Tag Archives: internet tomfoolery

Voicemails Are Teh Bad

17 Nov

I have two personalities.  I like to think that my face to face persona is as normal as anyone can ever hope to be.  My voicemail persona is far from that.  It’s like that kid in homeroom who has no idea he smells really bad, but desperately wants to be your friend and show you his Pokemon cards.  You’re a little scared of him, you definitely don’t understand him, and make fun of him behind his back because you’re 16 and a prick.    My voicemails are painful to listen to, and just as painful to record.  I stammer, awkwardly pause and say things like, “Crap, I’m talking too long, aren’t I?  I’m sorry, you’ll probably think this is stupid and then you’ll hate me and wonder why you’re even my friend…oh my God, why am I still talking?  Okay, I’m going to stop.  Okay, thanks.  Bye.  Call me if you don’t think I’m weird.  Yeah.  Bye.”

I hate leaving them, especially to prospective employers.  I need to have a written outline of what I’m going to say if I hope to spare them from any embarrassing displays of incompetency or desperation.  Which is why I find this comic incredibly relatable:(Via lefthandedtoons.com. Thanks to Avery for sending this our way!)

Can LinkedIn Help Me Find a Job?

21 Aug

There are certain things in life that strike me as existing without purpose or reason:

  • Male nipples**
  • The cast of the Jersey Shore
  • LinkedIn

The appeal of LinkedIn was a mystery to me.  I always thought, “Well, what’s the point?  I have Facebook, isn’t that enough?” Apparently it isn’t, and as one of millions of free thinkers raised in a non-conformist society, I caved to pressure and “decided” to give it a whirl.

No.

A big hairy deal has been made over the professional network LinkedIn can give you.  If you work it correctly, you may even land a job.  I don’t know how often this actually happens, but regardless, why not exhaust every option?

LinkedIn is your passport to professionalism, your way of telling the online community, “I’m here, and I promise to use social media to conduct myself with a sense of dignity and decorum befitting a young career woman.”  ThAt mEAnS nONe oF tHiS and none of “I can has job LOL!?”

I’ve noticed that most people, including me, fail to use it to its full capacity.  Instead, it seems to serve as a public wang measuring contest.  Every honor, every recommendation, every spoken language gets listed on profiles everywhere as if to say, “Go on.  Have a gander.  Peek twice if you want.  Compare your inadequacies to mine, and then force yourself to realize that well, nobody is great but me.”

But all those wangs are left flapping in the wind because no one takes initiative with their profile.  LinkedIn is not about the connections you have, but the connections you want.  It’s about who you need to know to advance your career or business.  Having your pants down for the world to admire your offerings won’t bring these people flocking to your profile.  You have to go to them.

So, stripped down to its bare-boned business structure, the site is about making it okay for you to cyber-stalk and then contact near-total strangers for personal and professional benefit.  I’m okay with the sketch-factor—I’ve been Facebook stalking for years now.  But it’s because that I, like my peers, am a champion Facebooker, I struggle with how to approach LinkedIn-stalking.

My main problem is knowing who to target.  I do have a goal in mind: I want to ultimately talk to people who work in charter schools, people involved in education reform.  On Facebook, interest in strangers is piqued by gossip alone.  On a study break, you and your friend may have an exchange along the lines, “They did WHAT with WHO WHERE?! Ohmigod, Facebook!” And you log on to put a face to the devious deeds.  Or perhaps you’re hearing about your roommate’s crush, and you want to check him out and laugh at or laud his listed interests and activities.  Really, it’s the lazy man’s get-to-know-you guide.

I guess LinkedIn is the same way, but for the career world.  It’s like a nifty little directory and guidebook of where people have been, and how you can get there yourself.  It’s just, where do you start?  Meh?  I consider myself pretty new to the site, so it’s all a mystery to me.  Hell, these observations may be totally incorrent, and you seasoned LinkedIn users may read these and go, “Wrong, no, erroneous.  Gosh, no wonder you’re unemployed, dumbass.”

In the course of writing this post, I’ve learned much more about LinkedIn as well as upped my connections.  I guess that’s the starting point.  I need to have a solid group of primary contacts, so I can scour their connections and their connections’ connections, and see if in anyone from the education world comes up.

In closing, I’d like to thank the Interwebs, for allowing me to legitimately whittle away hours of my life in front of an LCD screen under the premise of career-hunting.  Also, screw you, for giving me another attractive way to interact with people online instead of in-person.  Just kidding.  Don’t ever change.

**Unnecessary Edit 8/26: Thanks to The Oatmeal, I’ve now discovered the purpose behind man nipples.  Turns out they’re not so vestigial after all!

Please Fire Me: Because Life Blows When You’re Employed, Too

18 Jul

"Please fire me. I’d like to come out of the closet."

