At Least It’s Not a Fruit Cake: A Response to “Résumés – How the French Spell It”

I sometimes write novel-like comments on blogs that are self contained posts in their own right. I posted this comment as a response to flygirl0’s post on resumes and the process of interviewing. I thought it might be worth sharing it here.


You’re giving them too much credit if you assume people who are interviewing have any idea the hell they’re doing. I have a lot of very clear “WTF” interview memories, and I haven’t even interviewed in like five years. It’s such an artificial and horrible process, and admittedly, I’m terrible at it.

I get nervous. I feel like the only way I nail interviews is that I accidentally channel some deity/ancestor/alien for the length of it, or I’ve interviewed so much recently that I know what they’re going to ask before they ask it. Manhole cover? Answer that makes even the foremost manhole experts, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, take notes. Stapler? Caught and made into a stunning stapler entree to be judged by the Master Chef celebrities.

At the end of it all, you don’t even know if that was really the job that would have made you happy. Sure, you can assume or expect this or that, but usually jobs are full of that day job work thing. You have to go to meetings about meetings, work on working your work in a more workly way, and design review everything (yes, including the design review process). I’ve always suspected that I’m just not cut out for office life, but I’m doing an okay job pretending. I have an office plant that isn’t dead yet, two monitors, walls, and even a window. I’ve reached so many echelon ladders above cubicle farm monkey that I should be positively ecstatic.

The truth is, it’s okay. I’m not dying here, but I’m not fulfilled by this alone. It’s an office. It’s a job where people tell you what to do and you do it. I know there are people out there working for themselves, but I suspect a lot of them are just monkeys to their clients (still not doing what they really want).

I wish I could close this with some kind of epiphany or inspiration other than, “Yes, I agree,” but that’s all I got. My big consolation is that even if you dodged the stapler, there’s no proof that your life would suddenly be fulfilled, and it probably wouldn’t be. That’s such a horrible consolation. It’s more like a fruit basket for a funeral. At least it’s not a fruit cake, but I’m sorry all the same.


I’ve posted on this topic before a couple times (probably more than I remember or list here):
Interviewing Tip Toes
Interviewing: The Real Life RTS Game

Some States Are in a State, Some of Our Rights Aren’t Right

I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but this kind of news bounces around my head and sometimes wants to get out.

Tampons and Maxi Pads Banned From Texas Senate (But Guns Are Cool)

Women are being forced to throw out tampons and maxi pads to enter the Senate gallery, which has been confirmed by DPS. That’s right: menstruating women are being denied entry to the Senate gallery unless they throw out their supplies.

Additionally, diabetics are asked to throw out their sugar packets.

However, people with concealed handgun licenses are allowed to bypass long lines to enter the Capitol itself through the expedited CHL entrance, and per a DPS officer, if a person has a CHL, they can take their gun into the gallery.

Hate crime: Woman, girlfriend beaten in South Austin

A man they knew from the neighborhood started following them… the woman’s masculine dress prompted anti-gay slurs, she said. The woman’s girlfriend, 25, told the men to stop, in vain, the woman said… he kept shouting slurs and daring the woman to fight, she said. “Tell your b—- to stop looking at me,” the man told the woman’s girlfriend, whom he knew from high school.

The woman said she did her best to ignore him but he kept following. Her girlfriend tried to reason with the man, asking him to leave the couple alone, the woman said.

But then a second man came up, cursing both of the women, and the first man took a swing and punched the woman, she said. The couple said they fought back and other men quickly joined in, dragging the women apart.

The couple struggled to get back together, pressed against a car as the beating continued and no one came by to help, the woman said. “I didn’t think we were going to make it out,” she said.

Finally, one of the men said the police were coming. The attackers, laughing, fled in one direction and the women went the other way. Both women had lost their shoes in the scramble, and someone had ripped one of the victim’s shirt off. The men stole their phones and cash.

Governors of Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin have all signed bills limiting access to abortion

The Texas bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, and restrict when women can take abortion pills. It would also only allow abortions in surgical facilities, and require doctors to have admitting privileges at area hospitals. These provisions would likely close 37 of the state’s 42 abortion clinics because the cost of compliance would be too high.

Last week, as a part of the state budget, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich signed new abortion restrictions into law. Women in the state will now be required to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, and an abortion clinic’s ability to transfer patients to public hospitals will be limited. It would also effectively defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning groups.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker also signed a bill last week that would restrict abortions in his state, requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of their clinic.

