Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Try Substitute Teaching

Today, I received my first call to Substitute Teach. "Put me in coach", was my first thought. Something besides sitting and looking blankly at an ungrateful computer screen. I have to admit it had been almost a decade and a half since I had been in front of a classroom and more than two and a half decades since I was in a high school classroom.

It was fun. I was quite anxious before arriving this morning, going through all the things, I did not know and had forgotten. In my mind, I thought, "What is pi?", "The Battle of Hastings was when?", and "Where is Azerbaijan?".

Well good news, the students are the same now as they were when I was there. They are basically, good. Or at least the ones, I had were, and they still do the same stupid things that I did when I was that age. Who would have ever thought my parents would be right. Okay, but don't tell them.

I do not think the pay was but $50.00, but it was good to get out and see humans again. It was also funny to see, in my mind's eye, me and my stupid friends doing stupid things all over again.

Try it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Tattoo for Me

On my way back from placing an application in I had an epiphany. I should provide you with the following background. I have spoken to my wife over the past 10 years and theorized that a tattoo might be in my future, but it had to be the right one. For example, lets say you got a motorcycle tattoo but in 15 years you no longer could ride the motorcycle or it just looked foolish on your sagging flesh. So I had always decided that I would not get a tattoo until it was timeless.

So on my way home today, I thought I needed to have one of the diagrams that those defibrillators that doctors use to revive you after a heart attack and right above it on my left breast the following quote: "Doc, try the paddles again." Now that tattoo is one I can get behind.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes, I do have a Liberal Arts Degree

While I do respect those who have degrees in science, business, engineering, and computer science, there is a sense that a liberal arts degree is somehow less. The unavoidable question at the initial meeting with a prospective employer is "So I see you have a degree in History?"

It is as if by knowing something of our past and being able to concisely communicate that to another, is not valued. Somewhere in my college course catalog it must say that History, Political Science, English, Philosophy and Anthropology are fall back degrees. The next time I am reading more carefully. It must have been in all that tiny print.

Even after sixteen plus years in the business world with some sort of acumen, I still feel as if I am explaining my decision to study and work for a Liberal Arts degree when I was 20.

Continuing my rant is the fact that I continue to hear how we, as a nation, do not know how many Justices are on the Supreme Court, what the three branches of government are, or even how many Senators are in the Senate. But only seem to value those degrees in business, science and engineering.

Enjoy the following from the Tonight Show and a scary one from John Stossell's 20/20 news segments.

I want to work here.

Employees Having Fun at Office - The best bloopers are a click away

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stop Trying to Sell Me Things. I Have NO Money

Is that the phone? Hope jumps into my heart. I think of all the job applications and advertisements that I have answered in the last week.

I say to myself, "This could be it. Who says finding a job is hard? Look there is one of the hundreds, nay say, thousands of firms who wants a valued employee like me, right there on the phone."

I answer and there is a very complimentary speaking man on the other side. As I try to keep my head inside the small room, it sounds as if this man really understands my value and the transferable skills I can bring to the table.

Wait did he say something about "Executive Recruiter". That is okay, I could use someone else looking for a job for me. "Market assessment" will be done by his firm to help me iron out the little wrinkles in my resume. Still sounds great. He is going to send me a link with more information and once I look at it he will give me call in a day or two.

I say, "sounds great."

I go home to watch a thirty minute little presentation on his website. Very well done.

Wait does he want me to pay? Does he not know, I don't have a job. He must, he called me about my "Marketable Skills.... transference and everything."

So for three resumes (but they will be all new, they will create a "Market Campaign" for me) and a dozen letters to prospective employers, I can borrow money (thousands) to pay him.

My mind says "but aren't those pretty pie charts, and he knows the secret of the hidden job market."

Guess I will have to wait for his return call to tell him, "I HAVE NO MONEY."

Take care.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Still in the Salt Mines but with Podcasts

Today was another day in the salt mines. I dropped off a resume, applied for another eleven gems online, and went by a temporary agency. As I walk in the room at the temporary agency the lady looks up from her desk in surprise and lets me know that they have not had a call in a week. Now I know I live in a small town but still. Shouldn't they be worried?

One of my many issues is that I am overqualified for minimum wage jobs but can not find one willing to pay me enough to live on. I guess that is the problem everyone else is having also.

The Dow Jones fell another 200 points today and there does not appear to be any good news on the horizon. I guess I will keep after it.

One bright spot, I might mention is a little thing call podcasts. They are either video or audio and they come from all sorts of different sources. There are some really terrific ones and some awful ones. They are basically recordings made by individuals or companies that you can listen to or watch later. I personally like the audio ones because they allow me to continue my search while listening.

You will need a way to manage these and get setup with their feeds. There are several different ways to do it but I would recommend using iTunes. (It is free, most everything associated with podcast is free.)

You do not need an MP3 player to listen or watch these. It can be done on your computer.

