Friday, September 29, 2006


So glad this week is over. I think I have walked through or past every foot of the million+ square feet of this place, with entourage no less. Today is sit-at-the-screen day, for the benefit of my aching arches.

Rain and more rain here. Our roof leaks; probably around the fireplace chimney. We've had it fixed twice, and each time it's OK for a while and then leaks again. So there is a nice red Igloo cooler open on the dining room floor to catch the drips while we consider the next move. To Arizona, maybe.

Both kids are looking for better jobs, and I sent them an email with the job posting web pages for the university, the hospital, the physician's office center, NIOSH, and Morgantown in general. It occurs to me that finding job openings is so much easier now with the Internet than when I was a job-seeking graduate. Then, you pretty much depended on the want ads, and spent a lot of time driving from place to place to meet-and-greet potential employers, who mainly hired their relatives, I think. That part hasn't changed. I think it must make for a lot more applicants per job, but doesn't help with the screening. I heard a funny story the other day. Our University is seeking a new president. Several years ago there were ten or so Eastern universities seeking a president, and this one guy sent out applications to all of them. He always made the final cut because on paper he looked fantastic--lots of high-level admin experience, academic kudos, lots of publications, experienced fund raiser, the works. But when he'd come for the interview, he'd stretch his arm out across the table, rest his head on it, and respond to nearly every question with "Oh, I don't remember.." or "Yes, I guess so.." in other words, a complete dud. And finally the universities began comparing notes, said, Have you interviewed this guy? Don't bother... It seems his main occupation was applying for jobs, not actually doing anything. Many places don't actually check references except on the final, or maybe the three final, candidates. So the resume/application looms larger and larger in getting the job you want, which is not necessarily a realistic picture of the candidate. I hated getting the first job, when everyone wants experience and overlooks the fact that they will still need to do training, because everyone does the work differently (and insists their way is the only correct one).

I parked this morning in a spot marked "compact car only"; that definitely includes the Miata. Next to me was a spot with the same sign, and in it a Yukon SUV was parked. Guess literacy doesn't necessarily correlate with ability to pay large car payments.

And speaking of literacy, how about the factoid that 30% or more of West Virginians are functionally illiterate? Recent discussions at work have centered on the re-signing of directories at the various entry points, since so many departments have relocated. I suggested color-coded directions, as simple as possible, because the clientele of this medical center may be illiterate AND mobility impaired. Can you imagine the frustration of someone using a walker, laboriously making their way to, say, the 3rd floor north, only to find out they need 5th floor south, because they mis-read 'otolaryngology'? But it was decided that "color" would compromise the "aesthetic" appearance of the hallways! Form over function once again. So glad I am retiring....

When I was kid, I once went to a friend's house to play. My dad told me he would pick me up at a quarter past 12, and that I should be standing outside waiting when he pulled up, no delay. So I kept watching the clock, when all of a sudden I heard his car horn! I dashed outside and got in the car, and he started in on me. "I TOLD you to be outside waiting at fifteen after 12!" And I said, "No you didn't, you said a quarter past!" He said, 'That's the same thing!" and I said, oh, I thought a quarter past meant 25 past......Logical, from a kid who hasn't done fractions yet, yes? So even when we think our directions are perfectly plain, mis-communication can occur.

1 comment :

Carolyn said...

I used to think the same thing about the quarter of/past theory, lol!