Ohio Republicans protect boats, but not uteruses, from intrusive searches

The new law “eliminates these intrusive searches,” said Republican State Rep. Damschroder, the bill’s sponsor.

Because if there’s anything Ohio’s Republicans hate it’s “intrusive searches” – unless, of course, those searches are focused on women’s reproductive systems.

Scott Walker Quietly Signs Bill Requiring Ultrasounds For Wisconsin Abortions

Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures.

Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists To Graduate High School

A group of Arizona politicians… have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:
I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

(I dislike the title of this article. I’m not an atheist, and it would be a hypocrite to say this oath too. It also wouldn’t prevent atheists from graduating. Instead, what it would do is make anyone who actually does believe in the Constitution of the United States and understand the Bill of Rights say something against their will because of their government’s law. It’s just sad.)

Supreme Court rules Drug Companies exempt from Lawsuits

…the US Supreme Court also made a ruling on lawsuits against drug companies for fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death. From now on, 80 percent of all drugs are exempt from legal liability.

In a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s ruling and award for the victim of a pharmaceutical drug’s adverse reaction. According to the victim and the state courts, the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect that left the patient permanently disfigured over most of her body. The adverse reaction was hidden by the drug maker and later forced to be included on all warning labels. But the highest court in the land ruled that the victim had no legal grounds to sue the corporation because its drugs are exempt from lawsuits.

Besides the larger implications of this, I keep thinking about the poor woman who… what? Now has to pay back the money she was awarded for winning the first lawsuit? Presumably it’s already put towards living and medical expenses?

Breastfeeding Viewed as Potential Terrorist Activity by New York Country Club

…Remans began to discreetly breastfeed her daughter Luka at the table.

Neijens, first secretary of the Belgium Mission to the UN, told the New York Post that a female employee of the club quickly interrupted Roseline’s perfectly legal and proper feeding of her baby with this sharp rebuke:

“Please leave immediately, you are disturbing the members!”

When Neijens protested and said it would only take a few minutes, the female staffer insisted that Remans finish in the restroom.

Understandably incredulous at the blatant ignorance on display at such a high end establishment, Mr. Neijens inquired why a baby would be asked to have lunch in the restroom when adults are not.

The Greenburgh Police Department arrived minutes later with Detective Scott Harding apparently yelling, “Close the doors!” with two other diners ordered to leave the terrace…

The officer warned the couple that they were trespassing despite the fact that country club staff had given them specific permission to dine. He also said that some fearful members thought Mr. Neijens’ black backpack indicated they were terrorists.

Hollie McNish, Poet Shamed By Breastfeeding In Public, Has The Last Word (VIDEO)

I thought it was OK.
I could understand the reasons.
They said: there might be a man or nervous child seeing this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting.
So I whispered and tiptoed with nervous discretion.
But after 6 months of her life sat sitting on lids,
Sipping on milk, nostrils sniffing on piss,
Trying not to bang her head on toilet roll dispensers,
I wonder if these public loo feeds offend her,
‘Cause I’m getting tired of discretion and being polite.
My baby’s first sips are drown-drenched in shite…

Top 10 Issues With Public Transit in Boston

I’ve been commuting by public transportation in and around Boston for about a year now. While I still prefer it any day to driving through or around Boston during commuter hours, it’s a much less than perfect system. Here’s a list of some of my ‘favorite’ issues in the form of a top 10 list.


10. The bus didn’t see you. The tried to drive right past you. Maybe they did drive right past you. You’re wearing a long bright red coat, but somehow you’ve turned invisible momentarily. These things happen.

9. There is a delay due to slippery rail, mechanical failure, residual mechanical failure, disabled train, disabled bus, signal problem, medical emergency, weather related problem, residual delay, switch problem, heavy ridership, police investigation, traffic, weather related slip, heavy ridership, etc. My favorite of these delay reasons is “late train”. How can you describe the reason as the problem? Why is the train late? The train is late due to a late train. Okay, that clears things up. Here’s a good question: what’s the difference between a “slippery rail” and a “weather related slip”? Easy, one is caused by the weather and the other is caused by…

…you don’t want to know.

8. Someone has BO, too much perfume, permanent cigarette scent, and any other funk that you must now deal with. Pretty much any noise related issue can be solved with headphones, but even if you carry around a close pin or fruit-scented spray, there’s no really no way to effectively deal with this one.

