Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Sabotage An Interview

The Big Girl Chronicles: How to Sabotage An Interview

Yes, you’ve read the title correctly.  I wish I could share with you how to ace an interview.  I have an idea of what an impressive interview is.  However, The Big Girl recently totally flubbed a chance to become gainfully employed.  If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I like to share personal experiences - successes and failures.  No matter how catastrophic, I choose to project positive energy.  So, because my most recent failure was so disappointing I decided to put a spin on it.  I realize that there are actually some people out there who interview for jobs that they don’t want.  Ironically, those are more than likely the people that get hired.  Thus, I’ve decided to piece together my strategy for sabotaging an interview.

Don’t research the company and know nothing of the area(s).

How much sense does it make to have a few facts handy about who you’ll be working for and what target population/area(s) you’ll serve?  Never ever do this.  After all, they’re the ones that are in need of your services.  Plan to be present for your interview completely ignorant of anything more than what the solicitation or ad described the position to be.  This way, you get to test their recruiting skills.  Who wants to work for someone who isn’t knowledgeable of or excited about their own company?

Confusion is the new avoidance.

What was that again?  If there’s a question that you don’t know the answer to, never admit that.  It’s instead a good idea to forget’s it called?...that thing...The thought escapes my mind at the present moment. Another technique is to ramble on endlessly about insignificant details to avoid answering a question.  Throw around a couple of important terms to make it seem as though you can speak their language and you’re really on a roll.  Nothing is more impressive than psychobabble.  Politicians have used this technique to stall progress for years, only they call it “filibustering.”

That isn’t really what you want to know, now is it?

We’ve all had interview questions that left us stumped. But you’re still expected to give an answer, right?  You sit in the hot seat, sweaty palms and racing pulse, trying to make a good impression then get duped with a tricky question. Don’t allow your potential employer to dictate all the questions.  Turn the tables.  Instead, redirect their attention to another area that you feel comfortable discussing.  Tell them what questions you’d like to answer as punishment for asking such lame questions.  Respond obnoxiously or with cynicism, unapologetically.

The lasting impression.

At the conclusion of the interview, never appear grateful for the opportunity.  Act as if you’ve done the potential employer a favor by participating in their recruitment efforts and quest to find a candidate.  If nothing else, their experience interviewing you has added some excitement to an otherwise boring and monotonous process.  Make your exit confident that you are the master of manipulation and sabotage.  Be sure to tell them that you’ll give them a call if you’re interested in pursuing the vacancy any further. 

The above suggestions are surefire methods for removing yourself from consideration among a pool of applicants.  This way, you have succeeded at fulfilling the expectancy that you actively seek employment and participate in every interview without looking like you don’t want really want to work or weren’t really that interested in the position.  Congratulate yourself on an impeccable performance!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Earth Day 2013

The Big Girl Chronicles:  Earth Day 2013

Each day I awake I go through my daily hygiene routine in somewhat of a robotic subconscious trance.  I brush my teeth first because I abhor that pasty morning mouth.  I wash my face and proceed to cleanse and dress myself.  After I’m donned in the day’s apparel, I climb into my luxurious, fully-loaded family sedan and go on about the day’s business.  Any given day will include a visit to my local Starbucks to get my morning fuel, traveling hither and fro for “retail therapy” and perhaps patronizing the local bookstore to catch up on some good reading or pick up a magazine or two.  By the afternoon, I’ll have lunch and prepare to receive my children from school.  They’ll do their homework in the living room with the television on to keep them company while I prepare their snacks of bottled beverages and boxed goodies.  Throughout the evening, the kids will spend time watching television or entertaining each other while I prepare dinner.  After we eat, we’ll continue piddling around until we begin to end our day with nighttime routines of oral hygiene and cleansing.  I’ll crawl into bed and read with the television on for company, satisfied that I’ve had a productive day.  I’ll marvel at the magnificence of the world and fall asleep feeling extremely lucky to be who I am, ready to do it all over again tomorrow.    

