Monday, November 29, 2010

Can you bring your computer to work?

An employee who has a lot of down-time was allowed to bring her laptop to work to alleviate boredom. One day she was logged on to the public wireless network on her laptop when someone brought her some extra work to do.

She logged onto the office computer and spent about four hours completing the assignment, but her laptop was set aside, still logged onto the public network.

Because she left her laptop logged on for four hours, the I.T. department reported that she was on the Internet for four hours. Because of this, management told her she couldn't bring her laptop to work anymore.

Who should be punished?

A. The person leaving the laptop logged onto a public network while doing work on another computer on a secure network?

B. Management for not making additional inquiries to determine the truth of the situation, instead of simply assuming that the employee was only on the Internet for four hours and not logged onto the office computer actually doing work during that time?

C. The I.T. department for cherry-picking only damaging information and using data to insinuate that the employee was wasting time on the Internet for four hours?

By the way, this really happened, but I'm withholding the name of the company.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The corruption of employment tests.

Sometimes you must take a test for employment, such as when applying at Central Management Services for a job working for the state of Illinois, or perhaps a union job such as Engineering Operators Local 965, or to enter the MBA program at the University of Illinois.

You may become extremely frustrated while taking the multiple choice portion of those tests because there are inserted within the tests, questions with more than one correct answer.

How many times did you wish that you could explain your answer in a little box under the question?

How many times did you want to raise your hand for the proctor and explain that more than one answer can be correct on a particular question?

And finally, did you ever wonder why you consistently just barely arrived within a couple of answers of passing the test, but not quite?

With computerized tests, it's very easy to code a subroutine to automatically pick the answer other than that which you chose, as the correct answer, if your name in the test database wasn't part of another secret database, thereby giving you a non-passing grade, keeping you from getting a job, joining a union, or an elite fraternal organization.

Perhaps the other secret database is a collection of names of certain families, political contributors, certain organizations or associations, etc.

One way to determine if a test is corrupt is to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the tests results of, say, all the employees of the Department of Human Services, or the Department of Transportation, students in the MBA program, union members, etc. and check for the following:

1. Look for all test questions that were graded as correct, but with different answers selected. In other words, if the same question was answered differently by different people, but the question was graded as correct, then you have a guaranteed corrupt question, and the individual was flagged by the computer for a passing grade.

2. Follow the guidelines set by the authors of the book "Freakanomics" and look for patterns in the test questions among all the test-takers who were hired, and the test-takers who were not hired.

How do they try to cover up the corruption? By changing up the test questions under the guise of "preventing cheating." It won't really matter if you select all the tests over a ten year period, because you can easily divide up the tests into subgroups based on the question changes and still get the results.

So, if you must take a test to get a job and you don't pass, but the questions were vague, open to interpretation, and more than one answer could be correct for various reasons, then you probably need bribe money.

The problem in Illinois is that there is little or no fulfillment of Freedom of Information requests.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jobs held hostage by jobs board.

I thought I would get a good lead on jobs closer to my field of expertise by signing up at Communicationsjobs.com. They consistently send me emails telling me they have a job that fits, but I have to go through this to find out? No thanks. I already have access to my credit report. I don't want to do this again because then I would have to pay for it.


Why are they doing this? What's in it for them? Are they [at CommunicationsJobs.com] getting permission from you for them to look at your credit report? This is such a glaring over-reach of "customer service" it's plain to see the self-service at its core.

Of course if some company wants to get its greasy little fingers on my credit report they can do it themselves already without my permission.

Companies, by the way, don't want to look at your credit score, they want to see if you have potential wage garnishments. They don't want you to be a liability risk for them. A fast way to check behavior is to get an economic profile of a potential employee.

So once again we have another jobs board to avoid: Communicationsjobs.com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wait! Before signing up at a job website, see if it's listed at Rip Off Report

Planning on uploading all of your personal information to CareerBuilder.com or Jobs.com, Monster.com?

Be safe and first go to http://www.ripoffreport.com
See if that job website is listed there first.

You're guaranteed to see it there, guaranteed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Job Search Runaround continues

I was at Topix.com posting comments about political candidates when I noticed they had a section for jobs, so I clicked on it. The search engine was powered by "Simpy Hired" which sounded familiar, so I did a search for "forklift" and found that there was a listing for a forklift operator right in Springfield, IL.

