Friday, February 17, 2006

Rollercoaster week

I got a call today from the newspaper and they told me I passed the drug screening. They apologized for failing to tell me not to come to work last week, and being the nice guy that I am, I forgave them. Hee hee. I re-start the job on Wednesday. Wow! Despite that, I'm still going to start aiming at PR.

Also, I am typing this blog post on my brand-spanking-new Inspiron B-130 Dell laptop. This thing is beautiful.

Now I'm going to go out and PARTY!

Time to go corporate

Well, what can I say? I have not heard back from HR about if I passed the drug screening. But whether or not I get this job, I’ve decided to take radical action to increase my chances of landing a decent job in today’s hyper-competitive job market. Perhaps I should have done this a long time ago, but on Monday I am meeting with a professional career counselor.

First a little background:

Last week I was freelance writing an article on how one should go about asking for a raise, and in the course of writing the article I contacted a career counselor to get her insight. After the interview was completed, we began speaking frankly in a friendly manner. We ended up talking for over a half an hour and after the conversation was through, thoughts that had been brewing in the back of my mind came to the forefront.

W, the career counselor, shared my frustration about the lack of adequate compensation for fledgling journalists. For example, the article I wrote about raises earned me only $65. When broken down into $’s/hr, that ain’t much—and I can whip out an article fairly quickly. Meanwhile, there are not many fulltime journalism positions available in this city. Other than working at the one major daily here—and it is extremely difficult to get in—one will usually earn about $25,000/year for working fulltime at one of the smaller community newspapers. That’s pitiful, especially for a job that takes a certain level of education and skill.

While writing for a local community newspaper recently I became friendly with the business editor. Recently he quit his $26,000 fulltime editing position for a public relations position at a local company. He told me that he doubled his income; got his own office, company credit card—and that he still can’t get over the shock of it all. He had no prior PR experience, and he suggested I try to do what he did. And so did W, the career counselor. She told me she’s helped a few of her clients who were in similar situations like mine to break into the field of public relations. And I must admit that last summer when I was aggressively looking for employment I noticed there were scores of PR jobs listed, but hardly any journalism jobs.

W has over 8 years of experience as a career counselor. In fact, she entered her field after growing frustrated working as a local journalist for a mere pittance. I don’t know what her fees are, but I’m willing to pay them. Already she is going over my resume and my website, which in professional parlance is called a “business portfolio.” She’s forwarded me pdf files and other information, which I will be going over this weekend. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m on the cusp of obtaining a degree in Journalism and MASS COMMUNICATIONS. I’ll just start emphasizing the latter.

This does not mean I’m giving up on journalism. I’ll still continue to pen my political opinions about current events—in fact, I can hardly do otherwise. But as far as a career as a journalist goes, I feel like I’ve run into a brick wall. Even if I can break through the wall, the compensation sucks.

Time to go corporate.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My latest column: Gym etiquette tips

It's a bit of a rehash of a previous blog post, but toned down.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Back from first day of work already

To rehash this whole mess: Upon being offered a job the company that owns the paper where I applied has a policy that one must undergo drug screening within 24 hours of accepting a job. On Monday the 6th I was offered the position and accepted. I took the drug test that day. I was told results would be ready in 2-3 days. By last Thursday I was contacted by the paper and put on the schedule. They requested I begin work today. I assumed I passed and we were all good to go.

Last Monday the 13, however, I was contacted by HR and told that my urine was too diluted, would I retake the test? I took the test yesterday. The woman at HR only asked that I retake the test. Nobody at the paper contacted me to tell me to postpone coming to work today, nor did S at HR tell me not to go to work. Thus, I arrived at work today well rested, dressed to the nines, brief case in hand, and ready to roll.

The minute I stepped into the office the editor looked at me like I was an apparition.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“Reporting to work as assigned,” I replied.

“Didn’t S in human resources tell you that you were not supposed to come in until the test results were in?”

“No, she never said that. She only asked that I retake the test, which I did. Nor did anybody from this office tell me otherwise. In fact, last Thursday you guys put me on the schedule and told me to come to work today. And here I am.”