The snapshot that I’ve described above seems like what would be considered a productive day, but is an irresponsible one.  You might wonder why.  I’ve taken care of those things for which I’m responsible safely.  Yet, I’ve neglected the one thing that sustains us all.  That one thing to which I’m referring is our world.  Environmental responsibility is likely to be considered one of the most neglected priorities that we “earthlings” misuse, ignore and abuse.  The earthly population is astronomical.  What if each individual that shares our world acted as I do each morning?  How many gallons of water would we have wasted because we don’t turn the faucet off while we brush our teeth or wash dishes?  How much pollution would continue to dilute quality oxygen because my luxurious, fully-loaded family sedan isn’t fuel efficient?  What number of plastic and paper goods would be disposed of daily? How much energy have I taken for granted because everyone in the house is doing their own thing with all the lights on?

It seems tedious to have to be conscious of every small detail of my daily living habits.  Seems kind of like too much to think about.  Too much... of an adult concept for a big girl like myself.  The fact of the matter is that I’m too selfish to want to discipline myself enough to make a few small changes that can quickly become habit.  Besides, the Earth is colossal and I’m only one person.  I can’t possibly make that much of a difference.  I guess that’s what most everyone else is thinking also.  I’ve heard it exclaimed that we make time for those things that we find of enough importance.  And it’s been a proven fact that until consequences of your actions manifest, you continue to do things that can be self-destructive. 

So, The Big Girl is making some changes to graduate into womanhood.  I’ve done some research about the topic and found that the changes I’d have to make to exercise more environmental responsibility aren’t much of an inconvenience at all.  That seems absurd - environmental responsibility as a matter of convenience.  The truth is that everyone is responsible for creating and preserving a world that will welcome future generations.  These are what I’ve found to be small improvements that together can become a collective effort to have a huge impact on our single most important natural resource.


Making a habit of being environmentally responsible isn’t that difficult.  All I’d have to do is be more conscious of my actions for a while until I’m subconsciously making the changes that I’d like.  Reprogram myself, so to speak.  To begin with, instead of allowing the water to run endlessly when I brush my teeth, turn the faucet on only when in use.  Doing this was surprising.  I found that I didn’t need nearly as much water as I was allowing to run while scrubbing my pearlies.  Just enough to wet, rinse and wash.  Small detail, enormous difference.  Makes a difference when washing dishes and preparing meals also.  Another area I can maximize energy conservation is to limit my showers.  On those stress-riddled days when I know I’ll want to relax, bathe instead.   

Should wear and tear on that luxuriously, fully-loaded family sedan cause it necessary to replace it, I now have more to consider than if it has heated leather and satellite radio with a usb port for my iPod.  What about fuel efficiency?  What good does this automobile do toward reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals that are released into the atmosphere?  It seems that the environmentally-friendly models aren’t as stylish as the more established but less “Earthly” vehicles.  It is necessary to make that sacrifice now and have the automobile manufacturers meet my demand for more responsibly made vehicles with my buying power.  “If you spend it, they will come.”  And to further my efforts toward minimizing pollution while driving I now plan my “therapeutic” excursions so that I’m taking the shortest routes and spending less time on the roads.


Another important step in helping to manage environmental waste is to either form or begin to participate in a recycling program.  Those items that can be repurposed to help reduce waste include metal, glass, plastics and paper.  Setting up a recycling center in your home isn’t difficult to do at all.  Depending upon how frequently you’d like to make deposits to your local recycling program, you can nicely decorate a few inexpensive wastebaskets to set up in your garage and place recyclables there until the day of drop-off.  It could also be a good idea to contact your child’s school.  Their savvy educational flair and leadership has probably prompted the school’s PTA/PTO to establish a recycling program there to teach the children how to conserve resources.  You never know.  Your child could get extra credit for participating. 

Becoming knowledgeable about what Earth-friendly programs are already available in my area was also necessary. As much as I participate in retail therapy, I was unaware that some mega-retail chains offer to recycle plastic bags.  Surprisingly, the local public library also accepts plastic bags for recycling, making those two designated drop-off locations.   


Taking a second look at things that would normally just get trashed and replaced has become profitable for those who specialize in repurposing unwanted items.  Stores like IKEA sell those recycled metals, glass, paper and plastics that have been transformed into furniture and other useful products that are both appealing and modern.  I intend to capitalize on this trend as well.  Rather than toss my dresser with the unsightly scratch in the mahogany stain, I’ll sand it down and repaint it. Not only am I lessening waste, I’m also saving money. And when it’s time to replace the tires on my luxurious fully-loaded automobile, make certain that the tires are repurposed rather than dumped. 


