Still Looking For A Job, Found This

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Okay, I will be the first one to say being unemployed really hugs a root. As well, the job hunting process blows pretty hard to say the very least, especially because I’m seeking federal employment so I can apply my years of military service towards retirement. I’m beginning to wonder if having a bachelors degree, the disabled veterans preference, top secret clearance, fast and accurate typing skills, and other qualifications is enough. Where I suffer the most is lack of management skills, sales skills, and customer service skills. Because one or more of these skills is what has been biting me in the ass as I seek federal employment. Yesterday, I received my 14th letter of declination. But, this morning, I had an email giving a link to the following job announcement which I applied for. This one took 72 minutes to complete with all of the questionnaires, surveys, and background information. Anyway, just wanted to share how these official announcements look, because sometimes they are quite complicated. I think my wife and I have had quite enough background checks, I assure everyone we are legal US citizens with no international ties to ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

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Job Title: IMMIGRATION MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (OA)

Department: Department Of Homeland Security

Agency: Citizenship and Immigration Services

Job Announcement Number: CIS-PJN-1229419-HOU

SALARY RANGE:

$35,659.00 to $57,424.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Monday, October 6, 2014 to Friday, October 10, 2014

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0303-05/07

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time – Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

07

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
Houston, TX View Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

SECURITY CLEARANCE:

Public Trust – Background Investigation

SUPERVISORY STATUS:

No

JOB SUMMARY:

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. Visit us at http://www.uscis.gov/.

This position of IMMIGRATION MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (OA) starts at a salary of $35,659.00(GS-05 step 1), to $57,424.00 (GS-07 step 10).  Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the Field Operations Directorate, Office of Field Operations, District 17, Houston TX Field Office, Houston, TX, within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

This position is in the bargaining unit.
This position is not considered “essential” for purposes of reporting to work when the facility might otherwise be closed.

Relocation expenses are authorized if you are assigned to the RAIO program and have been approved for rotation from an overseas assignment. Relocation expenses for employees assigned to an OCONUS location will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: USCIS may fill one or more positions using this vacancy.

TRAVEL REQUIRED

Not Required

RELOCATION AUTHORIZED

No

KEY REQUIREMENTS

You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this positionSuccessfully pass a Background Investigation including financial disclosureYou must pass a drug screeningMeet relevant experience and/or education requirementsYou must submit resume and supporting documentationMales born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service

DUTIES:

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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence, and limited complexity.

As an Immigration Management Assistant, you will support the administrative and operational aspects of USCIS management and program operations, by performing a variety of clerical andtechnical work in support of management and program analysis functions and processes. Other duties may include the following duties:

Update systems with current information required for reports and data analysis and administers management information systems. Complete limited, uncomplicated management and program analysis projects and segments of larger analytical projects and studies under the direction of higher level employees.Prepare reports, spreadsheets, and provides program and administrative information based on findings.Complete a variety of physical, database and system file checks to prepare cases for adjudication and coordinates with other units to resolve non-routine issues and cases.

 QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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GS-5: You qualify at the GS-5 level if you possess one of the following:

(1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-4 grade level in the Federal government collecting data, organizing data into a usable format, and using personal computers and software to enter and retrieve data from an automation information system and various types of software; answering routine questions from other employees and distributing information to appropriate personnel; receiving, assigning, monitoring, reviewing and verifying documents through an automated information system; searching office records to respond to inquiriesORSuccessful completion of a full four-year course of study above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite can be substituted for specialized experience. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45-quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school.  Equivalent combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total experience requirements at the GS-5 level.

GS-6:  You qualify at the GS-6 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal government such as:

Update data systems with current information required for reports and data analysis;Create and update electronic profiles for employees to access tracking systems;Prepare files for expedited adjudication requests;Communicate with other offices to request records and update data systems.

GS-7:  You qualify at the GS-7 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level in the Federal government such as:

Complete a variety of physical database and system file checks to prepare cases for adjudication;Respond to information requests from external sources;Provide weekly statistical analysis of pending files;Recommend corrective action for procedural errors and issues.

COMBINING QUALIFYING EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION:  If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. For more information on combining education and experience, visit the following website:  http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=List-by-Occupational-Series

Probationary Period: You may be required to serve a probationary period of 1 year.

The qualifications for this position must be met by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement (Friday, October 10, 2014).

Residency Requirement:  There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  This residency requirement states that candidates must have, for three of the last five years immediately prior to applying for this position; (1) resided in the United States; OR (2) worked for the United States Government as an employee overseas in a Federal or Military capacity, OR (3) been a dependent of a U.S. Federal or Military employee serving overseas.

Typing Certification: You must be able to type at least 40 words per minute. You can self certify by submitting a statement that you can type this speed.

General Office Skills: Applicants must possess knowledge of general office automation software, practices, and procedures. Physical Demands: Applicants must be able to lift moderately heavy items such as file tubs and record boxes or bins weighting up to 50 lbs

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

We will review your résumé and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will place you in one of three categories based on your responses to the on-line questionnaire regarding experience, education and training.

Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job are:

Technical ProficiencyData ManagementCustomer ServiceCommunication

NOTE: Your resume and supporting documentation will be verified. If you rated yourself higher than what is supported by your application material, you may be excluded from consideration for this job. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment

Supervisory references must be provided and will be contacted as part of the hiring process.

If you fall into best qualified category, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.  To preview the job questionnaire, click here View Assessment Questions

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found by clicking here to access OPM’s Career Transition Resources website.  To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be placed in the Well-Qualified   category for this position, as described above.   In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

Veterans:   Veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific, professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher.  This position is not considered scientific/professional.   For information on veterans’ preference, please click here.

