Worst Bosses Gallery

Monday, April 2, 2018

Interview From Hell (L.A. Version)

This has happened to me.  Several times.  Leaving a job during business hours to interview somewhere else, hoping that you are at least a strong candidate. 

Most people who don't live here think that Burbank and Long Beach are just minutes from one another (maybe at 3:30 AM).  But navigating these streets (especially the Westside) is not easy.  There's the congestion, construction, somebody shooting a damn film or music video.

But what about when you're not prepared either.  It's happened to me a lot recently and I'm beginning to take it as a sign as to which direction I should take my career.  Yet, we all know that preparation is key to everything in business...right?

However, anyone who has experienced interview drama like this lady here can only admit to one thing.  With age, you know miles away when it's not going to work, but morbid curiosity pulls you in and going with the adrenaline wave against better judgment.  If L.A. traffic caused you to miss out on an incredible business opportunity, don't cry (unless the job paid six figures or more).

Friday, October 20, 2017

Funniest Facebook Job Listing for 2017

Dubai is a nice place to visit with its wonderful commerce, beautiful architecture and luxurious shopping experience.  The extraordinary party scene draws in crowds like no other.  Many who are familiar with this Arab city, know what old-school profession goes hand-in-hand with hard work.

Personally, I've got nothing against this income stream but it's just that if a nerd like me knows about their escort business, so does everyone else.  So why post a conspicuous-looking ad in Facebook of all places?  As you can see, this is a closed group I belong to that posts a lot of legitimate job opportunities and sometimes offer good advice.

Why is this post suspect?  I'm on my Chromebook so I don't have ready access to the highlight feature for screen shots.  But here are some possible flags for those who may want a change of scenery and a little more money but you may end up with much more than what you bargained for.

And here we go...

1.  Have the ability to identify the business owner or decision maker and contact him closely.

So all you have to do is know who's in charge and how to reach them?  And how close is close in the electronic age? I know hugs are customary in some business cultures but usually, it doesn't apply countries that consider women to be second-class citizens.

2. Female Marketing & sales executive is needed for a design agency in Dubai

Why not a male?  Or even someone who considers themselves neither?  Discrimination at its finest!

3. Please send us your CV with recent photo 

There was once a time when only student residencies required a photo and maybe a few other high-end (as in well-paying) professions.  I know some employers are asking for this but in relation to the other content in the ad, this sounds a little strange.  From what I can see, it's a marketing assistant position that doesn't list educational or experience requirements.  Some prospects I run across are kind of rigid about this because not everyone knows the laws of business communication.  

Anyway, it's been nearly 12 hours since this ad went live so I hope it is legitimate.  I'm just curious as to why it was posted on a site since it appears the customs are different than that of the States.  Additionally, are relocation expenses covered?  So many questions...but maybe one answer.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

When Social Influence Goes to Hell

*Not a sponsored post BTW*  Being a social media influencer, or influence marketer, seems to be one of the new job titles that's not going anywhere anytime soon. Which is good if a person is a decent writer and/or has a nice following that is congruent to a brand's image.  There is no template that I know of to get started since most agencies or individuals have reached out to me.   However, I recently attended a workshop by marketing expert Deborah Deras who said the best way to find an agency is to type "influencer marketing" in a search engine and compile a list.  Speaking from experience, some will work with bloggers or content producers that are new or don't have large traffic numbers.

While the money may not be bad (and this is negotiable when you can prove that you played a role in driving more sales), it can have its challenges.  To date, my best client is Oprah Winfrey, the easiest was DirecTV (all I had to do was cut and paste pre-written copy but I was asked to take these down years later) and probably the most controversial was Wenn Hair Care (I personally don't believe there is one type of hair care system that works for ALL textures).

Yet, after starting over and getting back into the groove of things, I was kind of pleased earlier in the year when I was asked to write a sponsored post for a content publishing company.  I'd worked with them in the past couple of years when I needed fast cash and overall, I had a decent experience.  My only problem at the time was that customers could reject any article...without reason.  The production statistics were also visible on the writer's public profile, which wasn't the worst thing...or so I thought.

So months after publishing my post, I got a little heat from visitors who were probably researching freelance writing companies.  I've got nothing to hide and had no problem publishing anyone's feedback that had relevance but I don't deal with name-calling.  It's not that serious, if you feel you can make more money elsewhere, then get to it and leave me alone.

