Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Tree

Nick Corcodilos advises people and companies on hiring and interviewing. If there’s someone better, I don’t know who it is.

“Let’s talk about the work that you need done”.

Nick advises that all employment interviews should start with this one question and the many things that will follow in asking that one question will be more than enough to determine if the candidate is the right person for the job.

Instead, candidates get asked irrelevant and idiotic questions about what type of tree they would be (if, ya know, they were a tree). There’s dozens more equally inane interview questions and they’re published online, in books, on public restroom walls, etc.

Someone also decided a long time ago that asking candidates “where do you see yourself in 5 years” was brilliant. I think it’s a lazy, default question that reveals nothing about the candidate except if they're prepared to give you a rehearsed answer to that worn-out question.

Why not get right to the point as to why you’re in a room together in the first place? All of the other visceral and intangible stuff will soon present itself, none more important than “Is this a person I can work with?”

There are other reasons why hiring and interviewing can drag out for way longer than necessary but none more than a terrible interview methodology.

So...if you were a dog, what type of cat would you want to be?


We need someone to profitably grow this organization from $3 million in revenue to 4.5M in the next 18 months. What are your thoughts on how best to do this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Follow the Duck

Just know who’s cutting the check. Follow the money, as investigators like to say.

Swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck- then it’s probably a…you know how this one ends. Too often, what’s obvious to one person is a mystery to another.

Here we’ll talk about you getting a call from a third-party recruiter. I call them headhunters because that’s what they are- that’s what I am and I have ZERO problem with that word.

A headhunter gets paid- AND ONLY GETS PAID- when a placement occurs. And they get paid by the company doing the hiring. Seems simple enough.

Any reputable headhunter who contacts you is an agent working on the behalf of one or more employers in your industry. Again, seems simple and obvious but it’s neither if you’re new to how this works.

Even the most honest and credible headhunter (oxymoron?) will not tell you this and not because they’re hiding information. This presumption is made for three reasons: 1.) The professional being contacted by the headhunter has almost always changed jobs before and they’ve talked to a recruiter before 2.) The professional being contacted by the recruiter is not being asked to pay for anything 3.) A good headhunter who contacts you knows they only have seconds of your time. Unless you request it, an education on the process will not be part of the dialog.

If a headhunter tells a candidate that they are unequivocally working on the candidates behalf- that's horseshit. Though the recruiter is financially incentivized to get the candidate all that they want in changing jobs, it’s the hiring employer that cuts the check.

What’s the takeaway here? Not entirely sure because of my penchant for drifting off into tangents- but I'll give it a whirl.

Just know that changing jobs will involve- directly or indirectly- the discussion of money. If you’re considering leaving your current job and money has NOTHING to do with it, just know that the subject is going to come up come up anyway.

Similar to water finding its own level, money ALWAYS finds its own level and drives virtually everything in any for-profit enterprise.

Idealism often dislikes that- and that’s fine. But it’s delusional to ignore it.

Just know that business is business and you don’t need to compromise anything- including your ideals. If your ideals come into direct conflict with something that’s driven by money or fiscal policy, you have a tough decision to make. Refuse to talk about it, refuse to reveal anything about your requirements or history- or just acquiesce to the reality of the subject matter.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Recruiters vs. HR: The Battle of Incompetence

Have learned a lot as a Recruiter these past couple of years. I know I've legitimately helped some people, I've been able to earn a living. But, oh boy..the things that I've seen

Important Distinction: A Recruiter contacts employed people who don’t have their formal resume online. People who contact other people who have their full resume online ARE NOT Recruiters. They work in what is called Staffing. And there’s a huge difference. For this piece- and for simplicity- we’re going to lump them together.

Because anyone can do it, well, anyone can and will do it. Pretty much everyone who gets into it fails.

I can’t escape it’s a destination spot for many who are borderline unemployable or can't seem to stick anywhere.. Similar to Real Estate Agents. It's also true there are also many wildly successful Recruiters and Realtors who could be successful doing many different things however a certain and uncomfortable percentage of both would have a tough go finding work ANYWHERE.

