Monday, October 31, 2011

Someone Please Slap Me

"Happy Monday!" I chirruped on gchat.

"blaaargh mondays are never happy," came the disgruntled reply from CatLadyHijab, not her real name, I just made that up, aren't I clever.

Basically the story this morning is that I came into my cute new sun-drenched office with its adorable dark blue wall and proximity to the kitchen and bathroom, which, of course, is what the ideal office should be, and I. Didn't. Want. To. Leave. "Oh noes!" I thought, "I would be abandoning my colleagues!" Not only that, I would be walking away from a picture-perfect commute -- a 10-minute stroll through pretty neighborhoods -- and a position where everyone up top is so overworked that I get no supervision, and can post random stuff like this!

Someone please slap me.

Fortunately, one of said colleagues walked in to chat, and I immediately 'fessed up to feeling mildly bad about leaving the new office. She gave me a dry look and said, "It's only the place that changed."

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is like a slap in the face, or in this case, like a gentle tap between the eyes. You see, appearances are deceiving. While it looks like BOOBS is growing because of the current hiring frenzy... oh, hey, I should probably stop before someone evil finds this and sues me for everything in my bank account! You'll never get my money! Because I don't have any! Mwa-ha-haaaaa!!!


I am pleased to say that I'm leaving on a positive note (knock on wood, hope this lasts until Thursday!). My coworkers, having for some reason found out that I love cats because I gush about Sheba every single day, got me cat-themed goodbye stuff -- like this card ("You reign supreme", it says); and a tiny cat calendar! Wouldn't it be awesome if I owned a cat that small? I could put it in my pocket! Oh, wait, those things are called hamsters and they smell bad and they bite. Wow, they're almost like cats! Just add self-centered craftiness.

Brief weekend update: IT SNOWED. Boyfriend and I sloshed through icy water on the streets last Saturday, ugh. I should've worn my winter boots. Sunday was better -- sunny, but damn cold. Now it's not as bad.

Well, back to the grind -- not. Kweheheheheheh!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interesting Read

Here's a letter from a psychopath. It explains my current boss pretty well.

Found from an...interesing...blogger, BC Woods -- Dunce Upon A Time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Stages of Job Hunting... via art

Stage 1: Despair 
(minimum one year)

The first stage consists of pondering your current work environment with appropriate horror. Your outlook at this time is bleak, your prospects of survival grim. Like the bald person in Edvard Much's The Scream, or  Macauley Culkin from Home Alone, you are mentally slapping both hands to either cheek and howling into the wilderness.

"Oh, God, why do I work here? Whyyyyy?"

Stage 2: Panic 
(minimum two months)

The second stage is characterized by mass confusion and the bloody loss of innocence. Like the innocent folk in Peter Paul Ruben's Massacre of the Innocents, the job hunter wrestles with the demons of panic ("Help! Help!"), hysteria ("I'll never get out of this hellhole!"), and delusion ("I'm sure no one knows I'm job hunting like a maniac!"). In the process, self-confidence and self-esteem are ground underfoot. As a result, the job hunter blindly sends out a ridiculous number of resumes to any and all prospects. This stage is a very low point in the job hunting process.

"AAAHHH!!!"


Stage 3: Panic Some More
(minimum one month)

Larger external factors come into play during the third stage. This is when the job hunter realizes that the average unemployment rate is 9%, meaning competition for ordinary jobs is fiercer than usual, and obtaining a choice position at a top company requires excellent contacts, a brilliant resume, aggressive self-promotion, AND divine intervention. Meanwhile, a bunch of projects are waiting for you at your current job. During this stage, you continue to compulsively send out random applications. The suffering at this stage is an infinitesimal simulacrum of the pain depicted in Picasso's Guernica. 

"Doom! DOOOOM!!!"


Stage 4: Reach Out
(minimum two weeks)

The fourth stage sees a slowdown in resume submission, as the job hunter finally takes some time to do the obvious thing: ask around for advice. The job hunter is told to apply only to positions where he/she stands half a chance, to create compelling and crafted cover letters and/or resumes, to invest in at least one power suit, and to calm the eff down, the world isn't ending and you'll get a new job one day, promise. In Michelangelo's seminal The Creation of Adam, we see the job hunter reclining in mortal ignorance, and the advice-givers represented by God, being carried by cherubs in a billowing cloth/holy carpet. Eve is under Adam, apparently waiting for her boobs to grow in. This is an allegory for the latent maturity that each job hunter will achieve in the later stages.

