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Old 08-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
The first phone call is made where company actually gets to hear your voice and the first face to face interview is on skype. Strange ways these days!
The good news is that the candidate doesn't have to fly/drive to an unfamiliar locale, spend a stressful night in a hotel, get lost in traffic the next day, and then end up arriving 30 minutes early to find out that the interviewer is running 30 minutes late.

They can save all of that for their first day on the new job...

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I have noticed in my career that the older engineers tend to write a lot better than the youngins. They are also annoyed by the more atrocious mistakes. So, a good way for a young engineer to distinguish himself from the pack is to be able to write a bit better. Technical writing is easy. Reports or even published technical articles are not rated for literary or poetic contents, although I have seen some that read like a science fiction with all their bogus claims.
I think the older engineers had more practice at the same style of writing, and perhaps even at recycling large blocks of boilerplate.

Everyone can distinguish themselves at any age by writing a bit better. But in a corporation, I suspect what's really appreciated is clarity & brevity-- not so much the creativity.

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OK, not to be toooooo picky but, her grammar is also incorrect. It should be, "With whom are you cheating on me!". I know it doesn't sound as threatening but, hey, the guy's going to get his throat slit either way.
Isn't that redundant? Upon whom else would they be cheating?

You know what I'd find really threatening in that situation? Someone speaking in a slow, calm voice with perfect grammar & intonation. I'd be nervously glancing around for concealed weapons.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #62
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The last few posts reminded me of my grandson's searching for a job in the past year in the medical field. I asked him if he had any interviews recently and he began to tell me about how companies operate in the modern era. He says applications are now by email, reviewed and then request made by email for additional info if the company is interested at all. The first phone call is made where company actually gets to hear your voice and the first face to face interview is on skype. Strange ways these days!
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The good news is that the candidate doesn't have to fly/drive to an unfamiliar locale, spend a stressful night in a hotel, get lost in traffic the next day, and then end up arriving 30 minutes early to find out that the interviewer is running 30 minutes late.

They can save all of that for their first day on the new job...
+1

DD was interviewing, and a couple times she had to arrange to take a day off, drive 150 miles there (allowing plenty of time in case of traffic, getting lost etc), and 150 miles back, just for a 'screening interview', which wasn't much more than a fixed set of questions. No tour, no 'feel' for the place, no meeting your potential supervisors or co-workers, just mechanical Q/A in/out. Could have easily been done over skype or the phone. Would have saved a lot of time and gas.

Same with DS when he applied for grad school. Didn't get into the program on the first try, and had that same, take a day off, drive 500 miles round trip, just for a 10 minute discussion of why he didn't get in, and what he needed to do to make it the next year (get his test scores up, which he did and got in). A phone call would have been fine.

I also suspect that about 80% of business travel could be eliminated. 'Face time' is over-rated, but necessary for some things.

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #63
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Off-topic, but I agree with you about 80% of business travel being unnecessary. But how else can people get frequent miles, while allowed out of their office and having their meals paid for?

Suggest megacorps just pay workers for these "fringe benefits" and not send them on travel. Still save on airfare and hotel charges. Both employers and employees win!
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:29 AM   #64
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Suggest megacorps just pay workers for these "fringe benefits" and not send them on travel. Still save on airfare and hotel charges. Both employers and employees win!
I'd love to have Skype per diem...
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #65
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Very funny.

Having seen so much boondoggle traveling at megacorps, I think they do know that much traveling is unnecessary, but use it as a way to reward employees without committing to a more permanent pay raise. As I do not care for business travel, I'd rather them give me the cash, and also save themselves some costs.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #66
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Very funny.

Having seen so much boondoggle traveling at megacorps, I think they do know that much traveling is unnecessary, but use it as a way to reward employees without committing to a more permanent pay raise. As I do not care for business travel, I'd rather them give me the cash, and also save themselves some costs.
DS travels for work and I don't think he considers it a "reward" by any means but he does have excellent grammar and spelling skills.

(This thread's posts are a nice example of e-r.org thread drift ).
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:02 AM   #67
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So? Your son's travel belongs in the other 20%.

About topic drift, what do you like us to do? Keep dwelling on the dangling thinggy?

OK, so to stay on topic, I will add that I just recalled that I bought my own Chicago style manual some years ago, since you mentioned it in another thread. I will freely admit that I have not consulted it for quite some time, and do not even know where it is in the house.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #68
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So? Your son's travel belongs in the other 20%.

About topic drift, what do you like us to do? Keep dwelling on the dangling thinggy?

OK, so to stay on topic, I will add that I just recalled that I bought my own Chicago style manual some years ago, since you mentioned it in another thread. I will freely admit that I have not consulted it for quite some time, and do not even know where it is in the house.
Hey, I personally love thread drift--we've already gone through job interviews and Skype.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #69
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Though I am one of the worst instigators, I usually exercise self-restraint and will wait a day or two before creating my own subversion, and see if some people would follow.

"BBBBad to the core", sang George Thorogood (whom I just discovered, thanks to HFWR).

Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I should create a "non-topic" thread so that people can post whatever they want. But then on 2nd thought, no. Most threads end up like that anyway.

Party on!
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:46 PM   #70
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I am not a native English speaker, and I had to take so many English grammer classes growing up. The first thing I learned was sentence structures (Subject-Verb, Subject-Verb-Complement, Subject-Verb-Object (transitive) , Subject-Verb-Object-Complement, etc, etc) Participles came much much later.

