Panel Interview at Benefit City

Hey Mike! Thanks for coming. I know our interview process is just really crazy. This will be the interview where we decide if you’re a good fit. Going from left to right you will see Zack, Mike G., Brad, Zach, Owen, and then myself, Mike M but as you may have noticed the guys just all call me Mikey.

Your last interview, you said your favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon, solid choice. We usually let the new guy choose what’s on tap in the lounge. Since most of the guys we have working here also like PBR, that really worked in favor for you during that interview process. We really feel like you fit well in our culture. Come everyone, let’s walk. You said you were in what fraternity again in college? We have a lot of Kappas here at Benefit City so you may recognize some faces. Watch out for the flying helicopters in the hallways. Oh yeah, the foosball table was donated by Google we try really hard not to let the fact that Larry Page himself assembled it go to our heads.

Women? Yeah no, we don’t hire those. It’s not sexist, our HR team did a study and it proved that women are inferior and we’re the best so we can’t have any team members with uncontrollable bleeding every single month or an individual who could be out for periods of time due to a parasite. Bitches, who needs ‘em?

So you got a computer science degree from an uppity overpriced school in in the southeast? Cool man. We hire most of that school’s CS degree students right when they graduate and then we pay them a butt ton of money to sit in meetings all day.  What do we make? I really don’t know but somehow venture capitalists want to give us money. But it’s cool. Most of the guys on the team where you will be placed are making over $100,000 a year to respond to email and fix typos on websites. Are you still interested? Great! Let’s keep walking!

The reason we haven’t already offered you the position is because we have one final interview. We have these things called Healthy Points here at Benefit City. You can track them on your Apple Watch. You get points by doing physical activity, like running.  Oh this? This is just a storeroom. We call this a trust exercise, come on in. We are going to strip you naked, tape your mouth and put your head in a garbage bag. This is actually how you will meet our CTO.

I know it’s cold, just follow sound of my voice. We are going to round up the rest of the teams and we’re going to put on our sacrificial hoods now. I’ll take the bag off so you can see. Do you see what you have to look forward to?! We’re going to an open soccer field surrounded by woods. Our goal is for you to get away from us, if you do, you win and get the job. If you lose it means that you have been injured and you will be left to bleed out on the field. The one who killed you gets a new BMW.

On my count…1…2…GO!

My Husband’s ADHD

@jaredwsmith used to work together a lot.  When we moved to CHS that kind of stopped, and it really stopped when I went back to school because when I do school work I usually need to be left alone, and I find when Jared is with me and I am trying to do school work he tends to distract me.  Well this was proven true yet again yesterday at Starbucks when he was working on something and I was writing a paper.  I said to myself, sure, we can try working in the same room together again. Why not?

I have been telling Jared that he needs ADHD meds since I met him. I was formally diagnosed ADHD last year but I had been on meds for some time for it.  Now that I am on drugs for it though, I notice his….ADHD-ness more. Here is a list of observations that I had from the 60-ish minutes we spent together at Starbucks:

  • air drumming
  • forced focus and failure
  • ooo! a lady in a purple dress!
  • more air drumming
  • door
  • bouncy leg
  • phone
  • phone
  • phone
  • bouncy body
  • is my phone on?
  • phone
  • air drumming
  • nodding
  • phone
  • bouncy both legs
  • window
  • door
  • *sips coffee*
  • puts cup down pensively
  • adjusts where the cup is on the table with great care
  • window
  • phone
  • drums
  • drumming on the table – we put an end to that real quick
  • air keyboard – like the musical kind. yeah, that’s what I married.
  • door
  • door
  • door
  • phone
  • music
  • phone
  • nodding/”jamming out”
  • “whhhyyyyyy can I noootttt foooocuuusss????” head in hands
  • phone
  • window
  • window
  • window
  • dancing – and pointing at screen? wut?
  • air guitar

Needless to say, we did not stay at Starbucks very long because his distraction made me distracted so neither of us got anything done.

Worst. “Meeting.” Ever.

Let me tell you a story. The story is about a man named Bill and his two friends.

