Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

What's with that?

It isn't easy, job hunt, Snarky

The kids have gone, leaving a too-quiet house and a nearly empty refrigerator. Our Thanksgiving was warm, loving, and caloric: I hope yours was too. And for possibly the first time, my driveway is the cleanest one on the block. Unemployment has to be good for something.

Still, my best Zenish-Quakerish lovingkindness seems a little depleted. I'm feeling cranky. So I invite you to join me in listing the what's-with-that irritations in your life.

What's with the couple in the matching outdoor bathtubs in the Cialis ad?

Vista. I have three words for you, Microsoft: control - alt - delete. Those Mac ads are so right.

Added Headline: Dow plunges as recession is declared. Erm, HELLO?! Where have you been?

Women's retail. This is Wisconsin, people. It's 60 degrees indoors and 20 outside. Semi-nakedness just doesn't work here this time of year. And the purpose of hats and gloves is to keep a body warm. I asked the clerk at Kohl's why we had to scavenge in the men's department to find something that might protect us from the elements. She smiled and said, "Oh, we get that all the time. But it's not fashionable." What's not fashionable? Having all your fingers left at the end of the day?
And if you "get that all the time," wouldn't you think there might be a market for it? If you aren't selling your stuff, could it be that it's not the right stuff? Listen to your customers: you can call it "market research," since "customer service" is mainly about illusions for most companies.
Finally, what's with electronic job applications? It sounds like a good idea, but most programs don't have a good way of letting applicants know where they stand. I found out that one of my applications hadn't made it to the department that was hiring, and since it was a job for which I was well qualified, I called the human resources department. An answering machine took my messages, but no one returned my calls. So I showed up in person to ask if there'd been a mistake. 

"But you're already an employee here," the young woman said after disappearing into a back office for a moment. "Our rule is that you can't apply for a transfer until you've been here a year."

"No. I used to work here, and I do occasional consulting here, but I'm not an employee. And if you're counting the consulting, I've been doing that for a couple years."

Another visit to the back office. "Well, our rules say that you can't hold two jobs here at the same time."

"But I don't have a job here: I'm a casual contractor. If I get the job I won't do that anymore or we'll work it out as an interdepartmental exchange."

"Well, you can't move from one part-time job to another one."

"This is a full-time job I'm applying for."

Again, a trip to the back of the office suite. "Our recruiter says that it's like a part-time job that we were hiring for."



"Here's a hard copy of my cover letter, resume, and explanation of what I think happened with my application. Can you give this to the person who can straighten this out?"

"We don't accept paper applications."


It took two days, but the application was sent along. I think. That's what they told me, anyway.



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