Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Modern Job Interview. Blech.

So... I applied for a job at Parole & Probation. I've been on job interviews before. I'm usually pretty good at them. For the job I currently have, I was able to successfully draw a reasonable comparison between running a credit check and a criminal background check. But that was before the "modern" era in hiring where you have to be under 30 years old and already know how to do the job.

To get an interview out of P&P, I had to let them look at my criminal, credit, and medical record. I didn't think I had anything to hide. Oh, how wrong I was!

Here's how this really humiliating interview went:

Interviewer: "So, you're 41 years old?" (Said with a sneer. The interviewer looked to be about 28 or so).
Me: "Yes, that is so."
Interviewer: "I see" (said with a distinct frown).

Interviewer: "You missed a car payment in 2006."
Me: "That is so. I haven't missed any since."

Interviewer: "You have a heart condition?"
Me: "Yes. But I have not missed one day of work in five years."

Interviewer: "You were suspended from school once?"
Me: "Yes. I was 13. And I was stupid back then."

Interviewer: "Have you EVER drank alcohol?"
Me: "I have."
Interviewer: "I see. So you're a drinker."
Me: "I do not thinking averaging one mixed drink per month constitutes being a 'drinker'."
The interviewer did not reply, but scribbled notes for a while.

Interviewer: "That's all. Thanks for coming."

Yeah. I'm not counting on getting this job. Apparently the Department of Parole & Probation is looking for 30-year-olds with perfect 800 credit, perfect health, no alcohol use EVER, and no teenage disciplinary problems. Oh, and the candidate has to know how to do the job already. What a laugh.

I guess it's a good thing I am good at my current job.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

911 Ten Years Later

When I think of what has become of our once-great nation ten years after the cowardly terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, it is hard to say that the terrorists achieved anything less than an unqualified success. America is on the verge of bankruptcy. Our national debt is ten trillion more than it was in 2001. Gas prices are three times higher. Food prices are twice as high. Unemployment is 20% and still steadily spiraling upward (the official 9.1% is a barefaced lie.) The CEOs of defense-industry contractors made billions and billions of profits off the blood of our soldiers. And our soldiers have been driven insane or dismembered at amazingly high rates (the death count doesn't even begin to tell the story). And then there are the 600,000+ Iraqi civilians that have lost their lives. They didn't ask for this.

Aside from the economic devastation of 911, the Federal government used the terrorist attack to jettison the Constitution and all pretense on privacy. Our phones are tapped by the government without a warrant. Our email is read without a warrant. Our citizens can be interrogated and imprisoned without judicial review. An airline flight has become an exercise of public humiliation in the name of "security", where security guards strip-search the elderly and the disabled.

Then there is the social degeneration that has occurred since 911. The Christian Right has determined to turn America into a freedom-stifling, sinister, and austere theocracy that could rival Saudi Arabia. Don't believe me? Do a net search on the term "Dominionist" sometime. It will be a real eye-opener. The Dominionists have put a lot of money into the Perry campaign and they expect results if Perry wins. If you're gay, non-Christian, or an unmarried woman, you can kiss your freedoms goodbye (and possibly your life too).

The 911 terrorists won. We lost. America is finished. Our government did everything that Al Qaeda couldn't. The American citizens were attacked by Islamic terrorists but the real betrayal of the American people can at the hands of Bush and Obama. They chose to throw away the freedoms, wealth, prestige, and secular law that had made America great. Now we're one election away from becoming a theocratic plutocracy -- just like every country in the Middle East.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Super-workout and the day after

So, one of my phobias is somehow ending up being one of those 500-pound, middle-aged slugs that is so heavy that he has to do his grocery shopping using an electric scooter. I can't make myself stop eating (I lack the willpower to eat significantly less than I do) but I do seem to have the willpower to exercise. So I do -- a lot.

On Friday, I had the day off thanks to the budget cuts (I still have my job, thankfully, but sometimes the office closes because of the Governor's decree to save money). So I was feeling paranoid about my weight since it had rained earlier in the week and I was unable to get the amount of exercise I usually get. I went to the NCR trail and walked 14 miles. While I have walked that length before, I really stepped up the pace this time. My sustained speed was 3.9 MPH for the whole walk.

Doug and I also stayed out until 2:00AM doing karaoke that same night. It was a real blast.

The next morning, I was so tired that I could hardly stand up. I guess doing a huge amount of exercise combined with staying up really late was not the best activities to put back-to-back. I feel better today, however.

The rational mind would suggest that the closer I get to age 50 the less I have to worry about being a 500-pound slug. While my psyche is 29, the physical body is 41. So, rationally, it would be pretty hard to somehow gain 310 pounds in nine years. But who ever said that phobias were rational? Realistically, I'd like to be 20 pounds lighter than I am. But I just can't seem to accomplish it.

I am a vegetarian. I don't drink alcohol to excess (I've had one mixed drink in the past three months). I don't smoke. I am not excessive in consumption of sweet things. And I surely do exercise. And yet my weight remains rock-steady at 20 pounds above what it should be. I suppose that my one really bad dietary item is cheese. I just like cheese way to much to give it up. I often worry that if I ever lose my discipline for exercise, I'll balloon up to 500 pounds very quickly.

I don't want to end up being the kind of person that cannot climb a flight of stairs, can't fit onto a roller coaster ride, can't squeeze into a fuel-efficient compact car, and can't buy el-cheapo off-the-rack clothes. I don't want to be on a dozen medications for blood pressure or diabetes. In theory, I'm supposed to be on medicine for tachycardia but I don't take it. I've tried it and it interferes with my ability to exercise, so that's a deal-breaker.

So, the long and short of it is that I completely destroyed any enjoyment I could have had on Saturday because of fear. That really sucks. Fear sucks.