5 things not to say to someone working at a hotel’s front desk

1. “Why didn’t you put up a sign that the computer isn’t working?”
Well, ok…do you have a hundred thousand calls coming in at once? If you did, would you have time to make a sign, and leave the desk to stick it to the computer? No, I didn’t think so.

2. “But I gave you my credit card when I reserved”
I promise I am not taking your credit card to go shopping at Barney’s. Just give me the card so I don’t get yelled at by my boss for not doing my job right. Regardless, we will charge you and you are not getting anything for free.

3. “I would like to make a dinner booking”
“Of course, for what day?”
“Oh I don’t know yet”
*5 mins later*
“I still don’t know”
Well…I don’t even know…Why are you..? Oh forget it.

4. “No, you are not really fully booked, I know it”
You don’t know it, because you are not looking at the reservations! The hotels want business, but if there is no room in the restaurant, that’s just the way it is. Yelling at someone will certainly not free up a table for you. Alternatively, you could eat somewhere else.

5. “I’m afraid you cannot bring your friends to the gym during these hours”
“Why? I do it all the time”
If you do it all the time, then why are you asking if it’s ok? Just.Stop.Lying.About.It.

All of the above + 8 hours of stress =

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Women are from Venus, some university students are from Mars

There was a time when a university degree was a one way ticket to a great job and a fulfilling life. Now, thanks to the state of America’s economy, university graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to find well paying jobs. The article I read in the Globe & Mail not only sums up how tough the job market is, but how misled students in certain majors are.

We all know those people who believe that the world will be a better place without corporate greed. Apparently, they exist more in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada, sending the Quebec university students to an entirely different planet. While corporate greed effects the middle class, and governments are taxing heavily, and doctors are charging high amounts for private healthcare, these three sectors provide high paying jobs!  By encouraging students to take classes such as philosophy and ancient roman history, professors are actually disabling them because degrees in these subjects don’t have as much value as science or finance degrees. (I admit, considering the financial crisis, a science degree might be more promising right now)

I am all for doing whatever you are passionate about, but it’s still crucial to think of the future. Philosophy gives you some valuable life lessons, and art history is fascinating but when will you be able to use that knowledge for a successful living? I understand that success has a different meaning to everyone, but I think making enough money to pay for a comfortable living is a common goal for society. Professors can preach their ideas on how students can change the world by learning about “life” and “history”, but it’s also up to the students to think about their future. Is the purpose of university not to get a higher education, broaden your prospects, and eventually find a better life? This article made me think twice.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/quebecs-university-students-are-in-for-a-shock/article2418431/

LA Candy Review: Not So Sweet, LC

I was never a huge Lauren Conrad fan, but I was a loyal viewer of “The Hills”. I suppose this how LA Candy sparked an interest in me, and to be honest, I kind of wish it hadn’t.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The first 3/4 of the book had so many trivial details, such as what Scarlett and Jane (the main characters) were wearing and how their make up was done. I felt stupid as a person reading these details , and was dying for her to hurry the hell up before my IQ dropped too low. But then you get to the last 1/4 of the book, and it becomes so intense. I kept reading frantically, so excited to find out what happens, then there’s a cliffhanger. OMG!!! (she uses texting language a lot…and parentheses). Now, I have been forced to read the sequel, “Sweet Little Lies”. I guess LC knew that without keeping the readers guessing, nobody would buy the sequel. This is based on the assumption that the sequel is as poorly written as the first book.

Actually, I’m wrong. Poorly written does not even begin to describe the paragraph formation and the detailing in this novel. Many were quick to assume that a ghostwriter had written this for Conrad, but the truth is, I could practically hear her narrating the story as I read it. Aside from the irrelevant details, most of the characters were extremely bland, with the exception of Scarlett. I kind of wish Conrad had made Scarlett the star of the show “L.A. Candy”, and not Jane, simply because Jane was so boring. Honestly, if I was Madison Parker, I would be pissed off that Jane was the star of the show as well. I suppose in all fairness to Conrad, Jane was a reflection of herself – and I never found Conrad remotely interesting.

I give the girl an A for effort, because the plot really did have potential. It’s just unfortunate that she wasted so many pages on useless detail. Having said that, I am guilty of currently reading “Sweet Little Lies”, the sequel.

I recommend “L.A. Candy” to: girls ages 13 and above, or girls who are mature enough to understand that the chances of them living a life in reality TV are slim to none.

Top 5 reasons to block someone from your Facebook newsfeed

We have all seen those annoying Facebook statuses that make you go “wtf?” Here are my personal top 5 Facebook petpeeves

1. People who constantly quote their children on their statuses                                          Ok look, it’s understandable that parents want to share milestones such as their child’s first word or first step, but not every damn thing your kid says! All children say cute stuff, and yes most of them say cute stuff everyday. So your kid is not that different from the rest of the children their age.

