Archive for the 'job huntiing' Category

The Putrid Pyramid

I have noticed interesting phenomena on my blog. The most popular search that brings people to my blog is “I am so depressed I can’t function.” I have one post about being depressed. Of course being Cranky, I make a joke about the whole depression thing. I am sure that the depression post is disappointing to people actually looking for real help with the depression. As a matter of fact, one reader was so angered by the whole thing; he suggested that I should go kill myself. Nice. He didn’t get the joke I guess. But I think being depressed is more highly likely now because of the crappy economy. At least that is my excuse. And the crappy economy is causing another phenomena. Formerly totally sane people are now desperately getting involved with pyramid schemes and pushing them on me with a glazed look in their eyes. And they are not just people. They are friends. Real friends. Which makes it all the more embarrassing and AWKWARD.

Like the time I met a lovely couple I know for coffee at a Starbucks in the Village and before I even took a sip of my cappuccino they had whipped out an Arbonne bag full of products and started the schpiel. “We want you to take it home. We know you’ll love it. The products are all natural. They’re made in Switzerland!” What the hell could I do? It’s all so embarrassing. What a nuisance. If you take the kit home you then have to arrange to meet again soon to give it back. What a pain in my ass. But of course Saint Cranky of Avoid Confrontation took the fucking bag home, didn’t try anything, returned it, ordered something, and then threw it away when I got it, just to get them off my back.

This is bad.

Now every time I go to the hairdresser the front desk receptionist slips me his card while I am trying to pay and tells me about his great web page where I can buy lots of products and lots of brands and get lots of discounts.  “Everyone loves a bargain, right?”  He says it every single time.  Must  have been in the training brochure.

Then last week another formerly sane friend called me. “Could you look at my new website?” she asked. Well of course I can. I’m an actress and I have probably asked you to read my blog, look at my reel, check out my web page, blah blah blah, so I am all about quid pro quo. I go to her new website and my heart sinks when I realize it is a travel club pyramid scheme. OH NO. There is a membership fee, a monthly fee and the possibility of winning dream vacations when you get others to join. The video is complete with excerpts from the loser conventions they hold with the pyramid scheme inspirational speaker and the drank the Kool Aid audience enthusiastically applauding his every word and dreaming of quitting their jobs and making six figures DOING NOTHING.

Dear God please let her not call back. Please please! Pretty please? The phone rings. My friend has turned into an unrecognizable high on enthusiasm and hope sounding person. “What was more attractive to you? The travel or the money?” “Ah, I don’t know….”I answer. “See! I knew it! They are both so great you can’t decide!” (Not really I am thinking. Cranky is a bad traveler and an even worse salesperson.) But there is no opening for me to say ANYTHING. “Wait! Wait! There is someone I want you to talk to!” And the next thing I know she has called some guy in Arizona and he starts talking to me about how he makes six figures now and all his dreams have come true. “Wouldn’t you like more time?” he asks. Ah, right now all I want is a way to figure out how the hell to end this phone call. It goes on and on. I am pacing in my living room. “Its never gonna end,” I think. “They are never going to let me off the phone. Not until I sign up. This is torture.”

Ten torturous minutes later he is telling me about this fabulous place he got to stay in in Rome. I was in Rome. I missed my dog. Aha! Dog dog dog. Bring up the dog. “Um, ah, listen, I’m sorry, I need to take my dog out. I was supposed to take her out an hour ago. Bye.” And I hang up. I know that was lame. But I couldn’t help it. I was desperate. I was losing my mind.

I’ve gotten four messages from the friend since, and I am afraid to call back. In her last message she apologized and said she was depressed and joined it because it gave her something to be hopeful about. That’s more like it. I might be ready to call her back by next week now.

Then on Thursday I was walking home from Gristedes and ran into a lovely gal I know who has a dog who plays with my dog. Neither of us had our dogs, but she came running towards me anyway. “I HAVE A NEW BUSINESS! I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT! I WAS THINKING ABOUT YOU!” A bit more intimate then our fellow dog owner relationship warranted I thought. And then she dropped he bomb. The new business? Arbonne. ARBONNE!!!

“Look at my skin! Doesn’t it look great? I can’t believe it! Right? They’re all natural. They’re made in Switzerland.”

The whole time I am listening to this I am thinking about my dog again. Saint Cranky of Avoid Confrontation is wondering where I am going to walk the dog now.

Oh Oscar Oscar Oscar

I realized today that my working life with Oscar has turned into my own little Becketesque “Waiting For Godot” hell.

Here is some sample dialogue:

Would you boil some water please?

What do you need the water for?

I want tea.


With milk.

Do we have any cups?

I don’t know.


Why don’t you look.


There aren’t any cups.

I bought cups yesterday. I had enough cups to last a lifetime.

Where are they?

I left them home. I couldn’t manage to carry them.


What about the tea?

I can’t make tea without a cup.

Look. There must be something.

There is nothing.

