Category Archives: Uncategorized

Discrimination in the workplace…and proving it

This just in from my local daily:

To recap: the individual in question has knee injuries. She has a cane and a motorized vehicle to aid her. She asked for handicapped accessible parking and she was denied.

Not long after that, she was terminated from her job. No explanation.

To turn down somebody who needs a more accessible parking spot, yes, that’s discrimination. Is it not the law that by hook or by crook, a parking space is to be provided for you?

Something like this is fairly easy to prove.

But for the rest of us, not being able to get the job is neithe here nor there. Literally anything could have happened; there are no more rules and there is no more sense or rhyme or reason behind the candidate search.

Another case: an applicant sued a company. She was interested in a job and since she was from Puerto Rico, she had citizen status. They insisted that she needed a green card (not true) and she wound up suing them. She won.

Again, provable.

For us, neither here nor there.

Found out my old company is hiring for my job

Or shall I say, for the job that I had.

Not the first time they’ve done this; the first time was a bit over a year and a half ago.

There are 2 jobs open at that company: the admin job (which was my job) and a sales assistant job.

2 of the ads are running on line; the admin job is posted in the local paper’s want ads.

In the ad that is on line, the name of the town where the job is located is listed.

Here’s the thing: I saw the ads and I googled the fax number. It took me a little bit of googling and digging but there it was, clear as day: it’s my old company. The fax number is listed as one of the boss’ home landlines. (they have moved in the interim)

When I applied for the job, that is where my resume went: to the boss’ home.

This is a little tiny company. Very doubtful that they are adding staff. Looks to me like 2 employees jumped ship at the same time.

And the ad is amazing. They are asking for advanced degrees as a prerequisite for the job. What individual with a science degree do you think will rarin’ to go to be hired as a stinking 30 grand a year sales asssistant?

So what do you do….

When nothing has panned out.

And positively nothing at all, in the way of a job, and you are pretty much in a desparate and dire financial situation.

I have no relatives, or spouse, to support me. It’s just me myself and I.

And I have another situation that is compounding my problems — I won’t go into it here or now.

What should I do?

I don’t think I could try as far as a business goes. I had my ass handed to me the last time I tried it — I do not have the money for an office or a studio. I cannot and will not bring a client into this house. One never knows.

Even so, what I do in the way of artwork is time consuming. The least intricate item would have to sell for at least $400 and in this day and age of a dead economy, who’s got money for that?

I was thinking of calling old employers again — and asking if they need help.  Here is the thing: when I left there, the place was financially barely alive.

At the time, the company was not doing well; I knew this when I took the job and the day after I got laid off from there, the rest of the staff — about 60 people — were all cut to a half time basis….zoom ahead to now; nearly the entire staff is gone. The company is now operating with about 5 people in the office and maybe 10 in the plant.

They are limping along even still.

I called there quite awhile back and there was nothing then. Maybe in a pinch, I could do freelance work for them but that sucks, too.

I tried another past employer, quite awhile ago. No dice.

And the rest, the ones that are still in business, don’t care if I am living or dead. So they’re out.

I have tried service jobs: a damn local bakery put up a fuss — told me “We are training somebody right now and if they don’t work out we will call you” — their HELP WANTED ad has continually appeared in that damn window of their shop.

And you know what happened to the bar.

Bars and restarants in this area don’t do well. One restaurant was already sold, 6 months after opening, and another bar, up the block, is for sale. And the bar that I mentioned? I get the idea that’s going to be a novelty and when the novelty wears off, the crowd will vanish. And it’s likely the owners will, too.

Another bar that seemed to be doing well, shut down out of nowhere, well over a year ago. The building is still empty.

I am pretty desparate at this point. I don’t have any ideas and I don’t know what to do. It’s a dire situation and if in the past, somebody told me I’d be in this kind of a boat, I’d have laughed right in their face. 

My health isn’t good. I have a few good issues and I am sure all of them are due to stress. I still blame my ex company for the first of the issues that wow, amazingly showed up 3 months after I got laid off.  A good chunk of my money — $350 a month for health insurance and about $150 for meds monthly– is going towards health care for me.

I consider myself to be a spiritual person. “Religious” yeah — but as a ‘solitary.” I still have not found a suitable religious denomination — I’ve prayed over this for weeks and still nothing. I don’t know why it’s like this.

At no time during an interview — with the exception of one guy, right after I got laid off from my job — did I ever get the idea that I was one of the strong candidates or that I was being considered for the job. I’ve gotten the idea that this is all some kind of charade; am I filler? am I a “let’s call in a few more people even though we decided X is our choice”? Or what is it?

Do every single one of these damn interviewers NOT have a clue? What is it???

I don’t blame this on age, or education, or too much education, or not enough of it, or “nobody’s hiring” — nope; none of it applies. And I do not blame this on the economy. Not at all by a long shot.

And it sure isn’t “me.” There was always somebody to hire me — I don’t know what happened here. I’m stumped and stunned as far as trying to find a reason goes.

What do I do? 

I have also tried dropping into unemployment.  Useless. All they hend you is Kool Aid — this is what the unemployment public servants  are taught to do when they have their training and go to Trenton for whatever job training it is: tell the client “it’s like this with everyone” and have you tried this that and the other thing.

The last call I got for an interview was well over a month ago.  Nothing since then and the ads are pretty dry.

What do I do?

Okay to feel bad about this?

On my FB feed this morning: pictures of a good time at a local bar.

This was the bar I tried to get a bartending gig at, way back at the end of February.

When I applied for the job, I got “I’ll show this to my partners; I will let you know at the end of the week.” (I recapped the spiel  and what transpired at the interview in a prior post here on Harderworld.)

She (who happens to be one of the owners) never did call me or notify me.  I didn’t hear a godblessed word out of her.

Anyway, there’s the pictures of the bar, and a band that performed there, and a bunch  of patrons, all having a good time. I wonder still what happened there and why i was treated so shabbily.

Oh certainly it is well within her rights to hire who she wants.

But still: from a client satisfaction standpoint — and from the fact alone that you are a new bar owner — don’t you want to keep a potential patron (me)? And get on the good foot with the clientele?

And people do tend to bring friends with them on a Friday and Saturday night; I guess she doesn’t care about that, either. She pretty much lost me as a patron — I used to eat there every so often — and doesn’t care about that at all.

I feel bad about that job. And I wonder how everything got to be the way it is. For awhile, I could have a survivalist job; I guess nothin’ doin’ with that, either.

The sale of another bankrupt hospital

Ask yourself this:

Why are nearly all of these for-sale and just-sold hospitals bankrupt, financially teetering and on the brink or walking wounded?

Is it like this in your area?

I can name only 2 hospitals that are healthy, booming and growing… not so coincidental that one is in a very lush and rich upscale town and the other one has never had a problem booming and growing. There are theories why, but I won’t get into that on this post.

We cannot blame this on charity care; every single one of these hospitals has been getting charity care for decades.

We cannot blame this on illegal immigrants.  And we can’t blame this on lack of adequate health insurance.

So the deal is this:

Sell the hospital…

But do NOT send in an outside auditor to scrutinize the books from the last 10 years — nobody wants to find out WHY the hospital is bankrupt — it’s just Oh, we’ll just SELL it?

I suggest the last 10 years. All of the financial data has to be archived someplace.

Suppose I actually got this job? What then?

I was doing some networking, inquiring and other activity to see what I can drum up in the way of a job.

I decided to drop in at a company whose job I interviewed for a bit over a year and a half ago.

There is nobody in the office building they are in — 3 tenants — and that company is gone. The logo and name is on the door but that is all.

I just called the place. Turns out it is down to 2 people and evidently everybody was let go. In the winter, they were hiring IT people — they were willing to pay somebody 70 grand.


Suppose I actually got their job…? I’d have been out of luck, yet again????

Worse yet, suppose I resigned from a job to take that one?

It’s all a crapshoot — and I think it is wise not to consider a job at a company where there are only 2 or 3 people on staff — and where the 2 or 3 people on staff are the owner and other major players. I now wonder what kind of staying power that company has, if you get their job.

The Death Of A Large Company’s Presence….the aftermath

To continue the discussion about 2 million sqare feet of a plant being vacated — and the end of 14M worth of tax ratables being paid into the coffers of 2 very middle class towns…and 2 towns that are not huge and not rich, by any means.

I have said it before and said it again: when a big company moves out of a town, it kills the town’s spirit.

