My job in human resources is never boring. Every day I’m astounded at what I see as young people apply for jobs with my organization. Most of what I see that causes me to reject a resume could easily be corrected, and (I suspect) most of these job seekers just don’t know any better. Therefore, here is a list of the top ten things to do when looking for a job:
01. Put your name and contact information on your resume — If I worked for the American Psychic Association, maybe it would be different. However, if you want me to contact you, I need to know your name and a working telephone number and/or e-mail address.
02. Choose a professional e-mail address to send your cover letter and resume — I recently received a resume with impressive credentials and experience from an e-mail address along the lines of email@example.com. I’m not kidding. Now, I could read two stories into that e-mail address, but I won’t. The point of the matter is if this is how you’re going to represent yourself, how will you represent our organization?
03. Do not include inappropriate pictures — Unless you’re applying to be a flight attendant, I don’t understand why you would want to include a picture on your resume. If you do, though, give some thought to how the picture will present you to a stranger. I recently received a resume that included a topless glamour shot, with the applicant covering her bare breasts with her hands. Maybe it would slide if you’re applying for a job as a wet nurse, but, again, it makes me wonder how you’ll represent my organization if you get the job.
04. Textspeak — As more people embrace smartphones, the more resumes are sent from them to me, often accompanied by messages such as, “WOULD LUV 2 WORK 4 U.” I often wonder what they would think if I replied back with “NFW!”
05. Be honest about your education — Recently, under “Education” on her resume, a job candidate wrote: WORKING ON IT. (Better to list no education.) List the school you attended, the degree you received, your major, and your conferment date. If some of this information is missing, a phone call often reveals you’re lacking the credential or it’s in an unrelated field of study.
06. Casual greetings on cover letters — For the love of god, please do not begin your cover letter with “Hey, girl!” or “Yo, what’s up?” Call the company and find out whom you should address your letter to, or go with “hiring manager.” Also, check to ensure you’re sending your cover letter and resume to the correct company. It seems like people would no better, but it happens a lot.
07. Identify the position you wish to apply for — I frequently receive cover letters and resumes that give no indication of the position they’re for. If I have to stop and figure it out, there’s a greater chance I’m going to set it aside or reject it. Also, when you write you’re interested in any position available, it’s just as desperate as last call in a singles bar. If you’re not qualified in the position you’ve applied for, and I see your experience and education would fit another position I have available, I will consider you for it. Trust me.
08. Send your resume only once — When you send me your resume over and over again without adding new information, it’s annoying and wastes my time. If you want to be sure I received your resume, call me and ask. I’m happy to do so. However, if you fax it again and again, you’re wasting paper and costing my company money. If you must send it to me again, consider adding something to your original resume. For example, if you’ve lost five pounds since you last sent me your resume, consider adding “[Your Name] Now with less fat!”
09. Prepare a short voice mail greeting that identifies your telephone number and name — I’ve encountered a surprising number of people who recorded long-winded voice mail greetings: reading scripture, playing their favorite ballad in full, or reciting “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” Please don’t do this. Just identify yourself by name and confirm your telephone number. I just want to leave a brief message for you to call me back. I don’t need to be converted, moved, or entertained.
10. Be realistic about your transferable skills — When you read our job ad, you might immediately think you’d be a perfect for the position, but honestly take a look at your education and experience. Case in point: Just because you trained seals at Sea World, doesn’t qualify you to teach preschool children. Trust me, it’s not the same thing.
I never need to watch television because my co-workers tell me everything I need to know. Why should I spend half an hour watching Real Housewives of Atlanta when Jennifer can give me the synopsis, including fake tears, in under ninety seconds? Still, I was giving some thought to what scenarios might actually tempt me to watch reality T.V.
01. Kissing Babies — Politicians must campaign for reelection by kissing babies from demographics they have blatantly ignored in the past
02. Porn Again — Adult film stars compete against missionaries to win souls for Christ in third world countries–any way they can
03. Lesbian Wife Swap — Straight men trade spouses with lesbian couples only to find the glamour of bisexual porn for heterosexual men doesn’t necessarily translate into real life. Meanwhile, the straight wives enjoy some long, meaningful conversations with their temporary lesbian husbands.
