Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Week That Wasn't

Once in a while, when I've had a perfectly ordinary week, I measure success by what didn't happen rather than what did. For instance, this week:

I did not get rear-ended by the little punk gang-banger driving his Mercedes at high speed while completing a call on his hand-held Blackberry. (Which is illegal in CA now. The hand-held device, not all Blackberries.) Fortunately for me, he finished the call just in time to notice that traffic had stopped in front of him. He didn't look like someone whose auto insurance premiums are up-to-date, even though his diamond stud earrings would cover about 3 of my mortgage payments. That's how close we were - I could see the diamonds shooting firey rainbows in my rear view mirror. But the accident didn't happen! And,

The crawl space under my house did not flood because I remembered, after 16 hours of rain, to plug in the sump pump which immediately kicked in and started whoooshing water out the side drain. And,

I didn't have to pay full price at the movie theater yesterday because all Oscar nominated films were offered at the "bargain" level - thereby leaving me $3.00 to apply towards the purchase of the most drastically overpriced, unhealthiest product on earth: movie popcorn. And,

I did not lose any data or e-mail addresses or favorites folders or work-in-progress during the software upgrade at work. Judging from the sounds coming from other offices, some of my co-workers were not so lucky. Granted, it did take me 1 hour & 45 minutes to complete a document which should have taken 20 minutes but I'm sure it'll get easier before it's time for the next upgrade. And,

I did not have to stand in line at the lingerie counter at Macy's behind the woman who wanted to know which was a better price: the bras which she bought 3 weeks ago at the "buy 2, get 1 free"special or at the current 40% sale. Neither she nor the sale clerk could figure it out. Now, I'm not known for my math skills but I do know that 40% off is a bigger discount than 33.3333% off, which is what you get on a 3 for 2. But the main problem was that she wanted the new price on merchandise which had no tags, and that was a big no. The customer stomped off, the clerk popped an Advil, and I slid my debit card through on the other register. It seemed like a lot of effort to expend in order to save $4-5, but I guess today every penney counts. And,

I do not have to drive anywhere in the rain tonight for Oscar night, because my friends are coming here, to my house with the unflooded crawl space. Gotta go make some appetizers now and chill the sparking wine. Hope you also have a week in which nothing happens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In More Ways than One

Although the headlines right now are dominated by layoffs and business closures, my company is actually trying to fill three positions. Since I’m the one-person HR department, I’ve been accepting and screening resum├ęs and applications all week. It starts out fun, opening each e-mail like a package, never knowing if it will contain gem or dud. But after several days of this, I have some advice for job seekers – and I’m not trying to be mean here, just helpful.

Don’t submit a resume if the posting says “must live within commute distance” but you live in India, China, Spain, Italy, Slovenia or Brazil. You may hit “send” but I hit “delete”.

Don’t use a resume as a creative writing project. It’s not a good thing when the HR director has to get out a dictionary. Maybe I’m ignorant, but reading that someone has an interest in “autodidactic pursuits” makes me wonder about the potential of a workplace lawsuit.

Don’t apply for a position simply because you “have a passion” for the product. For instance, I have a “passion” for my iPod but I don’t have a clue how to make one. We need workers willing to do hard manual labor, put in long hours and get dirty, which is not the same as having a fun & romantic job! Being a passionate consumer of wine does not a winemaker make.

Don’t submit anything without proof reading or spell checking. I tend to be skeptical if you tell me you’re “effishent, rganized, and througho”.

Don’t
assure me on paper that you’re fluent in English as a Second Language, and then provide a voice mail number in which the prompts are not in English. I did try to leave a message, but since you haven’t called back yo pienso que no hacerlo. Lo muy siento.

Don’t ask your girlfiend to call and check on the results of your submission. If you want the job, do your own follow-up. Then again, we might hire your girlfriend since she obviously takes direction well and is willing to pitch in.

OK, job seekers, that’s it for now. I’m not complaining. At least I still have a job.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Time's Up

"Three weeks ago, Barack Obama was seen as a beacon of hope for change throughout the world. Today, the world knows that the greatest need for immediate change is in the Oval Office and the man in charge there."

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. That statement is lifted verbatim from a rather lengthy letter to the editor in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle. The rest of the letter details why, after 3 weeks in office, President Obama is failing to meet expectations. At first I thought maybe it was satire but then quickly realized the author was serious.

Geez. I've started new jobs where I was still learning co-workers names at 3 weeks. And trying to remember the new password to open my computer. Gosh. I usually don't have the boxes unpacked at 3 weeks after moving - and that's been just across town, not halfway across the country. Of course, the Obama's had a large staff to unpack for them but that might be even worse! Imagine having to ask someone where they put your socks and underwear. Of course, he is male so maybe that's not unusual. ha ha.

But seriously. Is our American attention span so incredibly short that we expected 3 week fixes? That kind of scares me - maybe people really did expect a miracle worker. However I believe that if President Obama fails, as apparently some people are hoping, then it will be because we, the American people, fail to do our part - not the other way around. I'm willing to wait another few years before passing judgement. Are you?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Counter Culture

Disclaimer: while I don't have a large reader base, this blog has had a FEW more than 70 hits! For some reason the counter went haywire around New Year's and once I got it reinstalled, it reset at 000. Was it trying to send a message about my blog content? Whatever. I've been too lazy to correct it. So you can still feel sorry about my pathetic reader count, but it's not really as bad as you might think. : - ))

Weather or Not

Somedays it's hard to not feel guilty about California weather. Yesterday I was begrudgingly pushing the lawn mower around the back yard, pruning my climbing rose, pulling grass which was sprouting in the wrong places, and cutting the oranges which hang over my side fence from the neighbors tree. It was between 65 & 70 degrees, with not a cloud in the sky. Meanwhile, the residents of Kentucky were shivering and shaking in the midst of an ice storm which has wiped out their heat and power.

Location, location, location.

We will pay for this sunshine later in the year though. Even as I was working my way around the yard, I was doing drought triage - which plants will have to die of thirst in August, which ones might survive? The warnings have already been coming about water rationing so unless we receive an abnormal amount of rain and snow in the next 8 weeks, I know it'll be a parched summer.

But in the meantime, the daylilies are sprouting and the peach tree is already pushing buds. I don't know how to tell them - "Stop! there won't be enough for you to drink!" I think I'd best stock up now on buckets to keep in the shower and at the kitchen sink.

BTW - those are "sunshine cupcakes", not deviled eggs. Aren't they incredibly cute? Lifted off the internet of course....