Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homer the Bruce

We got a cat.

Thank you if you helped with the name ideas. We ended up vetoing them all. His name is Homer the Bruce. He is a nut. He will run away at his first chance. so far he seems unable to open: doors with handles, the refrigerator. Everything else in the apartment he has spent some time being inside of. Soon he will master handles and leave us. Soon he will master walking on the ceiling and scare the shit out of us in the middle of the night.

Good name suggestions that we didn’t give him:

Bob Loblaw
Red Shaw
Royal Montgomery
Lenni Lenape

Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't Hire a Grump

Corporate hiring processes are bad. Small businesses following corporate hiring practices is bizarre. IQ is a poor measuring stick. Factual sentences are plain.

I'm applying for all sorts of different jobs. The best two so far were a dog-sitting/walking gig and a writing position with a startup local magazine focused on sustainability. Didn't get the dog one, still waiting on the magazine.
I've had several interviews. The most corporately obnoxious was the application process to be the H*rtz R*ntal C*r company rental return car checker. Look the car over, clean it up, fill the tank, repeat. The initial resume I had to type into the classifieds website. That sent me to the He*tz site where I had to do the same. Then a Her*z lady called me up explain the job to me and to set up a phone interview. The same lady called me up two hours later for that interview.
A typical question:
Explain a time that a customer asked you to do something you weren't allowed to and how did you handle it?
After about 20 of these mind-numbing inanities she congratulated me on getting the answers "right" as it was a Pass or Fail type questionnaire. Then she emailed me a 8 page thingy looking to confirm that yes I claim I'm not a felon and yes they can poke in my pee whenever they like and of course I'm available 24/7/365. Which I need to print out and fax back so they can give the file to the local Mgt for them to decide if I'll be invited in to interview at the actual location.

Holy Fucking God. Just who are they trying to filter out with this overgrown bullshit? People without persistence. Individuals with anything better to do with their time??

What's entirely worse are the interviews I've had at a couple of small companies that have had multiple viable applicants for the same position. Excepting the dog-walking one, every single one has been under 5 minutes and has failed to ask a single question that wasn't a Pass or Fail option (Are you good with people? Do you need assistance walking?). There was no way at all to distinguish oneself. How the winner was chosen is utterly beyond me.
I know I'm particularly bad at taking the obvious questions and presenting myself in a glowing light, but shit, don't these interviewers see the downfall of hiring "talented question answerers?" This windmill is being tilted at by me in a similar way my cousin used to tilt at SAT and IQ determining tests. And he was right. These tests test first and foremost - test taking abilities. I kept my mouth shut in High School, I was a wonderful test taker.
But here in the real world, I'm a terrible self-promoting interview taker. I was hoping more people had seen through the stupid of asking "Name a time you disagreed with your supervisor and how did you handle it?". Maybe I should type up all the stupid questions I can think of and memorize good answers to be handy with. You know, like how I got glowing IQ returns.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

South Philadelphians

This is the view N from our rooftop. Our landlord told us that we weren't to be up there, but he did so with a decided wink. We're on the third floor and our apartment is the one with roof access for the landlord to get to the air conditioners. I'm sure if he weren't so pleasant I could research the options for forcing him to buy a ladder.
Anyway. We found a cheap little place in a goodish location. The size and beauty of the actual apartment are lacking, but those first two bits are far more important. We're due south of city hall, which is the town square and the skinny bright white tower 1/3 from the right edge of the picture. Pruitt's job is due south of us at about the same distance away.
We're here. After this weekend we should have extra futon space for invited parties.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Driving in the city is so very different from driving at home. Everyone we meet seems hilariously amused or in awe that we both have a car to drive. I've given lip service to the idea of public transportation for reasons of convenience, pollution and economy, but never imagined doing so without a car handy in the background. This is why city people fly to far-away places. Why they think nothing of paying to rent a car. Why fly-over country exists. Unless they're stupid rich, commuting to a silly place, or misplaced non-urbanites, they don't own a car. Bikes, walking, buses, trolleys, subways, taxis, friends who are one of the previously named.

Driving here is strange. U turns are a legal necessity since 80% of the streets are one way. And not in any North then South then North again type pattern. On multiple lane streets it's perfectly OK to leave your car sitting in either lane with the flashers on while you go into the corner store to get milk and ciggys. Rolling stops are not only encouraged, they end up being the most polite way to get down a street. The first car to the ALL WAY stop sign is heartily encouraged to slow his car in the most minute bit before continuing on, thereby allowing the second car there that much more time. Parking is simply what you make of it. You will incur a ticket instantly if your meter runs out. You will get towed if you leave your car in a valet rented space. But you can park in bus stops and in front of fire hydrants with seeming immunity.

I was optimistically hoping for a place with a garage. Now I don't even know if I want any tools here. It will be so hard to work on my car.

Cars and the city. Different than cars in Fredericktown. Who would've guessed?