BENEFITS:

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DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including:  health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include:  flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities.  For more information, go to www.dhs.gov/careers and select “benefits.”

OTHER INFORMATION:

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, this position requires completion and adjudication of a background investigation. This may include a review of financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.  The background investigation process is initiated after a selection is made.

If a SECRET or TOP SECRET clearance is needed, all selected candidates must meet the requirements for these clearances prior to placement AND maintain that level of clearance while encumbering the position.

Individuals with Disabilities, VeteransPeace Corps/VISTA volunteers: You possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility and to understand the documentation that would be required with your application, click on the links above and contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement. We encourage you to apply to USCIS vacancies using these special hiring authorities.

USCIS uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.  To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.

HOW TO APPLY:

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Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Friday, October 10, 2014.  To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents.  See Required Documentssection for more detail.

 We strongly encourage you to apply online.  If you cannot apply online, you may FAX your resume, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478)757-3144. You must print a copy of OPM Form 1203-FX, document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire, and use the official FAX cover sheet found here.

If you do not have access to a computer or fax, you must contact the Human Resource office listed below at least one day prior to the closing date for instructions.  Applications will not be accepted by mail.

To Fax a Resume or Supporting Documents:

If you previously uploaded documents to this vacancy, please do not FAX the same documents. If you need to fax a part of your documentation:

Use the official FAX coversheet found here.Make sure that you include the 7-character vacancy identification number: 1229419”. Provide your SSN, name, and address in the blocks provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.Print your SSN and Name neatly using the exact name as the one used when you filled out the assessment questionnaire.The fax number is 1-478-757-3144.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

Your resumé

Are you qualifying based on education?  You must submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable).  For verification purposes, the transcript submitted must include your name. Those with foreign education, click this link. 

Are you a veteran?  Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty).  Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form.  If applying as a disabled veteran, submit a copy of the letter from the Veterans Administration, or other formal documentation, that clearly identifies overall rating of disability.  If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the armed forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the date on the certification.  This must indicate your dates of service, your rank, and confirm that you will be separated under honorable conditions.  Click here for more veterans’ information.

Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)?  Submit:

·  a copy of your agency notice,

· a copy of your most recent performance rating, and

· a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

HR OPERATIONS CENTER-TEAM ONE
Phone: (802)660-1145
Email: HROCTEAM1@DHS.GOV

Agency Information:
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
70 Kimball Avenue
South Burlington, VT
05403
USA

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the selecting official for further consideration and a possible interview. We will notify you by email at various stages in the process (learn more). Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on “Application Status,” and then click “More Information.” We expect to make a final job offer within 90 days after the deadline for applications. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

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Still Living The Life Of A Stripper

In the paragraphs below y’all will be reading information which I finally had time to transcribe from a recorded talk I had with a very good friend of mine and former employer. She discusses the life of a stripper, how to make money, what to do with that money, personal safety, and so much more. I encourage y’all to set some time aside to read the information she has provided as it is considerably lengthy. It also provides insight to her personal accomplishments and how she has become a successful businesswoman. There are very different professions for all of the people who want to work, hopefully this will show y’all a different view of the world a stripper lives in. This could very easily be done as three separate posts but I’m an all you can eat buffet kind of guy who likes to get my fill all in one sitting. So, with that being said, here we go.

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To begin with let me say that I started stripping at the age seventeen with a fake identification and a fast talking mouth. With that resting comfortably in the back of your head I also opened my own full nude strip club at the age of 24 in Houston and have since opened another location in Dallas. There are a great deal of misconceptions out there about strippers and that is something you will have to deal with if you enter the profession. I will say this, I truly enjoy what I do and I have never felt exploited because I’m a stripper. In fact I have always felt it was far more personally empowering than any other profession. But stripping is not for everyone. It requires a certain temperament. Don’t go and become a stripper because you feel you “have” to. If you hate what you do it will show and you will make very little money as a stripper. The minute you start dancing the clock is ticking. There are a limited number of years in which to make as much money as you can. Most dancers retire around 27. If you’re starting when you’re 18 that gives you nine years in which to make as much money as you can and then get out. Chances are you will never again be able to make as much per day as you do while stripping. Make the most of of the time.

There are two kinds of strippers, subsistence and capital strippers. A subsistence stripper just works enough to get by. Maybe a few days a week, saves little and is always in a financial crisis. I see these girls panicking to get enough dances to pay rent the next day but by the next week they are back to partying, doing drugs, buying expensive clothes and generally pissing away every dime they earn. Their plans for the future are vague at best and even though they claim to realize they can’t dance forever they seldom save and invest their money or invest in an education. These girls get out of the business no better then they started and spend the rest of their lives getting their ass pinched in menial, low paying jobs. A capital stripper dances as an investment. In my opinion this is the only reason to strip. Stripping is just too hard a way to earn a living to do it for just enough to “get by”. You can get by on a McDonalds salary. If you are going to have guys staring at your naked ass all evening you should at least be securing a decent future for yourself, not just tomorrow’s groceries and rent. There are many excuses for not saving your money but in my experience few of them are valid. Single mother, health problems whatever, you can still afford to save. If you work hard you can make a great deal of money stripping.

