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Archive for February, 2010

Today was a day of unfettered gluttony, Paczki Day and for those outside of the D, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. My son and I braved the crowds at the bakeries in Hamtramck today to buy the most delectable item ever created, a Paczki – a larger, lighter than air donut filled with a fruit jelly or custard.  The Paczki are the polish way of celebrating the beginning of the Lenten season. Years ago, it was tradition for Polish Catholics to to make way for Lent by getting rid of all of their dairy and meat products because during Lent those items were to be avoided until Easter, when you splurge again for a celebration of Jesus Christ rising from the dead.  Today, the Catholic fasting guidelines are not as strict, but the Paczki stayed intact. Hamtramck has capitalized on this day and Detroit knows a good thing. During Paczki Day, the Polish League American Veteran’s hosts the Paczki Day Blowout a day of all things paczki – there is an official paczki eating contest, rock and roll and drinking. It’s the Polish version of St. Patrick’s Day.

The most traditional paczki is one with a prune filling. While they don’t sound so appetizing, they are; you just have to have an open mind.

As anyone will tell you, a paczki is great with a cup of coffee. So, grab a cup and a paczki and remember only 40 more days until we feast like this again.

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Old Man Winter

Well, Michigan was finally hit with snow. I’ve been waiting for it to arrive and now that’s it’s finally here, I want more. I took the kids out sledding today for the first time in their lives and I have to say it’s as fun as I remember. My oldest isn’t one to usually be a daredevil, well, he flew down that hill like a daredevil. My youngest just likes being outside and in the snow. Sledding was fun, but so was the playground equipment. He truly just loves being part of nature.

Well, the coffee warmed me right up and now I’ve got to go.

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I don’t know about you, but I feel mentally exhausted after interviewing. It’s grueling work, selling yourself to complete strangers. I don’t have sales-type personality, I  like being judged on the work that I do and how I get it accomplished. Unfortunately, that’s not how interviews work.

Today’s interview entailed me to speak with three people. The first, was the person with whom I would be filling their shoes. The second, was the boss who told me they type of person they were looking for and the third was they guy whom I would have to play nice in the sandbox with in order for him to trust my judgement or ability. I think I was doing well up until him, the third man.

This third man is exactly the guy you should see first in an interview process because you’d be fresh and able to answer intelligently, but he’s third and for a good reason – he’s the BS meter reader. And today, I didn’t do so well with the BS reader for a few reasons; I was held up by the other two  and when I got to his office, I was not the most important part of his day. He was easily distracted and when he did ask me questions, he really get the answer he was looking for. I was late showing up to the party with some of the questions he asked.

I can’t beat myself up on the “third man,” but I should have been mentally fit to deal with him today. Oh well, not every bat is a home run.

Thanks for listening…it’s good to download on this stuff.

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Unemployed

I never thought I would have to say that to anyone, but yes alas I do. I’m unemployed. Not by choice, but by circumstance. Though, isn’t that the way it is for everyone who loses a job nowadays.

The office I worked at for 11+ years closed officially on January 29, 2010. Over the past 5 years, our company has had to shrink its numbers dramatically. In 2001, our office held 2000 workers and as of last Friday that final toll was just under 500. We were progressively being whittled down and responsibilities were becoming greater. The worst part of it all was that when we were given our notice of the office closing, we were also told that we would not be receiving severance, instead we would be able to work through the next 12 weeks and continue to receive our pay as usual.

I live in Michigan, a state that has the highest unemployment rate in the Union. Yes the economy seems to be picking up, but not quickly and it sure isn’t ensuring that I’ll make the same kind of wage I’ve been used to.

Well, today, I’m unemployed, but the manager of a household. A household that needs to have the floors cleaned, the walls wiped and the beds made. I hope this gives me my practice I need for that dream job of one day owning a bed and breakfast.

Well, I’ve got to run, start dinner and clean up the kitchen. Thanks for meeting me for coffee.

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