Categories
Work

Should You Include Hobbies on Your Resume?

People add their personal interests and hobbies to their resume to appear well-rounded and interesting. As a hiring manager I can tell you right now that 99% of the time I don’t give a shit about your hobbies.

You’re sending me your resume to get a job. So make sure every single thing on your resume helps you achieve that goal. If you do include a hobby it must help further your objectives and not simply serve as filler or an attempt at humanizing yourself. I know you’re human. I know you probably have a life outside of work. Unless what you do outside of work makes you better at work I don’t really care.

How do you know if listing your hobby helps further your career objectives? First consider the skills and characteristics the hiring manager is seeking. Leadership? Then list how you spearheaded neighbourhood cleanup efforts.

Or use your hobbies to show how you are gaining experience you haven’t been provided during your 9-5.

Or use your hobbies as a way to craft your personal brand. You want to be seen as a self-starter? Then list personal interests that show that.

Unfortunately, most people take a passive, superficial approach to listing personal interests on their resume. They literally list personal interests: cat herding, unicycling, circle-research. Great, but irrelevant.

If you do include personal interests on your resume, ensure they are there for a purpose.

Categories
Work

MF Doom on Writers Block

RIP MF Doom. One of the greatest MC’s of all time. He was obscure, eccentric and relatively unknown to the masses. However, his lyricism had a giant influence on rappers of all sorts.

With the announcement of his recent death, I thought it timely to share an insight that could help anyone slogging through the creative process. This not only relates to writing lyrics. You might be writing copy for a brochure, developing a new product or planning the strategic direction for a business. Bottom line is this all requires some form of creativity that can get blocked.

Below I’ve provided a snipped from MF Doom. And below that, I’ve also shared a longer clip from Monty Python’s John Cleese on the creative process. Many companies, executives, artists and individuals struggle to be innovative and creative. It’s a discipline that needs to be tended to. If you want to be creative or innovative, it’s important to understand how it works.

Categories
Life Small Business Work

Should You Give Up On Your Dream Job?

I think many parents do their kids a disservice when they encourage them to ‘pursue their passions’ or that they ‘can be anything, if they put their mind to it’. For 99% of the world this is fairytale advice for a brutally pragmatic world.

Once kids leave the protection of home, they have the same relentlessly boring bills as the rest of us. The gas, electric, water and phone companies don’t put your bills on hold while you pursue your dream of becoming a creative director at an advertising agency or fiction writer.

The trouble is, many kids are encouraged to pursue their dreams and end up trapped. They get to a point where the have to decide whether or not to abandon something they’ve believed in for years.

Here’s the trouble with pursuing your dreams:

  1. Most people have the same dreams, so the competition is fierce. What happens when supply (in this case labour supply) is high? Prices (e.g. wages) fall. While a select few might make it, most do not. Although Johnny Depp might make millions per movie, the median hourly wage for actors in America is just $20.
  2. Even if wages are fair, if the supply of labour in a given field is high companies will work staff to death. Don’t like it? There are dozens of other wannabes waiting to take your place. Video game developers find themselves in this predicament all the time.

People decide to abandon their dream job either because it doesn’t pay the bills or because it sucks up their entire life. For most, neither is a great way to live.

If you’re going to survive in this world you must find a job that pays decently, provides a good work-life balance and doesn’t come with the constant threat of redundancy. These kinds of jobs are usually highly skilled, appear boring and don’t attract a ton of interest.

I’m not suggesting you trade an ‘interesting’ career for a ‘boring’ career. Quite the opposite. Careers that are sold as ‘interesting’ – like advertising – can actually be quite disappointing in reality. Every industry has mundane tasks and BS politics. When there is an endless supply of 20-something year olds willing to do anything to enter an industry who do you think will be doing those mundane tasks?

In contrast, when you’re the only actuary within a 5 mile radius, you can be more picky about what you work on.

