Archive for ‘shitty jobs’

July 15, 2010

First Acceptance, First Rejection


Like a shameless whore, I’ve been trying to think of everything I can to (slowly) break into my whole dream of making money off of writing. (Sorry hippies, I’m a capitalist and I got bills to pay). I knew part of this plan would have to do with getting into freelance writing just to have something published somewhere. Craigslist has been the biggest joke so far; where responding to a want-ad for a writer is like asking someone if they’d like to try to scam me.

But at least there's cake!

I mean really, how stupid do people have to be to buy the whole “Give us dollar amount X and then we’ll give you pamphlet B and you can start working. You give us money so we can know how serious you are, we’ll return it after you receive the pamphlet” thing? People that stupid deserve their money taken from them. I’m almost considering starting my own fraud project but these things called ethics are getting in my way.

Back to freelancing, I seemed to have found my answer in Demand Studios. Demand Studios hires freelancers to write quick 400-500 word articles for a bunch of different websites. You’ve probably run into them; eHow.com, Answerbag.com, LIVESTRONG.com, and a bunch of others. I applied for the site around a week or so ago and was accepted/hired in a few days. I was pretty pumped and began working on my first article right away. That article was “How to Get All the Characters on Mario Kart DS.”

No, I’m not kidding.  Demand Studios is often criticized for being a “freelance writing sweatshop” and usually pays their writers $15 per article. I’ll admit that it does feel like that most of the time sometimes, but money is money and I gotta start somewhere. I wrote the article a few days ago, an editor sent it back for a few changes, I made them, and the next day it was accepted! BAM! Just like that I was floating on cloud nine, happy as a clam, and every other cliche you can think of. I was now officially a freelance writer, so I claimed another article and took a shot at it. This time it was “Snowmobile Games for the Wii.” I choose it because it was a job where I just needed to list what Wii games were about snowmobiling and give brief descriptions. Easy right? Especially since there’s only two games for the Wii that are about snowmobiling. I wrote the article and sent it in, then got a request for a rewrite. The copy editor requested that I go into more detail about the games and try to find more games that had snowmobiling in them (there isn’t much). I didn’t really want to go in depth into the games because they all have bad ratings, but I did and made the changes the editor asked of me. I was feeling confident, and went about my day.

Then I found out my article was rejected.

In the words of Random Frat Boy A: “BUZZKILL BRO!” Now, I have been rejected before and even wrote about it, but this felt different. This wasn’t the rejection of a query, but the rejection of something I actually wrote for monies. I spent time on this. Oh sure, I got mad and cursed the luck of the editor and his family, but then I calmed down. The editor did write long notes about the article and they were very, very helpful. I know the guy (or girl) was just doing their job. I think part of the shock was that I didn’t realize that I only had two shots to write the thing. When I realized that, I sank into my little “blast Linkin Park in a dark room” mood (which for you youngins is a another way of saying “emo”). I sadly looked through the site for another job to claim, but couldn’t find anything to write about. There was only super-specialized articles left like “How to put a Honda Civic engine into a Ford Focus.” I should mention that I found articles under categories that didn’t make sense, such as the various car repair assignments filed under fucking literature. Literature! Who the hell is stupid enough to put that there?

Like the drama queen I am, I questioned everything from the worth and true level of my abilities to the very nature of reality. I mean hey, it’s totally possible I am a volunteer who is in an experiment were they wipe my memories and subject me to various forms of rejection right?

Yeah, I calmed down again from that too. Since I want to be a writer, I know that rejection is kinda in the job description. I need to get used to it and not let it get to me. I need to put a steak on my black eye, reapply my lipstick and hit the streets again-daddy’s got money to make! Or something.

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June 3, 2010

Why we should understand if a teacher at a run-down school has a drinking problem


There are times I wish I had a destructive habit like smoking or alcoholism. Not to relieve stress but purely for aesthetic purposes. Honestly, since graduating I barely have one alcoholic drink a month. I will not actively go out to get said habits since that’s…well… dumb (dumber than most of my posts even), especially since alcoholism actually runs in my family.

