Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Long-Promised Blogaround

Dinner's done and I'm all caught up with blog reading, so I can finally get to my blogaround. I've just deleted an entire draft post blowing off steam about a bad experience I had with an agency this morning, in favor of this truncated version: It seemed the recruiter hadn't mentioned on Monday during the "come see us at 11 then we'll send you to see them right away about noon" call that, surprise!, the potential employer wanted someone bilingual (which I'm really not any more), or that they were too busy to schedule anything today, or that hey, I wasn't the only fish in the sea so tough luck! At this point they didn't need to spell it out for me. There was no interview. I suspect the job itself may not have existed. Not only had I utterly wasted my time, but I was left with two and a half hours to kill in chilly Manhattan before my next interview, this one with an actual potential employer that I'd set up directly. (Fortunately, those people were terrific; they graciously accommodated me and moved me up to noontime so I wound up getting all my business done and I was home again by 2. It sounds like a good fit as well; I hope I get a call-back.)

You cannot go through a career expecting coworkers, vendors, customers, etc. to be incompetent and untruthful. It just doesn't work. You must assume honesty and competence on the part of others, or you'll go nuts. Of course, the downside to this is that sometimes you're bound to get rooked. Today's escapade has only further soured me on the supposed value of employment agencies, which I keep trying to give the benefit of the doubt; after all, they're workers too. If you're a recruiter who happens to be reading this post because you've seen my resume, Googled my name and found this blog, I'd love to hear from you, but please don't call unless you have an actual prospect in Manhattan and are willing to set up a real interview with them. If anyone is curious as to the name of the agency that deceived me today, please email me and I'd be happy to oblige. They're the kind of place that gives good agencies a very bad name.


• The Law of Threes, indeed: Noted intellectual snob, paleoconservative, marijuana legalization supporter and charter member of the American Boys' Club for the Defence of Errol Flynn (against statutory rape charges) William F. Buckley is dead. All that's left of him now is a passable imitation by Robin Williams and hundreds of YouTube uploads of him attacking Gore Vidal. It rather disturbs me how many liberal bloggers are toasting him, but I think that speaks to their obsession with wonkery (Buckley was certainly an erudite wonk) in this age of the breakdown of any sort of logical political discourse. I have to say I'm with Patrick on this one -- "A poisonous, wicked man. Good riddance." Also see Tristero at Digby's place and Richard at American Leftist. Moving on to some people worth remembering more: Jennifer Baumgardner eulogizes Barbara Seaman on HuffPo. I remember reading Seaman's work in my college women's studies classes. Drummer Buddy Miles just passed away. And a blog commenter named Darryl Pearce died suddenly; lots of bloggers are singing his praises, and he seemed like a great guy, but apparently he mainly commented on the A-list blogs so I never ran into him (I don't have time to peruse most blogs' comment sections).

• The Golden Clogs were handed out as promised last weekend. Co-creator Tony Bourdain follows up with these two posts, both pretty amusing. I loved how disturbed he seems: "I tell you, it shakes you to the core when people you’ve been insulting for years--at every opportunity--are decent to you." I had my chance to comment on this post of his about Romania, because a bit of the episode reminded me of when my family visited in 1973 and bits of it moved me to tears remembering my Dad.

• Speaking of visiting foreign countries, I really don't get what's wrong with being polite and paying tribute to your host by wearing some of their ceremonial clothing when you visit them. It's no different than taking your shoes off when visiting a Japanese home. And every politician does it. For proof, see these photos on the blogs of Cliff Meth, Capt. Fogg, Maru, and Maru again. Oh, and Melissa presents a pictorial called Georgie Goes to Africa, featuring wacky sashes.

• Okay, I'm officially beyond sick of how the mainstream media are covering the Democratic Presidential campaign. MSNBC's tagline for last night's debate said it all with the ultimate in false equivalency: "His words. Her voice." Yes, the stirring eloquence of Obama's every utterance, versus That Voice. Like fingernails on a blackboard. That harpy. That Bitch. How dare she open her mouth! Like vastleft sarcastically notes, "Ungracious loser Hillary Clinton has yet to respond to calls for a concession speech." Not only is Olbermann spending way too much time on this campaign to the detriment of any news of actual importance in the world, but he's firmly entrenched in the boys' club who think Obama can do no wrong but every eyeblink of Clinton's must be scrutinized to within an inch of its life. Oh sure, there was mention tonight, when I wasn't flipping to other channels in disgust, that Clinton criticized the media during the debate, but absolutely no self-examination followed. It was all like "She says we're picking on her -- the bitch!" Oh, and What Digby Said. For that matter, What Melissa Said as well. Especially "Telling women that they should merely abstain from reading and/or participating in [online public spaces that insult women] is akin to telling women their choices are to tolerate sexual harassment in order to participate in it, or segregate themselves and necessarily limit their opportunities in the public sphere. In addition to unfairly punishing women, that's also a tacit endorsement of openly expressed misogyny." I really don't like not being able to watch a news show on which I'd previously counted for somewhat accurate information because their gender bias is so obvious. It's not my fault they're being sexist assholes. I just want the news!

• Thanks to both Bryan and Archcrone for giving Pen-Elayne an "E" blog award. Technically I'm supposed to pay this forward by listing ten "Excellent" blogs on my blogroll, but I think almost all the blogs on my blogroll are excellent, or they wouldn't be there. So I'll just cheat and refer you to my left-hand sidebar. :)

• Although I gotta say Scott's old-time serial reviews always make me laugh, particularly the latest Batman one, introduced by Lorne Greene and his Alpo.

• Lots of bloggers are running Ricky Gervais' story of how he became an atheist, first linked to from PZ Myers' blog. And Keith has a nice follow-up talking about what he believes in now instead of religion. The other big thing everyone's discussing is the Pew Forum poll about the US religious landscape. Except for Jessa, who pleads, and forgive me for publishing her post in its entirety but I found it amusing, "Can we have an end to the religious memoir now, please? We get it. You once believed in god and now you don't. Or you were once a nonbeliever and now you go to church. Congratulations. You're just like most people in the world, you unique little snowflake. Perhaps you can tell us the riveting tale of your weight loss instead?"

Wrapping up with a comics-related bit, Jen Contino has posted an interview with Alan Davis for your reading pleasure. Speaking of which, time to delve back into my unread comics box -- night all!