7. You can’t get in the train. You’ve been waiting what feels like forever and need to get to your destination soon (or just would really like to). Oh, good. Here’s the next train. It opens. It’s full. A few people get off. A few people get on. Sometimes one of those people is you, but that can be almost as bad as being left on the platform waiting for the next one. If you are waiting for the next one, hope that this doesn’t repeat…

6. People won’t wait for you to leave to train before they try to get on. They somehow are always surprised to see you there trying to exit. It’s not the second coming of Jesus, folks. You should expect every time a train comes that at least one person is going to be walking through the opening and off the train. After a year, I don’t stop in the doorway and say ‘excuse me’ anymore and wait for people to register what’s happening. I just walk forward and hope that I can part the red sea of morons well enough to get through. I may not be Moses, but I have pointy elbows. Every now and then, someone decides to play chicken and keep walking towards me as if I’m going to get out of their way so they can board. Sure. I’ll just stay on the train for another stop so that you may board sooner. That makes sense.

5. Doors sometimes open in the front only, sometimes they don’t. While this happens ALL THE TIME on the Green line, I also see this on busses, and there are a host of similar issues. You know on this stop that doors are supposed to open on both sides. Then they just don’t for some reason. Or maybe they do, but have a weird delay to add to your confusion. Hm, these doors won’t open. I’ll just turn around and use the other- oh, hey, now they’re opening. Do I turn back and use those or just keep going? Some of this might be policies for certain stops at certain times of day, but it’s random enough that I think it’s a whim, or a cruel experiment. If it’s an experiment, why don’t I get a bit of cheese after when I choose correctly?

A kind of conditioning that starts to happen. I know I need to rush to the front doors in this long train. I’m dozing off a little or reading- THERE’S MY STOP! I get up and rush towards the front-

Only to realize I’m now in the far back of the train.

I turn around and run to the other side feeling like an idiot.

On the commuter rail, or any really big train, who knows where the doors are going to open. After a year I finally feel like I know which way to walk to and what to stand in front of to get off before we pull up. It’s always the same, except when it’s not.

4. There’s nowhere to go if you catch a crazy persons eye. If you’re in a station or at a stop, you need to keep waiting there. If you’re on a train, the car isn’t that big. If you’re on the bus, it also is not that big. The other people around you aren’t going to help you. They don’t want to catch the crazy’s eye. Employees don’t want to deal with it if they even are around and see it. What can you do? I usually ignore people and become super engrossed in my phone, book, or anything other than them. If you ignore them, they will usually move on. The biggest mistake I see is people trying to be nice. You might as well jump into a shark tank and slice open your leg. I’ve seen more than one conversation quickly go from crazy to worse:

A guy is signing very badly, “Hey, miss, do you remember that song? Hey. Hey miss.”
She makes eye contact, “No. I don’t.”
He sings a bit more, “It’s a great song. I haven’t heard it in forever,” sings a bit more, “Where are you from?”
She answers where she’s originally from.
“Oh cool. Do you think I could sleep on your floor tonight? I won’t take up much space.”
“Um. No, sorry.”
“It’s cold out! Please!”

And now we all feel awkward, and terrible, and aren’t sure what to do.

Some of these people are high, drunk, crazy, and/or homeless.

A tactic I’ve been seeing a lot lately is a homeless guy getting on, and then once he’s on asking people for change for a commuter rail ticket to a specific place where there is a shelter (or something else). The close quarters and no where to go are in favor of this guy. I feel bad for him, but I also feel bad for all of the riders aggressively being approached. That’s just awkward for everyone.

Some of these people are just jerks with no real excuse.

On that note, as a woman, you can imagine that a lot of awkward flirting and pickup attempts are to be had when you’re just trying to get from point A to point B. Normally I’m good at ignoring sexual harassment, but I’ve fallen for awkward flirting that starts off as innocent, casual conversation. To any guy out there reading that has done this, I’m only riding this bus, train, etc. because I don’t have a personal teleportation device and my mutant flying powers have not yet manifested. If you’re looking to find someone, might I suggest joining some kind of group activity to meet people?

3. There isn’t one pass to rule them all, but they make it sound like there is. Let’s take a place like Back Bay station where you have the orange line MBTA train, and commuter rail AMTRAK trains in the same building. You see signs for Charlie Cards (the passes for MBTA trains and busses) everywhere along with an explanation for the fees. Isn’t it great that you can use the same thing for both the train AND the bus? Well, it doesn’t quite work like that. Commuter rail passes are different. You can’t use your Charlie card on the commuter rail. You need to know to buy your pass at the machine in the station, unless you have cash, but they’ll charge you more on the train if you do it that way.

Well. Wait. They’re different passes unless you have one that covers both.

