A Year or Video Games

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and now Spider-Man.

In short, my love of video games is alive and well in 2019! As a newly admitted English/Classics major at Western Michigan University, I probably should be reading instead of playing so many games. I’ve only been playing Spider-Man for a couple of days and feel like I’m almost done with the campaign. But with lots of stressors going on and a lot to figure out, kicking bad guys’ ass in more interactive universes is much more soothing than getting lost in books. But I am making an effort to start reading hardcore, especially if I will be dealing with the written word professionally for the rest of my life.

Not going to turn this into some big review piece, but I have lucked out and chosen a bunch of games with amazing storylines and emotional impact. Like right now, I’m trying to rid New York City of escaped Riker’s Island inmates, rogue private military and the Sinister Six.

Peter Parker just needed a break…

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Ghosting Ghosting

A few years ago, I was the store manager of a specialty candy store. As one might expect, one of my many responsibilities was the hiring and retention of staff. The positions I had available were only part-time, and of course everyone and their mother was hiring at the mall that summer, so finding people to come in and interview with me was a lot harder than it could have been. Even when people did interview, getting them to show up on their first day if I did extend them a job offer was sometimes even tougher. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been ghosted by new employees or interviewees.

Before I start in on the rest of this post, though, I have a confession to make. I, too, was guilty of some heavy ghosting. There were many times where I did not call people back to tell them that I was moving on with different candidates or that they weren’t right for me. That was my bad. There’s no excuse for it. Sure, I was dangerously crunched for time every second of every day, but they did take the time to come and talk with me and I did not return the favor. To those who may have been ghosted by me, I’m sorry.

It is becoming more and more common these days, on both ends of the spectrum. At my current job, my bosses had several interviews scheduled over the past few months. As usual, many didn’t show up for the interviews. One guy they ok’d right away and passed him on to the district manager for a final interview. That took a little time, as she was on vacation, but the guy patiently stuck around and seemed eager for the job. He eventually did get his third interview and was offered the job. He passed his background check, my store manager got his personnel packet printed out and ready to go, and he and I both eagerly awaited him on his first day.

He never showed. The manager called and left him a couple voicemails over the next couple of days, but he never responded and after the mandatory three day waiting period, he was terminated in the system. He will never work for Vitamin Shoppe or any sister company ever, despite a wealth of experience in the supplement industry. I later found out from a friend of mine that the guy had gone back to work for GNC. Good for him, I guess. I just wish he would have told us instead of burning a huge bridge like that. His loss.

Over the years, I’ve applied to countless jobs. The vast majority of those never got back to me. They did not even give me the common courtesy of a generic form letter thanking me for applying. I feel that this is a bullshit attitude for companies to have. I get that time is short, and that not get many people are brave enough to tell an applicant “no.” Having been one, though, and yes I am not the best person to be saying this based on my above confession, but you need to kind of have a backbone if you’re going to be a hiring manager. People take time out of their busy lives (especially if they’re unemployed) to fill out longer and longer applications, take any number of aptitude tests, and upload pages of documents even though the same information is usually required to be manually entered into the application itself. And I’m only talking about the online applications. If we count the ones you have to fill out by hand and actually physically hand in to a manager, that adds even more effort to the mix. Blatantly ignoring the applicant and not even giving them the common courtesy to give them any sort of response is just rude. It shows that you don’t care much about potential employees and might not only permanently turn them off from considering you in the future, but might also lose you their business if they are a customer. It’s just unprofessional.

Applicants, same thing applies for you. Like I said, hiring managers do much more than just hire (not counting HR recruiters, whose primary job IS to recruit and interview). They take time out of their lives to interview people, and if they do push you up to the next step it usually involves and even greater investment in time and energy, which usually takes away from other required paperwork, inventory counts, customer service, sales, or whatever other goals they have to meet. You should be honored if they want to give you a shot. Ghosting them is a huge waste of their time, and the consequences are shitty. Not only have you burned a bridge with them, but a lot of times if it’s a corporation you are blacklisted in the system for good. God forbid you have the rare manager with a photographic memory. People do switch jobs, you know. I went from managing at the mall to managing for a different franchise owner downtown Grand Rapids. Someone who ghosted me at the mall tried applying for my new store. Did I interview them? Nope, and I told the owner about her and he made a note on her application to never consider her because of her past actions. Nothing personal, but we don’t have time to waste on people with commitment issues.

People just need to start holding themselves to high standards and respect themselves enough to either follow through with a commitment or politely decline the opportunity. That’s the only sure-fire way to ensure that the practice of ghosting does not become the norm in today’s business world. People are better than that. They need to start acting like it.

I’ve Been Down This Road Before…

I seem to have found myself in the same situation all the blogs I’ve had in the past have been in–the length of time in between blog posts have started becoming longer and longer and longer.

In the past, this is where my blogs have been on their last breaths and inevitably die, forgotten.

I know I keep saying I will try to writer and writer and write, and I’m sorry I have let it fall to the side as everything else in life has taken precedence. I don’t know how many loyal readers who have been around since the beginning have stopped checking in as I’ve been more and more absent, but hopefully soon I can get them to come back. Excuses are like ashtrays–everybody wants to dig their butts into them. But in my defense, illness, work, school, and a shit ton of stress has caused me to not even think about anything else, and sadly that includes CrapPile. I keep meaning to write and post stuff on here, but I keep putting it off.

Hell, ask Alexis. Some nights I’m just too worn down to even turn on the PlayStation. Life sucks sometimes, man.