I used to take a lot of pictures. People often commented that I should get into photography professionally, and for a while I entertained the idea. I found it enjoyable and was reasonably good at it. Before making any irrational decisions, I conducted more research and discovered two things: 1) The top photographers earning a living from their craft are true masters. While my friends enjoyed my work, I was still far from being the crème of the photographer crop. 2) I noticed many top photographers also write books, teach courses, etc. Nobody gets into photography to teach. This means they’re doing this to supplement their income. If the top photographers can’t make a living strictly taking pictures, what hope is there for me? 3) Most professional photographers warn hobbiests that the business of photography is 50% sales, 25% administration and 25% actual photography. So if you truly love taking pictures, the business of photography might be wholly unsatisfying. Discovering all this was deflating. I felt like I found something I loved and was good at. But I was also realistic. I have bills to pay, mouths to feed and didn’t want to destroy a fun hobby. So I didn’t quit my day job.

I hate to be a downer but most people eventually realize that their dreams won’t come true. There are tons of charlatans willing to sell you a dream, but if these people could truly make dreams come true they wouldn’t be selling shitty courses. Everyone arrives at a point where they realize they can’t do what they really wanted. And whether you’re mid-career or just starting out, it’s never too late to have a backup plan.

But don’t take my word for it.


Below is a surgical breakdown of what happens to almost all rock bands, originally written by Steve Albini, the manager for Nirvana and Pixies:

There’s this band. They’re pretty ordinary, but they’re also pretty good, so they’ve attracted some attention. They’re signed to a moderate-sized “independent” label owned by a distribution company, and they have another two albums owed to the label.

They’re a little ambitious. They’d like to get signed by a major label so they can have some security—you know, get some good equipment, tour in a proper tour bus—nothing fancy, just a little reward for all the hard work.

To that end, they got a manager. He knows some of the label guys, and he can shop their next project to all the right people. He takes his cut, sure, but it’s only 15%, and if he can get them signed then it’s money well spent. Anyway, it doesn’t cost them anything if it doesn’t work. 15% of nothing isn’t much!

One day an A&R scout calls them, says he’s “been following them for a while now,” and when their manager mentioned them to him, it just “clicked.” Would they like to meet with him about the possibility of working out a deal with his label? Wow. Big Break time.

They meet the guy, and y’know what—he’s not what they expected from a label guy. He’s young and dresses pretty much like the band does. He knows all their favorite bands. He’s like one of them. He tells them he wants to go to bat for them, to try to get them everything they want. He says anything is possible with the right attitude. They conclude the evening by taking home a copy of a deal memo they wrote out and signed on the spot.

The A&R guy was full of great ideas, even talked about using a name producer. Butch Vig is out of the question—he wants 100 g’s and three points, but they can get Don Fleming for $30,000 plus three points. Even that’s a little steep, so maybe they’ll go with that guy who used to be in David Letterman’s band. He only wants three points. Or they can have just anybody record it (like Warton Tiers, maybe—cost you 5 or 10 grand) and have Andy Wallace remix it for 4 grand a track plus 2 points. It was a lot to think about.

Well, they like this guy and they trust him. Besides, they already signed the deal memo. He must have been serious about wanting them to sign. They break the news to their current label, and the label manager says he wants them to succeed, so they have his blessing. He will need to be compensated, of course, for the remaining albums left on their contract, but he’ll work it out with the label himself. Sub Pop made millions from selling off Nirvana, and Twin Tone hasn’t done bad either: 50 grand for the Babes and 60 grand for the Poster Children—without having to sell a single additional record. It’ll be something modest. The new label doesn’t mind, so long as it’s recoupable out of royalties.

Well, they get the final contract, and it’s not quite what they expected. They figure it’s better to be safe than sorry and they turn it over to a lawyer—one who says he’s experienced in entertainment law—and he hammers out a few bugs. They’re still not sure about it, but the lawyer says he’s seen a lot of contracts, and theirs is pretty good. They’ll be getting a great royalty: 13% (less a 10% packaging deduction). Wasn’t it Buffalo Tom that were only getting 12% less 10? Whatever.