(And these are the folks who are going to ADVISE YOU about your career. How’s that for irony?)

People who are good at it have to pay for the sins of the endless supply of hacks who market their services to the same people they want to work with. There’s an argument this makes it easier for good recruiters- truth is that you’ll be presumed a no-talent pest by the working professionals you contact until you prove otherwise.

99.99% of the people who get into it hope to be successful by doing as little work as possible. In our current Information/Internet age, they hope that software and websites can do all the work.

The ones who are forced to actually call people are given a horrific script to read full of lies.
These poor souls would be better off asking the rare person who actually picks up their phone only two questions:

1.) Are you looking for a new job?
2.) Can you send me an updated resume?

That broken clock on your DVD Player is right twice a day. Ask these two questions enough and you might stumble into something. Instead, the working professional hears about many amazing opportunities that don’t exist and will ask you for personal and professional information that their crook employer may find useful.

Sound cynical? Truth is often unpleasant.

Now, there’s also an additional special breed of Employment Professionals out there who differ a bit from the lot described above.

They usually have plenty of formal education, they might even have a Graduate Degree. Many of them work for reputable or at least recognizable companies. But this is where the differences end in terms of being able to attract talented workers or advise them. They’re called Human Resource Professionals. If you’re looking for the best and the brightest any Any Company USA, they won’t be working in this Department. For every one (1) talented and helpful Employment HR pros you'll find WAY too many who care only about protecting their own jobs and covering their asses.

Recruiters and HR people typically are mortal enemies- it’s hilarious. Sadly, the casualties of their senseless war is not each other but skilled workers who just need a little guidance finding that hiring manager who needs them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Deal Me In

You hear the word relationship a lot in business- often to give indication that one has a favorable position over a competing interest.

We have a relationship with XYZ Company. WE HAVE CONTACTS. We’ll be able to get the business…we have the relationship.

I’m calling bullshit on this mindset.

I think contacts and relationships have never been worth less. Especially between vendors and their customers. The vendor is always playing the relationship card. Customers want the best deal, period.

Roger Waters sang: I’ve got some bad news for you, sunshine. Some pop fiction writer I’m too lazy to Google said: They’re Just Not That Into You.

The Information Age- once again- has put all the leverage in the hands of the buyer. It’s so ridiculously easy for buyers to shop around. While you’re telling everyone about your gilded status with a buyer, they’re looking for a better deal.

If your product or service has been commoditized (some or entirely) what else are you bringing that keeps them buying from you? In only the last 2 decades, untold offerings have moved from proprietary to commodity. Even incredibly sophisticated technologies can now be manufactured by dozens or hundreds of low-cost competitors. That $400 laptop you own cost $1,800 15 years ago. Services in/around telecommunications? Forget about it. Not even a generation ago, people used the expression: “I’m on the phone, LONG DISTANCE!!”. How hilarious does that sound now? Not only is it a commodity, it’s essentially free. And the tailored service you once provided can be provided by others in short time or immediately- soon your customers will be getting their Christmas Cards from someone else- not you.(and you thought that card was such a nice sentiment, didn't you?).

Ask a retailer about their “relationships” with their customers. While their answering your question, their customers just dropped three hundo online with Or worse, they went to “Wally World” Wal-Mart and got what they needed for 20% less.

Of course there are many, many exceptions that will keep them loyal to you. Great service still counts plenty. Innovative and creative value-adds; most buyers like and appreciate these plenty. But if customers feel you’ve profited enough without upping your game, they’re looking for a better deal. It doesn’t matter if their assertion about your value is correct or fair….they’re gone.

You might say “good riddance” to this type of customer. They’ve been squeezing you for years, you shout. You’ve bent over backwards for them a thousand times and all they do is fight you on everything. Fire your lousy customers, I get it. But it’s a mighty slippery slope you’re on because you can’t fire them all. And even the sweetheart customers will leave you too. This is nothing short of the everyday reality of 21st century commerce. Competition has always been a beast and this beast has never been more fierce.