And as I also said, “what type of employment culture exists?” That is something you ask when you plan on moving — in addition to knowing about the school system, the crime rate, what ammenities are available to residents, etc — you also want to know Where Is There To Work Around Here?

This is all a sign of the times: Phamcos have been moving out of the area, or closing down, or growing much smaller — and the jobs in general are moving out of the area.

We have too many commercial office buildings that are empty — now plants that once employed 5000 people or more can  sit, vacant and fallow.

Shulton and ITT, 2 more blockbuster companies located in Clifton, ceased business years ago. In place of the buildings, there are now townhouses, shopping centers and stores.

There was also Givudan — that building was razed and in its place, a commercial office building was built. Nowhere near the ratables that Givudan’s campus generated.

14M gone from a tax role?

That could break the back of a town like Nutley. Population perhaps 25K and mostly middle class and upper middle class.

And we all know it’s a trickle down effect — there are dozens of restaurants and stores nearby that are vastly popular with the employees and lunch and dinner crews of the facility. And most of them are mom and pop businesses.

14M of taxes?

Even if they build homes there, you’d have to build about 3,000 homes to break even — and even then, it’s a sucky solution. YOu will “profit” from that not — this will now mean a boom in the school population! You’ll need more school spalce, more teachers, possibly another grammar school to hold the new student influx.

And you’ll have to add to the sewer system and other utilities to handle what — a potential TEN THOUSAND new residents? And that 10,000 person figure is only a mild estimation.

And if these are upscale townhomes — and they probably will be — don’t count on these people to send their kids to the public schools. You’ll see them send their kids to the private schools that are up the road. NO benefit to the public school system at all.

And the chances of getting another pharmco to move into that campus?

Anybody here hear squealing and see something porcine soar through the air on wings? Let me know if you DO.

Pearl River NY will be getting the same “deal”: The Pfizer plant is ceasing operations, also.

This is no win situation for everyone involved.

Another job fair with hundreds of attendees

 And most of them with advanced degrees.

Young people are now competing with people 45, 50 and 60 years old who will take a job just to survive, to paraphrase a line from the article.

One gent ran his own tax buisness but ended operation due to a severe slowdown. Now he’s looking to get back into the corporate world.

His comment about being out of work:

“I worked in the industry for 25 years. I’m not discouraged. I’m not complaining. At my age, it’s not that bad for the time being,” said Merritt.

Roche facility closing in Nutley NJ, 1000 more jobs lost

1000 people work there.

The facility is closing….BUT, at an “undisclosed location” somewhere in the same state, there will be another facility opening, employing 240 people. The employees at the plant that is closing are being offered those jobs.

What’s going on here?

They close ONE plant and boot all 1000 people and open another with 240 people? Is this another incentive, or what?

I can imagine the pissing match over who gets one of the240 jobs that are being made available

Very very sad that the Roche facility is closing. Over 5000 people once worked here; in 1985, over 1500 people were let go. They called it “Black Friday.”

This was a company that treated their employees like family. The company even employed its own employee theatre group! This is how large the company was and how active their people were.

“Black Friday” in 1985 was the beginning of the end. And there were so many great places to work in that area: Shulton, Givudan, ADP (2 facilities in Clifton, about a 1 minute drive from Roche) — all of them now are gone.

There were 3 hospitals in the immediate location, all of them doing relatively well. Only one is left. Got a money bailout from the state about 3 years ago; they were bankrupt and emerged 2 years ago.

And up the river, another pharmco biggie is closing a plant. A guy I know who works there is 55; he has no idea what he’s going to do once the place closes.

Will the last one employed in NJ please shut the lights out…thank you…

You are one paycheck away from unemployment (and more)….

From our local daily today:

The comments in the section for “Your comment here” kill me.

Everybody is missing the entire point of what the problem is:

Unemployment can happen TO YOU. Nobody is exempt.

And it can happen to you at any time any place anywhere. There are no promises, no guarantees, no long term solutions.

We have a very large group of storefronts in our downtown area that are vacant. The buildings are owned by one person and the rent is off the charts. This is primarily the reason why the storefronts have been vacant for so long; out of the reach of the middle class — and the middle class is usually who rents Main Street storefronts and the people who operate businesses in them.

There are now businesses moving into those formerly vacant spaces. Great news, eh?

Not surprising that the people who rent them are prior business owners: the only businesses moving in are restaurants and other eateries.

I don’t think this is the greatest. Who wants a whole downtown filled with restaurants, delis, pizzerias and franchised yogurt shops?

They already own a bar, own another deli and own another type of eatery; one of these owners has now gotten ahold of a yogurt franchise…how convenient it is 2 doors down from his deli, eh?

Out of the reach of the “little people.” And out of the reach of somebody out of work who wants to open a real business — the rents are unaffordable.

Everybody in this dumb little town are in awe over these restaurants/eateries that are opening. Meanwhile, businesses are moving OUT of this town and jobs are moving out of this town.

I’ve said it before: the “perks” that are included in living in a town are IMPORTANT when it comes to the fact that you’re looking for a great town to live in: in other words, Are jobs included?

Who gives a shit that there’s  a new restaurant opening???

Is there a job attached to the ad…or is it a ruse?

I am now starting to wonder if the job advertisement I am replying to is a bona fide ad with a real job attached to it.

You simply cannot tell anymore. The only way you could tell for certain is if you know somebody directly employed in that department at that company; they’d vouch for the ad whether it is real or not.

In fact, exactly that happened when I was working at this one particular job.  I opened up the Help Wanted ads one Sunday and lo and behold, there is an ad — and a sizable one — for the supervisor of our department.

To my knowledge, the boss was not leaving.

I had a part time job at another lab at the time; one of the guys who was my sometime supervisor there applied for the job at our lab.  He wanted to know what was going on, since about 3 weeks had elapsed and he hadn’t gotten a reply from the HR department.

I told him what I told all of you: No, she isn’t leaving and that’s as far as we know — and nobody at all has been in for an interview.

Nobody ever came in for an interview at all. Very very odd.

Who knows why they ran that ad? The boss’ situation was a unique one: she wasn’t going to be replaced by management; she was more or less there to stay and she was brought in with the intent of acting as “The Terminator”: straigtening out the department…and the people.

Years later, she was farmed out and her “job” was replaced with another one, quite different, NOT related to our department at all whatsoever. She was more or less fired as head of our department. (I was long gone by that time; I heard about her “new job” in the business section of our local paper)

This incident happened eons ago. To see a phoney ad was rare. The kooks, weirdoes, scammers and walkers that preyed on job hunters were few and far in between.

I have just replied to 3 ads in a row where I know for certain one job did not exist — that was the guy who asked me to do a presentation — and as for the other 2, I’m sure that something was odd there, too.

Company B, I am convinced, ran the ad to collect names and addresses under the guise of “we need your 3 refrences; bring them to the interview” and Company C interviewed me for only a reason they know of. When I arrived at that interview, i was told “Jack isn’t in; he was called away. I will do the interview.” At 10:30 in the morning? Yes, something is funny here; I have seen this same “he’s not here” at least a dozen times over the years I have been employed and looking for a job.

So who do you trust?

It’s like you simply cannot tell anymore. Too many enocounters with the “boy who cried wolf.” And when there’s a real job attached to the ad, who knows?

If you are lucky enough to have a gut feeling about the ad and/or company, I say trust it. If something seems too good to be true, skip the ad or run like hades if you are at the interview. If you are not comfortable with a company’s request or you think the request is more than just a bit too much to ask of a job candidate, refuse to do what they ask: do you want a job THAT BADLY? I think not.

Why should you waste your time?

That’s the bottom line.

That’s what it boils down to.

YOU are the one IN CHARGE. Don’t let these bastards have you bend over and grab your ankles, so to speak.

Bridal and Baby Showers and why they suck

This is June which means weddings, which often means bridal showers. Then there are baby showers, which happen all year round but seem more often to happen in the summer. Let me tell you the traditional women only ones are the worst things imaginable. There are many things I would prefer to do over these, such as a root canal with no novacaine, run naked through the street or let’s be honest I would do pretty much anything short of murder instead of going to one of these (though if forced to attend murder might come into play).