The old label only wants 50 grand, and no points. Hell, Sub Pop got 3 points when they let Nirvana go. They’re signed for four years, with options on each year, for a total of over a million dollars! That’s a lot of money in any man’s english. The first year’s advance alone is $250,000. Just think about it, a quarter-million, just for being in a rock band!

Their manager thinks it’s a great deal, especially the large advance. Besides, he knows a publishing company that will take the band on if they get signed, and even give them an advance of 20 grand, so they’ll be making that money too. The manager says publishing is pretty mysterious, and nobody really knows where all the money comes from, but the lawyer can look that contract over too. Hell, it’s free.

Their booking agent is excited about the band signing to a major. He says they can maybe average $1,000 or $2,000 a night from now on. That’s enough to justify a five week tour, and with tour support, they can use a proper crew, buy some good equipment and even get a tour bus! Buses are pretty expensive, but if you figure in the price of a hotel room for everybody in the band and crew, they’re actually about the same cost. Some bands (like Therapy? and Sloan and Stereolab) use buses on their tours even when they’re getting paid only a couple hundred bucks a night, and this tour should earn at least a grand or two every night. It’ll be worth it. The band will be more comfortable and will play better.

The agent says a band on a major label can get a merchandising company to pay them an advance on t-shirt sales! Ridiculous! There’s a gold mine here! The lawyer should look over the merchandising contract, just to be safe.

They decided to go with the producer who used to be in Letterman’s band. He had these technicians come in and tune the drums for them and tweak their amps and guitars. He had a guy bring in a slew of expensive old “vintage” microphones. Boy, were they “warm.” He even had a guy come in and check the phase of all the equipment in the control room! Boy, was he professional. He used a bunch of equipment on them and by the end of it, they all agreed that it sounded very “punchy,” yet “warm.”

All that hard work paid off. With the help of a video, the album went like hotcakes! They sold a quarter million copies!

Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are:

These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There’s no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. Income is underlined, expenses are not.

Advance: $250,000

Manager’s cut: $37,500

Legal fees: $10,000

Recording Budget: $150,000 Producer’s advance: $50,000 Studio fee: $52,500 Drum, Amp, Mic and Phase “Doctors”: $3,000 Recording tape: $8,000 Equipment rental: $5,000 Cartage and Transportation: $5,000 Lodgings while in studio: $10,000 Catering: $3,000 Mastering: $10,000 Tape copies, reference CD’s, shipping tapes, misc expenses: $2,000

Video budget: $30,000 Cameras: $8,000 Crew: $5,000 Processing and transfers: $3,000 Offline: $2,000 Online editing: $3,000 Catering: $1,000 Stage and construction: $3,000 Copies, couriers, transportation: $2,000 Director’s fee: $3,000

Album Artwork: $5,000 Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $2,000

Band fund: $15,000 New fancy professional drum kit: $5,000 New fancy professional guitars (2): $3,000 New fancy professional guitar amp rigs (2): $4,000 New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $1,000 New fancy rack of lights bass amp: $1,000 Rehearsal space rental: $500 Big blowout party for their friends: $500

Tour expense (5 weeks): $50,875 Bus: $25,000 Crew (3): $7,500 Food and per diems: $7,875 Fuel: $3,000 Consumable supplies: $3,500 Wardrobe: $1,000 Promotion: $3,000

Tour gross income: $50,000 Agent’s cut: $7,500 Manager’s cut: $7,500

Merchandising advance: $20,000 Manager’s cut: $3,000 Lawyer’s fee: $1,000 Publishing advance: $20,000 Manager’s cut: $3,000 Lawyer’s fee: $1,000

Record sales: 250,000 @ $12 = $3,000,000 gross retail revenue Royalty (13% of 90% of retail): $351,000 less advance: $250,000 Producer’s points: (3% less $50,000 advance) $40,000 Promotional budget: $25,000 Recoupable buyout from previous label: $50,000 Net royalty: (-$14,000)

