Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another job application

Another experiment in doing something a bit different.

To Mark Gordon,
You need me for the Call Centre Operator position that you are looking to fill. Even a short look at what you want and what I can provide shows that I am exactly what you need.

*Excellent written and verbal communication skills - I am an author on two scientific papers while at university, have provided over the phone customer service to an uncountable number of people and have shared these skills with others while teaching English overseas

* Strong interpersonal skills - I am a genuinely friendly person, who while quiet, gets along well with pretty much everyone. I like to help out and make sure things go well for everyone.

* Previous customer service - I worked for over a year in an inbound call centre (on what was originally a six-week contract) where I consistently was the top of my group in providing high quality service while meeting key performance indicators such as average call time and adherence to schedule. Attention to detail, care for the customer and a quick mind were key to achieving this.

If you want me to solve your staffing problem by doing a great job, then call me straight away on xxxx xxxxxx and let me make your life just that little bit easier.

Yours sincerely,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Abandoning God

The God came to our tribe when Man was still new on this world, as indeed it came to all the tribes of Man. And since the tribes of Man were young and not yet wise (there are some who would argue this is still the case), the God came to each tribe in the form they would be most receptive to.

The God never claimed to have created us. It was a traveler journeying between the stars, when it encountered Man for the first time. And when it saw Man, its heart was filled with joy and love and hope, for it saw in Man great potential, and because of its great love it bore for all beings, it chose to nurture Man, to help us grow in body, in mind, and in spirit.

The God was kind to the tribes of Man, and so when storms destroyed the crops of one tribe, the God made food appear from the sky to see them through the hard times until they could produce a new crop. The tribe was very grateful, and they praised the God. They kept praising the God throughout the harvest season, then the through the winter, then through the time of planting. They praised the God so much that they neglected to plant their crops that year, trusting in the God to look after them, and when their supplies ran low, they asked the God to provide them with more food.

The God, not wishing to see one of the tribes it loved suffer, once more gave them food for another year, and told them that they must once more plant their crops and provide for themselves. The tribe was grateful, and praised the God with even more zeal than ever. The whole tribe dedicated itself to building temples, monuments and statues in honour of the God, and in that year, not one grain of wheat was grown, not one sheep was herded, not one deer was hunted, nor one berry gathered.

And so the tribe once more ran out of food, and trusting in the God to continue looking after them. But by this time, the God had come to realise that by continuing to provide them with food it was causing them to neglect to look after themselves, and that they would not change their ways while it took care of all their needs. So, even though it broke the God's heart, the God did not give them any food. The people of the tribe cried out in despair, calling on the God to help them once more as it had done before. The God felt the pain of those who no longer had food for themselves or their children, but forced itself not to help them out.

The people of the tribe continued to call upon the God to help them, but their prayers were unanswered. Some believed that they had somehow upset the God, and called for greater praise of the God. Others in the tribe decided that the God had abandoned them, and set about scavenging whatever food they could from the nearby forests and plains, and traded some of the tribe's treasures for food from their neighbours. As time passed, more and more of the tribe who were able joined them, and when the time was right, they planted crops and tended to them. The God saw this and was glad that the tribe was once more self sufficient.

Things went well for the tribes of Man and the God for many years after this, until the tribe of Tralgan crossed the Sea of Baran and encountered the tribe of Sorthop. These two tribes were quite unusual in that both lived far from any other tribes, and neither tribe had met another tribe before this. When the two tribes met, they were initially wary, but contact between the two increased and they began to learn about each other. Things went sour however, when the two tribes learnt about each others beliefs. For although both tribes had been visited by the God, and had been blessed by its love, each tribe perceived it in a different way and could not see that the God that loved them was the same God that also loved the other tribe.

The conflict between the two tribes started out small, but each attack was returned with great viciousness and brutality, the kind that can only be carried out by those confident in the fact that a real and powerful God was on their side. After several months of escalation, the two tribes met at what should have been a great battle, but as the two tribes were about to engage in mortal combat, the God appeared between them as a gigantic being and spoke to the two tribes.

"This must stop," the God spoke, "Both the tribe of Tralgan and the tribe of Sorthop are precious to me. I have watched you grow with pride, and cared for you, but now you are about to make a great mistake. Each of you thought that I loved you only, and only you loved me, and you sought to spread my love by sword and spear and shield, which are never the instruments of love. Go back to your homes and know that I love all the tribes of Man, and am loved by all the tribes."

The two tribes went back to their homes, and there they found raised up a stone monolith, just as tribes all over the world found stone monoliths, all of them engraved with the last words the God gave to us.

"Know that while I love all of you, I can not remain with you while you are young. My presence among you disrupts your growth. I have become a source of division instead of union. I have sought to protect you from harm, but in doing so have harmed you more. No longer shall I walk with the tribes of man as I have in years before. I shall journey between the stars once more, but I shall continue to watch you, until you are ready to be with me again. Remember what I have taught you, and one day, when you are ready, we will be together again."

