Idiocy Unbound

I just thought I should comment on the stupidity of something I saw the other day.

Driving around down here you will inevitably notice the big electronic signs that warn of accidents and roadwork that you are approaching while travelling. When they’re not advertising the latest crash or traffic delay however they’ve recently been flashing a warning that we’re currently under a State-wide Fire/Arson Ban and offer a number to report infractions or fires that you’ve spotted.

Now while this is admirable based on the recent drought and brushfires we’ve been having, I have to boggle at the wording of the signs. It’s a fire AND ARSON ban. Now the last time I checked the dictionary definition of arson was:

The crime of maliciously, voluntarily, and willfully setting fire to the building, buildings, or other property of another or of burning one’s own property for an improper purpose, as to collect insurance.

Now if arson is a crime and therefore illegal, wouldn’t it already be banned? Why would you include this in the sign. It’s not as if arson is allowed any other time of the year.

Oh well, just another fine example of the stupidity of humanity.

And The Results Are…

Okay, for the two of you who emailed me and asked about how the Radio Shack interview went and for the other one and half of you who couldn’t be bothered to do so but are still morbidly curious, this post is for you.

Simply put… It sucked, but I suspect that I’ll get an job offer out of it. Namely because if they people they had at the presentation as examples of “Successful” Managers that came through their MiT program, then they’re pretty damn desperate for help. For those in the know… the Archetypes I saw while I was there were: three Jeremys, two Marcs, one Mike and two Dans. (For those who don’t know, all are names of employees at my former time in Hell)

Radio Shack is still the idiotic corporate monolith that it was 5 years ago. There isn’t any particular difference between the US version and the Canadian version (even though the Canadian Radio Shack was in fact Intertan Corp which was in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of Circuit City and not Radio Shack proper… which is why there aren’t any Radio Shacks in Canuckia anymore as they’ve all become “The Source by Circuit City” after RS Corp here in Texas won a court case to protect their brand identity). Every job they have is commission based which sucks royal monkey cock. They didn’t go in to numerical details about the rate but it still bugs the hell out of me. I hate the whole selling more means your a better person attitude that commission based sales structures create. You always get the knuckle-dragging bottom feeder types with the worst customer service attitudes in the positions of most power solely because they can steal the most sales.

Anyways, if you’re looking for details the interview hiring fair consisted of a simple “Ra Ra” presentation filled with propaganda about how RS is the best there is at what they do, blah blah blah. They traipsed out a group of Manager success stories. Then came the cheesy recruitment video with the faux employees with plastic smiles and nothing bad to say about the company. Then they gave us all a pre-interview interview which was all “tell me how you helped someone”, “Give me an example of an initiative you undertook on your own” that type of crap. Mine lasted under 5 minutes before the guy just sort of stopped and handed me the MiT Test booklet. I don’t know if he realized I was making shit up as I went along but I guess he’d heard enough to realize I was “Manager Material”. Fer fucks sake! The last customer I talked to was 5 years ago. I’ve been doing my best to forget them since the day I quit. Idiots, what’d you expect me to do? Write down and remember the name of every single customer I helped and remember their life stories?!?!?

So the first part of the test was the usual psuedo-psychological “Do you think stealing paper clips from the company is wrong” Agree? Disagree? type of questions along with the standard questions used to weed out the morons. Then they had a multiple choice section which annoyed me because a lot of it was “making change” and while I can make change quickly using real money that includes $1 and $2 coins I had trouble at first wrapping my head around the no coin higher than a quarter rule. American money bugs the fuck out of me at times. They ended the “survey” with a fun little 150 question basic maths quiz. Which ended up being about as much fun as swallowing glass because they weren’t “allowing” calculators or cell phones with them equipped. It’s been so long since I had to do long division that at first I forgot how. What pissed me off to no end though was the fact that despite saying “don’t use calculators” pretty much everyone who had one was using one. They never bothered to check or police it. Which sucks because I didn’t have one and so had to do everything by hand.

After doing the test they said they’d enter in the information, check all my references and then give me a call when they had something. Hopefully any pay rate they offer me will be worth the effort it’ll take to get me to and from the store daily. They’d better include enough hazardous duty danger pay for me to put up with the morons as well.

