Friday, July 09, 2010

advice for the under employed.

I have no advice for you.


stay off craigslist. no one has money there either.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

damn you, craigslist!!!

Looking for work is not a fun thing to do.

I've tried tricking myself into believing that it is some sort of adventure, but I'm through with that. It's just a lie.

Craigslist, workopolis, jobboom,, Linkedin... none are satisfying my needs. They promise to set me up with a employers with little more effort than the several hours it takes to figure out their website, upload a resume, re-format said resume, correct their server's errors at interpreting re-formatted resume, and then apply to the two or three suggestions for work that pop up.

And then wait.

Then receive updates from these many services (minus Craigslist... and I'll get to that in a minute) that all refer you to jobs in Toronto when you live in Vancouver.

Worse than that is the less than helpful advice you get from people regarding the job search, such as "take a couple of days off and come back to it." "have you tried [insert cute job/career word play here] .com?" "What about some volunteer work?"

Ahhh, friends and family. I know that you mean well. I appreciate the help. But I've already read the books. The ones that promise results, that show you how to polish an already over thought out resumé, and the ones that suggest a positive outlook no matter what.

Well, positive outlook be damned.

I'm not the glass is half empty guy, or a glass is half full guy. I'm the there is a glass and it has some milk in it guy... which is to say, I like to think I'm the realistic one that tries to see things for what they are. Such an attitude has served me well and usually made me laugh along the way.

But I've not been laughing much this last week.

My latest annoyance is with the infamous Craigslist. While I find the site ugly and largely disappointing, there have been some interesting opportunities of late that I've eagerly shot of a link to my website and, if I feel comfortable or desperate for the job, I'll even include my resumé.

Usually there is not business name or direct contact info given, so I never really know who to address the email to. This is a big no no according to every get a job style book I've read, but there is little advice on how to get around this. Why? Because the people who write those books have been employed for some time and it is exceptionally easy to give pointless advice when they haven't had to do what the job seeker has to do in a very long time. If they had, they ironically wouldn't qualify to write the book.

I assume the Craigslist users are looking for actual employees. I have to, otherwise I'd cry myself to sleep.

So to those of you advertising on Craigslist for employees, if you actually want employees as opposed to slaves, or my resumé to call you own, here are some hints:

1. List your company name and at least a contact name. It doesn't even have to be your real name if you are that paranoid. If you want my resumé, I need to know what it is your company does.

2. Tell me what you want. What you really really want. The job title isn't really enough. What job do need done? Is it a contract? Are you willing to pay me properly? Even if you are making porno, I don't mind. I won't judge. I just need to know if I'm the one person you can use up front.

3. Know what is a fair amount to pay and let me know what you can afford up front. I am tired of telling you my hourly rate for contract work, and hearing nothing... I assume it is too expensive. I can change that if you sweeten the offer... but 10 bucks an hour is not going to get you a video editor/ camera guy/photographer.... Can't pay rent for that.

4. DO NOT say this job is for recent grads from design school or design students. That means that you don't want to pay a fair price. Just because it is a visual communication service that looks like tons of fun to you, realize that it is my work and it is not a game to me. I enjoy it, but remember that I was a firefighter for a good long time and loved the work, but I still got paid for most of those hours. You probably wouldn't like it if I asked you to file my taxes for free because you seem to love doing it, or were still one course shy of getting some sort of certificate. You wouldn't go to a law student to represent you in a murder trial to save some dough, so don't expect a busy student to work for nothing and put up with your abuse. Because that is what it is when you don't pay a fair price; abuse.

Finally, and this is my biggest point of contention:

5. Even if you do not choose me for your contract or longer term job, do me the professional courtesy of letting me know not to wait all day for your email or phone call, cause you found someone else. I'd rather you destroy my hope while it is still early in the week instead of no word at all. Remember, I put in the time to read your ad, compose a cover letter, despite often rude 'demands' (one can be clear in what you want without being nasty) and send you a resumé, fully trusting that you have a job on offer and that I'd be a match for the position.

Don't like giving bad news? Well, toughen up, buttercup. From the tone of this post you can tell that I've had to. If I fell short of your expectations, no worries. I understand. You owe me some sort of reason for not going forward with me on board. We aren't dating. It isn't a breakup and I promise not to turn it into a confrontation.

Now I hear you whining that you don't have time to respond to all applicants.

Yes you do.

You put the ad up. You got a lot of responses. You can send out one email to the rest letting them know the position is filled and thank you for your time.

