Insidious Practice Alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone soon will ask if you want to be a participant in NaNoWriMo. Refuse! Otherwise, you will have to write a whole novel in November. (National Novel Writing Month.)

During those thirty days, you will not be:

  1. Watching college basketball.
  2. Sleeping in your recliner.
  3. Relaxed.

Your Target For NaNoWriMo Words for Today


You will be:

  1. Regretting how far behind you are.
  2. Punishing yourself for not being on a writing schedule.
  3. A failed writer.

Think about it! Start your preparation for November by #1 taking up the hobby of… oh, say… cooking? Politics? Drawing by number?

Is it me or the world? Lulu talks at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Hello ladies and germs,

Lulu Rose

Thursday, October 1, 2015, Lulu will be talking to us on KKFI 90.1, on the program, “Shots in the Night”. The show will begin at 7:30 pm, with several stories.

You can listen live at KKFI,  Streaming audio.

For those of you who missed Bob’s confession on September 3rd, click here at ShotsInTheNight.

Also, Bill answers, without a pause, the question, “Do You Love Me, Bill?” It’s at the 18 minute mark of the same ShotsInTheNight recording. Warning: if you don’t like the sound of sweat, don’t listen to this one.

It’s called “radio”.

Appealing to just one of the senses, I remain,

Dane

Employment Advice From The JobBuster: Beeeeep!!

Dear Mr. Monk,

I own an auto parts business in Tupelo. I have seven employees who get along real well. I usually hire someone by word of mouth. So, they’re likely friends of friends, or relatives of friends.

JobBuster's Typewriter

Last week someone walked in with a resume. No one knew him, and I didn’t feel comfortable about offering him a job, even though I had one open. Also, I think a few of the guys would have trouble working with a black man. Do you think it’s good strategy to rely only on word of mouth to find prospective employees?

Ted in Tupelo

Dear Ted,

That strategy, Ted, is illegal. And, worse than that…it’s wrong.

There may be ways, with a good lawyer, to do an end run around our laws. Following laws, however, is not enough. Our laws represent our society’s need to identify right and wrong behavior. But human behavior is complicated, and can’t be completely prescribed by lawmakers.

I can make it easy for you. Right and wrong can be answered most always by asking yourself if you would like to be treated the same way. A concrete example: your business fails, and at age 59, you go looking for a job. Would you like to interview with a 30 year old who feels uncomfortable with old guys?

Your business fail? If the laws and ethics are too complicated for you, you might consider the effect of hiring friends of friends who guarantee little difference among your employees. That is a recipe for failure.

I suggest you hire the black guy, the woman, the senior, the guy in a wheel chair, because your team will be better. Your business will change not just because there is variety in your work force, but because you’ll have a variety of skills, attitudes, ideas, and influences.

In the Church of the Free Market parlance, variety is profitable.

Comfortable and legal are not enough.

Jobbuster Monk

My Boss Stole My Idea

Dear Mr. Monk,

My boss has these employee meetings where he asks for suggestions. I’ve given him three or four good ideas, but he always says why they won’t work. This morning he changed the president’s parking space to “employee of the month”. It’s the one closest to the front door. Mr. Monk, that was my idea about six months ago. He stole my idea. How do I get appreciated around here?

Mary in Marysville

Dear Mary,

The problem with great ideas is that they always look like bad ideas. (You don’t want the president having to walk two blocks to his office. The president’s time is worth far more than an employee’s time.)

Also, your idea was not your boss’ idea, originally. Time went by with so much to

JobBuster's Typewriter

remember. So many ideas. He wanted to reward his employees. Let’s see…hey, I’ve got it. Honor an employee each month! Nothing like the power of one’s own idea.

He stole it from you? You shouldn’t care.

You actually got something for your team. His idea, your idea…what does it matter? Keep flooding him with ideas. Make him look like the genius you are.