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When you see that money in your hand it just doesn’t seem real, and when you keep seeing it night after night it seems like the supply will be endless. It’s really not, you need to put away the largest portion you can. Not just 10% or so but 40% or 60%. It is possible to do that and still live a very comfortable life. Strippers tend to live beyond their means and end up with nothing but memories of that nice sports car or that fancy apartment. If you can just keep it under control for a few years you can have that stuff for the rest of your life, long after you’re done stripping. Live within your means; base your spending around not what you make stripping but what you would make at a good entry-level job. Get a good, reliable car but you don’t need that giant SUV or fast sports car. Make sure your lease or car loan doesn’t rely on a strippers level of income to pay it. Same goes for the rent or mortgage. It’s very easy to fall on heels and break an ankle or tear up your knee, it happens all the time. You could be out of work for weeks or even months. You don’t want to be buried under a mountain of bills. I suggest buying at least basic health insurance but if you don’t you will need at least enough savings to pay for emergencies.

So what to do with the money you save? Well, set enough aside to pay for all of your expenses like food, housing, tuition, utilities, car, whatever for 4 months. This is your emergency fund, put it in your saving account and don’t spend it. The rest you should invest. I have a few well chosen mutual funds that I have been very happy with. As a stripper you’re looking to invest for the long term, at least 5 years and probably 10. Mutual funds are low maintenance and are well suited for this purpose. I strongly advise against investing in individual stocks. Despite all tales of buying low and selling high at the end of the year very few people are able to make money off buying and selling individual stocks. Stick with mutual funds, they are safer and more reliable (at least for the novice investor).

The best possible investment you can make is an education. With a nice big nest egg and a good degree you can do just about anything you want when you retire from stripping. Without an education or any job skills that money will eventually be gone. With an education you can make the most of your savings, use it as capital for your own business or invest it for a steady source of income. Too many strippers talk about how they’re planning on going back to school or they’re just taking a semester off. This is bullshit, if you want an education you need to go to school and work hard. If you’re not going to school then you’re pissing away your own future.

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At most clubs you will walk around and ask the customers if they’d like a private dance (or lap dance depending on the club). Some clubs just have stage dancing. Often there is a private area that you can go for a dance. Be careful, though, the dim lights and the privacy tend to make the guys a little frisky. Not in a bad or scary way just in a way that may need to be corrected. The most important thing to do when you’re dancing is to smile and make eye contact. Nothing turns a guy off faster then a stripper strolling bored around the stage while staring vacantly off into space. Try to make each guy you’re dancing for think he’s the only guy you’re dancing for. This is how the pros make the big bucks. At many clubs a significant part of your nightly earnings comes from private dances. Most of the time the customer will pay for you to sit and talk with them as well. Guys vary a lot but it’s always important to be attentive. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being ignored. Most guys are pretty nice and easy to talk to. Provided you’re a good listener and act interested, it’s no problem. Then you get the guys who aren’t trying to be obnoxious, they just don’t have the best social skills. They will sit and alternate between nagging you to go out with them and lying about how much money they have, how many places they’ve traveled, how important they are in their company, etc. Simpering and looks of wide-eyed wonder come in handy at this point. Some guys are an absolute pleasure to sit with, they buy plenty of dances, they visit on a regular basis, and best of all they’re lots of fun to talk too. It’s guys like this who really make it all worth while.

When dancing it’s important to stay motivated, at most clubs you are an independent contractor. You won’t get fired if you don’t work hard and no one will say anything if you decide to hang out at the bar and talk all night talking to the bartender. You need to treat being a stripper like a job and not a social experience. Decide on what time and how long you will have dinner for, the rest of the time work the floor as hard as you can. Make sure you always get at least 8 hours of sleep so you’re not tired. You’ll look and feel better. Set a clear goal, try to get 4 dances and hour, as you get better set higher goals for yourself. Never assume a passive approach and wait for them to call you over, stay moving and keep working. If it’s hard and you just can’t get motivated make a game of it, make bets with other girls on who can get the most dances. Promise yourself ice cream if you reach a certain goal, whatever you have to do to stay motivated and keep earning that money.

Learning how to properly break the ice and get invited to sit with a customer takes time. Most girls tend to just walk around to every guy in the room and ask “Wanna dance?” and then when he says no walk off. This is the exact wrong approach. Every guy in that room has enough money for at least one dance and you just have to find the right words to get them to buy one or more. “Wanna dance?” can work in a very crowded room or if a guy is already interested but it will do absolutely nothing to convince a guy who was uninterested to change his mind. It’s too easy to say no to and that is usually what happens. To start with, choose your targets, who is looking at you the most when you are on stage or dancing for other customers? Talk to the bartender (always be friends and take to the bartender) and the floor hosts about who has an open tab or has been spending a lot of money. If a bartender or floor hosts gives you a good lead and you make money ALWAYS tip them at the end of the night and that way next time they will go to you first when they see a big spender. When you approach your prospective customer try and say anything but “Wanna dance?”: would you like some company?, would you like if I joined you? If the room is slow and he seems reluctant put a very slight push on. If he says he’s not interested ask if he would mind if you just sat down and rested your feet for a minute- you’re “not used to these heels”. Few men are going to say no to that, and the “not used to these heels” implies that you’re a new dancer and invites conversation. If 10 minutes go by and he still doesn’t buy a dance don’t ask- just say “I’m sorry, I’ve got to get back to work- it’s been nice talking to you okay?” This implies that you didn’t consider sitting with him work, a slight bit of flattery that will get you a dance later. Think of this approach as “seeding” in that you may not get the dance then, but chances are you will later. After a half-hour of “wanna dance” from the other girls he’s going to wish for your company again and probably be willing to pay for it. Or even the next time he comes in your’s will be the familiar face. With this approach it’s important you not spend too long with them, always keep them hungry. Unless they’re paying don’t sit with them longer then 10 to 15 minutes and only that long if the room is very slow. If they’re used to getting it for free it’s going to be hard to get them to pay for it. You’re friendly and available and they just have to be willing to pay for it.

