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August 22nd, 2007 - Irruminations

Date: 2007-08-22 22:34
Subject: More Pet Peeves
Security: Public
I have a few more pet peeves to add to my list.

The first one is simple. I love sweet ice tea, particularly the kind brewed at southern restaurants. St. Louis has very few restaurants that serve sweet tea. I can understand that. If there’s no demand for sweet tea, why serve it? My pet peeve is the following scenario:

Me (at a restaurant, to a waitress): Hi, do you have sweet ice tea?

Waitress: No…but we have sugar and sweeteners on the table…

Me (dies a little): Thanks anyway.

Waiters and waitresses of the world, if your restaurant doesn’t serve sweet tea, the answer to the question “Do you have sweet ice tea?” is NO. It’s very simple. If you have it, you say yes. If you don’t, you say no. I know there’s sugar on the table. If I wanted to add that sugar to my tea, I wouldn’t be asking if you serve sweet tea. Pointing out that there’s sugar on the table is like pointing out that you serve food. It’s an insult to the customer.

My second pet peeve of the day is in regards to job search engines. Caroline and I are playing around with the idea of moving somewhere new—possibly Portland, Oregon—in about a year. So lately, I’ve been popping on job search engines to see what kind of jobs are available in Portland. I love the idea of job search engines, and I can’t imagine what it was like back in the day when you had to scour the local newspaper for a job. How did anyone find work back then? I’m surprised we’re not preceded by entire generations of lawn mowers and door-to-door salesmen.

However, although I love the idea of job search engines, I think they’re executed poorly. You type in a few key words, pick a location (if you can’t pick a location, you’re totally screwed by the millions of possible jobs out there), and start reading through the job posts. There will be a few jobs that apply to what you’re looking for, but inevitably, the majority of the jobs listed are (a) entry-level sales jobs or (b) jobs for which I am (and people my age are) vastly underqualified.

But it’s the entry-level sales jobs that really bug me. They make these search engines seem cheap. To give you an example of what I’m talking about, I searched for Publishing Project Manager in Portland, Oregon using the three job search engines that have marketed themselves well enough for me to know to use them. Among the first few jobs listed were those listed under the web addresses.


Sales Reps Needed” (no company listed)


Use your entry level law enforcement/security skills to make up to $110K+/yr! No experience needed.” (Online Marketing Solutions)


Entry level sales and sports marketing associates” (Hyphire Solutions)

There are some jobs that disguise themselves really well as real jobs. I found one for a “Marketing Specialist” that seemed legit until I got to the very bottom of the page, and there’s a bullet that says, “Light physical exertion with ability to lift up to 40 pounds.” What?! What does lifting 40 pounds have to do with “planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating all marketing goals, strategies, and activities?” Will I need a back brace?

I really wish there was a way to filter out the “cheap” results. But I’m sure doing so would cut into the profit margins of those three search engines, because companies like Online Marketing Solutions and Hyphire Solutions wouldn’t pay to post their jobs if they knew they could easily be filtered out.

So my question is, are there any reputable job search engines that discriminantly accept job postings and/or allow you to filter for years of experience so you can avoid senior-level positions for which you’re not qualified? In addition, it would be helpful to be able to eliminate jobs that have qualifications that you can’t meet as you search instead of as you’re looking through the jobs.

In fact, wouldn’t that be the ideal way of looking for a job? A lot of people don’t know what they want to do. I definitely don’t. I could work as a publishing project manager again, but there are plenty of other interesting jobs out there. So is there a job search engine that lets you put in your qualifications—not desired-job keywords—and it’ll create a list of applicable jobs? You input yourself, basically (4-year degree in International Business, 4 years experience in publishing/project management, above-average at using Microsoft Office and technology in general, 5’10”, sweats only at night, good hair, tiny hands, rarely splices commas, runs a 4.7-s 40, easily aroused by Asian women and well-constructed Excel spreadsheets, makes a mean garlic bread, fading comprehension of Japanese, etc.), and the result is your applicable or ideal job:

Use your entry level law enforcement/security skills to make up to $110K+/yr! No experience needed.”


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