Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diary of the Unemployed: Common Courtesy

I know I’ve written in the past about common courtesy in the world of business communications, but it seems like things are just getting worse.  Especially when it comes to applying for jobs.  Are things so bad in our economy that all the power is with the HR people and they can dick around whoever they want?  Apparently so.

Let’s get this straight.  I put in the time and effort to look up your company.  Customize my resume.  Write a specific cover letter that addresses every need you have in the job description.  At least an hour of work on my part, often more.  All this for the 1% chance that you actually get back to me.  And it seems like it’s only about one in every hundred applications that does get back to me, whether it be yes or no.  Thank you to those companies, you’re obviously run better than those who can’t take five seconds to say “Sorry you’re not what we’re looking for” just so I’m not hanging on to that bit of faith that I might actually be your wage slave one day.  Hell, send me an automessage.  Just something to justify the careful work I put into honoring your company with my application.

What makes it worse is when these companies blow you off for an interview.  Especially without notice.  What, just because I’m unemployed means my time is worthless?  What the hell!?!  These days it’s imperative to spend hours of preparation for these interviews so you seem competent and actually know what the inner workings of the company are like.  Otherwise you’re going to be unprepared and seem like an idiot, especially when your competition has done this research.   What about the time it takes me to put on my suit and drive to your place, let alone the price of gas and dry cleaning these days?  It seems like this doesn’t concern the HR goons from these businesses.  They already have jobs, so why even give you a call to reschedule?

It would be one thing if an emergency came up, or they gave you advanced notice.  But that’s too much work for them.  Chances are they will not even call you until after the appointment, and you most likely have to call them first to find out what the fuck is going on. 

If they do reschedule, that’s still a disadvantage to me.  The research and preparation I have done is no longer fresh in my head.  Even if I re-study everything I have done, the momentum and energy I had is gone.  Now I have to move things aside, often at times inconvenient to me, just to fit them in for a second block of time.  On their end they could care less.

Don’t forget the emotional toll this has on the applicant.  I’m obviously not worth your time, even five seconds of it for a heads up that things need to be moved.  So that’s the mindset I am now going into the interview with…  I am not worth your time and you don’t care about me.  You’re basically giving me a pity interview at this point.  How do I take this seriously?  Why should I care about the company if this is how you treat people?

And you know what the worst part is?  I have to pretend like it didn’t happen.  I have to just be happy that I have the interview.  I have to be all nice and friendly about it and have the attitude that ‘oh, accidents happen, it’s not a big deal’.  I don’t even get so much as a ‘sorry’ when this happens, but they expect me to laugh it off and kiss their ass for the opportunity to interview with them.  I want to tell them that I demand an apology and a thank-you for my patience, but I’m pretty sure that will end the interview right there. 

And I also have to pretend that it doesn’t bother me when you can’t accommodate me to reschedule.  I actually had someone tell me “I can’t do it then, that’s my lunch time”.  Your lunch time?  You blew me off, made me waste an entire day of my life expecting this interview, and you can’t eat your fucking lunch an hour later?

Oh, and that in that case it was the second time they blew me off.  The first time the interviewer was in a meeting, and this time they simply put the wrong day on the calendar.  How the fuck do these HR idiots have jobs when they can’t even schedule people properly, and I can’t find shit for work?  FML, or better yet, fuck them…

So now I have an appointment with them at a future date.  Who knows if they’re going to actually go through with it this time…  I’m sick and tired of the lack of respect these companies show their applicants.  It’s rubbing it into our faces that companies have all the power in this economy and we mean nothing to them.  I’m thinking about using this interview to curse them out and show them just how upset we are when we get fucked over like this.  I mean, they already blew me off twice, I have to assume that I’m not being seriously considered for the job anyway…


Monday, February 13, 2012

Republicans, Wise Up!

Are Republicans just fucking crazy? It’s almost like they go out of their way to not make sense. Right now the hot debate is on whether birth control need be covered by health insurance. Now, I could see if their point was something like “as little should be covered as possible”… that would be a logical point that aligns with Republican philosophies. But that’s not the argument in this case. Instead, they’ve gone right to the big guns… that’s right… religion.

According to the current GOP candidates, this whole thing is about religious oppression. That’s right, OPPRESSION. They’re saying it almost as if the point of the mandate is to go out of our way to overthrow a religion. It’s the exact opposite. Denying people this service would be religious oppression. It’s like saying “my religion doesn’t allow this, so you can’t do it either”.

And just because your insurance covers birth control, doesn’t mean you have to take it. It’s as simple as not asking for it when you go to the doctor. Wow, that seems really hard. This law isn’t going to force pills down your throat, it just makes it easier for those who want it to get it.