“Well, we’re sorry for the confusion.”

Hmmm… what the hell was S at human resources smoking to make such a stupid error? I drove 45 minutes only to be told to return home. What a waste of my time and gas. Maybe S should undergo a snap drug test for fucking up! If she was on her toes, this wouldn't have happened. Clearly her mind is clouded by something, or she's an idiot-- or both.

First day of work (and maybe last)

Well, after perusing the web a bit and updating my bliz-og, I'm finna hop in the shower and go to work. This should be interesting. I'm not in the least bit nervous-- just excited.

Since I have a 45 minute communte ahead of me, I'll need to pick out a few choice CD's. I also packed my brief case with some tea bags, since I love to drink tea throughout the day. I don't know, maybe they have tea there? But lately I don't need caffeine in the day, just a cup or two of coffee in the morning; and if they do have tea, what if it's caffinated? See, I'm thinking ahead...

I'm looking forward to blogging about my first day of work later this evening. It might be late, though, because I'm going directly to the gym after work.

Israeli group announces anti-Semitic cartoons contest!


A Danish paper publishes a cartoon that mocks Muslims. An Iranian paper responds with a Holocaust cartoons contest - - Now a group of Israelis announce their own anti-Semitic cartoons contest!

Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, from Tel-Aviv, Israel, has followed the unfolding of the “Muhammad cartoon-gate” events in amazement, until finally he came up with the right answer to all this insanity - and so he announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest - this time drawn by Jews themselves!

“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”

The contest has been announced today on the website, and the initiator accept submissions of cartoons, caricatures and short comic strips from people all over the world. The deadline is Sunday March 5, and the best works will be displayed in an Exhibition in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Sandy is now in the process of arranging sponsorships of large organizations, and promises lucrative prizes for the winners, including of course the famous Matzo-bread baked with the blood of Christian children.

And in another example of Jewish wit over Islamic rage:

Insult LawBy Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder Published 2/14/2006 12:08:58 AM

The Muslims have pronounced their verdict. The cartoon man has been found guilty. The real crime is, of course, not being a Muslim. Now that they have established the crime, they have also pronounced the sentence. Even if you never saw or heard of the cartoon, you deserve to be hit with rocks, your car wrecked, and your embassies destroyed because you are an infidel -- and incidentally, there are no appeals. There was even television coverage of a Muslim religious leader screaming in some unintelligible language. However, on the bottom of the screen the translation appeared. This religious leader was shouting that whoever drew the cartoon should have his hands cut off. This hardly seems for us to be a reasonable penalty for somebody taking a piece of paper, picking up a pen, and drawing something.

Could you picture a Jew doing something like this? Ironically, the cartoonists were not even condemning Islam, they were merely creating a satire of a terrorist. They weren't insulting their religion, they were satirizing a fanatic. But, the Muslims have decided that there are no laws, limits, or boundaries that apply to their behavior. They not only have the right to take your life, they now have the right to rob you of your freedom of expression. Could you picture a Jew killing anybody for such meaningless reasons? If a Jew gets mad he might sneak into your house and steal your lipitor or he would make a deal with your doctor to lie about your cholesterol number, or just when you have fasted a whole day on Yom Kippur when you finally could eat you would find that he snuck into your house and stole all your pastrami sandwiches.

Read the rest, here.
Hat tip: Charles at LGF

Stupid headline

Test Helps You Predict Chances of Dying

You don't need to take a test to figure this one out. All of you -- everyone's -- chances of dying are 100%.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Found the office door culprit

I was saddened to learn tonight in class that the author of the “mass genocide” blather on a TA office door was actually produced by a friend of mine, whom I’ll dub MN. I shared an office with MN last year; we had classes together, and even hung out. She never uttered such insane views in the past. She was fairly middle-of-the-road before. I wonder what accounts for her drastic swerve to the far loony left? Is there even a point in discussing the issues with her?