"Is that you, God? It's me, Adam. I need job hunting advice."


Stage 5: Smile
(variable)

The penultimate stage is when the ball gets rolling and doesn't stop until it sinks into hole called NEW JOB, left corner pocket. This stage requires following all the advice dispensed in the previous stage, luck, and solid interviewing skills. During this time, the job hunter is called for a set of first-round interviews. Afterwards, there are second-round interviews. At this point, the job hunter may or may not invest in a second power suit, if she/he hasn't yet. If sufficient time has passed between the first and second interviews, the same suit may be worn. Rejections will keep pouring in from other places, but the job hunter's serene smile will remain because a second interview means a 50% chance of landing fresh employment!

"I'm almost there. FTW!"


Stage 6: Freeze Up
(variable)

After the inevitable giggling/cackling fit that immediately follows a job offer, the job hunter then realizes that he/she will start all over again in a new place, with new responsibilities, higher expectations, and unfamiliar office dynamics. This does not prevent the job hunter from landing on the new opportunity with both feet and an extra leg just in case, but he/she will tend to be vague and unfocused during the final two weeks at the current job. The job hunter is now no longer a job hunter, but a new hire. The twin prospects of an unknown future and a different company freezes the new hire into a granite block with a rictus smile, like Woman III by Willem de Kooning.

"Yay! ...EEK!" *freeze*

Graphical Analysis:
The graph below represents the growth of the job hunter's self-esteem, self-confidence, and general happiness (x-axis) as time (y-axis, units variable, e.g. months/weeks) passes:


As indicated above, self-esteem, self-confidence, and happiness begin at a low point, and remain at low points even with the passage of time. However, these metrics experience a jump once stage 4 is reached, and continues to rise through the next stages, until the final stage is nearly off the graph. 

It is absolutely crucial that the job offer accepted is at a workplace that is healthy, secure, and stable in order to avoid having the graph reset to stage 1. New hires are advised to keep a low profile in the early weeks, and then balance shining efficiency with ninja-like skills of disappearance, should a promotion or pay raise be desired. But that's another blog post entirely.

~0~

Update, 1/4/2012: AHAHAHA that graph is so wrong! Stages 2 and 3 should be lower on the x-axis. My apologies, ducklings.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

LIFT YOUR GLASSES! THROW ONE BACK! CELEBRATE! IT'S FRIDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Beer history: On the sixth day in the year 1342 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a woman named Sister Commodi Pinkus poured yeast into an old boot filled with grain, shook it, bottled it, slapped a "DO NOT DRINK" label on it, and shipped it to parts unknown. Just kidding.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunshine

A hundred little leaves, a hundred little reassurances.
Tiny falling leaves floated gently to the ground as I walked back to the office today. Very pretty.

Glooooom

Rain clouds are buffers against happy time.
There are days when all the optimism and hope and cheerfulness in the world just won't make a dent in the secret, irrational fear in a Faceless Employee's heart. I was supposed to receive something awesome today, but apparently I won't get it until tomorrow. The rational part of me says that of course I'll get it tomorrow, while the fuming part says a lot of bad words, which I'll refrain from posting here. >:-(

I'm going outside to get a banana from the store across the street. Maybe potassium will cheer me up?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: The 19th Wife (2009)

According to author David Ebershoff's website for this novel, it's "sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable." I'm gonna call shenanigans on that, because while it was certainly entertaining and informative, it also could have used a bit more editing. If you've read it, I ask you -- what was the deal with the dolphins? I like my symbolism subtly delivered, like the fragrance of fall leaves, not hammered into me like the smell of my cat's litter box, thank you very much.

Rant aside, The 19th Wife is a pretty good read. I'm a sucker for mysteries, and the novel opens with two: who is Ann Eliza Young, and who killed whatsisface? Ebershoff presents two main parallel narratives: a straightforward modern-day whodunit with a gay protagonist (you go, girlfriend!), and a sometimes meandering ye olde America timeline that uses book excerpts, court depositions, newspaper clippings, and letters to tell the story of Ann Eliza Young's revolt against polygamy in the Mormon religion.

