Yikes!

11 Jul

I’m baaaaaack.

I’m in the land of the living.

I was gone so long because life happened since my last post. 

In Other News…

I still have a “rash” (cough) from cubicle life.

I am currently an “unemployed Renegade.”

Though I had an interview last week.

Just KNEW I would get the job.

Didn’t.

I probably ate, like, 8 donuts. All glazed.

Then I REALLY felt worse.

It was one of those jobs where you could really see yourself working there, you know? The pay was doable. The office even had a zen feel to it. I waited.

I bit nails and spit them across rooms.

envisioned myself working there.

I had mock conversations with my boss-to-be.

I drove by the building claiming that job.

I waited through the long Fourth of July holiday week.

Finally Friday arrived.

Nothing.

I checked my phone. (Perhaps my battery died?)

Nothing.

Then the other day I get an e-mail…“Sorry but there were a lot of great candidates to choose from…You did not make the cut…”

I feel another donut coming on.

I am down to coins in cups.

I have an art show this month.

The sun will shine on me.

Where I’ve Been

10 Jan

blog

 

I know.

No, really, I know. 

Shame on me.

Sort of.

I’ve taken several breaks/hiatuses lately. (Is “hiatuses” even a word?)

Well, like I’ve mentioned recently there is a project I’ve been working on that has become gargantuan, colossal, magnanimus (my own word), ginormous. It grew wings. I even had to get a cage to put this undertaking in.

And since I absolutely positively must finish this project coupled with the fact that it’s taking so much of my time, I became neglectful of other things, including this blog.

So I will return to posting since you’re panting for office “chat” as soon as I can though I don’t know when that will be.

Of course THIS year! 

Most likely within a matter of weeks. Although “weeks” could  be double-digit. We’ll see what happens.

Thanks for reading, subscribing and being out there in internet land.

All the best,

Cubicle Rebel 

People You Avoid At Work

12 Dec

We’ve all got them.  There’s at least one person at your job that you’d rather not deal with.  I mean, this is the last person you’d want to get stuck on the elevator with alone.  Or in the bathroom.  Or in the company kitchen while you’re standing there waiting the 10,000 minutes for your Lean Cuisine fettucini with sparse chicken to defrost and get hot already so you can just stir it and go.

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The worst is when neither of you likes each other, regardless of reason, if there’s even a reason.

Some people we just don’t like very well or just don’t want to mingle with or perhaps something about them just gives us the willies.  Whatever it is you’d just rather not come face to face with him or her. Or–God help you–them.

God help you more if it’s your boss or CEO.

I once worked at a trade association where we got a new (male) CEO from New Jersey who was rumored to be tied to the m.a.fia.  Seriously.  Gosh, there were whispers and gasps for weeks leading up to his arrival.  The executive assistants who sat in the fishbowl where his office would be located nearly shat their skirts fearing this guy’s presence.  Though I worked down the hall and around the corner I bit my fingernails off and spit them across my cubicle.  The word on the cubicle street was that he was the type of person who would fire people without blinking his eyelids across his evil eyeballs.

Yep. We were skeered.

Finally he arrives. And though while not as scary as we thought he’d be, he was indeed a scowler and a tight-lipped guy who didn’t exactly smile easily. (I once came back to the office after a midday dental appointment involving novocaine       and of all people to run into I ran into Mr. New Jersey Bugsy Hitman and for once in LIFE he shoots a tiny smile my way and because of my numbed face I couldn’t feel if I was smiling back or slobbing or snarling at him.  So since I couldn’t really control the lower half of my face I did this weird thing with my eyes where they blinked rapidly and what could have been a groan escaped from my uncontrolled slobbery mouth. (Or was it slobbing? I dunno; I couldn’t feel anything.)

I sat in my cubicle for hours fretting over it while wiping escaped saliva from my chin. Whenever my phone rang I feared it was his executive assistant calling to inform me that my pink slip could be picked up in the lobby on my way out.

Funny thing is this…Within months I got a promotion, although small, but I knew it had everything to do with Mr. Bugsyman Jersey “I’ll Break Your Knees; Try Me” A-Hole’s approval of a department video I had co-starred in.  When the video was shown in a large conference room he actually threw back his head laughing at my contribution. He laughed. Not only laughed but

threw

his

head

back.

