Who is the Monkey?

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Working at a Chinese based/managed company in the United States definitely has its special moments, I mean, how can you break it to a communist CEO that there are actual employment regulations? Honestly, I sort of just got offered this position... but, from hiring, negotiating, reprimanding, firing, investigations, surviving HR in a shady company, dropping at least 5 F-bombs on a solicitor's call, going through boxes of tissue for crying employees, to arguing with management why "pretty" receptionists don't necessarily mean "smart" receptionists... I've done it... and somehow, I'm still laughing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pretty Sharp Indeed!

A man in a satin-collared, black tuxedo walks in for an interview...

Actually, this is not a joke, this just happened yesterday.

So, as I was saying, a man in a satin-collared, black tuxedo walks in for an interview and my head immediately started to spin. The scent of cheap Rite-Aid cologne was dizzying and unfortunately I hadn't had my lunch yet. I despise the smell of cheap cologne. It doesn't really even smell like anything except alcohol, old leather belts, and if flowers could dump - it would be mixed with what I would call - floral shit.

As I sat down across "Tux", I noticed a familiar look in his eyes. I know "the look" since I often had "the look" when I was younger. Tux looked stoned.

I composed myself, trying desperately not to faint. I stared at Tux and decided to continue on, as the man did drive stoned through 405 traffic. The interview went something like this -

Me: So, xxxxxxx, tell me a little about yourself.
Tux: Ummm, I don't know... I'm detail oriented.
Me: Ok, give me an example of what you have done, or what you do which would allow you to think that you are a detail oriented person.
Tux: I always look sharp!
Me: Sharp? Pardon me, what does that mean?
Tux: You know, I always look good.
Me: Right...

Fast forward -

Me: What are you looking for in a company?
Tux: Work ethic.
Me: I mean, what are you looking for in a company?
Tux: You mean like any company?
Me: Sure.
Tux: I don't know.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Shot of Cyanide Please!

Prior to my starting this blog, I contemplated about not ending up as a whiner. I don't generally like whiners, and usually, I mentally picture smacking them. So, I hope this doesn't come of as a whine, but here are the highlights of my few work weeks.

  • One of my favorite gals at work just quit. Not that I blame her, I mean, she endured a lot and knows where the company is heading. I had to do an exit interview, and my favorite was when I asked her where she thought the company would be in the future - the answer was somewhere along the line of "gone".

  • Upon drafting up calculations for her final paycheck, I was asked if it was possible to omit paying for her accrued vacation days... ummm... NO.

  • The fortune tellers did their job. They walked around the office and after curiosity from my colleagues, I drafted a release form allowing the fortune tellers to talk to those interested. A bit of fun for the kids I think. Now, all the women know how many kids they will have, when to have them, and whether their current/future marriages will end up in divorce - oh, they also know what colors to wear to boost their productivity! WOOHOO - we're the f'ing M&Ms factory!

  • The fortune tellers also suggested that 2 people in management should switch offices because the feng shui suited them better in different spots - I believe that is in the works. Oh - the CEO is now facing east with a Chinese flag and an American flag (in flag poles!!!) side by side in his office. I almost fell over laughing - I made sure I had an injury report form handy.
  • THE HIGHLIGHT - a director and I yelled at each other yesterday. In the middle of the office, in front of... EVERYONE. I couldn't help it, I know it was absolutely unprofessional, but I was blamed for something which I have no part in - for the sake of blaming someone. I don't know about you, but I don't stand for bullying, so I flipped my lid. I am a woman after all. I apologized to the employees for the unacceptable behavior. Apparently in China, management can yell at you in front of the entire staff, and you just have to take it.

Welcome to America baby!

Well, I already know that my next blog is going to be about observations and the lack of business ethics in my company.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unfortune Cookie

Analyst: $10,000
3 Fortune Tellers: $20,000+

Well.... it's only apparent who is better at the job!!!

I’ve been told something quite ridiculous...

As a matter of fact, so ridiculous that it’s borderline funny… ok, it IS funny.

I don’t think there has been any other person in the face of HR that may have this under their belt. This may indeed be a first, and in which case, I seriously request an award.

You see, in many companies, when business, or monetary issues occur, executives and board members will usually come together to discuss a save-all plan, hell, perhaps even spend some dough for an analyst. It’s only logical isn’t it? Well, if one day you decided that being logical just isn’t the way to go… my company is the place for you!

I was asked for everyone’s birthdates just a week ago, a request especially made by the CEO. Gladly, I sent a spiffy PDF fresh off my saved reports. I was just told today however, that for an in depth business analysis, the CEO has hired not 1, but 3 fortune tellers to fly across the globe to review everyone’s birthdates… to (and get this)… assess if his/her role is not only a good fit, but if he/she is a good fit for the CEO himself.

See... I told you it’s sadly ridiculous, yet funny.