Can someone deliver on what you deliver and charge less? To a degree, the answer is almost always going to be “yes”. Don’t hit the “Panic” button…yet. But if at your core you know many of your customers buy from you because you believe they like you, you may be in for a world of hurt.

This doesn’t mean you lower your prices. But it does mean you get REAL HONEST with yourself on why people buy from you. They like you or even the convenience of familiarity isn’t cutting it anymore. You treasure these “relationships” more than they do. They want the best deal.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


An industry was born a couple of years ago that calls itself Inbound Marketing.

I find it interesting for a couple of reasons- not the least of which I invented it. Well, sort of. It took someone else to actually bring the thing to life. Apparently I was too busy doing whatever the hell it is I do.

To anyone who would listen, I have been shouting that people have tuned out 99.9 % of all marketing or advertising messages. They have no interest in your pitch about how great you or your company are. The original invention that shielded them from your obnoxious sales pitches was the remote controls of their television. Now they have an arsenal- to keep you out of their face.

New media has exploded and the means and methods of either ignoring or escaping your propaganda has grown with it. But companies continue to spend billions on traditional marketing and sales campaigns that nobody is paying any attention to.

This is not an opinion.

Clickthrough rates on Internet ads are essentially 0%, telemarketers are either prohibited from calling you, are flagged by Caller ID or have been replaced by robotic "Robo Dial" messages that may have redefined the adjectives worthless and annoying. DVR’s have made TV ads the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Your companies’ salesforce and the wildly biased word they are trying to spread is (at best) filtered by your customers or (at worst) immediately deleted. Junk mail, pitiful car dealerships blaring on the radio, print ads and their bravado messages- this list could go on for paragraphs. Customers would be screaming “leave us alone!” but they don’t even hear or see you: They tuned you out YEARS ago.

You’re the singer or stand-up comedian performing in front of 5,000 empty seats. You’re the Construction worker emitting a whistle wolf call to the pretty lady walking by. It’s all he knows, the whistle…just like the salesman telling the customer about his “amazing” products. It’s all their employer knows.

Along comes this thing that is currently called Inbound Marketing.

It says this: If you want them to buy something from you, THEY MUST COME TO YOU (not the other way around of the old model). You make this happen by being relevant and being known. You make this happen by producing content that has real value (video, audio, text). Something relevant to what they want, something they can use, or find informative or entertaining. Do it consistently, do it methodically. Turn this stranger into an acquaintance. Once this stranger no longer thinks you’re some carnival barker with an agenda but actually someone who can provide them something they need or want, they will contact you. They will be an INBOUND call, email. That's when you get your chance to tell them they've come to a good place.

There are no shortcuts. Inbound Marketing shows up to work every day dressed in work overalls, not a salesman suit. There’s no place for the mouth-breathing morons who still believe the "sacred" marketing maxim “if you see my marketing message NINE times, you’ll come around!”.

Real data shows this has been underway for a few years now. It not only works, it’s the only thing that will work.

For decades now, people have been SPRINTING away from the oncoming salesperson. Until relatively recently, their sprint led them into a corner. Now they sprint into open fields.

Are you going to drop marketing leaflets on their heads as they stand there, free in the fields? Or are you smart enough to get their attention to get them to come to you.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Headhunters would ask me my salary sometimes before I actually picked up the receiver on the phone- yeah, they were that quick to ask me a question- a question that even the people closest to me don’t know the answer to. Uncle Sam gets to know that; my wife knows too but really nobody else.

You called me, pal. Cool your jets. Tell me why you just called and interrupted me before asking me what my W2’s looked like.

Well, now..

After you’ve fielded a few such calls in your career, you don’t take this very personal question so personal. Understand, the “market value” for anything on this planet- including your current compensation- is the number where a buyer and seller agree to meet. If you agree to work for a salary of X, a market value for your services has been set. It doesn't DEFINE your market value for tomorrow but it is your market value for today. If you feel you’re underpaid, you need to get a raise or by get a job that pays more. Everything else is just talk.

