Happy Friday: An End-of-the-Week Link Dump

Sorry that posting has been so light around the ol’ WJ offices lately. I know, hard to believe, right?  Turns out distracting yourself from work is a full-time job in and of itself. But in order to feel like I’m being at least a little productive — and, more importantly, to help distract you from your own jobs — here’s a collection of the most interesting links I’ve come across this week. Enjoy! –JSG

 

  • The incomparable 538 finished up its World Cup of global cuisine, and it was fantastic. For something that was mostly data-driven, following the results of each round was surprisingly awesome. [538]
  • Speaking of, they also polled people about their Star Wars preferences, both the movies and the individual characters. Eleventy-quadrillion dollars to the first person who guesses which character was the least favorable! [538]
  • Joe Posnanski wrote up this memorial of Red Klotz, founder and coach of the Harlem Globetrotters, as only Joe Posnanski can: artfully and awesomely. [JoeBlogs]
  • Golf is a great summertime activity, but it’s expensive and like, requires you to go outside — this cool and stylish golf game, however, is free and easy to play at your desk! Besides, you’re way less likely to see UFOs in a real round of golf, so really I’m doing you a favor. [Wonderputt]
  • Is there any animal that looks more like it’s in a perpetual state of happiness than the corgi? Answer: I haven’t found one, that’s for sure. [CorgiAddict]
  • This guy turned all of baseball’s uniforms into soccer kits: the visual results are outstanding, and the explanations/meaning behind the design choices are even better. [Soccer Out of Context]
  • Finally, if you haven’t heard of SlickDeals yet, it’s a great place to find deals on all kinds of cool shit. Odds are you’ve been curious about or in the market for at least something that’s currently listed, and the list is constantly updated. Check it out! [SlickDeals]
Advertisements

Can You Believe This Weather?

Because if not, go buy this thing. There. I’ve solved weather forever. Knowing my luck, though, all this would really mean is that people fill the awkward silences by talking about what the weather will be like three months from now in a place where they don’t even live.

I’m tired of hearing you talk about something I can clearly and easily observe from my window, is what I’m getting at.

–JSG

Worklejerkin’ Hard or Hardly Worklejerkin’?? (Hint: It’s the First One)

 

My brother and I have had career paths as diametrically opposed as…huh, I can’t even think of a metaphor for this one. But it’s true: He’s spent very little time in a traditional office environment, I’ve been in one almost exclusively; I’m confined to pretty strict office hours, he’s just responsible for getting things done before a given deadline, no matter when that may be. Such is life when one of you is primarily an artist and the other is in finance. As a result, it’s possible people like him won’t fully appreciate the point of this post, but I’m going for it anyway (especially since I know ST is gonna feel me):

The traditional office structure, from the length of the workday to the types of interactions that take place to the pervasively toxic social atmosphere, is complete bullshit — and if your office is anything like mine, it’s actively harming your best employees.

Continue reading

1 Ridiculously Useful Tip for Acing All of Your Interviews

 

Is anyone else EXTREMELY curious what these two were sharing the computer for during this interview?

 

I’ll be honest: among all of the workplace dynamics and customs that exist, interviews are almost certainly my favorite (well, I guess second favorite behind the sadly-forgotten three Martini lunch). For whatever reason I just “get” them: with one ridiculous exception, I’m glad to humblebrag say that I’ve never been rejected from any job I’ve interviewed for and actually wanted.

(That one exception: I applied for a job at American Apparel in college just to prove to my parents I was actively looking for work. Since AA only looks for a certain type of person — you know things are great when the job application requests a recent headshot — I decided to treat the whole thing as a joke, feeding the poor hiring manager lines that would have probably made me look like a mentally unstable lunatic in any other context. I told her my interests outside of work were gardening and freestyle rapping, and that my last job was as someone who wrote essays for money. They called like the next day and gave me an outright rejection. It was awesome, and I highly recommend applying for a nothing job at least once in your life, if only just to have fun with it. But I digress.)

