Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to blow an interview from hell.

Over the past few months I've been sending out resumes and searching through Monster and Craig's List regularly. I found a job under advertising and marketing and decided to apply. Creative Account Manager. It looked like a good fit for me. The next day I got an email asking me to call in for a ten minute interview. Finally! Somebody wants to interview me. I set up the appointment for Monday and enjoy my weekend.

I show up at the office building fifteen minutes early. Portfolio in hand and a smile on my face. It's made clear to me that there are five others in the waiting room also scheduled for an interview. It's also obvious that my biggest competition is the 21 year in a ridiculously over-sized suit. I wasn't worried about the girl who showed up in jeans and a t-shirt. Anyway, I go in and interview, jumped through the hoops and five minutes later it was over. A few hours later I get a call back to go in for an all day interview on Tuesday. Dress Business professional.

I show up bright and early. I'm greeted with Ashley, who is no more than nineteen, who I'll be shadowing all day. Ashley leads me out to her car and my instant reaction is, "Drew's Dodge Spirit is in better condition than this piece of crap." Well we get in the car and and the aroma of smoke/weed/manure hits me full force. Lord help me. I try to fasten my seatbelt but the fastener didn't work. While Ashley was piddling with something outside the car I quickly took the seat belt apart and realigned the spring so that when this big rolling turd died on the road I'd at least be fastened in.

It didn't take long to figure out what Ashely did. We walked straight up to a building that looked like it wasn't residential, knocked and proceeded with the following sales pitch;

"Hi I'm Ashely, This is Dani. We're with (Insert phone service) and we're here visiting preferred customers making sure you're not having any problems and that you're not being over charged."

Well, at first I thought Ashely had been assigned actual businesses and was speaking the truth. Heaven's no. It doesn't matter if you use tin cans and string them together, you are Ashely's preferred customer and she wants to sell you phone service because she works entirely on commission. How does she find you? Aimlessly driving around and going door to door.

Now I hate solicitors, as many people do. We stopped at a Chinese spa and were sworn at in Chinese and forced off the property. The best was stopping at a law firm were a 6'8" man came charging at me, screaming obscenities and started to rattle off rules and laws I was breaking merely by being present. Ashley was on the phone during all of this.

Near the end of the day Ashley puts on her business voice and states, "We've been interviewing for weeks. Out of all the candidates we've seen, you have the best people skills and the most promise. There is one other gentleman competing against you. Why should we pick you over him?" I thought for a second, and I remembered the screaming lawyer the Chinese women and the hoards of other unpleasant people I had met. I gave her an answer that would make my Career Services adviser have a heart attack. "Give him the job. I don't want it. Best of luck to you. Can I go home now?"

I don't think they'll call me back. Thank God.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Reason 52 to hate group projects

I have a class called Business of Design which revolves solely about starting your own business. The final project is to be in a team and create a business plan. The teacher created the groups and gave us time to sit together and discuss what we wanted to do.

Ok, I hate group projects. My group started off ok at best. We sat down and were trying to discuss a common interest for all of us to start a business with. 3/4 of us said advertising. There's a girl in my group (we'll call her Suzie) who was stating she's in the Graphic Design program but wants to aim towards advertising. That's right up my alley. I agreed and said that's what I was doing as well. She states "Well I'm going to get a better job than you." Who says that? Really?

Our teacher announced that we had to create a group scribe to take notes and a group voice to present the information to the class. I have no problem speaking infront of the class so I was put in that roll. Suzie became our scribe. Fantastic.

Let's roll on. I really don't care if our company makes toothpicks or does graphic design, just pick something and move on. I was just sitting back and listening because I don't care what we do. After sitting there quietly for about 7 or 8 minutes I step up to plate. I asked everybody what they like doing. Somehow we got to the topic of magazine layouts. Fine with me. Let's make a magazine. Everyone ok with that? Good. Now what is our magazine about?

