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Category Archives: really random reflections

The Snowflake Test: Personal Edition

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”?

No.

  • 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?

Bloody Mary.

  • 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.

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Catching up

So, I’ve been in Miami the past few days. I generally like TDYs, but not to Miami, because it’s a) hot, b) humid c) filled with the kind of annoying drunken coeds on spring break that make you want to climb a tower and start picking them off with a high-powered rifle.

Also, whenever I go to Florida, I invariably wind up with a three-day headache. This trip was no exception, so it made the numerous meetings I had to attend that much more miserable.

That said, we did have some excellent food, saw some very cool art in the Winwood district between meetings, and I got to talk to a class full of high school students about careers. Yeah, I know. Someone allowed me to speak to kids. I actually corrupted young minds. You can blame my buddy Tim, who is a high school teacher, and somehow thought it was a cool idea to expose his students to my special brand of crazy. I did not drop the F-bomb during my speech. I did, however, drop one several times as we walked outside. In front of kids. Apparently, that’s a no-no or something… as if they never heard the word, “fuck” before.

Le Sigh.

I did take some very cool photos in Winwood with my phone, and they have this awesome taco joint, where we got to sit outside, eat amazing food, and get glared at by feral kittens.

Because kittens.

So what happened while I was gone?

Apparently, someone leaked 45’s tax returns from 2005. After getting her acolytes in a frothing frenzy about the shock and awe contained in those documents, Rachel Maddow broadcast on her show that…

…Trump paid his taxes.

At a higher rate than Romney, Obama, and Bernie Sanders.

Wow… well, that was a letdown, eh unhinged leftists?

And guess what! I know you’ll be shocked at this, but not only did he pay his taxes in 2005, he’s still President!

I’ll let you take a woosah moment.

What else happened?

I was watching the news this morning at my hotel room, when they decided that this was somehow newsworthy.

Mom jeans. With plastic panels, so when you wear these monstrosities, everyone can see your knees. Because what you need more than anything in the world is plastic panels that make your skin exude oodles of moisture to sweat up these clear panels on a warm day. Because, see, plastic doesn’t exactly allow for air circulation.

Literally, WTF?

Is there anyone in the entire universe who would pay $95 and actually wear these things? They’re like chaps for your knees.

Perhaps Nordstrom needs to fire a buyer or two.

Next up is the fiasco of a health care bill the GOP decided to excrete out of its wrecked anus. Rob blogged about this dumpster fire, previously, as did our buddy Jason Pye at FreedomWorks. The Congressional Budget Office savaged the bill, and some Republicans are now running from it like a BLM protester after breaking the window of a convenience store.

Here’s a clue, GOP. You don’t take a horrible law, and make it worse by adding your own even more horrible law on top of it, and then expect everyone to do a happy dance, because “Oh, look! We did something!”

It’s time Republicans stopped being stupid, but I guess that’s too much to ask for.

Oh, it snowed in DC. From the looks of it, we got maybe an inch or two, but that apparently didn’t stop the panicked doofi from stampeding grocery stores like so much rabid cattle. It was in the 70s in Miami, and today was a positively frosty 60 degrees. Yes, be jealous.

Also, apparently, Amy Schumer had a comedy tragedy special on Netflix recently. Let’s put aside the fact that she really does remind me of a potato, and apparently has the IQ of one. She was apparently so unfunny and terrible, that the makers of “Ishtar” are breathing a sigh of relief, because their unwatchable dreck is no longer at the bottom of the cinematographic heap.

IMDB reviews were brutal.

This was painful to watch. Save yourself the time and don’t bother watching this train wreck (that lame pun was better than anything in this special). I have never been a big fan of Amy but she was better when she was stealing other people’s jokes. Maybe she search some old comedy tapes for new material. 1 star is generous for this slop.

If this show was a smell, it would smell of fermented beans and disease.

Mercifully it ended but I’ll never be able to get those wasted hours back. Amy if you ever read any of these reviews I have a special message for you: suicide is still an option.

On my flight back to DC, I finally got a chance to watch “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” I loved it! Not because I’m a Harry Potter fan… well… not only because I’m a Harry Potter fan. I thought the design was stunning, Eddie Redmayne is a phenomenally talented actor, and he was at the same time shy, innocent, and a brilliant badass, Colin Farrell was just right for the role of the ultimate bad buy pre-Voldemort, and JOHNNY DEPP!

And finally, I’m excited, because Wonder Woman is finally coming out this June! As a kid, I watched Lynda Carter transform into Wonder Woman on TV every day, and I wanted to be her so badly! That series resulted in my wearing “bracelets” made of tin foil on my wrists and a desire to change my name to “Diana.” And now, Gal Gadot will bring one of my favorite superheroes to the big screen! And it looks terrific, so I’m more than excited!

And yes, now that I’m back from TDY, I will blog more regularly. Thanks for caring.

Things pissing me off today

Those Tina Fey American Express commercials, where she goes on a massive impulse buying spree without a thought to the amount or to whether she needs the shit she’s gorge-buying in bulk.