Do you support coverage for AIDS? Herpes? Syphillis? Other STDs? You do? Good for you. Because that means you've been supporting FORNICATORS!!!  Last I checked that was against your religion too.  And those medications make your insurance costs skyrocket.  So why is it such a big deal to include one more inexpensive pill? Is being a hypocrite part of your religion too?

It’s funny, the same people who denounce insurance companies for offering birth control are the same people who demand that Viagra is covered. Well, I just hope every time you have old man sex it is for procreation. Sinner…

So you know what? Make it optional for insurance to cover birth control. After all, there won’t be any consequences. Like abortions. Yes, I’m sure there will be fewer abortions if women can’t just take a pill or a shot to prevent their pregnancy. Come on Republicans, pick one, birth control or abortion. You can’t get rid of them both.

Republicans, it’s time you start making sense. Really, a lot of people have lost respect for your party because of bullshit like this. Stop making things a religious agenda. We have religious freedom here in America, which means yours doesn’t get to make the rules. No religion does. So stop trying to force everyone else to live by it. If you spent more time coming up with logical explanations than faith-based proclamations, people might begin taking your politics seriously again…


Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well, I have to say, after reporting on the failures of higher education, my Alma (beta?) Mater is making me proud.  The hot topic this week is this whole discrimination debate at Vanderbilt.  To make the story short, the school put in writing the rule that any school-funded club must be open to anyone within the student body, and that leadership positions are open to all.  This includes religious and cultural clubs.  

Yes, Vanderbilt actually had to make this a rule.  You’d think this would be something that would be understood, especially at one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation.  But now, these clubs are in an uproar, calling it religious discrimination.

Discrimination?!?  How?  The school is saying that their clubs are open to all.  So if anything, this prevents discrimination.  Religious clubs are saying it interferes with their ability to practice their religion.  So how does this interfere?  If someone from outside your religion wants to know more about your culture, why exclude them?  Isn’t teaching others about your religion considered a good thing?  In fact, don’t many religions require it?  Preach the Gospel! Convert the heathens!  Now they argue that they should exclude people from discovering their religion and improving themselves through it… I mean, haven’t some religions gone so far as declaring war in order to convert people? 

One of my favorite things about Vanderbilt is the diverse mix of cultures of the student body.  We had students and faculty from all inhabited continents, with a number of clubs catering to each.  Any time there was a meeting, it was open to anyone and everyone interested in learning or participating.  White students showed up to lectures held by the Black Students Association.  Christians attended seminars comparing modern ethics to Jewish Talmudic law, just for the intrigue of history.  In fact, we had clubs for the specific purpose of matching us up with other students to learn about each others’ culture.  We stressed diversity in our classes and made sure our groups were ethnically diverse whenever possible.  The faculty encouraged us to travel abroad and attend career fairs aimed towards minorities.  Maybe things are different in the graduate program, but I never felt that there was an air of discrimination when it came to activities.   

Discrimination does not represent Vanderbilt, and these religious clubs crying ‘religious oppression’ should be ashamed of themselves.  Are they afraid that they’re going to be taken over?  They can kick people out if they are being disruptive.  Are they worried that ‘non-believers’ are going to work their way into their leadership?  No, because they still need to be voted in by the members.  If they’re worried about ceremonies being led by an outsider, the individuals need not vote them in.  Why automatically disqualify someone who is offering to help promote your beliefs?  Hopefully the members will pick the most qualified person, not base things on the line of creed or color.

I have heard the theory that these clubs are just trying to exclude gay students, and under this rule they will not be able to.  Fuck these hatemongers if they are.  Regardless of whether this is their main agenda, if this rule is something that bothers the groups that much, they are more than welcome to leave the school.  And if you say that’s being discriminatory, it’s not, because we’re holding these clubs to the same ideals and regulations of the dozens of other clubs, including the 32 of 36 cultural-based clubs not protesting this matter.  We want to be associated with a culture of tolerance, not hatred. 

If these clubs want to be able to ban certain students, they should think about this…  How would they feel if, perhaps, the school newspaper and radio station clubs started excluding Republicans?  Yeah, don’t think they’d like that very much.  So why is it ok for them to discriminate?  

Are we forgetting that this is a private school, and all clubs are subject to the rules of the school?  The school is enforcing the rules of fairness and equality.  They are giving you the right to organize to practice your religion – as a school approved entity.  One that receives funding or uses facilities paid for by all students.  Isn’t that a good thing?  You just have to accept all interested students and let them run for position if they feel so inclined.  Vanderbilt doesn’t have to support any cultural clubs.  So take their generous offer and run with it.  Spread the words of your culture and let everybody grow from them.  Love thy neighbor.  And do onto others as you’d have done to you.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why drug testing is bad, mmkay...