This is the time of the internet and fast computers. You think I enjoy this job search? Do you find it funny to promise to get back to someone and then don't follow through?

Well it isn't funny. Not at all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Year of the Carnivore.

Year of the Carnivore opens today. You should go see it for various reasons.

Jian Ghomeshi and Sook-Yin Lee chat about it. Hate to get all gushy, but they are the most pleasant part of CBC.

jerk of the week award.

I now have a new blog. It is professional and looks somewhat corporate and by that I mean clean and not offensive.

Not wanting to be offensive to prospective clients, that could follow a secret link here anyway, I don't feel it entirely appropriate to write about the controversial stuff that rattles about my head. I would like to, but I am keeping this blog alive to allow me somewhere to scream at the information super highway as the proverbial trucks speed by not listening.

I still see the internet in that metaphor of superhighway, because that is how it is treating me... making me feel, lately, like the lonely pedestrian/desperate hitchhiker.... (as in, please pull over and pick up, metaphorically, of course, and hand me a job, in real life, of course).

Even though my opinions written here can now be easily traced to my real name, I choose not to care anymore. Prospective clients who have wandered here by mistake, be warned, and don't hold my opinions against offering me a pay check. Aren't we all owed a little freedom of speech on this internet thing?

The following is today's episode of me screaming into a box with a screen. Good luck to me.

I'm pissed off at how our little/big country treats canadian television and film. This past week, this JERK OF THE WEEK decides to call Canadian television shit. All of it. Oh, except Heartland, which I'm forced to admit that I haven't watched. I haven't watched this one because I don't care about a drama about rich kids and horses, so I have no idea if it is actually good or not. Cute and self serving that the minister chose an Alberta production.

Alberta Culture Minister, Lindsay Blackett (I'm sure some will think this an oxymoronic position... but Alberta does have culture. I know. I grew up there.) isn't exactly worthy of listening to about such matters. He is wholly under qualified for both his position and his comments. But like many Alberta politicians, past and present, he has taped into how many in this country feel, really feel without the usual filters applied to polite conversation with neighbours.

According to the CBC website carrying this story, and the many irrational comments left behind (I'm not sure those writing the comments are the same people who listen to CBC radio), nearly 63% of canadians tend to agree that Canada's television programming sucks.

I ask those of you who believe this to please answer in my comments, in comparison to what?

American television? The nation that creatively brought us Full House for an entire 8 seasons?

You read that right. I even looked it up on wikipedia.

There is something very comforting about canadian tv. While Airwolf and The A-Team were being made, here in Canada we already had the Beachcombers. I hear you laughing even before I post this, but stop and watch the Beachcombers, laugh at how stupid it is no that you are an adult. Now watch the A-Team or Macgyver. Guess what? Just as crappy.

Furthermore, many of that so called brilliant American television had to come up here to film. Thus much of the talent in American television may in fact be borrowing heavily from Canada anyway. Many of the writers of Friends were Canadian. Samantha Bee and her husband are both Canadians working for the Daily Show. (And they worked together brilliantly in the also under rated genius film Cooper's Camera).

I will agree that there is some rotten television created here. Some of it is just awful in my eyes and it is usually because some moron has decided we need to highlight the fact that something is canadian. Hence hockey references thrown in randomly, Good Cop, Bon Cop, I'm looking at you. Or some over the top reference to Tim Horton's out of context. When I see that sort of thing, I can't help but imagine that kid from grade school with her hand up for every question. It appears to be clever, but really is not at all.

From the comments I can tell that many are basing the performance on what people are watching. I'm not sure that is the best measure. Granted, ratings do matter, but the masses are often wrong, and they are wrong now. Just because you decide not to watch and instead would rather watch COPS on the Fox network, or something about little people on what passes for a Learning channel down there (Oh TLC, what were you thinking? Will you air anything with a dwarf in it now?) does not mean that the homegrown shows aren't at least as good, and possibly better.

So to those of you who feel that somehow we are missing out on quality television, let me make you a list of canadian produced television, and realize that you are wrong in your tired little assessment.

1. Kids in the Hall - It came from here. A comedy troupe and then a show and then an under rated movie followed by a recent return to CBC this past year.

2. Twitch City - the best television comedy I have ever watched. Sadly it was neglected by too many and was cancelled. If you are a friend living nearby I will gladly lend you my DVD copy to convince you.