Every time I look at a glass of vodka or whiskey I can hear my late Dziadek yelling violently somewhere in the background. However, the only way to shut him up is to drink it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Sometimes hangovers can be fun, fun in the “god I feel like shit but at the same time I feel awesome cause I’m a goddamn ROCKSTAR” kinda way. You carry this stupid grin on your face the entire time because the pain isn’t so bad as to render you immobile so much as it numbs everything else. You also tend to walk around like Johnny Depp in the Pirates movies. Feels good man.

There were a few times I went to schools and came home realizing that if I did work there on a normal basis, I would become said alcoholic. But good sir! you say, Teachers must be the model citizen for students to embody!

Okay, it wasn't this bad but you get the idea.

Here’s the thing.

1. I’m not really a teacher in the truest sense… yet.

2. I don’t actually have a second point since that logic is pretty good. But I’m going to ignore it for the remainder of this post because I think it was a humorous train of thought.

3. Oh! Does leading by negative example count?

Anyway, one day I accepted a job for a school whose district I had yet to go to. I checked out the school and saw that it was close to 8-mile. I shrugged it off at first, after all it wasn’t actually in Detroit. The school actually looked nice from the outside, they were even building a new fancy wing of the school alongside the mile road. Yet when I walked inside I noticed metal detectors, first big tip. The classes were bare, with these tiny TVs that I think are older than my parents bolted and chained down in the highest corners. No computers in sight either. Most important to me however, were the lack of any form of lesson plans. There was a stack of worksheets so I ended up giving that to the first class. The first half of the class went well since everyone was still waking up, but by the second half it got loud.

Really REALLY loud.

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April 24, 2010

How DO those magnets work?


You know, I never really wanted to talk about this ever again. I really didn’t. Okay, well maybe during happy hour where it’d make for a decent bar story that no one would really believe anyway. I’d like to talk about it at that moment. Then, a few days ago, all of my dear friends sent me a link to a video claiming that “my people” came out with another video. An awesome video.

They were all lying and I hope they die in a fire.

Here is that video that brought back a bunch of terrible memories. WARNING: NSFW (Language).

Since then, it’s exploded into the ranks of an internet meme. It’s everywhere, forcing me to remember that I worked for them. (Well, I interned anyway.) Some people seem surprized by the whole thing. I mean hell, ICP’s songs are often about having sex with dead bodies and violence. What’s up with this one being kinda spiritual? Well, honestly, I could go ahead and explain that. For research, I read Violent J’s autobiography before I started working for them.  Through that, as well as my encounters with their employees and fans, I learned alot about the whole Juggalo culture-way more than I think anyone not associated with them knows. Actually considering that most of them don’t make it through high school, I’m pretty sure I have a deeper grasp than most of them. (Though I will admit I’ve met some rather sharp Juggalos who are really nice guys).

So yes, I could explain how that song makes perfect sense considering their beliefs and worldview, and I could even tell you about their beliefs and how it’s akin to a very strange Christianity, but I doubt anyone would find it interesting.

So instead, I’ll tell you the strangeness that was working for them! (That and I feel like copy-pasting the whole report on my internship for my Intern Practum class would be cheating).

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January 25, 2010

corporate zombies* Ate My Neighbors OR I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 2)


I really need to stop keeping lofty goals for myself. Like this nugget for instance; I want to be identified as either the Anti-Christ or as the BFF of the Dali Lama-regardless if I am either.

This has nothing to do with the rest of the story I started in the last post, so anyway…

When I met my actual boss, he was anything but happy. He was already annoyed that he had no control of my hiring process so when I told him that I had no experience in retail he made little effort to hide his aggravation. He began to talk to me about how hard the job was and that I needed to “step-up to the plate” everyday. It was then that he started churning out more cliche’s and corporate buzz words then I had thought possible by a single person. He seemed like a walking stereotype of corporate America. Those people don’t really exist do they? No one could be that souless, right? He began telling me about his career at the department store, and how he had been there for around 10 years or so. Implying that if I work hard enough, I could get his position. Maybe, in another 10 years.