Jobbuster Monk

What’s your beef with your employer? E-mail me at danezeller@ yahoo dot com

JobBuster Monk’s Employment Advice: Don’t Piss Off Your Boss

Dear Mr. Monk,

I’m angry. On my last annual review I scored low on “works efficiently”, and I’m their best programmer. Today I received an email from my boss setting up a meeting in his office for 10:15 a.m. next Monday. I’m rarely asked to meet him in his office, and the dumb ass copied to HR. I’m going to be fired. I can’t wait for Monday. My wife says to slow down. I want to confront him now. Who’s right?

Ben in the Binary Department

Dear Ben,

I’m not a marriage counselor. They don’t let you be one if you’ve been married five times. However, being fired on seven occasions makes me an expert in this employment matter.

JobBuster Monk

Take the whole weekend, or not. Think about all the valuable things you got from your soon-to-be ex-employer. You got good annual reviews until the last one. They probably helped you get training. You enjoyed your salary and benefits. Certainly your experience was worth the effort.

Then, when you can get a smile on your face, go talk to him. Ask him if you’re being fired. Don’t break the smile. Whatever his response, thank him for the valuable experience you’ve had under his supervision.

You’ll recognize this as following the don’t-burn-your-bridges theory. There is great satisfaction in lighting the match. I know. I’ve done it myself.

Your task will be to stay out of the righteous-outrage world. Focus on your gains from your last job. You’ll be a better job candidate.

You’ll be a better person to live with, too, like my third wife said.

Jobbuster Monk

Dear Readers: If you want advice on getting, ending, or doing a job, send your question to danezeller@ yahoo dot com. I’ve got plenty of time to respond.

The Silent Pink Slip

Dear Mr. Monk,

I teach psychology courses at several universities as an adjunct. One of the schools has not contacted me about next semester, and I’m getting worried. I’m wondering if I asked too much of my students or if my tests were too easy. Maybe I didn’t do enough to communicate with my international students. I do like to bring current issues into the classroom. Maybe the students complained. I won’t know until the student survey results come back to me next semester, if there is one. I’ve been meaning to talk to the dean, but I fear all I’ll get is embarrassed. I don’t make much money as an adjunct, but I think it’s important work. What can I do to avoid this constant doubt?

Fred at Many U.

Dear Fred,

My advice, Fred:  Stop trying to come up with the reason.  I’ll do that for you.  Seeking a reason for your silent pink slip is not worthy of your study.

JobBuster Monk

You and your university have conflicting purposes.  It’s a topsy-turvy conflict: they want to run the school like a business; you want to run their business like a school. They like to create and meet budgets by trying to drive tuition up and salaries down. They see teaching as a line item; you see it as a cause.

There are a variety of actions to take, depending on your style. One is to walk up to the dean and tell him you’re making out your schedule.  Remember though, it’s possible to mistake tact for the truth.

I recommend you sidestep the semester survey. They are always too late. Do your own.  In your remaining courses, ask your students daily or weekly the questions from the semester survey. Also, throw in your own: “Am I making myself clear?” “Do you think this video is worthwhile?” “Are you having fun?”

They will be reluctant to answer, at first. But, when they do, your doubt will fade away.

JobBuster Monk

 

Dear readers: Having been fired eleven times in my life, I am an expert in employment advice. If you have a question, please send it to me  danezeller@ yahoo dot com. 

My Boss The Jerk

Dear Mr. Monk,

My boss’ name is Jay. I don’t care if he reads this. Jay thinks we do better work when he yells at us and belittles us. Don’t tell me to go over his head. He is the head, the owner of the company. Because he is the boss and a jerk, no one will challenge him, and no one will bring up any new ideas to him. You should be in a meeting with him. He talks and we cower.

Should I look for another job, or just take it?

Steve in Salina

Dear Steve,

Neither.  There is a third option to taking or leaving asshole management.  You can set your standards higher for your current employer.