Showers were started or at least became well known in the 1950s. They were started really to give presents for the woman to fulfill her job as a wife and mother fulltime. While women started getting equality showers at this point were still women only. Even now, while more and more women have coed showers, way too many are still women only. For those who aren’t familiar with these traditional ones the formula is this: women of all ages get together to play insane immature juvenile games like sniff a diaper to see what candy is in the diaper or create a wedding gown out of toilet paper. The games are so demeaning that I would rather play duck, duck goose or hide and seek or any game I played as a child. Then the unwrapping of the gifts and the oohing and aahing “hey there’s a pan so the bride can make the groom his favorite dish” or whatever the gift is, or asking everyone to bring their favorite dish so the bride can make it for the groom, because don’t you know the bride is doing all the cooking. I wonder if my famous mudpie cake (meaning mud I find outside when it rains)would be acceptable.

I shudder just thinking of the ones I was forced to attend because they were close family or friends, like my sister in law’s because my brother told me “women like that thing, men don’t”.  I only attended that one because I was a bridesmaid and I spent all the time with her sister who I knew since high school and like me is a single woman (and like me was only there being a bridesmaid). Well, I despise these things. In between all this fun of playing these games or unwrapping the gifts come the conversations about kids, or diapers, pots and pans and things that bore me. I was once asked at one of these things if I planned to get married and I told them “not until I slept with 20 men” which led to some shocked expressions. Or the time a woman asked me if I planned to have kids because my clock was running out (keep in mind I was 25 or so)and I replied that maybe I’d ask her husband if he was interested. Needless to say I rarely attend showers unless forced.

The only ones that never bothered me were either the ones that were coed (usually barbeque)because the games were usually not involved or it was optional (and women only you pretty much have to participate), or one I attended that was a bride and her friends and we sat around and ate and talked (and not about women things, just general). This situation was interesting because she married a clown (no really)from Ringling at a show and came home to see everyone. Otherwise I avoid them, and yes I did avoid my sister in law’s baby shower along with my cousin’s baby shower (I sent them both gifts).

Oddly this issue is one of the reasons I generally don’t date divorced men. Sounds weird but if I meet a guy and he or worse his bride had a bridal shower it would bother me. It would tell me he was somewhat traditional and things wouldn’t last. Yes, I would walk out of these showers if one was sprung on me too.

Was this interview even a genuine one??

Did I have a genuine and honest shot at this one?

You be the judge:

Company X ran an ad on May 23. I got a call last Wednesday requesting me to come in for an interiview. The interview was with the department manager.

I showed up at the interview. The woman who called me to set up the interview told me that the department manager was not in. She was called away. At 10:30?

This meant I would not be meeting with her that day at all.

(I am leery when I hear that a hiring manager is not available)

Turns out that the department had 4 other people doing the same work; I strongly suspect that this was a $15 an hour job. The person who interviewed me told me there were benefits but she did not mention what the salary was, nor did she ask me what range I was looking at.

Second interviews were to be this week with the hiring manager who was not there. “We will be in touch.”

I never heard from the hiring manager. It is now technically Thursday, imo.

Maybe I’m nuts or maybe paranoid or just wrong, but i get the feeling that it may indeed be the case that Hiring Manager has already got somebody in mind and I was just one of the people called in to make it look good — her boss probably told her “interview a few more people.”

This is gone with the wind and the sad part is this: how can I consider a job if I have no idea what the salary is? Maybe I cannot work for $15 an hour. Maybe I’m gainfully employed and looking for a bigger and better deal…you think I’m going to take a cut in pay at their company if the salary is indeed $15/hr??? You’ve just wasted my time! Tell me up front during the phone call how much the job pays and let me decide whether or not that range is worth my while.

Something tells me that this wasn’t the “real” interview I thought it was. Anyway, I have heard nothing…. and I guess that’s that.

Superficiality aka sometimes we need to grow up

While writing the last post I briefly touched on this guy I am strangely attracted to. He’s not someone I would have dated years ago but he is striking interest in me. I realize now that sometimes being judgemental of one’s appearance says a lot about us.

Years ago I was heavily involved in the fan circuit of a well known band. Yes, they are a New Wave band, one of the biggest in fact. So big that they were compared to the Beatles and a well known media figure from the 80s (and the 90s)proclaimed them her favorite band. This band managed to survive the 80s when so many other bands didn’t and had a huge comeback in the early 90s courtesy of alternative rock radio. Talking about their career highs and lows could be (and has been)the subject of countless documentaries but that isn’t the point here.

Anyway, in being in this fan clique so to speak I got to meet some people who became friends. Some are still fairly close but others I’ve drifted away from. In the process of meeting people I was able to meet members of this group. One member was a jerk but the others were really cool. However, the closer I got to people I started to see a disturbing trend: the cutest fans get closer to the group. In fact the lead singer is downright rude to people he considers “ugly”. He wasn’t rude really to me but wasn’t nice either. To other friends he has been mean calling them ugly and fat. Later on I had heard stories of other band members making fun of their “fat and ugly” fans. Yes really class there and to be honest it turned me off. I haven’t seen them in a few years but would they be mean to me because I’ve gained weight? How about as I age?

The fact is I too used to be as mean as that. I used to make fun of people. I used to turn down men who weren’t handsome and wealthy. I just thought I was the hottest thing ever. Then several years ago I fell and injured myself and no longer to workout as heavily as I did. I don’t have the stamina I once did either. I also realize I can’t rely on my looks. I am glad I found this out before it was too late. Looks are fleeting, personality lasts forever.

Btw, I still like this group and their music. It was a welcome sort of music at a time when top 40 was dominated by adult contemporary, R&B, crossover country and just plain pop music. It opened the doors to more music like it and bands like them. Their latest CD is really good and there had been speculation it might get a Grammy nod for best alternative album but no awards.

Online dating

Just when I thought nothing was worse than job hunting I was proven wrong by online dating. Like job hunting, I thought I would have an advantage because I have a lot to offer, namely I am attractive and not as much baggage as most my age. My only baggage is I am unemployed (which bothers me) but I figure if we dated we could go cheap, or hopefully eventually I will find a job or work for myself. I do not tell men online my job situation because I don’t want them to think I am looking for a man to support me. However my job situation is the least of my problems.

Years ago I did the phone dating, which is a forerunner to online. This was late 80s-early 90s. During this time I was generally in college but for some reason couldn’t find boyfriends there. I think I was looking for older men so this is why I tried these sites. However most of the guys lied about their looks, income etc. I met a guy who claimed to be a millionaire and obese men who claimed to be in shape. Phone dating was for the most part trash though I did find two boyfriends from it.

Years later when online dating started I did it because at the time it was free for women. I created a profile at Match and actually met a couple of good guys. However I didn’t feel a click so I never pursued it further. During this time I became work obsessed and while I dated guys I met, no one really struck my fancy offline. So I decided to try Match again and once again met some great guys, but most of the guys would send me messages like “you’re hot”. That is a turn off. Other guys would either be too old or dads and neither idea appealed to me. One guy turned out to be married and this was a let down. I had a membership for 2 years, didn’t find a soulmate (or even a guy who was a boyfriend)so I cancelled it. I found a lot of men more into casual sex than relationships. This was when I still had a job. In the meantime I reconnected with a former friend who I always thought was the one but he ended up breaking my heart. I will always have scars by the way he broke my heart and now I am more careful about getting too serious too soon.

Flash forward to now. Last Christmas my mom gave me a membership to a religious dating site. Her idea was even though I am unemployed now if nothing else I could find a good guy. I also created profiles on free dating sites. While I am finding lots of men fitting what I require (namely no kids, not obese, and preferably never married)many of them don’t like me. The reason? according to them I am “too old”. Apparently they want kids and want younger to assure this. However there is never a guarantee they can have kids, that a younger woman can or that I can’t. I am not in menopause, not even periomenopause and this was backed by my doctor. My family has a history of late menopause and late pregnancy. Even so, I shouldn’t be judged by this, because older men run a risk of defects too! Besides there is adoption, and other options. If they blame me for waiting, then they have to blame themselves too. To be honest I don’t think all of these men are looking for babies, they just want younger. The men responding on these sites are much older, including my dad’s age, and undesirable to me. On the free sites I am finding men mostly wanting sex, though have met a few who didn’t click with me. In general the men I’ve met or talked to were extremely delusional what they could get. I would get all these 60 year old men who wanted to date me or these obese men stating “no fatties”.

I should mention offline I never have trouble finding men, including younger, hotter, men. I look much younger and men have fallen over me. I’ve had random men come up to me to talk. In my 20s I was a model and would literally turn heads when I walked in a room. I remember years ago walking into a record store with a guyfriend and men turning around and whistling. Yes I was that hot. I still look pretty much the same, though a bit heavier. Not that I am especially large now, but back then I was in excellent shape, usually a size 6-8.

