Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Thursday, June 17, 2010  
Amidst all the crap in my life right now I vowed that I would not be felled by Father's Day this year. I'm a fatherless on Father's Day pro, now. I'm through The First Year. Everything's supposed to be easier and less emotional after all the firsts are on calendar pages past.

Part of the plan was retail establishment avoidance. And that helped. A lot. After last year's Father's Day Target Meltdown I learned the best defense is avoidance. Very easy this year since I'm unemployed and don't go anywhere except my telemarketing gig.

Since LOST ended I don't watch a lot of television - other than Spongebob - so not a lot of playing on emotions Father's Day sales ads to avoid.

So the avoidance technique has helped, a lot.

Father's Day itself will still be rough - I know it will.

I dunno. The whole "gets easier after the first year" thing doesn't seem to be ringing true. Maybe it would be easier if I had a crappy or even mediocre dad. But I have a great dad. And I miss him.

A few months ago my mother assigned me the task of sorting through a file drawer in my dad's office. We've been slowly going through stuff. We're making progress. But my dad's office...ugh. My mother and I avoid it as much as possible. But it reached the point where we can't avoid it, we have to deal with stuff in there. My mother asked me to go through a file drawer that had a bunch of warranties and instruction manuals and receipts for appliances, tools...dad stuff.

My mother is receipt crazy. She's big on keeping receipts. My mother's voice echoes in my head a lot. And quite often the reverberating words say, "Make sure you get a receipt." Or, "You did keep the receipt, didn't you?"

My dad learned early in their marriage that one of the keys to keeping harmony in their marriage was getting and keeping receipts. I found receipts and warranties dating back to a few months after their marriage. They weren't filed and labeled all neatly and organized, but it wasn't a haphazard mess, either. It was kind of sort of chronological. And a lot like an archeological excavation in a tomb that was used by several dynasties through several ruling countries. 17th century Roman coins next to 5th century Asian silk next to 12th century Celtic pottery.

I hit a vein of receipts for stuff  like appliances and carpet and a lawnmower and a crib. Yeah. A crib. Based on the date on the receipt my mother signed for the delivery of it a few months before my birthday. It's been a long, long time since I slept in a crib. But my dad still had the receipt for my crib. I was chuckling at that, knowing my dad would have tossed the receipt but didn't because he thought my mother might want to refer to it at some point. Because that's what my mother does. She refers to receipts. And woe to the person who can't proffer a receipt when my mother requests one. We even have a joke about it in our family. "Did you get a receipt?" "Let's have a look at the receipt." "Keep the receipt!"

So I was smirking a knowing and conspiratorial smirk to my dad about the receipt for my baby crib. When they found out they were expecting a third child (me), my parents decided to buy a bigger home. A bigger home way out in the country, far away from the city. It was a long commute for my dad but worth it for the peace and quiet out in the country. And how great for us kids to have a huge yard and the freedom to run and ride bikes all over the place without worry? The receipts from that era tell a story of a family going through a growth spurt and life style change. Receipts for a lawnmower - riding; a washer/dryer combo; a freezer; carpet for four rooms- a staircase and hall; a crib. And a baby.

Yep.

Right there in my dad's warranty and receipt file was a small yellow slip of paper from the county clerk's office. In the info portion there's a handwritten notation, "Baby girl McMillian, $3.25. Cash. Rendered to father." Cash was underlined. Twice.

Yes. My dad paid $3.25 (cash) for me. He kept the receipt to prove it. The date on the receipt was about seven days after my birth.

My mother told me "back then" mothers and babies stayed in the hospital several days, even a week, after delivery. (Her editorial comment was, "That was a much better idea than how they rush mothers and babies home so quickly now. Mothers need some time to rest and adjust.") And before you could leave the hospital with your baby you had to get the birth certificate from the county clerk's office. Kind of like proof of insurance when you take delivery of a new car. Proof of paternal ownership. You show up with a birth certificate from the county clerk's office, you get the baby. My dad was sent to procure the birth certificate from the county clerk's office so they could take me home.

