24 June 2009

Reference Letters! Get Your Fresh, Hot Reference Letters!

Well, job seekers, judging from the fact that unemployment numbers continue to rise, I might have been tempted to think my Interviewing Tips had gone unheeded. However, I now realize there could be another reason for this unfortunate turn of events. See, many employers walk into their job interviews with sparkling resumes, bright personalities, and plenty of thoughtful questions, only to find themselves turned away. Why is this? Because they don't have any references. They were summarily dismissed from their previous jobs, and their only friends exist on the other side of message board screennames. Have no fear, referenceless recluses, the Shark Tank is once again coming to your rescue!

I have written dozens of references for my friends and acquaintances, all of whom went on to get the job of their dreams. Don't believe me? Here are some testimonials:

"With Shawn's helpful reference letter, I was able to leave my low paying pharmaceutical sales job for a lively career in MLM marketing!"
Amy B.

"I thought I would never get a job. Employer after employer slammed the door in my face. Thanks to Shawn's reference letter, I was able to end my streak of bad luck and secure a job with Enron!"
Fred M.

This kind of success can be yours as well, dear reader. Here are a couple of sample letters I have written for applicants in the past, both of which were likely the deciding factor when it came to the subjects' obtainment of gainful employment.

To Whom It May Concern,

Let me tell you a little bit about my friend, Matt. He is loyal, honest, and trustworthy. When he pees in my bathroom, the house smells like vanilla for a week. He has been a family friend for some time and is the possible father to my two children. He is decisive and swift of action, as evidenced by the time he murdered a local game show host over a matter of a "fixed game". Having paid his debt to society over that little incident, I believe he would make a wonderful addition to your company.

Here's another example.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm going to be honest here. I don't know if Janie is human or alien. I would say human, because she is friendly, hardworking, and she looks like a human. I would say alien because I had a dream several nights ago in which she removed her head only to reveal a grotesque alien head inside of that one. Approximately 9% of the time, I dream of things that come true later. That is just a fair warning, although I have never seen Janie exhibit alien behavior in real life.


So if you're looking for a job, and you have an extra $933.12 laying around, feel free to send that money to me, and I'll hook you up with a reference letter that can't miss.

17 June 2009

The Shark Tank's Guide To A Successful Job Interview

With the economy in shambles and unemployment hitting record highs, people are finding it tougher than ever to find a good job. With the month of June in full swing, and many a college graduate finding themselves in the job market for the first time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to let the world in on my foolproof secrets of the mysterious job interview. Grab a pencil and take some notes, ye unemployed masses.

Most job interview articles will tell you to dress up, making sure you're dressed appropriately for the position. Pish posh, I say. Dress comfortably. What's that? You think I'm wrong and the other articles are right? Fine, dress up like you're going to Sunday Mass. You can wear your power suit while you're working your new career as a jizz mopper at one of New York's finest pornographic theaters.

Cleanup on aisle 4

Although I personally can't stand them, I would advise buying a pair of bright Crocs for your interview. They are wildly popular, meaning the chances are good that your interviewer will own a pair as well. This will give you something in common, and could be just the right icebreaker you need. Ladies, this goes without saying, but the more cleavage the better. In fact, wearing a bikini top will often get you the job before a single word is spoken. Please note that this doesn't apply if the interviewer is a heterosexual female, but the chances of that are stunningly unlikely.

Your Time Is Valuable
It's important to let your interviewer know that your time is as valuable as his. What's that? You think you're supposed to play the role of subservient young ingenue in your first interview? Well, you keep thinking that, and you can look forward to a ten month excursion to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains as the only job you can find is that of a goatherd.

Pictured: goats; you

The first trick is to arrive to the building a full thirty minutes late. This will set a tone for the entire interview. Let this executive know that when it comes to you, he doesn't pull the strings. You do. Throughout the course of the interview, make sure to check your watch and sigh in an exaggerated manner at least twice. If he asks you one of those smart ass questions like, "Am I keeping you from something?", simply answer with, "Don't you ever condescend to me, you son of a bitch."

The Opener
After making your late appearance, you'll need to solidify your dominance over your interviewer with a tasteless, preferably racist joke. What's that? You would never tell a racist joke, regardless of the reason? That's excellent. You can look forward to years of not telling racist jokes in your new job as urine-taster at the Mountain Dew factory in East Lansing, Michigan.

Please note: if you can direct the racist joke explicitly towards the race of the interviewer, all the better. The joke can be any one of your choosing, but the ones that portray a black person/Asian/Latino/etc. in a powerful position as a ridiculous, fantasy concept are the best. It cannot be overstated how much more appropriate these jokes are if you happen to be white.

Ask Questions
A wise man once said "If you don't ask, you'll never know." Truer words were never spoken. I recommend asking at least forty-five questions throughout your interview, regardless of their relevancy. What's that? You think that's going overboard? Well, the phrase "going overboard" is soon going to be very descriptive of your life, as you embark on your new job as Manatee Sex Therapist off the gulf coast of Florida.

My, someone's been doing their vaginal exercises.