There is a guy near me who seems like he would be a good potential but if he’s not then I am throwing the towel in regards to online dating and stick to offline. People online are just too weird for me.


Recently people have been asking me about my political views and I tell them depending on the issue I lean either right or left. Generally speaking on fiscal matter I lean right and social I lean left. Years ago I told a few people I am pretty much a Libertarian and as time goes by I believe so myself. However I do not agree with all of their views, but on their website they have a “are you a Libertarian and it said I was a left leaning one”.

Here’s their official views.

Their statement: ”

“We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”


I agree and feel we should have free right.


Their platform issues are a mixed bag for me because I do for the most part agree with personal freedom and almost everything they say except am a little mixed on guns. Oh I support gun rights, but do not feel everyone should be allowed a gun, like criminals. The economic ones I am mixed on because I do not support free trade aka outsourcing. I think outsourcing has destroyed this country. I do feel though that we need to make it easier to start a business in this country. I would cut taxes on companies that keep jobs here and charge higher taxes to outsource. I feel taxes need to be cut and services as well because we are paying so many taxes for things I oppose, like lifetime welfare.


Here’s the fact though and that is I despise Romney with a passion. On the other hand Obama has let me down, and I suspect he will raise taxes to pay for programs I oppose like welfare for illegals. If we could find a candidate who will cut taxes without having to depend on the religious right, or the unions I would support that person wholeheartedly. If we could find a candidate who would make it easier to start a business in this country without all the restrictions we have (and trust me there are a lot, because I am doing this)they would get my vote. If they would keep abortion legal but not require people to pay I would support that (I support abortion but do not feel taxpayers should pay only because some oppose it). If they would cut services to wasteful programs, and in effect lower taxes I’d vote for them. If they would get the military out of other countries, stop forcing the US to be gatekeepers for the world and stop giving financial assistance to all these countries I’d support that person wholeheartedly.


I can dream, can’t I?

The rise in religious fundamentalism

I consider myself to be a pretty devout Catholic. While I do not agree with all of the tenets personally, I can see why they believe them. Certain issues I am conflicted about for personal reasons but it is what it is. However, one thing I have always liked about the church is how they help the poor. Catholic Charities does a lot and so does the various other charities.

Since I am somewhat devout I decided to try a Catholic dating site. To my dismay I found many guys who are what is called Traditional or Fundamentalist Catholic. What they feel is that many of the changes since Vatican 2 in the 60s was a bad idea. They believe that women have been given too many leadership roles in the church, that women should have to wear a veil, and that feminism, gay rights, abortion, etc are worse than people starving. In fact, many of them have posted that they see nothing wrong with people starving because “they need to work hard”. They also think Romney is a great candidate because he is a self made man (forget that he was born wealthy). However they think Santorum (who is Catholic)was the greatest politician the world has ever known.

The posts I see on there attacking people on welfare (and let’s be honest I have done this myself but I know some truly fall on hard times)as lazy while putting rich people on a pedestal is NOT what the Catholic Church stands for. Let us remember that we had one Catholic president, John F Kennedy and we all know he was not a rightwing wacko. Whether one likes them or not, the Kennedys were known for their charitable efforts, such as Eunice Kennedy starting Special Olympics. Some of the Kennedys were pro life but were pro life across the board, including against the death penalty. The last Pope, John Paul 2 was opposed to the Iraq War and the death penalty. I believe the current pope has spoken out against one or both of these two. The last Cardinal of Chicago Bernardin was was I consider a good example of what I believe a good Catholic should be. He was pro life, whether it meant abortion, or the death penalty, or war. The current one, Cardinal George just seems spiteful and he is more obsessed with gay marriage than the death penalty. In fact he wrote the pope telling him not to give the current governor (a Catholic)an award for being against the death penalty because Governor Quinn is pro gay rights. I am not a fan of the governor either as I feel he wastes tax money but I do feel abolishing the death penalty was a good thing in Illinois because of the innocent people freed (though ask me how I feel when a convicted children killer/rapist just get life).

To be fair, it’s not just Catholics, but I know the most about being Catholic so I speak from that experience. I am seeing this attitude from so called religious people online from various religions. The rise in this anti woman, anti minority, and anti gay ideas really saddens me. I get being against abortion, or gay marriage, or the various other social issues and I have a few I am very conservative about myself (I am opposed to out of wedlock parenthood and the sexuality prevalent in society). However this attitude goes beyond that but to this idea that we all need to be the same. I’ve spoken to other religious people and all of them have told me they think the extremes in every religion make it rough for others.

I feel part of being a Christian is helping the poor and believing in God to help you make the right choices. Also, I believe that God forgives our sins. I’m sure he doesn’t want anyone to go hungry, or lack medical care. As for the social ills, I don’t know how he feels about abortion, gay rights, or out of wedlock babies. I’m guessing he probably isn’t happy about all of that, but then again in terms of gay people he created them so maybe he accepts. Maybe though he is far more tolerant and realizes sometimes people have no choice but to do what they feel is best. I’m sure though he doesn’t accept the idea that people with money worked harder, or that they are his chosen people, or that being rich is the most important thing.

Death of the shopping mall

This was discussed in another thread but it is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. That is to say how shopping malls are not where people shop anymore and how our societal changes are affecting this.

I used to shop at a shopping mall that is now the most famous dead mall in the country, probably the world. They are finally tearing it down after standing over 30 years vacant. This mall stands as a symbol of everything that has happened in the last 30 years or so, from societal changes, to the economy, to demographic changes, to even pop culture. Going by this mall reminds me quite clearly of my childhood.

This mall started with good intentions. It was constructed in the mid 60’s after having been the land of a golf course. My parents grew up down the street from there. My dad being the troublemaker he was then rode all through the golf course with his friends trying to destroy it. However it didn’t work and the construction started, and ended with a nice opening. For a few years it did quite well and was always busy. I would shop there often with my parents and many of my childhood memories were of shopping there and buying toys and clothes. However a few years later it was forced to close because the area changed from a working and middle class area to low income. The crime too expanded and the mall had its share of murders, rapes, and most especially burglaries. Around the time of its closing Hollywood came a calling. They were filming a now classic movie and wanted a mall to have a chase through. The mall scene is now one of the most famous car chases in movie history. My parents were asked to be extras in the movie and regret they turned this down. It was supposed to reopen but never did and housed a variety of things, from schools to offices.

Around the time of this iconic mall’s closing my parents, brother and I moved to a better area and we started shopping at another mall. For those who haven’t experienced this, being a middle class suburban girl during the 1980s meant mall shopping. I would spend hours with my friends buying, going to the movies (oddly the first mall never had a movie theatre)and eating at the McDonalds at the mall. This mall had two record stores and one was an independent record store where I found a lot of obscure New Wave/Punk records. A few years later this record store would become part of a chain, records would be replaced by CDs and New Wave/Punk would be collectively known as Alternative. In the 90s when I started making money as a model and in radio (though being honest being a model paid a lot more than radio)I would buy lots of CDs then. I also bought concert tickets at the local Carsons. Several years later I would get into the Beanie Baby craze and buy at the one store that sold them. I stopped shopping here when I noticed the demographics changing from a mixed crowd to a much younger troublemaker one. This mall is now listed as a dead mall because the anchors have moved out and the few stores left are now hip hop clothing or record stores. I now shop at a mall not far from where I live currently but I wonder how long before that too will close. The area is nice, but everyone shops elsewhere.

Why did malls change? Many reasons. In the 80s there was a mall culture because there wasn’t as much to do. Now there are more options. Also, in these two malls and their situation is both went from higher income to lower income and quite frankly lower income just doesn’t have money to spend on useless items. Now, even the middle and upper middle class shops at Wal-Mart and Target. With this economy even formerly well off are doing poorly. Others are just practical about what they buy.

I shot a presentation into the air…

And where it landed, I know not where.

Here we go again… another tall order from an interviewer. This one wanted a powerpoint presentation, since that’s a great part of the job.

It took me a few hours to put it together and then I hit send…

And got no reply.

Did you get it?did you see it? did you even look at it at all?

I am waiting until about 3 pm and then I am giving this guy a call. (at the interview, he did not seem to be in any particular hurry to do the hiring) I want to see what the deal is and I’m flat out asking him when he plans on hiring.

Dumb ExCoworker Trick #649…

“The CoWorker Who Has to Ask Your Former Boss If She Can Use His Name As A Reference.”

