no idea what I've done to anger the electronic gods, but I'll gladly offer up a sacrifice if they'll remove the curse.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

People We Said Goodbye To In 2012…

As with each passing year, there are people we all know or at least feel as if we know them…celebrities and others of notoriety in the spotlight for either their fame or infamy…are lost to us. The last year saw many notables pass on.

Following is a partial list of those we lost in 2012, in no specific order.

From the military/government:

General Norman Schwarzkopf, a name that became a household word during the Gulf War in the early 1990s, died at age 78.

Two of our NASA astronauts—Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon died at age 82…and Sally Ride, first American woman in space died at age 61.

From the publishing world:

Ray Bradbury, science fiction author died at age 91.

Helen Gurley Brown, head of Cosmopolitan magazine died at age 90.

From the music world:

Robin Gibb, one of the three Gibb brothers who were the BeeGees died at the age of 62.

Donna Summer, dubbed the Queen Of Disco died at the age of 63.

Davy Jones, one of the musical group the Monkees whose career goes back to the London stage where he was the original Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver died at the age of 66.

Whitney Houston, her powerful voice produced hit songs (my personal favorite being the Dolly Parton written song I Will Always Love You that Whitney sang in her movie The Bodyguard) and also provided her with several movie roles died at the age of 48.

Andy Williams, the iconic performer whose career spanned many decades died at the age of 84.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer of such hit songs as Barbra Streisand's recording of The Way We Were and the colossal long-running Broadway musical hit of A Chorus Line died at the age of 68.

Dave Brubeck, a giant in jazz field died at the age of 91.

Dick Clark, definitely known for his many innovations with popular music and his unofficial title for decades as the World's Oldest Teenager as well as his New Year's Eve show every year from Time's Square in New York City died at the age of 82.

From that world that spans news and television:

Mike Wallace, long time correspondent for 60 Minutes died at the age of 93.

And finally from the world of television and movies:

Michael Clark Duncan, actor whose riveting performance opposite Tom Hanks electrified The Green Mile died at the age of 54.

Phyllis Diller, comedienne and actress whose recent appearances included the voice of Peter's mother on Family Guy died at the age of 95.

William Windom, Emmy award winning actor for My World And Welcome To It and probably best remembered for his portrayal of Dr. Seth Hazlett on Angela Lansbury's series Murder, She Wrote died at the age of 88.

Sherman Hemsley, best known for his role as George Jefferson on All In The Family and the spin off to his own series of The Jeffersons died at the age of 74.

Ernest Borgnine, academy award best actor winner for his role in Marty, but probably better known today for his starring role in television's McHale's Navy died at age 95.

Charles Durning, immediately recognizable long time character actor in movies and television died at the age of 89.

Jack Klugman, actor known for both his television roles of Oscar on The Odd Couple and his role as the doctor on the pioneering forensics television series Quincy died at the age of 90.

Ron Palillo and Robert Hegyes were both sweathogs on Welcome Back, Kotter, Ron who portrayed Horshack died at 63 and Robert who portrayed Epstein died at the age of 60.

Richard Dawson, British comedian and actor best known for his role as Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes and as host of the game show Family Feud died at age 79.

Larry Hagman, noted for his starring role in I Dream Of Jeanie but best remembered as J.R. Ewing in Dallas and also his reprise of the role in the current remake of Dallas died at the age of 81.

Andy Griffith, well-known as Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show and later as the crafty southern lawyer on Matlock died at the age of 86.

As I said, this is only a partial list, a cross-section of those we lost in 2012.