Never ever, sit on your own or hang out at the bar talking to other strippers. At any given time you should be either sitting with a customer, moving to another customer or on stage getting naked. If you’re just standing around they will assume you’re not busy and it will be very hard to get a customer to pay for your time because “you’re not doing anything anyway”. Look busy, if they think other men want you then they will want you. It’s important you have respect for the money they give you, so much money changes hands that girls often forget what it represents. Let’s say your customer earns $40,000 a year after taxes- probably about average income for a stripclub patron in Houston. That works out to around $20 an hour. If a customer sits with you and you make $100, that’s 5 hours of his time. If a handyman came to your house and fixed thing for 5 hours you’d say “thank you” right? Always thank the customer and make sure he knows you mean it. Even if $100 doesn’t seem like a lot of money to you to the average customer it is.

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One last thing, don’t screw with guys’ heads. It’s not cool, you can make money without doing it. I see lots of girls who string guys along implying they’ll go out with them if they just visit a few more times or laying on sob stories about their sick children or parents. Don’t do it, there is never any reason for you to lie as a stripper. After a few repetitions it gets very fake and you just come off as a greedy gold digging bitch. If you want customers to treat you with respect you should treat them with respect. If they are disrespectful just walk away, there is no reason for you to sink to their level. There are more then enough good men who will to pay you to sit, talk and laugh with them and when you dance they will treat you like a goddess. As customers they deserve your courtesy and if they don’t respect you in return they don’t deserve to have you spend time with them. Safety is a critical issue for strippers. Many menaked not understand that what we sell is a fantasy or feel that our employment makes us fair game for unwanted attentions. The six dumbest words that can leave a woman’s mouth are “I can take care of myself”. No you can’t, and get any notion that you’re some kind of tough girl out of your head. Men are bigger, stronger and meaner. They’ve been beating and raping women for thousands of years now and have pretty much got it down pat. Your little kick boxing lessons at the health club will not help you. If a grown man hits you full force you will be knocked unconscious and very likely break the bones in your face. Do not ever make safety decisions based on your opinion of your ability to defend yourself.

I personally think that carrying weapons or taking martial art, self-defense classes etc. are a bad idea for most women. The most effective way to survive is to be scared; anything that makes you brave makes you more likely to walk into a dangerous situation. If you have a gun in your purse you might be more likely to take that shortcut home, or take a ride with a man you don’t know very well or any number of risky things. If you’re scared you’re careful, if you’re careful you don’t get into trouble. If you are a feature stripper, have a very public presence (website or modeling), or have had problems with a stalker then a gun may be something you want to consider purchasing. You need to be trained in it’s use and practice with it at a firing range at least once every few months. Don’t bother carrying one unless you comfortable with the idea of killing someone. That’s what guns are for, you’re not going to be shooting knives out of anyone’s hands, you’re going to be trying to make a hole in the center of their torso. If you have small hands like me you can have a gunsmith machine a trigger guard that will comfortable fit your finger but too small for the finger of a grown man. But I would like to emphasize, most women are far better off not carrying a gun. Only if you are in a position of constantly being exposed to unavoidable danger is it an option.

One never wishes to blame the victim but every single girl I know without exception who has ever gotten into trouble was doing something most women would consider risky or just plain stupid. Don’t take chances- the stakes are too high. As a stripper, leaving the club after work is the time when you are most vulnerable. I have only gotten scared twice at work. On both occasions it was when an overly enthusiastic customer decided to wait for me outside the club after closing. On both occasions the men were just confused about the nature of what a stripper does and were quickly dealt with by security. This being said, transportation is a critical safety issue that you really have to think about. Going to work is not a problem because customers can’t really see where you are coming from. Leaving is when you have to be most vigilant. Public transportation is out of the question, it’s too easy to be followed and is rarely safe at the hours you’ll be riding. I’d suggest sharing a cab with one of the other girls. If you decide to drive, make very sure that your car is reliable, last thing you need is a break down on an empty road at 3AM. A cell phone is a good thing to have. Make sure when you register you car you do it to another address (friend, parent, etc.). That way if some creep takes down your license plate number he can’t find out your home address. For obvious reasons never give any personal info to anyone who knows you as a stripper, including other strippers. There are strippers and bouncers who will give the information to customers for money or as a favor. There is no reason anyone needs to know anything but your stage name. Don’t tell them where you live or what school you go to no matter how trust worthy they seem. Once that information is out it’s very difficult to put back in the box.

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We are not all success stories. I had my eye on the prize the first time someone slipped money in my garter. I learned how to capitalize on a man’s willingness to part with his hard earned money to see me naked. Done properly, a stripper can sock away grand amounts of cash just by dancing naked, and it can end as a very fruitful career choice. Not every girl is a naturally born stripper, you have to be willing to work your ass off, and then the world holds endless possibilities for you.

When Cursed With Seeing Everything

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My son will be the first person to say I have a very, very, low tolerance for any degree or variable of bullshit. He will even go as far as saying I have a very active BS Meter (bullshitometer) which is represented by my left eyebrow. The higher the eyebrow goes represents the depth I believe of the bullshit. He, for one, chooses to step far away if both of my eyebrows get active. Why am I going into this at this point? There are a few reasons that have caught my own attention here the last few days and now that I have had time to reflect a bit, I would like to share.

