Thursday, September 25, 2008

Malapropisms

Usually, malapropisms are heard, smirked at, and forgotten; but, occasionally the abject adjectives and verb abuse are so memorable, that they need to be shared.

mal·a·prop·ism
  1. Ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound.
Before I do so, everyone should know that I am no stranger to using the occasional malapropism myself. I thought Vintage Oak was Vinta Joke and thought I could "see my life flash before your eyes." We have all had our moments, which is probably why we all love to hear the blurting blunders of others.

Many of you will recall the story of when I was at the hospital visiting grandpa a few years back when he thought he was on his death bed. "Gather the family 'round," he said, "The doctor told me I'm going to die." We didn't think he was going to die. Aunt Andrea was sent as the family emissary to verify the validity of the verdict. I was fortunate enough to hear the nurse come into the room and tell grandpa that he seemed to have misconscrewed what the doctor had told him. "The last thing we want to do is misconscrew the information," she said in a loud, deliberate voice. After hearing the flagrant slaughtering of misconstrue five or six times by the naïve nurse, I was on the hunt for hearing more malapropisms. I had a fever, and the only prescription was more malapropisms.

That craving was curbed in part just last week when Dad went to pick up restaurant gift certificates from a client. The lady giving him the certificates made sure to let him know that the gift certificates were in 50-dollar excrements. I told Dad he should've told her that he would make a log of the transaction.

Then there was today, when my teacher was explaining an activity we'd be playing and she told us that for the simulation we should assume the manufacturer can produce an unlimited, or infinitesimal amount of the product. Infinite would've worked just fine. Maybe she just meant to say an infinite decimal amount of the product, in which case she's right. She said it four times, so that that must've been what she meant.

Oh well, no going back now I guess. The jamma jin jen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interview Questions

Over the past two weeks I've had interviews with six accounting firms and have been going to pre-interview socials the night before each interview. The pre-interview socials are information sessions and dinners that the firms provide to give students a chance to meet their interviewer in a social setting. The whole process has been fun, but draining. I'll be happy when it's all over and I won't have to wear dress shoes or answer anymore interview questions.

Interview questions are an interesting thing: sometimes during an interview you get the guy that just wants to shoot the breeze; sometimes you get the lady that yawns through the questions as she reads them from her company produced interviewer booklet; sometimes you get the guy that asks weird questions, like if you've ever read Harry Potter, and if yes, did you recommend it to a friend; and, sometimes you get the interviewer that asks the types of questions you'd expect to hear, just presented in a different way.

During a couple of my interviews, I was asked some questions that really made me think. One interviewer asked me what one thing I would keep on my resume if I were only allowed to keep one thing. Though he wasn't LDS, I had to go with my mission for a variety reasons. I guess when you ask a question like that you have to be prepared for a very honest answer. The other interesting thing I was asked was to talk about my biggest success I've experienced so far in life and also to talk about my biggest failure. I was able to answer both questions well and then the my interviewer said, "Yeah, I always like asking that question about the failure. There's really no right or wrong answer, but I just like to see how people answer the question."

Then, he told me that one of his friends was conducting an interview and she asked the girl she was interviewing to talk about her biggest failure she's had in life.

The girl looked at her and said, "Oh, I haven't had any failures."

The interviewer paused for a second and thought maybe the girl just didn't understand the question, so she said, "Okay, let me rephrase the question. Could you please tell me about a time in life when you were unsuccessful."

The girl said, "Yeah, I've never really been unsuccessful. Everything has always just kind of worked out for me. I've always succeeded at everything I've done."

The interviewer then said, "Okay, well, you just failed this interview with Ernst & Young and you're not going to get a job working for us. Talk about how you're going to deal with that."

Oh snap! I loved that story. I called the ending before it began. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any strange interview questions you'd like to relate?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tag

When I was in Chicago at the PricewaterhouseCoopers leadership conference our keynote speaker was Kevin Carroll, author of a motivational book called Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. He also worked for Nike for a few years to work as a human catalyst (a job title he made up to suggest that he gets people out of the comfort zones and working well together). He was the brains behind the Live Strong bracelets and did a few other things of note, but he showed this commercial during his presentation and I thought it was pretty cool.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Philippines Postings

As many of you know I recently vacationed in the Philippines. Isle be posting pictures and stories soon.

Taking the micro out of microwave

Much to my chagrin, my apartment wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The toilet was, though—cracked, that is. It was all fun and games until I found out that the hot water heater didn't work. I thought it would be just like going for a polar bear swim at Camp Steiner or a pool olympic dip at the Gasser's frosty Phoenix pool; but, it was much worse. After stepping into the icy shower I received an immediate Stewart Falls brain freeze and by the time my 15 second shower concluded my body was convulsing so badly that I could barely turn off the faucet. Now the faucet just spins and spins and never turns on, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. Meanwhile, after the first day of class I was eager to eat the bounteous boon of groceries and microwavable musts that Mom and Dad purchased for me at Sam's Club on Labor Day. Excitement transformed into frustration and then to angry hunger as I learned that, not only was our microwave humungous, but the door won't open unless you jimmy it ajar with a knife. The management must have gotten it at a yard sale because it's three feet long. However, despite all this, I was able to take comfort in the fact that I wouldn't be able to sleep that night because the toilet would be blowing bubbles as though the water were passing back gas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Airplane Food

There's something about eating airplane food that makes everyone on board bond. As you peel away the tin foil top of your entree, you look down at your meal and then to the person at your left, and then to the person at your right, and then you shrug your shoulders and put a fork in it, as if to say, "Oh well, here goes nothin'!"

The worst one was China Airlines' American style breakfast. It was either that or some soupy shrimp mixture that looked like an episode of diarrhea waiting to happen. I chose the former, but making the decision was kind of like how voting is sometimes, where you're really just choosing between two bad options.

What was in the American style breakfast, you ask? A soggy hash brown triangle that I could tell had never been crispy, a lukewarm mound of eggs still in the form of the 3/4 cup measuring scoop it was served with, a cherry tomato (random), and a shriveled sausage served at room temperature. I was in heaven.