Last month however, I got this highly spammy message in my inbox.
Admittedly, I was biased by the double exclamation points and the "3 reasons" subject, ever before I opened the message. However, I invite you to judge for yourself.
Considering that at the time I got this message, I've only had my new job at Google for 4 months, and it is fairly widely known that Google is not a sucky place to work; knowing all this, you'd think the spammer would be able to make an assumption about "how happy I am in [my] job." I mean, how bad does it have to be for someone to want to jump ship mere four months into a new role?
I felt waves of snark wash over me, and could not resist. Here is what I wrote back.
Was stocking up on vitamins yesterday, and saw this wonder of modern marketing in the store. Behold:
See? They're for women and men, because they're different. Purple! Blue! One gives you "physical/mental energy" and the other "supports bones/skin/nails!" OMG! Are you sure the two sexes are even from the same solar system? Because men DO shit that requires physical and mental energy, and women just stand around looking good with their healthy skin and nails.
Our physiologies are sooooo different! The one sex' gummy vitamin is probably so radically different as to be harmful to the other?
Welp, no. There are some minor differences in dosages of a few elements, and two or three elements are completely different, but the rest is pretty much exactly the same.
After admiring the display for a few moments and snapping this picture, I went and got a non-gendered vitamin D. In a white bottle.
Meet 2011 Algorithm Red Blend. The bottle is empty because of how yummy it is. Erm, was.
From the label:
Algorithm balances the equation between your digital world and the tangible one. A common denominator between friends, it enables you to step beyond life's virtual parentheses and appreciate the absolute value of true friendships. Algorithm red blend creates a network of dark cherries and plums, interlaced with rich notes of chocolate and vanilla. Mature tannins create a silky backbone is linked together with ripe concentrated fruit flavors.
I must confess that I bought this wine primarily for its label and the clever, if somewhat cheesy word play. But cheese goes well with wine, so hey, have another bad joke.
We were entertaining last night, and I opened this bottle to enjoy while we waited for the dinner to be ready. I was pleasantly surprised by the richness and complexity of the flavor. They didn't lie on the label about the rich dark fruit: cherries and plums were there in abundance, and I would even venture to say I tasted halfzware tobacco or dark cigar notes. The wine was well-balanced and left a nice lingering flavour when I drank it.
Whoever authored Algorithm, didn't make it elegant, but I think we should not judge them too strictly for creating liquid indulgence. We're in California after all. Oh, and true to my cheap wine tasting tradition, it was just $8.99 at Nob Hill.
The first time I heard his music, was on a CD I rented at a local library. I was still a fresh immigrant to Germany, and thirsty for all the art and music that the Soviet regime blocked for seventy years. At that point, I had been unraveling the great mystery of Western culture for maybe two or three years, consuming art and photography books, fine literature, iconic films, and all kinds of music.
Reconstructing cultural references would lead me from Oscar Wilde to Aubrey Beardley, and from him, to ukio-e of Japan, pop art, and comics, and on and on. I would read books and listen to music that was named as influences on the artists and authors that I liked, and would repeat the cycle as much as I could, building this mental map of the 20th century awesomeness.
So there I was, in my room in a high-rise on the outskirts of Berlin, listening to the soundtrack CD for the movie "The Doors" -- which I still had to watch at that point -- when I heard this unearthly electric sound and a languid voice reciting "I... don't know... just where I'm going..."
It was so different from the quite accessible music of the Doors, so dark, and so unlike anything else I have heard to date. I had to find more of the same.
Lou's music and lyrics followed me through my early years in Berlin, through the university, my travels, my first job, all the way to today. I found that different songs and albums resonated with me, as I lived and changed and grew as a person.
Recently I have been taking inspiration from the Googley cafeteria and roasting all sorts of veggies together, like...
- Beets, carrots, and kale
- Cauliflower, apples, and leeks
- Radishes, carrots, and kale
The plan is to lease it, and pay for the lease with the money I will save on gas going to and from work every week. Given that we have charging stations at work, it's going to be fairly cheap to operate.
So why this?
I test-drove a Fiat 500e, and a gasoline-powered Toyota Yaris, and of these three the Smart was the only tiny car that felt like an actual car to use. The door closes with a nice heavy "thunk" and the steering feels just heavy enough. The Smart uses it rear wheels to propel itself down the road, and that definitely helps with handling and steering wheel feedback.
Its turning radius is small enough that I could do a U-turn in the middle of the street in a residential neighborhood, with room to spare.
Also, all the other small cars didn't come with "no roof" option. Feh!
Anyways, who can resist the charm of Tony Stark?
From: Jane Doe
An issue of your Roundel has been returned to the mailing house because of an addressing problem. It may have been any of the following:
- The Post Office has a Forwarding Order for you but BMW CCA doesn't have that new address.
- The Post Office Box we are using has been closed (according to the Post Office)
- The address is good but the Post Office doesn't have your name listed as living there.
- Mail has been returned but the Post Office has no forwarding address on file.
If you have recently moved and have forgotten to let National know your new address, you can update your information online in your account profile at www.bmwcca.org, by phone at 1-800-878-9292, or by email.
