General Ramblings comments edit

I just finished calling a bunch of job candidates on the phone, doing phone screens to see who we should call back for an interview.

I hate talking on the phone.

It’s sort of like a phobia. I don’t have anything to say to people on the phone. I can’t sit and think about what I’m going to say, or how I’m going to say it, so I end up hemming and hawing about things. If it’s casual conversation, that’s one thing, or if it’s someone I know already, that’s something… but cold calling people I don’t know and trying to talk to them, even on a professional basis, that’s hard for me.

Yeah, it’s a wonder I ever got a date, right? Trust me, it took some balls on my part to call Jenn the first time. Even today, I still avoid calling her if I can, even at home, because I hate the stupid phone. I email her a lot.

So Greg (boss/friend) probably thinks it’s a fucking riot that he’s got me calling people, against every grain in my being, and filing it under the “other related tasks” clause in my job description. I know, I know, I gotta help out and all… but man, I’d so much rather program or draw or work with Microsoft Access or, like, clean the bathroom or something than call people.

Well, maybe not clean the bathroom. But you get the point.

Here’s a question, though - can you legally disqualify a job applicant based on their inability to speak in a comprehensible fashion? Like, if they have such a thick accent or just don’t have the grammar to communicate verbally with you so you understand? That’s not even just ESL people I’m talking about, either, but, say, people who are so into Ebonics or whatever that you just can’t understand a single word they say. Isn’t that a communications problem? Wouldn’t that impact team performance and results? How do you know someone understands the project requirements if you can’t hold a conversation with them?

home comments edit

Jenn and I drove around yesterday and weeded out the neighborhoods and houses that we didn’t like, and today we went out with our realtor’s partner, Terri, to look at the remaining properties on our “list.” (Gregory, the realtor, is on vacation in Mexico. I’d like to be on vacation, too.)

As it turns out, we had like nine different places on the list to look at, but yesterday we weeded them down to four, and today we found out that two of them are pending sale, so that left two. Which was okay, since we found one house that we were really excited about from looking at the pictures and that one was still available.

We went in that one and I was, to say the least, underwhelmed. I’m not sure if I had built up my expectations too much or if it really just wasn’t the house for us, but we were really disappointed once we got inside.

We didn’t even look in the second house - turns out it’s right next to some train tracks, and I’m so not into dealing with that.

Which means the search continues. I’ve heard that it takes a while, but, man, that one house really had me hoping we could cut this short.

In the meantime, I’ve noticed that limiting my budget (and, thus, my monthly payments) as much as I have has also limited the number of properties that I’ve seen that fit my space requirements. While I at first thought 1500 square feet would be enough, I find that those are barely larger than our current apartment of 1100 square feet, and with the layouts they have, they generally feel smaller. My new goal is closer to the 2000 square foot range, which means I’ve gotta up my spending limit. It may be harder in the first couple of years we’re there, but we’ll manage somehow. If it’s somewhere we can live for several years, I think it’ll be worth it.

General Ramblings comments edit

I just finished my taxes a few minutes ago. Now, I realize that financial analysts or whatever say that it’s better to owe at the end of the year because you can make use of the money and earn interest on it yourself rather than letting it sit with the government like a free loan and let them earn interest on it.

My view, though, is that I like getting what appears to be “free money” in the mail at the end of the year. The interest I would have earned on the money never seems to be more than a couple of bucks anyway.

So, like I said, I just finished my taxes, and while I only owe the state like $30 and the feds like $70, I never anticipated the county tax being quite so high.

See, I live in Multnomah County, and last year they had a special vote to put in a “temporary tax” or some shit because the state squandered a bunch of money on stuff it didn’t need to do so they punished the schools and public works departments by stealing money from those. You know, make it hurt the taxpayers so there’s a perceived value in adding more new taxes to support the programs that are actually useful, right? Anyway, they put this new tax to the vote and the voters, stupid as all hell, voted it in. And it wasn’t just a tax starting when the vote hit, it was retroactive for the whole year.

Okay, so this tax passes and we have the option of having money taken from our paychecks for the remaining three months of the year to cover the Multnomah County tax, and then we pay at the end of the year for the remaining nine months’ worth of tax that wasn’t stolen from our paychecks.

I paid $137 via paycheck deduction for the last three months. I didn’t think I’d get hit too hard at the end of the year.

I did my taxes and, even after the $137, I still owe Multnomah County $461.

I mean, why don’t they just send someone to my house to jam a hot poker up my ass while they’re at it? I didn’t vote for additional tax - I don’t have kids, and, frankly, most of the money’s going to the school system that I don’t use or generally agree with. But still, I get raped by the county to fix their screwup. (Here’s a big shout-out to those voters who voted in the tax. Thanks, guys! I fucking appreciate it!)

After all was said and done, my effective tax rate was like 20%. That means between the state, feds, and county, I’m getting like 20% of my gross pay stolen to support lawmakers’ pork barrel projects.

Thank God Jenn and I are moving out of Multnomah-fucking-County. I like the place, but shit, I just can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll still owe ‘em for a partial year’s residency, but maybe I can still get out without having to donate blood plasma.

General Ramblings comments edit

I’m not sure if it’s a sign of my age or distinct lack of energy, but Jenn’s friends at work invited us out to go clubbing tonight and I was all for it until I heard they wanted to meet up at 11:00p. Dude, I’m ready for bed at 11:00p. I’m all about meeting up at 8 and going from there.

My eBay auctioning has been reasonably successful. I’m finding that generally I need to list things for two weeks, but after that they’re sold. The default listing of a single week doesn’t seem to work. It’s like people specifically wait for me to pay the extra $0.35 to relist the item before deciding to bid on it. At least the stuff’s selling.

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do at work, but I’m really just not interested in any of it, so I’m finishing up little nickel-and-dime things that fall through the cracks. The three-day weekend is coming up and I’m not only anxious to get to that, but also kind of excited to go house shopping. One in particular has caught my eye.

In other news, I’ve converted Jenn over to be a Homestar Runner fan. She used to just not understand the whole Strong Bad thing, but I bought the CD and she’s hooked. Now she goes and regularly checks for Strong Bad emails just like the rest of the intelligent universe. Her favorite character is The Cheat. I think she may need a Cheat shirt.