I am positively slayed — as an infamous cartoon asthma chihuahua  said to an infamous pudgy cartoon cat back in the early Nineties, “The vastness of your stupidity never ceases to amaze me.”

I had a job interview this morning. They requested 3 references, yes — this before they even met me.

I gave them 5 for good measure.

At the end of the interview, they asked for a couple more — and wanted names from the company I worked for 4 years ago.

Here is the content of the call, after I said who I was.

Me: I was wondering if it would be okay to use you as a reference.
Him: Did you clear this with Miss X? [the company owner]
Me: (taken aback and wondering what his game was): I don’t believe that’s necessary to do.
Him: I don’t do things like these. I will have to ask her if this is okay and I will call you back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the company is waiting on the names….and this guy is acting like he’s in 4th grade and has to get permission from mom so that he can go on the science class camping trip. Man.

And wow, you can’t call me and let me know if you asked her or if the asking is pending… yeah, go leave somebody hanging in the lurch.

I bounced this situation off several other people; somebody told me that there is indeed a rule with many companies that no references from the company are given to fomer or current employees. It’s another nanny-everybody legal thing; they won’t even speak to a prospective employer who calls, asking for the verification of Employee X’s employment status.

I was sick to my stomach calling this company — and now I’m sicker to my stomach than that right now. I am slayed indeed and I still cannot believe what no class and uncouthness exists in this company, along with the vastness of stupidity. Not to mention the dire and complete amount of domination and control that this owner still has on her employees.

144,000 Unfilled jobs in Illinois

I saw this article yesterday and it talks mostly about the Illinois budget but I caught this: “We need those college credentials now more than ever before. In Illinois, nearly 140,000 jobs are going unfilled because workers lack the necessary skills.”

Ok, my question is if there are all these unfilled jobs where are they? The want ads are very skimpy. Even the online sites are mostly full of scams and stupid jobs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is used to push the college agenda, as in if you go to college you will have a job. Really? I have a Masters in Communications and Instructional Design, and this was a technology intensive program where one of my classes I was required to learn about the new technology then. Keep in mind this was 10 years ago so technology keeps changing but I take classes online to keep updating my skills. Yet despite all of this I am unemployed 4 years. I know teachers, lawyers and yes even scientists all unemployed. So what exactly do they want us to learn to fill these jobs?

Am going to demand answers…

Regarding why I did not get the job I interviewed for.

There has not been very many interviews this year. I’ve gone on a very small handful of them.

2 of the companies I will not pursue; there are a couple more, plus that company from a few weeks ago, where the CEO told me “hr will call you” and HR did not — I am taking a ride to each of the 3 companies and am asking them what happened that I did not get the job.

Perhaps I will not get an answer. I want to go on record as one of the masses who refused to vanish into the mist. It is the principle of the thing.

A great deal of the unemployment problem: Hiring managers do NOT know what they are looking for

I’m convinced that’s what the problem is with many, if not most, hiring managers and interviewers.

This is why we are in the pickle that we are in.

How many times has this happened to you? You see a job ad; the job sounds perfect for you.

You fire off your resume; you get a call to come down and discuss the job.

And then you find out that what is in the ad does not reflect what the actual job duties are.

A very good example: the last interview I had.

The job that the company was filling: an admin assistant/customer service rep.

When I was at the interview, I asked what my job duties would be. “You will be doing the same thing as the other 2 people I have working in the office.”

This was a small company — maybe 8 or 10 guys in the warehouse, producing the product (wallpaper) and 2 individuals in the office. He had no other office staff; the owner did not have an assistant or admin.

What this was was an order taker/order processer job; that’s my guess. The “Admin assistant” part came in probably because there is paper work to be filed, the occasional email/letter to send a client, etc. That is not the same thing as being an admin assistant.

Meanwhile, this guy has been running the company for over 30 years. You think he would get it by now. NO?

A company that is 12 people tops, including the owner – and this would be the third admin. Nope.

He just wasted my time.

Here’s another example: During an interview, the hiring manager asked me “Was your admin assistant job sales or admin oriented?” I told her sales oriented.  “This job is heavily administrative…”

I have done BOTH. And besides, if it was heavily administrative, why was that fact not reflected in the job advertisement?

Any job ad you look at is automatically prefaced CONTAINS LIES AND OTHER MISLEADING INFORMATION.

What you are taking now when you reply to an ad is a chance.

When you get to the interview let your first question be “What are the duties of this job?” And then listen carefully. Also ask what you’d be doing on a daily basis and for the interviewer to give you an example of what a typical day on the job is.

Another dropped ball

Last Tuesday I sent a resume and on Wednesday, I called the company to verify receipt. The email went directly to the company ceo.

He got on the line and told me the next step is an interview with the HR department, 7 time zones away.

I waited all day Thursday and half the day on Friday: no phone call here. And no email from HR, asking me when I am available and what time, for a phone interview.

Yesterday I sent that same gent an email, telling him I never heard from Hr and would he know when the interview by phone is scheduled for — these high end execs all have calendars, right? — it’s now after 2 pm and I never got a hollaback from the ceo.

I consider this a dropped ball. Common sense and courtesy has it, does it not, that you email first and ask when the candidate is avaiable for a phone interview?

I did some research and googled; this is a very “young” company with 2 offices: one here and one overseas — and their LinkedIn lists about 12 positions in the office stateside — but no names are attached to each position.

Wow. Are they looking to hire 12 people (including the job I applied for — that one has no name attached to it, either) or are these positions currently filled but the person’s name is just not filled in?

This company oddly reminds me of a start up I worked for briefly way back in 2000.  The company was fine — until it sort of exploded and the director of management hired many many new people (that’s a story in itself). That’s when everything imploded and went down.

There was nobody to supervise and monitor these new bodies (it was an unspoken “there’s your seat; welcome aboard. Get the hell to work”) and there was no routine for each person. IT’s hard to describe but this was sort of like a reverse lifeboat drill.

That company was sold to some other concern several months later and the parent company itself went out of business — securities fraud.

Anyway, I consider this a dropped ball.  If you can’t follow through on a phone interview, wow…. what can I tell ya?

Courtesy of the Education Cartel

From this morning’s on-line funny papers (aka Craigslist):


WE HAVE AM/PM AND YES YES WEEKENDS CLASSES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pharmacy techs, CNAs and such used to be jobs where you trained on the job.

Perfect for allied health care students. When they graduated, there’d be more to take their place, which was fine; I liked to call these jobs “permanent temporary jobs.”

I wonder if the potential student knows that the job they’re paying to train for pays a whopping $12 an hour…or less???? Not livable wage and there is a very very high turnover in jobs like these.

Hospitals in my area and in my state are not hiring. They are closing or in limbo; quite a few of them are up for sale, or looking for buyers. One is in a “sanctuary town” — the town is filled with Mexicans. (and the state just gave another big monetary chunk to that hospital; they got 100 million a few years ago to keep the place open and alive)

So you throw money into the hat, as usual —- and no job guaranteed. There is “job placement service” — they promise you the world and in the end you’ve taken a handful of worthless courses and no job. AND no doubt a school loan to pay off.

And so it goes with the education cartel. You pays your money and you takes your chance, as somebody famous once said.

Stay at home moms, career women and crazy cat ladies

I mentioned this in another thread but I think it needs its own thread. I have noticed an interesting trend with women I know and that is how many of them have given up the rat race to become stay at home moms. Another trend I am seeing is the opposite and that is how many women I know who are not marrying at all.

Growing up I lived what can be best explained as a Brady Bunch lifestyle. This show which was on during my early life (and in syndication as I got older)is the way I often describe my childhood. My mom gave up a career she loved to stay at home with me and my brother.  The reason was that back when she was becoming a mother the woman’s movement was just starting. Oh there have always been women who worked and had kids but these women were often attacked. My mother being more traditional than many women she worked with felt it was best she raise kids full time. Luckily she had this choice as my dad made good money. As a result I think I had many advantages my friends with working moms didn’t. She was able to teach us how to read and write before kindergarten and both me and my brother always did well in school. Later on she became the perfect mom and she was a Brownie Leader, homeroom mom, school helper, and pretty much anything that could be done in the classroom she did. She became friends with my first grade teacher Mrs Silverstein whom I absolutely adored and was devastated when she moved to California. In between school she would shuttle me to all my activities such as dance (I was chosen to hold the flag in several parades and the teacher wanted me to study at a famous school like Joffrey), CCD (religious education), gymnastics (where the teacher advised me to quit because I was way too tall to ever be a gymnast and at 5’7 I never would have been successful) and all the various acting and music classes I took.

