Stuff that Jeanne says

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Archive for the category “Information”

Hell In a handbasket

This country is going to hell in a handbasket. I love that saying. I don’t know why! Especially since I don’t even believe that there is in fact a “hell”. I’m a visual person, so when I say this I think of a handbasket (you know, the kind that Dorothy used to carry Toto around in) but filled with miniature sized people, being held by a creepy long arm with long yellow fingernails, (the kind that curl at the ends), and we are all being lowered into a fiery inferno.

Okay, I understand this post is starting out a little on the less positive side, and I can’t guarantee that there is going to be a happy ending, but these are my feelings and fears that I live with as a mother to a young child. Society is not evolving, but going backwards.

Unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been since the early 80’s. People are losing their jobs, exhausting their unemployment benefits & losing their homes. Sure, there are jobs out there, but you may be 1 of 500 applying for the same job.

There is negligent abuse of the system that was created for people who truly need it, and that’s all I have to say about that.

The English language is being botched because people these days use the Urban dictionary instead of Merriam-Webster. And heck, if one of our own former Presidents, not to mention any names (George W. Bush) can make up his own words, then why can’t we? People complain that they have to press 1 for English, but honestly we should be angry that we can’t press 1 on the forehead of the dumbass in front of us to speak PROPER English! Everything is written in short hand, and I just wish people wouldn’t use words like “imma”, “dat”, “wuz”, and a plethora of other “words” of which I don’t know the meaning!

Pedophiles. I think everyone is on the same page with this one. For the sake of me not sounding like a barbarian, I will bite my tongue and not tell you what I really think about them.   It sickens me that a convicted child molester might serve 2-5 years in prison. Recidivism rates  for child molesters are moderately low due to this being a highly under reported crime. Pedophilia is not something that can be cured. So why do they give such leniency in time served. Of course they are going to exhibit good behavior in jail. They are sociopaths that prey on young children. Do you really think they are going to shank their cellmate for not giving up their honey bun? NO! But, the pedophile may get out of jail a few years earlier, than the cellmate who was in for possession of crack/cocaine.

I really don’t feel like going into sociological theories, American history, or talking politics.  But I can tell you this, this is not how it should be. Where is our future going if our children are forced to go to work early to help support the family and not getting a proper education and using words like imma, dat and wuz? How much more can we pay in taxes to support the people soaking up free income, while the rest of us are schlepping away 40-60 hours a week and they are sitting home watching Maury, and thinking about calling the attorney on a commercial they just saw that will help them collect Social Security benefits.

I don’t mean to come across so negatively but maybe I have been tainted by growing up and living in a society where people think its okay to abuse the system with that sense of entitlement that the government owes them something. Or maybe it’s the line of work I have done for the past decade. I have seen true poverty, I have worked with heroin addicted mothers who have died of an overdose because they were physically and sexually abused through their whole childhood.

I know that many of our children are going to have to work much harder to be what they will consider succesful in their adult lives, but as parents we need to guide them in the right direction. Protect them. Help them evolve and not be victims and fall into the abuse of the system. Create a society that can move forward, and keep moving forward for their children. We need welfare reform, harsher punishments for sex offenders, make it easier for businesses to open and stay open. Push for higher educational standards. Support your local markets, and retail shops. Stop sending our money to China. The list goes on and on and on.

I really want to stay positive that we are heading in the right direction. Educate yourselves. Don’t just vote for someone because they say they are going to lower your taxes. Write letters to your politicians on issues that you feel passionate about. I always tell people that when it truly comes down to it, you are number 1 and you need to take care of yourself, but I don’t mean for them to be completely closed off from what is going on around them. If the greed and lack of care in the world continues, we will for sure all be going to hell in a handbasket.


Applying for a job?

I usually don’t like to take my work home, but since I have some experience in this field I figured I would share some of my expertise!  I am a vocational/educational counselor,  or an employment/rehabilitation specialist. (yes, I have 4 job titles) It’s slightly annoying because I don’t know what to call myself.