But. The receipt, by itself, looks like a receipt for a baby. A baby who cost $3.25. Cash. (Underlined twice.)

Okay, I get the whole county clerk rigmarole. And I understand my father's concern about keeping my mother happy by keeping receipts. But. The reason my mother is so funny about receipts is that she worries about the "just in case it breaks or you have to return it" possibilities. My mother also believes that paying in cash gives the consumer negotiating power. But it also comes with risks so you always have to get a receipt when you pay cash for anything. Even a baby.

But.

Um.

Still.

Tucked in amongst a receipt for a lawnmower, carpet and a freezer was a receipt for me.

I'm sure my mother's "be sure to get a receipt" advice was ringing in my dad's ears when he went to procure the birth certificate. But why did he keep it all these years?

I thought when I dug deeper on my excavation I'd find receipts for my brother and sister. I thought it would be funny to give them to them. "Dad kept the receipts for us!"

But I never found receipts for my brother or sister. Maybe I was special. They thought they might need proof of ownership. Or maybe he and my mother had concerns. "Keep that receipt. Just in case she breaks or we want to return her..."

Or my dad tucked the receipt away with all the other receipts of that hectic time and forgot about it.

And many years later I unearthed it, the first time it saw the light of day since way back then. As a stand-alone piece of paper - without the information my mother gave me about having to procure the birth certificate from the county clerk's office before taking the new baby home - it's pretty funny. "Baby Girl...rendered to father...$3.25. Cash." I'm keeping it, maybe even get it framed. My dad paid $3.25, cash, for me. He kept the receipt to prove it.

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11:08 PM

Wednesday, June 16, 2010  
So it finally happened. 

The Two Day Uninterrupted Crying Uncontrollable Sobbing While Intently Pacing Aimlessly phase of unemployment.

Yikes.

That's a bad phase.

I don't like that phase. The uncontrollable part is really awful. Normally when I have a crying jag I'm well aware of what's going on, I maintain control while just rolling with it, letting out, releasing the pain, taking a deep breath, getting a grip and feeling better blah blah blah. 5, 10 minutes, tops.

This was different. I was aware, all too aware, but I couldn't get a grip.

So yeah. That sucked.

And I don't feel better. And I'm still worried. And I'm still scared. And I still have no clue as to what I should do. About anything.

So yeah. That sucks more.

People warned me about it. People who have logged more unemployed days than I told me tales of days of pacing and crying but I didn't think that would happen to me. Ha. Of course it did. I am not special, I am not immune. 

I think what triggered it was the rejection emails I received. Three in the same day. Almost in the same hour. It's as if they all met in a board room, devised a strategy of rejection and agreed to implement it at the same time. I didn't get the college job. And I didn't get two other jobs I interviewed for (two interviews each).

Okay, I know, I'm very lucky. I had interviews. I have had several interviews. I get past the resume review firing squad, into the right hands and I get into the office for interviews. It is an honor just to be nominated. Really. Benjy's been unemployed for 18 months and has had a grand total of two interviews. And he's extremely qualified, has impressive experience, a stable of A-list clients in his past and loads of great ideas. And yet...two interviews in 18 months. I hear this over and over from other people who are unemployed. So yes, I do feel exceptionally lucky to even be considered for an interview.

But ultimately I'm no better off than the people who aren't getting called for interviews. We're all still unemployed.

I've certainly had a load of rejection, though, so why the big deal about these jobs? Why the trip down psycho crying girl road?

Well, for a start I'm desperate. With each mortgage and condo assessment payment the money I robbed from the 401K kitty gets depleted.

And the rejection emails came on the heels of the news that my ridiculously low paying telemarketing job hours are being cut. Not that the $66 I take home for 22 hours of work was in any way "helping" my financial picture. But still. It was something. It paid for 2/3 of my phone bill.

And the rejection emails came wrapped in what I consider the most offensive and lame insult that can be hurled at a job hunter: Overqualified.

