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Archive for the month “April, 2014”

No Experience Needed!

I remember the puzzlement of going to job interviews fresh from getting a degree and entering the job world.  Inevitably the question would arise “Well what kind of experience do you have?”  In the world of today that wrong has been corrected.  Students are required or it is recommended that they have some kind of internship that answers that question.  At the time I was forced to answer that while I didn’t have the work experience they may be looking for I did have the Knowledge that an education provided.  Most of the time the hardened professionals had only one type of candidate they wanted to hire.  It would be the candidate that already had years of experience who just happened to fall in their laps.  A college kid with fresh ideas but no work experience was the last person they wanted in their don’t rock the boat world.

Interview

Saying all of that, sometimes I notice job ads today that actually state “No Experience Necessary.”  Almost every time I’ve found that these jobs are ones nobody wants like selling vacuum cleaners or being a telemarketer.  Of course you don’t need experience they figure because if you were experienced you wouldn’t want that job or they couldn’t teach you their five step technique of reading lines as soon as the phone is answered.  Being on the other end many times, as I’m sure you have been also,  you might get the hello in before the reading begins.  Only by interrupting the caller and appearing rude are you able to have an intelligent conversation.

It strikes me strange that either we don’t want the person with no work experience or we will hire anyone who is breathing.  In the first case it always seemed like a catch 22.  How can I get experience if nobody will hire me?  In the second case it borders on ridiculous.  If nobody is disqualified where is the uniqueness that  separates my talent from other people applying?  Somewhere along the line it seems there should be a happy medium.

I don’t have a modern navigational tool in my car and every now and then using Mapquest on a trip something goes wrong.  Perhaps an exit is missed or the directions seem unclear.  I am not like some guys people joke about.  “He won’t admit he doesn’t know where he is going, so we drive around until we are completely lost.”  The minute I realize I don’t know what I’m supposed to do I have an eye out for a nearby gas station or business.

Let's stop and ask someone

Let’s stop and ask someone

Of course I check out the persons credentials right?  Sir, before I ask you directions do you have references?  Do you have a few years experience giving out directions?  Have you had complaints about the directions you gave?  Have you lived in the area for over ten years?  How does working at this gas station qualify you to give me directions?  Of course I don’t ask any of these questions.  One question I usually ask is “Are you familiar with this area?”  Normally if the person works there they are, but asking someone pumping gas or someone walking can get the dreaded “no, I am not from around here.”  Those are the times I search for a different candidate.

There is something about getting information face to face.  I like to see their face and their reactions.  Sometimes it can be lighthearted.  “I have gotten completely turned around”, I might offer, “can you help me?”  With that kind of approach I can get a good feel for the person.  Usually I can see in their demeanor that they are willing to help.  They may even smile and ask “How can I help you?”  Sometimes I may be further off of the path I should be on.  I’ve found that the best direction givers are good map drawers too!  It isn’t good enough to tell me to make three lefts and four rights because I get back to the car and I’m thinking “did she say three or four rights?”  I have a friend who used to give me directions on the phone to one of the ball fields we would probably never see again.  After listening and trying to remember his directions he would then say “or you could go this way”, and he would give me a whole set of other directions.  After all of that explaining I was more confused than when he started.  The map drawer on the other hand gives you one direction.  Here you are they pinpoint you on their map.  Then they draw the roads and the traffic lights.  When I leave I have a map and memory of the directions they gave and I’m all set!

I like that person to person contact when getting directions.  I feel like that I can sense if the person really knows and is sincere.  I don’t think I have ever had a person deliberately give me the wrong directions.  I may have misunderstood them a time or two and had to ask someone else along the way, but I never felt it was a deliberate unkind act.  The same thing cannot be said about opinions on the internet.  The internet is very impersonal.   You don’t have to have any qualifications to put an opinion out there.  Maybe you have a little rash on your arm or something and it concerns you enough to check symptoms on the internet.  I’m amazed that invariably someone will write something so bad that you will think you are dying.  I don’t know what thrill they get out of this mind game.  I’m sure that they are the cause of much worry and despair because many people take opinions of others very seriously.  Reading something like that, we can forget about the source.  Many times we don’t ask for qualifications, we just accept what they said as fact.