Jane Doe | Membership Services
BMW Car Club of America | 640 South Main Street, Suite 201 | Greenville, SC 29601
I do not wish to receive a physical copy of the Roundel magazine anymore.
At this time, the only way to opt out of Roundel mailings is to cancel your membership. We do not a digital only membership. Unless you can provide a valid address, we will have to automatically cancel the membership if mail continues to be returned to us.
I have paid for 3 years in advance Jane. But if my BMW club is so inflexible that it would rather lose a member than stop wasting paper and energy delivering a magazine a member does not want, then by all means, feel free to do so. You can refund my credit card directly.
It's not that want to lose you as a member. We are a non profit organization that one of the main sources of revenue is our advertising revenue from Roundel. In order to receive the revenue that we do, our advertisers expect their ads in our mailings to reach a certain percentage of viewers. Unfortunately, with our demographics at this time, online viewing percentage is not as high as would be needed to implement a web only based membership without significantly increasing dues across the board for everyone. So at this time we must mail to all members. [Ed. - Dare I suggest, that if your online viewership is low, and people keep asking not to send them the printed copy... maybe you could improve your content? I kid, I kid. You just got stuck with the wrong members who don't know how to appreciate your publication. Stay the course.]
For the members who do not read the publication, we suggest donating it at you local doctors office or hospital or even elementary schools [Emphasis mine]. They are always in need of magazines and paper materials.
We completely understand your point of view, and this issue is always before the board. It's just a matter of weighing the pro and cons versus dues increases.
Every magazine and piece of mail we have returned, we are charged an additional .50+ return fee by the USPS. This is why we have to cancel memberships that have repeated returns without updated address info but make every effort to contact the member first. With 70k members, this also effects the club.
So again I understand your feelings,but hopefully you can see our side as well. If you decide not to provide me with an updated address I will issue your refund. I do hope you reconsider.
While I can appreciate how tough it may be for a non-profit organization to make ends meet, I can't help but ask myself, what kind of benefits does the club provide to me as a member that my membership dues don't cover? Because I honestly have yet to see a penny's worth of benefits out of the club for myself. And no, I don't count the extra exercise I get from carrying the Roundel to the recycling bin as a benefit.
For a moment, I will assume that someone is deriving value from the club, and my copy of the printed Roundel absolutely must be forced onto some unsuspecting bystanders to help offset the cost -- why doesn't the club staff run around the neighborhood and drop off all the unwanted copies for free? Although, being a marketing professional, I know that preschooler demographic might not be exactly what your advertisers had in mind when they bought those ads.
Either way my position remains, if the club is inflexible about serving members' communication preferences, I am fine with no longer being a member.
If you have questions about refunding my prorated membership dues, please let me know.
Alex to Amit
GREETINGS!!! right back at ya Amit.
Since you sent me half a novel here in job description and requirements, I figure you are a man of letters. Always happy to talk to a fellow sapient human.
Have you heard of LinkedIn.com? They have this really nifty function where you can look up your candidate and see whether they are a good fit -- before you even spend your time (and theirs) on unnecessary email. If you would have done this, you would have thought: "Gee, this community manager lady with nearly 10 years of industry experience, working at Google wouldn't leave that job for just ANY job opportunity. But boy, will she be amazed when she sees what I got in store for her: A three-month entry-level sysadmin contract!"
Since I assume that you are a hard-working professional with best intentions, I must conclude that someone misled you about the value of this opportunity, because it is not a good fit for me.
I have also heard that some lazy recruiters prefer to carpet-bomb a database and thus externalize the cost, saddling us candidates with the work of parsing the job descriptions and self-selecting of whether to respond. I am sure you are not that despicable kind of lazy recruiter.
So I'm just writing to you in hopes of clarifying that 3-months entry-level contracts aren't attractive to me.
We have an opening that matches your profile from one of our clients in Fremont, CA. I would highly appreciate it if you could go through the job description below and send me an updated word copy of your resume with your expected hourly rates and availability details.
Please find the job description below.
Title: Sr. Staff System Administrator
Location: Fremont, CA
Duration: 3 months contract to hire
Sr. Staff System Administrator
Client is currently looking for a Senior Staff Systems Administrator with 10 - 15 years of experience to build and support our critical IT Application infrastructure. To be considered, candidates must demonstrate strong technology skills, ability to provide high levels of customer service, have built and supported enterprise IT application environment within a large corporate computing environment. Additionally, requires candidate to participate in a 24x7 rotational on-call coverage.
