Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Panda Bear on Her Observations Regarding Foolish Aspects of Recruitment.

The Panda Bear is working on revising her resume for when she sees her career coach tomorrow.   Therefore this blog post will be short.   However, the Panda Bear wanted to share a couple of thoughts about what she thinks are foolish aspects of  job recruitment.   Since the Panda Bear lives in the US her observations pertain to the recruitment process in the US.  

The reason the Panda Bear stresses culture has to do with the nature of job interview.   It seems that the person that brags,has the most self-confidence and who can be extremely conceited , arrogant and perhaps dishonest is perceived as doing well on the interview while thoughtful, nervous, shy people are perceived as doing poorly on them.   People are expected to say they loved every aspect of their job, did well at everything and got along with everyone.   Especially for people with a work history what should matter what people did on the job rather than these personality traits.

The second thing that the Panda Bear things is stupid about the US job recruitment process is the emphasis given to references.   Unless the person knows the person personally who gives the reference the Panda Bear things references mean nothing except perhaps the work history given by the applicant is not faked.   The Panda Bear knows of many instances where people have gotten fired for doing pretty terrible things on the job but these people got good references from the places they worked.   Most people the Panda Bear knows won't give bad references.

Hopefully, the Panda Bear will have the energy to work on her resume tonight.  She gets tired during the short days.  The Panda Bear's cat Suzie wants to be petted.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Panda Bear on her Cat and the Ever Increasing Forty Hour Work Week

Shown above is the Panda Bear's cat Suzie taking a snooze.    She has not caught any mice yet.   However, neither the Panda Bear nor Mr. Panda have seen any mice since they have gotten Suzie.   Suzie plays with toy mice.    Sometimes, Suzie seems to be chasing an imaginary(?) mouse.   All of a sudden, for no apparent reason, Suzie will jump up on the furniture and start chasing an invisible something.   The Panda Bear has never seen cats play before and it is really quite entertaining.   Suzie does what appears to be mouse patrol.  She will sniff under the furniture and along the walls.   She sometimes stares under the stove.   The Panda Bear wonders if she senses a mouse there.  

When the Panda Bear had mice in her apartment she named them Kim Jon II(for a male mouse) and Eva Peron(for a female mouse).    She wanted to give them names that suggested something small but evil.   The Panda Bear remembered in the children's stories of her youth mice were usually portrayed as nice animals.   The Panda Bear thinks its because children identify with mice because they are small.     Therefore, in naming her mice, the Panda Bear wished to convey that small could be evil(think of deadly germs).

However, this week Panda Bear main concern is her daytime hourly work position.  The Panda Bear is continuing her discussions with her daytime employer about her work schedule.  She has requested clarification of their lunch and break polices and has gotten them and they have been made public to the department.     She thinks the first thing all hourly workers should know are the companies break and lunch policies and at times they have been unclear in her department..   

The Panda Bear has noticed that over the past twenty years that employers have gone for an increasingly narrow definition of what constitutes work time leading to employers working longer and longer hours.   For example, in the Panda Bear's present position, job hunting within the company is considered to be an off work activity.   The Panda Bear is charged time off for internal job interviews and internal job development programs.    The Panda Bear thinks this is a stingy policy.   She thinks to apply for jobs within the company could be seen as a "work related" activity and done on work time.

The Panda Bear remembers when office parties were scheduled on work time.   Now most of the time they are scheduled after work.   The Panda Bear feels it is a management decision to have them after work rather than close office for the party.   

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Panda Bear on Short Days, and Flex Time

The Panda Bear is at Starbucks working on her Panda Bear Blog.   She had hopped that with her new cat she would be able to work at home.   However, she is one of many people who has a hard time staying  awake when she gets home when it is dark outside.    Right now it is 5:46 pm and it is pitch black.   She can't wait for the longer days.    The Panda Bear usually finds it noticeable in March that the days are longer.