A good recruiter will tell you why they’re asking about your salary- if you feel you must know. It doesn’t mean you have to give them an exact number. The best and most successful headhunter I’ve ever met always talks often and early about money and salary with the candidates he works with- but doesn’t always ask for their current salary. He already knows what his client expects to pay- often advising his clients on such matters- and he also knows if the candidate’s body of work warrants that pay.
Unless you are clearly one of the very finest at what you do in your field, it’s the prospective employer who cuts the check and has first right of refusal with any candidate. And if you won’t reveal your salary of your range, there are a others at your level who will. Your refusal to reveal what your current employer is paying you (your market value as of today) means you probably feel you are surrendering any and all negotiating power before the dance even starts. That’s legitimate though your leverage and “negotiating power” probably isn’t quite what you think it is. Just because they called you doesn’t mean they aren’t calling others. Repeating, unless you know you are on a very, very short list in your line of work- you are likely one of a handful who this position will be presented to.

The headhunter works for the hiring company.

With the exception of highly paid entertainers or “creatives” and a VERY small list of others, agents work for the people who cut the check. Even the truly exceptional 500K a year surgeon does not have an agent negotiating the best deal for them. As skilled as they might be, there are others who can do what they do. The hospital or HMO does not negotiate with the surgeon’s agent. The recruiter- if an independent 3rd party- will seek the best pay possible but the recruiter still gets paid by the hospital.

If you’re working with a recruiter employed directly by the hiring organization, they are NOT incentivized to get you the best pay package. Their job is to get you onboard within a budget. The 3rd party recruiter is incentivized to get you the best pay plan. Their financial self-interest is being served.

Talk about money is so frequently The Elephant in the Room in many cultures.
Not talking about The Elephant gives the elephant a complex and leaves you lighter in the wallet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Marketing and its evil twin Advertising have changed very little. Every product you’re pitched is still amazing and incredible. And you better act now because, you know, this is a limited time offer.

Will this infantile practice of unabated hyperbole continue until the Sun swallows the Earth? Do marketers believe all consumers have the intellectual capacity of cole slaw? It’s window cleaner, for Chrissakes- there nothing incredible about it. Want to know what’s incredible?? A young spider can weave a web without any instruction- that’s amazing. A Ford Dealership’s sleazy “Blowout Sales Event” is not amazing though the dealer’s owner insisting he be front and center for the camera is. He looks like he just traded in his mother for a newer model.

Nothing has changed in the way companies pitch products and services. Television has remote controls and DVRs so I rarely see any ad for more than a few seconds. I’m stuck with it on the internet- though the click-through rate on internet ads stands at a steady 0.0000000000000000000001%. Don’t get me wrong, that internet ad that says I can lose 40 lbs in my sleep tonight seems legit. At least television’s only crime is their abject obnoxiousness. The internet just flat out lies in their efforts;The Ad That Wouldn’t Go Away on the internet stated: “This 57 year old woman looks 25!”. On the left was a woman who purchased the aging cream. She looks like she's about 104 and wears an expression of unmitigated misery. On the right is the very same woman after applying the cream. She looks about 18 and is very happy she clicked on the internet ad that led to this purchase.

When anointed Benevolent King of Earth, here’s the rules on Advertising. Tell me what the product is. Tell me why I might want to buy it. Tell me every effort has been made to make the product something of value and I might want to buy. Add a little class- maybe something artistic. Music can be good. Hire someone who is clearly funny and make me laugh. Don’t tell me I better hurry or I need to Act Now. I would have already bought it if I needed it.

I’ll deny it to my death, but I just clicked on an ad that promises untold wealth without any type of effort or work. Appears to be a no-brainer. Gave them my credit card number, my social security number, my cell phone number and a promise to let them garnish all my future wages until I expire.

Monday, June 30, 2014

I Don't Know

I don’t know. I’ll take this answer over the hundreds of disguised answers that mean the same thing. This is especially true at work.