04. Siri Spills the Beans – Sneaky men and women hack their spouses with the help of producers to have Siri falsely accuse their spouses of all sorts of crimes. When the husband is pulled over by a highway patrolman, Siri confesses the body is no longer in the trunk, but buried behind the Stuckey’s two miles down the road.
05. Mr. Mom CEO — Six business executives attempt to run their companies and their households while wearing a special belt that creates the sensations of water retention and cramps. Can he complete the corporate takeover and get Caitlin to ballet on time? Tune in!
06. Grownups Behaving Badly — Children wired with hidden cameras and microphones capture their parents misbehaving while coached by obnoxious stand-up comedians as to what to do and say to provoke their folks to new depths of depravity.
07. Tapping Madge — Ten of the fiercest gay Madonna fans compete against one another to seduce her Royal Madgesty, so they can say they’ve slept with her. (No, I don’t get it, either, but it’s all some gay men talk about. Honestly, wouldn’t you prefer Kylie?)
08. Shop Loco – Services professionals, such as lawyers, mechanics, dentists, etc., get creative when told by customers that Amazon.com now provides the same service to their customers at a steep discount. “Can you do better than 30% on this filling?”
09. Bi-Polar Babysitters — Childcare professionals attempt to wean themselves off of lithium while taking care of the most obnoxious kids in America.
10. Scooby Snack Attack – Pet owners discover how devoted man’s best friend is to them when their dogs are taught they can receive something good to eat if they press a button that releases a treat while simultaneously sending a jolt of electricity to their owner.
There will be few picnics this Independence Day in rainy Atlanta, but the wet weather won’t keep from reliving fond memories of spending July 4th with family and friends: grilled burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, homemade ice cream, swimming, fireworks, and good conversation. Here are ten of the funniest bits of conversation I’ve heard over my 45 years:
01. “Quit putting those things in your Memaw’s cigarettes that make them explode when she lights up! When her wig catches on fire, you’re going to feel awfully sorry.”
02. “I’d think twice of eating her carrot & raisin salad; she just told me she has a mouse problem.”
03. “Just look at him with that dog. It boggles the mind how that little uppity poodle has such a big ol’ bubba wrapped around her paw.”
04. “Listen to me: there are no sharks in the kiddie pool. Your uncle was just teasing you.”
05. “So we finally took Billy to see a therapist about his vampire obsession. She said it’s normal for a boy his age, but it’s probably best not to let him fix me a bloody mary for the time being.”
06. “You call this burger well-done? The inside is pinker than my toenail polish!”
07. “Daddy, so how many of your cousins couldn’t make it to the family reunion because they’re in the Big House?”
08. “If you were as smart as you think are, mister, you wouldn’t tell me you haven’t had a grape soda today when your tongue is purple. So unless you’ve been licking Barney the Dinosaur, I’d say that was a lie, wouldn’t you?”
09. “I wish you would aim that roman candle at me–and it will be the last thing you ever do.”
10. “Well, there goes Memaw’s little garden windmill up in flames. It burns real pretty, though. Anybody got any marshmallows?”
Some people have fretted the world ended yesterday when the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); however, the world was still around this morning when I woke up, which just goes to show how so much of the time people get worked up over worrying about things that aren’t a threat instead of looking on the bright side. To help everyone out, I’ve decided to give you the top ten positive aspects of gay marriage:
01. Now we can finally match up all of those orphaned/widowed wedding cake toppers.
02. You can get married by a k.d. lang impersonator wherever you are instead of an Elvis impersonator in Vegas.
03. No more “Chicken Dance” at wedding receptions, people, it’s the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A” all the way!
04. Rest assured you you’ll never have to endure a lengthy GAY CATHOLIC wedding.
05. Brides maids don’t have to worry about being stuck with a three-quarter sleeve dress they’ll never wear again; there will be plenty of formal functions they can don for which they can don their tuxedos again.
06. You don’t have to worry about which side of the aisle you sit on–they’re both brides or grooms!
07. No need need to worry about bloody sheets to prove virginity, which really kills one’s appetite for wedding cake and a bloody mary at the cash bar.
08. Nothing is more exciting than the betting pool amongst the wedding guests to guess how the bride and bride/groom and groom will alter their last names.