And I knew it was about reputation management since the first page of search engine results are complaints from writers.  Truthfully, there are some advantages over the competition but once again, there's the rule that the customer is right.  Or are they?

This is a true account of my last assignment with Hirewriters.  I accepted something from a client whose directives were to wait for exact directives.  No, really.  Though I had an idea of what was expected, it's like okay...I know how to cross a street but do I cross at 3:10 or 3:30, AM or PM?  One of those numbers.  Problem is that after accepting I never heard back from the client.  Maybe they got into an accident or something but whatever it was, I was penalized.

Ruby (in Support) and I went back and forth several times until I could get her to see that I did do what the client said. Her only defense (besides that they couldn't reach the client, which should've been enough) was that I needed to submit something...even if it was literally jibberish or the filler content used in desktop publishing (i.e. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.).

So while Ruby claimed they would look into it, I knew she was being insincere.  And on that note, I pulled the sponsored post immediately.  When I saw that my glowing review could still be found on Google, I immediately deleted it from my Plus account so it's no longer visible.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Is a Certificate Really Worth It?

This is not a dig at any school or learning institution, as I have good and bad feedback about college and franchises.  What I'm talking about is the process of doing research about a position or industry, looking for a resource which will help learning more.  Supposedly, if you're smart, you'll research the instructor or go for a class audit and, if all looks good, enroll.  Finally, you pass the class with flying colors only to learn that the one thing you needed (and it usually relates to technology) is obsolete.

If you paid to learn Adobe Flash in the past year, you know of what I speak.

What about those names that are not as powerful as Adobe, Microsoft, or Facebook?  Less than two years ago, I had a college instructor tell the class that Twitter is gone with the cassette player.  We reluctantly believed it but now I still see Twitter marketing classes...and it's not like the same way a person would see MySpace marketing classes advertised.

A few months prior, I took a social media class at a popular 2-year college and the emphasis was Tumblr.  While I don't hate this app, I've yet to see it work as a primary marketing tool the same way Facebook and Twitter work as a secondary marketing, or in conjunction with word-of-mouth.

So what's an eager beaver to do?  One poster on a respected blog stated they would rather attend classes at a place like General Assembly or Code School for all things related to social content and web design/development.  The good side of some of these schools is that they allow some classes to be taken a la carte for little or nothing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is Profanity the Latest in Water Cooler Talk?

A long time ago, when I was a kid (as in not quite drinking age), I said a profane word at work.  It was a single word.  Loud.  Then silent.  That was how it went  down at a Westside bank on a late Friday afternoon. ATMs had limited capabilities and there was no internet.   I hated my job and home life and had to let off steam.  Somehow when you've beaten a serious illness, you reflect and wonder how you got away with certain things.

One thing that encouraged me was my bosses, who always seemed unhappy to a degree (though some of their anger was focused in my direction), and had no problem spewing profanity, even when things were slow.  It took me a minute to learn  about "decorum" and paying dues in corporate structures.  Even though this situation was my first "work in hell" experience where I wanted to stab my bosses in the eye with a butter knife, I vowed to keep the potty mouth to a bare minimum.  Except for an occasional (but really funny) dirty joke, I've stuck by this for more than 25 years.

Like with popular music, my college experience has changed in terms of using colorful language.  Last year, I got an algebra teacher that sounded like the coach on Legends of Chamberlain Heights.  Problem is that I didn't learn anything and had to drop since there was nothing I said or did to justify his profane comebacks.

Fast forward exactly one year later where I'm taking a similar class but things are not well (see previous post).  Anyway, I'm sitting in class where I'm not only the oldest but possibly older than the instructor.  During a short break, a TA and another student are having a conversation loaded with f-bombs and it seems more like a bar than a classroom.  Hmmm.

Is this is a trend we decrepit (Gen-X and older) folks have to look forward to when millennials become our bosses?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Mantra to Adults Returning to College

For many, getting an advanced degree (or your first) is a helluva challenge.  However, when you start seeing more employers wanting a bachelors for a secretary (excuse me...Administrative Assistant), then now is probably time to take stock of what's out there.  Sounds simple huh?