In today’s job market, some may feel that they are “stuck” in their current  job, some are laid off and looking for work, and some are just graduating college and fighting harder than ever to find somewhere to start their career. Whatever the case, persistence is key to finding a job. I would like to offer some tips to help people along their journey.


Don’t ever leave dates off of your resume. This is one big red flag to employers. It makes you look as if you are trying to hide something. Big gaps in employment don’t look appealing to employers. They want to know why you haven’t worked in over a year. Makes them wonder if you were out hustling on the streets, or incarcerated for those 2 years that you didn’t work. But, in this economy, with many people laid off for long periods of time, employers are a little more understanding when it comes to gaps and less suspicious. And sure, age discrimination does happen so you might be a little less inclined to put that you graduated high school in 1965 or 2010, but unless you are living in a retirement home, put your graduation date.

Make sure to always add an email address on your resume. Chances are you have one already, but some recruiters prefer to communicate through email, so make sure you also check your email regularly. AND, make sure your email address is appropriate. Do not add your email address if it includes things like “booty”, “420”, “mobster”, you get what I’m saying. You may laugh, but  I have seen this more times than I would have liked!  gmail and yahoo are great places for free email accounts.

Surf the web. There is nothing wrong with finding a sample resume on the internet and working off of it. That’s what they are there for! If you’re an electrician, just go to a search engine website like google and bing, and type in “sample resume for electrician” you will find plenty to chose from!

You do not need to add every job that you have had! If you have had 4 jobs in the past 10 years, list them all, but if you’ve had 8 jobs in the past 10 years, just list the last 4. a 3 page resume is not functional. There is too much to read. Employers are going through hundreds of resumes and don’t have time to read them all, they may skip right by yours if it resembles something like War and Peace.

Not enough job history? Make sure to add a summary of qualifications. This usually goes first, under your header and should include your skills and interests. Also, pull some qualifications that you have from the job description that you are applying for and add them in here.  That will fill up a quarter of the page and not make it look so empty, but everyone should have this on their resume.

Get rid of the unnecessary stuff. You do not need to add “references available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Also, if you were president of your fraternity in 1995, no one cares.

Ultimately this is what recruiters look for: qualifications, jobs held, where, and for  how long, education and any other certifications or skills that are transferable. So keep your resume clean, simple, and focus on making those areas looking good.


First impressions are HUGE! Some job postings won’t ask for a cover letter, but send one anyway. They can be bothersome since they have to be changed for almost every job you apply for, but worth it.  Here are some ways to get that perfect cover letter

Always make sure to add the name and address of the contact person on the job posting. You then want to start the letter off, as if you were writing a letter! Dear Ms. or Mr. Smith (always  use Ms. if you are addressing a female, believe it or not, you can turn someone off if you start with Mrs. and she is not married!) and it’s just more appropriate.

Be sure to add in the first paragraph, what position you are applying for, where you saw the posting, and try to mention the name of the company in your letter atleast once. It makes it more personal to the employer and not so generic.

A cover letter is a great place to explain some sketchy areas on your resume. You can explain why you may have had some gaps in employment. Also, if you are looking for a career change, you can add in here why, and what transferable skills you have.

Again, keep it short. You want to capture the readers attention and not scare them away. So use good choice of words, and get your point across. Keep it simple.


Once you have managed to score an interview. Here are some tips to help get you on top of the list!

Dress appropriately! I have sent people home that have come in for interviews dressed in their concert tshirt! No joke! Wear something clean and comfortable. You don’t have to wear the three piece suit unless you are interviewing for CEO, but in that case you should know better.

Body language. This is so important. Even though everyone knows how nerve wracking interviews can be, employers still want to see how well you do under pressure, so there is no sympathy there! Some hiring managers even go through trainings on how to read body language, so be careful, they could be analyzing you. Keep your hands on your lap or by your side. Do not cross your arms, don’t click the pen in your hand and don’t twirl your hair. Sure, if you talk with your hands, you can do it, just try to keep it under control so you are not too animated! Eye contact is huge! Do not have a wandering eye, always make eye contact.

Do not go into an interview and talk about yourself as if you are going to run the joint one day. Yes, it’s great to have a positive attitude and show interest in moving up in the company, but big egos are threatened by even bigger egos!