Record company income: Record wholesale price $6,50 x 250,000 = $1,625,000 gross income Artist Royalties: $351,000 Deficit from royalties: $14,000 Manufacturing, packaging and distribution @ $2.20 per record: $550,000 Gross profit: $710,000

THE BALANCE SHEET This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game. Record company: $710,000 Producer: $90,000 Manager: $51,000 Studio: $52,500 Previous label: $50,000 Agent: $7,500 Lawyer: $12,000

Band member net income each: $4,031.25

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month.

The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never “recouped,” the band will have no leverage, and will oblige.

The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won’t have earned any royalties from their t-shirts yet. Maybe the t-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys.

Some of your friends are probably already this fucked.

-Steve Albini

Categories
Work

How to Hire the Right Person

Believe it or not, at many companies it is extremely difficult to fire someone. Firing – and re-hiring – are both very expensive. It takes months of documentation to justify firing someone. This means that if you hire a crappy employee, you’re most likely stuck with a crappy employee for a long time.

People often accidentally hire crappy people because they get caught up in cliche interview questions and styles. As the same ‘ol questions and you’ll get the same ‘ol answers. Unfortunately, many mistake these rehearsed answers for a sampling of the employee’s strengths or character.

When interviewing people, I suggest managers start with the information they’re trying to uncover and work backwards from there. The information-gathering objective is the fulfilled by asking the appropriate questions.

Do you want to get a sense of someone’s initiative? Maybe instead of rolling out the expected “Name a time at work where you took initiative” you ask how they prepared for the interview. Did they check out the website? Maybe read a brochure? Or did they hunt down people at the company to get the inside scoop? Did they spend time investigating who they were interviewing with?

There are countless ways to pry at a person’s character to see what they look like raw. But you’re still going to end up with the occasional dud.

So before you make a final decision to hire anyone, do your own due diligence by collecting opinions from others. Talk to people they’ve worked with. Get them to meet with your boss and key internal stakeholders. Not only will they provide a second opinion, they’ll have a stake in the candidate’s success, if he is hired. This is a great way to spread responsibility for a bad hire.

As a hiring manager, you must remember that your candidate’s success or failure is ultimately your success or failure. You want to do everything in your power to put someone in that seat that can soar.

Categories
Work

Dave Chappelle on Getting Screwed Early in Your Career

Entering the world of comedy at the age of 15, Dave Chappelle faced major obstacles thrown at him by unscrupulous grifters, peers and executives.

Everyone can learn from this. We’ve all gone uncredited or uncompensated for the sacrifices we’ve made. Businesses exist to squeeze more out of their people than they pay. Perhaps in aggregate this is imperative to the function of the economy. At a macro level, productivity means getting more output than what was input. This ultimately requires ripping off staff – some companies are nicer and more covert about it than others, but they all do it.

As individuals, however, it’s up to us to recognize this and fight for what is ours.

Categories
Work

How to Answer the Question: “What’s Your Salary Expectation?”

For those in the middle of job interviews, one of the toughest questions to answer is “what’s your salary expectation?”.

You see, many people mistakenly believe they are entering into a negotiation in which they start high and eventually move lower. In reality, negotiated adjustments are minor. Hiring managers ask this question to ensure expectations are aligned with what can be delivered.

Unfortunately, good candidates might lose their standing based on how they answer this question.

Hiring managers ask this question to ensure expectations are aligned with what can be delivered.

Let’s say the pay range for a Senior Manager job opening at Company XYZ is $80k-$100k, depending on experience. This means that the hiring manager is restricted to this range and doesn’t have magical strings he can pull to go higher.

Candidate A is an 8/10 and states his salary expectation is $90k.