If you come from a generation (or a culture) where you would rather find out things while you're young and PAY LATER, like all karmic events...there's interest to deal with.  You might have a situation where the classes you took during that rough freshman or sophomore year won't transfer to your current career aspiration.  So you have to start over.

Or you could be like me where not only do you fly right upon returning but your landings are smooth enough to make the Dean's List.  Alrighty then.  But...there's a big bump in the road, coupled with another life event that kicks your spirit into the depths of Satan's house.  It happens.

BUT...what if some of the things that are barriers are NOT YOUR FAULT!

While you are looking to better yourself, it's easy to forget that many workers don't have the same enthusiasm.  Not talking about the hard-working accountant that's daydreaming about being a captain on a cruise ship...and it's near the end of the fiscal year.  I'm talking about real simple $hit, like someone who's title is Data Entry Clerk/Specialist/Technician/whatever....and they don't enter your information into the database.  Your transcripts (that you paid to have sent over) are just sitting, not being utilized.


Imagine trying to repeat the above when you are steaming mad, and worse, their mistake may cost you money, in addition to time spent solving the problem.  The great news is there may be a way around your problem.

1. Unless you live in an area that restricts you to attending the nearest college, you can start over somewhere else.  If any serious actions should come up, keep a tight records of all events that led to the final outcome.
2. Additionally, you can save money and time by attending a vocational or continuing ed. school.  However, you should research each institution carefully before enrolling.
3. Try to aim for more positives before working on negatives.  For instance, if your transcript was lost, work on tracking it down and ensure that it reaches the right person.  Note dates, names, and timetables before reporting to a higher authority.

As a bonus, while the road can be discouraging, don't let messages like this cloud your judgement -
Funny but it won't pay your bills!

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Californian's Final Conclusion about Ticket to Work

I’ve been part of Ticket to Work for nearly two years and have not returned to full or part time work - and it’s partially my fault. The major mistake was not going back to school, as my first case manager suggested.  The other was wanting to go back to work less than a year after having two major surgeries, 16 blood transfusions, and six rounds of “heavy dose” chemo for uterine cancer (which was originally diagnosed as ovarian - and has a lower survival rate).

After giving the second case manager, Carol, the heave-ho, I went online instead of going through the directory that TTW sends out.  The office is always friendly but I figured it was time to think outside the box.  By entering “ticket to work” and “California”, I got some interesting results.

One place not far from me couldn’t decide whether they still offered the service...I’m still waiting for them to get back to me.  Another in Tulare requested my information and never confirmed receiving the documents.  So one consistent name in my search comes up and I decide to go there.

I tell the truth as to why I want to leave my current EN as well as my career goals, the primary being to work at home.  Unfortunately, only the State rehab agencies can sign off on returning to school or job training.  

After meeting with about three different people, I get a case manager who’s not only new but claims to have experience in job placement and preparation (a Master’s).  While the first few weekly meetings were okay, it began to feel redundant after a while.

Firstly, I was inundated with resources.  Some helpful but others were generic and best for someone who either never worked or hadn’t worked in two decades.  Then there was a form to fill out prior to every meeting.  Not to mention, Samantha* really had no leads or a real idea as to how I should market myself.


One day, I got a call from a higher-up, Bill*.  It seemed like I was always in contact with the case manager and I wasn’t looking forward to filling out more paperwork or being congenial with someone with no work-at-home leads.  However, the phone meeting was refreshing.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Why Diversification Helps in Content Writing

What I’ve learned in the past year is that more people are getting hired through their online content.  Not just as professionals or writers but even applicants for entry-level positions are finding that having a positive (yet relevant and non-controversial) online presence gives them an edge over the competition.  The good news is that one doesn’t have to restricted to just blogging or writing SEO-friendly articles for a byline only.

If a person can turn their words into a tutorial, there are many ways to go about this.  There are video tutorials (anyone who doesn’t want to film themselves can just create something quick with Windows Movie Maker), infographics, slide presentations, and more.  There are content sites that accept visual and text submissions.

Another reason why spreading content around is important is - you guessed it - companies close or change their submission policies.  Sometimes with new management, old content is wiped clean from the web without notice and even veteran contributors have to undergo the new submission process in order to get published (see Article Document as a recent example).