 

Yeah, let’s encourage idiots in a country where overall household debt increased by 11 percent in the past decade, and where households owe $16,000 on the average in credit card debt, to buy shit they probably will never use, because a vapid celebrity who never has to worry about paying her debts or living paycheck to paycheck does so!

How many of us out there can go into a sports store, and buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff we don’t even like or know how to use – all because IMPULSE BUY? I’d wager not a whole lot of us can say that, and yet tool stick over here is encouraging us to go out and buy shit anyway – shit you can’t afford, but hey… you have a credit card!

Yeah, let’s encourage that kind of behavior! Not.

And then there was this cock swizzle in the Metro station today. As I’m walking by, he says aggressively, while leaning toward passersby “Does anyone have a dollar? Anyone still remember those things?” As if it’s our fault that he’s a freeloading piece of detritus.

5d8c164701d56762061717b75ace60e4Dude, I work two jobs and am barely making ends meet. No one owes you a fucking dollar.

Job. Remember those things?

I’m usually pretty sympathetic. I’ve given food to the homeless, I’ve contributed thousands of dollars to charity, I’ve adopted two kids, and I’ve taken a homeless woman to a restaurant and bought her dinner.

But give me a fucktard who aggressively accosts me in the Metro station in an accusatory manner, because I won’t give him a dollar, and the only thing he’ll get is a throat punch.

Yeah, it’s Monday, and I’m in a mood.

Chillin’

I woke up relatively late for me, which means my dog and my cat actually allowed me to sleep today without singing me the song of their people entitled, “Pet me! No one has petted me in eight hours,” and “My food bowl is empty, bitch! Let’s go!” I have to admit it was cool to actually sleep until 9 on a weekend. 

Since I wasn’t particularly tired, I had no excuse not to go to the gym, so I went. It was the first time I attempted a workout since the orthopedist sliced my ankle open over the summer and stitched together my ligaments, so I wondered how long I would last before collapsing. I didn’t do too badly. 

By the way, this was accomplished at an incline. I started at 6 percent, and ended the last 15 minutes at 9 percent.


Yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself. Not bad for the first workout since last summer. 

The rest of the day will be spent in pajamas, hanging out with the animals and the husband. Chillin’. 

Our plan was to find a movie to watch on one of the premium channels, because there’s not a single news channel that’s not either severely slanted left, or ridiculously skewed right. Want to see liberals losing their shit over an Executive Order? Go to CNN or MSNBC. Want to see the right collectively tongue bathe Trump’s ball sack? Tune in to Fox News. 

Either way, the vapid, dull, biased outrageary has gotten old. 

So, movies. I was distraught to find out from Snopes that Hollywood really wasn’t threatening a strike to force Trump to resign. 

I was kind of hoping they would, and then I wouldn’t be subjected to such “classics” as the “Ghostbusters” remake, the “Independence Day” sequel, and the unwatchable and boring “Fifty Shades of ZZZzzz…”

If there’s a single reason for Trump to stay in office, let this be it!

Too bad it was a hoax. 

Because maybe without the usual Hollywood histrionics, virtue signaling, and political messaging, maybe we’d have some interesting movies to watch. 

We wound up watching last year’s Tarzan movie with Alexander Skaarsgard and Christoph Waltz. It wasn’t Oscar material or anything – at least by today’s standards. It was just cookie cutter fun. Nothing complex. Nothing particularly intelligent. Just a lot of beefcake thanks to Skaarsgard’s shirtless yumminess. 

I guess I’ll spend the rest of the day watching “Charmed” reruns. At least their brand of feminism doesn’t involve parading around dressed as bloody tampons. 

Zombie Apocalypse – It’s Real

Every once in a while, you have to wonder if life imitates art, or vice versa. 

I love “The Walking Dead.” It’s arguably one of the best written shows on television today. I’m generally not a fan of the zombie genre, but I like the idea of a zombie apocalypse as the event that precipitates the breakdown of society. The show is really about such a collapse – the collapse of government structures designed to protect the citizens, and the resulting anarchy. 

Until recently, I thought of a zombie apocalypse itself as simple fiction. But now…

You want a zombie apocalypse? Because this is how you get a zombie apocalypse!

Officers with the Myrtle Beach Street Crimes Unit were conducting an undercover prostitution operation in Myrtle Beach Wednesday, according to police reports.

Offenders were contacted by undercover officers, got into undercover vehicles and agreed to sexual activity for prices ranging from $20 to $200, the reports said.

This woman was ostensibly one such prostutite. 

Oh. Dear. God. 

I hope she charged on the low end of the scale for any type of “services” she provided. 

Would you pay money to do the nasty with this creature? Without fear that she would nom on your giblets during or in the aftermath of coitus?

There are men who apparently did. 

I can’t help but wonder how desperate or strung out on enormous amounts of the good shit one has to be to stick ANY body part into her! And if procreation happened (I can’t imagine she’s cautious about protection), would the offspring be the start of the zombie apocalypse that takes down society as we know it?

Unsurprisingly, the charges against her included drugs. 

And those of us who wonder how a complete breakdown society could happen in a zombie apocalypse, have to wonder if this is the start. 

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