Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama: Publicity Hound or Savvy Politico?

Walt Disney World just announced layoffs, though they won't say how many employees are being forced out. With Mickey firing Goofy, we know that we are close to economic collapse. I hear Minnie may be on the outs, too.

One of my friends just excitedly sent out an email saying that she just found a job after searching for two years. She was ecstatic, and why not? She is a beautiful, professional female with an excellent skill-set who was formerly in the mortgage industry.

And she will be making $12.50 an hour.

Ah well, she says optimistically: At least it's a foot in the door.

Meanwhile, Obama is busy running all over the USA, giving glam interviews and hangin' with trendy celebs. I have mixed feelings about this: On the one hand, I like a President who actually listens to the people and tries to reach out to them. Goodness knows that George Bush never did.

But, is Obama really listening? At a recent "Town Hall" meeting at the White House, his aides sifted through thousands of questions which eager citizens sent in, and he answered only a select few. He obviously only wanted to answer the questions which would support his views: To do otherwise would be akin to shooting himself in the foot. So, is he listening to all of us, or only the ones who can (in some way) further his agenda?

And how much of these fun little escapades really help our nation as we sink deeper into the mire? Is Obama losing sight of the people in his almost frenetic attempt to be King of the Media?

He is acting less like a President and more like a rock star, while our nation trembles on the brink of economic collapse, Muslim nations in the U.N. have declared religious free speech to be illegal in U.N. Resolution 62/154, and Korea is about to send up a nuclear warhead which will be able to directly threaten the USA, and the war(s) continue unabated.

Obama may be a "fun" President, but it is becoming frighteningly apparent that he may not be able to assume a leadership role.

Perhaps that doesn't matter any more. Perhaps America is in it's great decline. We are a people more interested in image than substance. But our very lives and freedom hangs in the balance.

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we are Dancing With the Stars as our nation crumbles from within.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Food Poisoning

I got food poisoning on Monday. Let me try to explain the joy of lying on a cold bathroom floor for four hours, until you're finally dragged off to the emergency room and stuck with needles. Then you get to spend hours in an icy, semi-private room.

It wasn't the best time of my life.

So forgive my not writing earlier. I'm not up to writing much today, though I'm considerably better.

I will write tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Every blogger eventually experiences burn-out at one point or another. I'm taking a mini-vacation both last week and this one. Think of it as Spring Break.

In the meantime, the Tampa Bay Area is experiencing a drought that is unprecedented. Three years of water shortage and we're down to almost no water at all, with little rain in the forecast.


Because the politicians down here never had the guts to stop all the building. They were too busy kissing butts and taking payoffs. Building permits are still being issued, while many of us natives wonder if we'll eventually become so restricted that we won't even be allowed to shower every day.

Right now there are no restrictions on using reclaimed water (treated sewage) but we expect that this will change soon.

In the meantime, our lawns are brown and crispy, our dirt is dry as sand and can't even retain water anymore.

And we continue to build new homes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Interviews From Hell Part 2

(This is a relatively short post)

The other interview I recently suffered through was with a man who was looking for someone to head up his fundraising division. I could go on and on about this interview forever, but suffice it to say that I realized I wasn't interested when:

1. The interview took place in a condo, which was supposedly a "temporary" office.

2. He informed me that the two offices they had been in previously had been summarily closed when the landlord went belly-up (both times) and they were evicted (both times) and as a result their credit was now frozen by the bank. Go figure that one out: I know a pile of crap when I smell it.

3. I know accents better than most, having been raised by multi-lingual parents. This guy had a thick African accent (Johannesburg area) and when I asked him where he was from, he said "New York".

I said "No, I mean originally." He informed me that he was born in Brooklyn, and the accent was oh yeah, Jamaican.

I guess I look like a dumb white woman.

4. They were supposedly text book publishers. I looked up their books on Amazon and they were nowhere to be found. They're self-publishing, and the books look craptastic.

5. He told me that the IRS had called them and asked them why they weren't doing more fundraising. Oh yeah, that was believable. The IRS just oozes with brotherly love and is concerned about each and every one of us. The last time I had an IRS cheerleader call me was... never.

6. We got into a prolonged argument, with this African guy telling me that fundraising, public relations, marketing and selling weren't at all related. He also told me that he was an expert on this subject, as he taught Marketing at the University of California in the 1980s. If so, there are some very dazed and confused MacDonald's employees out there who gave up all hopes of breaking into the marketing field: Would you like fries with that?

7. He proudly showed me a Power Point presentation someone had cooked up which could be accessed on their site. It was very simplistic, but he told me with all solemnity that it should be ready within two weeks. Two weeks? For a Power Point presentation? At least he didn't have high expectations!

Obviously the guy was a few Fruit Loops short of a bowl. I got outta there as quickly as I could extricate myself.

So what was the gig?

I'm not sure, but they were obviously doing something illegal. He had told me that he and his "colleague" travel the world quite a bit, he's from Africa (and denying it), so my guess is that it's a smuggling operation of some type and they want a legit person as their front man.

Count me out.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Interviews From Hell Part 1

(This is a relatively long post due to my need to vent. Sorry about that!)

Last week was simply too draining to write in my blog. I went through two interviews from hell.

Let me add that my current job is still limping along, but I'm looking for something more fast paced and exciting and that is why I'm looking: I'm tired of stagnation.

I will start with the first interview, which I am happy to say that I turned down, as it was totally craptastic.

