Random bits for a random Tuesday
It was a strange day yesterday and I promise no coherence in this installment.
I suppose topless is an option.
One of the more aggressively crazy homeless women who haunts the neighborhood around my office has decided that topless is her preferred fashion statement for the season. Last week it was lunch time. This week, apparently, it was Monday morning.
On one hand, I totally get it. Clothes can be a burden, especially in 100degF+ heat with humidity in the same range. On the other hand, it is November. Regardless, that was a bit of a shock at 8:45 in the fog yesterday morning. I actually heard her coming before I saw her. I did mention aggressively crazy, didn’t I?
It may look like it’s just midnight but it’s really a whole new world.
I hate falling back. I really do. It’s jarring to walk out of office to discover that it’s fully dark outside at 5:00 p.m. It’s even more jarring now that my office is when without artificial lighting what a friend so aptly described as “like trying to photograph a black cat in a coal mine.” But on my walk to the subway this evening I noticed something interesting: it’s a completely different world from day time.
In the dark I actually get to see into the monoliths we call office buildings. It’s fascinating to watch the mundane. I guess it makes me feel a little bit less disconnected to realize that other people’s offices are pretty much just like mine, only with better furniture.
And why isn’t filtering out unpaid positions possible?
I’m not quite sure why The Washington Post bothers to print a jobs section on Sundays any more. It used to be that Sunday was the day to look with pages and pages of listings across all different industries. These days, if we get more than three newspaper sheets it’s a surprise. I think the last “mega jobs” section might have been 6 full sheets of newsprint.
No, if you want to look at job listings in the Post these days, you have to look online, and the Post is famous for nothing online as much as having the shittiest search engine I’ve ever seen. Great, I can set up a search agent with key words but I can’t exclude jobs that list “internship” in the title, nor can I edit a search agent once I’ve built it; I can only search or delete. Even more criminal, once you’ve got your listings, there’s no way to right click and open a specific job in a new tab. WaPo’s web site couldn’t suck harder if they were actually trying.
We’re getting up to event horizon and all I hear are crickets.
It’s now Tuesday. I still haven’t heard from the potential client who wanted his work completed, vetted, and published by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I know it’s only five hours’ worth of work but that five hours will take a least a week to accomplish what with back and forth for approvals and other miscellaneous delays.
The thing that really bothers me about this is the lack of courtesy. You asked me for a favor and I know you’re busy but you’re not the only one who is and at least have the courtesy to tell me that you just can’t manage even the discounted rate. But I guess that would require them to recognize that their needs aren’t at the center of the universe.
Since I was smart enough to send them a draft contract that requested a deposit but didn’t provide any postal or bank information to make that deposit, if they want to do the work they have to contact me. There’s no way they can trap me into a quick turnaround job with a payment out of the blue. At least I’ve got that on my side.
So much for Borders
Despite promising me that I would hear back from customer service “within 24 hours” of sending my request, still no love from Borders.com on my account issue. Looks like Amazon.com, which was smart enough two days later to collect data on what’s in my shopping cart and send me a prodding e-mail message about the 2011 calendars they have for sale, will be getting my online shopping business, what there is of it, this year. I’m firmly convinced that the only things you can’t buy through Amazon are a car and a gray market baby.
WTF are they smoking at CNN?
Apparently CNN thinks that 2011 is the year to ask for raises. Their rationale: even though the economy is getting better, fears of a double dip recession will keep job creation low and that if you’ve made it this far your company must value your services which puts you in a strong position to be rewarded for providing that value through the tough times.
I thought that evidence of the economy getting better was job creation not merely the wishing that the economy was getting better. My perspective might be skewed by the 15% pay cut I’m working under, or the fact that I know two people who have been laid off from private companies in the last two weeks, or that I have friends who work in the public sector both here and abroad who are looking at a third year with not even a cost of living increase, but I think the folks at CNN aren’t sharing whatever it is that’s coloring their world view. I think the advice from The New York Times about ignoring generic financial advice should apply doubly to job advice in times like these.
In 2009 I participated in NaNoWriMo. By this time last year I’d written 41,226 words over the course of 40 hours and 45 minutes. Last year’s experiment was to use my commute time to work on the book. It went pretty well. Now if I could just motivate myself to edit the thing into a shape where another human being might enjoy reading it I will have made some progress.
For NaBloPoMo 2010 I’ve written to date, not including this section, 11,375 words over about 14 hours. This year’s experiment was going to be to use the time I am slacking at work, because I am slacking to craft these entries. That is not going so well.
It’s probably not fair to compare the two experiences as they have completely different goals and are both worthwhile in their own rights. But it’s hard in our goal driven culture not to look at the numbers and think I’m coming up wanting this year.
Leave a Reply