Candidate B is a 10/10 and states his salary expectation is $125k. Candidate B – despite being much better – likely just destroyed their candidacy. Despite being the better candidate, Candidate B just indicated to the hiring manager that they believe they are worth $125k. For the hiring manager to go back to Candidate B with a $100k offer would seem inadequate to both parties – so they simply won’t. Even if Candidate B later suggests he might be fine with a lower number, he’s already created an anchor number in the hiring manager’s mind. That hiring manager (if he’s got any brains) will worry that if Candidate B accepts a much lower offer he will remain unsatisfied and will soon seek another higher paying job that more closely aligns with his original expectations.

Candidates must understand the pay ranges that companies operate within. They are restrictive – it doesn’t matter that you have 20 years experience. The range is the range. So try to figure out what that range is before you get asked about your salary expectation.

Moreover, hiring managers want to hire people in the middle of the pay range so staff have upward salary potential while employed. A manager doesn’t want their staff hitting the ceiling in year one.

If a job is truly below your target salary, then don’t go for it. Perhaps it’s time to strive for more advanced roles.

Alternatively, if you truly want the job then state a salary expectation you know the manager can work with.

Whatever number you give, make sure it’s truly what you expect (not some multiplier of your expectations). Yes, there might be some negotiation but in my experience it tends to be quite minor. For a new hire to work out, expectations must be closely aligned with what can actually be offered. And that’s precisely why employers ask the question: “what’s your salary expectation?”.

Categories
Life Wealth Work

“We All Have 24 Hours a Day”

“We All Have 24 Hours a Day”.

Have you heard people say this before? Usually it’s said by someone humble-bragging about how they manage to work 10 hours a day, raise children and run three marathons a year. Of course, they’re usually saying this to someone who can’t seem to find time to work out (or something similar that can easily be dropped off the list of daily activities).

Yeah, we all have 24 hours a day. But, unfortunately, we don’t all have the tools to make the most of those 24 hours.

Let’s look at two extremes.

Julie is a single mother that works full time as a line-worker in an automobile factory. Her two kids are in grade 3 and 6. Her day starts at 6am when she prepares breakfast, lunches and shuttles her kids to before-school care. Julie gets to work in time for a 9 hour shift. By the time the school and work day is done and everyone is back home, it’s usually around 6pm. Just in time to prepare dinner and help with homework. Of course, this assumes that Julie has already gone grocery shopping earlier in the week. By the time dinner and dishes are done, it’s easily 8 or 8:30pm. Exhausted – mentally and physically – Julie now has about 1-2 hours of free time.

Does Julie catch up on some housework? Maybe. Self care? Likely not.

That’s where Julie’s 24 hours goes.

Compare that to Eddie, who is married with two children in grades 3 and 6. Eddie’s wife – Francine – is a marketing consultant and he works as a bank executive. They have a nanny, maid and comfortably hire people to help with household maintenance, like gardening. Their nanny manages the children full time, grocery shops, makes meals and handles school pickup and dropoff. Eddie and Francine work long hours, but often squeeze in some gym time at lunch or go for a run after work. They frequently attend functions after work to network for whatever moves come next.

Notice the difference?

Julie, Eddie and Francine are all equally busy. However, one family has way more sources of help than the other.

Some might blame Julie for her predicament. “She shouldn’t have gotten divorced”, “she should have worked harder and gone to university”, etc. What people fail to grasp is that Julie made the best of her situation. She came from a working class family that didn’t have money for the extra layers of support provided to Eddie and Francine in their youth.

Julie really had no choice but to reduce the burden she placed on her family by working at McDonalds through high school to help with bills. She blasting through community college and then took whatever decent job came first. Then came the children and emotionally abusive husband.

Eddie and Francine, on the other hand, came from upper-middle class families, which themselves hired nannies and maids. Their first jobs were handed to them by their parents’ friends, and were in junior corporate positions. Their parents never needed help with bills and Eddie and Francine could both comfortably educate themselves up to the masters level. While Eddie leveraged his junior corporate jobs into full time work, Francine took a risk and started her own business. If it failed she could always move back with her parents. By the time they married, Eddie and Francine were already getting more than their 24-hour’s worth.

