I have upset the balance of the Universe.

Anyone who knows me likely knows how anal I am. I not only have a container for everything, I have containers of containers, neatly labeled in Helvetica type, “Containers.” They are stacked on a shelf, along with other containers of valuable possessions — all neatly labeled — so I can find whatever I need whenever I happen to need it. I carry the expansive inventory in my head. (French milled soaps: attic; blue box; white cube shelves; second shelf to the right; middle.) I tried keeping an Excel spreadsheet of everything I owned and where it was, but the hours of upkeep it demanded required I eliminate sleep.

As you would imagine, many of my stored treasures have no immediate use. As a matter of fact, I have kept some items for 30 years before I desperately needed them. But when you suddenly have to have a black plastic squeeze bottle to hold dish soap so it will match the black counter in your kitchen, you are mightily proud of yourself when you pull one out of a box labeled “Travel Containers: Multi-colored.”

As anal I might be, I married a man who is even worse. (Alex is stored in the computer room, in a black chair, in front of two monitors. While his T-shirt says, “Koln, Germany” in big, bold letters, it should not be mistaken for a label.)

Not only is Alex persnickety about where things are, he is obsessively precise in his demands for order. When he ran a yarn shop, people admired his hundreds upon hundreds of bins of yarns, neatly stacked on shelves, each one bearing a label with the name of the yarn, the manufacturer, and the color of yarn in that box. Almost to a person they’d see the sight and exclaim, “I’ve never seen so much yarn…so neatly stored!” Some were so impressed, they’d write about Alex’s masterpiece of organization and order neatly disguised as a yarn shop. (Check out the Audknits blog.)

Neatly stacked bins of yarn

Neatly stacked bins of yarn

It was a constant frustration to Alex’s staff that every bin had to be perfectly aligned on the shelf…every little soldier in its proper place. If something were askew, you could be sure Alex would find it, fix it, and then remind us all once again that we needed to be more careful when we stored the bins.

One particularly disorganized staff member several times commented to me, “You and Alex are very well matched,”  thinking how clever she was to so sweetly deliver what she perceived as a supreme insult. Instead of letting on that I knew the intent, I’d gaze back blankly, blinking, as if I were truly as stupid as she believed. (I’ve grown accustomed to the smug demeanor of passive aggressives who think they earn bonus points for launching a stealth attack. The corporate world is filled with them. They forget that the corporate world is also rife with those who get stealth revenge.)

Anyway, surprising as it might seem, my mostly quiet, orderly world is sometimes shattered by a random event that sends both Alex and me into a tailspin. I offer, as an example, last Saturday evening. We were having a lovely time watching the sunset when Alex went into the kitchen to pour himself a beverage. The next thing I know, he calls me in and points to the sugar bowl in the cupboard.

“Why is this here?” he demanded.

“It’s always there,” I responded, not immediately sensing what was wrong. By “there” I meant, on the second shelf of the dish cupboard.

“It is not!” he exclaimed, furiously. “Look at it! It’s in front of the glasses! How can I get a glass out if the sugar bowl is in the way?”

Deb puts the sugar bowl in the wrong spot and creates havoc.

Deb puts the sugar bowl in the wrong spot and creates havoc.

Okay, he had me on that one. But, in my world, if I see something out of place, I just put it back where it belongs. I don’t expect an explanation of how the incident occurred, why it occurred, and how it will be resolved…along with a heartfelt apology and a promise to never let it happen again.

“Oh, for God’s sake, move it!” I retorted. I picked up the sugar bowl and slammed it into its correct, traditional location.

I didn’t like his tone; he didn’t like my snotty reaction to what was, evidently, a crisis.

“This is chaos!” he exclaimed, throwing up his arms. “I cannot live in chaos!”

Chaos? Chaos is people rioting the streets. Chaos is airplanes falling out of the sky. Chaos is not the sugar bowl, which you can see, carelessly (and perhaps even maliciously) placed to the right of the cow creamer. Well, not in my world, anyway.

Order is returned to the universe.

Order is returned to the universe.

It took a while for both of us to get over the incident and the residual anger and resentment that ensued…and I’m not sure even today that Alex has completely forgiven me for so carelessly (and inconsiderately) putting the sugar bowl where it clearly didn’t belong.

I still bristle when I think of how appalled he was over an 8″ misalignment in the universe. And he is probably still recovering from teetering so closely on the precipice of disaster. (And this from a man who doesn’t believe in the Higgs-Boson!)