And that is how the God abandoned us, to let us find our own path, to grow and improve ourselves so that one day we will be worthy of the love the God has for us still. One day, we too will journey among the stars and there we will be with the God once more.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Funny Lady

"Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent," the spokesman said, quoted by state news agency KCNA.

"Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping. Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them."

And just who is this rather unliked woman? Hillary Clinton.

Who doesn't like her (this time)? The North Koreans. The above quotes are from a North Korean spokesman a speech by Clinton in Thailand once again saying noone wants North Korea to have nuclear weapons.

This sort of ad hominem attack from North Korea isn't that surprising. There's not much else they can do.

And when even Burma is against you, you know you're unpopular.

End Post
Writing time: 10 minutes
Time since last post: 2 days
Current media: Leverage 2x01

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chemistry is fun

There are reasons certain bottles have warnings on them, although they obviously can't take into consideration all possibilities. I imagine few chemicals would warn you not to use them on an air mattress and then use an electric air pump to fill it the next day. But apparently some bottles do need this warning, because a guy in Germany has managed to blow up his apartment with some car tyre solvent, an inflatable mattress and an electric air pump.

I'm sure there are many other interesting combinations of household goods that can have similarly catastrophic consequences, but I'm not going to try.

End Post
Writing time: 5 minutes
Time since last post: longer than I'd like
Current media: Penny Arcade playing Dungeons and Dragons

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You can not make this shit up

We're all familiar with the grilled cheese toast Mary, the Mary tree stump, and the oh so delicious Mary on a pizza tray, but times are changing. Mary is getting some competition from none other than recently deceased Michael Jackson. Yes, Michael Jackson has turned up on a tree in Stockton. Despite the tree having been there for 22 years, the face has apparently just appeared. Or so claim the family whose property the tree is on. Personally, I don't see it.

End Post
Writing time: 10 minutes (I had to search for some Mary links)
Time since last post: three days I think
Current media: none (cable tv runs the same episodes around noon and 10 pm ish so I've already seen tonights Stargate SG-1)

Monday, July 13, 2009

This is not representative

To Aaron Davis,
I would like to apply for the Medical Typist position that you have advertised on (

I'm a proficient typist through regular use of computers in a number of roles such as customer service and data entry where accuracy and speed make life easier for you, and typing while talking and, more relevantly to this role, listening is an important skill.

Also while working in customer service it was important to comply with national privacy legislation, a requirement I took quite seriously.

I have a large vocabulary in which some of medical jargon has entered not through any formal study, but through more of a culture route, being a fan of medical shows such as Scrubs and House (I'm sure your workplace is just as fun). My knowledge of cardiology terminology is a bit limited, with words like ventricle, ocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and atherosclerosis being more tongue twisters than conversational terms.

I'm a bit of a jack of all trades looking for something new and this position caught my eye as a role where I can learn about a new field second hand (I like to know stuff, but I know I'm not going to become a doctor just by typing up their notes). I am a quick learner, especially when it comes to computers, which I have been using for almost as long as I can remember (my reliable memories go back to about 1987, the year I started school).

As with just about all human beings, I can work well on my own and in a group, although I do tend to prefer working on my own, which doesn't seem too much of a disadvantage for a typist.

Attached is a copy of my current resume, and references are available on request. I on call 24 hours at xxxx xxxxxx and I look forward to discussing this exciting opportunity with you soon.

Yours sincerely,

I have a rant

At the moment, since I'm job hunting, I'm sending a lot of emails to recruitment agencies. These are the companies that have taken over pretty much the whole hiring process (and in some cases the actual employment bit as well).

I tend to feel that these companies are a kind of leech, as they do a job that used to be done by people inside a company, but now they pay some outsider to do it for them. For a start this does not make much financial sense to me, as instead of paying an employee to do this, they pay another company to pay an employee to do this, and of course the other company has to make a bit of profit on the deal, so overall it should be a bit cheaper to hire yourself a good recruiter, make sure they know your company well, and get them to do your hiring for you.

But it is not this that has roused me to typing. Today I came across a whole new kind of beast in the recruitment industry. Recruitment for recruitment. Companies that recruit recruiters. Uber-vampires who suck blood from regular vampires.

Now, I may not be in the best place to say, but surely a company whose job it is to find employees for other companies should already be well set up to find good employees. I mean, if they can't find good people for themselves, why should I believe they can find good employees for me.

Now hopefully no recruiters find this and decide to completely blacklist me (although at times it seems they've already done this), but quite frankly they are at best an unnecessary evil

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Way to Go

I have previously written of how I don't want to leave this earth. This, however, seems a much better way to go. Death by chocolate (well, blunt trauma to the head, but close enough).

End Post
Writing time: 2 minutes
Time since last post: too long
Current media: none, although I have been rewatching season 9 and 10 of Stargate SG-1 (the Ben Browder years, or alternatively, the no-Macvyver years)