“We All Have 24 Hours a Day”

There are 24 hours in a day, but unfortunately that time isn’t allotted the same way across classes.

If you’re someone who can afford help, count your blessings and realize that you have a huge advantage.

If you’re someone who can’t afford help, I suggest you identify your top 3 priorities in life and allow yourself to leave lesser priorities untended.

Categories
Work

And You Thought Your Job Was Hard!

You get up. Commute on a crowded bus and spend 50% of your waking hours in a space smaller than a prison cell. Your job sucks right? Maybe. Maybe not. Read the following anecdotes I sourced from Reddit. You might change your mind.

  1. Stuffed

I used to work at XYZ Buffet, and there were kids who would eat until they threw up- like alllll the time-

This one case that is seared into my mind was when I was once fixing up the salad bar and I heard ‘Billy Run!’ screamed from an ignorant parent and then I see this 12ish year old boy running to the bathroom, only he didn’t make it. An unholy amount of undigested red Jello-O came exploded out of him like a fucking volcano all over the Caesar Salad, the floor next to the cash register, and on about 5 or 6 diners waiting in line to get in. It looked like he had literally vomited his guts out in an arc about 10 feet in diameter. I had to sweep up the chunks with a broom until a dishwasher with a mop could take care of the rest.

2. Fishy

Fish monger in a grocery store. We got a large number of lobsters in, soft-shelled and already dieing. So my manager decided we could at least sell their tails. Apparently lobsters don’t really have a central nervous system, so when you sever the tails and put their tails on ice they freaking run away.

So I had to chase these tails down because they’ve escaped into the rest of the display case, onto the floor, and hidden under our prep tables. Never again.

3. Call of Doody

Bagging groceries at a major supermarket. The manager came over to tell me that I needed to clean up the bathroom. An elderly gentleman fell off the toilet while pooping and it was a literal shitshow. Apparently I was the most qualified because I was 16. I was handed a broom and a dustpan. I shit you not (sorry had to.) My reward for going above and beyond the call of duty? Five dollars in store coupons. Sometimes dreams really do come true.

4. The Horror

Plumber

Owner of a mobile home called and said they had a stinky yard.

I could smell it when I pulled up.

the mobile home was new and had only been set up for about 8 months. while setting it up, someone didn’t tighten a no-hub band of the toilet in the kids bathroom.

8 months of flushed toilet was all over the ground, under the home and had just started being noticed outside.

I told the homeowner to call the guys that set it up to come fix it. I wasn’t crawling under there.

5. Crawl Space

Back when I did plumbing went out to a job that required us to crawl into the crawl space of about a 200 year old mill house. I opened up the crawl space and shined my light in there across the crawl space to see all the rafters and pipes just draped in snake skins and some snakes slithering away into the darkness. Noped the fuck out of that one. I’d rather crawl though shit than snakes.

6. Options

Plumber as well. Had to do a tie for a 6″ waste stack main to offset it for a boiler to go in later at a hospital. Told all staff and had maintenance shut down bathrooms from 6am-8am for us to do the offsets. Had everything measured cut and ready to move into place. Fucking staff on every floor ignored the signs because we got constant flushes of fresh shit and shredded toliet paper. At one point I was holding the outlet side of a horizontal piece with my hardhat and trying to no hub band the fitting for it in place while shit literally rolled down my back and into my shirt, down my pants, my socks were soaked in the waste. Took us a total time of 45 minutes but scheduled a 2 hour window just in case. Worst part of this was that they had another bathroom option just down the hall. So inconsiderate… this trade sucks sometimes

7. Thankswhating?

After 4 months of not seeing my family because I was working full-time and only getting one day off a week, I finally quit without notice when they were gonna make me close last Thanksgiving. I had already requested and approved the day off a month prior. I left and never came back. The GM even tried pulling the “you can’t quit you’re fired” ahaha

8. Intellectual Property

When I was doing 90% of my boss’ job in hopes of a full time promotion that I had been promised for three years and he took all the credit and told me my promotion wasn’t in the budget.