We can start with Tuesday when I received a call in reference to a job I applied for online. I always have tried to check out company details prior to applying to get a better grasp of what they do overall, to include checking the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for complaints and kudos. This particular job was for a delivery driver who delivers custom architectural wood designs to a variety of builders and customers alike. Sounded interesting so I applied on Monday afternoon, along with about 50 other places. So, Tuesday’s call was a welcome surprise for me. The call came from a “staffing agency”, no surprise there, most places use them to select employee candidates, but not recognizing the number, I let it go to voicemail. After listening to it I called them back. They began by wanting to give zero information, just a time and place to meet for an interview. I asked about three things not mentioned prior, wages, hours, and position requirements. I was told that the information would be covered extensively in the interview. The interview was yesterday, in a Starbucks, about thirty minutes from my house.

First of all, I was just given an address, so I went to that address, this is when I found out it was a fucking Starbucks. I was instructed to text a number provided to me when I arrived and to wait outside the entrance. Very cloak and dagger, the bullshit flags were already flying by the time I got there, but I went anyway. I was met at the door by a stunning brunette, mid 30s, dressed very business like but very sexy like as well, very distracting if you ask me. Overkill on her part, but pleasant on the eyes in my opinion. She offered to buy me a coffee of my choice, of course my choice seemed disappointing to her, because I ordered an ice water, a $5.34 cup of ice water to be exact. And y’all wonder why I hate Starbucks. We sit, she slides her chair towards me, she opens her folder, and immediately starts talking. After a few minutes I sensed that this was way fucked up, she was trying to sell me an investment opportunity in an insurance company to become a licensed broker. When I finally stopped her from talking and quite literally asked her what in the fuck she was trying to pull, she began to explain, somewhat, and vaguely. Seems “Ms. Rice” was part of a recruiting team who screens candidates based on resumes that come into their office for alternative positions other than what they applied for as a gesture of good faith when the position applied for has been filled already.

Needless to say, we were done, way done, what a cunt, what a fucking scam. Sadly, two of my other applications were done through that same staffing company, at least now I know. So, pissed, disappointed, pissed, and now very disillusioned, I get back into my H1 and go home. When I pull into the driveway I get a call from the staffing agency which went to voicemail, explaining they are sorry things didn’t work out in the interview earlier and hope “we” have better luck in the future. WTF? In the future? There isn’t a fucking future with them. That takes big balls in my opinion, bigger balls than I have for sure. I need to send them a go fuck yourselves bouquet of dead weeds so they understand just how appreciative I am that they wasted my fucking morning all to hell and back. On the plus side, the stunning stripper wannabe who bought me the water reminded me that sometimes wolves wear wolves clothing to catch their prey, note to self indeed. What did I learn? One, that my bullshitometer works just fine and I should have listened to it from the get go. Two, this is about the tenth or twelfth time that someone contacted me for school loans, grants, insurance, government assistance, and other crap when all I want is a job, not more bullshit grief. And three, anyone who chooses to meet up at a Starbucks for anything already has a few screws loose and shouldn’t be trusted.

I forget what else I was going to mention, so I will conclude this post with a message. My true curse is I don’t trust people, but people are my biggest curiosity, and because of that I subconsciously always scrutinize everything, calling bullshit when it truly is bullshit. Don’t get me wrong though, there are some truly amazing people on the planet who can’t be washed over by the truly amazing liars the walk beside. Anyway, I’m still looking for a job, so I better get back to the hunt. Thanks for stopping by.

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It’s A Small World………………..Afterall

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Now that I have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day, let me tell you just how small a world this really is. Let’s start with the fact I started a new job recently, those of y’all keeping up may have noticed my delinquent behavior here at the blog, and with every new job there is a fair share of “new hire” paperwork that has to be done. At the point when I started mine, given to me by the assistant, I realized I new her, I couldn’t place from where, but I knew her for sure. Its not a case of de ja vu either, I knew her from somewhere. It will come to me sooner or later is all I can think. Later that afternoon, after leaving work, I stopped by a strip club which was right up the street to inquire about a part time, evening, maintenance position I came across is my job searching the week prior. I thought if it were for a few hours each night it might not be a bad gig since it was a half mile from the other place. When I called, the manager said to just come it at my convenience and we could talk.

I went in and asked around for her at the bar. I was asked to have a seat and she would be out shortly. My eyes were drawn to the stage for a moment because all strip clubs are not created equal by no means. Then, a dancer caught my eye, I mean really got my attention, I had to get a closer look for sure. I got that same feeling from earlier in the day, this was truly bizarre to say the very least. When I approached the stage it hits me, like a ton of bricks kinda hit, all asses are not created equal either. It goes way beyond it being the girl from my new job, its deeper, a few years ago I had met her at the club I was a bartender at, she just didn’t show up one day, and that was that, it happens with strippers. When she turned around and saw me looking up at her she just grinned and kept going, never missing a beat. I headed back to the bar where the manager was now waiting on me. In the end, I did not take the job. Why? They wanted a janitor to clean bathrooms, not a maintenance guy. Before I left I looked for her now that she was done dancing, but never did see her, so I left.

