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Parachute Sociopathy

A co-worker at the temp job where I’ve been working for over a year said something that has haunted me for weeks now: “So you applied for a management job, eh?  I don’t think you’d do very well.  To be a manager in this place requires that you be a sociopath.”

A couple of days ago I happened across the 2015 version of What Color Is Your Parachute?  The opening chapters send a chill down my spine.  They center around the sub-prime mortgage crisis of late 2008 and the complete change in how people look for work.  One thing that amazed me was the fact that employers look your name up online to confirm the best about they may have heard or read about you—and hopefully don’t find the worst.  Over 90% of employers do this to find new hires.  My biggest fear was the social connecting site LinkedIn.  Bolles writes this site is one of the most influential.  Problem: I don’t have a LinkedIn profile page any more.  It didn’t work.

The issue:  people didn’t acknowledge or complement the skills written on my profile.  After a few years, the profile looked pretty stale and there were no hits.  When looking for new work, it certainly didn’t seem attractive to me; who knows what it would have been like to a prospective employer?  So down the profile came.

The complication:  it seems I’ve become a social recluse from those who would want to find me online.  It’s not that I don’t work or have skills, it’s finding the people or places who would possibly want that work ethic and talent.  One thing has become apparent: a number of employers keep trolling for resumes by continually having job postings on sites like  Those are companies I want to avoid, for sure.

The solution: unknown.  The most difficult thing is developing and maintaining relationships.  The kind where people keep you in mind when an opportunity arises.  It seems over 80% of new jobs are found this way, but the use of online job searching presents an obvious barrier to meeting and getting together with other people.  A new kind of catch-22…

What Color Is Your Parachute?


A couple of days ago I had thoughts of a book of the same title as this post.  It was an older copy, of course, so I got rid of it a while ago.  After some time now working for a customer through a placement agency, it seemed right to do this book again—and finish it!

This book is intended to reveal, consolidate and map out the real desires within you for the “ideal” job you could be doing.  At this stage in my life, there are so many interests it is difficult to pin-point a single job; at least to my own little mind.  Music, automated CNC machines, manufacturing, architecture, film, art, writing; there are so many creative endeavors.

Even with all of the education I’ve had over the past 30 years, it still hasn’t helped in tapering things down.  With all the jobs I’ve had, there hasn’t been any long-term employment; nothing to work toward a life-time achievement.  It feels good to put words down here again.

I know what you are

I know what you are:

You’re a bully


You might be bossy

But you’re not the boss of me

You might cut my heart

And act like you don’t care

But it’s just an act—

Of self preservation

Of fear

Of letting others in

—until they hurt you.


But you don’t say your feelings

You just react and lash out, then retreat

As long as you rule

And are always right

You’ll always wonder why your circle of friends

Gets smaller

Or claustrophobic

Or don’t call any more


I know what you are:

You’re a bully

Peeple – A World Of Hate

Peeple - A World Of Hate_04oct15 Peeple - Julia comments on Linkdin_05oct15

It is amazing how the Peeple app (application) has now become one of the hottest topics over the internet in less than two days.

It is a source of revelation of human nature—for interesting reasons.

For the longest time, popular media—long before the internet even—has tried to portray people as basically good.  Sometimes we just get caught up in the wrong circumstances.  Sometimes we may just make bad choices that affects us, or our family, or even a whole group of people, perhaps even an entire nation.  But the basic premise is that people will use their intelligence and higher reasoning to develop and follow higher morals and ethics.  Since the 19th century, it has been assumed we shall rise above the baser methods of treating others and put an end to hatred of others and armed conflict.

Various wars have broken out through Europe. Ethnic cleansing. WW1&2. Communism. Korea. Vietnam. Syria. Israel. Iraq. Rwanda. Sudan. We can now have information of virtually anywhere in the world sent to us at the speed of light. An interesting one within the last 24 hours was the literal attacking of Air France executives over their proposal to cut jobs to meet cost-cutting targets. Their clothes were literally torn off in anger.

And what have we learned in this Age Of Reason?  Doesn’t seem like much…..

It seems that what we have learned (particularly in our Western culture) is how to crush any person or idea that seems either naïve or improbable through the use of social media. Leaders have also been learning (rather slowly), that they cannot operate in a glass bubble without impunity. You will be found out and treated as the masses feel you deserve.

Of C and C

Confidence and competence.  So many people have said I have the latter.  It’s the former that I really need.  Over these many months of being out of work my confidence has been getting to a point where I don’t even want to work.  Yet there are the very real prospects of our financial situations and what lies beyond in retirement.  In spite of these things, the boldness to meet someone face-to-face and try and “sell” myself or my skills is becoming unbearable.

Is this who I really am?  Have these feelings and insecurities been inside all along?  Am I just a coward, or is it another desert time like 2005-2007?  It’s not only now knowing where I’m to go, but not knowing where to start either.  There are just so many different things I’m interested in and competent to do—but how to choose?

In the midst of it all, my darling wife is patient, loving and hopeful.  There are no words to describe my gratitude for her in my life—and what I desire to do to protect and preserve her life.  May the beginning of a new phase of work in my life come soon, for both our sakes.

Grand Prix (1966)


The rerelease of this film in 2006—the 40th anniversary—was something I stumbled upon at my local library earlier this year.  It is much more than a film; it’s like a historical artefact and I almost missed out on acquiring it.   Thankfully, Cinema 1 ( is a terrific video store and were able to get one via the U.S. (Canadian distributers dropped it just a few months ago, it seems).  Blue-ray only, please.

Many of the 1960’s Formula 1 drivers actually drove in the film.  A few of them were dead before the end of the decade.  Sir Jackie Stewart drove throughout much of the film in his signature tartan-banded helmet for Scott Stoddard (actor Brian Bedford).  James Garner did all of his own driving and was, in fact, an excellent driver.  He participated in a lot of professional and semi-professional races in the following years.

The locations were genuine and much racing footage was shot on the cars at speeds over 150mph.  My favourite sequence is the opening race at the Monaco Grand Prix: on location and just hours before the actual race of 1966.  The cameras were left in place for the race and the movie helicopter spent hours buzzing the track and crowds for the overhead shots.

Director John Frankenheimer not only gave the world a glimpse into Formula 1 racing of the day, but also a taste of life imitating art.  Stoddard’s accident in the film and his subsequent comeback in the same year is eerily similar to Niki Lauda’s fiery crash and his comeback in the 1976 season.  Lauda’s accident and his rivalry with James Hunt became the basis for Ron Howard’s film “Rush”.  Two complementary films, to be certain.

The summation is this: a film of the scope of “Grand Prix” with the top drivers and cars of the day playing for the cameras will never happen again.  One of the most legendary drivers of all time—Jim Clark—was killed in a minor race less than two years after the film was released.  Austrian driver Jochin Rindt was killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix of 1970 and has been the only Formula 1 driver to be posthumously given the driver’s championship.  It’s more than a film, it’s history.

The Gift

TheGift_16jun15_ copy

I have always loved original artworks.  This one is entitled “Rocks On The Beach” by an acquaintance, Joan Lawson.  It’s a water colour, but at first glance it fooled me into thinking it was a photograph (which she has also done very well in the past).  It’s about 6″ x 4″ and mounted in a very nice white matte with a solid wood frame.  When she first presented it, the softness of colours and the realism of it astounded me.  Within a week she simply offered it to me as she knew I would get much enjoyment from looking at it.  In fact, both Debbie and I do.

Thank you Joan.