JobBuster Monk

The next time the J yells at you, challenge him. Make sure you are loud enough that your fellow employees will hear.  Use the “J” word.

When you finish, you will fear losing your job, but that will be nothing new. Fear is the jerk’s method of motivation. The secret: he has an odd and incorrect notion of what motivates his employees; it is likely that he is motivated in the same way.

I predict the bully will respect you and your fellow employees.

Jobbuster Monk

My dear readers: Send me your employment questions. I’ve had over thirty jobs. I’m an expert.

JobBuster Monk’s Resume Advice: Don’t

Dear Mr. Monk,

I’m sixty years old, and I’ve busted my sales quota every quarter for the last ten years. I sent my resume to forty or fifty organizations without a single response. I hired an employment specialist, and she said I shouldn’t reveal my age in my resume. I worked at one place for ten years and another for thirty. Anyone can do the math. So, I rewrote the resume and got some calls and interviews. I didn’t get a job. Will I ever get past this discrimination?

Ted from Des Moines

Dear Ted,

Yes, you will, Ted.

JobBuster Monk

First, toss the resume. They are for companies who want a quick way to ignore their most important job: hiring the right people.   They look for misspelled words, poor grammar, gaps in the resume, maybe an oily smudge on the corner of the page.

Second, put a new sheet of paper in your Selectric and write a letter that starts out with the first sentence of your question above. Then tell the prospective employer what you’ve done, and more importantly, how you do things. If you greet every customer with a smile and a handshake, write it. If you compliment every fellow employee, mention it. If you give twenty dollars of effort for every fifteen dollars of pay, tell them.

Good employers hire for attitude, not youth. Trust me, you would not want to work for someone who gets fooled by a jerry-rigged resume.

JobBuster Monk

My dear readers: Send me your employment questions. I’ve had over thirty jobs. I’m an expert.

Failure to Communicate: email

Dear Mr. Monk,

We got a new director this week, and he wants us to embed our photo in the signature of our emails. He says he wants to know what we look like when he communicates with us. This is creepy to me. I don’t mind him seeing what I look like, but my email goes out to our customers and vendors. So, I haven’t done it. Will I be in trouble?

Heather in Southhampton

Dear Heather,

JobBuster Monk

No, you will not be in trouble. This is so invasive that a call to human resources will send their S.W.A.T. team to his office in the fastest Humvee in the motor pool.  An employee has a right to privacy, and a right to be protected from disgruntled customers.

Don’t worry, your job will be secure if the director compounds the problem by trying to terminate your employment. Think of your termination hearing as a positive. Take along his last email to you. That way, you can identify him at the table by his photograph. Go up to him, shake his hand; it may be the last chance you get to meet him.

JobBuster Monk

JobBuster Monk Gives Employment Advice

Dear Mr. Monk,

I’ve been a claims adjuster for a large insurance company for the last ten years. Last week I gave my two week’s notice, and I felt great! Then I talked to my uncle who is an accountant for a nationwide firm, and he asked me how many car payments I will be able to make without a job. How will I explain the possible employment gap on my resume. He said I violated the most important rule of job changing, to get a new job before quitting the old one.

JobBuster Monk

Now I’m having second thoughts. Should I?

Larissa in Lincoln

Dear Larissa,

He’s just doing his job. He has been trained to sit in large important meetings and thwart all the crazy ideas that come from the marketing department.  He does that with numbers. He asks the idea person to produce a budget for the project. He will do a cost benefit analysis to show how silly the idea is.

The problem he has with your giving notice is that he can’t put a number on the benefit of your lowered blood pressure, or your better relationship with your family. He doesn’t understand the cost of a miserable life.

You’re having second thoughts? Stop counting.

JobBuster Monk

 

My dear readers: I need help in writing and promoting this advice column. If you have suggestions, advice, or even workplace questions, you could comment on this post, reply on facebook, or email me at danezeller at yahoo dot com. Thanks for your help!

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