I mention all of this to kind of explain where I am coming from. Most of my friends lived the same life and as children we were taught that as girls we were mothers first and foremost. The friends who had mothers who worked were often ostracized by women like my mother who would often say they weren’t “real” mothers. Later on though my mom did go back to work and eventually became manager of a print shop for a friend of hers. Side note but this friend of hers had two salesman who went on to successful careers in acting and comedy. The one salesman is a famous comedian that my dad grew up with and he knows his family as do I.

I suppose this background could explain many of my female classmates but then the 80’s happened. What I find interesting about the 80’s is that while Reagan was far more conservative than either Ford or Carter this is the era when the superwoman/career woman exploded. Maybe it was because at this point many families needed two salaries to survive or many other things, like the divorce rate increasing but more women went to work. This was shown quite heavily in the sitcoms of the time such as the Cosby Show, Family Ties, Growing Pains and Who’s The Boss. The few shows that portrayed a stay at home mom were often shows set in the past like Happy Days or the Wonder Years. This is also when my mom went back to work. I was in high school during the 80’s (graduated 1989)and we were pushed to go to college and get education. I don’t even know if women were pushed to consider being a housewife anymore in school. Unlike during my mom’s era girls were not required to take home ec anymore and we had many sports to play which I enjoyed being as athletic as I am.

So then me and my female classmates got an education, a career and then something strange happened. Many of my classmates, the ones who wanted careers like lawyers, doctors, and CEOs had their first babies and quit to stay at home with them. These were not unskilled women, in fact one childhood friend was at one point a news anchor at a La Crosse television station and eventually became the pr director for the state of Wisconsin. Another person I knew was a radio personality. In fact many of the women I worked with in radio ended up becoming stay at home moms. Why? I don’t understand it but in a way I do and I wonder if it goes back to the way we were socialized or maybe the way it’s always going to be. Maybe they got tired of competiting with the big boys knowing being female they will never be equal in the corporate world. Maybe the idea to be a mom is a stronger feeling than having a career.

Interestingly there is a certain demographic I have seen the opposite and this is my black classmates. Most of them did attend college like my white coworkers, and many have degrees. However not as many are stay at home moms and many are single moms. Contrary to popular belief while many are raising kids they had or adopted out of wedlock very few are on welfare. Most are career women who didn’t want to marry or never met mr right.

This all ties into me. I never had the desire to be a stay at home mom, though in the last couple of years it’s something I have considered.  While I may have considered being a mom, most of the guys I meet still expect their wife to do most of the childcare and housework, even men who want their wives to work. I find this hypocritical of men but at the same time being that men who have careers tend to go farther than women I understand this. While I know I would prefer to be married and have a career my choices might be limited to never finding work again and never marrying or never working again and being married and perhaps being a mom. I am striking out with jobs but am having a little better luck with men. Then again I may get a dream job and decide not to have kids but to be honest never having or adopting kids kind of saddens me. My biggest fear is being a crazy cat lady who yells at the kids to stay off my lawn while I am eating tuna fish out of the can. Being unemployed and single just seems the saddest thing. I have met women in their 50’s who concentrated on a career only to have it go away and that scares me because at that point being alone might also be without my family or elderly parents. Then again my parents are still healthy and until a few years ago so were my grandparents.

To sum all of this up I really don’t know what is the best thing for women in our culture. I am glad we have choices not available many years ago but is it good to have all these choices? does it affect our futures? will those women who never have kids regret it years later? will those women who gave up careers resent their kids and husband? why don’t men have these same issues is it because men are in control more than women? there’s so many questions to be asked about all of this.

Smart people need not apply

Last night I dreamt of all things about the old show Head Of The Class. For those who don’t know this was a sitcom mid-late 80’s about this smart class. It has been rarely seen since it went off the air in 1991 I believe except briefly about 10 years ago on Nick At Nite. Why I would dream about it seems odd, considering I haven’t even seen it for about 10 years, except to say it got to me think about how smart kids become smart unemployable adults.

More than most of the shows I watched in that time this show related to my high school experience. That’s not to say it was my favorite show, I probably liked a few shows better, just that it dealt with an issue close to me: smart kids. See, in high school I was in honors courses myself and a few others I could have been in but chose not to. I had low self esteem back then and was convinced I was stupid and ugly though in reality this wasn’t the case. However it was discovered I had an extremely high IQ and needed to be with other smart kids. One of my classmates is now a plastic surgeon to the stars and another is a rocket scientist. However, for as many smart people in my classes and how many went on to be successful what I find interesting is how many didn’t. Many went on to menial jobs, others work in fields that don’t require degrees and quite a few women went on to become stay at home moms. I’ll discuss this topic in another thread.

Getting back though to the smart kid issue and what disturbs me is how as a society we do not value smart people, especially women. We make fun of smart women who aren’t attractive. Smart men are not picked on as much but in movies they are often the blunt of jokes. However when it comes to employers they often don’t want smart people. When I hear the word “overqualified” my first thought was “too smart”. There was a case where a cop wasn’t hired because he had a higher score than the police department wanted. I personally know far more unemployed lawyers, PH.Ds and people with Masters than I do high school dropouts. They use the excuse “they are too qualified” but it’s really they want people they can control. Smart people aren’t as easily controlled. This is also why they give psych tests to see those people they can control. Employers claim they can’t find skilled people but this is a ruse to bring in people from other countries.

I wonder if the these fictional students were real students would they be in the same situation as someone like me, competiting for the few skilled jobs with morons (who get the jobs)or the unskilled jobs, or would they be successful? I would place a bet that they would be like me or the majority of my smart classmates who are either working for themselves or unemployed/underemployed. Losing jobs to a stupid frat boy who happens to be the son of a rich guy. We had one of these for president and look how well things turned out (sarcasm)and currently have another one running for president and could win if the economy stays terrible.

It says a lot about our society when we have highly qualified people being rejected for people who barely graduated high school or college.

Sick and tired of NOT hearing back from a company you interviewed with? Then, send them an ACCEPTANCE LETTER!!

NWP’s last thread inspires this thread.

About a year and a half ago, in the op-ed section of the New York Times was a piece from a fella who tried out for a copywriter’s job, took the company’s copywriter exam and then sent the entire schmengie and megillah and kit and kaboodle to the company, as required.

The gent did not hear back from the company.

He took the bull(shit) by the horns and fired off a letter to the head of HR that went something like “I ACCEPT the copywriter’s position. The benefits and salary are delightful. I will see you Monday” signed his name and hit SEND.

Within virtual moments, he got a reply back from the head of HR…and you are right if you guessed the head of HR had her Hahne’s in a knot over his acceptance letter.  He let them hang for awhile and then he finally fessed up to what he did…and WHY he did it.

I tried this myself, a few times.  This is all on principle — one guy replied to me and CC:ed a member of the company’s board of directors. Ha…. he went on and on to tell me “oh by no means was that an offer” and I replied back to him — and the board of director he cc’ed — why I did what I did. I got no reply back after that.

Guy #2 wanted to know What Job and I never offered you a job…you seemed like nice lady, though. Ha.

 The other 2 people? One called me and wanted to know what was what…and I got no reply back from the other 2. They duly ignored what I sent. 🙂

I wish I had the link to the article; when we were still on the BE board, I posted about my little experiment and included the link to the op-ed page.

I don’t know if NWP wants to try it, or if any of you do, just to see what happens… and just to prove a point.  THese people think nothing of just playing OUt of Sight Out Of Mind — come ON — how tough is it to send a 20 word email telling us “thanks but no”?????

To keep somebody hanging — particularly after they have completed a skill set test or have spent the entire day at the second interview — is just plain vulgar, crude and small minded. Get a GRIP, people — time is money and maybe we are only schmucks you rejected but do the right thing and send a rejection.

Another rejection and I am once again devastated

Ok in February I got an interview for a company named one of the best in Chicago. The benefits were amazing and the job sounded wonderful. I was surprised to get a second interview and it was a serious of interviews lasting all day.

Today I get a rejection letter after once again getting me severely depressed. I know better than to get excited but this time I was sure.

Honestly I think it’s because of my former employer and I will out the crooks they are: Metra. The Metra’s HR department is run by James Meeks and his cronies at Salem Baptist. Meeks is in cahoots with Jesse Jackson Jr.

“What are you in for?” In other words, how did you lose your job?

“What are you in for?”

I know of all of you but I don’t know how it came to be that you are jobless.