So instead of getting mad (because you may be one of those people that signed an agreement without reading the legalese - Non-Disclose. Agreement -  LOL), always be on the lookout for new places to publish your bylined work.  If you don’t have a Google Adsense or Publisher account, get one and find out the many social media sites that will pay-per-click (PPC).  No, it’s not a lot of money but your article ideas can be used other places.

If you consider yourself an industry expert, Experts 1-2-3 (As of July 2017, this is a NO!  Will explain in upcoming post) has a high search rank and authors are given a byline.  You can also post articles to LinkedIn, as their Freelance Marketplace program (a free service) likes to use potential candidates who demonstrate industry knowledge by posting content and/or participating in relevant groups.

Creating a portfolio website is easy.  Some like to go through a service but using a platform like blogger.com, one has more control.  If you can copy and past, creating links and category subheaders is easy.  The best way to add video is to copy, paste and save the embedded image on the HTML or text form.  Look at the layout on the Compose form and make the final edits there.

So if you’re one of the those people who made money from Associated Content, Helium and other companies now in the content graveyard, you know to save those articles on a hard drive.  If that’s not possible, saving live articles as a PDF or text and save on a personal drive.  You can make money from your words as long as they matter to someone.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ticket to Work and California Pt.5/6

Ticket to Work and the California Worker...A New Year?

Okay, I’m winding this down but here’s the main takeaway.  If a disabled Cali resident cannot work a regular job (with me, the chemotherapy has left me fatigued, with severe sinus trouble resembling hay fever, and my extremities go numb....without warning) but decides to work from home...the system is not designed for you - unless you go back to school


At the beginning of 2016, I was at my wit’s end with the previous employer network (state rehab. agency).  

So I call the TTW Customer Service line and get updated listings for prospects and go with the first listing.  Yes, they accept California residents for WAH jobs.  Yes, they assist in getting a home office setup.  Yes, the transitional money still applies.  Yes, yes, yes.  Enter Carol*.

Fast-talking with a slight drawl, Carol was a chatty one.  Sometimes I had to repeat myself and take notes to ensure I’d heard correctly.  And I’d heard a lot, as closing my file with the state rehab took nearly three months.  By the time we had our first initial intake interview, it was 4/21/2016.  She didn’t sound much older or younger than me (40ish), so the first few words were awkward.

My job was to meet with Carol every other week but outside of registering with one third-party placement agency, nothing happened.  She discouraged me from attending the TTW online job fairs because the forum setup didn’t allow for 1-on-1 conversation.  Though I had summer school, I was hoping that one of the at-home customer service jobs would begin the interviewing process by August.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Video - Signs That Your Days are Numbered at Work

I'm making some updates...as promised, and while navigating content, I ran across this gem.  While I hate they had to use an overweight guy for this, I have seen this scenario play out many times.  The victims just ride it out so they can collect unemployment and plan for the next hustle.  Or see it as a sign to switch careers.

Unfortunately, Number 3 happened to me.  If you remember the old format, I used to talk candidly about lessons learned through my temping years.  Seldom did I give real names of bad bosses because of the obvious karma, some things were my fault, and the fact that some people have really good memories.  

Anyway, almost 9 years ago I returned to temping after taking a break from the public school system.  Things had changed for the worst.  Agencies were seconding people out for jobs with no consistency.  For instance, one data entry job paid $13/hr.  It was 2007, so not the best or worst but weeks later (the company was closing), they offered me an assistant position where phones, double-entry bookkeeping and account analysis were required...for the same wage! NO BUENO.

By the time they sent me the CB Richard Ellis in El Segundo, I had already talked nice to LAUSD so it was a matter of getting paperwork processed.  On the first day, I was seated among the rest of the data entry pool.  However, the brown-noser of the group took me and another person out for lunch.  Not knowing her exact role at the time, I was an open book about my life including living with someone.  I was wrong but I didn't care since I was already prepping myself to wipe the career slate clean with the school system.  

It appeared strange then but it made sense later.  On the second day, the supervisor Allen, placed me not only far away from the group but at the messy cubicle of someone who was on-leave.  Until I was harassed and had to leave, I did my job accordingly but there were many clean cubicles.  Because there was a lot of turnover anyway and I'd had a good record, I was placed elsewhere within 48 hrs. of assignment end.