Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some Thoughts on Jobs, Getting Hired, Salaries, and Fairness

It is not easy to get a good job. The application and interview process is a nightmare, and the chances of getting hired at any job are usually not very good. Higher education certainly helps qualify you for more job opportunities, but there is more to it than that. I find that it is often connections or who you know that are most valuable when it comes to getting a job.

Often a parent of a young person looking for a job will help get them in the door at the company or place they work at. Other times, it might be a friend that tells you about an opening at their work and recommends to the supervisor that they hire you. If you don't have connections like these, or at least not in the career area you are pursuing, it can be very difficult to get hired.

Another topic of discussion is salary or how much you get paid for a job. I find that there is a wide range of different salaries and they are not always equivalent to the difficulty of the work. Some very strenuous jobs pay very little while some other jobs that might be easier can pay a lot more.

So you say, why would anyone pick the hard low paying job over the easier high paying job? The answer is because they don't have a choice. Many people are limited by things such as education, disabilities, and resources. They are forced to take lower paying jobs because of these limitations that are often beyond their control.

Personality and appearance are also important qualities when it comes to being hired. Usually when you interview for a job, the person interviewing you will be someone you work with on a daily basis. Because of this, the interviewer will hire someone they like. If 2 potential candidates have similar qualifications, it will come down to personality and who made a better impression.

This can also be a limitation for people who may not have good social skills or struggle when talking with people in a stressful situation. Like personality, appearance often has an effect on the likelihood of getting hired. You can do your best to look good and dress well, but some things you just cannot change.

Overall the job process is not fair, but as they say, life is not fair. All you can do is work hard and try your best to use your abilities to make the most out of what you have.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Snitching - Why it is a Good Thing

Somewhere along the line, the policy of reporting people who do something wrong or illegal became a thought of as a bad thing. The term "snitching" caught on as a term for "telling" or ratting on someone. Along with that, the term "snitch" came to be used to refer to the person who told.

The idea that snitching was something you should not do is something that a lot of people believe in. They think that if they know something or saw someone do something wrong, they should keep it to themselves and not tell anyone. This mindset is wrong and I will explain why in this article.

"Snitches get stitches" is a popular phrase that infers that people who tell on other people will get beat up. This phrase was made up by the people doing the illegal activity as a way to try to intimidate other people into not ratting them out to the police. In actuality, by "snitching" you help justice get served and you help get the people who are doing wrong, off the streets.

Some people might argue, "It's not my business" or "I don't want to get involved". This is understandable, but think about it from the other point of view. If someone had done something wrong to you, wouldn't you like justice to be served? For example, say someone stole your phone and someone else saw it. Wouldn't you like them to let you know or at least report it so you have a chance of it back?

By not reporting wrong doings, you are essentially allowing them to continue on without consequence. My conclusion is that if you think snitching is bad, you are probably one of the ones doing the bad things and you don't want people to call you out on it. If you think snitching is good, then you are a good person who is helping to make the world a better place by promoting justice and eliminating the continuation of wrongful actions.

Update:
There have been some comments saying that snitching is more about the concept of trying to save oneself at the expense of others. If this is the case, then the issue requires more discussion. I can see how it may be seen as a selfish act if someone is trying to reduce their own punishment by giving information that might lead to the punishment of others. In a situation like this, there is more to debate about.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Legal Speak and Legal Jargon

One thing that really annoys me is the language used by lawyers and the legal system when it comes to contracts, terms of service, and documents. You know the kind with all the big unnecessary words and run-on sentences. They might have you believe that it is for legal reasons so it can be interpreted by the law, but I disagree.

I don't see why they can't write these contracts in normal everyday English. It's like a conspiracy put on by those on the legal business to try to keep their craft alive. They write up these contracts in "their language" so they can understand it, but everyday folks cannot, or won't try because it is too difficult to read. So then it forces us to hire a lawyer to look over it to make sure everything is ok before we sign it.

This needs to change. Enough with the legal speak and technical jargon. Lawyers, who are you trying to impress with your big words that no one actually uses? Any contract can be translated to make sense in normal everyday English so why are we still supporting this ridiculous system?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Solar Shield Clip-On Sunglasses Review

As a person who wears prescription glasses all the time, I had tried a few different solutions for solutions for sunglasses in the past.  I started with clip-ons that were made for my frames which were ok, but somewhat heavy and unflattering.  Then I got a pair of sunglasses and has prescription lenses put into them.  This was ok, but it meant carrying around an extra pair of glasses everywhere.  Next, I tried Transitions lenses that get dark outside when exposed to UV rays.  Those were ok, but they didn't work in the car, and also when you go inside, it would take a while for them to go back to normal.