Luckily, I have tomorrow off and Alexis has to work most of the day so I think I shall put on a pot of chili to cook in the crock pot and do some serious writing, both on and off the blog. Maybe I will even make a plan to have entries written for here in advance so I don’t have anymore prolonged periods of silence.

No false promises this time, just a concentrated effort. See you all tomorrow…

Shame on You, Kaepernick!

I’m so proud of Maroon 5. All the shit people have been giving them–the Change.org petition, the calls for boycotts, and constant crap that fellow celebs have been dishing them–and they still agreed to perform for the Super Bowl. I love it, I love it, I love it.

Yes, many people stand behind Colin Kaepernick. I get that. What he did to allegedly bring attention to the ever-present problems of racism and police brutality are commendable, if indeed that was what his intention was. I, for one, had never heard of him until he disrespected the anthem by kneeling, and I’m certain a good chunk of America hadn’t either.

He is the reason no one wanted to perform for the Half-Time Show. So many people believe that the NFL has blacklisted the dude that they boycotted it and called for musicians everywhere to do the same. God forbid Maroon 5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott decide to perform. It’s a 15-minute show in the biggest football game of the year. One that everyone and their mother will be watching. They watch for the sport, not the music. When it comes to a game like this, nobody gives a rip about politics or racism. They only care about one thing–football. Whatever the loud mouths had hoped to achieve has failed, and was always going to fail.

Get over it. Colin Kaepernick is no hero. He is a little-talent player who wanted to be famous so he did something scandalous to get eyes on him. He is one of the most controversial figures of our age, and will always be one. And he certainly has no right trying to interfere with the Super-Bowl, no matter how badly he might want to be suited up on the sidelines.

More on Kaepernick later. I want to finish watching the game.

Happy Birthday

So, yeah. Today is my birthday.

How am I celebrating today?

After a wonderful breakfast made by my fantastic fiancé, we took a trek out into the sub-Arctic conditions to start up the van for the first time in a while so the engine could warm up a bit.

After that, I went in to take a shower on to find for the fourth time this year the upstairs neighbors flooding our bathroom again, so that prompted a highly pissed-off Alexis to call and bitch at the property management again. It’s become quite annoying, to say the least.

Right now, we are both discussing future plans waiting for Grand Theft Auto V to install. I needed a nice reprieve from the constant Red Dead Redemption 2 playing going on here since we both beat Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

Other than that, we’re just waiting to see if my parents are able to go to dinner with us later on. Pretty easy day, no complaints. I guess turning 29 isn’t all that bad.

I just wish this game would hurry up and finish downloading…

Final Thoughts of 28

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I only have a couple of hours left of being a 28 year-old. Then I begin the final year of my twenties and can really start to feel old.

I’ve been trying for the last couple of hours to think of some major philosophical, birthday-ish thoughts I could share on here, but 28 isn’t the age you really have a right to really do any deep thinking about. Tomorrow will come, as it always does. The weather here in West Michigan once again will keep a lot of places snowed in, and Alexis and I both have the day off. Tentative plans with the family have us all going to P.F. Chang’s to celebrate, but we will see how the roads look.

So, what are some final thoughts I have right about now?

1) I think we’re all a bunch of fools when it comes to forming opinions and choosing our political “heroes.” We don’t know enough to really form adequate opinions about anything, and most of us are too lazy to do research, so we are all easily swayed by what we see and hear on TV. But fortunately, at least from what I’ve seen, very slowly but surely more and more people are waking up.

2) Change is natural. You either have to accept that, or be left behind as the world goes on it’s way without so much as looking back. Politics, religion, social norms, attitudes about everything…it’s all changing. We can’t stop it, even if we wanted to. It’s out of our hands.

3) I don’t believe in heroes anymore. I don’t think they have a place in the world, and cause more problems than good. Labeling a person as a “hero” is nothing but a political honor these days, and anything politically-rooted causes more harm than good.

Well, that’s enough late-night rambling right now. Maybe tomorrow when I have more energy I will touch up on some of these thoughts in more detail.

Have a safe night, folks.

State of Emergency Michigan!

I just read in the news that the Governor has declared a State of Emergency in Michigan as a result of the bad weather expected the next couple of days. I knew that after the fairly mild Christmas we just had here that the worst would be here before we knew it, but it’s due to be the coldest it’s been in almost three decades–somewhere between negative 20 and negative 30 plus degree windchills.

You know it’s bad around here when retailers in normally-busy areas shut down early. I had already ordered an Uber to get me from my apartment and bring me to Vitamin Shoppe when my boss calls me and tells me that the district manager was shutting us down and to not even bother coming in. I had to pay a five dollar convenience fee for that, but at least I got another day off.

I got a hankering for some Pepsi, so I somewhat unwisely decided to bundle up around seven pm and take a hike down the road to the gas station for a couple of 2-liters. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too terribly cold out. The sidewalks hadn’t been plowed, but in a way that worked out for me because when the snow is packed that high it hardens up, so I did not have to slip and slide like I was practicing for the Olympics the entire trip. It also wasn’t too windy, but according to the news reports that luck will not last the night.

As much as I would love for my store to be closed again tomorrow, I have bills to pay and school to get ready for in the fall. The store gets pretty toasty, and there’s certainly going to be a lot to get done. The cold will likely keep the vast majority of customers today, so it will be the perfect time to catch up on stuff. I’m sure my boss and the assistant manager did not get hardly any shipment sorted today, which will make my opening shift fly by, especially if the store is dead. If anything, I will likely be there for only a few hours if they decide to shut us down again. That or I will be woken up by everyone’s favorite phone call and I can go back to bed.

Regardless, if you live in the Midwest, be safe please. Stay warm, prepare for the worst. And drive safe!