I cannot accurately tell this story without first referencing what a MARTY is. Here is a down and dirty definition of a MARTY: “a MARTY is half party, half meeting. Complete with door prizes and a backdrop in which you can take pictures of yourself in front of hundreds of smiling LegalShield logos. Upon entering your MARTY, you will be given two drink tickets which you will hold on to for dear life and can be exchanged for beer or wine, both of which are a brand that would never cross the threshold of any respectable house. You will then be forced to talk to ‘entrepreneurs’ and alcoholics alike for the defined time of 120 minutes.”

So I’m at this fucking thing and I look like a gazelle on the plain, I was new, mostly sober, and not talking to anyone. That’s when I met Bill. He cornered me against some barstools where interrogated me about what I did and who I did it for. He proceeds to get a twinkle in his eye that says “sweet, a person who knows ‘computers’ and will probably talk to me.” In an effort to not be rude, I listened to him prattle on about LinkedIn and PowerPoint for about 20 minutes. Trapped against the bar, it’s not like I could excuse myself to freshen my drink so I loudly interrupted him stating that I needed another glass of wine. He then watches me turn around to order my drink and then he waits for me to turn back around to finish our one-sided conversation.

The LegalShield zombies were shutting the MARTY down and ushering everyone to the door because the bar had another party coming in (I am assuming there was no mandatory meeting associated with this party) and we needed to leave.

So Bill invites me to lunch to talk about some “work” he may have for us. Being that we were new in town and trying to get re-established, I agreed to meet him at the Holiday Inn some bullshit restaurant with a view.

The blessed day arrives. I’m wearing some semblance of clothing and I arrive early (of course) and he emails me to tell me that he is bringing a posse and he is running late but rest assured, he will be there. Thank god, because he said he would buy lunch.

I ride up in the elevator and decide to wander around and check out this view. It was nice, but the restaurant was filthy, that should have been my first clue.

Then Bill arrives with his fleet of people. He introduces me to the Smuckers Retard and the Guy Who Does Print.

We are seated. The waitress asks what we will have to drink. Bill responds with, “is tea included in the lunch?” The poor waitress says, “no, I’m sorry, it’s not.” Without consulting the rest of the table, Bill announces we will all be having water today. Without lemon.

The two other men grill me on what I do just like Bill, I’m assuming that’s why they are friends. Being that getting grilled is a hobby of mine, I was fine with it then subtly told them to eat a dick. I was already unamused.

The waitress comes back with our tap water and asks if we would like to see a menu. Bill, our leader, tells her that we will all be having the buffet today for lunch.

I don’t do buffets. If I need to eat something that has to be enclosed to protect it from your snot and saliva in the event that you sneeze, I will pass.

So we make our way to the buffet, which has fried chicken and other stuff that appears to be teeming with grease and cooties. I stick with fresh fruit. Fruit that at one time would be considered fresh.

We all get settled back in and Bill pulls out a stack of papers. It’s copies of a For Dummies book on Internet marketing. He brought copies for all of us. He then proceeds to spend the next 45 minutes reading us these pages and not taking questions.

He breaks to get more “food” and in the time he is gone, Smuckers Retard tells me that he is of the “Smuckers family” (he then recites all the brands associated with Smuckers) and that he is trying to raise money to ride his bike…somewhere. It looks like this dude has never rode a bike in his life. I will donate to a cause for him to ride a bicycle anywhere. Really. He also tells me he is a photographer and that he would like to sign me up for his email list in which he sends pictures of fucking whatever and an “inspirational quote” every “morning.” So, being that I am in a small and confined locale with this man-child and I don’t want to make waves, I agree to give him my email with the intention of unsubscribing immediately.

Bill is back. Father Time interrupts what could possibly be round 2 of Internet Marketing for Dummies: a Dramatic Interpretation, to ask me what my hourly rate is for “print design.” I explain to him that we have a blended rate, however we don’t do a lot of print. And that’s the end of that conversation.

Bill opens his mouth to speak again. I interrupt him, sort of, by telling him that I have to be somewhere (like my house. Alone) and that I should be going. He would have heard this if he hadn’t talked over me about some bullshit LinkedIn thing.

