Entries Tagged as 'all work'

all workgetting older

roots & wings

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I just learned that my great Aunt Molly, one of my grandfather’s remaining siblings, passed away yesterday.

It took some time to process this information after I received the phone call from my cousin. I would be lying if I said we were particularly close –- it has easily been a year-and-a-half since the last time I saw her, since her health began to decline and she went into an assisted living center.

But Aunt Molly used to be one of the regulars at the Adult’s table growing up, and a sense of importance and regality surrounded her and the fact that she somehow out-adulted my own parents. I am 27 now, but Aunt Molly always seemed to be the same age: old –- old enough to seem delicate, but never in jeopardy of dying. This though, comes with almost 2 years of decline since the last time I saw her -– between reality and the memories I kept carefully preserved from it. [Read more →]

all work

Marty Digs: The Iranian lock king

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This week has been a walk down memory lane for two interesting milestones in my life. Twenty years ago this week I wore English Leather cologne to a high school party and a girl thought I peed myself. That’s a whole other story that I’ve told a million times, but I’d rather talk about the ten year anniversary of foolishly taking a job at an Iranian man’s lock and door hardware company. It was a nightmare from the get-go.     [Read more →]

all workartistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzo

On being a full-time artist

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My day gig is teaching, so I am off this week. All I really had to do yesterday was shovel snow. That is it. This was done by about eleven o’clock in the morning. Did I come in and compose a sonata? Did I practice an extra hour on my guitar? Did I work on the final two mixes on my current musical project? Did I get around to writing this article before 8:55 PM last night? Nope. [Read more →]

all workbooks & writing

Interview with Mark SaFranko

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Mark SaFranko has led a writer’s life. Dan Fante once said of SaFranko that the man would rather “write than breathe,” and Mark has stayed restless but productive throughout his working years. This means he has held too many shit jobs and too many of his manuscripts have been left to rot unpublished and unread, but this fall, a breakthrough is on the horizon. In November, his cult classic Hating Olivia will be his first novel published by a major press in America although the book was published five years ago in England. Indeed, SaFranko follows a long line of American novelists who found a home in Europe before they managed to crack the conservative culture of American publishing. As you’ll read below, Mark has fought battles as a writer, a husband, a father, and a human being. But even when the future was most bleak for SaFranko, it knew better than to fuck with him when he was on a writing kick. Keep reading to check out his excellent responses to my questions about Hating Olivia, parenting, the future of books, and more. [Read more →]

all workfashion & clothing

Marty digs Wal-Mart and Dockers

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I dig Wal-Mart. As much as people hate on Wal-Mart, I go for therapeutic reasons. I have been down in the dumps lately — work has been busy, money is tight, and I have spotted a few grays in my precious golden locks. But instead of going to a shrink to help me work out the kinks, I just jump in the car and go to my local Wal-Mart to make myself feel better. I cannot imagine what it costs for a session in some professional’s office to help you sort yourself out, but at Wal-Mart it’s free. (Well, it was $15.67 for the cashews, apple juice, Willie Nelson clearance priced T-Shirt, and pack of gum.) Once again, Wal-Mart has saved a consumer his hard-earned pocket change. [Read more →]

all workBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten signs you had a bad summer

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10. You mentally divide your summer into two parts: pre and post firecracker incident

9. You have gills and you live in the Gulf

8. The only action you got at the beach all summer was when a horsefly flew into your trunks

7. First name “Tony.” Last name “Hayward”

6. Most of the phone calls you received all summer long were from Mel Gibson

5. The only summer job you could find was as a suntan lotion applier for the cast of Jersey Shore

4. You have no idea who Pedro is, but you woke up with his name tattooed on your back

3. The closest you got to a summer fling was kissing Grandma at the Labor Day barbecue

2. What everyone else thinks is a sunburn is actually a rash

1. The highlight of your summer: Reading this top ten list

 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

all work

People who should be celebrated this week

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With a twist on Mr. Stein’s wonderful/horrific posts about people who should be killed this week, I offer up a story of someone who deserves all kinds of praise and recognition:

Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford.

[Read more →]

all workends & odd

The working week

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A bleak post about Tuesday, that most persistent and terrible of all days:

So, Tuesday, we meet again. Tuesday and I have met often and no good has ever come of it.

