11.17.2004

Stochastic Neural Processes

1) I have no idea when I'll get the chance but at some point in my life I really want to say, in jest but in perfect context: "Excuse me, I have to go express some semen."

2) At some point in time a man likely said, "The only thing I know about women's suffrage is that I find women insufferable!" Which was then followed by a man laughing so hard his monocle fell out.

2-i) It has been pointed out to me that my analogy between slavery and homosexual civil rights is flawed in that people can't/won't get as outraged about gay marriage as they can about owning another human. I'd agree with that though I suspect it might be overplaying the outrage of the abolition movement somewhat. A great many abolitionists opposed slavery while endorsing the supremacy of the white race, a stance that, perforce, dims one's outrage. I then thought that women's suffrage might be a better analogy but even then a quick comparison between 51% of the population (women) and ~10% (homosexual; where the hell does this number come from anyways? I've heard it for years but never really questioned it) and one can see what a long, long road is ahead.

3) I had a job interview today. Good news: it was my first bite since I started sending out CVs. Bad news: it pays 9$/hr. Good news: it's testing video games. Bad news: cellphone videogames. Bad news: it pays 9$/hr.

I went to the place hoping to find some reason to take this job. I think testing video games is pretty much my ideal job. Sadly, the pay barely qualifies for my definition of the word "job".

It pleased me to see a row of tables in the cafeteria with TVs in front of couches. Each TV was hooked up to different game system, PS2, XBOX, Gamecube, N64, SNES. The walk to the interview office was horrifying, however. Picture a sweatshop. Replace all the sewing machines with desktop PCs. This was the work environment, a huge open floor with about 150 people grouped in eights around large desks, no dividers, no cubicles, bare white walls and a slate grey industrial carpet, a grim phosphor glow reflected in each pale face. It was The Triangle Shirtwaist Company with USB ports.

I frikkin' nailed the interview. In French, no less. I was part-ninja, part-Jedi, slicing through the questions and disarming all opposition with my disarming manner. Now I know how Moses felt parting the Red Sea. I began to ask about what kind of vacation they were willing to offer. I was hoping to parlay my experience into 3 weeks vacation. I felt I had that kind of leverage. Before my first sentence was complete, they gave me (ME! Moses-incarnate!) a left jab, a solid right hook and a fatal uppercut. I went from heavyweight champ to Glass Joe.

- There is no vacation offered.
- This isn't a permanent position.
- It's a rolling one-month contract (I swear this is what I heard but it just can't possibly be right).
- This policy is mandated by the head office (the full policy being that 50% of the employees must be maintained on a rolling contract)
- Overtime is paid time and a half
- The overtime is strictly voluntary, you know. Always up to you. You know. We wouldn't, like, force you. Right? Well, the games have to be released on a strict schedule, so, like, near those times, yeah, we would ask you to come in. Voluntarily, of course. It's, like, a chance to make some more money, right! (nervous laughter) Right?! (incredibly pained look, like one would give Lucifer after getting caught in his bed with his teenage daughter)

"So, uh, how many hours a week would you say the average tester works, including overtime?"

And then I witnessed true majesty. A beauty so breathtaking that the Grand Canyon could be called a hole in the ground, that the Northern Lights be called but a twinkle, that life itself be little more than a cheap and unsatisfying illusion. I witnessed three desperate employees dodging a question with the ferocity of cornered and wounded animal. They simultaneously deployed evasive maneuvers Alpha, Foxtrot, Sigma and Get-Me-The-Hell-Out-Of-Here. I thought I heard the sound of bones breaking coming from under their clothes.

So...

-Pay that would insult Mother Teresa,
-Hours that would make purgatory seem but a blink,
-The same vacation days POWs get,
-And all of this on a month-to-month wheel of uncertainty!

Colour me spoiled brat if you must but this ain't happening.