2. People who complain about their financial situation                                                    Yeah, it’s a rough economy, and there are many people who are in the same boat as you if not worse off. Expounding your financial woes on Facebook will not make them better. Plus, there are some details that are best kept private, and your money issues is one of them.

3. People who always tag their location, no matter where they are                                    We all might be impressed if you’re at the best club in town, but if you’re at Safeway? Not so much. That is all.

4. People who write obscure sentences without an explanation                                     When you write something like “I’m so sad, I don’t know how this happened :(” people are bound to ask why. For God’s sakes, don’t write that if you don’t want to tell people what is wrong. Either way, you’re just looking for attention.

5. People who write super super long winded details of their day                                 “Today I woke up, and said goodbye to my boyfriend. Then I had coffee with my sister, then I had lunch with my mom, then I went shopping with my best friend and now I’m at home with my boyfriend we made dinner pasta yum!” (includes a picture of the pasta). No joke, I’ve seen a status similar to this one. We are all happy that you had such a good day, and please don’t do this again.

What are your Facebook status pet peeves?

Siri, the iPhone lady, will kill our brain cells

Before they said video games made you dumb, then it was teenage drinking, and now, I can say with full confidence that Siri the iPhone lady will kill our brain cells, with vengeance.

Take a look at the commercial above. Is it really so difficult for Zooey Deschanel to make her way to the window to see if it’s raining for herself? Unfortunately, this is very representative of the direction in which technology is taking us. It is also extremely contradictory to what we are taught in elementary school, which is to think and take your best guess before asking for the answer.

I know I’m making it sound like technology is all bad, and that we need to go back to using old fashioned ink and pen, but that is honestly not the case! Of course technology such as computers and cell phones were invented to make life easier, and they do exactly that. Remember the days when you had to look up a restaurants phone number in the Yellow Pages to make a reservation? The internet makes that task so much easier because sometimes you can make a reservation online, or you can find their phone number faster. Now, Siri can help us do that too! Except she makes it too easy, and soon we will lose the will to use our hands to type a question into Google. Next thing we know, she will be making the reservation for us!

Now, imagine this: Siri gets so stressed out from demanding people constantly asking her questions, and decides to take a holiday. We would actually have to Google the nearest gas station while on a road trip, because Siri would not be there to find one for us like one of the iPhone commercials suggest. It’s a tad scary to think how long this might take, considering by now, our efficiency would have gone to hell. What’s worse is that Zooey Deschanel would have to find a place that delivers tomato soup on her own. Alternatively, she could learn to make it herself. Oh wait, I forgot! Googling and reading has become too difficult now. I guess we can only hope that Siri doesn’t get too comfortable on the beach…

10 Things Not To Do In An Interview

We’ve all had those interviews that have gone embarrassingly wrong. You might have stumbled while talking, laughed a little too loud, or let it slip that you hated your previous boss. Here is a list of small errors to avoid during an interview. I have learned many of these through personal experience, and hearing the experiences of others.

1. If the interviewer offers you a drink, take water NOT coffee. The last thing you need is for a huge coffee stain to join in on the interview. Plus, if they give you a cookie with the coffee, the crumbs will spill everywhere, and next thing you know, you can’t answer the questions correctly because you are distracted by the mess on your clothes.

2. DO NOT ever try to make small talk in your second language. It is awfully humiliating to have your interviewer correct your grammar when you are commenting on the beautiful view. Best option when choosing which language to speak: take the cue from your interviewer. Chances are, they will test you on the second language listed on your CV anyway.

3. DO NOT look out the window when talking to the interview, no matter how therapeutic it seems when you are nervous.

4. ALWAYS know the name of your interviewer. That way you can avoid saying to the person at the reception “Oh I forgot, it’s something like….”

5. ALWAYS dress appropriately for the type of job you are applying for. Do not wear Converses to an interview at a five star hotel. I know it sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the stuff people think they can get away with.

6. Your first question for your interviewer should NOT be “Where can I park my car?” I once met a girl who did this, and she only got interviewed for 10 minutes before getting rejected a week later.

7. DO find a healthy balance between professional and friendly. If your interviewer is taking you for a tour of the building, feel free to ask them as many questions as you want about the company. Wait, here’s the catch: you want to avoid questions that you would only need to know if you worked there. This makes you come off as cocky because you think you already have the job. Honestly, if you run out of general questions about the company, ask the interviewer how long they have worked there for. It might start up an interesting conversation, but don’t get to engrossed in it. Remember, they are not your friend now, and most certainly won’t be if they become your boss.

