Well, some of you wanted it, so here it is. I know I posted some of the questions in Kyle Reyes’ Snowflake test in my last post about it, and I provided some personal replies, but I thought, and a couple of readers agreed it would be fun if I answered all of the questions honestly, and provided the opportunity for you guys to do the same in the comments section.
Soooooooooooooooooooo…. Let’s see if Kyle thinks I’m a snowflake and whether he would hire me.
- Outside of standard benefits, what benefits should a company offer employees?
Opportunities to expand their skillset, opportunities to advance, and parking. Parking is a biggie for me, living in DC and paying $25 per day if I want to drive to work.
- What should the national minimum wage be?
There shouldn’t be one. Period. Employees and employers enter into a mutually beneficial contract, for whatever the price of employee’s labor is that takes into consideration both what the value of said employee’s labor is to the employer, and what the employee agrees to be compensated for said labor. If the government interferes and forces said employer to pay a higher wage, the employer will likely have to weigh the cost of increasing the value of the product and passing that on to the consumer, risking a decline in sales, or just not hire the employee and force others to pick up slack that could have been filled by someone seeking experience and a few extra bucks. Entry level jobs aren’t meant to be careers. They’re meant to be providers of experience and skill, and if someone is sitting in a minimum wage “career” and not advancing, but demanding a higher wage for the same crap, they’re slugs and looters, and they need to go away.
- How many sick days should be given to employees?
Depends. I understand the idea behind sick leave. It’s not vacation time that you spend relaxing. Generally speaking it’s shitty days you spend in the hospital, at the doctor, or in bed hoping for a quick death. But it is leave – for whatever reason. So give employees sufficient amounts of regular leave, so they’re not trying to justify it with doctor’s notes and stuffy, achy, coughy-sounding phone calls and still have enough to take a vacation during the year. Everyone needs a break.
- How often should employees get raises?
When they merit them.
- How do you feel about guns?
Best tools of self-defense on the market.
- What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns?
Just keep your booger hook off the bang switch and don’t point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot, and we’re good.
- What are your feelings about safe spaces in challenging work environments?
Unnecessary and a waste of resources. Challenging work environments develop human beings as people and as employees.
- In a creative environment like The Silent Partner Marketing, what do you envision work attire looking like?
As I said previously, dress appropriately for the day. I dress in a suit if I have a meeting or a briefing – especially for senior policy makers. Otherwise, I wear comfortable slacks, a blouse and a blazer or a dress. In a more creative and less structured environment, the normal day without meetings may be different. Don’t look like a freak. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. And if you’re wondering what a freak looks like, here’s an extreme example. Don’t be this guy.
- Should “trigger warnings” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be considered “controversial”?
- How do you feel about police?
They are to be respected and appreciated for the sacrifices they have chosen to make. That said, the badge doesn’t come with a halo. They aren’t always right, and there are corrupt and inept police officers out there, just like there are in any other profession.
- If you owned the company and were to find out that a client is operating unethically but was a high paying client…how would you handle it?
Address it with the client directly and respectfully. You have become aware that they are operating unethically. This is not the culture we condone in our company. We can help you fix it, or you can find another marketing firm.
- When was the last time you cried and why?
At my son’s Army Basic Training graduation. Tears of joy.
- You arrive at an event for work and there’s a major celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. What happens next?
I do my job.
- What’s your favorite kind of adult beverage?
- What’s the best way to communicate with clients?
Directly, honestly, and respectfully. At the same time, you’re the subject matter expert whose services they sought out, and you need to be firm if the client demands are bad for them or for you. “Customer is always right” only goes so far and should be resisted if the customer’s plan is bad practice.
- What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Hiking, shooting, reading, writing.
- What are your thoughts on the current college environment as it pertains to a future workforce?
Colleges are leaving graduates woefully unprepared for the real world. Grading on curves, providing safe spaces, stifling free speech in favor of FEELZ, and treating legal adults like fragile children that should be coddled, while providing a substandard education that focuses on the political/social agenda of those who run the school will leave graduates unable to function in high-pressure environments, unqualified for work that involves critical thinking, and wholly unsuited for today’s competitive work place.
- What’s your typical breakfast?
COFFEE! Dark. With a spoonful of coconut oil and heavy cream. Sometimes a few slices of salmon and/or cheese.
- What’s your favorite drink when you go to a coffeehouse?
Latte with heavy whipping cream and one small pump of sugar-free cinnamon dulce syrup.