So, I click on Forklift Operator and it takes me to a "Simply Hired" page that shows the listing and description with a button next to it that says "Apply". So I clicked on the "Apply" button.

The "Apply Button at Simply Hired directs me to a "Monster.com + Hotjobs" page that shows a window within which some business calling itself "Career Choices Network" is offering "Training"

So here's where I'm going to guess that they expect me to pay for the training, and this is just another scam to get people to pay for training in a job they will never find because they are not in a union.

I'm going to click it now. Cross your fingers and hold your breath.

We now come to a new page that says

"We need HVAC Technicians with Forklift Operator experience - Training Available."

Well that was huge waste of time. I'm not about to give them any personal information until they tell me that they have a forklift job waiting for me, starting immediately, with paid on-the-job training.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The stupid economy.

Employees still on the job are earning more because they are working longer hours. Businesses are not willing to hire the employees necessary to get everything done that needs to get done during one shift. Consequently employees are leaving unfinished work for the next shift, skipping critical steps in procedures leading to such things as oh, perhaps explosions leading to massive oil spills, and employees are spending less due to exhaustion, at least I know I am exhausted I sleep off most of my free time.

The recent job increase was mostly due to hiring temporary census workers. Hungary was just added to the list of European countries in crisis, following Greece, Portugal and Spain, British Petroleum, in the process of preparing the leaking pipe for a new fitting, temporarily increased the flow of oil. McDonalds is recalling millions of Shrek drinking glasses that were printed with ink containing toxic Cadmium.

So the stock market takes another dump. Companies aren't willing to hire more workers because they anticipate no demand for more of their products, but they appear not to comprehend the link between consumer spending and employment. The businesses with the money are not willing to spend it to hire new employees which will in turn bring more money to the businesses. This shows that businesses are run by the stupid children of the founders of the businesses. Their unwillingness to make the necessary investment in employees demonstrates their stupidity.

This is why anyone who works for a company where there is clearly not enough people to get the work done properly, should just quit these stupid employers. That's what I did at U-Haul.

If you keep hearing the same lecture over and over again at the monthly meeting, the same complaint that certain things were not done, over and over again, it means that those tasks were not done because they were the least important tasks, and they were sacrificed for the sake of preserving the payroll budget.

If you have a manager that shrugs his shoulders and says "I don't have enough in my payroll budget to hire any more people," or your manager's boss pays one of his own employees from the same payroll budget for filling in for a missing employee, and pays that person more per hour than the other employees, it's time to qut.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

HIRE ACT (H.R. 2847)

An article at Examiner.com explores the consequences of H.R. 2847, a law that is alleged to provide incentives for businesses to hire new employees. The other unmentioned consequences will be a negative impact on the homeless and the borderline homeless.

HIRING ACT 2010: How the Federal Act is Hurting Employees (in DuPage and beyond)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Unemployed college graduate?

I don’t know if I can be of much help because I too have a college degree but found no gainful employment here in Springfield Illinois. I wonder if employers are looking at my resume and asking “why does this guy want to work in Springfield?” The only shelter I can afford is here, living with relatives.

I have a BA in Communication from UIS. Unlike the popular myth of previous generations, I found that we must make it entirely on our own, without depending on employers. The problem is financing a business start-up and creating a plan without spending money and time on an MBA degree and I suspect that you don’t want that either.

I’ve been struggling for so long that I’m beginning to doubt my own capabilities. I’m almost ready to stop treading water and just sink into the dark abyss forever.
Is there hope? The landscape is full of people like us, people who were raised and taught to be expendable drones for entrepreneurs. When we get laid off we wind up in the line at the unemployment office.

Recently I saw advertising for a school promoting construction work training. Why would schools promote such a field when the real estate market collapsed? Simple economic answer - the more laborers you have with a specific skill, the cheaper the cost of that labor.

Now, there are so many unemployed college educated and technically trained people in the United States that they come cheaper than the economy allows them to survive. Note that when I say "the economy" I'm referring to some arcane and subjective formulas created by certain individuals who were proclaimed "economists" by the industrialists for which those formulas were custom fit. While taking a college course in economics I attempted to apply the basic formulas to real world scenarios, and guess what, they don't work in the real-world. They are meant to confuse and befuddle the undereducated working class, nothing more.

One problem is that we let employers believe that we want to work for them instead of compete with them. We submit our resumes and grovel at their feet for scraps while they sit on their majestic thrones and look down on us with contempt.

