Thursday, December 10, 2009

Single and Looking: Notes From a Poor Person's Job Hunt Part II

Sometimes I'm reading job descriptions and have no idea what they actually mean.

Sometimes, I wonder if they go out of their way to frighten me.

"Is this seriously what I will have to do if I were to get this job?"

"Will I really have a combination of 27 different main responsibilities?"

Sometimes I'm scared to work for the person that created the job description.

Utilize best practices for developing processes and procedures for producing productive lead generation and transactional consumer web sites.

"This sentence must be redundant somehow"

"There must be a better way to phrase this so that it doesn't scare people."

"This job description gives me a headache in my frontal lobe."

Sometimes the required skills seem a bit particular.

Extensive use of HTML, FBML, DHTML, XML, PHP, MYSQL, Wordpress, Facebook, and CSS

"FBML? When did Facebook become bigger than the internet and warrant it's own markup language acronym?"

"Clearly I don't know FBML, let alone use it extensively."

"Has anyone used every single one of those skills extensively?"

"It should really say 'or' instead of 'and' in this job description."

"Even if I am otherwise completely qualified for this job, they will not hire me if I don't have extensive knowledge of FBML."

"I wonder if I could learn FBML before my interview."

"I will not get an interview."

"May as well give up."


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poor People Like Letters of Redundancy

Mostly because it means you can make virtually the same amount of money for sleeping til noon and collecting unemployment, Poor People Love Letters of Redundancy! However, sometimes employers are a little less than honest in their final statement. Here's a sample PPLP would like to offer as a template for future redundancies at your office. Your employer will thank you, and so will we!

Dear Nameless Drone,

Further to our meeting of (date), I am pleased to confirm that your employment with us is terminated as of (not soon enough). We know it's pretty awkward, so feel free to stop reading this letter, swipe a pack of your favorite pens, and peace out before lunch.

Your termination is due to your position having to be made redundant, and in no way reflects your performance in your job, which has been up to par with the apathy and lackluster of Genericorp employees for the past 20 years.

As stated at our meeting, and agreed upon with what appeared to be a "f*ck this place" muttered under your breath on the way out, the terms of your redundancy are as follows:

  • As you know, based on your meager salary and non-existent bonuses, there really isn't much coming to you. In fact, we're still looking for a loop-hole that entitles us to retro-actively not pay you as of last Christmas.
  • * We don't expect the box of printing paper, multiple staplers, or wasted post-it notes to be replaced, but we do require that you return the $25 iTunes gift card you received in lieu of last year's bonus.
  • * Due to excessive lateness, extended lunch hours and unscheduled coffee breaks, we will not be compensating you for leftover vacation/sick days.
  • * Your last day on payroll will be in exactly two weeks, just in time for us to avoid a cake for your birthday.

I'd like to offer a Grade A, bullsh*t reference or unnecessarily lengthy letter of recommendation to help you find another job that underpays, undervalues, and would cut you loose at the first opportunity. If things turn around, we would gladly re-employ you for a lower salaried and more demanding position.

Thank you in advance for not beating in the fax machine with a baseball bat or burning the place down a la Office Space.

Yours Sincerely,

(name and position)

PS: Please do remember to fill out your timesheet for the remaining weeks. You can label your afternoon hours for today as "Got Laid Off, Getting Plastered"

Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Single and Looking: Notes From a Poor Person's Job Hunt

Sometimes I apply to jobs and I think, "this is the one."

"This is a great cover letter and I have all the experience necessary to get this job."

"Everything about this job is seemingly perfect."

"It has all of the qualities I am looking for in a job."

Then I visualize having the job, and what it will be like getting the indicated salary.

"I could make a considerable life upgrade with this kind of salary. I could turn HBO and Showtime back on, or maybe even get a car."

"The HR department says there are programs for educational assistance. I can start my masters!"

"Maybe I’ll figure out what a 401K is."

I obsess over the Google map and see what's located near the new office!

"Only 2 blocks from Pret A Manger. They have great croissants!"

"Only 1 block from a yoga studio. I could take yoga and be healthy!"

I imagine the commute and the office atmosphere.

"It would only take me 20 minutes to get there from home!"

"I hope that they have a casual work environment like the ad promised."

"I bet they have windows!"

I automatically skip ahead, and my expectations get unrealistically high.

"Wow, my potential boss is a really wonderful mentor. He/she wants me to succeed."

“If I work as an assistant at XXX for a year or two, I could be in a position to be CEO before I’m 30!”

"I can tell I will be appreciated for all of the hard work I do at this company."