3. Trailer Park Boys - I used to watch this in a room filled to over flowing with forestry workers trapped in Hinton, Alberta. No one dared to suggest it wasn't the best television of the week.

4. Corner Gas - innocent and silly, but I usually giggle at some point.

5. The Red Green Show - I got bored of this at a certain point, but it was still successful even in the United States. I would think the red neck appeal alone would end this little argument.

6. Adderly - Perhaps this one escapes you, but I used to love spy dramas and this one was also sold to the US. It's lifespan of two seasons was the fault of no promotion, not because it was bad. It was very good for it's time.

7. The Beachcombers - granted this does not stand the test of time... but when I was little, it was the best television ever.

8. SCTV - Sooo much talent flew out of this production. Yes, this was fully a canadian venture and launched onto the world the modern buddy comedy in the form of everyone's two favourite hosers, Bob and Doug MacKenzie. Here is the rich irony; they were created solely because the government insisted on Can Con (canadian content) which mandated how much obvious canadian culture is on screen. This is controlled by very uncreative people who probably are responsible for much canadian television turning to shit because they want the obligatory shot of a hockey stick in a show about doctors... or take an american show and 'canadianize it'. It only worked for SCTV because the boys were mocking the whole premise. And let that be a lesson to all of us; mock rules that make no sense, because one never knows what will come out of it.

9. Death Comes to Town - I alluded to it with the Kids in the Hall entry because I forgot the name of the show. Brilliant work.

10. Danger Bay - same quality as Beachcombers and filmed only a short ferry trip away... but it made me want to be a vet as a child... a dream I abandoned due to bad study habits and, well most medical jobs involve shit. I'm not a fan of shit.

11. Four on the Floor - genius comedy. All those guys have disappeared into producer roles, I think. I'm sure they feel quite hurt by the thought that Canadian television is getting such an undeserved bad rap.

12. The Friendly Giant - This was where my love of television began. It was fully canadian. No purple dinosaurs. No baby einsteins. Just an effeminate rooster in a bag, a giant with a love of antique furniture and a strange giraffe. Loved and truly missed. I would watch it today if I could.

13. Mr. Dressup - I think I wept when he died a few years ago.

14. Degrassi Junior High - although I'm giving away my age a bit, I grew up at the same rate as the kids on the show did. So I ended up living their issues in real time. The first original version was full of real looking goofy kids with zits and problems that matched mine... though I wasn't getting girls pregnant.

15. The Nature of Things - how can you mock this show. It is hosted by David Suzuki. Enough said. America wishes they could have this.

16. The Passionate Eye - timely documentaries. Canada has always been a leader in documentaries long before that hack Michael Moore picked up a camera. The NFB was born here and has nearly always had something on the Oscar short list.

17. The Tom Green Show - good experimental television.

This is only a list of the anglophone programs that I have loved. The francophone list is equally as interesting and I'm not even including all the other shows that I haven't watched.... because I also need to get away from the tv now and again.

If you've scrolled down this far, you'll notice that I do love me my Canadian television and I will admit that there is a heap of shit out there. But that is true no matter where your programs are coming from, and it should be fairly noted, that it is a matter of perspective.

So shame on you, Mr Blacknett, and the rest of you commenters who claim that canadian television is bad because it requires subsidies. Not a measure of good or bad at all. It does indicate that you are all turning the dial because the show is canadian irrespective of the quality. You kids don't even wait for the opening credits to finish rolling before you change the channel to a re-run of 3 and Half Men. Just cause you don't bother watching, doesn't mean it isn't good stuff.

You all are on my list of very short sighted, narrow minded jerks.

why wasn't my high school experience like that?

I didn't create any of the above. I just like it.

Here is who did.

Réalisateur: Jérémie Saindon
Directeur photo: Christophe Collette
Directrice artistique: Valérie-Jeanne Mathieu
Styliste: Olivia Leblanc
Coiffure/ Maquillage: Antonio Corral
Directrice de production: Véronique Denis
Producteur: David Valiquette

Friday, June 04, 2010

when the bell rings... just go to my new website.

I made a website.

I talked about making the website for months... years, really.

But now I made it.

It's not like this blog.

It's all professional and shit.

Here it is:

See how clever a name that is? Like smith and wesson but not exactly.

I could work in advertising.

Maybe hire me.

And when the bell rings call the fire dept. OR police.

You decide.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

feeding ducks.

I am not afraid of the rain.

I like to feed ducks in the rain.

I probably break rules by feeding the ducks in the rain.

All of those sentences make me happy individually and together.