Well, I have already advised against this, and have reminded (them) that any results are absolutely against every forsaken code that is out there. Seriously.... OMFG! See what I have to deal with here?!?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I'll often come across resumes so far fetched, or just so incredibly unbelievable that my jaw drops. As a matter of fact, these are usually the times when the entire office probably hears me (through a closed office door) say aloud, "Are you kidding me?".

Hiring time usually means bracing yourself for the opening of the massive flood gate, especially when you are looking for an administrative candidate. For example, a job post on Craigslist for a Receptionist or an Assistant will, from my experience, yield about 150 resumes in the course of 2-3 days.

From the 100+ resumes, the ratio usually looks like this:

  • 20% qualified, or acceptable
  • 15% overqualified
  • 20% unstable
  • 15% no significant experience
  • 5% desperate
  • 25% utter morons
Over my time, I have created a fast and easy solution to the "weeding" process. It's so simple really... Here's the process (in addition to the obvious):

  1. On the post, request for a significant detail, I usually ask for the resume within the body of the email. This will not only show that your candidate has read the post, it will also show that he/she can follow instructions, not to mention save your computer from viruses.
  2. Reviewing the resume, pay attention to the spelling. If someone can't spell, or use spell check on their resume - do you really want that person working for you?
  3. Toss any candidates who send emails from vulgar addresses, this means addresses like - sexyhot6969@.....com, angelbabycakes@.....com, toocool69@....com
  4. Check Myspace... it may be screwed, but believe me - myspace speaks louder than words!

Given that, I'm closing with a letter I sent as a response to a candidate applying for an administrative asst. position. I required a resume within the email, contact information, and salary requirement. Here's the response I received, notice the bold, italicized, blue sections:


From: XXXXXXXXXX [mailto:XXXXXXX89@yahoo.com] Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:04 AMTo: job-XXXXX@craigslist.orgSubject: INTRESTED





Yup! That was IT! I just couldn't bare it and I had to respond...


From: xxxxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxxxxx] Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:20 AMTo: xxxxxxxxxxx: RE: INTRESTED


For an asking salary price of $6,000 per month, I’d think an employer should at least see a resume with your qualifications and background. Unfortunately, your contact information and a salary requirement does not proffer much persuasion.

Kindly send a resume to support the $72k salary requirement. Thank you.



Friday, August 8, 2008

Interviews and Other Such Oddities

I think one of the greatest things about being in HR is the opportunity to meet people. I especially get a great kick out of meeting those that are... let's just say... "special".

Here are some of those characters, which you may have met if you work in HR. Being that I am in Los Angeles, I'm sure that some of these may come off odd.

I suppose this may be a laugh, or at the very least, pointers if you are the interviewee...

  1. "McSweaty" : Ok, look. I know you're nervous, or maybe you just have naturally sweaty palms - NO PROBLEM! For goodness' sake, at least wipe your hands before shaking mine! It's bad enough that you have that "Oh-My-Palms-Are-Sweaty" look, it's worst when you allow me to touch them!
  2. "HairDooDoo": I like the Cure. As a matter of fact, I like a lot of bands whose members don't own combs, but those guys aren't usually looking for jobs. Unless you accidentally stuck your finger in an electric socket and made it on time for your interview... brush your damn hair!
  3. "Desperado": There's nothing better than enthusiasm! Sometimes, people don't realize - when in an interview, there is a fine line between enthusiasm and DESPERATION. The next time someone tells me they'd, 'REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLLLLLLY like to work for the company', I'm going to ask them to bark like a dog.
  4. "BLING!": Perhaps the photo of "Pussy Power" is a little bit too much, but do you get the idea though? There's something to be said for simple jewelry in an interview. When my eyes keep staring at your earrings, and I'm wondering, "how in the hell can your lobes accommodate for that travesty?", then there's something wrong.
  5. "Boob Lady": Boob Lady is the kind of woman who... likes her boobs. So much so, she wants everyone to know it. Perhaps she's unaware that staring at someone's breasts can be a cause for sexual harassment, or perhaps she's just prepping up for that big lawsuit!
  6. "Oh My Eyes!!!': The only thing worse than a 10 in' decollage is a woman who looks like a clown in a suit. There is such a thing as "enough", and when you have to run to the make-up counter to buy mascara every 4 days - there's a BIG problem.
  7. "Ruffled": Around 400BC, irons were in use to create pleats, and electric irons were invented in the 1880s. Please, use this great device, or at least purchase a mirror.
  8. "Senor Douche": 30+ years of experience in the corporate world, ivy league graduate, knows proper business etiquette in 20 different countries, has been the top dog multiple times in multiple Fortune 500 companies... guess what? You're still a douchebag... and quit interrupting me when I talk asshole!
  9. "Cattle Called": THIS is my Los Angeles favorite. I once had an interview and asked the candidate, "How do you handle stress, or stressed associates?" (this position was to work with a VERY stressed out Finance Director) - the answer/question I received was, "What's my motivation?". ACTORS - enough said!