What happened to you and how did you wind up losing your job? What happened?

My story:

5 years ago, I was hired by a company that imports goods from overseas. 

About 3 months into the hire, there was an assignment that the boss needed to be done; she asked me to inquire and find outside contractors that could do the job that sne needed.

I looked on the interwebs and found about 15 companies that were willing; the 15 companies tricked down into 3.

One company decided the job was not his cup of tea, Company#2 wanted too much money to perform the task and Company #3 decided that he didn’t have the time.

In the meanwhile, throughout this endeavor, I kept a paper trail of everything: who I sent emails to, what happened when I called the contractors, what their response was, how much they’d charge her for the job, etc.

The boss knew this — she knew where she stood with each and every single one of these companies throughout the entire paper chase/phone call blitz/email contact that I made with them.

She told me she didn’t like the way I handled the assignment and she sniped at me for a good half hour. I told her over and over again I had a paper trail and she knew what was what…nope, she still insisted I did otherwise.

I showed her the paper trail. Still not proof for her.

The morning after the last contact that I made with Company #3, my intercom buzzed — it was Boss. She requested that I stop into her office and meet with her and Office Manager.

I got to her office; Boss asked me to have a seat. She started talking about the contracting job and who i contacted, etc — at first, I couldn’t figure out why in ‘ell she was bringing this up again, since it was more or less a closed case and now she was back at Square One: nobody to do the job she needed the outside contractor to do — but wow and God Almighty, she sure got to the point FAST.

She started in again on where we ah — left off — as far as that same assignment went.

I was told in no short terms that I had no responsibility, blah blah etcetera — and that I did NOT follow up with any of the companies I contacted for the job!!!

I had a plain as day paper trail — I stated this at the start of this post — but she insisted that I did NOTHING she asked me to do and that I blew the assignment!!!

I told her “I have a paper trail; you knew full well what was what each step of the way! I have names, telephone numbers and who i spoke to — you saw it” and she still insisted NO.

So you’re gonna tell me it was NO when you knew bleeping well it is YES?! Gee, welcome to the Third Reich Redux! 

I got screamed at; she melted down — she railed on and carried on and told me how disappointed she was in me — I in general got holy hell — and after that, Boss did anything she could to micromanage me and harass me and pick a fight with me.

I got the idea real quick after that conversation that I was a fifth wheel and taking up space there.

I got hell for a year — I would go up to her with proposals, information she needed — and 2 more times she turned it into a donnybrook.

We had a very small staff: her, her partner, Office Manager, me, a clerk, a part timer who came in one or 2 days a week and 3 sales gents.  Whenever she chewed me out, she did it in plain hearing of everybody else. Imagine how this hot mess made me look or feel —I was made to look like I could do NOTHING — in short, she turned me into the village idiot.

To this day, I can’t figure out what set her off with that first nonincident. As far as I am concerned, you made it clear, Boss, what you wanted — and I followed your directions to a T — and it was “wrong” in your estimation.

There were 2 more incidents after that that were bigger blowouts and hellfire than the first one I just cited.

And she’d also say horrible things about the guys and the clerk who worked there. (she eventually shitcanned the clerk; I don’t know what happened there; all I know is she railed away at him all day in their language, he was sticking around after 5; I said goodnight, he said goodnight to me and I left…. and when I came in the next day, OM told me that he was gone. “He was supposed to resign in a few months but the boss felt it better he leave now.” Excuse me??? No, he was shitcanned and who knows what happened that provoked the shitcanning?) Again, all of this within earshot of the scapegoat she was directing her retarded divisiveness at.

I got hell for a year and then I was let go. That’s a whole other story in itself. (I personally say she set me up just to have an excuse to get me out of there…)My work in general started to drop off in the late spring.  The work stagnated for sure about the start of July — I got the idea that Boss or OM would only talk to me if they wanted some kind of peon assignment performed.

And you know that when your gut tells you something is wrong, it usually is. Call me paranoid or somebody who needs a damn tin foil hat but I got the idea I was very closely being monitored by Boss and OM and every move I made was under a microscope.

The deal was that I was being laid off due to bad business — we had a canned clerk and a salesguy that eventually moved out of the area; he resigned — so you have 2 less bodies taking up seats here.  You never hired out for either person. Their positions remained unfilled.

SO why is it “necessary” to remove me, as  cost containing effort???

I was making the least amount of money out of the staff that was left. So what’s the deal here?

I got the usual “I didn’t want to do this” speech — the hell you didn’t — and I was sent out the door with the checks.

I got severance pay — big deal — and that lasted me about 3 months. After that, I filed for unemployment. That was start of November 2008.

And here I still sit, trying to find something. If I had known what kind of mess I’d be in now, I’d have fought her tooth and nail on this “layoff.”

And around it goes.:(

I feel nothing but lost.

The last interview I had was a month ago. This was no small company; it’s a world wide known skincare company.

I don’t think the interviewer knew what she was looking for — either that, or she simply decided I was not her cup of tea. I didn’t even get a second interview out of the bargain.

What exactly do you say now that will ensure you get at least called back for a second interview? She asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years — this always strikes me as a question you ask somebody fresh out of college or with mimimal experience. I’m somebody her age or a tad older. (this is why I don’t think she knew what she was looking for)

I told her I wanted to be working with the division with products that were geared to the baby boomers; that is one of the growing demographics. It’s also the demographic that has the most money.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe my answer just sucked. Or maybe I did.

Perhaps I should have told her “working in your company’s R&D division and getting my masters’ in bio or higher” — what DO you say to somebody when they ask you a question like this? And why are you asking a 54 year old a question like that, anyway???

And how do you guarantee your answer will be what they need to hear?

That interview was a month ago. I never even got a hollaback from her that said Thanks But No. Dead air as usual.

Then there was the “interview” for the bartending job; that was a no go also. The person who was in charge of the apps told me “I will show this app to my partners and they will decide by these apps who will get the job. That will be at the end of the week.” This “interview” took place at the end of February.

As far as I am concerned, she rejected ME — whether this was rejection of my appearance or what, I don’t know — the owners of the bar are older; the woman who spoke to me is no spring chicken herself. So what happened here?

I tend to think she rejected ME and how I looked. What else could it have been?

(My looks are hardly the kind that frightens horses, other animals and young children. So what’s her point here? She wasn’t much to look at herself so yes, what’s the deal?)

The bar and restaurant itself is a small establishment. I don’t know what they are shooting for; the patrons who eat there and drink there are town residents. If the new proprietors are looking to attract as patrons a mostly younger crowd or an or an upscale crowd, I don’t know — if that’s what they want and expect, they’re in for a surprise.

About 3 weeks after I went down to the bar, I popped in again. She was nowhere in sight but the 2 owners were. They told me nobody was hired since they hadn’t gotten full ownership of the bar yet and that the paperwork for ownership was still hung up.   At that point I concluded that this bunch didn’t know what THEY were doing and I decided that the bar wasn’t for me, after all. Disorganized? Perhaps.

And the bar is open now. And no, I never heard from them.

I am at the end of my rope. I’ve had close to 90 interviews and easily 600 or more resumes/cold calls that I submitted. And I spent many an afternoon going from one commerical office building to the next, armed with resumes, asking if the companies within are hiring on.

I also rang back quite a few companies I interviewed with, to see if they were hiring again. No dice.

2 weeks ago I took a week off from looking for a job. I purposely skipped looking at the job ads, both in hard copy and on line. 

I decided I needed a break from the madding crowd; it was all getting to be too much for me. 

At the end of the week, I had a look at the ads that I “missed.” Nothing much was available; there were 5 companies and all of them turned out to be very small mom and pop establishments. One of the women at one of those companies who got the phone — I applied for her job last week — told me that “all we want is just an admin; it sounds like you have a lot of corporate experience. We are only a small family owned company.” Yet their ad “read” like one that was a corporate company. You’ve just wasted our time. Maybe we don’t want to apply for a job that’s a small mom and pop company.

I am guessing they nicked the ad from some other Craigslist job ad and fine tuned it a bit so it met their requirements.  Nothing wrong with that per se but for love of the deities, how about being more concise??? “Office assistant needed for small family owned landscape company” and then describe the skill set you need — that would have been a more accurate job description to place in an ad.

The people who don’t “get it” don’t help. “Go to WalMart! Go to Kohl’s! Try the new bagel place downtown. There is a big sign in their window….” Jam MalMart, Kohl’s I never heard from and I spoke to the bagel place already.