We feel it better to default to some buzzword-laden response that means the same thing.

To be judged as ill-equipped, unqualified or incompetent- oh, hell..not that. Anything but that! Let me throw-up about 50 words that will indicate I’m knowledgeable and I belong where I am. It’s the system that has somehow failed us both! That’s why I can’t answer your question! I’ll straighten everything out- hold the line.

If you’re in my line of work, some grizzly veteran told you when you were just a pup there was a million dollar answer when this situation presented itself. You were told with incredible zeal and pride by the living, breathing caricature to answer: “You know what?..I don’t know…but I can find out for you!”. This advice was usually linked to some type of tie-down commitment request directed at the customer- meaning the legwork answer entitles them to ask for something in return.

[Example: I don’t know- but if I find out and the answer is suitable, then can we write up the order?]

I think all people put in this position should look at the salesperson and answer, deadpan: “I don’t know”. Of course, that answer will only get the “eager to close” salesperson ALL LATHERED UP.

Sigh. There’s so many things in the monstrously dated Classic Sales Training routine that are painful to read and even worse to experience. I’m a consumer too.

I don’t know. How refreshing.

The politician asks the scientist a question. The scientist answers: I don’t know.
The Wall Street analyst asks the business executive to somehow predict 2 years into the future: I don’t know.
The man sincerely asks his friend if his marriage going to be ok? I don’t know.
Is there really a heaven where I get to be with my loved ones and live in eternal bliss after I die? I don’t know. (That one could earn me the scorn of most of society..again, sigh).

I don’t know is not only an acceptable answer, it’s often the only answer. So when Steve-O The Sales Monster INSISTS on a *quid pro quo for retrieving that information for you, well, you know what to say.

*I’m sentenced to 20 lashes for this egregious Buzzword infraction.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Default Setting

Sales is a default career for millions.

Often for the extrovert who never learned how to do anything that people would pay them for in an open market. College campuses are littered with young people- often there on their parent’s dime- who have little trouble making friends but will leave school with zero marketable skills. They will be contacting you soon at your place of business with some amazing offer. As the adage goes, I personally didn’t dream of one day being a salesman.

Which brings me to this. Almost everything ever written on Selling- ESPECIALLY on the ultra-sleazy subject of closing techniques- is horse poop. What they’re really attempting to teach is manipulation techniques. This is the primary reason so many people loathe the image that is the salesman. Or they simply break into a full sprint at sight or sound of live one.

There are hundreds of things that successful people do in sales that don’t involve manipulation- covert or otherwise. Most of it is just doing the work. But the articles and the books keep talking about how to close people. A headline in the current Boston Business Journal prompted this post.

For you Liberal Arts Majors who haven’t the faintest idea on how you’ll earn your daily bread post college, please read and heed the following:

1.)If you choose to intentionally manipulate (or worse), just know your comeuppance is inevitable. And the misery will be unimaginable. Your trail of quarry will one day be surpassed by coming face-to-face with what you are and the pointlessness of your life's "work". (Strong enough?..I’m dead serious). The annals of history are full of these guys, business or otherwise.

2.)If you chose to do it honestly, pick a product or service there is a real market for. At times, you will be required to ask people for their business, but only after it is abundantly clear it’s logical and beneficial for them to do so. The prospective buyer is often nervous and they’ve worked themselves into a lather to where they've concluded that making NO DECISION is the safe thing to do. If they’re still unable or unwilling to decide, just move on. You'll save them and yourself from a shi#load of unnecessary agitation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Four Hours

Nobody enjoys being around others who ceaselessly complain and espouse pessimism. They’re BRUTAL. All future therapists will be required to tend bar for 2 years when I’m anointed King. Bartenders hear more misery in a single shift than you’ll hear in two months.

But how about people who are their opposite?