I had received a call from someone who had seen my resume, and he wanted to schedule an interview at a nearby hotel to consider me for a partnership position. This sort of thing isn't uncommon: Sometimes owners or hiring managers will fly down to do a spate of interviews and the hotel setting is the most convenient.

When I showed up, I saw a very flashy elderly gentleman; obviously a Donald Trump wannabe. He had white roots, and the remainder of his hair was dyed a flat walnut brown. He wore it in thick waves. He was sporting a pair of Cartier glasses, flashy capped teeth, and had so many wrinkles it was hard to tell what he originally had looked like.

"Donald" was wearing a grey cashmere sweater over slacks, and was sporting a pair of gentleman's dress boots which I haven't seen since the 1970s. He obviously saw himself as a true sartorial wonder.

We chatted briefly, and he asked me to fill out a form. I did so, but omitted my social security number deliberately: You never know who you're dealing with.

He asked me to accompany him to his suite upstairs, and I didn't have any problems with that. The girls at the desk knew I was there for an interview (I had asked them where he was when I entered the lobby), and he left his door wide open to the hallway.

We settled down, and he asked me to tell him a little about myself. "Well," I began, "What would you like to know? Personal or professional?"

"Anything, anything," he said breezily.

I had just begun to tell him a little bit about myself when he interrupted me. "That reminds me of..." Donald began, and he was off and running. This was typical of the entire interview: He wanted to know little to nothing about me, but he was most anxious to preen himself and let me know how amazingly desirable he was.

During the course of my "interview", Donald told me that:

1. He had two ex-wives, both of them "beauty queen gorgeous".

2. He was currently divorced from Ex-Wife #2, but claims he still lives with her simply for the convenience of it.

3. He once told Ex-Wife #2 that he would leave her if she kept whining about how he still loves Ex-Wife #1. Ex-Wife #2's "petty jealousy" was getting under his skin.

4. He says that Ex-Wife #1 wants him back, because she married a man that is 25 years older. I did some investigation when I got home. If her new hubby is 25 years older than Donald, he is 95 years old.

5. Donald brought Ex-Wife #1 flowers and a cake for his son's birthday a couple of days ago. Even though he keeps assuring Wife #2 that he has no interest in Numero Uno. And then he went to the diner up the street, where the owner has supposedly been dying to date him. He lost her phone number, so he decided to drive over there in person, instead. I'm sure she was overjoyed.

6. Donald goes constantly to a nightclub for the local trailer park crowd called "New York, New York" and claims to be a regular.

7. Donald felt it important that I should know that he used to own a horse ranch north of here.

8. He was eager to tell me that he once hired friends who were lawyers, then promptly fired them when they cost him an account through error. The account's is supposedly worth was over a half a million dollars per year. The account was worth more than the friendship.

9. His last "Girl Friday" quit because she was getting married. He made it very clear that he didn't want another complication like that again. Those silly women, with their personal lives and such.

10. He used to golf a lot with the former owner of the Home Shopping Network: He was a "close, personal friend". So it might surprise Donald to learn that the guy doesn't golf. How do I know? I happen to know the former owner of the Home Shopping Network.

11. Even though the day of our interview was his son's birthday, Donald wasn't going to go to the birthday party. Instead, he was going to the bar for the evening. As Donald said dismissively, he'd already sent his kid a present.

12. Those marvelous Cartier glasses and the BMW that Donald drives are 100% his, and they are there to impress. Additionally, he will not do business with anyone who doesn't drive a BMW. Apparently if you don't drive a BMW, you have not arrived.

13. His favorite drink is beer. It used to be wine. He stopped drinking mixed drinks when he once had so many rum and cokes that he couldn't stand up when it came time to get up. Another important factoid I couldn't live without.

14. He had bragged to me (twice) that he had another candidate and he had been able to get her best friend to cough up the fact that her husband was a cocaine addict. He felt this made her a less-than-desirable prospect.

15. He claims he makes millions of dollars a year, and those who work for him will also do extremely well. I admit that this is the only appealing thing that I heard.

At the beginning of the interview, Donald mentioned that he had pulled his shoulder out. Because I saw no harm in it, I told him I knew of an excellent massage therapist (my friend Lisa). Due to all his "ladies' man" talk, I later warned him that Lisa was off-limits: She doesn't date clients.

So when Donald called Lisa to make his first appointment, he thought he was being clever when he told her that he was an ex-boyfriend of hers. Once that little prank fell flat, he added that I said they couldn't date, as they both were too crazy.

Lisa didn't bite (which must have disappointed him) but she did schedule him for a massage the next morning. She needs the business, and she is able to deal with wackos.

I had already decided I didn't want to work with this idiot, so I was formulating a "Thanks But No Thanks" letter when she called me the next day to let me know that Donald had told her he wasn't sure if I had enough fire, and asked a lot of prying questions about me (just as he had done with his other candidate).

That was it. I sent him a letter that was a real eye-opener (if he had the guts to read it). Strangely enough, when I researched his company I saw that Wife #2 seems to be the owner of the company. As I sent the letter to their generic email address, she may have seen it before he had a chance to delete it.

"You asked me what my main motivator was, and my answer was "money". You said that was the right answer, and this was your main motivator too. But you didn't listen when I said what my other motivators are. In fact, I doubt you could tell me what I said. What you didn't understand is that money is only my main motivator in a job. I want money, and the more money the better, but this is balanced by my sense of professional and personal ethics. I must also work with people that I can respect.

Do I have fire? Yes. As I told you during our interview, I have plenty of fire. And I have fire enough to tell you that your position isn't right for me."