The Backside of the Unemployment Front.

We're ScrewedImage by kk+ via Flickr

What Employer’s Want!

The war is not on terror or on global warming or on 3-foot tall green aliens. The war is on unemployment and we, the jobless, dodge bankruptcy bullets and enemy credit combatants every day while trying to capture a job on the front line of the employment field —

The battle line has been drawn between the edge of a cliff and a green fertile pasture, in the middle lays dying bank accounts and wounded self-esteem.

In New York City alone, the worker-to-job statistics are staggering. According to the New York Post, there are 20 people for every job, which actually may be the norm around the country, but it’s hard to find data confirming that. The government puts the figure at 5 people for every job – Can’t believe I’m linking to a Cato article – Recent college graduates in Britain are told 70 applicants for every job, which might also be the reality on this side of the pond

When I go on an interview, the first thing an employer usually says is “I’ve had to review hundreds of resumes,” which makes me feel both good and bad. Good, because I was one of the chosen and bad, because there’s an amazing crop of job candidates out there, but only a few will be harvested for a full time job, or even a part time job if they’re lucky, the rest end up dying on the vine.

Since it has become an employer’s market, the requirements for an Administrative Assistant job, or any job for that matter, gets sillier and sillier.

Case in point:

  • Superstar Administrative Assistant needed 
    • Superior ability to multi-task 
  •  Smart Administrative Assistant 
    • Highly intelligent college grad, strong GPA. Really want someone with an open and engaging personality 
  • Engaging Conversationalists with a Strong Sense of Humor, Energy 
    • Must be willing to work hard, have a great sense of humor and the stamina to be on the phones all day…developing relationships and having FUN!

  • Enlightened Assistant/Social Networking Whiz 
    • Please be completely ethical, punctual, and generous of spirit

Take a look at this employer’s list of questions I received in an automated email response after sending my resume.

Let’s play 21 Questions! Really! There were 21 questions.

There are no right or wrong answers – just a matter of how you interpret the questions.

          1. Please give me a description of ‘the perfect job’.

    • Include a description of how this job accentuates your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses (feel free to share what you believe your strengths and weaknesses to be).
      • Are these things that you enjoy doing or have to do?

                2. If you had one day to do anything you wanted, what would it be?

                3. Please organize the following statement so that it is in an easy to understand format:

        • The two bedroom condo offers 1500 square feet with 2 bathrooms and is listed for $350,000 while the three bedroom condo offers 2200 square feet and is listed for $412,000 but has 2 1/2 bathrooms and the two bedroom condo with just 400 square feet more than the other 2 bedroom condo also has 1 extra full bathroom and is only 10% more in price.

                  4. Please put the following words into a logical sequence:  discussion, greeting, questions, presentation, introduction, follow-up

                  5. Imagine that you are working in the office while I am out with a client and one of our Seller-clients calls to say that they want to speak with me.  What would you do?

                  6. Please select (and indicate which) one of the two word pairings that best describes you:

        • gregarious/reserved
        • conservative/free-spirited
        • funny/serious
        • rational/spontaneous
        • casual/systematic
        • detailed/cursory

                  7. For each of the following questions, please indicate which response best represents how it relates to you: (be honest!)

                         a) This statement about me is completely true
                         b) This statement about me is mostly true
                         c) This statement can be true or false but it depends on things
                         d) This statement about me is mostly false
                         e) This statement about me is completely false

                  8. I like things to be organized a certain way, and I like for them to continue being organized in that fashion

                  9. I always plan my day ahead. I even make room for contingencies in my daily plan.

                10. I have a clear idea of where I should be (and when) and seldom get late for appointments.

                11. I work in an organized fashion and do not like to create a mess or to work in a mess.

                12. I am always ready with a plan “B” so that in case things do go wrong, at least I don’t have to waste my time thinking as to what to do.

