I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 35 - Kicks and Giggles

Yesterday, during the mobilization to complete every Cub Scout requirement devised by campfire-smoke-addled men in shorts, we spent a few minutes on Elective 14b, "Know what to do when you meet a strange dog." Since my son usually cringes, screams and does body origami when confronted by animals, this was a timely topic.
Do not go up to a strange dog. If a dog comes up to you:

1. Stand up straight with your hands down. Let the dog sniff the back of your hand.
2. Don't make any quick moves and don't pet the dog.
3. Don't try to scare the dog away or show that you are afraid.
4. Wait until the dog leaves, then walk away quietly. Don't run.

© Cub Scout Wolf Handbook, Boy Scouts of America 2007
As part of the Great Job Search, I've been encountering Human Resources people and it seems that Elective 14b could be easily rewritten for this situation. Substitute "HR person" for "dog" and then change a few details. It's surprising how well it works.
Know what to do when you meet a strange HR person

Do not go up to a strange HR person. If an HR person comes up to
1. Stand up straight with your hands down. Let the HR person sniff your resume. Be ready to shake hands as needed.
2. Don't make any quick moves. It's OK to pet the HR person through flattery, but never physically.
3. Don't try to scare the HR person away or show that you are afraid. Try tactfully to get contact information for the hiring manager. Ask smart questions that show you have researched the company.
4. Wait until the HR person leaves, then walk away quietly. Don't run. Send a thank you note when you get home.


I took part in a marketing research study today. I'm sworn to secrecy about the exact nature and source of the warm, delicious, cinnamon baked confection being tested by a large company known for baking. I'm sure that they aren't in it just for the dough, boy. {Dough + boy = hint?}

Market research is fun and somewhat flattering if you'd like to pretend that people with clipboards really care what you think. My pin money while I was at the U came from testing anything that didn't require ingesting or injecting. At the very least, it's free food or products for a little bit of time and answering some questions. And the marketing firms often give money to people whose names they don't collect.

Doesn't the glut of stupid products on the market suddenly make sense to you? They are the outcome of relying on the opinions of people who are free in the middle of a Thursday afternoon and need 30 bucks.

I enjoyed eating free cinnamon rolls without guilt because -- hey -- this is for science. I'll throw myself on gooey icing for the good of society. No sacrifice is too great for the advancement of technology.

The overlord of the study group was a steely matron with a nameplate that said, "Les." Les was more. She was more scary than almost anyone I've ever met. She made Mengele look like a Muppet.

Our group consisted of 30 hungry women who were led into a large room of tables and place settings where we were met by ... Les. Les seemed to take it personally when the chairs were not filled in order from the front of the room to the back with no skipped chairs. When dreaded skippage occurred, Les yelled and made everyone move by one place. Les is apparently bipolar with a frequency of oscillation of about 20 seconds. "Is everyone enjoying the Spring weather? DON'T LOOK AT THE NEXT PAGE! It looks like everyone is done with the second sample. You all are doing so well. Are there any questions? I SAID NO TALKING! You are all eating so quickly. You must have some place exciting to go." During the "happy Les" intervals, she tried to pull her lips into a smile, giving her a vulpine appearance as if she'd just chewed a leg off to get out of a trap and would be glad to chew yours off, too. She told the woman next to me that she'd have to slap her hands if she peaked on the next page of the answer book again.

The woman sitting next to me was not the least bit concerned as she was busy getting the address of the woman sitting next to her. The second woman had a large snapping turtle in her backyard and was concerned about it attacking her children. The first woman agreed to come over and bludgeon the turtle to death so that it could be made into the "best kind" of turtle soup. On the way out, I heard the Amazon Turtle Killer mention that she slaughters her own meat and eats most of it raw. I had glanced at her response form to see that she qualified for the study by saying that she purchased tubed refrigerated rolls at least three times a month. I envisioned them on her dinner plate next to raw meat and cup of snapping turtle soup.

I was asked today if I make up some of what I blog about.

No, I could not make up anything that weird.

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