All in all I was there for about two and a half hours. Would’ve been gone sooner but my brain and math aren’t the best of friends so we had to suffer through for a bit.

I also noticed that they weren’t giving everyone the same test. Some people like me had a black test booklet which was a Manager in Training test, others were given a red booklet which I can only assume was just a Sales Associate test as it had fewer questions that also seemed easier. The red booklet ones were done sooner than those with the black book at any rate. Though I was amused that a couple of them even finished it, especially when one of the red book taking drones asked “Not to sound like a moron, but what does optimistic mean?”


What’s worse was three other people within earshot of him (including a black book quiz guy) had a hard time describing the concept. I finally had to say “You look at the bright side of things”. and they all shut up looking as foolish as they should have. I mean come the fuck on people! Is it really THAT big of a word?

At any rate, its over. I’ll hopefully get something out of it. If not then there’s no skin off my nose.

In other news, The Sign of Four is a good book.

An Amusing Conceit

WARNING: This is a personal mental exercise in writing. I’m blathering towards a specific point (What that point is though, I’m still blissfully unaware of). Feel free to skip this post if you’re bored or have no interest in my idiocy..

We writers are a fragile bunch. Our egos are fraught with mental roadblocks and psychic demons that prevent us from properly functioning in society at times.

We tend to wrap ourselves in stories like others wrap themselves protectively in blankets on cold winter nights. This gives many the opinion that we are a standoffish and distant bunch disconnected with reality as a whole and who wouldn’t get a joke if it walked up behind us and pantsed us.

This, for the most part, is untrue. While there are the odd group of curmudgeons out there most of us are able to laugh at jokes and carry on normal lives without any of the rest of you ever suspecting we were any different from you.

Our ability to laugh at ourselves is perhaps one of our greatest strengths because it keeps us grounded in reality when a lot of the time we’d rather curl up under our writing desks with our demons and writer’s blocks.

With this in mind I have this self-referential story for you to peruse and read. It’s a stumbling block that many writers (myself included) have tripped on more than once. As a learning tool it’s very dry and boring but very a helpful and pointed example of what not to do when writing. However if you take it as a humourous poke at the silly conceits we writers have, then I feel it becomes a rather amusing poke at our own foibles and failures.

Midnight Randomness

It’s midnight and the wind is blowing like a mother fuck outside right now and I can’t sleep. Thankfully, I finally conned my wife into letting me read The Rule of Four before she does so I at least have something other than this idiot box and the cathode ray idiot box to keep me company tonight while I attempt at having a restful night of sleep. I highly doubt it though, it’s just the story of my life lately. Can’t sleep and when I do sleep I end up being very restless and what not and then my wife grumbles at me the next morning for looking like death warmed over when I steal her car and run off looking for work.

Speaking of work, I have an interview tomorrow night for a Manager in Training position and hopefully it’ll go well cause the callbacks and formal interviews have been few and far between since I started this job hunt. Now for the bad news… position is at fucking Radio Shack. *Shudder*.

Now what I want to know is what the hell I did wrong in a past life to get this kind of nasty karma. I mean Radio Shack is the debil. I should know, I was Satan’s little HELLper there for 4 effin years, and now after all the resumes and informal “Hi, is the manager in?” interviews I’ve done since I came here, the universe decides to kick me in the teeth by making this my only “formal” interview to date. I mean what gives? Either they saw the desperation in my online application or I really just suck that much that ‘The Shack’ is all I’m fit for.

Yay go me and my late night nihilistic attitude. I’m hopeful that corporate america will make it all different and shiny and new… but quite frankly I doubt it. Once a retail hellhole, always a retail hellhole.

The only quote I can muster on the subject amounts to “Radio Shack. You’ll not find a more wretched hive of scum and villany. We must be cautious.”

And as per the norm lately, this entry has meandered off topic. Hell I didn’t even get the original reason I started this post out before I went off into “I’m a bitter and cynical job-hunting loser” land.

Ahhh fuck it. You can learn about the other topics another time. I’m going to go and attempt to sleep off this little emo fit I’ve typed myself into.