When did having years of solid relevant work experience, a good college education in a related field, stellar references and a history of steady, quantifiable project success become negative job candidate traits? All three of those rejection emails mentioned what a great candidate I was and how impressed they were with my background and insight into their companies and what I could bring to the job and their companies, and how much they would like to have someone like me on their team...and that I am, unfortunately, overqualified for the position "at this time."

"At this time." Huh? At another time I wouldn't be overqualified?

One of them even came out and said that my "obvious executive credentials" were not a "good fit" for their current creative team.

Huh?

You're a company. You have a marketing department. You have good talent but no supervision, goals, strategy, direction or organization. You decide you need to hire a creative manager. You get a candidate who has exactly the experience needed for the job and even offers ideas at the interview and follow up correspondence. You invite that candidate for a second interview and pick her brain about creative workflow strategy. And then you don't want to hire her because she has "obvious executive credentials?"

So, what am I to learn from this? That I should go in all scatterbrained and dull and not mention anything about my previous job experience and education ask no questions and don't offer any ideas?

Dumb and inexperienced? Are those the traits employers are craving?

Based on my job interview results and my past office experience I'm guessing the sad answer is yes. It's the only way to explain some of the people who get hired and promoted at most companies where I've worked and heard horror stories about.  Stupid, inexperienced, uncreative, lazy and insecure? Well, do we have a job for you! Work for us! We'll even give you a hiring bonus and an extra week of vacation just to entice you!

Intelligent, experienced, creative, loyal, eager and hardworking? Nah. That's all very impressive but at this time it's clear you're overqualified to work here.

It's all such a stupid game. And I'm not competitive or a game player. I suck at pretending to be someone I'm not. So. I don't know what to do. I need a job but is playing dumb really a solution? If so, I'm in trouble. Bigger trouble that I imagined. (and I imagine that I'm in some pretty serious trouble)

My new boss at the telemarketing place went off on a strop about how he doesn't think they should hire people with marketing experience because we know too much and affect a tone that sways consumers. I don't know about a tone, but I do know that unless you're a Cold War era counter intelligence spy it's technically impossible to know too much.

And my friend's husband's words about how, at this stage in my life, men presume I'm intelligent, I've had a career a long time, but they don't see me as anything other than the smart chick from the office.

Once more with red eyes and stinging cheeks and a snotty nose, "When did being intelligent become such a liability?"

Companies won't hire me, men won't date me, and my telemarketing job is cutting back my hours because I'm overqualified, too smart and too experienced. I mean, huh? It's not as if I go around all self-righteously flaunting what I know. But then again, at least on the job interview realm, isn't that exactly what you're supposed to do? Talk about your credentials, give real-life on-the-job examples, talk in quantifiable terms, show how creative and capable and interested you are in your profession and in the job opening?

And for that matter, with men, too. Not that I care because I'm on the shelf and the Mayor of Singleton, but, for the sake of the professional women who do want to date men, why would anyone, male or female, straight or gay, want to date someone who has no ambition, goals, ideas, insight or a career (or at least a job or hopes for a job)? Don't people want to date someone who's not only interested, but interesting?

Or, are men actually like the companies who interview me? They say they want lots of related work experience, a proven project track record, good education credentials and eager self-starters with lots of ideas and energy, but when that person literally knocks on their door they deem them overqualified "at this time."

I won't go so far as to say the companies (and men) who rejected me were intimidated and overwhelmed by what I have to offer. I'm not that smart, that experienced or that eager. It's impossible to know too much (except in Cold War counterintelligence spy circles); there's always more to learn. I approach each job interview as prepared as I can be, but worried that I don't know enough, or the right things. I am humble. I ask questions that show interest not only in the job but also about the company and the industry in general. If I come away from an interview having learned something useful I feel like that's a huge bonus, a gift. "That's a different way to construct your database, what a great idea! How did you assign your key fields?" That sort of thing. I think I come off as knowledgeable but humble. Or at least I hope I do.  I mean, you know me, I know I don't know what I don't know and I'm the first one to admit it. I know stuff confuses and confounds and frustrates me. And I'm eager and willing to learn in an effort to be less confused, confounded and frustrated. I dunno. I really, I just, I dunno.