8. Ladies: DO NOT cross your legs if you are wearing a skirt! If it rides up, you will be put in an awkward position of needing to pull it down in front of your interviewer. There are some details they don’t need to know.

9. DO NOT make a joke, no matter how funny it sounds in your head. Once you actually work there, you will be given a chance to display your brilliant sense of humour. But during the interview? Not really the right time.

10. ALWAYS try to tell the interviewer what they want to hear. There is a big difference between this and lying. Telling them what they want to hear is like, if they ask you if you are free on the weekends to work, your answer should be yes. They don’t want to hear that Saturday night is movie night for you and your significant other, they want to know that you care about the job. The only exception is if you are applying for a part time job, and they know prior to your interview that you can only work a certain amount of days because you have previous commitments.

My Sister’s Keeper review

Once again, I am a bit behind on the program, but I just finished reading “My Sister’s Keeper”. Similar to the last review I wrote on “Sing You Home”, I think it’s only fair to find the downside to this seemingly touching novel.

*Warning: this review contains spoilers. If you want to read the book or are currently doing so, do not continue reading. If you don’t care, then carry on.

Picoult addressed many important issues in this novel, such as family life, battling cancer, and being sued. There is no doubt that she researched oncology effectively, but how she rambled on and on using complex medical terms was ridiculous. At one point, I began to wonder if she even understood all that vocabulary herself. This is not the only unnecessary thing in this novel. Picoult added in so many characters, that made absolutely no difference to the story. Take Jesse, the brother as an example; he would have made a difference if his parents noticed him, but they didn’t! He was setting houses on fire, and they didn’t care as much as they should have. We know that Brian and Sara are pre-occupied with Kate’s illness, so please, give them one more child to ignore. Izzy, Julia’s sister, is another character who’s presence was completely irrelevant to the story. One would assume that she was only there to support Julia through her drama with Campbell, but their relationship drama should not deserve enough attention to add another character in for it.

Then to top it all off, she kills off Anna. If you read the interview at the end of the book, Picoult claims this was the only ending that made sense to the medical issue at hand. It might have made sense to her, but as a reader, I felt cheated. Anna went through all the trouble to sue her parents so she wouldn’t have to give her kidney to Kate, and in the end, Picoult kills her off and takes her kidney anyway. It would be disrespectful to force someone do a favor that major against their will when they are alive, but it is despicable to take something that they fought so hard to keep when they are dead. Honestly, between Picoult and Sara Fitzgerald (the mother), I’m not sure who’s a worse person.

While I thought that overall, “My Sister’s Keeper” was a heartwarming story, it could be cut in half and it would be exactly the same.

What your charm says about you

Everybody has charm – some just make it more obvious than others. Instead of writing a huge long paragraph, I’m going to take characters from well known TV shows and movies as examples; only because I think we have more in common with the actors who play them than meets the eye.

She’s sexy, she’s witty, and has a shoe collection to die for. Sarah Jessica Parker made her mark as TV icon’s Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, and many people like her because she portrays living a life that is fairly ordinary. Putting aside the designer clothes and Manolo Blahniks, Carrie is a writer who lives in a small apartment in Manhattan. She’s not living in a penthouse on the upper east side, and shopping all day on Madison Avenue. Sure her writing career makes her more than the average person’s would, but at the end of the day she does her own cleaning and cooking (sorry, I meant ordering her own take out). SJP’s charm came from playing a fairly believable character. Have you ever noticed how people are naturally drawn to other’s if they are easy to get along with, and make an effort to blend in with everyone? That person, is the SJP in your life.

She’s one of my all time favorite actresses. Jennifer Aniston made Rachel Green so lovable, despite her self centered nature. People like this can be very charming, if you don’t take them seriously. You have to roll your eyes at their immature comments, and just remind yourself that they are amusing because of these traits. You wouldn’t love them any other way.

The bitch is back everyone! Kristin Cavallari has always been headstrong, and is never afraid to stand up for herself. We all know that person – the only difference is, in real life we don’t have producers to force us to be friends with the Kristins in our lives. These people are charming because they can be really nice, if they like you. If they don’t, well..good luck.

We all loved him on TV, but if Adam Brody acted like Seth Cohen in reality, nobody would talk to him. People like this are seriously misunderstood, because many of us are afraid to be different. Having said that, I honestly believe that everyone should make an attempt to have a Seth type nerd in their life, only because people like him are so honest and genuine. This kind of charm is rare, and seriously undervalued. Oh if only Seth Cohen were real, or at least still on the air….