You can look at the dos and don'ts at monster.com or careerbuilder.com to see all the tricks, hoops and self-flagellation you must endure to demonstrate absolute loyalty to someone who will inevitably drop you from the roll the second the ink turns red.

You may have a part-time job right now, but you know that you can't afford to work that job because it's a rut in the trail toward a cliff your wagon cannot escape. If you stay there you will simply get deeper into debt until you have no choice but to give up absolutely everything, and the odds are increasing monthly that we will all wind up in government work camps set up by FEMA.

We must draw a line in the sand by making a list of our living expenses and comparing that to net income. If your working but losing money, tell your boss you can't afford to work there and leave.

We, the unemployed professionals need a gathering place where we can organize into a working competitive structure. If you have any ideas, please respond by leaving a comment at the end of this blog.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Did you work for WAND?

I applied for a job a while back. I imagine they didn't select me because I don't live in Decatur, despite my extensive professional experience and training. I was willing to relocate.

I read the newspaper every day and frankly, I'm a little unnerved at the frequency with which jobs appear in the classifieds for positions at WAND.

I'm almost compelled to research this at the library. It seems every month the same jobs appear for the television station. Did you ever work there? How long were you there? Why did you leave?

I never thought I would say this, but I'm thankful they didn't hire me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The University of Illinois just filled a position.

I don't know how they are doing it considering they are tapping into their reserves to keep up with payroll, but I was emailed that they just filled a position for which I applied well before the financial mess became public.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Will there be nation-wide riots?

Unemployment benefits expire on February 28. Without an extension by the government, will there be riots nation-wide?

Hey! I'm only asking! I'm not suggesting! Don't accuse me of inciting violence! I have friends on Facebook who have the same fear.

Friday, February 12, 2010

When employers already have someone in mind.

I saw this first hand, actually it was when I was hired back in 1993. I was an intern, and the boss wanted to hire me, but he told me he was legally obligated to advertise for the position anyway.

He placed an ad in the local newspaper. It kept me on my toes for a month, but my supervisor told me not to worry about it. That's why the newspaper classified employment ads are a complete waste of time.

Serious employers will advertise in more than just the newspaper, they will advertise on college campuses for internships, where there's no shortage of cheap or free labor.

With the Internet it's easy to research whether or not an employer is serious. Check the online job boards to see if the same advertisements are present. You will find that most of them are not present.

The employment classified section of the newspaper is most frequently used as cheap advertising if not used for the obligatory job ad for whom an employer already has someone in mind.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Legends of Lowes

When I first started working at Lowes in Mishawaka, Indiana, I met the Building Materials manager and he seemed okay.

About a month later he was gone, just wasn't there anymore. Well, it turned out that somehow, I don't know if this is just a legend or if it really happened, but I heard that he stole enough building materials to build an entire house from the ground up.

A few employees from the appliance department were caught selling appliances to themselves. I don't know how they could do this, but they would buy appliances on a credit card, then cart the appliances around the back and return them for cash. I'm not sure if they were really capable of doing this because Lowes has a policy of exchanging store credit for returns instead of straight cash.

I imagine the credit card companies could take steps to reverse charges on credit cards, but that would mean they wouldn't make a profit, so I assume they don't

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The latest tactics

For those of us who are not good at sales and know that we can't make a good first impression because of the way we look (and we can't help it!) the new tactic to draw us into pyramid schemes has taken a new turn.

Now they post jobs that are non-sales related, then send you an email telling you that "you qualify to be a manager," then they ask you to go back to their website and ask you to fill out yet another job application for the "marketing manager" position. That way, if they get in trouble they can show that you filled out an application for that position.

This is classic bait-and-switch, but while they are regulated, they have no choice but to lure you into filling out the second job application for the position you are trying to avoid.

If they were not regulated, you would simply be forced into that position and then fired when they didn't get what they were expecting from you because they deceived you in the first place.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You're not going to hear from anyone.

Nope. Nobody's hiring. They say they are. Nobody's giving me an opportunity for an interview. I'm sure it's because of my age. Employers these days are looking for fresh impressionable kids.

Once you get laid off in middle age, your done. You're trash. It doesn't matter if you go to college and get a degree in anything. You're finished.

After putting in the time and effort to prepare the proper paperwork, how does one go about thanking all those potential employers who didn't respond at all?

I have to think of something creative.