Some monthly passes can cover both, but if you have one, it’s not a Charlie Card. This means you can’t just tap it on a card reader when trying to get on a bus or train, you need to take it out and feed it into a ticket taker. That’s only if you’re on a bus or the T. If you’re on the commuter rail train, you follow the amazing scientific system of waiting for a person to come around and look at it. They have no card reader. They just visually check it. I’ll also add that that commuter rail is way more expensive, so I’m sure a lot of people scam this system. It gets worse. Unlike your Charlie Card that you can register online and get replaced if lost, obviously the one that is easier to lose and super expensive is not. So getting a combination bus, T, and commuter rail monthly pass, even if it’s economical for how often you use them, you’re eventually going to screw yourself by losing it.

Lets not forget that if you’re in an area right outside Boston taking a bus, you can now often use a Charlie Card! Wait! If you have a monthly pass it won’t work.

I found out some of this the hard way, and I see people mess this up all the time. This is terrible when combined with our next item…

2. People making the rules and working there assume everyone knows what’s going on. What, you didn’t know that at certain hours during the day on this specific commuter rail line that the inbound and outbound tracks switch? Lol. You should have read the printer paper sized sign by the stairs you ran down to get to the platform. It’s really clear, if you actually saw it and already knew what was going on. There is also a notice buried somewhere on our website I think.

Also, we switched the track number of your train that you take every day. We didn’t announce it, or maybe we did, in a cut-off garbled message over the speaker. Whatever. It’s not that hard to figure out that you need to board on a different track all the sudden. And really, get with the program when we switch back. We didn’t let anyone know we were, but you should be happy that it’s going back the way you wanted it.

Bus service replaces T service on this part of this line on these specific dates and during these specific hours that aren’t really specific. We’re going to start out early every time so you can’t plan around it even if you know.

I know no one told you, but you need to buy your commuter rail passes at a station of get charged a trolling fee. I know not all places have a machine where you can do that, so we only charge for those that don’t unless we feel like being jerks.

We’re on holiday schedule today. What holiday is it? It’s famous dead white guy Monday or day before an actual holiday day. Who cares. You should know that and know that this only effects the T and busses, but not the MWRTA bus or the commuter rail you’re trying to take today. Have a nice day!

You should know. Everyone who has been taking public transit has for their whole lives and had these secrets passed down from their ancestors. If you’re dumb and brave enough to think that joining this elite group would be easy, well then think again! You may think we’re trying to make money just like any other business, but really we’re government funded. Okay, well, we’re not really exactly fully government funded- look, it’s complicated. The point is that we don’t care if we discourage people from riding by making it hard.

1. We changed the schedule and raised the fares, and we even let you know about it! We don’t really care if you can’t deal with that. You just call up your boss and say, “Hey boss, I know I need to be in at this time, but this stop was cut, so now I can’t get there until that time. You understand, right?”. Is the new price too much? Well just tell your boss, “Hey, I need a raise.” Actually, just suck it up, because it’s still cheaper than gas these days unless you aren’t driving very far. Just be thankful and eat less.

People forget I have a blog

“So if you can’t handle keeping things private that have absolutely no business being public, then we’re going to have to talk.”

There was this one time, maybe around when I last posted on this blog, that someone got really upset at me for posting on my bookface account that they watched a particular TV show.

I know people can get really sensitive about what goes online, but why should anyone care if I out them as someone who has seen episodes of anything?

The post was only posted to my friends, not publicly or on here, and it didn’t include the @person_who_now_hates_me tag or anything. I did use a name, which I avoid on the blog, but it was just a common first name, which multiple people on my three hundred something person friends list have. But yes they considered that public.

Now. This is public. The name has been withheld, and I’m even withholding the name of the show in case the your name gets out.

I know how the paparazzi can be.

Question? Yes, you in the front. Was it porn? No, it wasn’t porn, but let’s just make something clear. Are there really any adults out there who haven’t seen porn? Okay, that’s true. The Amish may or may not have watched internet porn, but I bet they have flip-books or something.

It’s not a show I would show any shame watching. It’s a show I’ve watched before and admitted I enjoyed to real, live, human beings (not just my cat and potted plants). The only reason I found it even a bit noteworthy is that this same person made fun of me for watching the show once, which is a bit hypocritical. I didn’t say that in my bookface post, though. I’m saying it now, though. And I’m asking, what’s up with that? I don’t know this person to generally be a hypocrite.

“FYI, people at work see your facebook.”

