Saturday, August 28, 2010


Did I last blog on Tuesday? Wow. I worked approximately 60 hours Tuesday-Friday, probably another 12 today, another 12 tomorrow, likely continuing for the next week. It takes a bit of time, setting up a retail Halloween store in 8000 sq ft of space, in two weeks.

One of my tasks as Manager has been that of hiring staff. I put an ad on Craigslist and received a few hundred responses. I waded through those and called in about twenty people for interviews. Of those, I selected seven exceptionally talented individuals with impressive stories. They are helping with the inventory, data entry, stocking, etc.

One thing is clear, after wading through a few hundred emails asking for employment - writing is a skill few possess. I knew that, having worked as a Copy Writer at the Behemoth, where I spent a significant amount of time trying to ascertain the meaning of emails riddled with misspellings and grammatical mysteriousness, many of those emails criticizing me for not writing well. Readers of this blog may know that I am not always grammatically pristine. I do however re-read my entries and make appropriate changes. Emails I generally re-read three or four times. Writing is a clear reflection of oneself. One might think, if I am applying for a job I should spell every word correctly. I should eliminate words thadn do not belong (as a case in point). I disregarded any applicant no matter his or her skills and experience, if his or her email was a grammatical mess. One should know: good writing is more intuition than science. One gains such intuition by reading and writing, not by studying grammar.

That said, as many hours as I've worked this week - too much crappy food, too much alcohol, too little sleep - I'm finding it hard to write. I'm not a great speller anyway. This morning, I composed a three sentence email to a young woman I wanted to hire but didn't. I wanted to lift her up even as I was giving her bad news, but none of the words I wanted to use came out anything like they are; exceptional came out as acseptuall. I gave up after twenty minutes and just used words like good and great.

Written language is of course a rather recent development in the story of Hominid. We didn't write anything for the first seven million years or so, so it's no wonder that, after maybe eight thousand years, the talent is not yet innate. That, and the recent prevalence of digital et al. People, especially young people, aren't reading much anymore. Manga doesn't count. Nor does Twitter. Twit was synonymous with idiot, when I was a kid, which wasn't that long ago. Now it's a verb everybody got to do/be/does.

From the Copy Writers at Verizon Wireless - "A Bare Knuckled Bucket of Does."


Aside - there are is a strong undercurrent of fear out there. People without jobs or much for prospects. How am I going to pay the rent? What am I going to eat? I wanted to give work to just about everybody I brought in for an interview. The richest nation in the story of nations, and there aren't jobs for everybody who wants one? It's not like there isn't work that needs to be done. But hey, that's what we get, allowing a hierarchical social system that inversely concentrates the bulk of wealth at the heights of that social pyramid. Quite contemptible, really - but just business as usual.

More on that, with the next post. Time to get back to work. There's a chaotic abundance of merch to be entered, priced, stocked. Mirrors to hang, store layout concerns to be addressed. Claireaty to be manetained.

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