Forget the tea.

Seriously this is giving me an existential crisis everyday. The futility of every task is too much for me to take even if I am getting paid for it.

Then later:

I think my ex-wife has been stealing my dividend checks.


Call the Bank of New York.

Who should I call?

I don’t know. Call them!

Ah, do you have an account number or something?

I don’t know.  I can’t remember.  Just call them!

Well what should I say when I call them?

Ask them where my dividend checks are?

But how will they know who you are if I can’t give them a number?

This is a all new to me as I’ve never had to deal with elderly parents as they both left the planet way before I wanted them to. Thanks Mom, thanks Dad, leave me to deal with Oscar without any parental supervision. What would they say? What would they say? My softhearted Dad would feel sorry for him and say something like; “Cranky give the old hump a break.” My mother would say: “I think life is way to short for that.” And in her case that was all too true. So in a way, I am following both their advice – I am very understanding and patient while there, while praying all the time that I can get the hell out of there and NEVER go back.

But we are in the new economy. Here is what the new economy means to me. In the old economy my husband enjoyed a few luxuries. Including handkerchiefs from Thomas Pink. Without a second thought. That was the past. In the new economy it takes an hour and a quarter of work in the present to buy one handkerchief of the past.

But the existential crisis of the present might still be influenced by the past. One day soon I might look at Oscar and say: “Sorry Oscar.  My mother’s calling me.”

Cranky Gets A Money Gig From Craig’s List- HELP!!

The recession is annoying Cranky. I had a nice freelance money job. But now that job isn’t paying me any money. So I ended up in the bizarro world of Craig’s List looking for some kinda job thing to bring in some dough. This is how my life turned into a Seinfeld episode.

I got a job working for Oscar the cranky old guy. Only Cranky would find a job like this. Luckily I am splitting the job with a model so we both can go on calls. And I tell him I can never come in until eleven because there are only so many hours of this I can take.

Here is my day:

Play one message from an unintelligible friend six times to try to figure out what the hell he is saying. Finally give up and play it for Oscar who immediately recognizes his fellow octogenarian’s garble and calls him back. Call the city to fight a parking ticket and use the term elder abuse to get out of it.

Then it is lunchtime.

Every day at 12:30 Oscar hands me a ten-dollar bill and says; “See if they have Matzo Ball. If they have Matzo Ball soup just take the Matzo Balls and put them in a different soup. I don’t like the soup the Matzo Balls come in. I don’t like the Jewish Penicillin.

Tuesday at lunch time: “See if they have the Matzo Ball…”

Wednesday at lunch: “See if they have the Matzo Ball….”

Thursday: “See if they have the Matzo Ball….”

After four weeks of this I realize that Morton Williams Supermarket hasn’t had Matzo Ball soup for the past hundred years, but I will never stop hearing the Matzo Ball speech.

So we eat our soup.  As Oscar takes his last spoonful he starts to nod off and ends up taking a nap on the leatherette couch in his office with a sweater over his head. One day the sweater slips and I see his frozen face with unseeing eyes and mouth open. I think; “Oh shit! He’s dead! What am I gonna do? Who do I call? I’ve never had a dead boss before.” And then I hear a little snore and realize that Oscar sleeps with his eyes open which is one of the scarier things I have ever seen in my life.

After lunch comes the most important business of the day. Now we must go on and send emails to women. Oscar pulls up a chair and looks over my shoulder at the computer while we do searches for women. I am so in the world of weirdos now I am beside myself. Yesterday he started yelling: “Find me more women! There must be more women! Can’t you call someone you know that uses who can tell you how to find more women?”

Ah, yeah.  I know how to navigate What I don’t know is how to get any twenty-eight to thirty-eight year old woman to write back to an eighty-year-old man looking for a date, a relationship, a wife and a NEW BABY. Ah, yeah. A NEW FUCKING BABY. Unhappy with his  eighteen-year-old son, he has decided that he should get a new baby. And the way to get a new baby is to get a woman in her childbearing years to go out with you. Oh and she must be tall and thin. TALL AND THIN.

This shit is giving me nightmares. I keep seeing Oscar’s fungus finger pointing at pictures of young women.  Is it worth the hourly rate? The Matzo Balls and floating around my brain when I leave there? The listening to him pee with the bathroom door open? Or how about walking by the door of his office, as he is about to pee in the empty soup container from lunch because he is too old and tired to walk to the bathroom?

Seriously,  the economy better get better because I don’t know how long I can take this shit.

Yesterday was doing with Oscar dictating over my shoulder. It’s a good thing he doesn’t  see very well,  so he can’t see all the typos I will have to go back and correct later. So he is dictating a note to some beautiful young Brazilian woman. I am feeling sorry for her that she will get a response to her lovely picture and open it and find it is from grandpa. Anyway, he is dictating that he went to Rio once but couldn’t go to the beach because he is very fair skinned. Then he says his ability to meet women is small because he doesn’t like cocktail bars. Then he says he hates large groups of people because he finds most people are insufferable bores. While I am typing I think, “Way to go Oscar. Way to get a date. Sound like a complete misanthrope. Great way to make an impression- expose yourself as having the emotional intelligence of a bi-valve.”