Suzie starts off on a speech about how her company, Frito Lay does things this way. She has EXCLUSIVE information on the company and she's willing to share it with us. Actually she interviewed for a top secret position at a local magazine and she's going to tell us about the fact that the magazine fails because they don't have enough ads in it. Now what does that have to do with what our magazine is about? Nothing.

I said why don't we make this magazine about the local night scene. The other two people agree. Suzie Frito Lay says she wants to focus on the ads in the magazine. Ummm alright... Generally people pick up a magazine for content, not the ads. Just saying. She and I bump heads about this fact and we're quickly at each other's throats.

During this frustration I started filling out a handout our teacher required from us that involves what our group hope to accomplish. Suzie Frito Lay has been writing in her notebook and doodling so I started taking notes on the handout. Frito Lay looks at me and snaps, "I thought that was my job! I just didn't want to mess it up yet!" and grabs the paper out of my hands. Wow.

I pretty much sat there in cold fury not saying a thing letting things take their course. The teacher gave us a five minute break and Suzie storms off. Rachel Shirley, a friend who sits infront of me turns around and says, "how's life?". I shrug and she says, "I could hear you guys snapping from across the room." Ouch.

The teacher sensing all sorts of tension writes on the board, "If you have any problems with your group see me tonight." I hung out after class to meet with the teacher and told her I had concerns about working in the same group with Suzie. Quick explanations and she says I'm taken care of. I'm still ticked off, but next week I should be moved.

That all happened last night. This morning I got this email from Suzie.


You really have great potential towards becoming a leader in Graphic
Design and/or Advertising. I can even see you becoming an Art Director
sometime in the near future. But!!! There are some key things that you
need to understand and learn about becoming a leader. Tonight was
completely unacceptable behavior from you as a leader.

The reason I say that is because in order to be a good leader you must push back your thoughts and take a moment to listen to your team and become more engaged in the message that is coming across. Once that is done then you take those messages and develop & implement solutions.

Tonight no matter what I said I was cut off. That is unacceptable. While I was asking which direction we were taking this company "The Scene" as a magazine being that of a Graphic Design industry, The Magazine itself, or The Advertising Agency to clarify the core basis of the business. You turned it on me as if it was what I wanted. In the beginning I clearly stated "We ALL Have a Voice" and everyone agreed Magazine. At that point you 100% pissed me off and I couldn't think for the remainder of our session.

I have looked over our information sheet and the overall message is unclear and sloppy. This is why I was focusing on the business from the core base and working ground up.

As an Executive Assistant I have worked in major corporations that are global and have worked under multiple CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, VP, Directors, Project Managers etc. I have assisted in running major corporations. Therefore, my voice should have had more of an impact rather than being shut off.

I do not feel that I was able to fully participate as a team due to you running the show and not listening. Now, I am already certain you have gone to our teacher and requested to have me removed. That's fine, but I am taking my concept with me and refining to a more strategic business focus.

Unless, you want to move forward. I am a professional and can do that, but in order to do that you need to listen, be engaged, and then as a team we all can develop concept with ideas together.



My first thought, "Thanks for what?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Graduation Requirements

I had portfolio for 7 hours yesterday. I was critiqued and here's the end result. This is the big list of what needs to happen before I graduate.

Red things = major problems
Purples = The teacher hasn't seen the piece
Green = it's perfect! don't change a thing!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

PC foiling Mac, or maybe Sony sucks

I like Mac.

It wasn't until after starting school at the Art Institute that I learned the true value of Apple. I learned, I loved, I got a Mac Laptop. Macs are fantastic for a variety of design tasks; design wise, I'd say Mac is the better computer. However, I realize that PCs hold a lot of importance in animation and gaming. Besides, PCs work great with things like my new video camera.

When I first went shopping for a camera, the first question out of my mouth was, "Could you show me what is compatible with a Mac?" The sales clerk clearly had his head up his ass when he pointed me towards what I thought was the camera of my dreams.

Oh happy day, I got a video camera for Christmas. I was thoroughly excited and ready to start taping the world... was. I shot a few "for fun" things (snow, drew's work, etc.) and I attempted to import this videos to my Mactop. In a word, diseaster.