I believe this is what he wanted to do: he wanted to “harness the power of LinkedIn” and mass-mail all his connections or friends or whatever, a PowerPoint presentation. What’s in that presentation? One may never know. Also, if LinkedIn did this, there would be so much spam in the world we would all die. Literally, die. I told him that it could not be done, so he rephrased the question, I told him again, it could not be done automatically. He tried to rephrase the question again, like I’m an idiot and missed the first two questions. That’s when I changed the subject.

So I repeated myself that I had do go while standing up. I graciously thanked him for my mushy fruit and cold tap water and left while he was still talking.

This was two years ago. Up until a few months ago I have been trying to get off Smuckers Retards mailing list. He does some kind of BCC thing from his outlook and mass mails everyone without a unsubscribe link. Being that I am an asshole, and from the Internet, I Googled him. I found his phone number. So I emailed him to see if it was current because he wasn’t responding to all my emails about being removed, so I thought I could call him. The next day I was off his mailing list.

Searching Craigslist for freelance work is like whoring for heroin in pittsburgh

Now that I am a free agent, i need to find some business for our small web firm (we do design, programming and SEM if you are curious).  What better place than to troll Craigslist?

I have provided you all with a glossary of terms that can be found in the “computer gigs” section of Craigslist…

  • Must be experienced: “we have been burned thinking we could hire an infant to do our marketing in the past.”
  • Partnership opportunity: “we have no money but we think its a super rad idea so you should too!”
  • I have a small budget: “I have no budget.”
  • I am in a tight schedule: “I expect this to be done in less than 24 hours.”
  • My last guy quit on me: probably because youre a pain in the ass.
  • Be creative!: “give me $5,000 worth of work for $500”
  • Lets barter!: “I want something for nothing”
  • I need a NDA: because your idea to rip off Facebook is such a great one
  • I need 2500 followers on twitter ASAP!!: and I need $1,000,000, we dont always get what we want.
  • Great for students!: we have no money and we think a kid who has an equal amount of experience will make us famous.
  • Fair pay: your opinion of “fair” is not the same as mine.
  • Part-time work!: because i am looking for $12/hr to lick envelopes
  • College credit available: “stand on a corner and pass out flyers to strangers who throw sodas at you”
  • It’s 90% done!: Bullshit.

the day the world broke in half

Today started as every week day does, or did, until today.

  • 7:30 first alarm
  • 7:45 second alarm
  • 8:30 third alarm
  • 8:50 get out of bed
  • 8:55 get in the shower
  • 9:05 get out of shower
  • 9:06 find the least dirty thing on the floor
  • 9:10 smear on some mascara
  • 9:12 curse my job by saying “off to another day of sarcastic remarks and name calling! I fucking hate my job at that fucking place”
  • 9:36 arrive at said fucking place
The rest of the morning was spent receiving sarcastic emails, being told to fix problems that I didnt create (after being told explicitly not to perform things that would create said problems) and dreading the moment that He came in.

I am not interested in a bitch-fest. If you are dying to know the ins and outs of my (old) day job, the admission to that shit show is a $15 bar tab.

The beacon of hope in my day is when my only good friend in a 100 mile radius asks me to lunch.  Today was Chick Fil A. Probably the best $6.58 i have spent in a long time (chargrilled chicken sandwich and a diet coke, thank you).  While we were finishing we felt what we thought was a large truck outside with its engine running.  then it felt like a huge plane above. then it felt like an earthquake.

At the exact time the earth was having a seizure, I was receiving my walking papers via email (yes, i was “let go” via email). I got the news on my iPhone in the car on the way back to “that fucking place”.

I can’t call my mother – which is exactly what I do whenever anything monumental happens (a canine bowel movement that is remarkable or you know, an earthquake in Northern Virginia) – the cell service was completely done. So what do i do?  I tweet! The next best thing to my mother is twitter.

The rest of the day is full of tension and job applications. I left promptly at 4:46.  I didn’t say goodbye or cry or anything else that people should do when they lose their jobs.  I simply walked out and didn’t look back.

My world was literally rocked today. Literally and metaphorically and I liked it.