The following morning I was bent over a pallet on the floor loading it out for delivery. Between my legs I noticed she was standing directly behind me. She squatted down beside me and asked if we could talk a second. She talked, I listened. She explained she recognized me right away the day before, but didn’t think I recognized her which is why she didn’t say anything to me then. After going down memory lane about the things she would do on my bar in my plain view and sometimes with my assistance, she asked I not mention where she works or what she does to the others. Um, okay then. Before she walked off she tells me that anytime I come by the club to ask for her because she would make sure I had free lap dances that I wouldn’t soon forget. Interesting proposal, but I doubt I will be going back, lap dances are the least of my worries in life.

Fast forward to this morning, a morning without a happy ending, but one I saw coming a mile away. To say it simply, I was let go. Why? I was hired on the contingent that I would have my Class A CDL in a timely manner. I was doing my part over the last, now two weeks, to get it, in fact I posess my learner permit now, which I got this past Friday. You see, I have been studying my ass off for this test, for this job, but they had other plans in their agenda. They hired a driver, no wait, no muss, no fuss, and they no longer had a need for me. OK, yes, this is bullshit, because I applied for a warehouse position and was being paid that of a warehouse worker which was to change at a future date. Whoops, I missed the memo that they hired someone else for the position which I did not have the credentials to fill. To hell with it I guess, I didn’t like the 55 minute drive anyway to get to work. Plus, with the new laws I wasn’t 100% positive I could get the medical part of my CDL requirements because of being an insulin dependent diabetic. There were allot of factors that could’ve fucked me in the end, so I look at it as the silver lining in the cloud. This just might have saved me allot of heartburn because there were many unanswered questions about it all. It us what it is, tomorrow I start the hunt for a job again, hopefully the next one works out better. No worries though, I’m like Tigger, I gots allot of fucking bounce left in me.

Believe It Or Not, I Start Work Tomorrow

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Doesn’t everyone wish they had cheerleaders to help them celebrate the small victories in life? I know I do, but settle for the ones in my head. Anyway, if y’all read a few posts back about my dumb luck then this news will not come as a surprise to y’all. If not, go review and come back. When I last spoke of the job, well I was only considering it, as if tomorrow morning I start my new job. Yes, I’m happy, and yes the money will come in handy.

What does that mean for my blogs? I don’t know yet. I will assume I won’t have the time during the day to jack around here so that leaves the evenings and weekends if I did the math correctly. In reality, I know my next few months are going to be packed with studying so I can get my CDL reinstated in a timely manner. Not to worry, I have no intention of shutting either blog down or letting them get covered in dust. All I can do is hope that I will have the time and energy to do what I like doing here. No worries please, I’m not abandoning y’all, just getting back on track in life, that’s all.

So, anyway, I just wanted to warn y’all the inevitable day has arrived, don’t be skeered because I’m not, I’m actually pretty damn excited about it. Y’all know I will continue to find things to write about or otherwise post, its what I do.

An Observation In Chance Encounters

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As the days get torn from the calendar this week, we find ourselves doing the last minute shopping to ready our son for his first day of the 8th grade this coming Monday. In the midst of all of the grand excitement we found that we had missed a few things on his school supply list. It was only a few items, but still meant a trip to Walmart for my son and I. We decided that we would go yesterday after dinner, just the two of us, father and son, on the hunt in the Walmart jungle. Actually, it was more like a trip to the zoo, but who am I to say. Before we go, I get into my dresser and get a $50 dollar bill, thinking that should cover anything we need to get. My son wants to take my H1 so we went out, got in, and left. Walmart is about 15 minutes from my house so the trip went pretty fast.

Arriving at Walmart at 8:30 pm at night I was really surprised to see the parking lot was at least 80% full. Which means, I assume, that they will have both check out lanes jam packed with long lines. I was able to drive right in to a parking spot, so far so good. Then, as we are getting out of the vehicle, a decked out Escalade pulls into the open disabled spot to my left. The music was so loud that it was rattling car parts on the car directly in front of it. I couldn’t see the driver because the window tint seemed to be darker than my own double limo tint. I had the back door open on that side because I was grabbing socks bought for my son that were the wrong size and needed to be exchanged. Then the driver’s door to the Escalade opens, I hear this woman screaming “where in the fuck does your aunt keep that fucking blue thing for the window, I ain’t fucking gonna park way out in the fucking middle of nowhere”. I heard no reply. She pulled her phone out of her bag and calls whoever and cusses that person up and down for a few minutes. As I walk away, about to bust out laughing, I hear ” excuse me sir, I seemed to have misplaced my blue window thingy, do you have an extra one I can borrow? ” I turned slowly and replied with a simple no, pointing out I have plates, I don’t need the window placard. After she gave me a go to hell asshole glaring stare, she turned to one of the children, around 9 or 10, and told her to sit in the car to watch for the cops, if she sees any to call her so they can leave. WTF? Against my better judgment, my son and I just walked away.

However, once inside, I did locate the store manager, explained about the girl being left inside the car, and she did contact the police. From that point on now, I have no idea what happened. I never saw the lady in Walmart nor was the Escalade parked next to me when we left. She, my friends, is an absolute douchebag. We wait in line at the return counter, one person running one register, behind a half dozen or so people. Finally, my turn, present the bag of socks, present the receipt (4 days old), and get told they don’t exchange. I of course opted for the refund. She processed the return and tells me she has to put the funds on a Walmart gift card. Why? I showed her I paid cash and want cash back. After a short argument, she gets a manager involved to override her transaction, and then gives me my $7.56 in cash. Are these people really this fucking stupid? Of course, there aren’t any carts available, so I sent my son to scavenge one from the parking lot. He returned quickly and we began our seek and destroy mission for the missing school supplies. It is, however, a very short list, just 3 essay notebooks, 1 folder with tabs, and 2 spiral notebooks. Talk about impressed, everything was in one aisle, everything was fully stocked, and we were the only people on that aisle, bonus. Boom, boom, boom, and fucking done! But wait, my list has other stuff on it, I needed 2 a/c return filters which after checking, they had zero, strike one. Over to the groceries, I need cream cheese, check, I need raspberry extract, check, and finally, raspberry pie filling, check. Okay, time to get the fuck out. Time check, elapsed time at Walmart 51 minutes.

