Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wanted: Assistant Dog Walker

For the past two or so years I have been looking to hire help. First I had to pay hundreds of dollars to Legal Zoom so they would correctly fill out the piece of paper that says I'm not flying solo anymore. That took a while (mostly on the government's end), and should have been when I started looking for The One. Little did I know ...

Due to a tight budget, I mostly advertised on Craigslist, with flyers, on social media, at the local unemployment office, and guest wrote a local blog post. All of these turned up people who couldn't read my detailed manifesto on what I was looking for:
"I don't have my own reliable transportation, but I would love to be a pet sitter."
"My schedule isn't flexible, but I sure could use the money right now."
"I don't have a resume but I am interested in the job."

Finally, I picked a couple of the candidates who met the minimum requirements and invited them to interview. Every interviewee asked to reschedule. Every. Single. One. I turned them all down and added a post script to my interview invites: Please be advised that I do not reschedule interviews as, should you be hired, you cannot reschedule a pet sit.

It was the height of the summer rush and I really needed someone. I had been looking for months. Against my better judgement, I hired someone who had rescheduled our first interview. She was friendly, experienced, and a go-getter. Unfortunately, she was too much of a go-getter in all areas of her life. She worked full time, had two active kids, and just plain too much on her plate. She frequently turned down work that I offered her. On the days she did work, she often came at the wrong time due to one of her kid's sports commitments. One time, she didn't leave a note after her  pet sit and I chose to believe her when she said she forgot to write the note, but actually did the job.

The next job I needed her help with was a cat who got insulin shots every 12 hours. My pet sits were up in the double digits every day that week so I asked the client, who gave me no notice, if I could utilize my independent contractor. The client responded, "We met, interviewed, and hired you because we felt safe putting the well-being of our elderly cats and the key to our home in your care. If you must use another person while we are out of town, we ask that it at least be someone you trust to do as good of a job as you and to leave our entire household in their hands." Damn. Yes, my contractor said she could do it. But, no, I didn't trust her to give the cat an insulin shot at the right time. I couldn't trust her at all, so I stopped giving her work altogether.

Back to the drawing board ... in another post. This one is getting long. Everyone have a happy holiday! Be thankful for your gifts, and trust your intuition when it tells you to send one back!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Podcast Review: Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack

I spend a lot of time in my car driving to and from clients. A recovered NPR addict, I realize that spending all day listening to the same bad news over and over again may not be the healthiest choice for me. Hence, the need for informative and entertaining podcasts.

I asked my fellow animal rights activists for podcast recommendations but they all seemed to be too raw-foods-based with fake hosts who only scratched the surface of their topics and interviews. Searching on my own, I found Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack (VWPA).

First, I loved the title! Then scrolling through their episodes I saw that every single one had an "explicit" warning. Hostesses Callie and Nichole clearly are my people! With a very down-to-earth and accessible level of conversation, they dive head first into sticky issues including veganism as it relates to abortion, body image issues, and speciesism. Sometimes I listen and go "yeah!" to no one in particular in my car. Other times I think "hmmm ... I'm not so sure about that," which is perfectly ok because they are the first to tell you they are just voicing their opinions and encourage polite feedback. My favorite part of the show is that they open with the latest vegan news from multiple sources. This keeps me up to date and informed, so when I'm chatting with other vegans I always have something new to contribute to the conversation.

I have been vegan cumulatively for two years. There was a decade or so backslide in which I pendulumed from vegetarian to vegan due to social pressures, mismanaged anger, and quite frankly immaturity. However, I feel strongly that had supportive resources such as VWPA been around over a decade ago, perhaps having voices like Callie's and Nichole's in my ear would have kept me on the right track. Their honesty and willingness to unpack lifestyle conundrums truly is a service to new and seasoned vegans alike. Although not all of their conversations apply to me, I look forward to listening to VWPA grow with more interviews, panel discussions, and listener call-ins. This is definitely the next big up-and-coming podcast out there.