Sunday, August 29, 2010

At least they're honest thieves

I got the stupidest call this morning.

A phone research company called me up. They wanted to ask how I felt about Bank of America. Fair enough, I guess.

But then the first thing the caller says is this:

"Any ideas for customer service that come out of this conversation will belong to Bank of America, with no monetary award to you."

I kid you not.

I started laughing. I told the caller, "Hey... mad props for honesty. After having screwed the economy to death, they're out of ideas on how to steal even more money. So they call me up and ask me for ideas. For free."

She was not amused. I don't know why. At least I was laughing. I imagine most of the people she calls are simply going to be screaming invective.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last job interview

For the second time this year, a recruiter pulled my resume off the web and called me up.

Both times, of course, it was for optics-related programming, which my resume is chock-full-of. The first job was with a small company doing medical instruments and sounded really great.

This time it was for a VP position in a small but rapidly expanding company.

I had to tell the recruiter, "It sounds fantastic, but you have the wrong accent."

Like all Americans, she was thrilled and envious that I was emigrating to Oz. Meanwhile I'm potentially giving up what could have been my dream job - running the software department for an instrument company.

Dang it, Sophie better like her cousins. A lot.

Where were these people six months ago? I only got all these job leads after we'd already decided to leave. I can't decide if is a sign that the economy is turning around, or just the usual face-full of irony the universe dishes out to me at every opportunity.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First job interview

A recruiter is "very keen" to catch up with me once I'm on the ground. Not just keen, but very keen.

So now I've scheduled my first job interview, three days after I land. Getting a job early would be good, so we can rent a house for all our stuff that will be following us by boat.

Sara says that the estate agents (that's what they call real estate agents) only open the rental properties for inspection twenty minutes a week. That's what comes of a tight real-estate market, where houses cost too much and rentals are too scarce.

As a renter in USA, I kept a copy of the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act handy. It's not a particularly long document, yet it was amazing to me how many landlords I had to educate on the particulars of the matter. Now I have to start over. I have no idea what rights and duties renters in Aus have. Probably something about kangaroos.

So... I downloaded the Residential Tenancies Act of 1997. Right off the bat, I am pretty sure there is nothing in the Arizona statues about "binding the Crown." But it's nice to know that Queen Elizabeth can't kick me out of my apartment without due process of law.

Also, the rental agreement has to be in "standard" form. Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

Other than that, it looks pretty much the same. Although Sara says rent is paid weekly instead of monthly (actually, that's a reasonable idea).

Anyway, the point is: how did anybody do all of this before the internet?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pitcure of the Day

This is exactly what I want to see if I'm ever lost at sea:

A life-raft full of lifeguard dogs being towed towards me by a lifeguard dog.