Thursday, August 10, 2006

Important Job-seeking Advice

Don't let your phone get shut off.

The position is filled, and I will never know if they tried to call me.

Damn, that was stupid.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Feeling nostalgic

I keep meaning to write a long, ranty open letter to Israel about Lebanon, but I'm feeling a bit of nostalgia at the moment and I have someone on my mind and they won't get off.

Maybe it's the letdown from being on vacation and coming home to large range of crappy problems. See, I dealt with crappy problems everyday on vacation, things like "Oh my god it's Friday night and we only have 50 pesos (5 bucks) till the bank opens on Monday" and "What do you mean you want 450 pesos for a room with no hot water or air conditioning" and the most frequent of our problems (because the naughty prof is a veggie) "Can we see a menu? Do you have anything without meat? No, without chicken or pork too- sin animales por favor? Are your beans made with oil or lard?" I never thought I would have to know the name for lard in Spanish- but if you're wondering it's manteca. Mantequilla (which is butter) is kinda like little lard.

But those are fun problems really. I like the feeling of throwing yourself to the wind in a place where your normal language skills and cultural knowledge have to be stretched and pushed to their absolute limits, like silly putty on newspaper. But being home means a list of time consuming, mundane problems that that just keep coming. No amount of creativity or brain power will solve them. I have to use the skill I suck most at- patience.

So in the midst of all this I distract myself with thoughts of someone I shouldn't be thinking of. So to distract myself from my distraction- I am planning next year's trip. Eastern Europe and all it's glory of pickled veggies and potato dishes, vodka that is not the craptastic stoli (which made the kick in my nightly malaria tonics- the only thing that has kept my royal ass from winding up laid out like a tropical heroine in a trashy romance novel) and somewhere- a church made entirely of human bones. I'm so excited. I made the suggestion of visiting all the cities considered to be the new Prague, but that would take a year.

So far the intinerary includes: Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, somewhere in Slovenia (naughty prof has a friend there) and maybe Dubrovnik, Croatia. And if we are going to be in Slovenia, then a quick trip to my favorite, non-touristy small Italian city is in order- Trieste- where coffee is brought into Europe and roasted and where James Joyce conceived Ulysses.

But thinking about Italy makes nostalgic thoughts worse- so maybe I will think of Fidel keeling over and travel restrictions finally being lifted. Cause if that happens- Eastern Europe will wait but Cuba is screaming my name. Until then- espero y sueno por Cuba libre (I wait and dream of free Cuba).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

DeeK's Resume

You and I may just be speaking to one another, but my response is a little too long for the comment box.

You may even know this one already. Network Commerce, DBA under many names such as and other names was a total sham. The executive assistant was fucking the slimy boss and everyone knew it. The CEO was a middle-aged black man, but if you were a pretty white girl in your 20s, you could probably get a high-paying job. Of course, the company was buring through start-up cash and offering nothing.

I get hired as a customer service rep, dealing with telephone and email. After a time, the company chose a new credit-card processing company to handle transactions, mostly based on the payment the company actually paid, in cash, for Network Commerce to try the system. In the long run, the new comapny did a good job, but people where I worked with did not know how to set up the new software properly. The resullt was that small-business owners were getting charged twice or thrice for the auto-pay tied to their credit cards. People were getting charged again because the new system was validating their payment incorrectly though funds were sufficient. After a second or third charge, banks of these customers were accessing insufficient fund fees and the like, and other purchases on the cards failed because of the bogus charges from my company. It took about two weeks to figure out where the problem came from, but of course all arrows pointed back to us.

We, of course, received an avalanche of angry emails, more than our six-person team could answer. Every phone call, if they got through, was venomous vitirol. The executive decision after a time was to basically erase about two weeks of email. People were calling in asking whether we had received their emails and we could likely answer honestly, no.

Eventually, the program was figured out and solutions applied, but what an adventure!

Man, that was long... Did I tell about my stint for the Urkranian Daily Newspaper?

Monday, August 07, 2006


I really hate writing resumes. But after the millionth or so fuck up with the payroll office of my current job, I think it is time I move on to someplace where pay checks are issued on regularly scheduled dates. My check was supposed to be issued on the 31st- it is now over a week late.

So as I am typing up my resume I am pondering all the crap jobs I've had. There was the horrible pathology lab where we got billing statements in plastic biohazard bags because some hapless lab tech had spilled a vial of god-knows-what on it. There was the job I had for an international company that I really liked, except that one of the sales reps was married to the boss and had a tendency to have screaming tantrums for no fucking reason whatsoever. You couldn't complain either- she actually said "You'll do it because I'm sleeping with your boss" to me.

And then there was the temp job where I met Deek and the Hoopty of the week was started. We were cubicle hamsters and to alleviate the boredom I was fond of starting rubber band wars and throwing bottle tops at co-workers. Someday I will have to tell the story of the "Y'all don't think I got a stack o'spreadsheets up under my desk" .

If any of you are still out there- hit me with your most craptastic job stories. Did you have to watch your boss change out of his gym clothes because he was to lazy to shut his office door (really happened) or listen to the same boss fuck his wife loudly on the stairs outside my office.

Hit me!