I am beyond Tuesday’s power, for I haven’t had steady work since last March, when I finally left minimum wage office jobs for the paradise that is TEFL (Teaching English to Johnny Foreigner). The paradise consists largely of being fired, getting a new job, then finding there’s almost no work so one may as well be unemployed; then, inevitably, borrowing yet more money from friends and relatives, and finally dying in a snow drift in the north of Germany; and then being eaten by wolves and crows. [Read more →]

all workKelly Conaboy saves the world

Unemployment: 10% in 2010!

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Just in case you thought job loss was “probably not happening anymore,” a government report was released on Friday, January 8, stating that the economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, keeping the unemployment rate at 10%. This, of course, leads everyone to ask: Who the heck was supposed to be watching all the jobs?

[Read more →]

all worktechnology

Forced onto the grid

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If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, that depends on whether it has a Facebook page. Sounds ridiculous, huh? I thought the same thing when I recently applied for a job to be an interactive editor for a news website. [Read more →]

adviceall work

3 steps closer to getting less done with fewer excuses

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Discipline is hard and not fun and I’m no good at it. So, since I’m surfing around anyway instead of working, why don’t we find out what sort of free motivational programs are out there for lazy creative types like us?

Let’s start at the beginning; I think that’s a common thing among the disciplinati.

  1. Alarm Clock. So many clocks, so little time that I feel like working. I had high hopes for Alarm Cocky, which is a timer that lets you choose from a number of alarms, such as a guitar riff or a standard beep, or a freaked-out rooster cock-a-doodle-doo (hence the name). But I couldn’t get it to do a short 10-15 second trial and I didn’t want to sit around waiting for a longer experiment, so I can’t recommend it. Klokoo.com had a cheesy home page with weird RSS links and a slogan that read “Wake up tomorrow morning with Klokoo the radio alarm cock online” that made me nervous about what I might roll over and and see on my work laptop, so I went elsewhere. Kukuklok.com was a better option with a simple design that seems to work okay with a small selection of alarm noises, but the coolest was MetaClock (www.metaclock.com), which lets you pick a wakeup time, a song, a website you would like to pop up, a note from yourself, a random fact, and a “Today in History” factoid. [Read more →]
adviceall work

All hail Lynne, Bitch-Whisperer

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Dear Ruby,
I have a gal working in my office who is a real Bossy Betty. Doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter what, she’s got an opinion on what should be done and by golly she is going to make sure you take her advice. It’s bad enough on work matters, but I surely don’t need her advice on my personal life! Ignoring her just seems to encourage her and my boss doesn’t seem to mind that she’s running the show. Any advice on dealing with her?
Lynne

[Read more →]

adviceall work

Push her far away/With inane haiku; I know/You have it in you

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Dear Ruby,
A question in the form of a haiku:

Nice to work lady
Now she talks to me all day
Want her to stop please

Regards, Johan [Read more →]

all work

Urban Interns — the answer to your job problems

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The economy is in the crapper. Sick of hearing about it? So am I. So where are the answers? Every time I turn on the news I cross my fingers that one of these drones is going to give me some good news. An inkling of hope. Something. Anything. “Start a lemonade stand.” Give me an idea. Anything at all. Every night I watch, or actually try not to watch, the news. It’s bleak to say the least. All the reports are about the decline in the stock market, bailouts, stimulus plans and that in vitro obsessed octo-psycho. Enough is enough. The marketplace is changing. We get it. So for everybody out there that’s had it with news stories about overpaid AIG executives and Bernie Madoff’s bazillion dollar Ponzi scheme, stay with me here. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. [Read more →]

adviceall work

Rootloose and fancy free

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Dear Ruby,
All my life I’ve been a bit of a dreamer.  You know, places to go, people to meet, and new careers upon which to embark. While I was married, with a young son, I mostly kept the dreams at bay with occasional small indulgences like becoming a painter for a year. Now in my mid-40’s I am starting to wonder if it is reasonable to still be a dreamer, let alone to actually pursue one. Being divorced I no longer have a family to support, nor any reason to stay where I am or to do what I am doing. I feel the huge wide world constantly beckoning but worry where I will be in 20 years. Is it time to stop dreaming, grow up, and plant some roots?

Anonymous

[Read more →]

all workKelly Conaboy saves the world

I’m going to the job market, do you need anything?