G’nite (may at least one of us get some sleep)

More Rejoicing

Apparently it was all set for a February release date in North America (or perhaps just America) until the Sci-Fi deal was announced. Now it’s been pushed back until July. Still though, I’m happy about it and if the Beeb ships to Canada earlier than July then I’ll be able to enjoy it even earlier.

Now… Let’s just hope that I can see Tenant as the next Doctor pretty damn soon. *twitch*


I’m highly dissapointed in all of you. Not a single link to p0rn or even something utterly mindless and time wasting…

Therefore I’ve had to go looking for my own amusements tonight and while doing so I stumbled upon a snippet of profundity that I thought I’d snip and share with you ungrateful sots.

“You only wear your heart on your sleeve until it’s scarred enough for you to know better, then you wear your scars on your sleeve with pride.”

While I may not have any scars right now, I know the feeling and think it’s very apt.

And now for the time wasting…


More Politics!?!?!?!?

What the Hell?!?!

Three political posts in as many days. I think I’m coming down with something. Somebody better send me a link to some porn1 or something equally as inconsequential soon or I’ll go bonkers.

Anyways, I have my sister to blame for this one. The shy little lass that she is (yeah right *snort*) deemed herself unworthy of posting in the comments section and so instead sent me an email with a link to this little Canadian political quiz that she found on the CBC’s site. And being the bastard older brother that I am, I figured I’d take this opportunity to harass her about it here. Nyah Nyah Amanda.

Obviously for the two and a half of you that read my blog that aren’t Canuckian it probably won’t mean jack shit to you but hey, it might be fun regardless to wander into the fetid field of Canuckian politics2.

Anyways. I’m off to amuse myself with some Prince Of Persia. Or perhaps I’ll see if I can swindle The Rule of Four out of my wife’s “Need to Read” stack of books. If I’m lucky I’ll have it finished before she even notices it’s gone.

1 If you send me images of Goatse and/or Tubgirl I will beat you senseless. If you are lucky enough to not know what I’m talking about, count your blessings. If you’re morbidly curious, look them up. This is teh intarweb after all. Be forewarned though, they aren’t worksafe by any means or in any semblance of good taste for that matter. *shudder*

2 Bring your own Hockey Stick.

And Another Thing…

Okay, so I managed to come up with a couple more coherent thoughts along the same lines as my earlier blog and figured I should write them down before they sink back into the morass of pudding that poses for my brain.

Around here there are a ton of signs starting to go up for elected officials, most prominently judges. From the sheer number of them one can assume that there is some sort of civic election pending. I honestly don’t know and don’t care because it’s “American politics” and I can’t vote anyways.

There are a couple of things that really bother me about these signs. On the surface they appear to be any other political poster/sign you’d find anywhere in North America (I’m making an assumption on what they look like in Mexico here, but for all intents and purposes they’re the same in Canada and the US).

One thing that struck me as an outsider is who/what jobs gets voted on. I grew up in Canada and things are slightly different there. Jobs like judges and police chief/commissioners are appointed rather than being an office which is run for. In my eyes this is a better way to do things. It makes things much more of a meritocracy than a popularity contest and allows those in the aforementioned positions to focus on what’s really important (for example: THE LAW) rather than personal political goals like staying in office or pleasing the idiots whining in public.

With this perception in mind, I have trouble looking at the signage up around town with anything but a cynical and negatively biased eye. It’s always something along the lines of:

<First & Last Name>
<Political Affliation> For <Position>

Now the problem I have with these signs is the whole political affliation part. Let’s use a Judge for example. I want someone in the position who is going to look at the facts of a case that comes before them and base their final ruling on the laws and precedents mandated by the district/state/country that they are in rather than have that ruling influenced by the political affliation of the official. Advertising that you’re Democrat or Republican (the aforementioned evil of two lessers in this idiotic bi-partisan government that exists down here) to me is a mark against you. I want you to do the JOB not do the job as your party sees fit. I want you voting on abortion rights based on your OWN opinions and the facts of the case before you rather than because some monolithic group collective says you need to rule on the case the way they want you too.

Now I’m enough of a human realist to know that this is an extreme example and will only happen occasionally but enough of a cynic to know that it does happen. It sucks absolute monkey balls but that’s the idiocy of modern politics for you.

And I now return you to the pablum that is your regular lives.