Once I’ve committed to the idea of waste reduction I find that there are even more ways to remain conscious of the environment and get discounts as well.  Some are as simple as bringing my own bags or containers when patronizing stores.  Remember that Starbucks that served as my morning fuel?  If I take my Starbucks tumbler instead of using their “already made from recycled cardboard” cups, I not only reduce waste but get a small discount off of my environmentally friendly habit.  Same for bringing your own bag at some grocery and retail chains. 

When building your home or remodeling, opting in favor of the recycled glass countertops and reclaimed floors instead of the popular but more costly alternatives can give your home a more personalized touch, put you under budget and add to the overall satisfaction of having made responsible choices.  Other ways to modernize your home with an energy efficient make-over include choosing energy-efficient appliances and lighting.   

If nothing else, one small initiative to begin helping manage the environment responsibly can include opting to enjoy books, magazines and newspapers online rather than purchasing the hardcopy.  Each effort that you make towards reducing consumption matters.  After all, you’ll want a world free of clutter left behind from past generations for your children and future generations’ enjoyment.  I know I do. 

The above seems as though if put into action can effect some positive changes.  However the challenge doesn’t end there.  It’s important to teach children how necessary it is to preserve our environment and not take it for granted.  Practicing environmental responsibility with your children can be a starting point for instilling in them habits that will have lasting results.  Choose this Earth Day to begin a family effort toward reducing waste.  Happy Earth Day! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Date or Dump?

The Big Girl ChroniclesDate? or DUMP?
Okay.  So, you’ve been spending time with someone that you’re really beginning to feel connected to.  (S)he has been all those things that you think would make the two of you an ideal couple.  Only you’re not quite sure.  Have the two of you dug deep enough to connect with the “real” person?  Or are you still hiding who you really are?  Below are a couple of hypothetical situations to help you decide if you should continue to date or dump your newest love interest.  Have fun discussing these scenarios.

Scenario 1: 

You’ve been dating for 3 months.  The two of you have had great conversations, and have spent enough time together that (s)he feels comfortable enough to host your first dinner date at home.  The ambience perfectly complements the romantic candlelit dinner. Your date has finished an entire bottle of wine, and you can tell that (s)he’s not accustomed to drinking that much.  After dinner, you begin to watch a steamy, romantic movie that’s been chosen for evening entertainment.  Clearly tipsy, your date begins to flirt and come on strong.  The two of you have never discussed being intimate, but that doesn’t seem to matter right now.  What do you do?

How your new love interest responds to this question could provide valuable insight into what kind of behavior you can expect not only with you, but in other compromising situations as well.  And although we’ve all made dating mistakes in the past, the present response will clearly enlighten you of what has been learned (if anything) from those past mistakes.  The answer to this question could shed some light on how your new love interest values you, and should help you decide if you should continue to date or opt to dump him or her.
Scenario 2:

It’s been 6 months of dating and the two of you haven’t been intimate yet.  You think of your new love interest as a breath of fresh air from the nagging, boring others that you’ve dated in the past.  The time you spend together is refreshing, but your new love interest is constantly suggesting expensive nights, events and locations.  Although you both are employed, your love interest makes more money than you. However, you’re always expected to pay.  Finally, you suggest that (s)he foot the bill for the next date or go dutch.  Suddenly you have difficulty making contact via social media, email, phone or otherwise.  After a few weeks, (s)he calls suggesting another date that’s pricey.  What do you do? 

It’s chivalry versus modern dating.  Or is it?  With new dating rules that there basically are no rules, traditionally assigned roles no longer exist.  Yet, the response to this question should clue you in… to who YOU are.  Do you continue to date this person?  Or is it time to dump him or her and move on to the next one?    

Scenario 3:

The past 5 months have been fantastic.  You’ve met a person that seems to be the total package.  Goal-oriented.  Educated.  Upwardly mobile.  Decent earning potential.  And the cherry on top…Charismatic, fun and witty.  It can’t get any better than this.  The two of you share common goals for the future and hold similar values.  You’re ready to talk about engaging in a monogamous, exclusive relationship with plans for marriage somewhere in the future if all goes according to plan.  Then you find out that your new “perfect love” has children (plural).  Making a commitment to someone with a ready-made family is definitely a “don’t,” and wouldn’t be received well among your family.  Although you’re not prepared for nor are you interested in becoming a step-parent, you aren’t ready to end the relationship.  What do you do?