9. Head Master

First day at the health department, I’m left at the reception desk alone while literally everyone else in the office went out to a farewell lunch for the person I was replacing. As I was on 90 day probation, wasn’t yet licensed and badged, my pay was $7.96/hr.

I’m sitting at reception, and some redneck comes in with a leaking garbage bag and drops it on my desk. It contains a newly beheaded javelina head. His buddy had been bitten, and it needed to be tested for rabies ASAP.

I had no fucking clue what to do with a leaking garbage bag of javelina head. He couldn’t wait for others to return, so he left a number and split.

Turns out, we don’t do that sort of thing at the health department. Guy refused to come back.

10. Giving

Grocery store cashier. The customer was angry because her cereal had rung up wrong. I called a price check and this lady berated me the whole time. I recall that she accused me of trying to steal from her. Said she was going to get me fired.

I looked at her and said, “I make $7.25 per hour no matter how much you pay for this cereal, so I do not give a shit how this situation turns out.”

She stared at me in shock. The price check comes back saying the price scanned correctly. Silence.

I said, “So do you want the cereal or not?” She said, “Yes.” And that was that. She did not complain to the manager.

11. Blue in the Face

I worked at a heating and air conditioning company doing bookkeeping. I was being trained by the companies accountant. If I made a mistake the owner would literally scream at me full voice. I overheard him talking to his brother and his brother had told him not to scream at me. The owner said, “you have to tear them down to build them up.” I decided I wasn’t going to take another day of his screaming after that.

12. Mom Vibes

I ran the entire company’s financials and general management for $14/hr. I had a meeting with the owner telling him I need a raise and to hire an assistant, he told me I wasn’t “business minded” and should be a stay at home mom. I quit the next day.

13. Insanity

I used to work in a mall music store, back when that was a thing. There was a corporate policy to play new music regularly, y’know, because that’s the fucking thing you’re trying to sell.

My boss, every single day she worked, would play the entire Madonna album, Ray of Light. Hours of the same eight fucking songs. For most of a year, until it was either go mad, commit murder, or bail. I bailed.

That music franchise went under a little over a year later. I hold Madonna and my old boss responsible.

14. Shhhh

I’m a public librarian. I was helping someone in the computer room and turned to tell someone he needed to keep his exclamations at the video he was watching down. Just then, the woman I was helping leapt aside because the man I was shushing pissed himself. It ran down onto the jacket he had tied around his waist, down the chair, onto the ground. Turns out he’d snuck in alcohol and was totally black out drunk. I told him he had to leave. He put the piss covered jacket on and stumbled out. As I returned with gloves and cleaning supplies, another patron decided this was a good time to complain about some kids who were making noise. I took a deep breath and said “This is a good time for us all to appeal to our higher selves and do our best in the moment. Please just adapt for a minute”. Then I thought about the student loans I took out for the master’s degree as I scrubbed up piss.

15. Broccoli

Working for a popular grocery store, the amount of people that think the workers are stupid are astounding.. the produce all have codes and sometimes I forget. To the customer, this looks like I simply don’t know what a broccoli is. They’re like “it’s broccoli” in a condescending tone, and I just have to brush it off. It happens so many times, and though it’s not terrible it really gets me down sometimes. Most people assume retail workers are people with no goals, or even bums. That’s not true at all, everyone I work with including myself is planning to go to college or already enrolled.

16. Vomit

Bartender here. Grown man threw a lit cigarette at my face and threatened me with physical violence. This was a year or so ago but a 45 (maybe older) year old man behaving that way towards a 24 year old female was definitely one of those moments. Plus the people getting handsy and occasional cleaning of vomit I do not get paid enough.

17. Actions have Consequences

When I was 20 I had 3 jobs. I worked as a bank teller from 8-4, then as a closing shift manager at a coffee shop from 5-10, then as an overnight janitor from 11- 2 am.

