Tag Archives: Workforce

Peacocking

peacock-raise-his-feathers-19036647

I’m a lousy peacock.

I’m trying to be a better one as self-promotion, branding, and otherwise best showcasing one’s attributes is the name of the competitive game. But I tend to forget what feathers I have let alone think to puff them out at appropriate moments.

Instead, I tend to dwell in the What next? moment, all too much aware of my lackings, what I would like to accomplish, and obsessing-compulsing about things like whether or not “is” in the sentence above should be “are”.

After all, a series, therefore plural, is indicated. Yet, “otherwise” separates “one’s attributes”, giving the series a different flow. But if “are” is used, wouldn’t “name” have to be changed to “names”, which doesn’t sound right at all. And should the sentence before this one end with a question mark or a period?

It should probably be rewritten altogether, but I will leave it; won’t dwell on it or the semicolon in this one.

Instead I’ll talk about excel.

I’ll proclaim proficiency, because that’s what one does on resumes, and I reckon it’s true. But I don’t think in such terms, as that word and its smug brethren are at their core meaningless. What matters most is the case by case:

Gary asking me if I can help him format his spreadsheet and my having the ability to do so; my wanting to better organize my writing submissions and being able to use pivot tables to do so; needing to add a drop down list and doing so.

I’ll talk about revamping my resume.

I now go into more detail about my current – and numerous — non-paid activities, which involve “work” and “skills” and other feathery things. But here, too, my presentation sometimes suffers from omission.

I added this non-paid to my resume:

Copy Editor, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
– Proof and edit submissions for the Flynn’s show blog, which typically features a preview of an upcoming show and a follow-up review.

True enough. But I had forgotten another component – another workforce skill – involved, until today, when I had to employ it. Afterwards, I added a simple, yet important, sentence, making it:

Copy Editor, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
– Actively solicit and schedule writers. Proof and edit submissions for the Flynn’s show blog, which typically features a preview of an upcoming show and a follow-up review.

Lastly, I’ll talk about my job at Shaw’s.

I never know how to best respond – think peacock here — to my director’s questions.

The other day he said/asked something like: “You’ll fly through today’s backstock, right?”

I should have just said “sure” or maybe even “Sure, of course!”

After all, I work hard, am efficient, and tend to be project-minded. Although I dislike the term “fly”, I certainly would get through it at a decent enough clip.

But I took the subtext as, “You’ll be able to get done with X in time to do Y.” This makes it less a question and more asking for some guarantee.

Although highly capable, I don’t make promises lightly. And when I make them, like committing to writing deadlines, I keep them. But here X is variable and its completion made all the more challenging by retail curtailing hours.

I ended up saying something anemic like “I’ll do my best,” which is hardly peacock speak, even though my best is actually pretty darn good.

And certainly worth a feather or two.

Drug Testing Dilemma

Next to my computer is my ePassport™ for a pre-employment drug screen at Hendricks Occupational Medicine II in Plainfield IN.

Such screens have become frighteningly routine. More times than not when you fill out an application for work, you must consent to such testing. In fact, I have yet to see a not. I have a huge problem with this. But unfortunately I have to weigh this moral reservation against the need to bring money into the household.

And it is a moral reservation, because there is definitely something unseemly and insidious here.

First and foremost of course is the invasiveness of it. They are taking bodily fluids from me. Am I the only one who finds that a little bit creepy? People should have the right to be “secure in their persons“. Such testing violates at the very least the fourth amendment.

Second, it is exploitation. Drug screening isn’t free. There may not be a cost to the employee, but people are getting paid; there is currency exchanged. Now this may sound all good from a capitalist model. But the source material that is being used is your very own bodily components. In the past I’ve given plasma and received a check. But here I am giving for someone else’s benefit — I already know my medical information, so I gain no knowledge from it — and am not being compensated for it.

Third, think about the big-picture implications. It probably sounds innocuous to many folks when you say it as “drug testing”. But let’s reword it for better accuracy: companies have the right to perform medical testing on their employees.

I’m sure some people will read that last line and say I’m just being extreme here for the sake of fun and argument. But one must bear in mind how much medical technology has advanced and is advancing. We can do all sorts of testing if we want to do so, all of which could have the same good-of-the-workforce argument made.

Brain scans, genetic testing, vaginal ultrasounds… and on and on and on. Think such a scenario is far-fetched?

There is an old joke about a man asking a woman if she will sleep with him for a million bucks. She says, “Yes.” So he then asks her if she will sleep with him for a dollar. She gets offended and says, “What kind of person do you think I am?” He replies, “We’ve already established that. Now we are quibbling about the price.”

We have allowed the establishment of medical testing as a “routine” occurrence.

Now we are just quibbling about the details.