We recently got back from a vacation to Myrtle Beach.  As a kid I remember making long trips with my family where we would only stop to use the restroom.  When we go on trips I try to spread out the traveling so that the trip is much more enjoyable.  I’ll divide up the driving (usually more on the first day) and look for a hotel on the path to our destination.  On this last trip we used two stops each way.  Usually choosing a hotel revolves around which town I choose to stay in based on the proximity to the highway and the distance traveled.  Invariably while choosing candidates I will read the reviews of the hotels.  Almost every time there will be some people who rate the hotel very high, some in the middle and a few at the very bottom.  On our recent trip I had no problems with any of the hotels that we stayed in.  Each one had their own uniqueness and strong points.  One for instance didn’t serve breakfast but had by far the lowest price.  It was clean and nice and the bed was very comfortable.  The TV was antique in the world today (not a flat screen), but it could swivel so you could turn it toward you. The room was more like a suite with different areas giving it a feel of more than one room.  The other three were higher priced but did offer a breakfast.  One of the breakfasts was about average, and the other two were super nice!  All of the beds in everywhere we stayed were very comfortable and all of the rooms seemed very clean!  After experiencing each room I would give them all strong passing grades!

From my experience it was very clean with a great breakfast

From my experience it was very clean with a great breakfast

If I relied totally on the internet I’m not sure which hotels I would have wanted to stay in.  The very first one for instance had in my opinion a very comfortable bed, nice TV, and the best breakfast money can buy!  The breakfast at this place was incredible and it left a lasting impression with me!  I read many reviews and almost every one mentioned how great the breakfast was.  Then there was one oddball reviewer that went totally in the other direction.  All of the review was written in capital letters and this is what it said.  NEVER EVER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STAY AT THIS HOTEL, FILTHIEST, NASTIEST HOTEL I’VE EVER STAYED IN.  This was 100% the opposite of my experience in this hotel and it made me wonder.  I wonder how 90% of the people had fantastic stays and others may have nitpicked a few things, but this person gave such a completely negative review?  Then the thought occurred to me…maybe this person didn’t stay in the hotel at all.  There were no qualifications to the review he left.  It didn’t say what dates he was there and nobody could go back and get the related data.  Maybe for some reason he had something against the hotel or maybe he just enjoyed sniping websites and throwing something bad into the mix.  Perhaps this is the mentality of people who invent viruses that take down major computer systems.  They may see the damages they have caused as just being clever and funny.

Andrae Crouch

Throughout history people have badmouthed Christianity.  Many have tried to make it as unappealing as possible.  They have led many astray because their opinions have been taken to heart.  For those out there that have not made a decision for Christ based on what someone else thinks I have this question…What are their qualifications?  Have they ever experienced Salvation?  Have they ever known the love of Jesus Christ in their own heart?  I would hazard a guess that the answer to both of those questions is no.  Quit listening to people not experienced in the topic.  When seeking help experience is important and  necessary!  Once you have experienced God’s love in your life you will agree with Andrae Crouch and his lyrics to his “I Didn’t Think It Could Be” song!  “I didn’t think it could be until it happened to me and you’ll never know that it’s true until it happens to you!”

 

 

The Games We Played!

It is the first board game I remember playing as a kid. It had ladders and red chutes to take you up or down. Somewhere along the line no matter what your age you are bound to have come across the Chutes and Ladders game. It encompasses the ultimate highs and lows as you strive to be the person who reaches square 100 and win the game. I suppose for young kids the game is supposed to be a learning experience as the consequences for what you do either get punished or rewarded. I’m reminded of the giant ladder that happens when you rescue a cat from a tree! That ladder takes you way up to square 84 and in striking distance of victory! I also remember the extreme low feeling as after climbing the ultimate ladder of success you spin a three and land on the slide that takes you down to almost rock bottom. The culprit of the slide was trying to get a cookie from the cookie jar. Climbing up to get it you fall and break the cookie jar. Chutes and Ladders is a game of rewards and punishments although the crime or the achievement doesn’t necessarily relate to the amount of reward or punishment you get. For example that cookie jar episode slides you all the way down the board where other episodes such as eating green apples and getting sick or skating on thin ice and ending up in the water costs you much less. Whatever happens we are taught young to keep going and try to get to square 100 and win the game.
Chutes and Ladders

My sister had a game called “Life” in which players got a car and made their way around the board gaining money, fame, and a family. The object of the game was to get through life and retire in a wonderful retirement place. The ultimate loss was when you ended up after all of your efforts in the poor house. Throughout the game you were either lucky enough to hit the career of your dreams and raise the ultimate family, or you were unlucky and hit all of the wrong spaces. Players competed against each other to reach the ultimate prizes first. The game of “Life” was supposed to mirror how real life is and to a point I think it succeeded.
Life