Let's talk about polygamy for a second. Here's a handy little bullet-point:

For Women
Pros: Sharing the household chores and bedroom duties
Cons: Sharing your husband with other women, infinite children, complete lack of gender equality

For Men
Pros: Infinite women
Cons: Infinite children

This is a controversial and outrage-inducing topic, and the novel is engaging because Ebershoff provides so much context for Ann Eliza Young's fierce campaign against polygamy for the sake of the neglected women and children. He vividly presents her family, personality, and detractors. At the same time, her legacy (or lack thereof in some parts of Utah) can be seen in Jordan's struggle in the modern day to find his father's true killer in an effort to free his mother (wife #19) from jail.

There are terrific thematic elements in this book, the most prominent being religion. Also, there are dogs. While the solution to the modern-day mystery had me rolling my eyes in exasperation, the novel's last line was absolutely brilliant. Huh, maybe it is "lyrical." Truth in advertising? Heavens!

Bottom line: Recommended reading.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Work-Life Imbalance

Work is getting in my way! How dare this organization assign me work while I'm in the office!

But don't worry; it's only today! Here's what y'all can look forward to in the coming days:

- new Faceless Employee comic
- angry review of The 19th Wife
- exasperated review of The Importance of Being Ernest (the 1895 play)
- another new Faceless Employee comic!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: The Invisible Man (1897)

Type: Older than dirt science fiction.

The Skinny: English towns are terrorized by the Invisible Man.

The Science: Light refraction. A body that does not absorb or reflect light will be invisible.

The Main Character: The Invisible Man.

The Plot: A curious man arrives in a small English village. Soon after, a rash of thefts occur, turning the villagers against the stranger. He flees and forces a hobo to be his ally, and they go through towns stealing money. The hobo steals the Invisible Man's precious science journals. While hunting for the hobo, the Invisible Man (real name: Griffin) stumbles upon an old school chum, who promptly contacts the police. After a long, involved manhunt, the Invisible Man eventually gets taken down.

The Twist: The Invisible Man is a jerk. He's rude, violent, and by the end, murderous.

The Interpretation: Running the experiment on himself made him go insane.

The Counterargument: He was a jerk even before he did the experiment. He stole money from his dad, driving him to suicide.

The Cool Part: Invisibility = anonymity + irritability = internet trolls, modern variants of the Invisible Man!

Lesson Learned: To find an invisible opponent, sprinkle all paths with salt, then follow the blood trail!

The BOOBS diagrams

The Negative

The Positive

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Movie Review: Moneyball (2011)

"The first rule of Moneyball is, you do not talk about Moneyball."
Moneyball rocks. It's well filmed, well written, well acted, and the theme song is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. The cinematography was reminiscent of Ben Affleck's loving filming of Boston, especially the medium shots with Oakland scenes in the distance. The acting is top-notch: in the same way that Tom Cruise became Jerry Maguire in Jerry Maguire, Brad Pitt is completely believable as Billy Beane, a real-life baseball GM determined to "change the game," and finds a recent Yale econ grad to help him do it. Pitt gets a lot of choice laugh-out-loud lines, but Beane's earnest dedication to improving baseball shines through in every scene. Do I hear Oscar? And by the way, there's a picture of Billy Beane on Wikipedia, and how stoked must he be that Brad Pitt plays him? It's kind of like having Lucy Liu play me, except not. Also, kudos to Jonah Hill for holding his own against Brad Pitt's overwhelming hotness and charisma.

There's a lot of tension, too, if you haven't been following baseball since the turn of the century. Because the film is based on a real person and real events, the typical narrative expectation got overturned, namely the one where a team of misfits gets together, gets lucky, gets positive attention, then has to face a serious challenge that the now-friends then overcome. Not here! They get the crap beaten out of them, and they get traded all over the place. Baseball management has never been so exciting, especially when a new Assistant GM has to tell a player he's been traded and they do the 10-second Stare of Awkwardness. Fun times!

There are also fantastic juxtapositions of Beane's past throughout the film, which gives viewers some insight into why he wants to replace a scouting system that he thinks is fundamentally flawed. And of course, the games are exciting!

This film is highly recommended!


Movie Review: Hereditary (2018)