So I was going through my backlogs and found this article from my previous site "". The site has since gone down, but I wanted to salvage this passage because it is a very important issue, especially for those of us looking for jobs. Soon enough, local governments are going to try to drug test even those collecting welfare, a measure which would seem fair, if it wasn't for testing being unethical in the first place. This was written to appeal to both employers and employees, so don't mind the conservative tone. The following is my report:

Imagine this... you're a college senior who spent the last 16 years of life studying hard, getting good grades, and trying to be successful in your upcoming career. Like the vast majority of college students, you make time to enjoy the social aspects of college. You have the qualifications to get a job at your #1 company and get through several rounds of interviews. But in the end, you get rejected... Why? Because at a party a few weeks before, you smoked a joint with some friends.

This happens every day in our business world where companies have the right to test employees for drug use whenever they want.Often it is a condition of employment, but at times could be random, for no reason, and at a moment's notice.

We are not and in no way condoning on the job drug use. Your company is paying you for your time, and deserves your full unadulterated attention. But when the work day is done, your time should be yours and yours alone... Your company does not own you and should not be making decisions for you.

This creates an ethical grey area in workplace relations. The purpose of the site is to allow companies and employees alike the ability to announce whether an applicant should expect to be tested. We serve both as a caution to employees and as a way for companies to prevent unwanted applications from users who do not fit their culture. Until legislation prevents unwarranted testing, the best people can do is stay informed.


Some of the reasons why employment drug testing is unethical, and why this site exists:

  • Just as your company has the legal right to drug test you, you have a right to know if they are going to invade your privacy. The 4th Amendment of the Constitution protects against random and unprovoked search and seizure. However, this right does not extend into the workplace.

  • Drug tests do not test for intoxication, rather past usage at an arbitrary time.  

  • Should recreational users be kept out of jobs, only to have more time, unproductive time, on their hands to do more drugs?  

  • These rules were set in place during an era of propaganda, before we had enough true information make judgments about how drugs affect one's health behavior when not under the influence.  

  • Making responsible users second-class citizens. While companies push for open, diverse cultures, they isolate a major one. One that could potentially open additional markets. Usage is tolerated and accepted in some areas despite its illegality.  

  • Laws are changing to make certain drugs legal. Drug tests, especially random tests, prevent prominent people from speaking up for reformation, thus keeping them taboo and illegal.

  • Some drugs tested for are legal in certain areas. A vacation in Amsterdam where one does as the locals do could potentially cost you your job.

  • These tests do not discriminate between recreational users and medicinal users. And yes, people CAN be denied hire, or even fired for taking medication under doctor's orders.

  • Your medical history is not the business of your company. We have strict HIPPA laws that prevent any communication about one's medical history outside of the doctor-patient bond. Employment drug screening defies this law.  

  • Drug tests can reveal other medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy) and legal medications for common disorders (i.e. depression), things that could secretly prevent an otherwise perfect candidate from getting hired

  • Random tests can be a mask for terminating someone for alternate reasons. Don't like a co-worker (for example, say, the black one) who you know partakes once in a while outside of work? Make an accusation and watch them get fired for drugs instead!

  • Marijuana, the most commonly used and least dangerous of intoxicants legal or illegal stays in your system the longest. Harsher drugs are out of one's system within 2-3 days. So these tests typically just uncover pot users, which should rationally be of no concern to a company. Alcohol is significantly worse for one's health than most drugs, and can cause obvious after effects at work even 24 hours after consumption. Yet almost no companies have a policy saying an employee can't drink on their free time.

  • False positives can ruin a person. Food one eats, medicine one takes, and elemental exposure can all cause a clean sample to test positive.

  • Signs of intoxication are obvious and effect performance. If one is not performing to standards, they shouldn't keep their job. But if performance is not affected, why test?


This stated, here are the benefits this site can bring to your business:

  • Let people know you test, as a warning. Users will not apply for your jobs, saving the time and expense of interviewing and testing someone who will just fail your drug test
  • It will encourage people who know they want to work for you to NOT partake
  • If you don't test, be proud of it. Announce that you respect your employee's right to privacy when they are on their own time. You are opening yourself up to many qualified candidates another company casts aside for a non-work-related reason.
  • Let your company give a reason for their testing. It wouldn't be fair to list reasons why drug testing is bad without giving the company a reason to voice their side. While we feel most testing is unwarranted, there may be instances where there are legitimate reasons why a company tests employees. Now you can explain why.


Once again, we do not condone the illegal use of drugs while on the job, but if you choose to partake, you have a right to stay safe. Enjoy the site, and best of luck on your job hunt!