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The Perfect Thanksgiving Card For The Laid-Off, Underemployed, Or Temp

SomeECards has done it again:

Not quite the right sentiment? There’s always “My sadness at your leaving the company is tempered by my excitement at taking your chair and computer speakers.”

Ahh…good times. (Not really. Hey, if you’re one of those folks with a job, but you’re not sure it’s a “real” job, read this.)

Andy Rooney Was Very Concerned That His Grandson Get A Job

Via our sib-blog TVNewser, this tribute to the late Andy Rooney from his grandson, Justin Fishel, includes Rooney’s concern that Fishel get a real job.

Fishel writes:

When I graduated from college he harassed me about work. He didn’t have much pity for the unemployed. He wanted to know what I was doing, like any curious grandfather. Well, I was living at home with my parents. So he took it upon himself to call at 5:30 am… every morning. He prided himself on being up early. I’d answer the phone next to my bed.
“Hello?” I’d say.
“Jud- you find work yet?” (He called me Jud)
“Grandpa?” I’d answer, in a half conscious stupor.
“Call me back when you find work,” he’d say.
Then I’d get the obligatory Rooney dial tone that preceded any formalities such as a “goodbye,” or “talk to you later.”

Despite having time to call his grandson every day, writing 16 books, and doing his commentary on “60 Minutes,” he also apparently liked to have trash fires and build tables in his woodshop.

What Did Sidney Harman Say Before Buying Newsweek?

DC philanthropist Sidney Harman purchased Newsweek from The Washington Post Company over a year ago, and had just enough time to merge the magazine with The Daily Beast and institute some staff changes before he, sadly, passed away at the age of 92.

But before he made his purchase official, his daughters miiight have thought he was a bit crazy.

In fact, according to a tidbit in the latest DC Catalogue for Philanthropy (Harman’s daughter Barbara is president of the Catalogue), shortly before the sale, one of his daughters emailed him to ask “Are you serious?”

His response: “Of course not; I’m 92.”

A month later, the deal was sealed.

The Reality Of Social Media Referrals: You Might Be A Sociopath

Social media is a great way to learn about jobs and build your network. And all of these things might lead to jobs.

But the icky truth about social media referrals: Your friends probably won’t get you a job. Your network might, and surely there’s overlap there, but HR expert John Sumser says in the following video that “your friends aren’t going to get you a job. And if you organized your friends so you had a series of business contacts that would get you a job, they tend to call people like that sociopaths.”

That’s a little harsh, but it’s true that your “normal” friends (the ones you didn’t sociopathically choose) aren’t necessarily good judges of how well you work. Sumser says his brother in law is probably a fine economic analyst, but “to me he’s that idiot I have to deal with at Christmas.”

Referrals are definitely a great way to get a job. But will those referrals come from your buddies or your colleagues?

The Chronicle of Higher Education Pumps Up Your Resume With Strong Verbs

Though we’re pretty sure this isn’t what the career experts had in mind:

Disrupted schedules

* Insulted supervisors

* Laughed at urgent requests

* Created chaos in office

* Crushed hopes

* Exemplified idleness

* Took frequent breaks

* Broke confidences

* Wrote ransom notes

* Gave away trade secrets

* Forgot important papers

* Drove colleagues crazy

Actually, there’s a linguistics lesson in this list. According to Jacob Grimm, half of the Brothers Grimm (yes really), the second half of those words (starting at “Took”) are the true strong words, because they don’t come with “-ed” endings. Old words—ones that have been part of English for a millennium—have more power, Chronicle writer Allan Metcalf says. So look for the real strong words. And then use them better than he did above.

Newspaper Snack Machines Find Their Own Tumblr

It appeared mysteriously earlier this month.

It comes with no description, other than this:

“I work at a famous American newspaper. In September 2011, the snack machine went from “bland but respectable” to “where flavors go to die.” Here, I will depict the fall of print journalism through the plummeting quality of newspaper snack machine offerings.”

One such depiction:

The caption reads: “When you’re exhausted enough to pop open one of these babies, an inflatable college-aged blogger springs forth and relieves you of your duties.”

