Monthly Archives: February 2011

Thanks for the Interview, it was a Waste of Time

Co-op (co-operative education) is where a student, such as myself, works full-time instead of attending class. In other words, I’m in class like a normal uni student from January through June. July through December, however, I work full-time in a professional career related to my major. I repeat this three times before I graduate. This year will be my second co-op.

The benefits are numerous, but the one I’ll focus on today is the practice and familiarity with formal interviews. I went on three interviews last year before I got offered the position I later accepted. Two of those interviews went wonderfully, but the third was absolutely horrific.

To help me prepare for my interviews tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll go over some basic interview tips, using last year’s horrific interview to highlight why such tips are important.

Interview Tip 1: Always visit the location before the day of your interview so you know how to get there.

They didn’t tell me the address of the office until the day before my interview, so a dry-run was out of the question. They also gave me driving directions, which are useless to me. Predictably, I ended up completely lost, but it wasn’t entirely  my fault. The street signs were in fact backwards and pointed me in the exact wrong direction.

Interview Tip 2: Have a contact number in case you get lost or are running late.

I did have a contact number. I called when I realized I was lost. No one answered. I asked the man in a gas station for help instead.

Interview Tip 3: Always arrive early.

Five minutes before my interview was scheduled to start, I finally found the office building. The front door was locked, there was no doorbell or intercom system, and nobody was outside to tell me how to get in. I called again and again got no answer. I left a voicemail and got a call back in a few minutes.

The woman told me you can’t actually see the entrance from the direction I came from, which is also the direction the driving directions told me to come from. She hung up on me before I had actually found the entrance. By the time I got inside and signed in on the second floor, I was five minutes late for my interview. Read the rest of this entry

Nothing is Ever Good Enough: Perspective and Expectations

The phrase “nice guys finish last” has always irritated me, especially when it proves true. What should be hard-earned praise somehow turns into scorn, leaving you feeling unappreciated and useless. The worst part of it? You’ve probably given that very same feeling to someone else. As have I. More than likely, we do this without even realizing it.

Earlier this week, I had a fleeting moment when I wanted to call my friend out for not talking to me “enough.” In reality, the 20-40-minute latency between his responses was because he was doing his best to divide his time among the several people who wanted his attention. As soon as I realized that, my attitude completely changed. I spent the rest of the night enjoying whatever conversation he could afford because it meant he cared about me enough to talk to me despite everything else he had to do.

I had expected him to stop everything to talk with me because I was feeling a tad under the weather. Looking at the situation from his perspective showed me how unrealistic such an expectation was. This allowed me to truly appreciate the effort he was putting in to making me feel better, preventing a senseless argument and showing me how blessed I am to have such amazing friends in my life.

Last night, that same friend told me he doesn’t feel like his efforts were “enough.” Clearly, he was so very wrong. There is no instant cure for things like headaches, but such things are still temporary. They’ll bother you for a time, but can only affect your mood if you let them. The important thing is to be happy despite your aches, and in that sense, having a friend to talk and laugh with can make a world of difference.

My friend expected to be able to “fix” me, to cure me of my headache. Such a thing is impossible, making his expectations of himself unrealistic. This stressed him out and made him feel like he wasn’t “good enough.” From my perspective, however, just sitting and talking with me was all I could ask for and more. I had no expectations of him. He is my best friend and I love him dearly.

Certainly everyone has heard the advice to always see a situation from someone else’s perspective, but I cannot stress enough how important is to take expectations into consideration as well. I’ve seen so many relationships fall apart because of such feelings of inadequacy. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or romantic partner, don’t let someone you love stress over not being “good enough.” Similarly, don’t let anyone tell you your best efforts are still not “good enough.” Nobody deserves to let their kindness go without recognition.

The Addiction That Wasn’t

As part of my Empirical Research Methods course, I (and everyone in my class) had to create a survey to test for online videogame addiction. Once we were done making our surveys, we had to email the link to the class and everyone was required to take everyone else’s surveys.

Some of the common questions were as follows:

  • Do you play online videogames more often than you partake in non-gaming activities?
  • Do you feel irritated when you can’t play online videogames?
  • When you aren’t playing, do you anticipate your next gaming session?
  • Are most of your friends people you met in an online videogame?
  • Does your work/school performance suffer due to your online gaming habits?
  • Do you easily lose track of time while playing online videogames?

These questions were phrased a bit differently on the surveys, but the idea behind them is the same. All of these questions seem like good measures of addiction*, but I say these questions can be misleading. I would answer “yes” on a fair few of these, but I do not consider myself an addict. Not to videogames, at least. Read the rest of this entry

RWWP: Act Three failism

Act three is when I gave up, and it shows. Not that it’s much worse than the rest, but I had stopped trying to write well at this point. Posting this is painful, but the show must go on.

Selwyn hid in the shadows near the Pierce estate. He had never seen it so busy. Selwyn doubted Runa would be there tonight. She was crazy, not suicidal. Then he saw the man fly through the window.

Runa was inside, and Selwyn  needed to be. The entrances were far too heavily guarded for him to sneak past without getting attention. Shutting down the perimeter lighting would be his only option. It was about then that the lights went out. Suggestion was a truly marvelous power.

Taking advantage of the sudden darkness, Selwyn sneaked past the gate guards and into the estate. The patrols had stopped their rounds to investigate the faulty lights. Other guards shifted at their posts. None of them noticed Selwyn slide through the open doorway and into the manse.

“I don’t like this,” Selwyn heard a guard whisper from within the main hall, “First that hooded boy, then that monster, now the lights go out.”

“The Queen’s attendance makes me far more nervous.” a second responded. Both stood not far from where a Shadow was strapped to a column.

“You don’t think they’re connected, do you? I mean, people have said the Queen Helena is rather… Unique…”

The Queen’s presence could only mean bad things. If Pierce was receiving her, he would be in the second level conference room. Leaving the Shadow and its guards to their fates, Selwyn went up the stairs and down the hall. The conference room door was shut, but Selwyn could hear Runa’s voice from within.

“Listen, I don’t care what you have to say. I am telling you that there is a rogue Shadow tied to the load bearing column right outside, so we don’t have much time before it gets angry and pulls it down.”

“That would be rather unfortunate now wouldn’t it.” Pierce’s voice was difficult to hear.

“It just means I’ll have to speed things up a little bit.”

“Guards, remove this woman.”

“You don’t want to do that.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No really don’t…” Selwyn heard the thump of bodies dropping, “…touch me.”

“What did you do?”

“I did nothing. I tried to warn you. You really shouldn’t touch me. Bad things happen.” Read the rest of this entry