                13. I adhere to deadlines and people would seldom find me rushing at the last minute to get the job done.

                14. I keep all my belongings (books, CDs etc.) alphabetically or according to any another rule.

                15. There is very little going on in my life which is not a part of my plans.

                16. I am always on the lookout for things or ideas that can get me organized in a better way.

                17. At work, I have plans to rise to a position of more responsibility within a year from now.

                18. People who know me would vouch for the fact that I am punctual.

                19. I am always prepared for even the “worst case scenario”.

                20. My employer relies heavily on me as he is aware of my immense organization skills.

                21. Please list 3 questions that you would like answered before you would consider meeting for an interview.

        I look forward to hearing back from you!  If for some reason you decide that you do not wish to pursue this position I would ask that you kindly let me know that.

         My response:

                  I would not like to pursue this position because

                       a. This is the most ridiculous, insulting, list of questions I have ever received.
                       b. You sound like too much of a control freak.
                       c. You should be spending your time speaking to people face-to-face rather than compiling a list of such idiotic questions.

        Any one want to play?

        Perry at Momma Politico and Glenn at Man-Over-Board have written posts on the unemployment situation. Please swing by their blogs when you have a chance and give them some of your love. Perry suggested I post the employer’s email response as a magazine quiz. It was sort of like one.

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        Guest Blogger Formalda Hyde on Death and Sauerkraut

        Formalda Hyde
        – From her toxic lips to your smoldering ears –

        I thought I would die but then somebody else did — The fella at the market in frozen foods, or cryogenic microwaveables, as I like to call them. 


        His name was Sy. It was obvious why, because Sy liked to sigh

        He got my attention with a huff of breath and a classic pick up line. 

        “What’s your favorite frozen dinner?” he asked.

        “Anything that won’t make me glow in the dark.”

        “Was that a joke?” he gasped.

        “No, read the label.”

        “I will now,” he said and grabbed a box from the shelf, a frozen Bratwurst dinner. “I guess I should always read the fine print.”

        “Why do you think it’s called fine?” I said.

        “Wow! That’s deep.”

        I made an attempt to coerce him across the aisle. “Have you tried the frozen deep dish pizza on the other side?”

        “Not yet,” Sy sighed. “Though it looks tempting

        It all looks tempting until you nuke it and steam explodes from plastic like a radioactive cloud.”

        Then suddenly he extended a hand to me. “I’m Sy,” he said with a waft of sour breath.

        I blocked his breath with a box of Chef Boyardee. “I thought so,” I said. “You sigh like a Sy.”

        “Is there something wrong?He gasped

        I took two steps backward and lowered the Chef Boyardee. “It’s the Bratwurst casserole and musty mouth fumes …. I have an aversion to German sausage and sauerkraut.” I said. “My great grandmother survived a Nazi death camp where she often spent her summer vacations.”

        “I’m so sorry,” he sighed. “Yet that’s truly amazing. How did you know I just had a hot dog and sauerkraut?” 

        “Tell me something I don’t know.” I said.

        “You are a cracker,” he chuckled.

        “What kind of a cracker?” I pressed. “I’m partial to Ritz and cheddar snacks.”

        “You are wacky wonderful.”

        Not the words I wanted to hear. “Try the rat poison in aisle 9.” I said. “I think you’ll really like it.” Then I walked away, as he released one last convulsive breath.

        “Thanks,” he yelled. “I will. And I don’t have to nuke it, so, I won’t get cancer.”

        That was the last time I saw Sy sigh. He drank the rat poison right in aisle 9 and collapsed in his cart on top of a 48-pack of beer and the Bratwurst casserole.

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        As the Spam Turns – Tales from Nigeria

        SIERRA MADRE, CA - MAY 29:  Seventieth anniver...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

        -A long distance phone call off a short Nigerian pier-
        Hello Friend. Please excuse my English. I learned it from watching reality TV. How are you doing today including your work, I hope all is well with you.
        I’m fine. but my work is not.  Maybe you haven’t heard. The U.S. economy sucks, but I’m being rude. What did you say your name was?
        Before I proceed I will like to introduce my self very well to you. My name is Mrs. Vivian Salife; I was born in South Africa but I work and live in West Africa, I am 32 years old. I worked with the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc as the Senior Accountant In my branch.