The game that I remember most as a child was Monopoly. My family played Monopoly often. The consistent part of the game for us was the game pieces. Each of us had our favorites and used them every time. My sister was the dog, I was the car, my mom was the thimble, and dad was the shoe. The game started out friendly and fun enough as everyone rolled the dice and moved their spaces from the starting position. At first it was just a matter of landing on properties and buying that property if it were available. As you went further around the board the properties costed more but their value increased too. After a few times around the board and collecting $200 each time around the ownership of the properties usually varied. It took three like properties owned to put up houses and eventually hotels on those properties. Usually ownership was scattered and deals were attempted between family members. I’ll give you two orange ones for the yellow Marvin Gardens I’m missing. That was the type of deals offered in the quest to at least have a matching set. As the game progressed houses and hotels sprang up. Hitting the space of your opponent at that stage could get costly. Staying at a hotel was a major cost and if you didn’t have the money you had to mortgage the properties you owned. The other option was that if you had houses or hotels up you could reduce what you had in order to raise funds to pay off your bill. To win the game you tried to achieve a monopoly of the whole board. This was created at your competitions expense as when they hit your hotel space they had to pay. Eventually the game gets serious as players can’t avoid hitting hotels and when they can’t pay they are eliminated from the game and their properties go back to the bank to be purchased by other players who happen to land on them. The game ended rather sadly for three of the four players as one has all of the money while the others have mortgaged everything and are forced to quit.
monopoly

I remember many times I was on the brink of tears as I was forced to mortgage my properties and eventually leave the game. Monopoly was a game of reality I guess with hard consequences. I liked to play the game but my attention probably wandered some as kids will do. My sister was the same way. She could start talking to my mom about something and lose her train of thought. Mom played the game more as a family thing and encouraged us to have fun. Dad played the game seriously and was all about winning. There were certain things about Monopoly that was fun and entertaining. For instance there were a couple of decks of cards that you picked up after landing on certain spaces. One particular card stated “Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. This card was one of the least desirable cards. What struck me about it though was the directly to jail part. I’m sure without it’s exact detail players would make a profit before reaching their destination.

The game of monopoly encourages dishonest play. If someone lands on your property or you land on theirs, they have to recognize it and ask for the house or hotel payment. If the next person rolls the dice it is too late to collect your rent or have them collect from you. Sometimes my sister or I may have gotten our minds off of the game and someone happened to stay on our property for free. This would happen to mom too sometimes, but I have a feeling she may have had sympathy on us sometimes. Dad would always collect his rent because he was always paying attention. Dad would also be the one keeping the game going along by getting the next person to play. This could work to his advantage if he happened to have landed on one of our hotels and we had become distracted. The lesson learned in our young minds was if you can get away with something (not paying the rent) then that’s OK. The object of the game was to have a monopoly of the board, not to be an honest Joe and paying what you owe!

The game of monopoly had one serious flaw in rational behavior. If I were poor why would I travel to some of the most expensive hotels around and spend money I couldn’t afford? I guess that in reality people do similar things. It may not be a hotel bill but people are constantly spending money they don’t have. I guess that is why the credit card industry is always flourishing! Maybe the lesson should be the exact opposite of what the game taught me. Be satisfied with what you have and don’t spend money you don’t have. Stay home more and enjoy the things in life that money can’t buy!

Looking back, these three board games tried to shape my little mind on how to be successful. Success in the games was derived by thinking only about myself and how I could get ahead of the competition. They emphasized retiring in comfort, monopolizing all of the property and money, and winning the race to square 100. In reality many of us live our lives with the same goals as the games we used to play as kids. The successful formulas of winning at board games doesn’t translate into success in the real world. Oh there might be a feeling of worldly success one achieves by owning material goods. Achieving that success usually results in emptiness as we realize there has to be more. Chutes and ladders teaches us to keep going no matter what other people are going through on the way. Perhaps we should stop our quest of getting to square 100 and help some of our fallen brothers and sisters along the way. Maybe someone has had a long slide down in life and it has broken them much like that cookie jar. By reaching a helping hand their way we are acting as God’s hands and feet upon this earth. Acts of kindness reflecting God’s love in us will never go unrewarded. Helping hurting people at the bottom of slides is far greater than achieving the worlds ladders of success. The peace and hope that God gives us far surpasses anything that square 100 has to offer!
helping hand

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