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Showing posts with label work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label work. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How to lose a job in 10 ways

Recently, I posted an ad online, looking for a babysitter for McKenna. I was clear in my requirements, as well as the hours and rate of pay. I received a large volume of emails in response to the ad; most of them went something like this:

"wen do u want someone?"

"what is the pay i might be quitting my job so maybe i could work for you until i find something else"

"i don't have first aid but i been around lot of kids"

or my favourite

"call me. 736-7628"

Seriously!? Is this really the best you can do? While I did not specifically advertise for an English professor, I do expect a certain level of proficiency in the language. Moreover, I expect a certain level of professionalism when inquiring about a potential job. To make things easier, I have compiled a list of things that I expect of a job candidate - whether I am hiring someone to mow my lawn, clean up dog poop, or watch my precious child. While I don't expect that any of the applicants I rejected will ever read this maybe someone, somewhere, will read this and learn something from it.

1. It's common courtesy to start an email with a greeting. And it's so simple - "hi" is only two letters long.
2. It's really not that difficult to capitalize proper nouns. So do it. It makes you seem much more literate.
3. Don't ask questions that are already covered in the advertisement. If I specify that the rate of pay is $10 an hour, then it is $10 an hour, even for you.
4. Take the extra three seconds and spell out the entire word. It might be alright to use "lol' or "u" when texting a friend, but when emailing a potential employer it looks sloppy and lazy. If you are really that short on time, what are you doing applying for another job?
5. Along those same lines, use spell check if needed. It's okay to ask for help.
6. Don't offer to come work for me until something better comes along. We have all been there - waiting to land our dream job, and working crappy jobs in the meantime. But at least pretend that you want to work for me.
7. Ask questions. Show that you actually read the advertisement and put some thought into your reply. You could even inquire about the child that you would be caring for. Again, pretend that you want to work for me.
8. Don't just leave me your name and phone number. I will not call you, I can promise you that.
9. If you don't meet the specified criteria, move on. Chances are you will find a job that you are suited for if you keep looking. But if I have asked for First Aid and CPR, it is for a reason. I don't care that you spent every summer playing with your younger cousins from Wisconsin if you can't help my child when she's choking.
10. I can't stress this enough - be professional. There'll be plenty of time to joke around and talk in slang once we get to know each other. Hell, I might even txt u.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Breastfeeding at Work?

A fellow mom recently pointed me towards the breastfeeding inclusion policy at the university. Apparently, not only am I allowed to BF McKenna while at work, but she is actually WELCOMED by the university to attend (and nurse) during class.
"Quiet breastfeeding infants and young children are welcome in lecture theatres, public spaces, seminar rooms etc". (Policy 2.0)
 "The number of times a woman needs to breastfeed or express milk will be determined by the individual needs of the mother and the age of the baby and may vary over time" (Policy 4.1)
Holy crap! I had no idea that MUN even had a breastfeeding policy, let alone one that welcomed babies into the classroom.  Not only that, but they have also built it into the orientation for new staff and students, to ensure that people are aware of the policy (presumably so that not only will they take advantage of it themselves, but so that moms will not be harassed by other students/colleagues when breastfeeding).

4.3 Support:
  • The University supports an environment that encourages women to feel at ease breastfeeding their infants and young children throughout the campus. However, there are areas of the university where infants and young children are not permitted due to safety/health concerns or requirements.
  • Support from fellow employees is important in providing a breastfeeding environment and therefore efforts are made to inform employees about this policy to secure their cooperation for any workplace accommodations that may be needed. New employees and students are informed of University policies (including the breastfeeding policy) during orientation.
  • There may be situations or environments within the University when breastfeeding breaks or private space for breastfeeding may not be provided. Other options should be explored with the mother to ensure that her needs are met.
Wow! I am so impressed with MUN. However, I probably still will not take McKenna to class. While I have breastfed her in the comfort and privacy of my office, it is unlikely that I would attempt to do so while lecturing to 90+ students. Still, it's the thought that counts, so thank you MUN, for thinking of me and my baby. And who knows, maybe I will take her to class someday...just to say I  did.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Baby Goes to the Office

I had yet to bring McKenna with me to the office, other than to show her off a few weeks after she was born. On days when I have to go into work, McKenna usually goes to work with Greg. But this past Friday I had no other choice but to bring her to work with me. I had meetings with students that afternoon, and could not find anyone last-minute to watch her. All of my students know that I am a new mother, so I knew it would not be any great shock to them to see her in my office. I could only hope and pray that she would choose that 2-hour period to sleep.

Alas, it was not to be. We got to the office just in time for my first meeting. After spending a couple of minutes chatting about the baby (of course), it was time to get to the real purpose for the meeting - to go over the student's midterm grade. Roughly 45 seconds into it, we hear this loud "pphhssssh" sound. I turned around to see McKenna grinning ear-to-ear, and I knew immediately that a true disaster awaited me in that tiny diaper of hers. If that liquidy, squishy sound wasn't enough, the smile gives it away every time. The student assured me that it was all good, and I should go ahead and change her there in the office. So, I dug out my trusty blanket, and a clean diaper and lifted McKenna from her carseat. Immediately I could tell that this was not going to be a simple diaper change. She had leaked through her pants, and clear up the back of her shirt. Fortunately I had another change of clothes for her, but there was no way I was going to get her onesie off without covering the rest of her in yellow goo. Thinking quickly, and thanking my lucky stars that I hadn't dressed her in a nicer outfit, I grabbed pair of scissors and cut the shirt off of her.

With a clean bum, she should have been ready to lie down and go to sleep. I spread a blanket on the floor for her, put her sookie in her mouth, and waited. And waited. And waited. Those little blue eyes just stared back at me, as if to say "you can't make me". And she was absolutely right. There were other people trying to get work done, so I had to keep her happy and quiet. So I picked her up, found some YouTube Sesame Street songs, and settles in for a long 2 hours. And so it was. A very cute, but long, 2 hours. Next time I will just re-schedule my meetings.