Wonderful, all of the self checkout lanes are closed, strike two. Then we just picked a line, which we were in for 20 minutes. But wait, there’s much more. The lady in front of me had three carts, two with groceries, and one with school supplies and clothing. After the first cart cleared, she paid with her food stamp card. When the second one cleared, she paid the over $400 in $20 dollar bills. The items in that basket included alcohol and other food items not allowed by food stamps. After her third cart clears, she uses 5 gift cards, two different credit cards, putting just a little on each one, and paid the remaining $300 in cash. My checkout was easy, paid, and we were out. As we walk out the door guess who has her Escalade parked right at the doors? Yep. The lady in front of me was loading her stuff into the back of it. How convenient, curbside service. This bitch was holding up allot of cars, and they took their sweet ass time doing it. As we walked by I felt her eyes burning the back of my skull and when I turned to look she was proudly displaying a full on double bird and mouthing “fuck you cocksucker”. Awwww, how sweet. My son and I just waived politely and smiled, I don’t think she quite understood our kindness because she looked pissed. To each her own.

I don’t always see random stupid people at Walmart, but when I do they are usually trying to make the other fucktards feel a sense of pride and unity. So what was the point of me sharing all of this with y’all today? Great question! I really don’t know a great answer though, I think I wrote it out of the sadness I feel towards people who are liars, cheats, and thieves. I mean, let’s face it, this wasn’t a rare instance or occurrence, what I saw is the “norm” in our society. Too many people use government assistance as their career opportunity in life, they milk the “system” for their personal paycheck, and the utterly sad and ridiculous part of it all is they know they are scammers and cheats because their lifestyle revolves around it. And yes, our wonderful government enabled it to be this way. Maybe that’s just where humanity is at the present time. I joke with my wife, who doesn’t see the humor, ever, about me thinking I have made the wrong career choices. But, obviously, I like doing things the hard way, the right way, and with a clear conscience. Doesn’t mean I can’t be amused or pissed when I see these people because when I see it happening it does get my bullshit-o-meter pegged out, for sure. OK, sure, be mad at me because I see things and have an opinion about it. You’re probably right, the people I mentioned in this post are most likely legit, honest, hard working individuals, and I have just jumped to very obscure conclusions for no clear reasons. Oh, now I understand, some people like a sugar coating on their bullshit so its easier to swallow. Its cool.

Something Serious I Wish To Say

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For the most part people do not visit The Sting Of The Scorpion blog because it is a serious place to visit. Because the tempo around here usually focuses on the humor in life and my sarcasm towards it all. That’s just where this blog is, it started there and has continued to evolve in that direction for the most part. However, there are days such as today that remind me I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t first have a past. A past, you ask? Well, yes, every single person has someone they used to be. I’m one of the lucky ones, I’m one of the people who survived his military service, and I, not unlike thousands, are no different in our outer appearance than the next person. Meaning? If you were not informed I am an Air Force veteran who was involved in Desert Storm or The Liberation of Kuwait then you could never tell by merely looking at me. Involvement? I built and serviced munitions (bombs and bullets) while on both tours, as well as my normal peacetime job. Now you know something new about me personally. One might also see the DV handicap license plates on my vehicles (disabled veteran) when I am out in public.

What does all of this matter anyway, right? I had two separate encounters today, one in the real world and one here in cyberspace, where, someone who doesn’t “know” me thanked me for my service. The first time today, I was getting out of my vehicle at Walmart and a woman and her 11 y/o son were walking by. She stopped and waited for me at the rear of my H1, she extended her hand to shake mine while she began thanking me for my service to our country. If that was not enough for me to have to hold back tears, I see below me, her young son giving me a full on military style salute. This entire encounter moved me, when she and her son moved on I had to take a minute to collect myself, and that included the wiping of some tears. She said something that haunts me a bit though. She asked if I have DV plates why I was parked so deep in the parking lot and not in the clearly open spaces at the front. Why? Why indeed. Then she mentioned that she sees people parking in handicap who clearly don’t need to be, she says this as she is looking at my scarred and abused right knee and leg. I never had the chance to tell her that I walk these distances because it is added exercise I get to help with my diabetes, which is why I walk.

My second encounter happens today also, but here in cyberspace. I’m not going mention her name or anything like that here because our conversations are private. I know she knows I am talking about her, what she doesn’t know is that for a second time in a single day I found myself wiping a tear from my eyes. Which is rough in its own because I wear contacts. I’m very gracious for the thank yous and the well wishes, but it made me think, how once again, I am one of the lucky ones in my own eyes. My point here, is simple and complicated, I have never met her I’m person, yet I really feel she understands what it means to be a veteran. We have exchanged some of our background and when she speaks of her experiences with veterans I can really relate as I think she can also relate to me. Over time I have begun to have a true fondness for her. Don’t tell her though, she might think I’m cyberstalking her or something which is not the case. I just wanted her to know I appreciate how she has touched the lives of many veterans, and she has helped me and touched my life as well. Thank you H.