I'm fairly certain the "you're overqualified" "at this time" comment is the job interview equivalent of "it's not you, it's me" "right now I need some space," a polite way of saying, "we hired someone else." Just like the guy who says, "It's not you, it's me" and "right now I just need some space, some alone time" will marry someone else 6 months after he breaks up with you.

Which is why I find the "overqualified" rejection so offensive.

It's just a line, a polite way to reject someone while assuaging your own negative feelings about what you're doing to that person - and their life. 

And probably a lot of the reason why I couldn't stop crying for two days. And why I don't feel any better as a result.

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7:56 AM

Sunday, June 13, 2010  
So I have a new boss at my part time telemarketing job. I have several bosses. One for my performance, one for scheduling, one for my data collection tracking...yeah, the title manager is used liberally.

He's, um, well. He's a part time middle manager at a telemarketing company. You can do the math.

He's worked at the company 11 months. He started just like me, on the phones. And now look at him! Three promotions later and he's a manager! Two more promotions and he'll be eligible for full time hours. Yessirreee, there's big potential here! 

We don't know each other. I've only encountered him once, during one of my four hour shifts. Today I went in and was told he was promoted to the Shift Scheduling Manager, Telesales and I was to report to him at the end of my shift.

Oooooooo! A meeting with the Shift Scheduling Manager, Telesales! Maybe I'm already getting my first promotion!

So, I went into his cube (now that he's a Shift Scheduling Manager, Telesales he gets to share a cube with the Shift Scheduling Manager, Teledata), I was all pepped up about what great news might be coming my way.

We had a little general chat about marketing. He told be that before this job he was a systems analyst and that he didn't know much about marketing. Now he's Mr. Madison Avenue. So, we were talking about one of our clients and how the calls during the past few days were not garnering many sales. He pondered if we needed new scripts (sales scripts are written and given to us from above, way, way, way above). Then I made a big mistake. I used the term empirical data. I asked if there was empirical data from the client's previous telemarketing or even from other media strategies.

My boss got mad at me.

"You can't think. You're not supposed to think. You'll sway the consumers if you think. This is why I don't like to hire marketing professionals. You know too much about marketing to talk to consumers, you think too much into it, you think about the data, you get a tone that effects the customers. You're loose cannons. Lemme tell you something, if you want to get anywhere here you have to stop thinking, turn off your brain, you can't go all rogue marketing pro."

Whoa.

Whoa.

Seriously.

Whoa.

I'm a swutting telemarketer. How is it even possible to go rogue?

And affecting a 'tone?' People tell me to fuck off, yell at me, tell me to get a real job, try to engage me in phone sex, and hang up on me and my new boss is worried that I'll affect a 'tone' of insider rogue marketing pro that will sway the consumers' attitude about the products and skew the data? Seriously? I mean really? Seriously?

I have no doubt I affect a 'tone' now and then but it has nothing to do with maniacal marketing voodoo. (awesome band name) My 'tone' affects something more along the lines of misery, contempt, existentialism and treachery, think Squidward, more like, "I hate this job and my life and the second I can afford a life insurance policy I'm killing myself."

So I laughed at him.

I laughed. I know. I shouldn't have laughed. But I couldn't help it. It was too funny to not laugh.

He didn't like that I laughed.

And he said, "It's not funny. When you start using terms like 'empirical data' (he used air quotes) it's a sign you know too much."

Apparently he looks for "signs" in his employees. "Signs" that we know too much about marketing. At our telemarketing jobs. 

And then he told me he was cutting my hours.

I logged 22 hours in a two week span. Because the previous Shift Scheduling Manager, Telesales, scheduled me to work those hours.

Apparently there was a suspicious trend - I logged more hours than some of the other new hires. 22 hours in two weeks.

And now it's been revealed that I know too much. I'm a rogue marketing professional. The empirical data is all right there on my resume - too many years of professional experience, I know too much, I can't be trusted. I could affect a 'tone.'

So my already measly hours are being cut back. I kid you not. 

The empirical data proves that I will be in foreclosure and on my way to homelessness in 6 weeks.

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4:59 PM

 
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