The hardest for me was (still is) a thing called "articles" and plurals. In Japanese, they don't have plural forms of words (in most cases). I don't even know what "articles" equotes to in Japanese. (eg. You put "a" in front of a noun, but sometimes you put "the" in front instead. Some other times, you don't put either "a" or "the".) As for plural forms and articles, I get the feeling the Chinese language is similar to Japanese, since a lot of Chinese I speak to drop the plurals (eg. upstair instead of upstairs.)

Plus all the idiomatic expressions with "up" such as "put up with", "catch up with", "link it up with" (I think these litle pieces (up, with, etc) are called prepositions, but I cannot remember anymore.) were hard. Often I wonder, am I supposed to put "in" or "with" or "on" for this?? (Now I can google!)

Anyway, I do the best I can. My main goal is to get the message across. Americans are generally very lenient with grammatical mistakes, and I am grateful. I used to work in a rural area of US (= hardly any foreigners), but I was valued for my hard work and technical abilities (eg. got promoted quickly).
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:07 PM   #71
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Americans are generally very lenient with grammatical mistakes, and I am grateful.
Most of us native English speakers are just as clueless on the rules as those who learn it as a second language.

Hawaii's pidgin is much more compact because it's also missing a lot of articles & prepositions. I can understand it but I'm not very good at speaking it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:53 AM   #72
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My grandparents speak Appalachian (the version of English that they subtitle in tv documentaries) so I figure if I can eek out anything resembling easily interpretable English (written or spoken), then it is a good enough improvement over the course of three generations.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:36 PM   #73
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English is my first and my second language. They are often not mutually intelligible.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #74
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Some people have the natural talent to learn a new language. I do not posses such aptitude, but I was fortunate to have other advantages.

My parents' knowledge of French and English really helped their jobs in the old country. Naturally, they wanted their children to learn these two foreign languages early. I started to learn French when I was perhaps 7. There were foreign language schools that offered extracurricular afternoon or evening classes or as summer schools. By the time I was 9 or 10, my parents added English. I thought English was not too difficult to learn after French. Many words were similar, and the verb conjugation was a bit more difficult in French, as it had a few more exceptions. Think of more verbs like "to be" (am/is/are/was/were/has been/will be).

I continued to take these extracurricular language classes until I entered college. However, I stopped taking French classes earlier. I remember the last thing I ever wrote in French, either as a short essay or a dictation, was when I was about 15. That and the fact that I needed to concentrate on English to survive after emigrating to the US were the causes for my French to atrophy. After 40 years of non-use, I can barely read some French, and can no longer write, speak, nor comprehend that well. Still, I retain the love for the French language, particularly the song lyrics I listened to back in those days.

Both of my children have taken French in high school, but they have remembered squat. I do not blame them. It is not easy to retain knowledge of a language if one does not use it daily. I spent many more years learning French, and look at what I still remember. Even with my mother tongue, at this point there are subjects where I would feel much more comfortable writing or discussing in English. I simply may not know or have forgotten the correct words in the native language, although I went to college in my native country. What one does not use, he loses.

There is something very different about one's native language compared to what one learns as a foreign language. Even after all the time living here, I have not been able to appreciate poetry in English, while I still enjoy poems written in the native language. I can still recite some poems from the 18th and 19th centuries that we learned in middle school and high school. My children would never understand them, not even in the literal sense, let alone appreciate the beauty of the word choices in a stanza.

I am still trying to improve my English. To better my writing skills, as I do not have much literary talent including the native language, I have decided to tell jokes or write irreverent posts. Part of humor is universal, but part of it is also language and culture dependent. I know this first hand, as I still remember the first few years after coming here, I did not "get" the jokes I heard or the comedy shows that I watched. If I can get a "real" American to laugh, then hey, I have done OK.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:29 AM   #75
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I do not posses such aptitude
From observation, I'd say that your English, (and probably your French, if on a par with your English), is superior to that of the majority of 'native' English speakers.

Edited later to add: Upon reflection I'd change 'majority' to 'vast majority'.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:03 PM   #76
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My grandparents speak Appalachian (the version of English that they subtitle in tv documentaries) so I figure if I can eek out anything resembling easily interpretable English (written or spoken), then it is a good enough improvement over the course of three generations.
Have you ever seen the Jesco White "Dancing Outlaw" documentaries about his style of mountain dancing? Absolutely fascinating, but terrifying at the same time. Among our friends, many of the quotes have passed into regular use, to our immense entertainment.

How's that thread drift coming along?
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #77
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@Nemo Thanks for the kind words, but I had to work too hard. It would be nicer if the words just came out faster, and with me having to do less editing and correcting before I hit "Post".

By the way, the lyrics that George sang were "BBBad to the bone" and not as I quoted in an earlier post. I am getting so senile, it scares me.

I am not a habitual listener of rock music, but I do try different things that life has to offer.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #78
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I, too, am a grammarian. I find that when I read something by someone who cannot distinguish "here" and "hear", "your" and "you're" and so forth, I value the worth of their writing somewhat less than if they had NOT mixed up the words. I am NOT picking on "typo" mistakes. We ALL make those. I put the "hear / here" mix up into an entirely different class. Just my 2˘ worth.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:31 AM   #79
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I, too, am a grammarian. I find that when I read something by someone who cannot distinguish "here" and "hear", "your" and "you're" and so forth, I value the worth of their writing somewhat less than if they had NOT mixed up the words. I am NOT picking on "typo" mistakes. We ALL make those. I put the "hear / here" mix up into an entirely different class. Just my 2˘ worth.
Got it. Why not stop by here and tell us a little more about yourself.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #80
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