• Strong working knowledge on Linux (Cent OS, Redhat, and Oracle VM) AND/OR Microsoft Windows 2008 server
• Must have design and large scale implementation experience with Fiber channel and NFS based enterprise storage arrays (3PAR and Netapp skills are preferred) in a highly virtualized infrastructure
• Must have strong understanding and experience in VMware virtualization technology
• Good understanding of TCP/IP, DNS, network routing, and switching
• Experience in configuring and supporting network services appliances such as WAN accelerators, load balancers and firewalls preferred
• Prior experience in optimizing infrastructure components (OS, storage, virtualization and network) to support a very dynamic application environment
• Should be fluent in automating complex manual tasks using Perl, Python, Powershell and bash (at least one)
• Strong experience in designing, building, optimizing and supporting 3 tier / ERP application infrastructure
• Should be able to quickly identify the root cause and resolve critical issues by looking across multiple layers (storage, OS, network, virtualization, and application / DB stack)
• Should have good experience in building, scaling up and supporting database, web and application clusters
• Experience in supporting IT Applications with Apache & MySQL AND/OR IIS & Microsoft SQL
• Strong documentation skills
• Lead in the planning, design and implementation of 3 tier - IT application infrastructure and provide necessary support during application development life cycle and releases.
• Support the IT application infrastructure stack (OS, Storage, Network, Database, Web, and Virtualization) and ultimately accountable for the high availability of the production infrastructure
• Build and maintain IT Application - Software development environments
• Ensure company standard server technologies, proper performance and capacity standards are followed.
• Participate in planning, design and maintenance of enterprise IT infrastructure
• Lead problem resolution and coordination
• Facilitate knowledge sharing by creating and maintaining detailed and comprehensive documentation and diagrams.
• Evaluate and implement new technologies to improve the enterprise infrastructure.
• Participate in an on-call rotation for support of systems outside of normal business hours.
• Position will require being available to perform maintenance during non-business hours and over the weekends.
• Available for occasional business travel
• Strong team player with a high degree of self-motivation and the ability to manage additional technical resources to meet the project requirements.
B.S. Degree in engineering, science, mathematics, information systems or computer science.
If you are available and interested, please do send me a word copy of resume along with following details:
Earliest availability for the assignment:
Earliest availability for the phone interview:
Earliest availability for the in-person interview:
Ready to relocate:
Preferred contact number:
Expected hourly rates:
Expected Annual compensation:
Thanks & Regards,
Amit | Intelliswift Software Inc | 2201 Walnut Avenue, #180, Fremont, CA 94538| Phone: 510 870 8644 | Fax: 510-578-7710
I've meant to try using a walking workstation ever since they first got hip a couple of years ago. The standing setup works for me both at home and at work, so hey, this must be even better, right?
They are crazy-expensive though, so I never got around to buying one, and didn't work in an office that had these before. But at my new job, we have one of these in our building, and today after lunch I figured I'd get a few hundred steps in while catching up on email lists.
It was easy enough to adjust to, and I could still type walking up to 2 miles per hour. I tried going up to 3 mph, but that made reading uncomfortable, so I slowed back down to 2 mph.
After an hour, I have walked about two miles and was ready to return to my stationary desk. And that's when I realized that I totally confused my vestibular apparatus. To the point when I got insta-nausea from stepping back on terra firma.
Holding myself to the wall, I got to the nearest easy chair, where I still remain, forty minutes later, waiting for the world to stop swaying around me.
I get the same severity of motion sickness from reading while riding in a car, so in retrospect I should have expected this result. I mean, you're basically bobbing up and down and side-to-side the whole time, but your visual frame of reference (the screen and the desk) remain stationary.
As my nausea is ebbing, I can say through unclenched teeth "Welp, at least that took the doubt out of my mind whether I want one of those fancy-schmancy treadmill desks for myself."
Have you tried one? What's been your experience?
She's a cloud-peddling internet community manager by day, and a technology luddite in her note-taking, also by day.
Is it a fountain pen? Is it a paper notebook? Yes! And it's leather-bound!
Actually, it's a standard "composition book" (for some values of standard: those of you in the US will know it) -- and it is dressed up in my new classy leather cover! And when this book is full of my deep thoughts and meeting notes, I can just put a new one in the same leather cover. How cool is that?
The wait is over. After nearly seven suspenseful years, yours truly is a permanent resident of the United States.
No, don't run to your bookmarks to change the URL to statefulimmigrant.com -- as a matter of fact I have just gotten around to registering www.statelessimmigrant.com, full six years after starting this here blog. The RSS feed still works, as far as I can tell. Is anyone still using RSS since Reader's demise? I'm still not over it. And I despise Feedly. I use it, but any company that picks a baby-talk name makes me want to scratch my eyes out more than use their product.
They did a good job migrating from Reader, and I am almost used to the new UI, but the name, that just keeps grating on my nerves.
Guess I should have called this post "apropos of nothing," seeing how much rambling there is in here, and not the previous one.
I remember the times when reinstalling your OS used to be something you did with frightening regularity, and spent following days restoring your work environment. Back then, if you had any non-standard settings, such as mouse acceleration or taskbar location, you would have to go in, menu by menu, and restore them by hand. I don't remember being particularly upset about that. Sure, whatever nonsense led to the necessity of a reinstall was rightfully cursed, but you'd stoically go through all the steps, and even enjoy trying out new settings a bit, as one does, before returning to what has always worked for you.
These days, I catch myself being annoyed as much, or more by a browser upgrade, which makes me reopen my incognito tabs, and log into all the services, one by one.
Baselines change, the level of annoyance stays the same. What does this say about the human condition?