I mean, it’s not like the Closet Crisis of 1983 when I put one of his casual shirts into his dress shirt closet…or the Sock Disaster of 2012 when a sport sock was found in his dress sock drawer. His outrage on those two occasions was perfectly understandable. Wasn’t it?

I’m sure we’ll both get over this horrific incident. Eventually. But until that time, I’m going to be extra careful. And just to make sure that the universe is back and on the right track, today I’ll be realigning my summer blouses according to sleeve length. And then into subsets by color in the order they appear on the color chart ROYGBIV. You know…maybe that woman was right. Maybe we are very well matched.

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How not to communicate effectively.

One of the first things I was taught about effective communication is, “It’s not what you say. It’s what they hear.”

So when my brother used to say, “You’re an ugly, bony lesbian skank who looks like a cross between Olive Oyl and Alice the Goon,” I knew what he really intended to say was, “Please, could you pass me the salt?”

I knew this because he was my brother and we’d spent our lives learning precisely what to say to one another. Thus, I’d respond swiftly and definitively to his request – by picking up the salt shaker and pelting it so hard that if I’d had better aim, his skull would now be bolted together.

You see, each one of us has our own unique way of communicating, and it’s incumbent upon us to try to figure one another out. Then, we can engage in dialog with our family, friends and colleagues in terms they will understand – according to their vocabulary, intelligence and experience. We can ensure that whatever we say passes through their own complicated filters to become what it is we wanted them to hear.

Most of us know this intuitively. We use small words and simple sentences for children… obscure multi-syllabic phraseology (with footnotes) for academics…and idiotic sing-songy rhetorical questions for our cats. We’ve learned with experience that if we communicate at the level of our audience, they’ll get it.

Most of the time.

There are occasions when what we’re saying is being filtered and interpreted in ways we cannot even begin to fathom…and we’re dumbfounded by the result. Sometimes it’s accidental and sometimes it’s done on purpose.

I’ve worked in offices where you’d ask a very simple, direct question like, “Can you tell me what my advertising budget is for 2012?” and the person to whom the question was directed would intentionally misunderstand it. This was because they were trying very hard not to tell you that they’ve reduced your budget by 67% while increasing your goals by 83%. So instead of simply responding to your query, they’d concoct an exhausting runaround that wasn’t exactly lying, but sure as hell wasn’t telling the truth.

I remember one lady I’ll call “Ann” (because that was her name). She was an assistant to our VP du Jour and was actually a very bright woman. But Ann would twist herself into such magnificent contortions trying to deflect questions that you never got the information you critically required.

“What’s my ad budget?”

“The Board is meeting Thursday in San Antonio.”

Uh, okay. I hope it’s fun. Now what about my budget? “How much did you say I’m getting?”

“The IT department is purchasing seven new servers.”

Uh-huh. Bully for them. Now how about my budget? “Dollars?”

“Bonuses this year will be based on atmospheric pressure, electrostatic cling and the half-life of Uranium 235.”

Ann’s answers were so cryptically mind-boggling that some of us would entertain ourselves at lunch hour by creating imaginary conversations with her.

“Do we have approval for this campaign?”

“The fish transforms at midnight. Cuckoos wailing never embroider liquid catastrophic inquest.”

I don’t think anyone got a straight answer to even the simplest question. It wasn’t her fault, though. It was because her VP was in so far over his head that Odyssey Marine Exploration would have had a tough time raising him to ground level.

So deflection and obfuscation are one form of miscommunication over which you have no control.

Another far more insidious method is when the person to whom you are speaking actually wants to misinterpret because they want to take offense. Now, how the hell does a person deal with that? And what on earth causes people to be this way?

I know a person who, regardless of what you say, can find a way to turn it into a drama of epic proportions. You didn’t say, “Would you like me to pass the salt?” What you really said was, “You look so unhealthy that you are obviously lacking in life-sustaining minerals and are in need of immediate medical care.”

So instead of getting the response, “No, thank you,” you are suddenly, and without warning, under full-throttle assault.

“Oh, so you don’t think I’m taking care of myself? Why is it you think that? Do you have some unspoken need to be critical of my health regimen?”

“Ummm…nooooo…”

“Perhaps we need to talk about this because I think it indicates a deeper problem with our relationship.”

“Uhhh…no….I just wanted to know if—“

“How long have you been harboring this need to control my body? Do you think it has anything to do with your own self image and your unfulfilled desire to – “

Stop it! Stop it! I can’t take it anymore! Aghhhh!