So finally, I was without any eye protection and still wearing my regular glasses.  I wanted some kind of sunglass solution, mainly for driving when there is a lot of reflection from the sun on the cars in front of you.  I thought about getting prescription lenses put into my sunglasses again, but the cost would be over $100.  Then I looked up clip-on option again.  I found that Walgreens was selling a variety of these for $15.  This is reasonable so I went to check them out.

At Walgreens, I found the display of Solar Shield clip-ons.  They had a lot of different styles and sizes.  What's nice is the cases snap open so you can take them out to try on to see if they fit your frames.  I tried a bunch of different sizes until I found one that fit the best.  Of course it wasn't perfect, but for $15 you can't complain.  They are adjustable by way of a spring in the middle that lets you stretch them out and let them retract. They are also available online at sites like Amazon.

On the package it says they are polarized, scratch resistant, and block 100% of UV rays.  I really wanted the polarized because that is suppose to block the glare.  Once outsize I tried them out.  They didn't really block the glare that much which was disappointing, but overall it did provide a shield from the sun.

The build quality of the frames is ok, but they are not that strong.  I would recommend being very careful with them.  I could see them breaking if you sat on them or something.

Since my clip-ons were a little big, I tried to modify them a bit.  I got this clear adhesive rubber and attached little strips to the inside of the little hooks on the edges of the clip-ons.  I secured them with some thread.  Now they fit very well.

The Solar Shields come with a clear plastic case that you can use.  I opted to use an old flexible clip-on case that I had from a previous pair of glasses.

Overall if you wear prescription glasses and are looking for an economical way to block the sun, I would recommend trying out Solar Shield clip-on sunglasses.

Update 4-6-15  3 years later, I still have the Solar Shield Clip Ons and they are still working well.  They are a little scratched up do to normal wear and tear but overall they are still good.  I would buy another set if these ever wear out too much.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Should Students Be Allowed To Use Cell Phones In Schools?

As an educator, one of the trends I have noticed in recent years is the increased use of cell phones in schools. As phones are becoming more popular and have more features, students are tempted to use them during class, even when they are not permitted. Some schools, including my own, have changed their policy to allow students to use their phones during certain times of the day and in certain areas. They can use their phones pretty much any time they are not in class, or in a restricted area such as a bathroom or a locker room.

This might be ok, but then kids get into the habit of using their phones so often it leads to them to using phones in class when they are suppose to be paying attention to the teacher and doing their work. Some people argue that phones can be used as a learning tool, and this is a possibility, but from my experience, cell phones serve as much more of a distraction than anything else.

Students are constantly checking their phones to send and receive text messages, browse social networking sites, play games, and listen to music. In years prior, when this distraction wasn't available, kids would be more focused on their work just because there was nothing else to do. Now, a good portion of time is spent on their phone and not on their work.

Teachers try to enforce the rule of no cell phones in class, but it is difficult. When you are teaching a lesson or working with a student, it is easy for another student to slip their phone out of their pocket and read or send a message without being noticed. Teachers have to be very strict and have authority to confiscate phones if they are used, otherwise, the students will keep using them in class.

Phones as a distraction are not the only issue. The cameras and video recording capability also provide the opportunity for students to take pictures or record people without their permission and then share the images with others or post them on the internet. The ease of communication between students also enables cheating either by sharing answers or by looking them up on the internet. Because of reasons such as these, it is not a good idea to allow students to use phones in class.

This is a controversial issue that has supporters both for and against cell phone usage in schools. What do you think? Should students be allowed to use phones in school? Are there any students who agree that cell phones are a distraction in class? Are their any teachers who think students should be able to use their phones in class whenever they please?

Monday, April 2, 2012

How To Get Rid Of Ads On The Internet

One of the biggest complaints people have about the internet is advertisements. They pop up and get in your way and clutter your screen making it harder to actually read or see the actual content. Many people just put up with this annoyance, but there is an easy way to stop ads on the internet.

There are free applications you can use with your web browser that will block those intrusive ads from your screen. I use one in particular called Adblock Plus. It is an Add-On that is used with FireFox and Chrome. It is free and can be installed easily.

Once you have Adblock installed it will block pretty much all of the advertisements you come across on the internet. Even most of those ads that play before videos will be blocked. The result ends up saving you a lot of time and annoyance with having to navigate around these ads. If you are tired of advertisements interfering with your web browsing, be sure to try out a free ad block program like Adblock Plus.