"I will get a raise after only 6 months."

Slowly, I come back to reality.

"They will probably never even read my email."

"If I'm lucky, I'll get one of those condescending, automated 'thanks for applying!' responses."

"They must be getting 1,000 resumes a day in this ec0nomy."

After my first few weeks, I'll start to notice a few rather strange things.

"Do they think they can just pay me in pizza?"

"Why is there so much turn-over in this office?"

I'll grow to hate it within a year and resent even its best qualities.

"I wish my co-worker would stop playing his ipod so loudly."

"I'd rather die then go to work today."

Happy Hunting,

Friday, July 17, 2009

People in Pizza Slice Costumes Becoming Pizzas

Of all the great ideas we've had at PPLP while diligently pretending to be working, this one somehow eluded us. Poor people love pointless, oddball concepts. They also love summer Fridays. Goodbye workweek, hello [moderate] fun [via frugal spending].

You know where this is going...via Twitter.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Poor People Like Free McMochas

McDonald’s will be giving away free iced mochas every Monday until August -- in an effort to promote their takeover of Starbucks, I mean, McCafĂ©s. Put it in Outlook.

I mean, their coffee is better than their McPizzas. Remember them? Ick.

And then there are the people that just use McDonalds as pizza toppings. Please stop, you're making us look bad.

::head tilt::


::stare down, as the smile fades::

Have a nice weekend,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Poor People Like Covering for their Boss

Every time a bigwig goes down (ehem… Sarah Palin… ehem) we know it’s because some cubicle dweller in her office finally got tired of covering her ass. It’s the first rule in any corporation (which goes three-fold for politics) -- cover your ass. Whether it’s hiding a paper trail or making excuses for the company being unable to afford coffee, it’s always the lowest level that gets blamed. Luckily, we love it. We thrive on the game of misdirection. It’s the reason most poor people cheat and steal for fun. We love lying! We assume that this experience, plus a few viewings of the CEO’s Glengarry Glen Ross bit, is the same as studying for an MBA; an MBA a better company would have paid for you to get.

So, next time your boss asks you to make up a reason why his weekend in Puerto Rico is on his expense report, or put together a letter to all employees explaining why everyone will have to provide their own toilet paper, draw from some of the best excuses we’ve heard at PPLP.

5. She stepped out for coffee, I expect her back mid-August.
4. She’s on a non-smoking cigarette break.
3. Why? Don’t you live with your parents?
2. What do you mean you can’t live in NYC on 25K a year, the cost of living only went up 2%!
1. We already provided pizza!

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Poor People Like Leading the Blind

Boss: Why can’t I call England?
PPLP Rep: Because our international calling is blocked.
Boss: Still? I thought we sent a check?
PPLP Rep: We did, last week -- it will take them 7-10 business days to process.
Boss: Our bank says the check has cleared.
PPLP Rep: It still takes 3 days for the check to be applied to our account.
Boss: Whhhy does it take that long?
PPLP Rep: Because it CAN.

(end scene)

Poor People Like Being Ahead of the Curve

“The economy the way it is, pizza’s perfect,” said Mr. Starr, who noted that pizza is relatively gentle on the budgets of consumers and providers.

Um... we noticed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hope You Had Fun on Your Vacation, But You Have Swine Flu

PPLP would like to relay this important information to our readers...

"Subject: Hope you had fun on your vacation

The management at Mindless media would like to send out some important information to its employees who have recently vacationed in any area where swine flu has been spreading. Your 10 working days of vacation time are essential to our compliance with company policy, and we hope you enjoyed those few precious days out of the office. However, we would like to make sure you do not infect your co-workers with swine flu.

As your employer, we would like to warn you of the following symptoms of swine flu:

Aching fingers: You may think this is connected to the dozens of excel sheets you've been putting together for the past year, or possibly even a symptom of carpal tunnel, but it is actually swine flu
Itchy eyes: Though there was no spring in the metro area and it went from being 40 to 80 degrees within a week, this is not allergies. You have swine flu.
Stomach aches: If you had any bacon from the Europa on the corner within the last month, you have swine flu.
Headaches: That pounding headache you have nearly 24 hours a day is not from being over-worked and under-paid, it's from swine flu.
A tan: If you have a tan from your recent vacation to Mexico, you have swine flu.

On behalf of all upper management, we'd like to say welcome back to the office! Hope you had fun on your vacation, but you have swine flu.

Oh… you’re insurance doesn’t cover swine flu.

Genericorp Human Resources Management Department"

Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poor People Like Service?