If I live to be 59, I’ll never understand why anyone would want to intentionally twist another person’s completely innocuous comment into some gut-wrenching, soul-sucking trauma that leaves both people angry and emotionally spent. Why?!

I go out of my way to avoid conflict. I hate it. So when someone creates conflict out of nothingness, I am completely stupefied. And then, like Lisa Luper, I become catatonic.

Do not look at that person. Do not speak to that person. Do not engage that person in any way whatsoever. Pretend you’re invisible and hope that she goes away.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, and one I’ve observed occurs mostly between rivaling siblings. I can understand that. Siblings have years of bitterness and resentment to address because…well, they exist.

But when you start making up crap so you can accuse some poor innocent, unrelated person of attacking you – when they didn’t – what the hell is that about? I, for one, resent being used as your weapon against yourself. If you hate you, fight it out yourself with the voices in your head. Don’t drag me into it. It’s an issue between you and your shrink…and I really hope he’s a good one.

To those of you who, like me, do your best to communicate effectively, without creating friction or fuss, and who, like I, do everything you can to avoid miscommunication, I suggest that the next time you sit down to dinner with someone you suspect is a loon, politely turn to them and with the most charmingly disarming smile possible, say to them, “Get your own effin’ salt.”

And when they take offense, you can be confident they understood your intent.

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WTF…I need investors.

Tim

Why? Because I want their money, that’s why. I have a great idea and I’m too lazy to try crowd-sourcing or whatever that new-fangled thing is where people go online, read your impassioned (or pathetic) pleas and send you whatever money they’ve got left over after paying their taxes…and their psychiatrist.

I want a big pile of money so I can create my own 24-hour all-news radio station, WWTF. Or, in Canada, CWTF.

My radio station will have announcers who, like me, are shocked by what’s going on in the world today. And people like you can listen to them and say, “WTF?!” Or, in Canada, “WTF?! No effin’ way!”

WWTF and CWTF will start off with the domestic news…something like, “Last night, while you were sleeping, the leader of our country did another stupid thing that has made us the laughingstock of planet Earth!” and my listeners will say, “WTF…that idiot!” Or, in Canada, “WTF…that effin’ idiot! Let’s go to Tim Horton’s!”

Then we’ll give the sports news, “A gazillionaire sports hero got drunk at a bar last night, got into his Lotus and slammed it into a church, killing three nuns and seven protesting atheists. He may be charged with DUI.” Listeners to WWTF will say, “WTF?!” while Canadians will say, “WTF? Let’s go to the Beer Store! And can we stop off at Tim Horton’s on the way?”

For the People Magazine crowd, I’ll be sure to offer entertainment news. “While on tour today, Miley Cyrus proudly displayed her beaver to a passing bus of Grade 1 school children. The beaver did not have a pelt.” My U.S. audience will gasp, “WTF?!” while Canadians will exclaim, “WTF?! Hey, remember when Maggie Trudeau showed her beaver to everyone at Studio 54? Beauty, eh? Can we go to Tim Horton’s now?”

The regular news cycle will also include the weather. In the US it will be, “Today is sunny and cloudy with scattered hot and cold followed by dark.” My listeners in the US will say, “WTF! Let’s take the day off!”

Canadians will be told, “Cold, very cold, and effin’ cold. Followed by dark and more effin’ cold.” They’ll respond with, “WTF?! Let’s go to Tim Horton’s for a hot cup of coffee.”

On the weekends I might have some special programming. Maybe stories about pop stars, music idols and freaks. And sometimes about all three.

“Today in fashion news, Lady Gaga set an exciting new trend in her dress made entirely of  bees. Her stylist claims she coated her naked body in honey, took the queen from a hive and then paraded through the streets of New York city with a swarm of 10,000 bees creating a “bio shroud” as she called it. In related news, Lady Gaga is in Bellevue Hospital being treated for 783 bee stings.”

American Gaga fans will be impressed. “WTF?! She’s so cool!” Canadians will say, “WTF?! She’s effin’ nuts. I feel like a Honey Dipped Donut. Please can we go to Tim Horton’s?”

I think I could safely fill a 24-hour news cycle, 7 days a week with stories that make listeners pause and exclaim, “WTF?!” without ever tiring of the broadcasts. And if I ever run out of things to report, I could open up the phone lines and let my audience speak.

