Category Archives: Working

“Are Jobs Obsolete?”

Fantastic article published today on CNN Opinion, by Douglas Rushkoff, special to CNN.

“New technologies are wreaking havoc on employment figures — from EZpasses ousting toll collectors to Google-controlled self-driving automobiles rendering taxicab drivers obsolete. Every new computer program is basically doing some task that a person used to do. But the computer usually does it faster, more accurately, for less money, and without any health insurance costs.

“We like to believe that the appropriate response is to train humans for higher level work. Instead of collecting tolls, the trained worker will fix and program toll-collecting robots. But it never really works out that way, since not as many people are needed to make the robots as the robots replace.

“And so the president goes on television telling us that the big issue of our time is jobs, jobs, jobs — as if the reason to build high-speed rails and fix bridges is to put people back to work. But it seems to me there’s something backwards in that logic. I find myself wondering if we may be accepting a premise that deserves to be questioned.

“I am afraid to even ask this, but since when is unemployment really a problem? I understand we all want paychecks — or at least money. We want food, shelter, clothing, and all the things that money buys us. But do we all really want jobs?”

Read the rest of the article here.


Introducing …

This is my “official” introduction to “Arzooman Editorial Services.” After much contemplation, I have settled on a name for the business and I’ve officially upgraded my blog to a real website.

Further updates will follow. I’ll be offering an initial discount (to the end of August) to those who find me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I haven’t joined Google+ yet but I expect to soon, and the discount will be available there as well.

I am available for book editing and proofreading, as well as smaller projects such as website corrections, ebook formatting, blogging, and editing articles and papers.

Do I look confused in this?

What are people wearing these days to job interviews? Here is some helpful advice:

From The Return of the Interview Suit, NY Times:

“… go with a pantsuit because that gives a better silhouette.” — Simon Kneen, creative director of Banana Republic.

“I’m really against pants. They look too casual in most situations.” — Designer Nicole Miller.

“… clean and simple lines — anything that doesn’t distract the interviewer from understanding the qualities you bring to the table.” — Karen Harvey, a recruiter for top fashion and retail jobs.

“ … give people something to remember. … pick a color, as opposed to wearing all gray.”  — Jenna Lyons Mazeau, the creative director of J. Crew. “”

“I’m a big fan of sticking with navy or gray pinstripes.” — former designer James Purcell, who now works as an image strategist for executives and politicians.

Cost of all this?

From Buyer’s Guide: The Perfect Interview Suit:

“It’s reasonable to expect a suit to cost somewhere between $300 and $1,000.” — Erika Chloe, celebrity stylist and founder of fashion consulting company “My Image Expert.”

Confused and depressed now?

You, too, can be a housewife!

Housewife Pictures, Images and PhotosI laugh because, since being laid off, I’ve ended up being the one who does more of the cleaning, cooking, and laundry these days. I’m actually terrible at it. Not that I can’t do it well–it’s just that I get wrapped up in other things. When I do laundry in our building’s basement, I come back upstairs, get involved writing a blog,  sending out a resume, or doing some research, and I’m late getting back downstairs to put the load into the dryer. (Usually during the day it’s OK because I’m the only one doing laundry, but on occasion I’ve annoyed people who were waiting. Oops.)

I clean sporadically, and forget when we need milk, veggies, or cat food. I’ll look at the clock, realize how late it’s getting, and rush to the store before my husband gets home — or I’ll scrounge around in the cabinet hoping there is one more can of green beans. Generally, we eat fresh vegetables, but I try to keep a can or two around for emergencies … and feel embarrassed when I’ve neglected to replenish the stash. As I type this, I am supposed to be starting dinner. I will … in a minute or two … or three.

Merriam-Webster’s defines “housewife” as “a married woman in charge of a household,” and, since I’m not in charge of anything, I don’t think I’m really a housewife. Besides, I’m not doing anything different than what a single, unemployed woman does. I’m just working at home. And working at home can be a dream come true, for those of us who have dealt with long, crowded, too hot (or too cold) commutes; offices where you don’t fit in; offices where your cubicle gives you only an illusion of privacy; and, of course, lackadaisical, angry, passive-aggressive, clueless, not-being-team-player coworkers and/or bosses. And I set my own hours.

But as I attempt to either find full-time work or freelance jobs, working at home, for me at least, can also be a struggle. There are upside and downsides.

The pros:

    1. I can get up whenever I want.
    2. I can work in my pajamas.
    3. I can listen to whatever music I want.
    4. I get to play with my cat.
    5. I’m saving money by not having to commute and not having to eat lunches out.

The cons::

  1. My cat is a distraction.
  2. I can see more stuff on the internet than I could at work — and it, too, can be a distraction.
  3. It’s easier to procrastinate.
  4. It’s easier to overeat.
  5. I don’t have human interaction.
I was debating whether the last item on the list was a “pro” or a “con,” but I guess in general it is a con. I do need human interaction. I don’t know if I miss it every day, but I have to make time to go out with friends regularly.
The procrastination and overeating and distractions are just things I know are there and I need to work on them. I make lists for myself, I set a schedule of what should be done with reminders on Google calendar (thank you, Google gods), and I sit down to do the work, perhaps with the promise of a reward later.

Facebook no-no’s

From BBC News online: “What you shouldn’t do on Facebook…
The BBC recently came up with a list of things you should perhaps not do when on Facebook, many of which relate to employment.

The five include:

  1. Make friends with people you shouldn’t.
  2. Moan about your boss/customers/constituents.
  3. Upload dodgy photos.
  4. Enjoy your sick leave too much.
  5. Spill secrets.

The June 15th article by Marie Jackson elaborates, in part: “A woman, known only as Lindsay, declared in a (Facebook) status update, “OMG I hate my job!” before launching into a personal attack on her boss. It was a matter of hours before she was reminded that her boss was among her “friends”. He reportedly posted a response telling Lindsay not to bother coming in (the next day).”

Yesterday I was on YouTube with family members, posting links to Springsteen videos featuring sax solos by Clarence Clemens, who died on Saturday. It wasn’t “professional,” but then again it certainly wasn’t controversial and was harmless, with the exception being that a client might think I should have been working at the time I was posting the YouTube links.

But when I’m blogging, that, too, may appear to be a distraction from my work. I keep my own hours and lately I’ve been working pretty hard — I’m editing two books now (finishing up one in the next two days and starting another) — but I do consider blogging to be part of my work life as well. I need to write, so I prioritize; I don’t write when I have an immediate editing deadline looming.

Then there are borderline distractions such as tweeting and updating my status or commenting on LinkedIn. I consider this part of my marketing plan to put my name out there as a freelancer, and so it’s also “working” — depending on what, exactly, I’m tweeting.

I have no privacy. I’m going to be very careful before writing anything negative about a former workplace, or before posting a suggestive or distasteful photo. This may be my life, but it’s also business.