The silver lining in all of this is that it inspired me to write my latest column, which I’ll post once it is published. For some reason the Internet version of the UWM Post has not published my most recent article, even though it is in the print edition. As soon as the website is updated, I’ll link to last week’s column.

I start my new job tomorrow. But who knows, I might be “let go” by Friday. Wouldn’t that be funny/sad/weird/frustrating etcetera?

Piss test redux

I just took my second piss test. This time my pee was much more yellow. The “nurse” or whatever you call her insured me that this time my pee wouldn’t be too diluted. I don’t want to have to take this test again—ever.

I don’t know why it took HR until yesterday to tell me I had to take it again. Results usually come within two to three days.

It’s out of my hands now.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Not out of the woods yet

Just got a call from HR for the newspaper. My urine was too dilute and I need to test again. Damn. Well, I'm at peace with the thought of not getting this job. Life goes on and there are other jobs out there. I have two papers I can freelance for, and although the money is not good, it keeps my foot in the journalism world. I'm taking the test tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to run for a couple of miles and then sit in the hot tub and steam room for a spell.

Tomorrow I'll make sure to not drink so much water this time.

Letter response to message board

Here is a copy of an email I sent to M about the agitprop on her office door. The distubing message on the message board can be viewed here.

Hi M,

I am not 100% sure, but I believe it is your office door that has a message board with this message on it:

Freedom: What a country has when it forces its military to commit mass genocide while convincing its citizens that the victims are less than humans. The rhetoric behind the war on terror should scare you.

I must say that I find the message to be incredibly offensive. You already know my views regarding office door politics, but that little screed above trumps good taste and is, quite frankly, out of the realm of rational debate, in my opinion.

For example, my parents and uncle and many of my relatives are opposed to the war in Iraq, and are not Bush fans. Nevertheless, we have respectful debates and arguments about what’s going on in the world; we all stay in the realm of reality, not hyperbole or emotional-laden arguments. I respect their views, but disagree; they feel the same about me. But for anybody to suggest that our military is committing “mass genocide” in Iraq or Afghanistan, in my opinion, indicates a person who is not interested in rational debate rooted in facts.

Whatever one might say about US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no legitimate argument to justify calling such actions “mass genocide.” If anything, the US removed a tyrant and a regime that was itself genocidal. Saddam’s regime ethnically cleansed and systematically murdered tens of thousands of Kurds in the north of Iraq. Saddam’s Iraq drained the ancient marshes of the Ma’adan, the Marsh Arabs, destroying their ancient way of life and while killing thousands of them. His regime killed tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of Shiites. Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles at Israel and repeatedly pledged to destroy the Jewish state, which constitutes a threat of genocide. As for the Taliban in Afghanistan, not only did they harbor al-Qaeda and refuse to hand over its leaders, their regime treated women worse than animals. It was the United States that ended the Taliban’s gender apartheid. If that is “mass genocide” in your mind, then maybe you are out of your mind…

In every war in the history of humanity innocent people have been killed. The tragic deaths of innocents, however, do not constitute “mass genocide.” If that is your measuring stick for what constitutes genocide, then every war in history has been a genocide. But if every war is genocide, then that means there is no actual thing that can be called a “genocide.” Whatever way you look at it, you render the term “genocide” meaningless. Perhaps you should look up the term “genocide” in the dictionary and study some basic history.

When one frivolously and gratuitously uses (abuses) the term “genocide” one debases the victims of true genocides. When you dub recent US actions abroad “genocide” you debase the memory of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust; you debase the memory of the over one million Anatolian Armenians; you debase the memory of the 1.7 million Cambodian victims of Pol Pot’s Marxist nightmare; you debase the memories of the of the 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda who were hacked to death; and finally you debase the memory and belittle the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Reasonable people can differ on the war in Iraq. But to describe it as a “mass genocide” is a despicable slanderous lie.

If you did not write the message I am referring to, then I apologize for sending you this email. If did not write the message and if you know who did, could you please forward them this email?


Anti-semitism 101: blame the Jews

Great, so now Ahmadejihad has stated that the Jews are behind the Danish cartoon madness. I think this guy is literally insane.

see web stats