Leave it to the kids of the G Metropolitan stop to put this wonderfully sarcastic service announcement prank together. While it pales in comparison to a good poster boy prank (who incidentally said he's leaving New York if there's another fare hike), we're very impressed with its massive cynicism and backhanded bitterness. Sadly, you could make one of these for every stop in New York City. Won't someone save the G train already? (Via Gothamist)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Poor People like Metaphors

"The world is filled with talented poor people. All too often, they’re poor or struggle financially or earn less than they are capable of, not because of what they know but because of what they do not know. They focus on perfecting their skills at building a better hamburger rather than the skills of selling and delivering the hamburger. Maybe McDonald’s does not make the best hamburger, but they are the best at selling and delivering a basic average burger."

Robert T. Kiyosaki
Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poor People Like Free Ice Cream

"Cinnabon is commiserating with taxpayers via its giveaway slogan "Tax Day Bites!" It's offering free Classic Bites today from 5 to 8 p.m., while supplies last. The number of bites given to each customer varies by store. The offer is valid at participating U.S. mall-based bakeries -- not at Cinnabon outlets in airports or travel plazas. No coupon is needed and no purchase is necessary.Taco Del Mar's slogan goes a step further: "Taxes $uck. Tacos Don't." You will need to fill out an online form and provide an e-mail address to retrieve the coupon -- the "free Taco 1099" -- for your tax day taco. MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery is offering free single-scoop ice cream cones to all comers throughout the day. Check out the company's site for the MaggieMoo's nearest you."

--Compliments of MSN Money

Also check out recommendations from...

USA Today and Yahoo , mmm... Chik-Fil-A. I wonder if they serve pizza.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poor People's Guide to the Recession Part I

We here at PPLP have felt the recession just like everyone else. Some of us are unemployed, and the rest still hate our jobs. People are risking career changes and cross country moves to stay ahead. But is all that really necessary, especially when you already live below the poverty line? A couple more tweaks and you’ll be able to once again live like a queen on the salary of a part time assistant (crack whore/crossing guard). No severance package? No problem!

Over the next few weeks/months/years, we will be looking at how us poor people can cut back on expenses even further than we already are and survive the battle against the, recession.

Sell your stuff: There's plenty of businesses that haven't closed down and will buy back your things for half price. Get rid of those books that clutter up your home on Amazon, have people bid on your grandmother's brooch on eBay, and sell that old gold you never wear at Cash4Gold. And then there's Craigslist. What did we do before good old Craig came along? You can put anything from the kitchen table to yourself on this site and it will sell! So if you're having some money problems, the first thing to do is get rid of everything your roommate didn't staple down.

Become your own handyman: There are a lot of small tasks that we have become accustomed to outsourcing. Dry cleaning, tailoring, oil changes, house painting - just to name a few. Now is the time to learn to address these challenges yourself. Do you need a plumber to snake your drain, or a licensed technician to address your ant infestation? No! You have rubber gloves and wikiHow ($1.99 and free).

Become a Freegan: With the recession still raging on all over the country there seems to be only one clear choice: Freeganism. This philosophy was being followed by millions of homeless people before yuppies ever came up with a word for it. Now that we all seem to be on the cusp of unemployment, Freeganism is the next religion. Don't feel guilty if you have to dumpster dive for your next meal, squat in the nearest crack house in Brooklyn, or simply hitchhike out of town when the Dow plummets again. Thousands are doing it, so why shouldn't you? Remember, it's an alternative lifestyle for an alternative world.

Don't eat: Pre-recession, eating was considering a necessity of life. Now-a-days, eating 2-3 balanced meals a day is a lavish luxury that only employed, upper middle class citizens should enjoy. Imagine how much less stressful the last week of the month would be if you didn't eat! I've already spent $10 eating today and it's not even 2pm. This is clearly a waste of money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, poor people spend 12% of their yearly budget on food. So, if this is your 4th job on an entry level salary (let's say 40k - LOLz), you can expect to spend $4,800 a year on cup-a-noodles and Joe's Pizza. Not eating could generate 2 1/2 months rent at that 2nd floor walk-up in Crown Heights, or possibly erase 1/4 of your mounting credit card debt.

Steal: It's a well known fact that stealing is OK when you are doing it to save money. That's why it's especially OK during an economic recession. Now, we are certainly not advocating skipping out on checks in restaurants (what are you doing eating anyway?) or walking out of Target with a new pair of shoes on and leaving your worn out 3 year old vans in the store (what are you doing shopping anyway?). What we do advocate is using someone else's internet connection from your laptop, getting your movies from The Pirate Bay, hooking up a hot box for your cable channels, and the occasional loot.

