Month: May 2014

Amorphous Blob Pizza

Yesterday my cousin (he’s 8) and I went to the bakery to buy pre-made pizza dough.  He was very excited about the “play-dough” and couldn’t wait to start working it.  Unfortunately we ended up with a gaping hole in it so I had no choice but to fold it back on top of itself and roll it out into an amorphous blob.

Either way, he thought we made some tasty pizza and it all worked out fine.  This one had pepperoni, roasted red peppers, zucchini and mushrooms with mozzarella and bocconcini cheeses.  Pretty, pretty good.

Doctor! Nothing will stop it!

Doctor! Nothing will stop it!

Officially tired of job hunting.

I am officially tired of wasting my time.

I applied for a government position back in February and even interviewed for said position a few months back. I thought the interview went fine.

The position outline of course describes the ideal candidate, who is expected to be a virtual human encyclopedia with a godlike ability to apply his or her knowledge in innovative and creative ways, while simultaneously solving all the world’s sustainable development problems.  So yes, the moon and the stars, please.

In order to improve the way governments approach sustainability, they must change how they operate.  But this is like trying to ask Kim Jong-un to get a better haircut.  It ain’t going to happen.

The government decided to repost the position for which I’ve already interviewed now 3 months later, with no application deadline in hopes that some other superhuman candidate will come along to fill the position, I assume.  They could have had someone (me, or anyone else with experience) working on their problems for months now, but prefer to adhere to the norm of inefficiency.  This way the HR people are kept busy paper-pushing at least.

Just have to keep studying for the LSAT.  I am incrementally improving my accuracy in answering questions, but it is slow and painful.

When you look this good, why change it?

When you look this good, why change it?

 

And…what goes around sometimes does come around

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, was the President of the University of Saskatchewan until yesterday, when she was fired from this post.  This was following the controversy over the firing and subsequent reinstatement of Dr. Robert Buckingham.

It’s a game of senior administration dominoes…

See:

University of Saskatchewan terminates president after fired professor controversy

Robyn Urback: University of Saskatchewan president needs a lesson in Free Speech 101

University of Saskatchewan professor Robert Buckingham was fired for criticizing a university cutback plan, given the corporately branded name “TransformUS”.  But it’s okay, controversy and bad press have encouraged university CEO Illene Busch-Vishniac, ahem, I mean President Busch-Vishniac, to give Robert Buckingham his job back, kind of.

National Post | Full Comment

Usually when we hear stories about free speech being snuffed out on campus, the students are the ones doing the snuffing. Acting as self-appointed “safe space” police, students have shut down lectures on everything from men’s issues to abortion; sexuality and politics. Some over-enthused students at Queen’s University — obviously naive to the nature paradox — even went so far as to shut down a “free speech” wall on campus last year. In many cases, the most university officials can be accused of is complacency; of allowing a rowdy few hijack debates, or else, of failing to adequately acquaint students with the fundamentals of free expressions and democratic rights. The administration at the University of Saskatchewan has taken things to an entirely new level.

[np_storybar title=”‘It’s an embarrassment’: University of Saskatchewan slammed for ‘outrageous’ firing of professor who spoke out against cuts” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/15/its-an-embarrassment-university-of-saskatchewan-slammed-for-outrageous-firing-of-professor-who-spoke-out-against-cuts/”]The firing of a University of Saskatchewan dean who publicly complained…

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How to deny, discount, and dismiss bullying and psychological abuse at work

David Yamada of “Minding the Workplace” has posted an excellent article on bullying and psychological abuse at work.  This article was also reblogged extensively, including a reblog by James Pilant of Pilant’s Business Ethics Blog (I recommend following his and David Yamada’s blog; lots of fascinating reading!)

Minding the Workplace

A recent blog piece by psychologist Kenneth Pope explaining how reports of torture can be easily denied, discounted, and dismissed strongly resonated with my understanding of the dynamics of bullying and abuse at work. I thought it worth sharing and discussing with readers here.

Three cognitive strategies

Dr. Pope identifies “three common cognitive strategies for denying, discounting, dismissing, or distorting instances of torture and for turning away from effective steps to stop it and hold those responsible accountable”:

First, “reflexively dismissing all evidence as questionable, incomplete, misleading, false, or in some other way inadequate.”

Second, “using euphemism, abstraction, and other linguistic transformations” to hide the abuse.

Third, by “turning away: ‘I’m not involved,’ ‘There is nothing I can do about it,’ ‘I have no authority, jurisdiction, power, or influence,’ ‘This is no concern of mine,’ etc.”

Applied to workplace bullying

I quickly thought of workplace bullying when I read this blog post.

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