Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This is NOT the coffee shop I wanted to be in

I am out and about right now I decided to check out this coffee shop in Sumner. This isn't where I should have gone. The latte is weak, with an odd bitterish aftertaste. It wasn't hot enough, and when I asked for it for here, she started giving me a paper cup. I know I'm picky about my coffee, but when I go to a coffee shop, I want to be able to smell the aroma, and taste the crema and foam mixing on the top of my cup. That's the whole point of sitting down for a latte or cap. To enjoy it. When you stick it in paper and suck it through a plastic lid, you suck the pass right by the best part and suck only the espresso milk mixture. You're drinking a cafe au lait. All the foam get stuck to the lid. Most barista can't pour a latte or cap so that the crema mixes properly anyway. Or worse yet, they scoop the foam in at the end. By the way. A good latte vanilla syrup does not make.

My coffee shop ranking happens whenever I order. I have from one to three stars. If a shop looks promising, I'll jump to two stars, which is a latte. If it doesn't pass the latte test, I probably wont go back, but if I do, I'll get a mocha, which is like a one star rating. If it passes the two star test, I'll move up to try three stars, which is a cappuccino. Few shops pass this test. At the ones that do, I'll never get a latte or mocha. (If you order a latte in Italy, they'll give you a cup of hot milk)

But the latte wasn't the worst of the shop. There was a noise when I waked in. Like a commercial on TV or something. I didn't pay attention. I was too busy mentally critiquing the barista. As soon as I got my latte though, I turned around and realized that that noise was coming from a big scree TV on the wall. Worse, it was on channel 4. At 2 pm, this means soaps... Luckily, I always have some ear buds with me, so I'm not sitting here enjoying a nice R.E.M. CD and writing to all of you.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Why would I quit my job?

When you ask the people you work with, and every single person responds with advice like "Get out while you still can", and "If you're looking for a job where you'll get paid what you're worth", and things like that, it's time to leave.

I came up to the end of my contract through the temp agency, and started negotiation with my boss. He told me what the company was going to be willing to pay me, and what the benefits would be, and they were pretty substandard. Pay was not a penny over what I was getting from the staffing agency, and the benefits were very bad. I know there are places with benefits like they were going to offer me, but I wouldn't work at those places either. Pay rates were consistently below average. Customer service for example starts out making $2 - $3 an hour less than what I see at other places, and caps out at about $4 less than people I know working as CSRs in other places. It was obviously not a company that values their employees. Most of the people that I talked to worked there because it was close to home and staying there was more convenient than leaving.

Another problem that I had was trying to get things done. I would have possibly (but unlikely given their reluctance to pay people what they are worth) been able to get a higher paying position, but only if I was working on other projects outside of the position that I held. This was something that I tried to do continuously the entire time I was there, but it also required the cooperation of people at the parent company (who treated the company I was at like the proverbial "red headed step-child"), which never happened. It was always "two weeks" or "It'll take time". I don't think it will happen until they are swamped and need it badly.

Last, it was in podunk Tacoma. Not real Tacoma. That would have been fine. I need something either IN Tacoma, or in Seattle or the vicinity.

For the last two weeks, every day has been job hunting. My biggest problem right now is that I have a lot of really general experience, and people can't see beyond what I did at my last job. There's so much "in the box" thinking. There's also the catch-22 of needing 2-3 years job experience, but providing no way to gain it.

I've also gone to some staffing agencies, most of which are limited by their inability to move past what I did at my last job. Another problem is Access. That's Access™, the Microsoft Office app. I used it a lot a while ago, but am pretty rusty, and really failed a little test I had on it yesterday. I am being submitted for a position at a major online book retailer, but I fear that the staffing agency's unwillingness to familiarize themselves with me may hurt my chances of getting the position. That is one thing that I liked about the staffing agency that set me up with my last job. They knew me and really did a lot to help me get a job.

Last, but not least in my rant, and something that doesn't really fit into any other category are "power phrases". I can't stand "power phrases". "Detail oriented". That's the worst. Of course everyone's going to say that they are "Detail oriented". I've been told by two friend that I should write that I'm awesome in my resume, and "must see to believe" in my cover letter. So why not look for companies that use "awesome" in their job postings so that I can say that I'm "awesome" in my resume? That's my ticket.