Monday, August 30, 2010

TMI, anyone?

I thought I had heard it all at work.

We have screening processes for volunteers who teach our classes and lead our support groups. But there's no such thing as a fail proof system, is there?

A colleague and I were chatting after work tonight and she said, "Oh! I totally forgot to tell you the funniest part of the training!"

Apparently one of the people in one of our recent trainings - who is in school to be a therapist, by the way - did nothing but rant about her ex-husband during the training weekend.

Then, during one of the breaks, she says to my colleague (whom she has never met before), "By the way, I just went out and bought a new vibrator! I haven't had an orgasm in 20 years!"

Try to figure out why...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Up to what?

I spent a good portion of time this morning arguing with the internet people, attempting to cancel our upgrade order because we got totally fucked with our pants on.

Read: if you order a certain mbps speed, you are not guaranteed anything near that speed, although you will be charged for it.

The fine print = your speed will be up to 7 mbps.

From zilch, zero.

In fact, although I had signed up for a certain speed, I was actually getting less than half of that speed. When I went back to the regular speed, I literally only got 0.1 mbps less.

If they can get away with this concept, I have decided, so should the rest of us.

We could work up to so many hours a week, when employed full-time.

We could promise up to so many sexcapades to our partners.

Our cats could give us up to so many cuddles. (Although I think I will be getting more, thanks to my spiffy new blanket from K!)

We could pay up to the listed prices of movies, dinners out, clothing, shoes, etc.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How awesome is this?

Normally I scoff at people who geek out about electronics - Mr. RK, family and friends included. The only things I like to spend extra money on are 1) people I like and 2) experiences (trips, etc) and 3) bras and shoes - those are things that are an investment, lest the body parts look and feel like shit later in life.

But I got hypnotized by a little pink phone - and Mr. RK bought it for me for my birthday! Of course I didn't wait until the actual day (come on, would you?) Nope, I'm the person who wants to open presents at midnight on Xmas Eve and rips open birthday cards the minute they arrive.

In fact, this phone has me sort of in a vampiric trance...or maybe it's because I started reading Anne Rice?

What do you geek out about?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tips for the uninitiated

I am no HR person. I am not a hiring professional. But I still have advice for people in general after being in on the hiring process at work.

Mind you, we've gotten some great resumes. But we've also gotten many clueless people as well.

So here are some tips I have come up with. Tell me if you think they're clever.

1. When referring to yourself, capitalize "I."

2. Don't apply for a position we do not have - particularly when you are referring to a specific job we posted on craigslist.

3. Don't simply say, "I'm smart," and expect to think it'll land you the job. One cover letter simply said, "I'm a smart person. I can do this job." Not kidding. No more words in the cover letter - it was actually more like a cover sentence. Another person listed his IQ and MENSA membership as reasons we should hire him.

4. Don't send us your resume in power point format, including a picture of yourself in sunglasses. As my board president said, "We're not doing a movie screening!"

5. Don't send a generic cover letter that you've sent everywhere else to all kinds of different people in different industries.

6. Don't simply send an e-mail saying, "I'm moving to your city," and send a resume that says you have no experience in our field and are currently waiting tables or working at a sporting goods store.

7. For God's sake, don't say 1) "I'm the perfect fit", 2) "I'm the ideal candidate," or 3) "I know I'm the right person for this job." Because guess what? Aside from the arrogance of it, a bunch of other applicants - surprise! - have said the same thing.

8. When you know us personally, don't address your cover letter to "dear hiring manager" or "dear sirs."


10. Don't e-mail me and say, "I could do the job perfectly, but I'm making soooooooo much more than that now!"

I'm not making any of this up. Happy almost Friday!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When I am an old lady...

I won't wear purple. I will be kick ass like my grandmother!

OK, so my grandmother isn't an old lady - she is only in her 70s, and she is more active than most people I know.

She e-mailed me out of the blue yesterday to let me know she and my grandfather (who the rest of us do not squash like a bug simply because we want to see her) are in Oregon on the way to an RV trip with some friends. They cross the country in this way much of the year. We are going to meet them Saturday for dinner (Mr. RK will be meeting them for the first time.)

So today I spoke with her on the phone and she was all excited about her new cell phone. "I even text!" she bragged.

So cool. If I make it that long, I vow to try to be that cool myself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kindergarteners are more mature than this

Good news: we have just gotten the approval to hire another person at work! Yippee!!

Until that happens, however, my boss and I (the only two full-time staff) are still juggling 1) administrative shit and 2) program delivery, which unfortunately includes doing trainings.

Now, we have many great volunteers who deliver our programs, enabling us to provide them for free.

But there are a few people who have been such A PAIN IN THE ASS this week that my boss and I both wanted to say, "Don't come to the training! Go back home!" and a few other choice words.

So here's the deal - we pay for the entire training costs of people who want to do our classes and support groups. Meals, materials, hotel, etc. All they have to do is get here.