And then it happens. Cranky has an uncontrollable laughing fit. As it is bubbling up I am thinking; ‘NO. STOP! DO NOT LAUGH! DO NOT LAUGH! HE WILL SEE YOU!” Which makes if even more funny, so I dissolve into a hysterical laughing fit in front of him.

Fortunately, he thinks of himself as a great writer and as I am laughing with tears coming down my cheeks he says; “It’s a great letter, right? What do you think?”  “Huh?”  I think, “Don’t ask me what I think! I can’t tell you what I really think.”  And then it comes to me.  I say, “You sound like Woody Allan,” and I am able to save the day.  Thank you Second City Improv.  Thanks for the skills to save my job with Matzo Ball man.

Job Hunting on Craig’s List -Oxymoron?

Ah, excuse me but have any of you looked for a job lately? Specifically anybody ever apply for all the millions of jobs on Craig’s List? If one of you has gotten a job this way you have to tell me, OK? Cause so far it is either nothing or a world of weirdos.

I decided to try to look for ways to make some extra income and a friend told me that there are lots of jobs on Craig’s List. I did not let the thought of the “Craig’s List Killer” deter me. No.

One of the jobs I applied for was as an Administrative Assistant. I actually got a response, which on Craig’s list is a minor miracle. It was a miracle until I read the response.

Here is the email from the prospective employer:

Re: Professionally Oriented Administrative Assistant with exp.

Date: August 8, 2009 10:20:13 AM EDT


Hello, I’m glad to hear from you concerning the available position in our company. This is a Data Entry work from home job. Your resume was reviewed and successfully approved,i think you should be given a chance for an interview online via yahoo IM,Set up a yahoo ID and instantly add up and message the (Personnel Manager) Roger Connie on his yahoo IM(atnworldinc) for your Briefing and Interview online.

Kinds Regards,

Heather Mashugana,TNT Company

Somehow this doesn’t sound like it was written by a native English speaker. It sounds more like someone who learned grammar in the same thatched hut in Africa as the guys offering you $88,000.00 if you’ll give them access to your checking account. And isn’t it a bit creepy that they advertised for and administrative assistant and now it is actually an at home data entry job?

The instant message interview. How is this supposed to work? I went online and didn’t have the patience. Cranky has no patience for this. So instead I entertained myself by writing a reply email to “Heather.”

Hi Heather,

Glad to hear from you concerning the position in your company.

Thanks for the chance at the interview online. I think CHANCE is the key word here, as I do not know how to catch Mr. Connie when he is online. I unfortunately have to use the bathroom occasionally and also must grocery shop and eat meals, hence I cannot be staring at the Yahoo screen continually to catch when Mr. Connie is available.

So far all Saturday afternoon he was either busy or offline. It’s amazing how quickly he went from busy to offline instantly without one second of available in between.

Your message mentioned the term “add up. I’m afraid I don’t know what I am supposed to add up. Unless I should put two and two together and realize I am never gonna get an “interview” with Mr. Connie.

The IM interview is new to me. Is there some kind of trick or something in actually getting one? Does the person who can stare at their computer screen the longest win? Is this a skill that you require for this position?

Thank you for your assistance.

Confused regards,


Then there are the listings that ask you to take a quiz. A QUIZ. You’re supposed to cut and paste the quiz into an email and send it to them.

Here is the quiz:

A company takes a 20% deposit of the total amount of an order. The company sends the order out in partial shipments until the order is completely shipped. The company holds the deposit until the final shipments are made. The company uses the deposit money to pay for the final shipments. The company has to calculate how to use the deposit money so that there will be exactly enough money to cover the cost of the final shipment. The company does not want to have any deposit money left over.

I had to take a break and go lie down after reading this.

  1. Client A places an order for $8000. How much should their deposit be?

This question must be to eliminate the really stupid people. You know the ones who think the sun revolves around the earth.

  1. Client A has been shipped shipments of $1000 and $4000. A new shipment is ready to be shipped for the amount of $2000. How much will the next (the final) shipment be (there are no shipping costs)?

Again – 1 plus 4 plus 2 equals 7- DUH!!! That leaves $1000.00

  1. How much of the original deposit should you use for the current shipment of $2000 so as to leave the exact amount remaining for the next and final shipment?
  1. Client A wants to return merchandise and also is wondering about the process you used to determine how much deposit is being used and how much is being kept. The company does not accept returns. Please write a detailed email explaining this and how much deposit is being used for the $2000 shipment and why you are keeping a portion of the deposit for the next shipment.

A detailed email? All I have is a headache.

Now I have a QUIZ.

  1. Do I want to work for a company that does not accept returns?

The answer would be no.



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