In our hunt for gainful employment, we oftentimes forget that life on the paid side of the fence isn’t as rosy as we thought.  Workers live in quiet misery, withstanding the stupidity and injustices around them.  Their only salvation is sending a desperate plea into the obscure oblivion of the Internet, hoping that the Heavens can help.  Those who come across their message-in-a-bottle plea can offer nothing but laughter at their misfortunes.  Because it is the Internet, after all.

That is the entire premise of Please Fire Me.  Users submit ridiculous work anecdotes as a means of surviving “the hellish work day.” Their catharsis is our enjoyment.  Additionally, it serves as a reminder that our jobs don’t suck nearly as much comparatively, if it all.  As for unemployed little me–I just wonder, I want to join the workforce why again?

Below are some gems:

Please fire me. I am “skating on thin ice” because I have asthma and work stock.

Please fire me. My boss just typed “google” into the Google search bar.

Please fire me. My boss regularly prints out .pdf e-mail attachments and then asks me to scan them into our server as a .pdf.

Please fire me.  My boss called a meeting and the number one point on the agenda was ‘Internet: friend, foe, is it here to stay?

Please fire me. I work out of my boss’s home. As I took my lunch, he gave me a bullet-point list of 12 additional things to do because he wouldn’t have time to get to them today. He is currently taking a nap.

Please fire me. Because no kid ever said, “When I grow up, I want to be a Records Specialist” or at least I hope they didn’t.

Please fire me. I am a substitute teacher at the mercy of screaming, lying dwarfs and psychotic principals who want me to treat the little jerks gently.

Volunteering: Leads to Diseases and Happiness

19 Jun

Lately, I’ve had kind of a warm, floaty feeling in my chest and abdomen.  My first thought was, “EBOLA?!”  www.WrongDiagnosis.com tells me that, unless I’m vomiting blood, suffering from diarrhea, and have got a bad case of hiccups, Ebola was, as promised, the wrong diagnosis.  Undeterred, I turned to the WebMD symptom checker to determine my condition.

How could I neatly plug this feeling into the pre-approved symptom checklist?  It’s that kind of sensation where you radiate zen, but also feel capable of doing backflips on a waverunner. This must be what it feels like to be Angelina Jolie, which, in all honesty, is medically concerning to me.  I did my best to translate these concerns to my Internet doctor.

WebMD Sarah is modest, and apparently owns a princess pony. I don't know why.

The two clear possibilities for my new condition was either Supraventricular tachycardia, or Constipation (adult). (Presumably, this advanced form can purchase cigarettes and naughty magazines.)

Which one is it?  Admittedly, my diet is pretty light on the Metamucil, so adult constipation is a strong contender, and likely the true culprit.  However, Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.  According to WebMD, “SVT means that from time to time, your heart beats very fast for reasons other than exercise, high fever, or stress.”  Ahh.  So Doctor WebMD,  could SVT also mean that I’m riding a high, enjoying the rush and satisfaction that some newfound activity has given me?

It didn’t answer me, so I’m forced to conclude that yes, this was definitely the case.

Is it obnoxious to talk about how awesome and life-changing your volunteer work is?  Probably, and you can also probably tell what I’m about to do.

Recently I’ve been volunteering as an adult literacy tutor, and working with my two students has been invigorating.  They have different needs, and it takes ingenuity and creativity to handle both of them.  I don’t know if I’m a good tutor, but the process of learning how to effectively teach is surprisingly enjoyable.  It’s inspiring to see the dedication my students put into obtaining their goals, and knowing that they depend on my help pushes me to produce the best lessons I can.  This experience has also settled me on a career path: educational reform, something I’ve always believed in but never quite committed to pursuing until I saw the harsh realities of life without a basic education.

I haven’t worked this hard at something since college, which ended five months ago.  I went from spending 12 hours a day thesis-writing to doing nothing.  To have goals of my own again made me, in a word, happy. Having not been happy for a while, I wasn’t used to feeling it, so I was surprised when I noticed.  “Huh, I’m not miserable or even apathetic.  Cool.  What do you call this again?”

What’s really surprising is my attitude shift.  Suddenly I’m not in a total rush to bust the hell out of Florida.  I’m okay with letting my big cookie of life crumble however it pleases, and not just because I now have two good reasons to stay.  Stressing about my future got me nowhere, so why not try the opposite and see what happens?  This doesn’t mean I won’t actively pursue my job hunt, I just won’t keep at it like a dog in heat.

My point is this: Volunteering is the best thing for the unemployed. Not only are you doing something again, but you’re doing something that matters.  Having an impact will in turn positively impact you.  It’s re-energizing, and maybe it’ll help you sort out some of your priorities.  And if it leads to Supraventricular tachycardia, well, then you know you’re really doing something special.