Practice practice practice! Practice makes perfect. Most employers ask pretty much the same questions during interviews. Here are some common interview questions

Know about the company you are applying for. This will impress them. And don’t be afraid to ask THEM questions.

Applying for a job is just the beginning, but sometimes the most work. There is a ton of competition out there and you need to be prepared to land the job you want.

Here are some other helpful tips to keep you organized.

Make a list of the jobs you applied for, include the date you sent your resume and the contact person, so after a few days go by, you can email or call them to follow up. (and to avoid applying at the same place twice!)

Keep hard copies of your resume, and spend some money on resume paper. There is nothing wrong with just walking into a place whether they are hiring or not, and handing your resume to the management.

Ask around. Talk to friends, friends of friends, and family members to find out if their places are hiring. (This is how most people get their jobs anyway!)

Most of all, don’t get discouraged. Job hunting can be a full time job and it can take weeks or months to hear from a place you applied to, but don’t ever give up. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. There is so much more that goes into getting the job, then actually working the job. Hopefully these tips can get you started. So remember..research, plan, persistence and a positive attitude at all times! Happy job hunting!

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‘Tis the be broke…(a guide on surviving the holidays!)

So, it’s that time people. 23 days left til that day when we exchange gifts, see happy smiles on our friends’ and families’ faces, travel from house to house, stuff our faces, and then crash. All in one day, but it takes us on average about 30 days to prepare for this madness. I don’t want to get into what Christmas is really about! Many people have different views, beliefs, and blah blah blah. Let’s just talk about what it has become, and that is mass consumerism of broke Americans. I often wonder, when I am out shopping, that if our economy is in the crapper then where are people getting their money from? I know you think the same. Especially in the state that I live in, Rhode Island, where unemployment is at 12%!

This is what’s happening, and also one of the causes of our crap economy. People are opening credit cards, extending their lines of credit, paying the minimums on their current credit bills,dipping into their kid’s college funds, skimping on utility payments thinking that they will just pay the extra to make up for it next month. Don’t lie people, you know you do it. How do I know? I am guilty of it too. Yes, there are some people who do save for the holidays, and there are people who don’t live paycheck to paycheck and have an excess in disposable income, but they are not the majority. Here are some helpful hints for you broke asses out there like myself to not get yourself into a big hole before the New Year!

Make a list of who you have to buy for, then make your budget for Dec. and whatever is leftover, split it up accordingly and STICK TO YOUR LIST AND YOUR BUDGET! (if you don’t have enough to buy your 8 yr old nephew Bobby the Ipod touch he wants, oh well, get him the nano)

Sign up for email alerts, text alerts, mailers etc. from your favorite department stores & restaurants. Check out places like Groupon, Living social, and  I am constantly bombarded with coupons and I feel so guilty if I go in a store and I don’t have one because I know I am not getting maximum savings! (but be careful, read the fine print!)

Women, DO NOT take your husband or children shopping with you. They are impatient and you will feel inclined to buy something you didn’t plan to just to get the hell out of there!

Keep all of your receipts. Things are constantly going on sale from now until Christmas. Go get your money back. You may think it would cost you more in gas to go back, but chances are, you will be back in that area again. SCORE!

Homemade gifts are nice. but not for bratty children or imposing family members. You may be able to get away with giving grandma, or your great aunt Margaret, a nice mason jar filled with ingredients to make their own cookies.

Start a Christmas club at your bank. This works well for some people, but you need to have the discipline not to take the money and run to the casino, and be prepared to shop early.

Don’t buy yourself gifts. This is the time of year not to be selfish. Do what I do, take pictures and text them to your spouse 🙂 it royally pisses him off, but it plants a seed! And if you absolutely must buy yourself something, get a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s (inside joke)

So there you have it. Some ways to avoid overspending, and breaking the bank. I wish all of you a healthy, happy, stress free holiday. Ultimately, if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. And don’t feel bad because many people are in the same boat. If little nephew Bobby doesn’t like his ipod nano, and great Aunt Margaret doesn’t like her jar of unbaked cookies, then I have two words, FUCK THEM!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

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