“Hello…WWTF? I’m calling from New York state. I just got my gas bill and it cost me $600 to heat my house last month. WTF?! What kind of crap is this?!”

Or…just a few degrees north…

“Hello…CWTF? I’m calling from Ontario. I just got my gas bill and it cost me $1600 for gas to heat my house last month…plus a $292 fee for delivery of my gas, and $137 in taxes.  And it says here that I now have to pay 40% more next month. WTF?!”

To which the announcer will respond, “This show is brought to you by Tim Horton’s.”

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This is really mean, but…

SnowOne of the hardest things in the world is to write compelling copy, week after week, for the same client. You struggle to find ways to make the same old thing seem fresh and new. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort.

And sometimes…well, you just default to the easiest thing you can think of.  The weather report.

I started to notice a few weeks ago that every single newsletter from this company had the same opening. And it struck me as hysterically funny. (I know…I know…I’m mean.) But, who knows?  Maybe it’ll start a trend and we’ll have TV commercials that say, “It’s raining today in Detroit…where Ford has created the luxurious new…” or “It’s sunny and 70 degrees in northern California…where Dole grows delicious, plump…”

Here are the weather reports/newsletters from a retailer that thinks nothing is more important, more interesting, more compelling to knitters than the local forecast of a town perhaps 2000 miles away.

Most recently…

Yahoo! Spring has finally arrived in Central Ohio, and we’re loving it after a long, long winter. We have daffodils in bloom now, and we’re ready to hit 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher later this afternoon.

March 28

It’s now “officially” Spring in North America and tomorrow’s forecast in Central Ohio is calling for the temps to be in the mid-60s (I’ll believe it when I feel it!). So to prepare us for warmer weather coming soon, we’re sharing with you more projects…

March 25

I had real hopes last Thursday that Spring had finally arrived in Central Ohio when we hit 64 degrees Fahrenheit. But, alas and alack, I’m unhappy to report that was just a fleeting glimpse of Spring. The next day we had cool temps again, yesterday I had to scrape frost from my windows, and this afternoon the weatherman is forecasting snow. I don’t know whether to believe the forecast for Sunday/Monday of mid-60s again or not, but I’m still working on spring projects and Easter goodies hoping that Spring will definitely come next week!

March 21

Even though it’s now “officially” Spring in North America, it’s still cool in Central Ohio (there was a little snow on my car this morning!). To lift our spirits as we wait for warmer weather, we’re sharing with you more projects…

March 18

Well, here in Central Ohio we’re still dealing with the transitional season of late winter/early spring, and we’re still looking for signs of spring & beyond every day. I’m happy to report though that my crocuses are finally breaking through and getting ready to bloom, and the geese have been stopping by our pond a bit and checking out where they want to build their nest this year.

March 14

March 2014 has started out with less than great weather in many parts of the U.S., but we’re showcasing projects…

March 7 (Yes…this is a repeat of March 14. I guess they liked it a lot.)

March 2014 has started out with less than great weather in many parts of the U.S., but we’re showcasing projects…

February 25

With what we hope are the last days & nights of the polar vortex here in Central Ohio, it’s time to get to knitting and crocheting for the transitional season of late winter/early spring and well into the spring.

Get the picture? And you don’t have to tell me…I’m mean.

BOOMER UPDATE: On April 4, 2014 I received the news that  the yarn shop sending these riveting newsletters (and the company my husband successfuly built before retiring), has filed for dissolution.  My heartfelt thanks to all the knitters who made his job so rewarding. And to the guys who really effed up the place, I pass along the immortal words of Lily Allen, “Eff you, eff you very, very much…”

Awww…come on…even after filing for dissolution!

Well, this week in Central Ohio the spring rains have arrived, and our staff are working on spring fashions and quick things to knit and crochet to wear on Easter. And the sunshine is set to return tomorrow, which we know will perk up our daffodils and crocuses right away.

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I bear a heavy burden. (And an enormous ass.)

Every morning I weigh myself. The digital scale lights up with a number that is 60 pounds heavier than what I weighed when Alex and I first met. Now, I wouldn’t mind so much if I had grown 12 inches taller. But I didn’t. And there’s more than a slight chance that I’ve shrunk to become a half an inch shorter.

“You lie!!!” I scream down at the scale, unconcerned that I’m addressing an inanimate object – an object that I not only believe can think, but that also bears malicious intent. “I do NOT weigh that!”