Keep in mind, we are a grassroots (read: low budget) nonprofit.

But this week, I have had complaints including:

"But I want MY OWN hotel room!"

"I'm not staying there. Have you seen the ratings? It ain't happening. I have to have a hotel with a hot tub!"

"Dare I suggest we have this catered at a retreat center?"

And my favorite...

Man X, who is married, requested sharing a room with Woman X, who is also married. We had two men, two women, and put the women together as roommates and the men together as roommates. Man X: "WHY DID YOU SEPARATE US? I SAID A MONTH AGO I WANTED TO SHARE WITH HER!"

Man X was, in fact, so upset that he called our trainer and threatened that both of them would refuse to show up (after we have paid for hotels and other materials) if he did not get to share with Woman X. My boss said, "Fine! I don't think I want them here anyway!" Then they booked their own hotel room at another hotel, after we had already paid for their rooms. Apparently Man X couldn't keep it in his pants for 48 hours.

If you didn't know better, wouldn't you think this was a kindergarten? No, wait...kindergardeners are more mature than this.

I think I need a cookie.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not quite wordless almost Wednesday

OK, not quite wordless. Mike D sent me this and it totally summed up my Monday! Today was better. One of the people who made my day hell yesterday call and apologized. "I had a really crap day," he said.

"Me too," I said. I did not tell him, "And you contributed to it!"

But I thought it quite loudly.

Thank you to everyone who made today better...and Mr. RK for making yesterday end on a nicer note. Diet 7-Ups and cuddles always help!

Speaking of Mr. RK, he bought me an early birthday present...but it was appropriated.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gripes about the nanny state

I live just outside of the City of Portland for a reason: there are some things I do not like about it, Sam I Am.

I work there. I hang out there. But their local government, on occasion, makes about as much sense as Berkeley.

Now, some people presume that because I am progressive that I am a flaming lefty. Not so when it comes to many things - I believe very strongly in personal responsibility and the less the government interferes in my life, the better.

Mind you - and this is relevant - I am a healthy eater. I do not think anyone should be able to sell us shit filled with dangerous chemicals or cows that have eaten other cows, or anything else that is, well, unnatural.

However, I don't need my calories printed on my blackberry smoothie receipt, people.

Multnomah County, which includes Portland, is now requiring this kind of disclosure at the drive through. I got a smoothie on the way home the other day and just about passed out.

Not only was the calorie count there, the percentage of carbs/calories/etc based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day and a 2,500-calorie-a-day diet were also included.

New York City - where the mayor is such a health nut that he salts his pizza (Darth, you're right, where is a sarcasm font when I need it?) - enacted a similar law. Getting coffees at Starbucks on our vacation, we saw each pastry in the bakery case labeled with the amount of calories and grams of fat. Ugh.

Now I DO want access to this information as well as - and more importantly - the ingredients. But PLEASE! Do you need to print it right on my receipt? Post it right in the pastry case? Having a brochure available would be enough. I am an adult. I know a smoothie is not as healthy, as, say, a head of plain lettuce.

Is this for my own good? Maybe. But every now and again I enjoy a treat. I seriously doubt this is going to prevent obesity. If the government really cares about our health, I'd rather they find a way to keep soda machines out of schools and PE programs funded.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Animals are better, because...

I am not whining, but the past three weeks have really kicked my ass at work. Tip for the uninitiated: when you have two big events and two trainings and everything in between to plan for, and one of you is on vacation - and there are only two of you - you will be tired!

It's not just work that has been busy...a couple of friends are going through rough times. Learning more about the horrible things they've gone through makes me want to hug them and cringe at the same time, because some of these things happened when they were kids and I don't see how their families could have been so cruel.

All of this reinforces my belief that animals are much better than people! Let's face it - take my kitties for instance:

1. They're always happy to see us
2. They are always honest with us
3. If they're upset, they let us know
4. They get brownie points for snuggling with our partner
5. They are not going to ask why a grassroots nonprofit (read: low-budget) organization with only two full-time people is not holding a training at a retreat center, catered. I'm not making this up. There is one volunteer I'd just like to turn upside down and shake until all of the dumb things in her head come out for good!

Animals are so much better than humans, don't you think?

So here is a cute video for those of you who haven't seen it, to make this a shiny happy post!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Things that drive me nuts on a Monday

Caller #1 - this was someone who called asking for a call back "ASAP" because it was "really important." A volunteer calls back and this person says: "I need to call you back. I have to make another call."

Um, yeah, we've got time to twiddle our thumbs on the busiest day of the week.

Caller #2, who called four times and e-mailed, equally insistently. He calls again and he says, "I can't talk to you people right now."

Person #3, a volunteer who insists on having our meetings at his exclusive club. Since no one else is a member, he has to sign us in. He does not show up. The four of us squeeze into three chairs in the lobby and huddle to have probably the committee's most fucking efficient meeting ever.