Home > Life or something like it > Entry 05/31/2008 09:30:09 AM – Mentat 413

Entry 05/31/2008 09:30:09 AM – Mentat 413

05/31/2008
     T-Minus 5 Days and counting.
     Heh, and to make matters worst (or funnier as the case may be): T-minus 10 days until I’m the double-4. 

     On the computer side, I think I’m getting the hang of some of the behind-the-scenes functions within Linux, having taken close to a week’s break from it because I was sick and tired of all the issues and mini-drama that I had been going through getting the sound to work the way that I wanted it to.  Of course, in the week that I’ve been away from it, Canonical issued the core that was being recommended for the PulseAudio problems that I had been going through and tweaking around 2.6.24-17 (which is up from the 24-16 that was released about a month or so ago).  It’s still got a slight skip when trying to do a lot of things within the OS, and sometimes even when I’m checking the system preferences — but as it was explained — it has to do with the fact that Rhythmbox uses the G-Streamer nodes and not the PulseAudio nodes, which is primarily the reason why it skips the way that it does. 
     Today I tried my hand at Open SSL and was able to generate for myself a PKCS-12 key for digitally signing and encrypting mail in Evolution.  However, trying to use the key in Windows seems to be a slight problem as it’s telling me that I don’t have an e-mail address authorized to use the signature with so this Key isn’t being recognized in Outlook.  And after a little searching, I found the problem — with Open SSL in place on Unix’s side it recognizes it as a private key for applications only, and not an e-mail certificate.  Heh, looks as though I’m going to have to do more work with it on the Linux side the next time I get a chance.  Pain in the butt Microsoft…  Not surprised given that the way you have to purchase a certificate from the various highway robbers that offer it.  I’m sure that I’ll be able to figure something out. 
     Also had a wonderful problem involving my Password Program and the Linux side crashing whenever I attempted to open up the database.  Seems that Ubuntu’s repository is still for version 0.2.2 yet the version that’s up on the site is 0.3.1, so uninstalling the 0.2.2 from the system and running the install from the site has corrected the problem.  Although I’m rather surprised that given Canonical’s rush to include a beta version of Firefox, you’d think that they would keep up with the software from other vendors.  But given that the program I use only has like 2 stars — it’s probably pretty low on the "include" list. 

     Let’s see…  I’ve had two very self-esteem sucking interviews this week.  The first at CVS/Caremark which I’m sort of glad that in a way didn’t go through.  Seems that they were looking for technicians for their Helpdesk in Smithfield.  Damned near difficult for me to get to, given it’s location on Route 44 for one.  But during the interview, the interviewer who had the sneer of a man that didn’t want to be there to begin with, asked the ever so inappropriate question as to whether I had other interviews lined up. 
     I said to him that it had positively no relevance on this interview.
     He then asked me what I was doing on my off-time, of which I asked what the relevance of that question, which he changed the subject and moved on to the next question.  And from that point his attitude continued to go south about some of the things that he asked, and some of the answers he gave. 
     I got a callback from him in record time telling me that the class for the 9th had been filled — which was already a problem as I told him and the woman that called to set the appointment was that I was going to be in Seattle at the time — and that the training for the end of June which I had agreed would be better was for "something else"… 
     Whatever.
     I could tell that he was lying, but I was glad that he had the decency to call back about it and finalize what I already suspected.  I mean, I really shouldn’t be picky about it, a job is a job…  But the thing that’s got me all burned out about inside and phone technical support is that the it’s not a remotely 9 – 5 job.  Hours are variable — in this case between 1 and 3 daily depending on need and scheduling — and are 4 weekdays/1 weekend to work, which gives in to the strong probability of not getting 2 consecutive days off. 
     I’m telling you, I’m seriously tired of variable schedules, which can swap out week to week to week.  Quite simply, I believe it’s not worth it for the $13.00/hour that CVS/Caremark was offering — particularly given that they’re also requiring several weeks of training…  This is also a sign that the job responsibilities and knowledge far exceed the amount of money that they’re offering for wages. 
     The other job interview that I was looking forward to was a Senior Advisor position at Banker’s Life & Casualty.  Wasn’t sure whether it was a Bank (annuities) or an insurance company, but thought more of the latter than the former.  The Yellow Flags were up when the woman that called to set the interview time, told me that I should wear a suit and tie for the interview and print up my updated/recent resume on Bright-White or Professional paper.  She also recommended that I show up at least 15 minutes prior to the interview time.  Like I wasn’t going to show up any other way other than wearing a tie and a suit coat, but it wasn’t enough of a flag to make me wonder what was up or whether I should suspect this to being something I wouldn’t want to do. 
     Then I kept getting e-mail daily from the woman that scheduled the appointment over the weekend reminding me about the interview time and date.  I responded to the first one to confirm that I understood the information and knew precisely where it was, once I had the complete address and looked it up (on MapQuest). 
     When I showed up, I found that I wasn’t the only person, and in fact was part of a group of like 40 for the same position. 
     When I was escorted to a lecture room to sit there with all the other "candidates", and I was looking up at a whiteboard with a projection of "Welcome to Banker’s Life & Casualty" up on the screen from some random PowerPoint Presentation, I knew right then and there it was a salesman position. 
     I should have gotten up at the same time the other woman at the front of the group had looked at the screen, looked around the room, and walked out.  But I didn’t.  I sat through the entire hour, listening to the entire sales pitch, more out of courtesy rather than interest.  There was a possibility of going into management — but to go into management — I would still have to be an insurance salesman for at least six months before that would be a possibility. 
     After that, I zoned out through the remainder of the fast-talking sales pitch from the branch manager because I was positively not interested in being an insurance salesman.  Sitting there while I was zoning out — I thought about my biological father and the years and years and years that he had been an Insurance Salesman and how I didn’t want anything to do with the career he had chosen in his life. 
     At the end of the sales pitch, when the Branch Manager had the lot of us filling out some sort of Lecture Form that we were supposed to attach our "updated resumes" to, I filled it out with my name and address and put in the appropriate fields:  NOT INTERESTED, and DO NOT CALL AGAIN, and left with all possible speed. 
     Walking to the bus stop, I mulled over what they meant by "Senior Advisor" in the job want, and realized that it was literally to be a financial advisor and sell various packages to Senior Citizens.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I learned early on in my career that unless the product sells itself, I have positively no want nor ability to being a salesman. 