And then begins The Dance of Deborah’s Denial. I get off of the scale and slide it 18” to the right. I get onto it again and I wait.

“No! No! You’re lying!” I shout as the scale informs me that I weigh two pounds more than yesterday – even though I practically starved myself to death.

Furious, I move the damned, lying scale two more feet toward the door and wait for the numbers to disappear so I can try it again. This time, my weight is less than before…by maybe a pound and a half.

“Good,” I say, smugly satisfied that even if I didn’t lose what I’d hoped, at least I didn’t gain any more.

You’d think I’d be more concerned that there’s a gravitational anomaly in my bathroom that increases my mass the nearer I get to the back wall. You’d think I’d call the physics department of a local university to tell them they need to send equipment to learn more about this spot in the universe where the force of gravity isn’t constant. You’d think I’d be concerned that maybe my house is perched above a black hole and the future of our planet, nay…the entire galaxy, depends upon me weighing more near the bathtub than I do near the door to my closet.

But, no. All I care about is those stupid, lying numbers that have caused all my pants to shrink and made my face to bloat up like a pig with little beady piggy eyes gazing out from above a set of enormously fat cheeks.

And to make matters even worse, I recently got my hair cut so short that my husband can’t get near me for six or seven months lest I accuse him of being attracted to fat little boys. (He says I needn’t worry about his sexual identity: there’s no chance he’ll find me attractive.)

I really don’t know how this happened. All my life (okay, my young life) I was skinny. Skeletally skinny like those models they tell us are tripping on the runways when we all know they’re fainting from starvation. Everyone said to me, “Eat something! You’re so skinny!” My brothers called me Olive Oyl…when they weren’t calling me Alice the Goon. So I ate and I ate and I ate and I never gained an ounce. But what I did gain was an enormous appetite and the belief that a Black Forest cake is a perfectly appropriate dessert…as long as you don’t have to share it.

The only time I worried about my weight was when doctors were trying to get me up to 105 pounds and were giving me antihistamines to help me bulk up. It didn’t work, of course, because my metabolism was locked in high gear. And it made all my wet parts go dry.

And then it happened. Suddenly and without warning. I suppose it started when I was in my thirties, but didn’t really take hold of my life until my 40s. I finally started to gain weight…and gain more weight. And even more…until my tight clothes made me look like a stuffed sausage — or a really conservative hooker — and I had to go up to six 6.

Today, I don’t even want to think about what my next size up will be. Suffice it to say that I refuse to do it, so it’s time to go on a diet. But in my case, it’s not so much of a diet as it is simply portion control. Ever since I had to go off gluten a few years ago, I’ve been unable to devour the cookies, pastries and other delights that made my life worth living and my ass worth covering with a tarp. So I’m going to have to start serving and eating regular portions instead of cooking recipes that say, “Serves 6” then dividing them in half and devouring my share while Alex puts his leftovers away for the next day.

This is not going to be easy. But I have to do it because, well, you can either be short or a glutton. You simply cannot be both. And seeing as how I’m not growing any taller, I’d better start eating sensibly.

Either that, or I’m going to end up kicking that scale out the door and onto the street, screaming, “You’re a stupid, effin’ liar!” as I do so. And then I’m going to go into my bathroom and never move from the spot where gravity is diminished and I’m a pound and a half lighter.

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Too many words!

Mozart was criticized for having too many notes.  I take exception when I’m told I’ve used too many words. Sure, we all cut copy to make it tight. But these days it’s gotten to the point where a sentence that contains a noun, verb, determiner and adjective is more than the reader can handle. (God forbid I used the dreaded — almost obsolete — adverb.) The new generation of readers doesn’t want words. They want pictograms and emoticons. This frightens me because I think that, in time, they won’t be able to communicate sophisticated concepts or create memorable prose. But what do I care? I’ll be dead.

Those of us who were lucky enough to be born at a time when words were appreciated can marvel at the beauty of a Shakespearean sonnet, the power of Churchill’s oratory, and the grace of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

For the rest of you, I present the new Millennial PowerPoint version of the Gettysburg address.

Four score...

100 years ago. Country made.

 

All men created equal

All men created equal. :)

Battlefield

Men died for country. :(

Don't forget

Don’t forget.

God

One nation under God.

Freedom

New birth of freedom

Shall not perish

Shall not perish :) :) OMFG!!!!!!

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How not to get a job.