To me, interviews feel pretty natural: you, the prospective employee, are ostensibly interested in a job at a place you likely know very little about; the company, interest ostensibly piqued by your resume and/or cover letter, thinks you’re at least a potential fit for the role. Neither of you REALLY know anything about each other, though, and the interview is a great chance to learn about what kind of a fit it’d really be. Not too difficult of a concept to grasp, right?

That’s how it sounded when I typed it all out, at least. But all too often people treat interviews like they’re an audition where they need to be TOTALLY PERFECT in order to impress the employer. People get nervous and clammy, trying to script every little minute thing that might be said in a desperate attempt to come across as valuable and desirable. They treat every job opening like it’s PERFECT for them, building it up into something massive that’s not even grounded in reality, but is instead just the by-product of their imagination. It’s a lot like how I treated talking to girls throughout grade middle high school.

It’s those people I’m reaching out to today with this amazing new strategy for conducting interviews. That’s right, good ol’ JSG has you covered, people. Are you ready to hear my amazing tip? The one weird trick that has HR departments everywhere hating me? Good, because here we go:

Stop treating job interviews like they matter at all and act like you’re better than any and every position you apply for.

Continue reading

I Just Finished a Conference Call That Lasted 14 Minutes…

Here’s a quick breakdown of how that time was spent:

 

  • 6 minutes (43%): Waiting for people to jump onto the call and recapping the names of everyone who had joined thus far
  • 3 minutes (21%): Asking if there was any update on the data validation process since late last night (Note: The relevant parties with the answers to this question weren’t on the call)
  • 1 minute (7%): Expressing that we really need an update on that validation process
  • 4 minutes (29%): Painstakingly asking the entire group if they thought it was OK to end the call early while we wait for news on the validation process and planning another follow-up call once we know more

 

How is it possible to make 14 minutes feel so much like 14 days? With the exception of watching this video seven straight times or reading through our post history, is there any less productive way to spend 14 minutes? The real-life equivalent of this would be sitting down to make a sandwich and taking meticulous inventory of all your ingredients, expressing the plan to make a sandwich, and then setting up a second trip to the kitchen later to make the sandwich per the previously discussed plan. If people acted in real life like they do on conference calls, literally nothing would ever get done.

Happy Friday!

–JSG

Yes, You Started a Small Business. No, You Are Not CEO.

CEO Comic

We’ve all seen it before.  One of your LinkedIn friends started a business, or more likely a side project, and lists one of their “jobs” as “Beats By Stu Tiggle” or what have you.  It’s awesome that you have an interest or goal that you are pursuing, and maybe it isn’t quite full-time yet, but you’re working on escaping the rat race.  Good for you.  But dude, you aren’t “CEO” or “President” or some other ludicrous title.  You should change that ASAP to stop looking like such a douche.

CEO’s have boards under them.  They lead corporations.  Even if you’ve established an LLC, you don’t have a board of directors to report to.  By having a self-appointed title like that, the smug self-righteousness you possess is all the more evident, parading around the web for all to see.  Get real, you and your buddy are at best “Owner” or “Founder” or something along those lines.

A friend of mine who owns a bar has a LinkedIn profile.  Rather than make his title “CEO/Director of Business Operations” or “VP of Liquid Delivery,” he keeps it real: “Owner and Janitor.”

If you are guilty of this offense, go change your title to “Owner.”  The rest of the world will immediately take you a little bit more seriously.

-st

A Quick One-Act Play I Wrote

Sad but true, man…sad but true.

 

….Vaguely based on ST’s awesome post and, unfortunately, my own life. Enjoy!

 

ACT I

[Interior: Divisional office building. Bright, fluorescent lights illuminate the hallways. The hushed tones of conferences calls offer ambient noise. Jon McComb, a mid-level manager, approaches the desk of Joe St. Germain.]

Continue reading