     I also got an e-mail from D this week pretty much confirming the worst when it came to my going out to Seattle to meet him.  In my opinion he was pretty much spoon feeding back to me everything that he had to do to deal with his family, and getting back on his feet, thought that the best course of action was to do it alone.  Getting less than a couple of hours sleep over the course of a few days (of which those days were also the days I went out on these interviews), I meditated on what he had said, and refused to accept what he was telling me about his family being the reason he was ducking out of meeting me, and told him so. 
     The next e-mail gave me a hint as to what the real problem was…  Although looking at his second e-mail, I realized that it came to me more as a gut reaction and not what he admitted about being terrified of me.  I believed that the reason why he was afraid of me had to do with wild and impossible to attain fantasies.  Reading his second e-mail when he admitted how terrified he was of me, I realized that he was probably thinking that I would be moving out there shortly after this trip, or something along that lines. 
     I fired back an e-mail to him explaining this was a "meet and greet" at best.  Anything that comes out of it will follow it’s own course, and will be dictated by the two of us, and not just one or the other.  I even went through the basics and common sense approaches of what one should think of and be aware of, when meeting on a blind date — as this is exactly that — a blind date.  Sure we’ve been speaking on the phone and VOIP for the last seven months, but it’s a blind date when meeting face to face. 
     I fired off the suggestion that I would be willing to talk to him a bit either by phone, or by computer (as he was back in Seattle, and his laptop was more that probably back from the shop), but then thought about it and fired off another e-mail that night explaining to him what he didn’t think about himself — what it means to live cross-country as we did and how long it would take to get everything in line. 
     I didn’t tell him (and I wish I did), that from the time that Keags and Paul met online, to the time that Keags was able to move out to California to live with Paul was exactly 777 days.  And that’s only because Keags wanted (in a hell-bent sort of way) out of his home state as fast as humanly possible.  777 days…  More than 2 years…  With me though, I know that it would take longer — particularly given that I still have some things to deal with here on this side of the world with my family. 
     Right now, D tells me that he’s going to be unable to respond to the things that I sent in the last two e-mails, but promised that when he gets a moment from the chaos that he would.  In the meantime, he also said that he was going to think about some of the things that I said in the e-mails and will try to respond back in a couple of days. 
     That e-mail was yesterday. 

     I feel better after talking some common sense in his direction, and while I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m still not going to be meeting him face to face, at least I was able to address some of the issues that I thought were common sense to him as well.  We’ll see how it goes the next time he has a moment to read through what I said and respond to it. 

     That’s it for the time being.  I think I’m off to play a game or two and work out some of the issues on the Linux side.  Until the next time.

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