Monthly Archives: June 2013

No Experience Necessary

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a better job, because those that are easy to get usually aren’t that great. The idea of ‘experience’ is an issue that has continued to baffle me as I continue to scour multiple job posting websites. There are very few, almost no companies that will consider applicants with little or no experience in the desired field. And this of course creates a bit of a conundrum for young people attempting to break into the work force: you can’t get a good job without having relevant experience, and you can’t get experience without first getting a job. Of course there are certain ways around this particular catch 22. One is internships. Many students are even required to complete a certain number of internship hours in order to graduate with their intended major. Unfortunately, there are a lot of college students who simply cannot afford to spend their time working for free, because they are already working most of the time that they are not in class at some low paying, hourly job. And most students who graduate with very technical, specific degrees also do not have this problem. When they finish school, they have a very clear cut skill set that is suited for a few particular career paths, and this skill set they’ve learned in the past two or four years serves as a substitute for experience. Then there are the rest of us who decided to major in anthropology, english or art history, never had a well defined picture of what exactly we wanted to do after graduating, and now are either still trying to figure out what they can do, are working in some line that has nothing to do with what they studied, or are resorting to grad school because there seem to be no other options.

Many of the job postings I’ve seen lately require 1-2 years of related experience. Comparatively, that’s not exactly a lot of experience. Clearly this type of posting is looking for a young person rather than a mature, highly experienced individual. Why? Because they don’t have to be paid as much. But let’s say I had 1 year of relevant experience and am hired for a job with such a requirement. What are the chances that the work that I did for a year was exactly the same as the work I’ve been hired for now? Very low. No matter what, the person you hire is going to have to be trained to do the tasks you require the way that you require them to be done. So as long as your applicant is fairly intelligent and shows that they can pick things up quickly, it doesn’t seem to me that experience would make all that much of a difference. In my mind, someone with 1-2 years experience, and some one with a college degree, maybe even with a Magna or Suma Cum Laude distinction to further verify their apptitude, are fairly equal because they would most likely take the same amount of time to train.

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Where’s the Foodcourt?: Why Working in a Kiosk Sucks

I work at the mall. It is a bit embarrassing considering I have a Bachelor’s degree, but with my schedule the way it is and the way it is going to be in the near future, I can’t have a “real” full time job right now. So I sell jewelry and pierce ears at one of those kiosks that are in the mall. I like selling jewelry, I like jewelry. In fact, I plan to be only more involved in the jewelry industry in the future. I do not, however, like working in a kiosk. Firstly, there is the whole process of putting away everything in the store every night, and taking it all back out every morning. Along with the other standard duties involved in opening and closing a retail store, mainly register and various paperwork, this process takes between half and hour to 45 minutes with one person. It’s tedious, and annoying, and I always end up sweating more than should be acceptable for a jewelry sales person. But when your store doesn’t have any walls, it’s necessary to prevent theft when the mall is closed. Secondly, there is the people in the mall. A lot of people will approach the kiosk who are not remotely interested in what we offer, but only to ask questions of the sales people. We are often asked about specific locations of stores within the mall, specific locations of bathrooms and food courts, and if there is a store near the kiosk that has recently closed, we are expected to know all the details about what happened. Basically, people treat us as human directories. The mall in which I work specifically is not that large at all. In fact, as far as malls go, it’s on the small side. The food court is literally around the corner, at the very end of the mall, and yet somehow people still manage to get lost trying to find it. I hate telling people over and over again all day long where the bathrooms and food court are. Really? Did you even look for it? Or are you so lazy that you can’t walk from one end of this mall to the other without giving up and asking for help? Thirdly, there is this idea among customers that because the kiosk is not a “real” jewelry store, that it is acceptable to haggle with the sales associates about price. Just because our store is more like a stand, does not mean we are some kind of traveling gypsies selling our wares for whatever we can get. We are a national chain of stores that is owned by a large global jewelry brand, and the price is the price. That’s it. It genuinely surprises me how many times a day a customer looks at the price tag of something they are interested in buying, and saying “what’s the best deal you can give me on this?” Gee, I don’t know, how about exactly what it says on the price tag! Do these people really think that someone like me, a menial hourly employee has the right to give arbitrary discounts on merchandise? If they have ever had any kind of sales job, any job at all for that matter, they should know that doing things like that would result in termination from the company. Everyone thinks they deserve more than they really do.

And for these main reasons, among others, working in a kiosk sucks.