        Ah. Yes. Vivian. It’s been a while since I’ve heard from you or Samuel. How is he?
        I am a widow to late Samuel Salife, my husband died as a result of political gang up in the nation and after the death of my husband things became very much difficult for me and my only son Ali who is critical sick in the hospital right now Suffering from heart problem that needed to go through surgery operations as the doctor confirms.
        Oh God! What a horrible run on sentence and terrible news about Sammy’s demise. My heart goes out to you about Ali’s health problems. Also, what exactly is a political gang up? Does it have anything to do with hookers? It must have been devastating.
        This made me to run into a serious dept with my bank and many other people helped me to make sure that I saved his life.
        Do you mean dept (short for department) or debt (short for insufficient funds)? How many people are helping you save Ali’s life – half of North America – and what is the money being used for?
        All this money was been paid as part of deposit to the hospital where my son Ali is taking an emergency treatment.
        Can you be more specific? —
        Please dear I really needed your assistance in this business which I will introduce you into now so I can save the life of my only son through this business.
        Ah. So, he’s the only son of Sam. What can I do to help? I bet it has something to do with oil and a Nigerian bank.
        There is a man his name is Mr. Ziya Bazhayev, he is doing a contract with Chevron and Shell Oil Company in South East zoon in Nigeria as an Oil Barron.
        Where exactly is South East Zoon? And how can I get a job as an Oil Barron?  Haven’t seen that job posted yet on Craigslist. But please tell me more about this man.
        This man made a deposit of 6.2 million dollars in our bank branch before he died, beside am his personal accountant when he was making this deposit in our bank branch through my desk.
        That is such sad news about this man, which I assume is a nickname for Ziya. I’m so sorry that everybody you know is either dead or dying. Poor this man.
        (Crying and blowing nose in my ear)
        this man have been so good to me when he do visit our bank and he is the President of the Oil Alliance Company, he died on Yak-40 aircraft, on a charter flight from Moscow to Kiev on March 9,2000.
        Why did you let him into the vault so soon after Sammy’s death? That can’t be good for Ali’s heart. And, why was the Yak-40 aircraft named after a wild ox? No wonder the plane went down. Unless, it was because of an active fund. They emit ash clouds that can clog airplane engines.
        Moreover this fund has been dormant in his account with our Bank without any claim of the funds in our custody and the banking law here stipulates that if such money remains unclaimed for nine years, it will be forfeited to the Bank treasury as an unclaimed bill it is only a foreigner that can stand as a next Of kin.
        Only a foreigner or next of kin can claim the money? Which one am I? Are we related? If so, when is your birthday? I’d like to send a card.
        My dear I want to seek your permission to have you stand in as next of kin to our late customer so that this fund will be released and paid into your account as the rightful beneficiary’s Next Of kin now that the bank is still expecting a Next Of Kin to come claim the fund. I have all the information about this man which will help us in this business.
        Do you need my bank info? I’d be happy to give it to you since I am a foreigner, as well as a long lost relative. Just tell me how I can help. Btw, do you ever use punctuation?
        What I want you to do is to stand as the next of kin, you don’t need to come down here my dear, all you need is to follow my instructions so that we can work as one.
        Thank goodness because I’m broke. Oops! I blew my cover. I was trying to get your bank account info, too. After all, we share the same DNA. Is that the same as DNR but with a different letter? Speaking of which, how can I find out more about the plane crash?
        You can equally read more news about the plane crash on these Websites,
        Thanks for the link. What will my cut be on this?
        You will get 40% of this money as soon as it gets into your account and I will come over with my only son Ali so you can help me fine a very nice hospital where I can treat him.
        I’ll make up the guest room for you. Can’t wait to meet you and Ali.
        I wish to hear from you the moment you might have finish reading this massage.