09. The suspense of never knowing for sure what the groom will receive when he asks for THE RING and where it’s worn.
10. Think of all the money to be made by straight people in the wedding industry: CHA-CHING!
You might believe most people still fear public speaking more than death, but you’d be wrong. Technology and modern times have instilled in us very specific fears that keep step with our modern times. Here are the top ten weirdest contemporary fears:
01. After becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, you fear you’ll be asked an embarrasing personal question and will now be unable to lie.
02. You fear you’ll unknowingly attend a potluck that includes a side dish prepared by a cannibal/serial killer.
03. You’re afraid your plane might crash while attempting to become a member of the Mile High Club.
04. After spending a fortune to have all of your body hair permanently removed, you worry chest hair might become fashionable again.
05. You fear you’ll develop an irresistible craving to eat cat feces whenever you walk by a litter box.
06. You’re afraid you might one day be compelled to start a New Kids on the Block tribute band, complete with dance moves and big hair.
07. You’re afraid you’ll spontaneously develop an allergy to chocolate.
08. You worry someone might record video of you doing the chicken dance at a wedding reception and upload it to YouTube, where it inexplicably goes viral.
09. You’re afraid you’ll misplace your car keys after having just run a marathon and just before the Emergency Alert System warns you to evacuate before a horde of zombies swarm the city.
10. You fear your grown children will never leave home, especially the triplets, thereby thwarting your desire to enjoy late-in-life stay-at-home nudism.
I like my neighborhood. It’s a mish-mash of diverse people. Of course, the proof in the pudding is what comes out the mouths of their babes. Read what some of the kids in my neighborhood have said within earshot of me over the past 13 years:
01. “Dad, can I get a tattoo when I graduate from kindergarten, or do I have to be a little older?”
02. “Mommy said that when I was born, I ripped her vagina to shreds.”
03. “Is there gluten in this cookie? If there is, my mom is going to be really pissed.”
04. “I have two mommies, but they haven’t decided which one wears the pants yet.”
05. “I just want you to know my daddy said I’m not allowed to say @#%*.”
06. “Our dog can eat it’s own vomit. I bet your cat can’t do that.”
07. “When there’s only one popsicle left, I like to take a bite out of it and leave it in the freezer, so no one else gets it. Take it from me, you have to plan ahead.”
08. “If I was a Tyransaurus Rex, I would eat Jeremy Kramer. He’s this butthead at preschool.”
09. “Whenever mommy and daddy put on Sade, I know they’re getting their groove on after they send me to bed.”
10. “My dad is so cool. He didn’t even spank me when I accidentally yanked his nipple rings out while we were wrestling.”
11. “I think your cookie would be safer in my mouth-cave. Don’t you?”
12. “I keep praying to God to send someone to kidnap my little brother, but He keeps saying no.”
01. “It’s a song I learned at Girl Scout camp.” (My mother was a Girl Scouts’ Day Camp volunteer, so I accompanied her there as a small child and I was explaining where I had learned the song.)
02. “Given a choice, I’d rather take my chances in the water with a Great White Shark than a Tiger Shark, because those Tigers are hungry all the time and will eat anything!” (Demonstrating my vast knowledge of marine apex predators in a converasation with our printer account executive and his boss.)
03. “I think Hell Yeah: A Children’s Guide to Etiquette would be a great title for a bestselling children’s book.” (I was delirious from lack of sleep and still had an hour to go on my shift at the bookstore.)
04. “I would eat ice cream made with breast milk before I would try placenta; afterbirth just doesn’t sound appetizing.” (A co-worker and I went off on a tangent while discussing our nutrition policy.)
05. “I’d rather be hot than cold; however, I suppose you can always put another sweater on if you’re cold, but you can’t do anything about heat once you’ve stripped yourself naked.” (Thinking outloud while discussing the weather with another MARTA passenger.)
06. “I always thought people wore sweatbands around their head as a bad fashion decision, but you know what? They really do keep the sweat out of your eyes!” (Sharing my startling discovery with 2Fs after testing a sweatband on my head during a 55-minute plyo workout.)
07. “You can put strawberries in a lot of dishes, but I don’t think they belong in chili. Blech!” (Telling Jeff my insights on incorporating strawberries into recipes after a particularly restful meditation.)