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Modern Music: It’s here for now

So I saw an article about a certain band that was coming to perform in my area, and I decided to look them up. They are a young group from Australia (I think), with a brother and sister as the two lead singers. I watched a youtube video of their most popular song, and thought it was cute. It was an interesting take on how signals/texts between two people can be misread. I think I saw someone put this band under an alternative/folk umbrella, but what do I know about any of that. I scrolled down to read some of the comments, and quite a few of them commented on the fact that the female singer wasn’t very good. I listened harder. She definitely had a unique voice, not amazingly melodic, but definitely not terrible or annoying. One commenter, who clearly was from an older generation, wrote something along the lines of “what has happened to music”. The comment was once again in reference to the female singers voice. All I could think was, what in the hell was this person talking about? Let’s pretend that this person grew up in the 50s, and that sort of soft, bee bop type music is what they love. If we’re talking about vocals, yes, those people all had pretty melodic voices. But the music that white pop artists recorded was mostly stolen from black artists who actually wrote the words and the notes. They took art, removed the soul, and put a white face on it. Real admirable. Now let’s pretend that this person grew up in the 60s/70s. How many famous musicians can you think of from this time period who have strange singing voices? Countless, that’s how many. Bob Dylan? Who heard that guy sing and thought “now that’s the voice of an angel”? Most likely no one. Mick Jagger? Definitely would not win American Idol. David Bowie? Simon would rip him a new one, too. And what about the 80s? Hey, back then all you needed was a synthesizer and a headband! If you can’t see that a pretty voice alone does not good music make, then you probably don’t listen to good music.

My response to the above mentioned youtube commenter would be this: Nothing, what happened to you?

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Relationships: Why so serious?

I am currently in a relationship and there is one question that I cannot stand ” so are you guys serious?”

What exactly does that mean? I still don’t really know. One person who asked this same question of me defined ‘serious’ as talking or thinking about marriage. I’m not sure if I buy this as a definition. I knew girls in high school that would talk about marriage with their boyfriends of a few years, their relationships never lasted past graduation. Were they serious? Obviously not. I know girls in their 20s who are in ridiculously dysfunctional relationships and are talking about marriage. Are they serious? Doubtful.

I am young, I am in love, and I am happy in that love. That is what I know. And as a young person in a relationship, I know that one of the worst things I can do is create grand expectations for the distant future. Of course I have high hopes, but I’d rather enjoy today than worry about tomorrow. And about that, I am serious.

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Parental Control

I am 22 years old, have temporarily moved back in to my parents house for financial reasons, and my questions is this: at what age do children no longer need their parents’ permission? For anything?

For most of this past year, I was living with friends in the town where I attended college, about 4 hours drive from my parents and where I grew up. And of course, I was living in this same town during the fall and spring semesters for 2 years before that. During those 3-ish years, I got 2 tattoos. The first shortly after my 21st birthday, the second after my 22nd. They were my presents to myself. I’d wanted to get some tats for a long time, and finally decided to do it. I did not tell my parents before I got either of them. I got the first, told them a few months afterwards, and did the same the second time. I see nothing wrong with this order. A person needs to be 18 years old in order to get tattooed (at a reputable shop) without a parent or guardian present. I fit that criteria. According to all legality, I did not need any form of parental permission to tattoo myself. Since learning about my body modifications, my parents have adopted a strange new behavior. They say very little to me about the tattoos themselves, but when we are among family members, extended or otherwise, they find a way to weave them into nearly every conversation. Recently, the three of us were at a family-esqu gathering and someone was talking about fish, different kinds, how big they can grow, etc. My dad chimes in, “you should see her back”, with a roll of his eyes and a disapproving grin on his face. I have a tattoo of a fish on my back, and when everyone expressed great curiosity in finding out what exactly he meant, I was pressured into lifting my shirt and showing everyone around. Neither of my tattoos are visible when I am clothed, something I planned, but my parents seem determined that everyone know I’m not as nice as I look, I’m actually a trashy skank with tattoos. Then, my mother decides to pipe up while everyone is eyeing my ink, and add “and she didn’t even ask for my permission”, at which point all eyebrows raised to a chorus of “oh really”s. A few minutes later, I was sitting with my grandmother, letting her brag about my academic achievements to people I didn’t know, when I overheard one of the women who was a part of the fish fiasco saying quietly to the woman next to her “she has a fish on her back and she didn’t ask her mother’s permission”. Everyone seemed to agree, that as a 22 year old person who was living independently at the time, I should have asked my parents permission to undergo a body modification that has no physical effect on anyone but myself.

I have developed a theory regarding this situation and others like it. My parents clearly hate my tattoos, and so in hopes of discouraging me from getting anymore, as there is nothing they can actually do to stop me, they single me out to everyone possible as some sort of freak in hopes that negative attention will deter me from continuing to cover my body in art. I wonder if they know that such tactics usually have the reverse effect than that desired.

 

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let’s get roisterous

rois.ter – intr.v. rois-tered, rois-ter-ing, rois-ters

  1. To engage in boisterous merrymaking; revel noisily.
  2. To behave in a blustering manner; swagger.

rois’ter-er n.

rois’ter-ous adj.

rois’ter-ous-ly adv.

 

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