Don’t Misunderestimate the Salescallsiness of a Job Inteview (Career Tip Number 20)

CHEESY SALESMAN ALSO 443087220_a33182667f_o

That's right, salescallsiness [1]. Not entirely a proper word, but it conveys the urgency  and passion that candidates should feel when they're sitting across the table from *any* prospective employer, be it a company looking to hire, or a prospective customer looking to hire their services[2]. The listless salesperson will be vanquished by the one with zeal and passion.  The unprepared by the prepared.  And the indifferent by the one who engages the prospect and stokes their interest.  Remember  A=attention, I=Interest, D=Decision and A=Action? Picture this: a candidate travels all the way across North America to a job interview for a six-figure professional position.  Does she take notes? Does she ask thoughtful, … [Read more...]

Sunday Morning Fish Wrap: So Thirsty!

California drought

The Fish Wrap: a spasmodic caboodle of captivating bits and bobs, loosely grouped by subject matter around personal finance, investing, news, and maybe the odd rant or recipe. "Whiskey is for drinkin', water is for fightin'" ~ Mark Twain Well, this is what happens when you live under a self-placed rock, you miss the story of California's ongoing drought. Not that I'm a stranger to this topic, having canvassed door-to-door for a Bay Area environmental group back in college years (hey, I needed the work, starving student and all that...). "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner was almost required reading, as training material for the squads of earnest young people who would cadge donations from enviro-shamed affluent … [Read more...]

Forget About That $64 Dollar Tomato… Here’s Some Real ROI

All this for a lousy $2.49...

There's nothing like the arbitrage spread to be gained by a little  rosemary, basil and other garden herbs. Two bucks and forty-nine cents (!!!!) for a few aromatic sprigs or leaves from your local neighborhood grocer, versus some measure of delayed gratification by purchasing a little potted plant from well, from anywhere that sells such things in spring time. We tend to favor small local nurseries over big-box stores, but just about any store from Wal-Mart supercenters to the local hardware tack-and-feed  will be flogging seedlings for sale in the spring and all through the fall. Rosemary, Baby! While basil is glorious and aromatic and great on caprese salads, pesto and salads, rosemary seems to be its scruffier, more … [Read more...]

Stupid Interview Questions (Career Tip #19)

"Leo Tolstoy Working At A Round Table" (and writing down rockin' interview questions) - Ilya Repin, 1891

  A long-running series on career tips for, well, for anyone. It started out as a series of advice to young people starting out in the workforce, from someone with more than a little gray in his hair.  And now, just observations and reflections on job and career.  Other examples can be found here and here. Stupid interview questions.  No, not open-ended saws asked by employers, like "Tell us about yourself". These are the questions that interviewees themselves may be at some point be prompted to ask, and which are most always flubbed. The unprepared will blankly stare and offer nothing.  The mildly prepared will let fly, for form's sake, with canned questions lifted from career websites.  The truly prepared will use … [Read more...]

Sunday Morning Fish Wrap: Frozen again. Time For Soup.

How about some soup?  MMMMMM!!!

The Fish Wrap: a spasmodically sporadic salmagundi of refreshingly readable articles and tidbits, occasionally organized around personal finance, investing, news, and maybe the odd recipe or two.  Another Sunday, another cold front blowing in.  Wind chill below zero, sleet and ice and snow. Good time go out and try the new four wheel drive. Or not. Best to say in and make plan some Minestra di Pane, or Tuscan bread soup.  Minestra di Pane or Zuppa di Pane is not necessarily Ribollita, as widely interpreted.  Ribollita, or re-boiled as literally translated, is eaten as second-day leftovers from the first iteration.  A good, old-world peasant dish given new life by new world chefs.   If you can read Italian, here you go. If not, … [Read more...]

Kelly Blue Book, Autotrader and Cox: They’re Not Your Friends

Don't bother searching for an AMC Eagle on KBB. The year selector only goes back to 1994.  The Eagle and the Javelin almost made up for AMC's Pacer and Gremlin... almost.

Carrying on with the auto-themed articles.  Sorry, but the recent car-buying experience left too much blog fodder swishing around in the brain.  Had we bought a house, the blog would instead be awash with all-about-mortgages and bankers-are-wankers stories. First things first when buying a vehicle. Some 50 or 70 percent of car buyers (lies statistics vary depending on who's taking the survey) turn to the internet to find out exactly what they should be paying for that old jalopy. Kelly Blue Book has a firm place in the the national car lexicon as the non-pareil gold standard of used car price information. "Under KBB" by this much, is how used cars are often listed in the classifieds, by private individuals and dealers … [Read more...]

Keystone XL Pipeline, Boo!


So easy to mock crunchy environmental types who doth protest too much on pipeline construction.  Possible oil spills, loss of habitat, contamination of the Ogallala aquifer, say the greenies.  Jobs, jobs and more jobs, counter the oil company shills and hacks.  Oil and gas companies are evil, they club baby seals and emit lots of carbon, say the enviros.   What, don't you drive a car to get to work.  Oh wait, you don't have a job, do you? On and on... For readers who are not aware of what exactly the Keystone pipeline is all about, it's merely Phase Four of an existing network of pipelines that delivers hydrocarbons from northern oil fields in Alberta to points south in the U.S.  Phase 4, the XL version, would add a leg through … [Read more...]

Gardening Interlude: Spring Is in the Air, and so Are Hotter-than-Hades Ghost Peppers

ghost pepper bhut jolokia

Spring is in the air, and time to fire up the seed germinating station.  About two weeks too late, but such are the demands of work travel, home projects, and family. Maybe it comes from living overseas for so many years, but the 101C household is a spicy one.  There are always a half-dozen or so bottles of hot sauce in the fridge at any one time, along with mason jars of hot fermented vegetables (onions, zucchini, cukes, cauliflower, and of course, hot peppers).  From time to time, we experiment with making our own hot sauce. Curries, stir-fries and chili are staples. This year we're going to spend a little more time on growing us some hot and extra-hot peppers, and making our own sauce ("Hot Sauce Success, Hot Sauce Fail!"). … [Read more...]

Visit A Car Dealership? No Thanks, I’d Rather Shave My Head with a Cheese Grater

car dealerships

It's Saturday, and we're off to tour a couple of car dealerships, there perchance to dicker and bargain with the salescritters. Last weekend, Mrs. 101C left the the boys with a long list of household chores (exploitation of child labor is only illegal if the children in question are not one's own, and inequitably compensated; ours get free room and board), and headed out for a few hours' car window shopping with a song in our hearts. Would we be pounced upon by ruthless car salespeople, undergo hours of high-pressure tactics and underhanded tricks? Could we hold out for that best bargain, or eventually capitulate to the oooh, shiny! new-car siren song? Negotiate or Die Negotiation is a skill, no question about it. It's … [Read more...]

Using Social Media To Improve Your Career

... the social media of its day ...

For a change, alternate content from Brittany: Tight job markets with a focus on practical skills can stunt career growth. Beyond niche fields, such as IT or healthcare, setting your skills apart may be difficult. A glut of resumes on job boards make it tough to be noticed. Meanwhile, ‘contacts’ may have limited influence on hiring or other opportunities. So, what are some options to set you apart from the job-seeking multitudes? Leveraging social media is a time and cost efficient solution. Our personal Facebook posts, tweets or Pinterest pics can spill over into professional life. Social media offers several ways to manage your reputation and showcase skills. Here are some social media strategies to think about: Create a … [Read more...]