Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Shopping

At the risk of sounding like the Grinch i have a genuine dislike for Christmas shopping. Let me be clear, i don't dislike Christmas, or the concept of giving, I just can't stand shopping for Christmas. I am a pretty generous person and i don't mind giving gifts. I think really the only thing i don't like is how busy the malls are. I think it stems back to all the time i spent working at fairview mall. Although i worked on commission and made more money during the holiday season, i would have gladly sacrificed that extra money if it meant less crowds. I consider myself to be a pretty social person but i have never really liked crowds. I hate having to search the parking lot for a space. I remember that sometimes at the Bay i would have to come to work half hour early to search the lots if i wanted a space close to the entrance near the department i worked in. Most times i would just end up parking very far away and walking over. And then when you get in the malls its so crazy packed then what should be a 10 second walk turns into 2 mins. And you end up bumping into people and saying "excuse me" every 2 seconds. I really can't stand it. Then when you get in the stores all the customers are so rude. I remember at the there would be about 6 customers for every associate and they would all be so demanding. Half the time i just wanted to throw the box of shoes in their faces. I was making 2.5% commission which means that the average sale was earning me around two dollars. Yet by the way they were acting you would think it was 100. I mean they were just really rude. I am not a huge man but at about about six feet tall and around 200 lbs I am big enough that i don't usually have people saying rude thing to my face. It happened all the time at the bay. Looking at me in my uniform gave people the balls to say things they would never say to me in the street in my regular clothes.

Anyways those days are over now. Although I do miss my co-workers at the Bay i don't miss the nature of the work. Retail is a lot tougher than most people think. It is not quite as stressful as telemarketing (which was the job i did before and will be the topic of a future post). But it is tough.

Thankfully I am pretty much finished all of my Christmas shopping now and i can just try to enjoy the holiday season.

Merry Christmas every one.

...peace

Monday, December 11, 2006

My new Job

So as promised this post will be about my new job.

My first day at Microsoft was November 20th 2006. Walking into MS was a bit of a shock. First let me say that i found out on the first day that you don't just walk into MS. To get into the building you need to have a security access card. I did not know this in advance. I promptly walked up to the door and discovered it was locked. Thankfully, someone saw me. I explained it was my first day and she took me to reception area. My new boss came down and he guided myself and the other 2 new hires on a tour of the building. It was a little weird walking in there because it is a big change from where I was coming from. My previous job was for a small privately owned company. Conversely Microsoft is just about the biggest IT company in the world.

Their cafeteria alone is huge. I don't have a corner office or anything but i have a nice cubicle in a decent location. The co-workers who are near my desk are all pretty cool. What is weird is that i sit beside someone with the same name as me. It can get a little confusing at times when people are determining who to talk to.

Now i will outline some of the goods and bads of the position. I will start with the bads. The first and most major bad to date has to be the hoops i have had to jump through. At my previous job I was put to work doing meaningful things on my very first day. At my new place there is so much security in place that even now, three weeks in i still don't have all of the clearances i need to do my job. They tell me not to worry about it and that it will come but it is very frustrating.

The next bad thing is the distance. At my old job if i left exactly at 5 o'clock i could be home by 5:30. Getting on the 401 at 5:00pm would be complete insanity. I got 407 transponder for the days when i simply want to get home quickly. My goal is to only take 3 times a week at the most. That should keep my bill under 80 per month.

Now the Good things.

First obviously there is more money. Which i will try to spend wisely.
Second although there are a lot of hoops to jump through, MS does provide me with every software toy i have ever wanted to play with. I have visual studio 2005, SQL server 2005, Office 2007, and a bunch of other new software programs. This should help improve my resume. Additionally the office it self is very advanced. Their is a wireless connection throughout the building. When every i go to a meeting i just unplug my lap top and take it with me. It's pretty cool.
There are lots of parties and free lunches. 2 weeks ago was the launch of office 07 and vista and there was a big party throughout the building and they were giving away prizes. I unfortunately did not win the Xbox 360 but at least they provided us all with lunch for the day. Last week wunderman had a team party. So we only worked half a day and then we went curling. Its a much more difficult sport than it looks like on tv. Finally since getting on the 401 at 5pm is crazy i go to the gym after work to pass some time during rush hour. This has motivated me to get to the gym on a much more regular basis. Which is a very good thing considering how much i am paying for my membership.

Anyways, I guess that is it for now. Overall i am pretty happy at my new place. It is not perfect but no place is. I do miss my old co-workers but i guess that is the nature of the business. My new co workers are okay they are just a little older than me in most cases.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Why Green Lantern

At the end of my first post i promised 3 things

1) I will be describing my last 2 weeks at my old job
2) What new movies i have seen or am planning to see.
3) Why i named my blog the Green Lantern

I have done the fist 2 so it's time to explain why i named this site the TheGreenLantern. For those of you who don't know the picture on the side is of

John Stewart aka The Green Lantern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stewart_%28comics%29).

He is not the original green lantern. That title belongs to
Hal Jordan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Jordan).

That being said allow me to be blunt here for a moment. Like myself John Stewart is a black man. And as much as i like Superman, Batman and all the rest it is hard for me to look at them and see myself.

I first heard of John Stewart about 5 yrs ago with the debut of what in my opinion is the best cartoon of all time. Justice League http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Unlimited

Now the producers of this show have freely admitted that the reason John Stewart was chosen instead of Hal Jordan or any of the other Green lanterns was to add some "color" to the team. It may not be a pleasant thought but truthfully i am fine with that fact. I mean John Stewart was created to add some color to the DC line up in the first place. However, the producers did a great job with the character. In fact he was featured in more episodes than any other character in the show. They say the modeled his personality after Samuel "Snakes on a plane" Jackson. He never got to say "Mother Fucker" in the show but in every other way he IS Sam Jackson.

It is for those reasons i have chosen to name my blog TheGreenLantern.

Next up

1) My first 2 weeks on my new Job.
2) Doing Christmas Shopping.
3) TV shows

Stay tuned.

I shall end my post with the green lantern speech

"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power.. Green Lantern's light!"