Here are some questions you can ask your interviewer, turning them into the interviewee:

"Is the starting pay in the millions?"

"Pocket Ace-King suited. Do you go all in preflop?"

"When is it okay to show your co-workers your nude drawings of Abraham Lincoln?" (Actually, I just need some more feedback on this one.)

The Closer
There is only one appropriate way to close a successful interview if a job offer has not been proffered: Threaten the interviewer's life. Do it in a half-joking way, of course, but you'll want to maintain a certain look in your eye that suggests you just may not be joking. It goes like this:

Interviewer: Well, we'll be in touch.

You: If you don't give me this job, I'm going to come to your house, chop up your family, and then eat your brains for dinner (ha, ha, ha, ha)

But while you're both sharing a hearty laugh, catch the interviewer's eye. Practice your "I'm really not joking" face in the mirror for best results.

That's just about all there is to it. Please let me know what kinds of wild successes you have with your new interviewing style, and feel free to share any small percentage of your new salary with me as a token of your appreciation. You see, I've been unemployed for quite some time...any little bit helps.

15 June 2009

A Thirst Too Great

The other day I was traveling down one of our great American highways, just enjoying the open road and the sounds of silence. As I passed a field of (non black and white) cows, I contemplated the fragility of life and the cycle of existence that has kept the human race going now for yea these many years. I wondered how long we would continue to exist. As a people. I thought about global warming, and whether or not I had been irresponsible in buying a coal powered vehicle w/ industrial strength smokestack. I pondered these things and others when suddenly I was overtaken by a powerful thirst. I needed a Slurpee.

It was peculiar--but not altogether unheard of--for my Slurpee jones to strike so suddenly and so ferociously. The problem: I was--according to my "7-11's of the Central Florida Area" handbook--nearly six miles away from the nearest Slurpee dispenser. I didn't think I could wait that long to quench the devil's parch that had settled into my throat. I would have to take drastic action.

An invaluable tool

My first order of business was to check the floorboards. There was a bottle of Coke under the backseat (next to the furnace). Unfortunately, there was none left in the bottle. I had drained it dry. Argggh, this terrible thirst! Why would it plague me so? I would give anything to be free of its maddening terrors.

That's when I noticed the ditch by the side of the road. It had rained for the past three days, and this rain had filled the ditch nearly to capacity with cool, clean water. Just the site of this oasis magnified my thirst a thousandfold. I had only two options. Wait, and take my chances with the far away 7-11, or drink from nature's goblet. I pulled off the highway and made the only decision I could.

As I knelt to my knees in front of the ditch, I noticed two things. One, the water was not nearly as clean as I had hoped. Bits of...stuff...floated in the water, and there were peculiar swirls in the water, as if a generous dollop of gasoline had been added to the mixture at some point. Two, someone had tossed a half-eaten Burger King cheeseburger out of their window and I would be damned if that wouldn't go perfectly with my reservoir.

Cautiously, I dipped my mouth to the ditch water and drank deeply. It tasted suspiciously like the juice that forms at the top of a long dormant jar of peanut butter, but it did the job. The cheeseburger was stiff and surprisingly crunchy, but it didn't taste too bad.

I rate this dining experience 17 stars out of a possible 23. WOULD DINE AGAIN.

Unrelated: Does anyone know any home remedies for E.Coli poisoning?

12 June 2009

That Time I Went To The Nursing Home

I remember when I was nine years old I had to go to a nursing home for an afternoon. I was just walking down the halls of the place, minding my own business, when this old woman was all:

And so then I was like:

And she went:

And so I said:

And she came back with:

And that's when I was like:

And she was just:

Crazy old woman.

Good times. Good times, indeed.

10 June 2009

When Is It Okay?

I was reading an article some time ago that was addressing some of the variations on one of the most common questions people have--namely, "When is it okay...?" The questions and answers were so common and generic, however, I found myself losing interest rather quickly. "When is it okay to lie?" "When is it okay to wear white?" "When is it okay to...to...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

I looked through the article, but I couldn't find any answers to the questions I found most pressing in my life. Knowing that the article was likely to be popular and recurring, I penned a list of ten questions in the same format and submitted them to the magazine. Well, it's been roughly a year and none of my questions have made it into the magazine. However, I still need answers! Therefore, I'm turning to you...the Internet...to help me find the answers I'm seeking.

Question #1: When is it okay to eat one of those dishwasher detergent cakes?


Question #2: When is it okay to tell a department store clerk that you'd like to feel the inside of their pocket?


Question #3: When is it okay to don a rainbow colored vest and skip through a public park?


Question #4: When is it okay to use your finger to sample the salsa, rather than a chip?

Question #5: When is it okay to tell people you saw a dinosaur in their laundry hamper?

Question #6: When is it okay to poop in the shower?


Question #7: When is it okay to show co-workers your nude drawings of Abraham Lincoln?

Question #8: When is it okay to ask your father to change his name to Forrest Whitaker?


Question #9: When is it okay to admit to a (possible) homicide (legally speaking)?

Question #10: When is it okay to punch an otter?

Help me, Obi-Wan Commenters. You're my only hope.