I was laughing to myself. There was no way I’d be stuck here for that long right? I was a college graduate, college graduates don’t get stuck working retail department stores for the rest of their lives right? Sure, in the next few weeks during my computer training (which I later found out was full of outdated information that no longer applied to the floor) I’d met some people who had been with the company for 30+ years, but they didn’t have degrees. I wasn’t the same as them, right? Right?

Wrong.

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January 20, 2010

I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 1)


As I left my final English class, with my paper in hand, I was assured my degree. I was practically skipping down the hallways with my friend Pat (who not skipping) who unintentionally decided to end my parade by throwing a suicide bomber on my Santa float thereby scarring the children my metaphorical crowd forever,

“So what are you going to do now?”

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Maybe it was the stress of writing that final paper, or maybe it was the hope that my internship would produce some sort of decent job, but I hadn’t the damnest clue. What was I going to do? My first reaction was to write that book I was working on-but I wasn’t going to embarrass myself by telling Pat that. I guess I had to get a job, I told him.

“Yeah, but get a job where?”

Pat seemed to be on a roll with killing my good mood that night. I didn’t know; a few months prior I was sure of using my degree for getting a job in marketing,  public relations, or something that involved using my writing skills. I even had relevant work experience to boot with an internship that ended only weeks ago! Yet the more I considered those fields, the more I thought against going in that direction. (Well that and the fact that no employer even bothered responding to me). I decided to try a shotgun approach for a job, any job that would pay the bills. I told myself that it would only be a temporary job while I tried to figure out my career. (That and if I include all the soul searching here, it’ll make for a ridiculously long and confusing post).

I had one interview with a department store. Which was great since I had vowed, that with my degree, I would never return to food service again. My first interview lasted no less than 5 minutes, but I was told to return for another. I arrived for this second interview a good 15-10 minutes early (just like every job-getting aid suggests) and began my wait. I was feeling confident, how hard could this be?

Apparently, this department store had decided to test how bad I really wanted this job by ignoring me.

I had noticed that it was 30 minutes past my interview time, and there was no one in the room but me and an elderly lady. Thinking that maybe she was my interviewer in disguise and was testing how pleasant I could be under stress, I decided to talk to her. Turns out that she was supposed to have an interview an hour ago. We heard footsteps occasionally, but it was never for us. It was always some employee on their way to or from their lunch break. Yes jackass, I’d say to myself, we’re still here. At one point (around the one hour mark) a short lady with an ugly disposition came by, assuring us that our interviewer would only be a moment longer.

She lied. After another half hour passed, I saw a new person walking through the hallway. She was a middle-aged black woman professionally dressed with a smile on her face. Almost like the kind you see on diversity in the workplace pamphlets. She began talking to us right away.

“Oh, you must be our interviewer.” we said, finally glad that the wait was over.

“No I’m not,” she responded as our hearts sunk yet again, “how long have you both been waiting?”

“Well,” the elderly lady answered, “about two and a half hours.”

Turns out the lady was from Corporate. This became obvious when her picturesque expression instantly shattered into something more akin to… something angry. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s not everyday you see a corporate minion break their usual bland demeanor. I feel like I should be telling you that she turned into a leprechaun and gave me a pot of gold instead. I did have to wait another 20 minutes or so for my brief interview (which turned into “Fill out these tax forms”) but it was worth it. Why was it worth it? Well, after our interviewer finally showed up, she was pulled into another room. This did little to save face on her part since I could still hear Lady-From-Corporate yelling at her for a good 15 minutes. The phrase “I don’t care if they’re even qualified for this job-you’re giving it to them!” was uttered. Apparently, I was supposed to have yet another interview had everything gone as planned.

You could say I was happy, but there was still nothing I could do to repair the fake Christmas for those imaginary children in my head.

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