Okay, so we have some mutual friends where you work. Trust me, I was just as likely to verbally tell them next time I saw them. Why? Because I didn’t know it was a secret. Because you teased me about it before, and now it was my turn to tease a little.

Maybe I should have known that you had really serious feelings about the stupid TV shows. Some teasing is just teasing, but a lot of teasing is bullying that happens when people are self-loathing and trying to feel better about themselves. It’s like you’re in the closet about a TV show, teasing those of us who have come out. Is your ego really so fragile? Is your self-esteem so low? I know you to be a person of confidence and even sometimes, when it counts, humility. So what is this really about?

This can’t really be about you defending your right to have people be silent when concerning your TV show prefrences? ..can it?

Well, unless they amend the constitution, is not a right. It’s also silly to think a person would consider that confidential information. It’s not even an overshare.

So, is this person going to get really silly angry when I post this? I don’t know. I really have no idea. I obviously don’t share their values about what is ‘okay to be public’ or ‘should be private’.

One more detail: this person reads my blog.

While I can block people on or add them to the ‘post this to everyone but so and so’ bookface group, I can’t do that here. And still here I post. I might even one day end up with a book. You can’t control who reads a book. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was pretty inspiring. I think that she’s really lucky that the people in her life didn’t go all “you told people I watch this really silly TV show and that’s not okay” on her. Maybe they did. I hope they didn’t. It’s a great book.

Oh, one more detail. That person, bought her book. They should understand this while writing about life thing.

People should be able to tell their story. My story includes other people who I interact with.

So here we are with a blog that I stopped posting on for most of this year. It’s not a coincidence.

I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with this going forward, but I think step one is to not get upset myself. You know how I work through stuff? Writing about stupid stuff in my life on my blog. Yeah. What a person to do then when they become afraid to?

I can’t understand why this person cared. He was teased by a mutual friend, and that friend only did it because he knew it would bother him. This mutual friend also heard the hypocrisy. People tease you when they know it bothers you, but if you lived through kindergarten to twelfth grade, you should understand that principal. It’s trolling 101.

So I know this is ridiculous. So why did I let it get to me?

The problem is that I actually care about what this person thinks. I’ve tried talking to them about it, but we went in a circle. We tried again, another circle. It’s like talking religion or politics with people who have opposing viewpoints. At some point you should realize nothing you say is going to really change the other person’s mind.

I didn’t change my mind, but something else happened. I became, for once, a bit afraid to express myself in my desired medium. That’s not okay. I write. I share my writing online. It’s been part of my identity since I was posting poems to people on Compuserve and local BBS forums.

Look at this blog. Am I what you would call a private person?

I know there must be a way to simultaneously respect people who prefer to be private while continuing to be open myself, but I felt like I was already doing that.

I’m not going to stop writing about myself and my experiences- even if I never posted here again. The people around me are part of my experiences. There would be no stories without you! Even if I were to try and be selfish and only post about myself, I’d still have to bring in those ‘minor characters’.

What I’m trying to say is that I do not mean any disrespect, but people either going to have to live with some degree of this…

Or they have to make sure I don’t catch then watching TV…

Or they have to say “Hey, don’t go telling anyone about how I watched this on TV. It’s super personal and private and means a lot to me.”

I know it won’t be the last person who gets upset because I wrote something about them, but I was surprised about who it was and what set them off. I’m surprised at how mean and serious it got. I was just downright confused when I was contacted at work about it.

We choose the people we associate with to a large degree. I pride myself in surrounding myself with people who are both pretty amazing and who, to some degree, get and accept me.

I don’t know how we let dumb TV shows get between us.

Be People

I work in IT. I train jiu-jitsu. I don’t like the color pink. I grew up playing catch with my dad. I still have my ninja turtles. I am not gay (or closeted).

I don’t think that being a woman or a man or being attracted to one sex or another is relevant to what I should do or like.

I don’t care for you or anyone else to tell me (or any man or woman) what it is to be a man or a woman or gay or strait (or anything else).

Let us just be people and have/make our own identities.

I shouldn’t feel like I have to shout things like this to the sky (or blog), but every now and then I have a conversation with someone I respect that really makes me feel like I need to chisel words into a mountain so it’s as visible from a million miles away.

Each generation we may be getting closer to that world where people are allowed to just be people, but moments like this I feel like it’s more of an impossible dream. If we can’t even do this with gender, the most basic of two human categories we’re stuffed in, how are we going to get past issues of race or religion?

I can always think back to where we were as society even a few generations back. We have come so far. I’m trying to be patient, but this kind of patience can be very trying.