And there you have it! Think about the people in your life, and try to find what traits make them charismatic – you will understand their characters much better. Good luck!

Beware of your girlfriends

Lately, as I examine my personal life, I realized that I have girlfriends on the other end of the world from me, but I don’t have the same solid group here at home as I had when I was in high school. Through work and living life in general, I began to understand how superficial my relationship with the high school girls was. I began to understand what friendship really means, and how your best girlfriends can really be your worst enemies.

Women in general are created to nurture, but nurturing our girlfriends doesn’t necessarily mean we are being good friends. Of course, everyone has various opinions on what being a “good friend” is, but in general we want somebody to lean on during times of crisis, and to have fun with. Wait! It goes deeper than that. As women, we are not problem solvers – we tend to carry on fights way longer than men do. So when our girlfriend has a problem, we lean towards agreeing with her to make her feel better, as opposed to telling her the harsh truth. Let’s say your girlfriend is devastated that her boyfriend doesn’t communicate with her anymore, but you know for a fact that she frequently ignores him. If she was talking to a guy friend, he would straight up tell her that she is in the wrong as well. We would ignore her flaws, and vent about what a jackass he is, and how he should make it right. If we didn’t know what she was doing to him, we wouldn’t typically bother to ask, in fear of offending her.

There you have it. How women can be their girlfriends worst enemies, in a nutshell. Friendship is about support, but support doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the other person constantly. It’s about knowing when to tell them the truth, and when to comfort them. One of my best friends is a guy, and let me tell you that we are brutally honest with each other. We have gone weeks without speaking to each other because we didn’t like what the other one said. But at the end of the day, we are still close because we trust each other. I trust him to tell me that I’m wrong when I’m blinded by my own feelings.  I trust that he will tell me when something is bugging him, and I know that I can say exactly what is on my mind without him judging me.  We have discussed everything possible, and I feel so lucky because he is one of the very few people I have such an honest friendship with. I’m fortunate to have met some girlfriends in college, and together, we spent countless nights telling stories in tears from the darkest moments in our lives, laying out our weaknesses, and discussing our goals and what we love. All without judgement, but instead, with perfectly honest opinions, and a good bottle of wine.

Hmmm..really ladies?

The Ironic Unrealism of Reality TV

Turn on E! Entertainment, or MTV, and people like this will pop up in your face:

It is blatantly obvious that Reality TV is taking over the entertainment world. This genre seems to be replacing the sitcom craze of the 90s, but will it ever measure up? At least the sitcoms were funny, less superficial, and they didn’t give off the impression that anything happening on the show is remotely close to reality.

I read an interesting article which basically trashed reality TV to bits. The author (who’s name is unknown) wrote that reality TV is a pathetic excuse for media, and that “85% [of the show] is not reality.” While I completely agree with them here, reality TV can only have an effect on those who take it too seriously. Of course the shows are not “reality”, and they are only given that name because cameras follow people around, documenting their lives. Take “The Hills” for example; I am a huge fan, but I know that the show is scripted. The producers would say “this happened, but act it out this way for the cameras”. In all fairness to them, this makes absolute sense. I mean, would you watch a show about people typing all day on their computers at work? Audiences want drama, and the best way to do this is to exaggerate the drama happening in people’s lives. If you were to critique a show like “The Hills”, people would go crazy if they constantly had that much drama in their lives. I can’t speak for everyone, but I only watched “The Hills” for the thrill of 22 minutes worth of drama. And, well…maybe for Brody Jenner too.

The only sad part of reality TV is that they make people famous for absolutely nothing. A prime example would be the Kardashians. Sure they were rich before “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, but the show allowed them to build an enormous empire for themselves. I don’t personally watch the show, because I agree with Barbara Walters when she told them they have no talent. Yes,the girls are beautiful, but what about them really stands out? This is a show that is based primarily on vanity, greed, and wealth, and many people are concerned that kids who watch that show are being given the wrong values in life. Fair enough, TV can be influential, but it up to the parents of those kids to give them the correct values, whatever those may be. If reality TV is effecting someone to the point where they are changing everything they believe in, then they have a much bigger problem on their hands.

I would say the only reality shows that come close to real life are “Teen Mom”, and”16 and Pregnant”, only because they serve as a good wake up call for teenage girls. Other than that, it seems as though reality TV is the best way to become famous now, no talent required. About 10 or 20 years ago, so many talented actors were breaking into Hollywood through sitcoms and movies, and tons of singers were making it big on shows like American Idol. Now, more and more, actors are singing and singers are acting, and random people are becoming famous for their money and botox injections.

At least we have something juicy to read in magazines..I guess…