You say to them- out of social norms and politeness “How are you?” and they practically jump out of their britches with “fabulous!!”. I’m not speaking of the rare enlightened people who truly are at peace with the world. I speak of those who are committed to public unbridled optimism, regardless of how they might really feel. Oh, their true self will surface from time-to-time and it is a VOLCANO of hurt. You can usually find them an hour later in the self-help section at Barnes and Noble.

Though I RUN from people who insist on sharing their doom/gloom worldview, I also tend to walk briskly away from the chirpy turn that frown upside down minions. Because I think it’s not who they really are. I think it’s their way of coping but it comes off as super phony.

They’ll never be confused with those who radiate warmth and a very real inner-peace. These folks tend to be on the quiet side. They never offer unsolicited advice; they know you have to find your own way. If you vent in their direction, they typically offer a polite smile and agree- often without words- that life can be a real bear at times. You’ll never hear them offer how amazing everything is. They’re neither optimists, pessimists or realists. They have been through an awful lot and don’t pretend that things aren’t painful sometimes. They appreciate the hell out of things that the rest of us take for granted, including but not limited to:

• A comfortable and warm bed
• Not being in any type of physical pain
• A hot meal that tastes pretty good
• The everyday conveniences of the developed world
• A wide variety of entertainment choices
• The health and wellbeing of the people closest to them

You can’t make it a goal to be at peace- It does not work. Our goal-oriented culture has created much of this unhappiness in the first place- it has taught us the never being satisfied is a good thing. Big Pharma loves this mindset- it’s the gift that keeps on giving. In an era of unmatched prosperity and the comfort and conveniences that SHOULD go with it, the U.S. and the rest of the developed world ingests tens of billions of dollars’ worth of mood medications every year.

Why do you think that is?

Never Be Satisfied and- while you’re at it- ask your doctor about Paxil. Its side effects may include a sense of wellbeing that * may last up to four hours.

*Not to be confused with that other med that may give your four hours of awkwardness.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Times are NOT a ‘Changin

Oh, Bob Dylan…you little rascal. You keep writing music and you don’t look a day older than your 104 years of age. You may remember-or read- that Bob wrote in the 1960’s that Times Were a ‘Changin. More on that in a bit.

I’m guilty of writing about The World As It Should Be as opposed to The World As It is.
Mostly I do it because I’m trying to be amusing but I’m also guilty of defaulting to talk instead of taking action. My wife could tell you a little about this.

Apparently, I can’t be bothered to altering the course of human history because important things have presented themselves- such as my inability to find the remote control or reading extensively about why uber gazillionaire Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan recently purchased an exo-solar planet. (Excellent Milky Way views, move-in ready!).

To my millions of readers- Jamie Dimon didn’t really buy a planet, though he has that type of cake.

So which world do you live in? The World As It Should Be or The World As It Is?

Many would say the former is the domain of the political Liberal and the latter the political Conservative.

Some incredibly special people throughout history have brought justice to glaring and various human-created inequalities. Whether Gandhi or Martin Luther King or dozens before and after them, their energy was mobilized and would not be silenced. The World As It Is was unacceptable and they had the courage of their convictions. More importantly, they walked the freakin’ talk which separates them from myself and the rest of the world. Virtually all of their modern-day brethren however just offer their opinion or write editorials..or whine to nobody in particular…that’s their contribution to righting what’s wrong. This describes about 99.999999% of today’s elected officials. They love, love, LOVE talking about change. And they are followed around by legions of IDIOTS who cheer them on and wear silly hats and launch confetti and say my guy will bring change!! Wheeeeeeee!!!

The overwhelming majority of people who live in The World As It Is have ZERO motivation to change it. Many were born into great wealth and privilege. Many were born into poverty and were determined to escape it- often by any means necessary. They see human nature as a constant and unchangeable. Are they wrong? I, for one, don’t know. I think this group of people tends to be slightly more at peace than the former. Slightly.

The 1960’s in The United States brought us many things. Including but not limited to: a bevy of new mind-altering contraband, marginal hygiene, frightening hairstyles and music so esoteric, eclectic (and loud) that only its creators knew for sure it was actually a form of music. But it also brought a significant amount of people who didn’t just talk about change but actually did something about it.

