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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Rejection Fitness Stretch

This exercise is meant for those who are currently job hunting. As we all know, no response from prospective employees means REJECTION (like a stab to the heart!). This exercise is part of the Faceless Employee(TM) I Can't Get Over It series.
Step 1: Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Unceremoniously flop your upper body over, like someone with no core strength.
Step 3: Let out a sigh that can be heard in the next room, like someone without hope. 
Step 4: Straighten back up, smile, and fake it 'til you make it.

Cover letter - Janitor

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am keenly interested in the Janitor position you posted on your website. I attach my resume and hope my experience and credentials match your needs. After reading the information on your site, I am energized and enthused at the prospect of vacuuming your office floors and emptying your trash cans.

As background, I am Associate Director of Despair for the Best Organization Of Boston Society (BOOBS). I am responsible for reminding everyone that we work under the direction of an unethical employer who is also a disastrous manager and administrator. A typical day for me would consist of waltzing into my colleagues' offices, offering them chocolate, and then informing them of the latest near-criminal act of the man we all work for, such as influencing a high-ranking government official to revoke a rival's visa, or directly causing the resignations of 80% of the Board of Directors, who incidentally are 50% of our revenue stream. When my colleagues start weepi…

Faceless Employee: The Leak

Well Played, Student, Well Played

"At an elite university like Harvard, we are meant to learn the skills that will help us succeed in careers but those that will help us shine in the accompanying cocktail parties."

Excerpt from "Aulus and Me,"M. Schwartz '12, Harvard magazine September-October 2011
Dear editor,

There's a word missing in the sentence above. Also, would like to know where these cocktail parties are, as have not been invited so far.

BOOBS employee

New Faceless Employee comic to be posted soon!

Movie Review: Drive (2011)

Drive tricks you at the start by using a pink script font to introduce the cast and crew, to the beat of pulpy music. Viewers follow a soft-spoken getaway driver played by Ryan Gosling on a job, where he demonstrates his skills, and then we watch him shyly fall in love with his cute next-door neighbor, played by whatserface from An Education. Carey Mulligan, that's it. The Driver (also known as "kid") and neighbor and her little boy enjoy quiet moments together, and it's adorable and sweet and you really root for them to get together. Then the movie veers into ultra-violence mode. Drive gets really dark really quickly, and Boyfriend and I spent the last 45 minutes cringing at all the heads being blown off/ skulls being smashed in/ people getting their forearms slit/ being drowned/ stabbed/ et cetera. WHOA! And the entire time, Gosling's voice never goes above a murmur.

This is a very technically competent film, with unbelievably good cinematography and a delibera…

Job Interviews, Part One

Early-morning adventures in traffic aside, my two interviews went all right. The first one was for a senior admin position at a very well-known teaching hospital, and the other was for a proposal writer at a large company. I found the second one a lot smoother, mostly because the interviewers were very down-to-earth (despite their power suits) but extremely focused on what they wanted, which I hope to God is me. The first one was a little scattered -- they had a list of questions, but kept skipping around, and it wasn't clear right away what they were looking for. The difference in interviewing style and effectiveness was very clear to me after I came out of the second interview. I appreciate knowing exactly what the position calls for, and knowing a little bit about the history of the organization, instead of being asked cookie-cutter questions of boringness right off the bat. Interestingly, even though both sets of interviewers asked the same questions -- "Where do you see…

The Moral of the Story Is...

At our office staff meeting yesterday, I coined the phrase, "Summer of turmoil, Fall of sorrow," which my coworkers repeated with chuckles and sad sighs. I really do foresee things getting worse, not better, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the imminent return of Horrible Coworker (HC).

Let me break it down for you: HC thinks she's special and entitled to more benefits than everyone else. She's rude on e-mail, calls us "unprofessional" at every opportunity, and delights in gossiping. Her spelling and grammar are beyond atrocious. For a brief, shining year, she suppressed her psychosis enough to be friends with a bunch of us, but there were enough episodes of her snapping and suddenly acting like a petulant grade-schooler that we all eventually backed off, and she found herself without real friends in the office.

She found a new job in July and I did a happy dance. But now she's coming back, for reasons unknown. The kicker is that she firmly bel…

Three Reasons to Live in Cambridge

Note: all events described below happened in one day.

Reason to Live in Cambridge 1: Yard sales.

I was on my way back home from having some blood tests done (update 9/19: I am not anemic, not iron-deficient, not B12-deficient, and my cholesterol is excellent) when I spotted giant signs for a nearby yard sale. I zoomed over and started wandering around the items. A very nice man gave me a giant Macy's bag -- clearly, he is very savvy and knew I would compulsively try to fill it up. I got the tiniest, cutest little steel dish drainer ($1), a few long-sleeved tops ($2 each) for the fall, and an unopened Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser ($1). That last item retails for $30+. Wheeee!!!

Reason to Live in Cambridge 2: Cyclist Culture.

You can't really see it, but the photo above shows that my bicycle seat is really messed up. So I popped over to the Broadway Bicycle School, which was super busy at the time, but I got helped right away! I got a new seat, and the guy also greased my gears…

Oh, Well

This is how my 10-minute phone interview should have gone:

HR Person Tell me about your work at BOOBS.
Me (smoothly) As Impressive-Sounding Title, I oversee all aspects of the Propaganda Making process, from preparation to submission to reporting. I am also manager of the Online Propaganda Machine.
HR Person Do you have a direct report?
Me (smoothly) Not at this time. This is a very collaborative office.
HR Person Why do you want to leave your current job? 
Me (smoothly) I'm looking to work in a new environment. I want to apply my skills in a different capacity and meet new people. And since I've worked at this start-up for several years now, I would like to work in a stable company.
HR Person Why our company?
Me (smoothly) There are two reasons. First, this job seems to be a strong match to my skills and experience. Second, I'm attracted to mission-driven organizations, and I think your company has a set of core values that is very impressive.
HR Person What are your sala…

Another one!