Once you have iTunes installed you just go to the iTunes Store and on the right side near the top is a selection of the areas of the store you can go to. Select Podcasts. Then subscribe to a few and experiment. You will like a few and not like a few. The following are my favorites:

This Week in Tech (TWIT) - by Leo Laporte
Diggnation - by Revision 3
Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me - by National Public Radio
Car Talk - by National Public Radio
Anderson Cooper 360 Daily - by CNN
Buzz Out Loud - by CNet

Try it see how you like it. And since it is free take two

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Did You Forget Anything

Bet you wished that you set the brake now. That is going to be a bad call back to the office.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Day at Work - Watch more free videos

Oops. Now tell me why, I can't find a job? But that driver can.

I'm Opening a Bank

As I sat culling the internet job boards for the fifth day this week, I discovered I am no longer looking for the possible match but applying for just about anything that is still open. A few days ago the rationalization was "if it is a couple of weeks old, they probably are already set to hire who they want" now the mantra is something like "if they didn't want resumes they should have taken it down."

However, I had a moment of brilliance in my little dystopia. "I will open a bank." It makes perfect sense. I will find friends and family give them lots of money knowing they can not pay it back. Now for my genius. Since congress has already said that it will bail out the lenders it is full proof.

Today, I went by a local manufacture and filled out an application for work with two other fine citizens of my little borough. One had even chosen to where a clean t-shirt for the application process. However, his comrade did manage to fine time to paint his fingernails black for the event.

Please tell me this will end soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anger and the Unemployment Office

Well it is the third day of being laid off and now I believe I am in the Anger Stage of my grief for my job. I am reasoning this because I am catching my self dreaming of my previous company's owner being slowly rotated on a spit over a large fire with the employees screaming his own cute little sayings at him; "if you have all the feathers you can carry, can you carry one more?", "I can't write it down because it is to complicated; it changes", "that is not what I meant".

One of the great reliefs today was on my mandatory trip to the unemployment office, in Nashville, I did get to list to my favorite podcast, This Week in Tech. But I digress.

Now, what I am about to say has been influenced by both my mood and the recent turn of events in my life. I inherently believe most people are good and do espouse that those who are more unfortunate must be helped by those of us who have had opportunities they have not. Okay with all that out of the way.

This mandatory visit to a Tennessee Career Center is an attempt by the state to reduce the amount of any unemployment insurance you may be entitled to. After my short hour and a half visit I wanted to have my arm ripped off and someone to beat me to death with it. For those of you have not done this you should take a little time at lunch and go sit in there and depress yourself. I go in fill out an application and list my two degrees (liberal arts, so now you know why I am unemployed) and the fact that I was making over $10 an hour. Sit in a metal chair until told to go meet my counselor. Who is a pleasant woman, but who can only recommend I keep looking. I thought: I know that. I did not have to come all the way up here to hear that from yet another person. What I think I might have liked was an angelic voice tell me that: I was progressing well and that things would work fine.

She said none of this.

So back at the job boards. I am going to list them, but most of them you probably have already found:

1. Monster : The big boy.
2. Careerbuilder : Another big boy
3. Hotjobs
4. Craigslist
5. Dice
6. NashvilleHelpWanted
7. Verizon
8. Cummins
9. Yellow Freight
10. Nashvillejoblinks
11. Robert Half Technologies
12. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
13. OHL
14. BizJournal
15. Indeed
16. USAJobs
17. Customs and Border Protection
18. Cheatham County School District
19. Tennessee Department of Human Resources
20. Austin Peay State University
21. Employment911
22. Tennessee Valley Authority
23. At&T (Bellsouth)
24. Louisiana Pacific Corporation (LP)
25. Nissan
26. Brassring
27. Tennesseejobs
28. JobsinClarksville
29. Mars
30. CameronCraigGroup
31. JobstarCentral
32. Phil Ellis Associates
33. JobsInLogistics
34. Menlo Worldwide
35. United States Postal Service
36. Caterpillar
37. Cracker Barrel
38. Kirkland's
39. JobSearchEngine
40. JobBankUSA
41. LocalCareers

As I find more I will update this posting. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finding Out

Let me set the stage. Yesterday morning, I was called into my supervisor's office to find out that I was being "released" back to the firm's employee leasing agency. That he, my supervisor, was not certain why or the details of my being released, that the owner had decided in my absence and it was to be so.

Okay. I clean out my desk and call the person at the leasing agency to find out that she knows less than I do. Only she has no positions available. So the job hunt begins on the drive back home.

Did I mention that I just got back from a week with the family on vacation or that my grandmother died the Friday before I left or that I have missed 2 sick days in 3 years or that we have not had an increase in that 3 years.

It is day two and I have applied for three jobs, called three people who may have a job opening, and dropped off one resume for substitute teaching.

So instead of therapy I decided to try the advice of a post on Robert Scoble's blog. So I will try and keep everyone updated on my progress. Right now it is important for me to find out what stage of grief, I am officially at. Try it you will like it.