A Beacon

The tallest building, and by far, the ugliest in our city has finally completed installing the windows, which does not beautify it in the least. It is hideous from any angle, with any embellishment.

However, I digress. What redeems it, in an unusual way, is that the sun hits it in the mornings and sets it on fire, like a blazing monolith to the heavens and lights up my entire apartment!

I don’t get any morning light, only late afternoon, so it is kind of neat.

But that building is one UGLY piece of work.

A Man in Himself

I read a post last year by a very angry man looking for work.

He was pissed because it seemed to him no one read his resume in detail or appreciated all of his achievements. They would contact him but then ask him what he considered to be a stupid question, that reflected the fact they had not read his resume.

His response to this was breathtaking.

He said he would end the conversation on the next person who did that! Wow! That’ll be sure to get you hired! He went on to say that anyone who wouldn’t take the time to examine all his marvellous achievements wasn’t worth talking to. That their opinions were irrelevant. He ended this rant with “don’t waste my time.”

What is more dazzling was that some people applauded his rant!

Okay. What I see is a very frustrated individual who needed to vent. Times are hard. We work so f’in hard and long and do wondrous, important things and no one notices or cares. We rack up achievement after achievement, plaster our walls with awards and certificates, and whoa. It means nothing.

Well, welcome to the real world.

We all have moments like this man. Where we are so incredibly immature and inwardly focused, vain and egoic and we lash out. I think however, a private journal would be more appropriate.

What he overlooked was the fact people were contacting him to find out more.

So obviously, something caught their interest. They wanted to talk to this person.

Do you know how many people can’t even get that? They get no response at all.

What an attitude!

Everyone comes searching for employment with the same package. Skills, experience, education, awards, references and a lot of external validations. There is more competition than ever for less work. So you can’t rely on your successes to sell yourself. People are not impressed by that, despite what you are led to believe. That is why we have interviews. To get to know the person. Truth be told, you can have no skill, experience, education, awards or a thousand other things and still get the job. Because you have the right personality. You can learn anything with the right attitude.

Case in point. I was visiting my brother in Texas and while I was browsing in a store that sold water fountains, something I know absolutely nothing about, the manager offered me a job there. The manager didn’t care about my life. She just liked me. Why, I have no idea.

So if someone can like me enough to hire me on the spot, shit, anyone can get hired!

Just be yourself.

Oh Danny Boy!

I am teaching myself to play piano and am now learning the song Danny Boy, and it instantly reminded me of a incident that was quite hilarious. Whenever I play or hear this song, I have a partner in my head. An old lady at the library.

At lunch when I was working, I would often go to the library. I usually had quite a few books on hold to pick up and an equal amount to return.

One day as I entered the library I spotted a woman I used to know from a previous job at a senior’s center. She had been a member there.

So I approached her to say hello.

It was noon, so the library entrance was filled with patrons and staff.

This lady remembered me, I think, but she had other things on her mind. She asked me if I knew where she could get the lyrics and music score for the song Danny Boy. I pointed to the information desk and suggested she ask them.

She grabbed my arm and said, “Do you know the song Danny Boy?”

Before I could say a word, she launched into singing Danny Boy, at the top of her lungs to a very surprised crowd and a very shocked me.

Everyone stopped what they were doing. I think time stopped. She dug her fingers into my arm so I could not escape.

There were baffled looks. Amused looks. Angry looks. So many looks directed at us.

She sang the WHOLE damn song, full blast, TWICE.

And then she just walked away from me, my bruised arm and audience like it never happened.

Iron Steam

Because my Dad was an Engineer, inventor, handy man and all round creative person, we often had some interesting things in our home.

We had a basement that was really a workshop, an inventors palace. Oh, how I miss that!

One item housed there was a white metal monster, an iron steam roller. Not the kind to flatten your laneway. This flattened your clothes. It was a steam press. It was BIG.

Isn’t it strangely comforting that such weird things as an unwieldly machine can evoke such sweet memories of our youth and home?

It was awesome.

I loved using that machine. I hate ironing, so this thing was a teenagers dream (in those days pressed clothes were a BIG deal), My Mom pressed everything however, and that was a bit overwhelming. Like me, many of my childhood friends had mothers who ironed their underware, some even their shoelaces! Well, my Mom just ran them through the white behemoth in the basement while others slaved and sweated over hot irons.

These beasts still exist, and work! If I were ever to take up domestic engineering (no future plans for that!) I would get a modern steam press. But there is something wonderful lost in the new ones. I’d miss the big cotton cloth roller, the gleaming metal press, those long metal bars to hang your clothes on. The joy of seeing your clothes disappear under the steel cover as they were rolled away to reappear underneath all beautifully pressed.

Something New

It is amazing how good one can feel when you get something new.

I got a new couch cover, thanks to a Christmas gift certificate from my brother and sister-in-law. My couch is done, but I am unemployed, and a good couch costs a month or two of rent. The previous cover was easily 20+ years old and although well taken care of was clearly quite tired.

There was only one time in my life when I was making good money and could afford new things, but I’ve always been frugal and make things last. I repurpose a lot of items and make do. So, foolishly, I did not take advantage of that small window of 8 years in my long life and get myself some nice things. Like a house. A car. All I splurged on was a professional camera, and, oh, how I agonized over that! I did a lot of research before I finally let go of the cash. That was in the 1970’s. I still have that camera!

I am whining a bit too much, because those frugal 8 years afforded me to go to University and get a Bachelor of Arts. So it wasn’t all bad I suppose. But I should have got some nice things too. Had I known I would never make much money again, I would have done things a bit differently. But you just can’t know these things.

I confess this with much shame, and remorse, because I have missed out on a lot of life.

I put on the new cover and my whole spirit lifted. What a difference! Getting something new improves your life. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’ll make a grey day sunny.

Now you know I would never encourage you to spend money you don’t have, but I have said it over and over, get yourself something ‘just because’, and now I say, get yourself something new because it will brighten your whole day.