Stay tuned for more tips on surviving these tough economic times from your friends at Poor People Like Pizza.

-Team PPLP

Poor People Like Looting

I'm currently in the process of re-furnishing my living room on a budget of (preferably) $0. So far, I'll be spending $40 on a U-Haul van and some "moving sale" bargains on Craigslist (more on the beauty of Craigslist to come), so I'm already $40 over budget.

However, I was just reminded of the lost art of looting, which is apparently alive and well in the specific location of nowhere (Craigslist Brooklyn, to be vague). Whether this is pure satire or the return of good old fashioned riot looting, it's genius.

"Yo mannnn, lisen up. Riots bin up in my hood n peeps r goin crazee. Breaking glass, burnin cars n lootin stores. I gots me a truck and a few homeys and we sacked sum place bro…

I gots it up for sale here on CL. Check it out yo. Click me an email and I tells u where it’s @.

Don't be frontin no games yo. Ya b serious and bring cash."

Get it while it's HOT.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Poor People Like Karma

Will the recession make you fat?

"Nutrition experts say the answer could be yes, if you're not careful. Here's how to shop smarter -- and eat healthfully -- when you're watching every penny."

Or you could be one of the millions of underemployed masses who already know how to survive and thrive on lentils, day old bagels and PIZZA…

More on that in a later post.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poor People Like New Beginnings

Poor People's Guide to the first 100 days in office.
(Not Barack—you! Barack has his advisors and you have us.)

First 100 days in a new office:

1. Scour local restaurants for a $3 Margarita /$2 Pizza Slice
2. Reinforce the fold down changing table in the ladies room for mid-day naps
3. Question IT about the vigilance of Internet tracking/email surveillance in company
4. Steal scissors/tape dispenser/stapler from spare desk
5. Plan out best time to use company Xerox machine/Fax machine for personal use
6. Stash extra sage green paper/FedEx envelopes/paper plates for personal use
7. Figure out what company does… (delivers the industry’s most comprehensive, end-to-end optimization and migration solutions through its patent-pending, business-aware, heterogeneous software platform. Whaaa???)
8. Engage in the battle for control of the thermostat
9. Calculate most efficient path past boss' desk undetected, when arriving late/leaving early/taking a non-smoking cigarette break
10. Assess snack machine vitals: Where it is, what's in it, and when it gets re-stocked


Poor People Like Birthdays Part II



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pizza + Economics= Love of Poor People

"The students Jeb Harrison teaches in his economics classes at Pocatello High School in Idaho have learned one thing for sure about these hard times: for $5 you can get a 14-inch pizza with one topping at Molto Caldo Pizzeria, just down the street."

Teaching Economics and Pizza Equations

Thursday, March 19, 2009

F*** My Life

"Today, my boss fired me via text message. I don't have a text messaging plan. I paid $0.25 to get fired. FML"

The Work Pyramid

Replace this entire chart with just "time wasting," and you've got a day in the life of a Genericorp employee.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Why Poor People Like St. Patrick's Day

Now that the financial stresses of the holidays are safely behind us and we have 9 months before we have to start re-gifting our kitchen appliances, we have time to enjoy the 1st of the year’s holidays that is centered around a simple hedonistic pleasures.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Have a beer!

And who knows how to party better than poor people? That's right, rich people. At any rate, here are the top 10 reasons why poor people like St. Patrick's day (not including ones as obvious as dressing your dog in green plastic leis and sunglasses and putting him on a little cart with an Irish flag on it - Duh).

10) Half finished discarded beer bottles
9) Face-paint
8) Non-judgment for being drunk at work all day
7) Getting use out of that one green shirt you keep pulling out of the Salvation Army pile because you "can wear it on St. Pattys"
6) The noise of the parade drowns out your screams
5) Watching your boss get a fine for public urination
4) The green food coloring that distracts your boss from the arsenic in his cream cheese
3) Next day discount on day-old soda bread/green crap at CVS
2) Stumbling into work at noon hungover the next day, and getting away with it.
1) No need to shower at all. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone’s Irish!

-MM Sensitivity Trainer & Corporate Cog

Friday, March 13, 2009

Poor People Like Harassment

Poor people love being harassed. That's why God invented telemarketers.

Not only are poor people being hounded to pay their late electric bill and the overdue balance on their H&M card, but now unknown companies with no purpose are calling me asking for money.

This number has called me 8 times since I woke up today: 201-918-4971.

