Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quote o' the Moment - Intent to Deceive

"There are some things that are simply not Wiccan. Any spiritual path that celebrates them, and calls itself Wicca anyway, is doing so with the intent to deceive. And a religion that starts out lying to you about what it is isn't likely to be healthy to seekers and other living things."

-Rosemary Edghill

Friday, April 23, 2010

Y? Because I said so. Now get back to work.

My company is in the midst of a hiring blitz, and I ended up in charge of interviewing prospective candidates for my department. I was initially thrilled at the idea, picturing myself handpicking an elite cadre of editorial assistants, and I was even happier at the number of résumés pilling up on my desk—I figured I’d have talented new team members installed in cubicles within days, if not hours.

And then I started the actual interview process, and oh dear Gods please rescue me from this hellish fate.

The positions I need to fill are entry-level and advertised as “excellent opportunities for recent college grads.” So recent college grads are applying. Which means I’ve spent the last month wishing I could somehow go back in time and mass sterilize the potential parents of Generation Y. The kids coming in to meet with me are intelligent; they’ve got degrees in English and Communication; they are very good writers; and not a damn one of them can follow direction.

As part of the interview, they have to take an editing test, which involves reading through a two-page article and correcting the spelling and punctuation errors. “Don’t try to rewrite the article,” I tell them. “Just focus on spelling and punctuation. There’s no deadline involved, so please take all the time you need. Oh, and here’s a dictionary. Again, don’t rewrite the article.”

So what do they do? All together now…

They rewrite the article. Every freakin’ bit of it. And in their zeal to upgrade the wording and rearrange sentences, they overlook almost all of the EYE-GOUGINGLY OBVIOUS SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION ERRORS.

Actually, wait, before I start punching walls, let me go back and clarify something. It’s not a matter of “can’t follow direction” as much as it is “won’t follow direction." And I say this because I manage an entire group of Gen Y’ers, and trying to train them to do their jobs in the manner expected of them is akin to Underworld tortures generally reserved for treacherous Greek kings.

It doesn't bother me that my employees lack experience: That will change with... well, experience. But they're inexperienced and self-entitled and put far too much energy into coming up with unrealistic ways to "improve" how our department operates, not realizing that if they'd do their damn jobs, our department would run just fine. And I honestly used to think there was just something up with the people who were attracted to our want ads, like maybe we phrased the text in a way that suggested the job was perfect for unmotivated, micromanagement fetishists. Now, though, I'm beginning to suspect it truly is a generational issue, in which case I am simply unwilling to accommodate it.

Co-Witch K. and I had a discussion about managing Gen Y employees a few months back, after she'd read a "how to" article on the subject. "The author came up with some tips that I think you'd find very effective," she said. "For instance, let's say someone comes in for an interview, and he's perfect for the job. You really want to offer him the position, but unfortunately, he doesn't want to work on Wednesdays, because he goes surfing every Wednesday. Instead of passing him over, you could compromise and tell him he can take Wednesdays off as long as he comes in on Saturdays."

"Why would I offer a job to someone who tells me he doesn't want to work on Wednesdays?" I asked.

"Well, like I said, he's perfect for the job," she replied.

"Not if he won't come in on Wednesdays he's not," I spat. "I would never hire that guy. He's stupid and I hate him."

"Um, he kind of doesn't exist," she said, scooting away from me a little. "That was hypothetical."

"If he wants to surf that badly, he should become a professional surfer and get the hell out of my office."

"Alrighty, then. Here's your monkey."

Maybe I'm just getting crotchety in my old age. Maybe professionalism went through a paradigm shift when I wasn't paying attention, and now I just need to suck it up and lower revise my standards. And if this is the case, maybe I'll go right ahead and nurture a crippling narcotics dependency, because that's about the only thing that'll bolster me enough to slog through the next round of interviews.

Pray for me, Strifemongers. And send pills.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If my eyebrow doesn't stop twitching, I'm going to kill everyone.

Okay, so the title of this post is a little... um, psychopathic?  But I'm way behind on sleep, and my right eyebrow twitches whenever I'm exhausted.

And the twitching annoys the fuck out of me.  And chronic annoyance sends me to a place where I probably shouldn't be allowed to do grown-up things like drive through Houston traffic or speak.

More Strife soon. Promise. After sleep.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Now Playing: Pants On Fire

A conversation between myself and my buddy Smokey Q, who for some reason is not speaking to me at the moment:

Smokey Q - "Hey, we're going to go see Clash of the Titans in 3-D today. Want to come along?"

Me - "Nah, I've got too much stuff to take care of. Plus I don't know how I feel about that movie without Maggie Smith as Thetis. Thanks, though."

SQ - "I've actually never seen a 3-D movie before. We won't, like, need to bring our own glasses or anything, will we?"

Me - "Oh, no."

SQ - "Okay, so they'll give us glasses at the theatre."

Me - "No."

SQ - "I don't understand."

Me - "You just have to let your eyes go out of focus."

SQ - "Um... what?"

Me - "Remember those optical illusion posters that were so popular back in the 90's? It's like that."

SQ - "Please tell me you're joking."

Me - "The trick is to look at the screen without looking at the movie itself. Eventually, your eyes will adjust, and the three-dimensional images will come to the forefront."

SQ - "I... really don't want to see it now."

Me - "Oh, and also? They'll give you glasses at the theatre."

SQ - [stony silence]

Me - "But please let me know if Maggie Smith has a cameo."

SQ - "I hate you."

Coincidentally, none of my friends invite me to their poker nights anymore.
Go figger.