Monday, September 03, 2007

This is True

When I was in the local Star Trek club STAR Syracuse over 30 years ago, there was a member who liked to say, "This is true" rather frequently, with the result that it because a bit of a running joke with us. I don't remember for sure whether it was Will or the Doc Smith fan with the basement full of model trains, but whoever it was may also have come up with the fun guideline that "the Stop signs with the white borders are optional."


It's still Monday here, and my Linksys connection to the cable modem is all set up. My computer is back in my office where it belongs, and John is back in his office where he belongs. So now I'm free to do the reveal on that Weekend Assignment Scalzi set on Thursday. You remember, this one:

Weekend Assignment #181: Present three facts about yourself. Have two of them be true. Have one of them be false. Encourage people to guess which one is the false one. When do you reveal the false one? On Monday, in a new entry (I'll be linking to your original post). You'll get two visits for the price of one!

Let's explore my three claims, one at a time:

1. I'm scheduled to interview with two people next week, for the same job I already have.

True, although I had to update this claim on Friday evening to keep it accurate. Originally I said I had two interviews coming up this week, but on Friday the company president told me she couldn't make the Tuesday one, and would therefore sit in with her daughter on the Thursday one. Just as well, probably. As I believe I mentioned before, my position with Anonymous Regional Retailer! is currently on a temp basis. I'm on an agency's payroll instead of ARR!'s. Still, I'm being trained and treated like someone that my immediate boss expects to have around for a long, long time. I just have to continue to do my best, and trust the wheels will keep turning toward my being officially hired. I really, really, want this, and I'll feel much better when it's done. So far I've filled out an application and passed a credit check; C. didn't remember offhand whether my criminal background check was complete yet or not. Since my law enforcement background consists entirely of minor motor vehicle violations, I'm not worried about it.

2. Peaches frighten me, because of the cyanide in peach pits. I won't even eat the canned ones.

False, more or less. I do have a healthy respect for peach pits, ever since learning what's inside them, and would not want to suck on a pit that broke open. But I do eat fresh peaches from time to time, and canned ones occasionally.

3. There was a time when the greatest pet I'd ever had was a kissing gourami named Kisser. Runners up included a kisser named Gommis and a plecostomus named Mr. P.

True. My dad is allergic to dogs, while I'm allergic to cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses and feathers. What does that leave available to a sixth grader to have as a pet? In my case, the consolation pets were tropical fish in a ten gallon tank. I had some success breading mollys and swordtails, but the only fish that were at all interesting, with even a trace of personality, were pretty much the kissing gouramis and the plecostomus. Kisser even "kissed" my finger a few times, hoping it was fish food. Kisser was slightly more aggressive than Gommis, and eventually I became a little disenchanted with him for bullying. He wasn't nearly as aggressive as the angel fish or the pearl gourami, though. As for Mr. P., he didn't get inviolved in fish tank politics. He was just kind of fun to watch as hung from the glass by his sucker mouth, eating algae.

Years later, I briefly had a gerbil named Eowyn, but that was a disaster. She kept escaping into my dorm room closet,. It was a while before I discovered she was eating my prom dress.

Meanwhile, on the Monday Photo Shoot...

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Present a picture that clearly shows a particular emotion. Happy, sad, thrilled, bummed, anything in between.

Here in the house, I really only have two possible photographic subjects for this: the dog, and me in a mirror. John won't allow photos of himself online, and I'm having acne issue right now, and the dog has been drooling recently. Besides, Tuffy only has one expression except in rare circumstances. This is it:


If I dig through my files, though, I can find some photos from church. This was taken on Good Friday 2007. Left to right: Father John Smith, subdeacon Howard, um...Something, and Rev. Angela Emerson. And they're all...


Ah! That's better! And here's one of my former co-workers on the field trip to see the company planes. Anyone can see that this guy is kind of


Scam Spam

I'm still getting solicitations for jobs, despite having taken my resume off Career Builder. I got a phone call this morning, purportedly from a bank. I say purportedly because the hangup when I said I'd already taken a job was a bit rude, and because one of the two other solicitations I had today was highly suspicious. Can you spot the red flags?

Dear Karen ,

The resume you posted on the Web caught my eye recently, and your qualifications mark you as someone who has the potential to excel as an Accountant. Too_Spoiled, a new kind of social networking site that offers the opportunity for models and actors to network with each other and with talent scouts, is currently looking for a candidate like you to fill one of our positions.

We are seeking candidates to fill this position immediately. In addition to maintaining records of routine accounting transactions, responsibilities include assisting in the preparation of financial and operating reports, including trial balances, adjustments and closing entries.
Accountants may also assist in analysis and interpretation of accounting records.

The salary is very competitive, ranging from $55,000 to $70,000annually. Also available are medical and dental insurance, a 401(k) plan and tuition reimbursement.

Karen , if you feel the Accountant position is right for you, visit the link below and fill out the online application. (If the link does not work in your e-mail you may copy and paste the address in your browser.)

You can expect to hear from me one or two business days after I receive your online application. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Brian Egelton


First of all, the blank space after my name before the comma was a dead giveaway of a form letter. Second, the business model of models and actors on a "social networking site" sounded like an attempt to prey on people trying to break into those fields. Third, why solicit an accountant from Tucson for a business that should be based in NYC or LA to be effective? And fourth, the salary range was considerably more than anything I've seen elsewhere in my job hunt - and the missing space after the $70K seems like another cut and paste error.

Still, it could have been legit. Even though I'm not looking for another job at this point, I was curious. So I Googled "Too Spoiled models." The first page of results screamed "Scam." Googling "too spoiled scam"--one of the suggestions in the search box helper--is even more instructive. I was going to past in some of those results here, but instead I think I'll just recommend that you do your own search. It's not hard to find the info. No, not at all.

Turns out that this is the latest incarnation of a (probable) scam company that's gone under a variety of names and opened offices in several states, only to steal away in the metaphoric dead of night. I'm not going to go on about it, but you may find a few of the links in the Google search rather interesting, particularly the ones about the multi-aliased man behind these online companies. One or two of the links I tried failed to open, but another site explained the problem. Apparently a few of the anti-scam sites have been targeted for electronic mischief of one sort or another. Anyway, bottom line: don't apply for any jobs online without first making sure the company is legitimate!

Update: I awake this morning to an extremely similar email from "John Chapman" of WorldVoiceNews, another entity of this cluster of almost-certainly-fraudulent companies. Some of the text is identical, including the space between Karen and the comma. Same pay scale, too.



Carly said...

I swear Tuffy is the cutest doggy ever! I would love to take her to the beach, I bet she would have a lot of fun. :)

Always, Carly

Becky said...

Tis true?? Thou art finally out of the middle ages and working wirelessly?! Hoorah!

Anonymous said...

I read the first paragraph and saw Star Trek then noticed the futuristic looking thingy in the picture... is it your computer, AC Unit?, Furnace? ok my imagination runs. Very expressive dog and other humans as well. Thanks for the heads up on the whole on-line job hunting spam thing. Another tricky issue with doing something online. Really... peach pits have cyanide? Man the things I learn from reading the blogs of dear friends.

Happy Weekend... I get to go home to my hunny tonight, it's my weekend.
Michael AKA "Mr. Anonymous"

Barry said...

I love that pic of Tuffy. 'Anxious' describes the look perfectly.
B. x