Received another response! In-person interview next week, at ungodly hour in the morning!

I need interview clothes! Blazer, top, stockings! Maybe some pants! Perhaps a brand new face!


Edit (5 minutes later):

First valuable lesson learned during the job hunt:

Keep a record of the job ad. My multiple frenetic submissions wiped the memories of the details about what I applied for. Whoops. Me in the interview: "Sorry, what's this position again?"

Le sigh.


Please pray for me, readers!

First success!

First response received! Phone interview imminent! Now must decide which voice to use:

-Broadcaster voice
-Dry, acerbic voice
-Enthusiastic young woman voice
-Robot voice
-Professional voice (not to be confused with above)

Meh, I'll wing it.


Movie Review: Outbreak (1995)

Outbreak is clearly an allegory for the job crisis in the United States. As far back as 1995, visionary director Wolfgang Petersen foresaw the shadow of chronic unemployment looming menacingly over the horizon, and he hired Hollywood elites to act out his nightmare in a world where the cute, fluffy monkey from Friends represents the pernicious effects of globalization upon the human psyche. The scene where the monkey spat into Patient Zero's mouth vividly illustrates the toxicity of the monster we've created through individual abdication of responsibility, corporate greed, government deregulation, environmental degradation, and general effed-upness. Unlike the disease in the movie, unemployment is everywhere, rather than confined in a small, convenient location where I could have saved everyone by hiring them to be my maids or cat sitters. Wages are adoration and respect.

In all seriousness, Outbreak is a terrific movie with excellent performances (everyone else's subtle a…

An Invitation to Join BOOBS

Dear friend,

I am writing to formally invite you to join the Best Organization Of Boston Society (BOOBS) Board of Directors. Let me say once again how pleased I am that you so have so generously supported us despite our recent blatant disregard for law, ethics, fairness, and worker's rights. Due to numerous reports of your unpopularity in your own country, we believe that you would make a wonderful addition to the BOOBS Board of Directors.
The remainder of this letter sets forth several logistical and corporate matters:
Term – In accordance with the Society’s by-laws, you have been elected to a one-year term, and you will be eligible to be voted in again, depending on our mood at the time.
Conference Calls – The Board holds daily conference calls that generally last for five minutes, which is the time it takes for us to rubber-stamp everything put before us by the CEO of BOOBS.
Corporate Documents – For your reference, the following documents are included in this package:

Movie Review: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

To prime myself for the upcoming Indecision 2012, and also to distract myself from the stomach-churning acceleration and turns of the bus, I watched TheManchurian Candidate remake as I rode back to Boston. All I knew was that it starred Denzel Washington, and that's usually enough for me to hit "play." I was delighted to see that Meryl Streep and Liev Schreiber also had key roles.

Manch Cand has a cool story. The movie follows a major in the US Army as he tries to piece together the events of a pivotal night in Kuwait in '91. Viewers get to see some of what happens in an opening scene: a group of soldiers is ambushed at night, and then... Denzel describes the heroics of Schreiber's character, now a congressman and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for single-handedly fighting off the enemy and guiding the team through hostile terrain. But did that really happen? As Denzel investigates, Meryl Streep chews the scenery as a super-tough senator aiming to place her so…

The Kindness of Strangers

September started off with a lot of kindness from strangers, and I'm hoping the trend will last, let's say for the rest of my life. First, a sweet old man at the gate of the Morris Arboretum made us feel very welcome, explained how to get to the parking lot and what to do after we parked, and thanked us for coming. At the guest house, a nice lady gave us a map and pointed out the main points of attraction, and more importantly, the restroom locations. As we wandered around, I casually mentioned to Mama that we were pretty close to Minado, a fantastic Japanese buffet about an hour away from NE Philly. Mama instantly decided we should go, and that we could definitely beat the 2:30 pm lunch closing time, and then she stopped at every. Single. Tree. On the way to the parking lot. You know how many trees there are in an arboretum? A LOT.

We finally tore out of there and I drove maniacally as politely as possible. We triumphantly barreled through the doors, only to be stopped short…

@ Jersey City with the Birthday Girl

Yesterday we went to Jersey City "to return to my basic self," as Mama put it, meaning "to eat oily, fatty, delicious Filipino foods" at Max's of Manila. According to the menu, Max's was started right after WWII, when this dude Maximo served coffee, steak, and fried chicken to his American serviceman friends. Truly, friendship is the mother of innovation, because urban myth has it that Max's fried chicken is deep fried in pork fat. Doesn't that sound awesome? Excuse me while I quiet down my heart palpitations. We also had pinakbet, lumpia, and halo-halo, which is like the Holy Grail if the Holy Grail were filled to the brim with crushed ice, ube ice cream, coconut shavings, and sweet beans. Then we went to Red Ribbon, and at my repeated chanting of "discipline, discipline!" Mama only got two slices of cake (ube and mango) instead of two entire cakes, which was her impulse.

Then we hustled to make it to the trains before rush hour hit. Fro…