high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What is your profession?

The anticipation for this weekend was that it would be split about 50-35-15 between house work, school work, and real work, in that order.  However, it ended up being more like a 95-5-0 breakdown, as Nate and I pretty much put in two 8-hour days of drywalling this weekend, and then I spent about 30 minutes doing school work tonight.  Well, I guess that makes it more like a 97-3-0 split, but you don't really care, and neither do I, and it even sounds better to say 95-5-0, so let's stay with that.  This different-than-expected apportionment of time was actually a good thing, because we made significant progress toward completing the upstairs, and the long-term value of the homework was/is minimal.

With the drywall, we were affixing 1/4-inch sheets to existing plaster and lath rather than to visible studs, so we used a combination of Liquid Nails (aka glue) and screws.  The screws were mostly for the purpose of bringing the drywall up tight against the existing wall, and not so much for "hanging" it.  At times using the screws was frustrating, as they would not always catch very well on the underlying materials, but overall it went well.  At one point Nate slipped with his screwdriver and rammed the bit right into his fingernail, which both splattered some blood on the drywall and elicited Nate's version of a string of expletives, which was "Grrr."  Not to get too graphic here, but the blood splatter was actually kind of artistic in the way it had a downward sloping droplet appearance.  Think of the movie 300, and the way that the title "300" has a blood splatter look on all the posters.  Actually, don't think, just look here:

It was like the splatter going up from the 3, only it was downward sloping, as I said.  ANYWAY, the point is that it was artsy, and it's a darn shame that it will get painted over eventually.  However, it did get me thinking about art.  You see, Nate and I have a couple works currently in development.  They are two leftover pieces of drywall that we've used as a surface to put paint cans and paint stirring sticks on, as well as to test some colors on.  The effect that these various shapes and colors has produced is rather pleasing to the eye, if you're sophisticated, and so we fully intend to use the pieces of drywall as art in the house when all is said and done.  Framing them is likely.  When you think about it, what makes someone appreciate and enjoy a particular piece of art in a gallery?  For most people, it's just the colors and patterns.  So it seems totally reasonable that these pieces of drywall can serve as artwork in our house.  People will say "Hmm, that's an interesting piece of art."  And we'll say "Yes, it is."  And they'll say "What is it?"  And we'll say "Latex on drywall."  Requests may follow, which will prompt appropriate pricing ($400 to start).  The connection to blood is simply that I've never seen a piece of art in a gallery that has a card next to it saying "Acrylic with human blood."  I find this surprising.  Surely some artist has consciously incorporated this medium into their work, right?

The homework tonight was a continuation of a previous assignment in which we had to create a value proposition for a particular organization.  The company I chose to use for this assignment was my favorite, Aldi.  I love pretty much everything about Aldi.  I interviewed with Aldi during my senior year in college, made it to the Final Four, but then got rejected (or to put it more gently, "Someone else was chosen").  I say the "Final Four" because they literally started with a large group at an informational meeting, invited some number to interviews, and eventually ended up bringing four candidates for on-site interviews and a tour around their operations.  Even though they didn't play the signature CBS Sports "Road to the Final Four" theme when we arrived for the on-site interview, I think that working for Aldi is still my dream job.  The operation is genius.  Ever wonder how they move customers through so quickly with such limited staff?  Well, there are a variety of reasons, but one reason (and probably it's one of the more important reasons) is that their products have bar codes all over them, so there's no need for the cashier to waste time trying to slide the item over the scanner at just the right angle for it to register.  Aldi has taken this so far that they even print the bar codes on their products in such a way that they're like designs on the packaging, so you don't even notice.

My favorite story about Aldi (not that I have that many) comes from my first round of interviewing after the informational session I mentioned above.  I know I've written about this before in one, if not two of my previous blogs, but a good story is worth repeating, or at least that's the perspective I'll take in lieu of saying that I'm like an old man who keeps repeating the same story to people who have already heard it and/or admitting that I don't have any new content for a blog post.  The interview process began in February, and during February in my college days I would participate in Facial Hair February.  During Facial Hair February, guys would (not surprisingly) grow some form of facial hair, preferably a beard.  The real heroes would not shave for the entire month.  So I had my beard going, and I go into this interview with Aldi.  Things go well with the questions and answers, but then at the end the guy interviewing me says "What if I told you that you had to shave your beard?"  I replied "Then I would shave it.  This is just for Facial Hair February."  And he said "Okay.  I was just wondering, because we have a policy that the only facial hair allowed is a neatly trimmed mustache."  At this point I could have very easily be eliminated in the Sweet 16 and never made it to the Final Four, because the obvious temptation at this juncture was to burst into hysterical laughter.  But I maintained my composure and just said "Oh, okay."  Again, I know I'm repeating this story, but I have yet to get over this.  The neatly trimmed mustache: Most frequently seen on the 1950's business man, wearing a fedora and a pin-stripe suit, going home to his wife, who is wearing an apron while bent over the oven, just getting dinner out for her bread-winning husband and two blond children, one boy and one girl.  The woman is happy, because her husband is a winner.  She knew as much when she first saw him, and saw that he had a neatly trimmed mustache.  "Now there's a man who will go far in the business world," she thought.  And so did the man's superiors at work, who smoke cigarettes in the board room and also have neatly trimmed mustaches.

I want to reiterate that I love Aldi and it is my dream to one day work for that fine company, and this policy is actually just one more reason why I want to work there.  In HR, we learn all about discrimination and reasonable accommodations and bona-fide occupational qualifications, and how to deal with these issues appropriately in the hiring process, and it totally kills me that Aldi considers it a qualification of the job to have no more than a neatly trimmed mustache.  They cannot - nay, will not accommodate a beard.

The only other news from the weekend is that we celebrated Daylight Savings Time by falling back one hour.  Festivities included balloons, streamers, a bonfire, slaughtering the fatted calf, and sleeping in for an extra hour.  I was extra glad for the extra hour this year, because I had taken some Flexeril earlier in the day, which made me drowsy.  I know, I know - some people pop Flexeril four at a time and have no problem working through the day, but I'm unable to do this.  As much as I'd like to be like some wild man requiring at least three tranquilizers to even slow me down while fleeing from the police, the fact of the matter is that I haven't built up my tolerance to such substances.  This is a good thing, right?  The reason for "indulging" in a Flexeril over the weekend was because my return to running has caused some serious muscle stiffness and pain, as well as further aggravating some back pain, which was caused by some dead lifts earlier in the week.  And the only reason the dead lifts caused back pain is because I can't use truly good form on dead lifts, because my stupid legs are so tight to begin with!  The most accurate way to describe my hamstrings and achilles tendons is to say that they are "ludicrously tight."  Seriously, when I went for some PT a few years ago (for back pain!), the therapists were trying to stretch out my hamstrings, and they were like "Oh my goodness!  This is ridiculous!"  My tight muscles = my bane.  You only have so much time to invest in various activities, and if I was really going to invest the time to get my hamstrings and other muscles stretched out each day, then I'd probably have to give up things like eating, sleeping, and most other daily activities.  There needs to be a society or something for people with tight hamstrings, where we can bitch and moan to each other, and do our pathetic stretches together, and pop Flexeril.  Either that or there needs to be advances in medical science so that hamstring replacement becomes an available operation, like knee replacements.  That would be awesome - to just "unhook" the original hamstring and replace it with a nice, stretchy one.  Raising funds (and awareness, of course) for hamstring replacement research will have to be one of the main goals for the Society.

Back in my day, we called them "calisthenics."  Also, there were no blogs, so we didn't have every jackass with a gripe voicing their complaints to the world.  

No comments:

Post a Comment