According to 800Notes, there is a way to put yourself on the "Do Not Call List" by simply calling back and pressing 2. I, of course, did this, got a call back within 10 minutes, and was probably subsequently added to 500 other calling lists. Luckily, I found this handy guide to tormenting a telemarketer, but It doesn't hold a candle to the Seinfeld method.

One site even had a comment saying that they answered the phone when this number called and got an automated message encouraging them to pay a $1.97 fee and to enter their debit card number. That's where things are at right now. People are calling my phone to ask for $2.

Not in this economy! That's a whole slice of pizza in most towns.

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Friday, February 20, 2009

Poor People Like Simple Tasks

Ask me what it's like to re-type the names of all of the players in the 2009 WTA Tour and ATP Tour. Itza Sukzalotzova.

Serena Williams
Dinara Safina
Jelena Jankovic
Elena Dementieva
Vera Zvonareva
Venus Williams
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Ana Ivanovic
Nadia Petrova
Agnieszka Radwanska
Flavia Pennetta
Caroline Wozniacki
Alize Cornet
Marion Bartoli
Victoria Azarenka
Patty Schnyder
Maria Sharapova
Dominika Cibulkova
Jie Zheng
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Katarina Srebotnik
Anna Chakvetadze
Kaia Kanepi
Amelie Mauresmo
Ai Sugiyama
Sybille Bammer
Alisa Kleybanova
Na Li
Navarro Suarez
Agnes Szavay
Alona Bondarenko
Aleksandra Wozniak
Sara Errani
Iveta Benesova
Shuai Peng
Mara Santangelo
Maria Kirlenko
Francesca Schiavone
Sorana Cirstea
Daniela Hantuchova
Bethanie Mattek Sands
Tamarine Tanasugarn
Samantha Stosur
Petra Kvitova
Gisela Dulko
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Tsvetana Pironkova
Monica Niculescu
Shahar Peer
Olga Govortsova
Lucie Safarova
Magdalena Rybarikova
Anne Keothavong
Ekaterina Makarova
Tathiana Garbin
Kateryna Bondarenko
Marina Erakovic
Virginie Razzano
Nathalie Dechy
Karin Knapp
Timea Bacsinkszky
Sabine Lisicki
Yung Jan Chan
Anna Lena Groenfeld
Alla Kudryavtseva
Nuria Vives
Klara Zakopalova
Pauline Permentier
Mathilde Johansson
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Galina Voskoboeva
Nicole Vaidisova
Sofia Arvidsson
Lourdes Dominguez Uno
Yanina Wickmayer
Vera Dushevina
Jose Acasuso
Nicolas Almagro
Mario Ancic
Igor Andreev
Julien Benneteau
Tomas Berdych
James Blake
Simone Bolelli
Agustin Calleri
Guillermo Canas
Jeremy Chardy
Juan Ignacio Chela
Marin Cilic
Steve Darcis
Nikolay Davydenko
Juan Martin Del Potro
Nicolas Devilder
Novak Djokovix
Roger Federer
David Ferrer
Marty Fish
Teimuraz Gabashvili
Guillermo Garcia Lopez
Richard Gasquet
Marc Gicquel
Robby Ginepri
Fernando Gonzalez
Marcel Granollers
Ernests Gulbis
Tommy Haas
Victor Hanescu
Oscar Hernandez
Jan Hernych
Diego Junqueira
Ivo Kalovic
Nicolas Kiefer
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Stefan Koubek
Igor Kunityn
Ivan Ljubicic
Michael Llodra
Feliciano Lopez
Hsun Yen Lu
Paul Henri Mathieu
Jurgen Melzer
Juan Monaco
Gael Monfils
Albert Montanes
Carlos Moya
Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal
David Nalbandian
Ivan Navarro
Jarkko Nieminen
Kei Nishikori
Philipp Petzschner
Sam Querrey
Bobby Reynolds
Tommy Robredo
Christophe Rochus
Andy Roddick
Marat Safin
Fabrice Santoro
Rainer Schuettler
Eduardo Schwank
Andreas Seppi
Florent Serra
Gilles Simon
Robin Soderling
Potito Starace
Radek Stepanek
Janko Tipsarevic
Viktor Troicki
Jo Wilfried Tsonga
Dmitry Tursunov
Martin Vasallo Arguello
Fernando Verdasco
Stanislas Wawrinka
Mikhail Youzhny

-Corporate Cog

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poor People Hate Their Jobs

Cam'ron "I Hate My Job"

Everyone loves a comeback, especially when they find out you've been looking for a crappy office job like the rest of us while you've been away. Everyone can relate to this in an interview: "You know we're not hiring murderers, right?" (Nah Right)

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company