08. “So I said, ‘It’s okay to think someone looks like a pedophile, but it’s something else entirely to say it to their face!’” (Telling a friend about an interaction between two customers I overheard at Target.)
09. “You know, you only meow at me when you want something.” (Responding to the cat after she waited until I was almost asleep before asking me to open the window, so she could sit on the sill and watch birds and squirrels.)
10. “My mom said she was ordering a special holster that attaches to her bra so she can start carrying her Saturday Night Special. Talk about packing heat!” (A friend asked how my mom was doing and I gave him an update from when I called her on Sunday night.)
I live in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Atlanta. The people are open-minded, appreciate good food and drink, and like to laugh and socialize. Most of them are pretty forward in their thinking, so I was surprised at some of the answers they’ve come up with to avoid talking to their kids about reproduction. I have learned, however, as clever as parents think they are, kids usually end up being smarter. Here are the top ten funniest stories of where babies come from:
01. Santa Claus brought you to Mommy and Daddy for Christmas. (Their son then asked how that was possible since he was born in July.)
02. We found you under a marijuana leaf. (Their daughter warned them to keep that tidbit to themselves, or else DFCS might come take her away.)
03. Mommy & Daddy ordered you from Amazon.com. (Their son asked if they received free shipping.)
04. We adopted you from China. (Their daughter asked, “If I’m Chinese, how come I’m black?” They’re an African-American family.)
05. You came from a hot summer night and a bottle of tequila. (The daughter asked if that was what the worm is for.)
06. I won you in a MTV contest. (Of course, the kid immediately did a search on YouTube for video footage. Busted!)
07. You followed us home. (“Why would I do that?” their daughter asked. “I didn’t know you and I don’t talk to strangers.”)
08. We used a special recipe to mix you up in a bowl, then baked you in the kitchen oven. (Their daughter asked, “Is that why we’re vegan?”)
09. You were delivered to our mailbox by mistake. (Their child reminded the parents it’s a federal offense to take someone else’s mail.)
10. The stork brought you. (To which their son replied after some thoughtful reflection,“That’s probably why birds scare the crap out of me, huh?”)
You may have heard or read how Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber recently visited the Anne Frank House and wrote in the guest book that he hoped Anne would have been a Belieber. It got me wondering what other famous names throughout history might have been Justin Bieber fans, so here are the top ten historical figures who most likely would have been Beliebers:
01. Obviously, Christopher Columbus would have lined up to get Justin to autograph his copy of My World 2.0, thankful Bieber took his advice not to name it Americus 2.0
02. Cleopatra, being just a teenager herself when she took the throne of Egypt, would have most likely tried to gain an audience with Justin after one of his concerts, claiming to be his “personal deity.”
03. Albert Einstein would have been a fan of Justin’s whimsical hairstyles. After all, Albert did say that imagination is more important than knowledge.
04. Lucrecia Borgia would have had no problem issuing death threats against other celebrities who stole an award–say a Grammy–from Justin. However, if Lucrecia asks you, after a spirited debate over differing opinions about Mr. Bieber, to name your poison, I suggest you don’t.
05.Vlad the Impaler would really know how to take care of the haters, more than likely, impaling them on wooden stakes to rethink the the error of their ways.
06. Marie Antoinette would have been power Twitter user, and, no doubt, would have led the way to outsmart Twitter when they changed their algorithm to remove persistently trending topics, like Justin Bieber, by purposely misspelling his name in their tweets, most famously with, “Can’t wait to kiss my Beaver.”
07. Inuk Nanook of the Arctic Circle would have delighted in putting down his harpoon to follow Justin from city to city to watch him perform, feeling a certain connection with him, because Justin believes he has an undetermined Canadian Aboriginal ancestry.
08. Some historical figures are only happy when they get someone’s goat; Adolf Hitler would have gotten satisfaction in claiming Justin’s monkey for Germany, when Bieber failed to provide documents, all while performing Ludacris’ verse-rap from “Baby.”
09. Writer, activist, and feminist would have enjoyed the subversive nature of hiding behind the Twitter handle @HappyHomemaker4eva and antagonizing Justin and other Beliebers with DMs, while memorizing the lyrics to all of his songs.
10. As a Belieber, Oscar Wilde could have indulged his infatuation for younger men and observed plenty of source material for his witty sayings, such as, “Youth is wasted on the young.”