Turns out he wasn’t so scary after all.  Turns out it was all in my head.  From this story I encourage you to decode the person in your office you try to avoid. Maybe they’re not that bad after all. Besides, it beats the stress of always trying to avoid them or cringing whenever they’re around.  Work is stressful enough already.

This has been a public service announcement by The Cubicle Rebel. 

Places Where Unemployment Doesn’t Exist

11 Dec

imagesCA6FT995

Can you imagine that with millions of  job seeking Americans now unemployed that there are places in the nation where virtually the entire town/city has a job? Yes, it’s true. I read it today in Yahoo!News.

These are the cities where near EVERYONE has a job:

1.  Bismarck, North Dakota
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.2%
Total population: 110,879
Median household income: $58,781

Bismarck, N.D. had the lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas in the U.S. with just 2.2% of the workforce unemployed in October.

2. Fargo, North Dakota
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.8%
Total population: 211,729
Median household income: $52,393

3. Grand Forks, N.D.-Minnesota

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.1%
Total population: 98,512
Median household income: $46,718

Have you heard about the huge oil boom there? People’s backyards and acreage is making several multimillionaires out there.

4. Lincoln, Nebraska

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.2%
Total population: 307,165
Median household income:$49,315

5. Midland, Texas
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.3% (tied for 6th)
Total population:140,308
Median household income: $54,330

According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics the mining, logging and construction industry were the top employers in the metropolitan area as of October.

6. Ames, Iowa
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th)
Total population: 89,663
Median household income: $45,866

Like Iowa City, Ames is a college town with Iowa State bringing in educated professionals from around the world. I don’t know what it is but some tiny part of me has wanted to live in Iowa for years.  I think I have a thing for open land. 

7. Iowa City, Iowa

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for 6th

Total population:154,893

Median household income:$52,602

Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa, which employs approximately 13,000 people, including 1,700 faculty positions.

8. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.7%
Total population: 232,347
Median household income: $55,609

The largest employers in the area is Sanford Health and Avera Health, employing 7,703 and 5,921 people.  Also Wells Fargo and Citigroup are major employers in the region also.

9. Burlington, South Burlington, Vt.
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
Total population: 213,624
Median household income: $60,771

Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, which has 10,459 undergraduate students, 1,540 graduate students and 1,471 full- and part-time faculty.

10. Logan, Utah-Idaho
Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for 9th)
Total population:124,813
Median household income: $46,356

Who knew that Idaho or North/South Dakota were places to consider moving to?!

I know what you’re thinking…But all of these places are in West Numchuck Nowhere!  I know.  I was thinking the exact same thing which is why I’m still here in Washington, D.C. groveling for a decent paying job among all the other job beggars.

Hmm. If I had some spending money I’d take a trip to Iowa and see what all the fuss hiring is about.

 

Privacy? An Afterthought

6 Dec 3642622142_bce1783bcc1-300x225

Side Story series 

How much internet and cell phone related information do you exchange?

Do you tweet, giving random, anonymous people tweet-by-tweet details of your mental state, your happenings? Is your face all over your profiles, including your family and friends?

Do you use those “discount” cards at local grocery stores or drug stores to get a discount that used to be available without a card tracking each and every purchase? 

3642622142_bce1783bcc1-300x225

Gosh, years ago I saw a 20/20 news report, I believe, that showed where prisoners were processing loads of data from “discount” cards. Those were the first goosebumps that I got from the underbelly of data mining.

But then years later I heard during a presentation that “all the F.B.I. needs is a peek into anyone’s curb side trash to make a “99.999% accurate profile of them.”

That really got me to thinking. 

Of course We the People have never ever had true privacy, of course not. We’re ruled and governed for crying out loud and even with the strides in jaw dropping technology there has always been myriad ways to spy on anyone. (From strategically placed ink pens to cameras in stuffed animals gazing from fireplace mantels–a favorite used on babysitters and nannies–to two-way mirrors.) Of course we were always being watched in some way. But in the last handful of years it’s gotten so much worse and so very many people don’t seem to notice or care that certain aspects of their privacy should stay, well, private. 