This wasn’t every day but it was enough that it equated to about 80 hours a week between the 3 jobs, and yes you can imagine this would lead to burnout real fast.

So at the overnight janitor gig my “boss” comes over to me and asks me to come to the office for a review. This was weird, all I did was mop floors on a production line that made air train brakes. But whatever.

I go into his office and he closes the door behind me and pulls out a gay porn magazine and starts asking me about different dicks and put his hand on my shoulder.

I was surprisingly calm and just said I don’t like dicks and went back to work.

Then it hit me what happened. I called in sick the rest of the week and picked up my final paycheck when he wasn’t there.

It was a hard enough job without being sexually harassed for $8.50 an hour.

This was 15 years ago and everything is fine. I have a great career, and that guy was fired after other employees came forward with similar complaints. It was actually a very sad case. He was obviously very gay with a wife and kids. I know he was losing his house to her and his kid was dying of something, I think cancer. He ended up losing everything and I think he died homeless. I really don’t have any animosity towards the guy, I think he was broken and looking to find a little of himself, even though the way he did it was absolutely wrong.

It’s just sad.

18. Front Lines

When I was a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator. Taking all those suicide calls domestics with children, medical calls, people dying, officers getting shot, etc. Did it for 16 years before enough was enough.

19. Some Say He’s Still Waiting

I worked at ABC retailer for less than a month in 2009. I scanned a big box fan for a guy and it didn’t ring up, so I said “I gotta do a price check on this, I apologize.” The guy said “It’s $24.99 you fucking idiot.” I stared at him for a moment, then reached up and turned my little register light off, turned around, walked out to my car, and went home.

Fuck that shit.

20. The Biggest Turkey

Working in a grocery store meat department during Thanksgiving, when every third customer asks if you have any larger turkeys in the back. And insists you go back to the walk-in freezer and sift through multiple pallets of frozen turkeys for the 80th time today.

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Work

4 Tips for Job Seekers

Over the course of my career I’ve hired dozens and interviewed hundreds. If you are looking for a job you need to understand what the hiring manager is going through.

Finding a job is hard. But so is hiring.

I’m currently trying to fill two investments marketing roles and this requires my full attention on top of what I should be doing every day. I enjoy the process, but doing a proper evaluation of all candidates requires a lot of time and energy.

Here are a few things you can do to make it easier for the hiring manager. And by making it easier for the hiring manager you make it easier for yourself.

  1. It’s easy to get lost in the noise during the early stages of the hiring process. When a posting goes live, the hiring manager is often inundated with emails, calls and LinkedIn messages offering to chat about the role. I try to talk to as many people as possible, but the volume of conversations can be overwhelming. In addition, the hiring manager must go through hundreds of resumes. Names and faces get mixed up and good candidates can get accidentally looked-over or forgotten. Make it your responsibility to ensure you stay on the agenda – particularly during the early days of the hiring process.
  2. My next tip might seem like it contradicts the first. While you need to remain top of mind, you must avoid pestering the hiring manager. If they hint that you might not be a good fit for the role, accept it. If they say they’ll get back to you Thursday, wait until Friday to follow up if you haven’t heard anything. To help manage your own expectations don’t hesitate to ask about the process and timing.
  3. If you’re interested in a role, don’t wait for the hiring manager to ask you to apply online. First of all, those postings are only live for a limited time. Second, it’s a pain in the ass when people try to go around the online application portal. It’s there for a reason – it effectively becomes a database of interested candidates. If you’re not captured in the database, the train might leave without you.
  4. Be true to yourself. Do you really want the job and are you really a good fit? That initial conversation with the hiring manager is your opportunity to probe and figure out what you’re really applying for. I always start out with a 20 minute casual phone call to plainly state what I’m looking for. I expect candidates to do the same.
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Life Master Class Work

Warren Buffet & Charlie Munger on Capitalism