- How do you handle bullies?
Depends on the situation. My reactions range from ridiculing them until they cry, to actual physical self defense. I’ll never start a physical fight, but you can bet I’ll finish it. Ridiculing them is fun. They’re not used to being the object of scorn, so they generally fold like cheap lawn chairs when faced with someone who won’t put up with their shit. Many of them have been in that position of power for so long, and have grown so accustomed to never being challenged, that their mental acuity muscles have atrophied.
- How do you handle it when your ideas are shot down?
I try to come up with better ones. If I’m convinced my idea is great, I’ll try to persuade with logic and reason.
- What do you do if a coworker comes to the table with an idea and it sucks?
“That actually sounds interesting, but maybe we can modify it this way? Or how about something in this vein?” If the coworker sucks, “This is the worst idea ever! Slap yourself. With a chair.”
- What does the first amendment mean to you?
It means the freedom to speak your mind without worrying about government prosecution. It means being able to engage in political activities -whether speech, expression, written word, or assembly, without being targeted by those in power. It means being free to exercise whatever religion you want, or not. It does NOT mean being free of the consequences of exercising those rights. That means, yes, your employer has the right to fire you for being an embarrassing douchebag and spewing your rhetoric in a way that embarrasses the company. It means yes, a baker is allowed to be narrow minded and bigoted and to decline to bake a cake for a gay wedding. It also means that potential customers have the right to shun that baker, but the government has no right to fine him. It means, yes, you have the right to speak, but I’m not obligated to provide you with a microphone or a means of disseminating your message. It means you can worship in any way you want, but I’m not obligated to build you a church (read that as: taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used to build houses of worship).
- What does faith mean to you?
Absolutely nothing. Never been a faith person. Faith is, by definition, something you exercise without proof. Not my cup of tea, but y’all should feel free. (And yes, I realize how strange it is to say when my dad is a religious Jew, and when my family was deprived of the right to practice our religion in the former USSR.)
- Who is your role model and why?
Hmmmmm… that would be my dad. My dad dropped everything he knew in the USSR, including a decent job, to start a brand new life in the United States with zero language skills, because he knew that as a Jew, I wouldn’t have the opportunities there that I do here, and he wanted a better life for me. My dad – with his two Masters Degrees in engineering – came here and got a menial labor job until he could learn enough English to find an engineering position. My dad never got welfare. He picked up bits of furniture and electronics from other people’s trash on their curbs, fixed them up and cleaned them, and provided furniture and some basic entertainment for his family. My dad sacrificed everything to come to a brand new country, assimilate into a brand new culture, and learn a brand new language – all for me. All so I could have a future.
- “You’re in Starbucks with two friends. Someone runs in and says someone is coming in with a gun in 15 seconds to shoot patrons. They offer you a gun. Do you take it? What do you do next?”
I have my own, thanks, but I’ll always take an extra, although it probably won’t be a .45 ACP like I carry. Find cover with a good line of sight to the entrance. Ensure patrons move away from the entrance and take cover. Gunman comes in blasting? There’s only one door. Thermopylae.
- What does America mean to you?
America means freedom. America means opportunities, if you’re willing to work for them. America is the ability to succeed if you have the will and the skill, without consideration for your race, religion, etc. America is the ability to express yourself without worrying about being kidnapped in the middle of the night and tossed into a dank cell. America is accountability – both for government officials and for the regular guy. America is not easy, but nothing worth it ever is.
- You see someone stepping on an American flag. What do you do?
Throat punch incoming. That said, I am also aware and willing to face the consequent assault charge. Freedom of expression is not without consequences. If one engages in this type of repulsive behavior, one should expect visceral reactions from a number of groups of people – even those who are aware of the consequences that can range from citations to criminal charges.
- What does “privilege” mean to you?
A privilege is a special right granted to one person, but not to another.
- What’s more important? Book smarts or street smarts? Why?
Both are important depending on the situation. Tactically, street smarts are more important. Street smarts allow you to react to real world situations. They help you use rational thought and logic to achieve the best outcomes. Street smarts are common sense; they are a survival mechanism. Strategically, book smarts give you perspective to deal with those difficult situations. They provide the tools you can call upon in times of need. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. At the same time, books also make you a more interesting, well rounded person.
OK, Kyle! Would you hire me?
As for you guys, leave your own responses in the comments. I realize it will make the comment incredibly long, but what the heck.