In part because of the holidays, the Panda Bear's schedule has totally collapsed.   She has fallen behind in her blogging, reading, contact with friends, relaxation practices and exercise.   The Panda Bear is looking forward to getting back to her routines

As stated in last weeks post, it was business as usual in the work place.   The Panda Bear had taken some time off from work but it was not easy to get.   The big news at the Panda Bear's work place is that they are putting in time-keeping systems for the hourly workers because her company lost a law suit that complained that people were forced to work unpaid overtime.   So now the hourly workers are going to be made to record all time worked.    It is probably caused some anguish among hourly workers because it is going to be made clear at work who is an hourly and who is an exempt office worker.

The Panda Bear is an hourly office worker which means she is supposed to get paid for overtime and she works set hours as opposed to exempt workers who are not paid for overtime but have more flexibility about their work hours.   The Panda Bear would love to work longer days and have more free time(i.e working  four ten hour days as opposed to five eight hour days).   She thinks the standard eight hour day for some kinds of work is not the most efficient for people either personally or professionally,.    According to this article in Inc, on work productivity, to do eight hours of work during the day it really takes 9.5 to to 10 hours because of needed breaks.     Also people who do certain kinds of work will be working in 60-90 minute increments.   It is hard to stop work at a certain fixed time.

However, what the Panda Bear resents most about being an hourly worker is that a worker can sometimes be doing extra work on his/her own time but the employer does not give anything back to the worker in terms of additional time off.     The Panda Bear feels new the time keeping systems will probably stop workers from working unpaid extra and make employees more assertive about not doing work off the clock.   The Panda Bear has heard from workers who are on the time clock those "few" additional work tasks that one does "off the clock" can involve a fair amount of money for the employee if the employer is required to pay for it.

The Panda Bear things that some objections to flextime and flexible work hours are that it is hard for supervisors to keep track of employees time.   The Panda Bear hopes with improved technology for time tracking employers will allow eligible hourly employees more flexible schedules.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Panda Bear on Business as Usual During the Holidays

The Panda Bear Blog is a blog for the ordinary person who works all day at an ordinary job and feels that his/her life  is not very exciting.   It is a blog for those people who are proud to be totally average and dull and who are proud to be no where near the top one percent of the US population in terms of wealth.

The Panda Bear apologizes to her readers for not posting.   She has been extremely busy.   She and Mr. Panda busy doing some year end chores.   The Panda Bear did some decluttering as part of WOMAC(the War on Mice and Clutter).  In addition, she and Mr. Panda adopted a cat named Suzie who will joining the WOMAC team-see her picture below.  

She is an a great cat and is rubbing up against the Panda Bear as she posts.   However, the Panda Bear will write more about Suzie in a future post.  

What the Panda Bear noticed this holiday season is that there was no slow down in the working world this year.  Usually, in the US from the end of November until January 1, businesses slow down for what is known as the holiday season.   Usually, no major changes or major decisions are made during this period.  
However, what the Panda noticed this year is that there was no holiday lull and everything was moving full speed ahead.

The US holiday season can be personally stressful for some people with its emphasis on family.   The Panda Bear thinks it is hard that in US two family holidays are so close together.   However, she thinks most people in the work force liked that things slowed down during this period.

This year at the work place of the Panda Bear it was business as usual during this time period and it must have been quite stressful for people who had to prepare for the holidays.   Here is an example of what appears to be the new normal.  A friend of the Panda Bear's saw a job posting on December 23.  She applied for it and she got a request for an interview on December 27 and was interviewed on January 2.   While hiring that is going on during the holidays is probably a good thing for the unemployed,at one time this would not have happened and all hiring decisions would be made after New Years.    The Panda Bear also know several people who were given a hard time for taking time off during Christmas week where at one time most everyone would have had the week off.

To the Panda Bear this indicates that we are just living in a faster and faster world with less and less leisure.   She does not think this is a good trend.