I just took this photo. And yes, I’m a lousy photographer but N. has an irrational dread of taking photos, so it’s either this or nothing.

Through the Eyes of a Stranger: Paranormal Occurrences

You never know how much you miss something until you see it. Yesterday, during my regular walk, I saw two very strange things.

First, I saw a well-dressed man walking slowly. By well-dressed I mean that he was very obviously not engaged in any athletic activities. He just walked. I even followed him for a while because the only person I’ve seen take long leisurely walks alone in this town is me. The idea that there is another walk-loving soul in the area was disturbing and heart-warming at the same time.

Then, I saw a group of teenagers. They were rowdy, as teenagers should be, throwing a ball to each other, laughing, shouting. I stared at them like they were an apparition. God, I haven’t seen a group of 13 or 14-year-old kids walking around, enjoying themselves out in the streets since I moved into this area. It made me so happy to see that at least there were four or five boys in town who got a chance to hang out with their friends doing nothing instead of being shipped from one scheduled activity to another by helicoptering parents.

This is the safest area in the universe, folks. I’m a very paranoid person but I have now started forgetting to lock my front door when I go on my walks. It’s safe, quiet, and beautiful. And still, nobody is ever outside. Yesterday, we were at +21C. This is summer-time weather. And nobody went outside to enjoy it. I’ve walked around our middle-class area, the nearby poorer area, and the rich-folks area across the road. There is never anybody outside. Gangs of teenagers and people taking walks do not exist. Young people drive to a convenience store they can see out of their windows for a can of soda.

Say what you will, this is just wrong.

A Recruiting Riddle

Here is a riddle from a professional recruiter I know. Today, the most in-demand profession is that of a social media specialist. That’s a person who blogs, tweets, Facebooks, etc. and can use their knowledge of social media to promote the company that hires them.

How does a recruiter know, however, if they are interviewing a real media fanatic or somebody who simply wants to ride the wave of this profession’s popularity to get a well-paying position?

The very first selection mechanism is the following: the recruiter asks the candidate to fill out some paperwork and leaves the room. After the recruiter comes back, she knows immediately if her candidate is the real deal without asking them a single question.

Question: how does the recruiter determine if the candidate is a true social media enthusiast before even talking to them?

Supplementary question: is this the coolest job in the world, or what?

Dictating to Bloggers

So many people are eager to tell bloggers what our “responsibilities” are. Take this statement, for example:

I believe that blog owners do have a responsibility: to edit things out that they don’t want appearing. It’s part of the job of keeping a blog.

Excuse me, but who exactly are you to tell complete strangers what their responsibilities are? And since when is blogging a “job”? Of course, there are bloggers who are on payroll somewhere. For the majority of us, however, blogging is a hobby. It’s something we do in our free time because it entertains us.

The only responsibilities that I recognize as a blogger are the ones I choose for myself. If I feel like censoring, I will censor. If I don’t feel like it, I won’t. And I’ll be damned if I allow some stranger  to explain to me that the way I choose to spend my free time should follow some weird rules she dreamt up in her free time.

The funny things is that blogging is the only hobby I’m aware of that attracts so many censors and rule-setters. Can you imagine a skier or a stamp-collector being approached by officious do-gooders, telling her how to do her “job” of skiing or collecting stamps?