The people at sony include two DVDs with the camera. One includes a highly obnoxious cartoon character that teaches a young fellow (oddly resemblant to paul degeorge) how to properly hold a camera. Fantastic, fast forward. DVD number two is a free program for PC users to import video to their computers. Great, so what does a girl with a Mac do?

On to iMovie!
I open up my trusty iMovie, break out the help screen and follow instructions line by line. What does iMovie do? "No Camera Attached". What? After puzzling about 20 minutes in iMovie, I moved on to try Image Capture which would directly rip the videos from the camera. That doesn't work as the videos are all specially MPG encoded. Yay...

Let's try reading the Sony help manual. Hmmm... all that says is, "Software not available for Mac." Thank you Captain Obvious. Could you please explain how in God's name Mac users are supposed to get your Sony MPG encoded videos into a Mac? No? Ok thanks.

Maybe their website will help. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the site started me in "Sony Germany" and any searching in the toolbar is all directed straight to google. Helpful.

Next idea to try, iMovie FAQs online. Every FAQ covered how to import video cameras involving tapes, not crazy hard drive mpgs (of doom). After searching for 30 minutes I came across a forum where a number of Mac users were having the same/similar problem that I face.

"I am trying to import video from a Sony camcorder. It records in MPEG2 format and is not recognized by iMovie. Can anyone tell me what program I would need to import these video files from the camera? Here is sony's reply to the problem--"The Sony hard drive camcorders use the MPEG 2 image format. The Movie software supplied with these camcorders is designed for Microsoft's Windows only. Currently SONY is not aware of any Macintosh video import and editing applications that support the MPEG 2 format used by our models."

I'd like to pause for a moment and thank Sony for the consideration of Mac users. Of course when I say thank, I mean kick in their tail bone. It is primarily Mac users in the video industry and to exclude that portion of the market is poor planning, bad marketing, and just downright bad form.

The answers on the forum suggested buying a PC. Purchasing expensive software. Buying a DVD burner so that you could burn the MPGS to DVD. This of course would also require to rip the DVD so that I could edit it. Hurray for extremely expensive solutions.

In conclusion, I have a fantastic camera that I cannot use due to poor marketing.
Rossini's words, "Know your market before you sell to them."
Pashley's words, "Do your research."
My words, "Sony, kiss my bum."

Home for the Holidays

Christmas break has been extraordinarily appreciated. With a week in California, nearly a week spent in Minneapolis and one last week to come in Dallas, I've come to the conclusion snow sucks. Cold weather still isn't fun.

I remember the days when I would wake up in Dayton, praying for freezing weather so that I may have one of those rare snow days. Now that I'm older there's just nowhere near as much fun as when I was younger. I have few urges to go diving into a deep pile of snow. Making snow men just means freezing my fingers off. Worst of all there's driving.

I give my brother and his wife all the credit in the world for braving this cold, yet deadly weather condition. Watching them casually point out people who are stuck in the snow or have swerved off seems like a regular pass time to them. Why on Earth would anyone want to live in this frozen tundra?

I remember quite clearly my first car accident. I had just wrapped up my first play at high school over the weekend, and I was driving to school monday morning. During the 45 minute drive to school six inches of snow added onto the foot of snow that had started early in the morning. I was so excited to see sight of my school because I thought I was home free. I pulled into the turn lane and saw car coming rapidly in reverse towards me. I tried to slow down, hit black ice and ended up meeting the car at a lovely 60 degree angle. There's really nothing like the inevitable feeling of sliding on ice knowing your about to hit another car. Why you would want to deal with that, beyond me.

So to Drew and Becky, I salute you. You're far braver than I. I say we start celebrating Christmas in July so that when I come see you it isn't freezing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fairy Tale Final

Little Red

11 weeks spent on one work of art.
I couldn't be happier with the turn out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My trip to St. Louis

Potter Journal Chamber of Crazy

I can hear the bells