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The job market. A topic that used to inspire oh boy!’s and let me tell you!’s in the American public, now sparking only oh boy’s and let me tell you‘s. People all over the country are losing their jobs and homes, and, more harrowingly, people like me are graduating from college. “What are you going to do?” you might be thinking. “How will you find a job, when people who are actually qualified for jobs are having such trouble?” Luckily for me, I am incredibly talented and sure that I will have no trouble finding a great job after graduation. Luckily for you, I am incredibly generous and have assembled some easy-to-follow advice for those of you also entering the job market who are less talented than I am.   

[Read more →]

adviceall work

Party like it’s 1931

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Dear Ruby,
I’m unemployed, but looking, and I’m doing okay with unemployment and my savings. I’m a single guy who’s always lived within his means, so I know I’ll survive until I find something. Even though I didn’t do anything wrong and I know there are so many people in the same boat, I don’t know if I should date. It’s like I shouldn’t even ask if I have to be cheap about it. My friends are split down the middle — half say to wait until I’m working (which could be months) and half say go ahead and ask. If I ask someone out for a low-budget date, am I a loser?

Sincerely, Dateless in Depression [Read more →]

all workeducation

Grading the teachers: policies in want of a metric

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Chesterfield County, Virginia, is facing some tough times.  While that hardly makes the area unique, it is of particular interest because the school district is facing a massive $52 million shortfall and is looking to cut over 300 positions from the public schools.

The district comprises 38 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, 11 high schools, and a technical center.  If the cuts were distributed evenly, it would come out to nearly 5 positions per school.  And in government work, seniority and tenure mean a lot, so the newest teachers are the ones who will most likely be on the streets.

A recent letter to the Editor of the Chesterfield Observer suggests it be done differently: [Read more →]

all workmoney

Layoffs keep coming — here’s hoping we keep our house

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As I mentioned in a previous post, the changing economy has been relatively unkind to my family. In mid-December, I was laid off from a copy-editing job that had made small diversions like buying two or three books once in a while, eating out at a mid-priced restaurant, and seeing an occasional show feasible. Since then, the job market in Cincinnati has been — to be kind — brutal. Luckily, my wife still had a great job that made the necessities possible.

Then, last Tuesday, I got that long-awaited call. I had an interview. Maybe the economy here in Cincinnati wasn’t as bad as I had thought. Maybe the stimulus package and the housing bill had already started working its hermetic magic. Maybe, if the interview went well, my wife and I could once again look forward to the uncertain future.

[Read more →]

adviceall work

How to be a quitter

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Dear Ruby,
I know this is a bad time to think about leaving my job, but I hate it and I don’t think I can stand it much longer. I have a micromanaging boss and some bad coworkers, but mostly I’m just tired of what I do. It’s office work and not very creative. I’ve been trying to stick it out, but I find myself surfing around online all day and I’m afraid that I’m going to get caught and fired before I find something better. Should I stay or should I go?

Ken

Dear Ken,
You didn’t tell me whether or not you are supporting a family, but I’m going to try to answer in a way that would address both situations — stay.

Put down the letter opener, I don’t mean forever. What I do mean is, end it like a man. End it honorably, like an agreement, like a marriage, like any obligation. You need a plan and a timetable, so I am providing you, free of charge, Ruby’s patented 3 Weeks to 2 Weeks’ Notice program:

Week 1: Get some real work done.
On Monday morning for two hours, figure out what you need to accomplish in the coming week to get caught up on your work, or at least close to it. Close your office door or tape off your cubicle opening, turn off your phone. You could even send out a “please do not disturb me from 8-10” email to those likely to disturb you. If your boss gives you crap about it, tell him or her that it’s something you read about in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and you hope it will help you be more organized. It is likely that your screwing off has already been noted and this explanation will give your boss hope that you are getting back on track and that he or she will not have to fire you. It is false hope, but you don’t have to explain that.

I know what you’re thinking — if you could get yourself to work more you wouldn’t be in this position. The problem was that you weren’t incentivized. Here’s your incentive. After every 2 hours of work you complete, you get to spend 20 minutes on your resume and you get to pick one personal item to take home. Maybe it’s 20 minutes reading an online article about interviewing or maybe it’s 20 minutes of writing out a really flattering description of your current position. By the end of a week, you should have a spiffing resume in progress and a desk drawer or two cleaned out.

At night, it goes without saying, you’re Facebooking, LinkedInning, and hitting the job boards. Hard. But, only at home, where you have time to write carefully compelling cover letters and catch the errors before you hit “Submit.”

Week 2: Hanging curtains in the escape tunnel [Read more →]

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