A recent study of GYPSY’s showed that the Gen Y Yuppies have expectations that aren’t commensurate with capability…and they really don’t like the Boomers they see as ancient artifacts of a prehistoric era. Now that we’re armed with that knowledge, those of us who are looking for work might want to take a new approach to our job applications.

Dear 30-Something HR Director,

You will not be reading this letter because you’ve delegated your resume reading to a software program. You’ve delegated your relationship management to Social Media, and everything else in your life to housekeepers, fast food restaurants and – most importantly – to Mommy and Daddy. As far as I can tell, you don’t do much of anything yourself. But you’re a very accomplished person, the best at whatever you do, and you deserve far much better than this…whatever “this” may be.

As your machine has no doubt surmised, I need a job. Your computer doesn’t know that I don’t particularly want one. But unlike most Americans I find myself in the tragic position of not receiving unemployment insurance, disability or welfare payments. I’m a tax-paying sucker who works hard to support those who either can’t or won’t find a job…and I’d like to remain one for as long as I must. And then I hope to die early…or sit in my wheelchair watching what happens to the world when your generation is supposed to take over…but can’t.

I was hoping for a job with intelligent, interesting humans and highly rewarding work. But I’m no fool. I know that today’s business world no longer offers opportunities for collaborative team players who want to contribute to the success of their organizations. What you’re seeking are your peers – other thirty-somethings just like yourself who know all the characters in Game of Thrones, but haven’t a clue what QE2 is. You want someone who lined up for the iPhone 5S (rather than show up at the office), and who really, truly cares about Lady Gaga’s “message.”

You don’t want anyone like me because I’ll tell you things you don’t want to hear —  like that Lady Gaga is just a trashy re-hash of Grace Slick, Bette Midler, Madonna, and David Bowie. You don’t want me because I’ll look at you askance when you say things like, “I’m the only one here who really gets it“ and, “If they want me to work harder, they need to pay me more.”

Most of all, you don’t want me because I remind you of your mother (OMG!) or your grandmother (WTF?!) and I won’t give you the proper reverence you think you deserve for showing up at the office two or three days a week (STFU!).  And you’re afraid that menopause is contagious.

So let’s both of us be honest: you want someone like yourself who believes that she should be paid to sit at home, Skyping and Tweeting with friends, going for a pedicure and a Brazilian in the middle of the afternoon, and whining all the time about how hard she works and how everyone else is stupid.

I want to work for someone who isn’t younger than most of my socks, doesn’t think she knows everything, and isn’t an immature, self-centered pop culture whore who yaps endlessly but says nothing of any value.

So I know you’re not going to hire me even though I’m fully qualified for the position, can do the job in about one fifth the time it takes a younger person, and who can bring knowledge about business that you might not have for another 20 years.

But I figured I’d send you my resume anyway, just to give you a statistic to report when they ask how well your new resume-reading software is working. You can tell them that you received 127 resumes, 3 of them from qualified people, 2 of them with 10+ years of experience, and 1 who did the Social Media for Game of Thrones. (Yeah, sometimes the words pop up, but the real message is lost.)

And you won’t mention that you didn’t interview any of those people because you hired your girlfriend’s brother.

Here it is, anyway. As usual, I tailored my resume to the job I’m applying for. It’s a shame you’ll never see it.

Sincerely,

Ancient, Horrific Boomer Person

Senior Person at Failing Company

2001-2013

Listened to a lot of BS about how there’s a “new economy” and “new methodologies.” Worked my ass off while the CEO earned 14,000 times the average worker and effed off to his home in Bermuda for four days every week.  Laid off when the SEC investigated after a sketchy IPO and the company was shut down. Lost my life savings in the IPO.

Senior Person at Pretty Good Company

1990-2001

Sat in a lot of meetings and learned that you can espouse the most preposterous BS and be believed…if you say it with enough authority. Watched incompetent people kiss ass and rise to the top, only to destroy their departments because they didn’t have a clue. Worked tirelessly to clean up messes made by others. Left company when it was acquired, and subsequently shut down, by its largest competitor.

Mid-Manager at Good Company

1980-1990

Worked my ass off to learn everything I could and juggle BS flowing from the top down and from the bottom up. Tried to teach my staff a thing or two and keep them productive and happy. Laid off when the company merged with its competitor.

Junior Person

1975-1980

Treated like shit while other people stole my ideas and forced me to do their work. Swallowed my pride and showed up every day – even when I was sick – because I was so afraid of losing the crappy job that eventually might lead me to something better. Left when the first opportunity to bail came along.

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