Dating is one thing.  However, when things begin to get serious, kids can change all the rules.  Many times when choosing someone to spend the rest of your life with, that vision includes the two of you building a family together.  Again, with modern dating, there could be more give and take than you were prepared for.  If you’ve found someone you have great chemistry with and interest in, that could mean having to compromise in other areas.  Do you continue to date and adjust to the “pre-existing conditions?”  Or do you dump him or her in hopes of finding that same chemistry in someone else after another 250,000 dates?

Scenario 4:

That person you’ve been crushing on has finally noticed you.  The two of you have been out on a couple of dates that have really gone well.  You’re hopeful that this could be the start of a romance. 
While out one evening, a person calls your date to the side.  They appear to be having a serious, heated conversation.  The other person seems emotionally involved.  After the conversation, the other person passes by your area.  You realize that the person your date was talking with is the former gay lover of one of your best friends.  You notice that your date appears equally discombobulated by their conversation and seems distant the remainder of the date.  What do you do?

The scenarios above are interesting to consider should you ever find yourself in one of those sticky situations and are uncertain what you should do.  How you and your peers respond could also spark interesting conversation.  Have fun discussing these and continue with scenarios of your own to share!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Safer Sex in 2013!

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s Guide to Safer Sex in 2013!

My absolute favorite country song is “The Gambler” as sang by Kenny Rogers.  I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the lyrics.  In the chorus he sings,

“You got to know when to hold ‘em.  Know when to fold ‘em.  Know when to walk away.  Know when to run.”

Although I enjoy the satirical message behind that song, luck has never been a friend of mine.  When it comes to gambling, the odds are 100% that the odds aren’t in my favor.  With so many risks that come in life, I also can’t afford to gamble with my health when it comes to intimacy and sex.  If you have reached that point in your relationship where you’re ready to explore the next level together, how the two of you make these decisions could uncover key information about your partner’s sexual habits.  If your partner wants to go full speed ahead throwing caution to the wind, you can bet that (s)he has behaved the exact same way in the past.  If (s)he doesn’t care enough about his or her own health than to completely omit any type of forethought or responsibility, there is cause for alarm.  Pay attention to how (s)he approaches the subject so you can assess whether to hold, fold, walk away or run. 

Although many people currently have or at some time have experienced a sexually transmitted disease, fessing up to it can be embarrassing to say the least.  Regardless, it is detrimental that before you and your partner find yourselves at the point of no return you have an honest conversation about each other’s sexual habits.  My suggestion is that you choose a time when you are least likely to become aroused.  In other words, don’t wait until you’re having a hot and heavy make-out session to go, “Oh, by the way what were the results of your most recent physical.”  Try bringing it up casually so that you don’t sound like you’re going down a checklist.  You could make a date of it and suggest that the two of you go get physicals together.   Whatever choice you make, set aside some time when you and your partner can have an open, honest discussion about past mistakes that could become your present if you opt not to share information of such importance.

Once the two of you have introduced the topic, pay attention to your partner’s reaction.  Does (s)he seem offended?  Depending upon your approach, you could want to give him or her a few moments to get over the initial shock.  Continue to evaluate nonverbal cues in addition to what’s being said.  Some nervousness is expected.  What you should consider alarming is if your partner completely blows up or becomes suspicious as to why you would ask.  An ideal reaction would include some indication of relief that the two of you are on the same page when it comes to discussing your sexual health.  However, if your partner is offended or overreacts, there is reason to suspect that (s)he has had a bad experience in the past that (s)he isn’t comfortable sharing.  What could be even more alarming is whether or not (s)he was willing to engage in intimacy and put you at risk without taking the necessary precautions to protect the both of you.

Intimacy with an infected partner isn’t encouraged, but it is possible.  Ultimately, the choice to have a sexual relationship with a person who has been infected with a std is yours.  Should you decide to continue, take time to discuss prevention and safety to guard against unwanted pregnancy and possible spread of the std (if it is recurring).  Do research on your own if your partner has divulged information about his or her past/present std.  Learn all that you can about not only that std but all others, how they are transmitted, how they can be prevented and available treatments/cures.

Having a sexually transmitted disease doesn’t necessarily make your partner a bad choice.  There are many people who are recovering from costly mistakes of the past.  However, don’t let another’s mistake become your misfortune.  Maintain sexual responsibility and preserve your health at all costs.  For more information about sexually transmitted diseases and safer sex, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at or Planned Parenthood at .