I think I will close this out now before I choose not to post it altogether. Blogging truly is the cheapest form of therapy there is out there. The top picture was borrowed from the internet. The bottom picture is indeed my own personal right knee. As one can see, I have had a few surgeries involving my service related injury, the last being a knee replacement a few years ago. Which, as fate would have it, is failing, hence my current dealings with the VA, in fact, the saga will continue tomorrow as I have an appointment with a VA orthopedic specialist. Yes, that is Tigger’s head. No, you may not ask me about it. Btw, that picture was taken a few hours ago, so yea, its pretty current.

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What You Don’t Know Others Know

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I thought today would be a good day to tell about the adventure of a certain somebody who was living a really secret life that she thought was under very tight wraps. Eventhough she travels in between a few different social circles each day she never had a fear that others might venture out of their own circles and unbalance her own. At first she was in shock but soon came to realize that it was bound to happen sooner or later. After a discussion with a stripper known as Jewel a few years ago I found out quite a not about her without really trying. She has a day job as a receptionist, she has a husband, she has two sons, she is the vice president of an elementary school PTA, she is on the luncheon committee at the baptist church her and her family attend, and she is a stripper at least 3 nights a week. Each one of those groups form a circle which she belongs to, some overlap and others never seem to. Fast forward to earlier this week when we spoke again, only this time one circle expanded into her secret circle, it expanded into to the circle of Jewel.

A few weekends ago she was assigned to cater very closely to a bachelors party that would have roughly fifteen people in attendance. Eventhough it was on a night she didn’t normally work she accepts it because it would mean some extra cash that van be used when they head to Florida for summer vacation in July. Lucky for her getting out of the house was rather easy since her husband was out of town and both boys were at friends overnight. When she got to the club she was about an hour early so she took her time getting dressed, doing make up, and finishing her hair. When she was done she headed out to the bar to get a bottled water where she sat a while watching everyone else. What she would soon find out is she was being watched right back. Come right before ten or so she headed into the private meeting room where the bachelors party would be and as she was walking by this man she realized she recognized him. She blew it off because she didn’t know where from and kept walking.

Soon enough the room began to fill with party goers, the mobile bartender, two other strippers, and the guest of honor. Everyone was set, it was time to get the party started. Jewel has noticed the man she made eye contact with outside is in the room as one of the guests attending. She just had an odd feeling about it the whole night, she couldn’t shake it or figure out where he was from. As the night drew to a close, some 4 hours later, Jewel was on the stage doing what Jewel does, making a bunch of money. Part of the way into song number two, now she is completely nude, she sees the man up close, as he is handing her a tip he pauses a moment, and then get worst nightmare came true, he called her by her real name and asked if she was glad the night was over because she looked beat. This shook her for a second, but nlrw him off acting as if she never heard him talking, much less saying her real name. As soon as the song is over she quickly, yet politely, left the room. But before she got to the curtain she heard the man say he looks forward to seeing everyone in church on Sunday. Not missing a beat she eased through the curtain to the back hall. Now, she began to panic, now she knew who he was, and now she knows how he knows her and her family.

She tried not to think about any of it on her drive home. She thought it might be a good time to sit her husband down and have a long uncomfortable talk about what sh does on the side. But how? She then decides to wait, wait until Sunday and see how that goes. Maybe, just maybe, she will get lucky. Why wouldn’t she, she has never done anything to the man to make him act vindictively towards her, has she. Sunday came and went, church came and went, the picnic afterwards came and went, and she never even saw the man from the club. After that day she never looked back again, but if you didn’t see her performance on Wednesday then you’ll have missed out because she ended her stripping career that night. She figured she has beaten the odds long enough and it was time to put her pole dancing skills to rest.

How Being Under-Qualified Saved Me

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Normally I wouldn’t be especially satisfied with being told that I’m under-qualified for a specific job position. However, having the lack of one specific qualification saved me from moving somewhere I really didn’t want to live. Now that I have the definitive answer let me start from the beginning of how this all came about. Before I get to far ahead of myself let me explain the above photograph. It was taken earlier this year by my cousin who lives outside of Bismarck, North Dakota and sent to my mother (his aunt by marriage) to illustrate what a great winter they were having. My mother thought it humorous to show me the photo since I spend 98% of the year in shorts and flip flops. Anyway, back to the story. Seems in my family circle news of me being laid off has expanded out to extended family as well. Well, my cousin, who has lived in and around Bismarck his entire life, works for a company there that manufacturers diesel powered recreational vehicles (RVs), buses, and large specialty vehicles. Anyway, he had a position open and wanted to give me an opportunity to fill it for him.

Our first telephone conversation was short and to the point, he needed my resume. Now, that’s convenient because I had recently updated my resume. After a few days he called me for an impromptu telephone interview. Seems I offered everything he was looking for with one exception, I don’t have any over the counter sales experience. It would appear that being a bartender isn’t considered actual sales experience. Who knew. Unfortunately, this minor detail is a major deal breaker. In many ways I’m not disappointed in the decision, in other ways, financially speaking, it was a let down. I mean, I just let an $80,000.00 a year job slip through my fingertips as well as a company sponsored relocation. So, in that regard it sucks a bit. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to live that far north, because I’m really not a fan of the cold weather or snow.

In review, I would have had to uproot my family, lease out my home & property, and go live in a place that is known for its harsh winter environment. What in the fuck was I smoking! I imagine, if things would have turned out different, that we would have moved. But, I think I would have regretted leaving Texas. Plus, those damn yankees talk funny, it would have been like moving to a foreign country or something. Personally, I think the right thing happened, maybe for the wrong reasons, but I can live with that.