And no, I’m not paranoid or hiding from The Man. I just value privacy and refuse to be an information guinea pig for random companies that I will NEVER do business with anyway. 

If you want to put your business out there, fine.  If you don’t mind your photos in your bathing suit ending up on a Russian dating site advertising single “available” women, fine.  But that’s your risk and a choice you make. But what about the truly dirty side of data mining, the stuff you may not know about?

Think this is all ridiculous concern?

Did you know data miners (a multibillion dollar business!) can tell if you’ll be divorced before you do? Did you know a person’s cell phone habits can reveal their depression even when they haven’t texted one clue about feeling down? Hmm.

For you doubters, check this out from ABC News Nightline:

See That Man Over There?

Personally I refuse to use my legal name on those aforementioned “discount” cards.  It’s one of the few choices I have left to maintain privacy.  Or at the very least, not make it easy for data miners, etc., to track what should remain private.  ( If I buy maxi pads or prefer Advil over Alleve it’s no one’s business. If I have a dog or a cat isn’t either. If I pay for a meal at Olive Garden at 2:38 p.m. and what I purchased doesn’t need a record, either.)  All of one’s preferences and movements simply should not be for sale.

Whatever shred of privacy I can keep, I’ll keep it, thank you very much.

A Best Boss Ever

5 Dec

I think I want this guy to be my boss.

bartlorang

Bart Lorang, self-described tech nerd, is the CEO of software company Full Contact in Denver, Colorado.

According to ABCNews, Lorang offers his employees “paid paid” time off, like $7,500 to go on vacation.  Not only that, while they’re on this paid, paid vacation they are to nix all work-related activities:   “no calls, no emails, no tweets.”

And get this:  Mr. CEO sports flip-flops regularly.

Even the company’s web site is uber cool.

Sigh.

When will the rest of the employers learn?

Of course I don’t expect all or the average employer to cough up perks of this magnitude, but dang, some regular free muffins or more casual days would be nice.  Even better choices in the vending machine. It seems no one desires swirly pretzel bits anymore.

A Twist on Aging & Interviewing

28 Nov

Recent Headlines:

“CALIFORNIA PLASTIC SURGEONS SEE A HIKE IN BUSINESSMEN INQUIRING ABOUT PLASTIC SURGERY PROCEDURES.”

“AGE DISCRIMINATION ON THE RISE, STARTING IN 40’s”

I know some of you are young, young, young.  So young that the last thing you’re concerned about is being, oh, 35, 40, 56, even 60 years old.  So young that you’re not even yet concerned with sagging body parts that used to be up HERE and are now down there.

Oh, but the day will surely come when age will be “all” you think about. Especially when it comes to working and aging. Being downsized. Age discrimination, being overlooked while companies hire the younger, perkier, cheaper candidate. Even though you have years of experience. While I’m right in the middle–not fresh out of college and nowhere near retirement–I can grasp both sides of the fence. So the following story is interesting.

This is Randy Adams.

He’s 60 years old.  

He has A LOT of experience working in the tech field.  He spent months if not years trying to secure a CEO level job in Silicon Valley.  He went on gobs of interviews encountering all kinds of strange looks, “don’t call me, I’ll call you” exhaustion with great frustration.

Then he got an idea.

He noticed that all of the techies were not only young but dressed a certain way, regardless of their level of professionalism/expertise. Not to mention in the Valley there are CEO’s who are not yet 30 years old.  So Randy Adams went hard: He shaved his head, got an eye lift and started wearing Converse sneakers instead of stuffy loafers and t-shirts instead of button-downs.

This is Randy Adams now:

A funny thing happened next.   He got hired. Not only hired but hired at a booming tech company,  SocialDial, as their CEO.  He especially credits his shaved head as the hem that got him in the door.  In what he calls a “youth obsessed tech hub” (agreed) he’s now got a list of rules for any “geezer” attempting to break the age line.

  • Please don’t have an AOL e-mail. It reeks geriatrics.   G-mail is OK but even better is an address which incorporates your name in the domain is ‘cool.’
  • Nix the briefcase. What do you think this is, 1985? Instead get a backpack.
  • Avoid Blackberries and Dell laptops – Android phones and Apple products scream ‘youth!’

So I guess this means I should hold on to my backpack since I may need it in another 20 years or so.

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