The anonymous author is taking submissions. Meanwhile, anonymous author, if you want to conduct a mysterious interview under cover of darkness, you know how to reach us.

P.S.: A respectable blog reader may feel compelled to question: Is this news? To which we reply with a question of our own: Is it Friday?

Please ‘Rejobulate’ This Man

We wish there was some backstory here but this letter from an ex-Embassy employee, fired for “laziness,” is pretty good for a Friday.

Mr. Asuquo Okon Inyang was “dejobbed” from his position at the British embassy in Calabar, Nigeria, in 1929. This is his response:

February 2nd 1929.

Kind Sir,

On opening this epistle you will behold the work of a dejobbed person, and a very bewifed and much childrenised gentleman.

Who was violently dejobbed in a twinkling by your goodself. For Heavens sake Sir consider this catastrophe as falling on your own head, and remind yourself as walking home at the moon’s end of five savage wives and sixteen voracious children with your pocket filled with non-existent £ S D; not a solitudery sixpence; pity my horrible state when being dejobbed and proceeding with a heart and intestines filled with misery to this den of doom; myself did greedily contemplate culpable homicide, but Him who did protect Daniel (poet) safely through the lion’s dens will protect his servant in his home of evil.

As to reason given by yourself — goodself — esquire for my dejobbment the incrimination was laziness.

No Sir. It were impossible that myself who has pitched sixteen infant children into this valley of tears, can have a lazy atom in his mortal frame, and the sudden departure of eleven pounds monthly has left me on the verge of the abyss of destitution and despair. I hope this vision of horror will enrich your dreams this night, and good Angel will meet and pulverise your heart of nether milestone so that you will awaken, and with as much alacrity as may be compatable with your personal safety, you will hasten to rejobulate your servant.

So mote it be – Amen

Yours despairfully

Sgd. Asuquo Okon Inyang.

A comment on the letter seems to imply that these sorts of things were fairly common: “My father was an official in the P&T Dpt in Lagos for a while in the late ’40s, early ’50s and had to demote one of his staff ( by the name of ‘Krepi’) for a specific misdemeanor. A few days later he received a letter in a similar vein in which Mr Krepi was adamant that he be re-instated, describing himself as a ‘a veritable diamond in the bush’.”

We’d love to see these happen in the modern U.S., though the response would probably be filled with more four-letter words than we can reasonably print on this blog.

Big, big hat tip to Letters of Note for the transcription.

When Bad Recruiting Is Really Bad (And A ‘Contest’)

What happened when a recruiter for Groupon went looking for good developers? Well, s/he stumbled upon the online profile of David Heinemeier Hansson. Hansson’s profile looked awesome, and he had tons of experience with Ruby on Rails, the developer language that (it feels like) the whole damn Web is written on these days, and the recruiter was super-interested, so he sent an email.

Hi David,
I came across your profile online and wanted to reach out about Development Opportunities here at Groupon. The company is growing, and we’re always looking for folks with solid skills that can make positive contribution to our continued success. Any chance you’d be open to a quick conversation about opportunities, or for any possible networking potential? If so, let me know when you’re free and we can set up a time to chat. Also, if you are interested, it would be great if you could forward a current resume over that I can take a look at. I look forward to hearing back from you! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thing recruiter failed to notice: David Heinemeier Hansson INVENTED Ruby on Rails.

This has spawned a mini-meme in tech circles, mostly mocking the clueless recruiter. This is by far the best comment.

We’d like to spin this out to the media world in a “contest” (air quotes, because the only prize is the admiration and envy of your peers!): what would the equivalent of this be in your industry? Let us know in the comments or Tweet us and we’ll print the best ones in an upcoming post.
We’ll start you off with one:
“Mr. Woodward, I came across your online profile and wanted to reach out about reporting opportunities at Patch…”

How Would Tom Brokaw Break Into The News Business, Today?

David Gregory was interviewing Tom Brokaw at the Washington Ideas Forum and asked the former NBC anchor how he’d go about getting into journalism now.

“I think I’d try to get into medical school,” Brokaw responded.

Watch the clip below:

Friday Moment Of Zen

Seen in the local hipster coffee shop:

Yes, dude, you clearly do.