        I could really use a massage. Email scams make me tense.
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        Odd Facts and Observations about Dogs

        – TWO DOGS. ONE STORY –

        Jake is from West Virginia and enjoys hunting and air sex.

        Jenny is from Puerto Rico and enjoys opening latches on fences and is also an illegal immigrant. I wonder if there is a connection.

        Jake is not a rocket scientist. Please refer to the above photo and the exceptionally wide grin on his face, as well as the George W. Bush look in his eyes.  If Jake could speak anything other than “woof,” this is what he would say:

        “There’s an old saying in Tennessee West Virginia — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee West Virginia — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – George W. Bush.

        Jake enjoys chewing on small rocks and dining on dirt, as does Jenny, who is a dirt connoissewer. I just learned this fact yesterday when I was walking Jenny in the yard. Jenny also has bad knees and sees an orthopedist. She just had knee surgery and wears this hat sometimes, which reminds me of a vacuum cleaner.

        Jenny Eating Lunch

        Why do dogs eat dirt? Is it the texture, the aroma, or the nutritional value? It’s got lots of minerals. Maybe it tastes like chicken. I have no idea. It remains a mystery to me, as does a dog‘s preference in hors devours, when sampling crepe, uh, er, crap from the cat tray.

        Dogs love to eat cat poop, a delicacy, as well as anything they find on the floor, which brings me to the next point.

        A dog is as intelligent as a two year oldProbably not Jake. That’s what I read in an article, aptly entitled, Dogs’ Intelligence On Par With Two-Year-Old Human, Canine Researcher Says.

        “Although you wouldn’t want one to balance your checkbook, dogs can count.”

        I can’t balance a checkbook or count.

        If you’re a parent of a two-year old or a twenty-one year old, who once was two, then you know that a two-year old will put anything in his/her mouth. They also crawl on all fours, like a dog, and poop in the house, unlike a dog. Most dogs poop outside unless you forget to take him/her for a walk after a second cup of coffee. Then the dog will poop in the house in a highly-trafficked area.

        Dogs don’t really drink coffee. But they like to emulate humans, as indicated below.

        Another interesting fact about dogs. They have elbows and knees. I discovered this the first time Jake sat on my lap and stuck his pointy elbow into my ribs. He also weighs 45 pounds – could lose a pound or two – and is clearly not a lap dog. But he doesn’t understand the concept of weight and its relationship to pain. Remember the smile.

        I didn’t know that dogs even had knees until Jenny busted hers. Jenny is also ADD and very active. I think she might have busted her knee while body slamming Jake against a wall. Maybe that’s why Jake isn’t intelligent. Too many head slams against the wall.

        Do you know any interesting facts about dogs? Do you even like dogs?

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        Guest Post on 2012 DVD at Blazing Minds – The Actors Look Smaller on TV!

        Buy Mor Cow Poop at the NC State FairImage by joanna8555 via Flickr

        While watching the movie 2012 on DVD, I had time to compile a marketing list, as well as to ponder the weak plot points – the movie goes on a bit (2 hrs, 38 min).

        So, I decided to write a review. It’s not an ordinary review because my mind doesn’t like to follow rules and instead spews random nonsense words onto my laptop screen.

        As a matter of fact, I have no say in the creative process until the final edit. If my mind objects to any of my editorial decisions, I threaten it with eviction, and that always shuts it up.

        So, please check out my guest post at Karen’s incredibly entertaining and informative site Blazing Mindsshameless pimping and self-promotion – and let me know what you think. No percussive cussing at the site please, as it is rated “G” for ggggggreat! – Just ask Tony the Tiger.

        Actually, the “G” that I refer to means General Audiences, which would probably eliminate most of you, as there is nothing generic about any of you. You’re all perfectly nuanced human beings.

        And if you can’t restrain yourselves at Karen’s site, please comment and pimp – nothing illegal – before you get the boot. Thanks!!!!

        Note: Blazing Minds is a British site, so the word “boot” means an automobile trunk and not … a kick or a covering of leather, rubber, or the like, for the foot and all or part of the leg or – the American meaning.

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