We could all use a use a little of that 60’s mojo nowadays- just remember running water, soap and shampoo is available.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Let's cut the Horsebleep

Nothing about business, jobs or any of other stuff I typically blather on about.

Today I will lay waste to a couple of brutally overused platitudes and sacred cows- and I will enjoy it.

Ya never know.

Bullshit. You often know, you FRQUENTLY KNOW, you almost always know. When an outcome has overwhelming evidence on how it will turn out, people feel the need to fill the uncomfortable unease and silence. A suggestion: just say nothing. Let your facial expression communicate what you and others feel. We don't always get what we want and that's OK. Someone invariably will utter that magical pearl. Save it. Silence is OK.

Everything happens for a reason.

Says who??...the organized religion assigned to you? Probably but just as likely you feel the need to say something about the unpleasantness at hand. What would be the reason for the most unspeakable acts of human cruelty? Fact is, we don't know but I don't like the assertion that it happens for a reason- especially when the victim(s) suffer a fate beyond words and an unattached, unaffected observer reflexively offers this up. Zip it and feel your common humanity with this poor person. An exponentially greater service than empty words.

Now more than ever.

Advertisers LOVE this one. More than during The Great Depression? More than when the world was at war? More than when famine and disease ravaged huge sections of the world? Oh, you mean now that people are so consumed with their largely self-created life dramas and wouldn't know real hardship if it bit them in the ass? PURCAHSE THIS PRODUCT I'M

This is what they would have wanted.

After someone's passing, this one is definitely coming. Let's be clear: This is what YOU WANTED. Whether or not the deceased wanted it is unknown, but this is clearly what YOU WANTED. Even if this person was your spouse of 50 years, you don't know (though, in this instance, you've more than earned the right to say whatever the hell you want).

Our thoughts and prayers go out to…

99% of the people who say or write this do neither and soon return to whatever important activity they were engaged in- such as refreshing their Facebook page to see if anyone commented on their heartfelt line about how they were apparently sending out prayers....or if anyone liked their 479th posted public picture of themselves.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Need Not Apply

If I can properly tweak this flux capacitor- and get my hind quarters back to the year 1985- I have a useful message to deliver.

If you are unwilling or unable to be a technician or specialist of some kind, you’ll need a Plan B through Plan Z on how you will earn your daily bread. The days where salaried employees spend considerable chunks of time bored out of their skulls (while on the clock) are rapidly reaching the finish line. Government jobs will be protected from this until either: 1.) Politicians have the guts to tell their constituents the truth and take necessary action, or 2.) Wide ranging anarchy on a global scale and the dissolution of the current systems government, finance and all relevant institutions. (On a lighter note, Keeping up with The Kardashians may be renewed for another season)

The reason is incredibly simple.

The creation and the rise of the modern day corporation happened because it made economic sense. The Industrial Revolution, mass population migrations and various standardizations across a spectrum of industries meant groups of “employees” would be necessary to provide these new markets with what they needed. If this meant some employees had extended “down time” during their work day- so be it. The market could support this because it couldn’t wait when needs arised. Temporarily short-handed companies that couldn’t meet the markets demands went out of business so they needed a roster of full-time employees.

If you haven’t noticed, things have changed a bit. Information Technology obliterated almost the entire model.

A sizable and growing portion of the specialized labor necessary to support the demand of the market can be provided on an “as needed basis”. Unless your occupation requires your physical presence in congregation, you can hardly expect to be paid for 40 hours because you’re there 40 hours . This change has already been underway for several years and, like Arnie The Terminator, will not stop.

The reason there is a 100% chance this will continue is because of money. Money gives us the illusion of security and that is something we all desperately cling to. It’s more important to us than anything, this concept of security. I say “illusion” because there is an endless list of things that money is powerless to protect you from- but it does cover the rent, toothpaste, basic cable, $8,000 weddings and a handful of other needful things. And money will ensure that money isn’t spent on things that are not necessary (That means you Mr. $120,000 a year Marketing Manager who uses the word strategic all day..and millions of other jobs that sound just like that one).