08 June 2009

Hollywood VS Your Wallet

Versus movies were all the rage back in the fifties and sixties, and as Hollywood experiences a drought of original ideas, they're making a comeback. The straightforward remake (or, as filmmakers like to call them these days, reimaginings) is always on the table in this dire situation, but endless remakes have begun to turn the general public off. The simple way around that? Take two popular heroes or villains from different franchises and pit them against each other in a whole new movie. Alien vs Predator, Freddy vs Jason, Me vs That Guy Who Won't Shut Up Two Rows Back...the possibilities are limitless.

Of course, as with anything else, Hollywood has to take it one step too far. While at the theater for Star Trek (another...reimagining) the other night, I couldn't help but notice the lobby was filled with upcoming "Versus" movies and, while some of them look intriguing, others...well, take a look for yourself:

Ah, who am I kidding? I'll go see all of them.

04 June 2009

Mythical Creatures

I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of people going on and on about mythical creatures as if they were real. No, I'm not talking about unicorns and dragons. I'm not even talking about cryptids such as the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. I'm talking about animals that everyone walks around, pretending that they really exist, when they know full well that they do not. Here are some examples:

The Black and White Cow

This creature was originally introduced into our culture through Elmer's Glue. Glue and cows aren't related in the least (in fact, they should have used a horse), and thus Elmer's had to invent a possible connection. Their solution? Take a black cow and make it look as though it had accidentally spilled glue all over itself. Instantly, the black and white cow was born. Now you see them in everything from milk commercials to Chic-Fil-A ads to cartoons. But you know one place you'll never see them? In real life.

The Duck Billed Platypus

I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of the DB Platy. What a fun animal, I thought. 50% duck, 50% beaver, 100% awesome. Then when I learned that it had venomous claws...well that just made it ten times as amazing. It was more than a simple animal. It was a Super Animal, like a dinosaur. But much like dinosaurs, the DB Platypus never really existed. Well? Have you ever seen one in real life? No, you haven't. Not even in a zoo.

The Panda

What is about the black and white coloring that draws people to make up these animals and then pretend that they are real? I'm convinced there's some connection to the Rorschach test, but I'll save that theory for another day. The panda is one of the cutest animals in the world, if only it was actually in the world. You can tell the powers that be are growing nervous about the cat escaping el baggo on this one, as they are starting to warn people that the panda is going extinct. Here is wisdom: anytime you hear about a creature that's about to go extinct? That probably means it never existed in the first place.

Suspected to be fake, but not confirmed: king cobra, octopus, three-toed sloth, tauntaun, and goat.

02 June 2009

An Experiment in Science

For the past few weeks I've found little time to keep up with this blog, follow my favorite television shows, or read more than a few pages of a book. The reason for this distraction? My foray into the wonderful world of science. I've always been a bit of an amateur scientist, but my latest obsession has taken this to a whole new level. What follows is a documentation of my experiment, which I believe will be of keen interest to both the scientific community and the world at large. Please enjoy the scientific method, in all its glory.

Step One: Ask a Question

The question, to my mind, was this: How do I provide myself with the extraordinary amount of macaroni and cheese that I require without going broke in the process?

Step Two: Do Background Research

I had a few options, it seemed. I could simply begin shopping for macaroni and cheese at the dollar store. I could buy cheaper brands and sacrifice taste in the name of saving a few pennies. I could try to wean myself from my macaroni and cheese addiction. None of these seemed particularly viable. However, Googling "How to save on groceries" led me to several websites that recommended growing my own food. Hmmm, now we were on to something.

Step Three: Construct a Hypothesis

My hypothesis was simply this: I could plant some Velveeta Shells and Cheese in the backyard, and with care and love I would soon have a macaroni and cheese tree.

Step Four: Test Your Hypothesis

I made up a batch of shells and cheese (which, yes, I understand is not macaroni by definition, but it is the prime example of its form) and scooped it out into a bowl. I poured a cold glass of Coke and sat down to watch Click on the FX network. Around the time Adam Sandler gets the universal remote control from Christopher Walken, I had finished the meal. Son of a bitch! That had been my planting macaroni, not my eating macaroni. I went back into the kitchen and made a new batch, missing the funny parts of the movie in the process.

This time I remained on task and took my bowl of shells and cheese out to the backyard. I dug a shallow hole and placed the steaming bowl of macaroni goodness in the center of the plot. Feeling a little twinge of regret, I covered the macaroni up with dirt and then nodded approvingly at my handiwork. Soon, my mac and cheese addiction would no longer be looked at as "strange" or "unhealthy", but rather regarded as the catalyst for one of the world's great discoveries.

Step Five: Draw a Conclusion

The macaroni and cheese tree experiment was an utter failure. After four patient weeks, I realized no tree was going to grow. I dug up my bowl, only now realizing what a dumb idea it had been to begin with. I briefly considered eating the remnants of my seedlings, but I couldn't tell the worms from the shells.

Adding insult to injury, Blake Osgood was selling macaroni and cheese at the flea market Sunday at an exceptionally low price. Blake Osgood is my arch enemy, however, so I didn't buy any.