As per the bagel place guy from a month ago, he told me they’d be opening at the end of April. Yeah, well, he still doesn’t get the phone — my guess is that they may be waiting on contractors or wow, who knows what else, and they aren’t ready to open at all.

What do you do when you need a job? when you direly need the money? (I have a plateful of woes that I won’t dare go into here — all I’ll say is that my situation is desparate) Where do you go? What do you do? How do you get money to come into your pocket so that you can pay bills the way you should, and do so without any trouble or delay? How?

Confessions of a former liberal Democrat

As I get older I realize one strange oddity and that is how my much younger self would hate my older self. Things that seemed so dead set are on opposite ends now.

I look back to my early 20’s and how I would protest (yes protest)things I thought were wrong. I started an anti censorship group when I was 20 and fought for many things besides censorship like abortion, religious groups, welfare, affirmative action, and so many more. I was very far left, definitely close to communism and yes I called myself a socialist. I worked with the Democratic Party hoping they would become as far left as me. After all the Republicans were the enemy and they hated far lefties like me.

What happened? I slowly did a turn more right. I started to see things that bothered me. I lost a job due to affirmative action and realized that while people are discriminated against, that sometimes with affirmative action other people are discriminated as well. I started seeing people I know abuse the welfare system and my old belief that it’s fine to have kids out of wedlock and on welfare disappeared. I saw people abuse the abortion choice and while I support it I realize the pro life movement isn’t completely wrong either and that for me personally I would not do it. Not to mention taxes. In my early 20’s I was in college and didn’t pay a lot in taxes or it didn’t appear I did. However once I started going into the real world I saw I often paid taxes the more I worked.

While all of this started me turning right, the event that really switched my views on a lot was my long term unemployment. When I started unemployment I was so sure I would be employed eventually. 4 years and counting I am still unemployed and while I still apply for jobs and still get the random interview I know I am pretty much useless to a lot of employers. Anyway you would think this would turn me left but instead it opened my eyes and I saw that neither main party cared about us and in fact were in cahoots to kill the middle class. While I voted for Obama I woke up to the fact that he lied about his intentions. At least as awful that Bush was we knew he would be for the rich. Obama claimed to be for us and has proven he is not.

Finally another interesting twist to all of this and that is I went back to church. Yes remember in my early 20’s I hated religion? now I wish some religious aspects could come into play in politics. Now I am not saying I want a religious society but many aspects are ones that would help us, such as cut down on teen pregnancies, executions, and more family time and less work time. I came to a powerful realization a few years ago and that is I regret spending all this time being work obsessed when I could have had a family. Now at 41 I find myself unemployed with no end in sight and single and childless. The idea of me being a crazy cat lady living in my parents house when I get old scares me. What if it’s too late for me to have kids or find a husband? Scary and I blame the radical feminists for brainwashing me that to have a great career I needed to repress other needs. However I am not giving up on having a career again along with a husband and a family.

My experience today with Sallie Mae

This is something that is so unreal it feels like bizarro world. So Sallie Mae screwed up my loan account and they called me. Sallie Mae for those who don’t know is a FEDERAL loan program and this part is important to remember. Anyway the person I spoke to was from India I believe and she said yes it was overseas. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he too was overseas and there were NO Americans I could speak to. Yep so not only do they get tax money but people overseas get the job. Did I mention Sallie Mae used to be in Kansas or somewhere like that until recently?

So then I called the Democratic Party to complain about this since they are supposed to be the party of the average person (ha!). The guy LAUGHED at me and said they didn’t care that more jobs are going overseas and Obama will be re elected anyway even if I don’t vote for him which I won’t (I am voting third party).

I am so disgusted about this. He claimed he would bring back jobs and instead more jobs go overseas. Meanwhile I haven’t worked in 4 years, and I have two worthless degrees.

Occupy Wraps/Super Committee Failure

Last week, the Occupy Wall Street protesters were kicked out of Zuccotti Park, after an ‘occupation’ of two months.  They were allowed to return, but not to set up camp, a judge having determined that the First Amendment right to free speech does not include tents, sleeping bags, and generators.

On Thursday, they staged further protests, including a march into lower Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I actually had a meeting in lower Manhattan that day, and passed right under the protest on the subway, totally oblivious to what was happening.  The protest march unfolded on the evening news, with people making their way slowly towards the bridge.

Beyond that, I don’t know what happened.  I suspect the movement had realized it was reaching the point of diminishing returns, but didn’t know how to deal with it.

For my part, the biggest problem with the Occupy movement was that it didn’t have any solutions.  They’re right: the richest 1% are sucking the wealth from the remaining 99%.  OK: what do we >>do<< about it?

The unions attempted to latch onto the Occupy movement for their own ends, but it never really took, from what I could tell.  Alas, the traditional left-wing approach (tax the rich and share the goodies with the rest of us) has its own issues: merely tweaking the tax rates would not raise enough revenue to make a dent in our problems.

Until someone can suggest a compelling alternative to the yowling from our elected officials, we’re stuck.


This morning brought word that the super committee formed after August’s budget brouhaha failed to come up with a plan to cut $1.2T over the next ten years.  The cut in question is hardly Draconian: it’s about 3% of overall Federal spending, and represents merely a dent in our enormous continuing deficits.

Alas, the yowling continues….

In the Mirror

Last week, our President remarked that we have to “pull off the Band-Aid… eat our peas….” and address the issue of the debt ceiling.  Oddly, I can imagine House Speaker Boehner or someone on the Republican side saying the same thing, except that they have a better sense of playground rhetoric, and realize how it might be mocked by the other side.

Sean Hannity worries that if there is no deal to cut spending, America will become an oppressive socialist hellhole.  Meanwhile, the left wing worries that if there is no deal to preserve government funding, America will become an oppressive corporatist hellhole.

And finally, from the ‘Who Said This?’ department:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

No, it isn’t Boehner, nor House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: it’s Barack Obama, back in 2006, facing the same issue of raising the debt ceiling.

But Obama and the Democrats wimped out back then.

Red State Observation

An item in today’s Daily News caught my attention.  The author, in an effort to slam former Governor Sarah Palin, notes that Alaska receives $1.84 in spending for every dollar paid in Federal taxes, while New York gets 79 cents and New Jersey comes in dead last with 61 cents.

You might believe that the states that most often vote Democratic, and favor government intervention to help the people, are the states that receive the most benefits for every dollar that they pay in taxes.  But in fact, the correlation is the other way around: in general, the states that get the biggest return are the ‘red states’ most likely to vote Republican and stand up for ‘rugged individualism.’

So I guess government spending is bad, unless they spend it on my state….

Flourescent Light Scam

As of this month, it is now illegal in the European Community to import or manufacture frosted or 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.  Stores that carry them can sell out their stock, and that’s what they’ve been doing: across the continent, people are running to purchase the last of the old-school light bulbs.

The incandescent bulbs are supposed to be replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs that, according to legend, last ten times longer and use one-quarter of the electricity.

I wish I could like the new bulbs.  Newer versions do a decent job of matching the color of an incandescent light bulb, and they do use less power.  But we need light bulbs in our house, and last night I went out and bought… incandescent.

My big problem with them is that besides allegedly lasting ten times as long, they also cost ten times as much.  It would be a fair deal if it were true.  But the compact fluorescent bulbs that I’ve tried actually last 6-8 months, about the same as incandescent bulbs.  So the amount of money that I save on electricity, which is supposed to more than cover the increased cost of the bulb, doesn’t break even.

And my experience in my home is not unique.  A couple of years ago, the management in our apartment building replaced all the light bulbs in the hallways with compact fluorescents.  More than half of them have since been replaced by traditional bulbs.

And there are other issues:

  • Incandescent bulbs are light and simple to produce, and there could be an economic case for continuing to manufacture them in this country.  Compact fluorescent bulbs are electronic devices, almost universally imported from China.
  • I don’t have the figures, but I believe that it takes less in terms of energy, raw materials, and industrial toxins to make and transport an incandescent bulb as compared to fluorescent.  It’s probably still favorable even if one compares ten incandescent bulbs against one fluorescent bulb.
  • Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which is toxic.  In New York City, households can still throw them in the trash, but businesses must recycle them.  In the future, households may be required to recycle them as well.
  • When an incandescent bulb fails, it goes out, and doesn’t draw any more power.  A failed compact fluorescent may still draw power: it just doesn’t out out any light.

So I’m off the fluorescent bulbs for now, or at least until the Light Bulb Police come after me.