Unless you are uniquely brilliant and ambitious, you might want to learn how to do something that people want or need. Getting a four year degree in “business” may be entirely useless unless you’re wildly charismatic AND ambitious OR you’re in the business of repairing flux capacitors or silencing Terminators.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Squirrel Accessories

I fervently wish I had all the time back. All the time I wondered, silently or out loud, why do people do what they do

I'll do it again in this life though I'd be better served wondering why dogs continue to fall for the fake tennis ball throw.

In my line of work, people awaiting a job offer or at least a "what's next" communication lose their flippin' minds trying to understand why?. What are they doing? What haven't we covered? Why would they leave me in limbo? OnE could reasonably argue the people at the company are afraid to make a decision or, worse, the wrong decision. But that could be TOTALLY wrong, also. It could be any number of things. Meanwhile, you continue to torture yourself. Oy.

This is where being silicon-based as opposed to carbon would alleviate so much wasted energy. However, if you were silicon based, you would be a Cyborg possibly hundreds of years in the future and reading blogs would be like me engaging only in activities interesting to squirrels. This moment of lightness was brought to you by * Cyberdyne Systems, a developer of self-aware artificial intelligence and ** Woodland Industries- a manufacturer of Squirrel toys.

Emotion almost always crushes logic in situations such as these- we've all been there. If you can do one little thing every so often to make your life a wee bit more manageable- do this. Stop wondering why people do what they do. If you REALLY want to know, people do what they do to avoid discomfort and/or hopefully gaining some type of peace or pleasure. All decisions come from that- no exceptions.

And if individually or collectively the decision to hire you increases one of these and/or diminishes the other, you are powerless.

Someone is stalling in hiring you or someone can't decide whether to invest in your company or buy your product or The Girl Next Door can't make up her mind on you versus Vincenzo "Vinny Carwash" Bellatoni , logic says move on. Logic is your friend here, *** not like your Social Network "friends" who post publicly how melancholy they're feeling and hit the refresh button 147 consecutive times awaiting comforting words from people they really don't know.

* Sarah Connor
** Not Really
*** Why I don't do Social Networks, ESPECIALLY that FB one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Most Liberal of Arts

So the President tells some autoworkers yesterday that learning how to actually do something is a good idea for many. We can all guess what happened next. Many people who weren't in that room lost their collective minds.

I read the exact text of what he said- not a word to offend anybody. Unless you make your living in Art History. So, of course, the President had to make a public apology.

This is one of the roughly 2,992 reasons why I'm not currently The President of the United States.

There is no better way to put off having to actually do something with your life than to put your parents heavily in debt while you go to college to learn how to do nothing in particular. You also likely will incur significant debt that you can subsequently default on and blame someone other than yourself how unfair it all is. I'm being smarmy because I've hit my limit with The Cult of Entitlement.

Learning for many is one of life's great joys including for no other reason than you like to learn. Structured learning is necessary for sizable segments of the population or society would suffer greatly (Is there a Doctor in the House?).

I think we can safely (and fairly) now say that gaining a four year degree at significant cost is not an entitlement. Unless you're the President or someone else with the guts to say that too many young people leave college without any marketable skills. That's fine if your family is wealthy and has no qualms in financially supporting you into adulthood but very possibly a rude awakening if they're not. (Is there an 'Occupy Wall Streeter' in the House?).

I once asked a Pultizer Prize winning writer how to "do what I love". His one-word answer: Write. I've written ever since- I've even been paid (a little) to write. Nobody owes me a living to write but I do it anyway.

The same is true of countless other lines of work that society may enjoy but doesn't necessarily need. If you have a gift or even an intense love of something and you want to earn your daily bread from it- go after it. If it requires a formal education- go get it. If you want to go away to college for the experience- do it. When the bill comes due, don't assign blame. Life is inherently unfair but you're not one of it's victims. It's victims live in the world's hellholes.