Hungry

How to get free food, only three days ago. Also, 7 other things worth your time.

The people have spoken. We’re back to the old font. I’m using a slightly deeper shade of blue, so hopefully the links will show up more prominently. I can’t believe my life has come to discussing this. :) Comments welcome.


Imagine if you could go back in time.

Not like, the 1950s, or the Cretaceous period. Just back to Monday.

Now, imagine you were hungry. But also, imagine that you had zero money.

Here is what would have been a good idea, had I known to advise it then: Go to an Applebee’s restaurant.

Tell them you’d like to apply for a job as a host, a server, a bartender, a cook—even a management trainee.

No doubt, they would have looked at you and quickly determined that you were Applebee’s material. Then, besides offering you an interview and perhaps a new job, they would also have given you a voucher good for a free appetizer.

Hungry? Now you’re not hungry. Problem solved.

Applebee’s called this the “apps for apps program.” Cute, right? It was part of their effort to hire 10,000 new employees across the United States this summer.

While I’m pretty sure none of the readers of Understandably will hold it against me for failing to alert you to this opportunity ahead of time, it’s a fun way to roll right into today’s theme:

Jobs. And whether people don’t want them anymore.

Also, what to do if you’re a brand new graduate who’s out there looking for one.

Let’s start with the people who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more.

I took a bit of pride recently to realize that just days after I wrote a story about the history of burnout (or burn-out, or burn out), which I illustrated with a photo of a book of matches, The New Yorker magazine ran a story about the history of burnout (or burn-out, or burn out), which they illustrated with a photo of a book of matches.

They’re a lot bigger than Understandably.com, so maybe it takes them longer.

Anyway, we came to different conclusions, but the same result.

In short, there are a whole heckuvalata reasons why a whole heckuvalata people don’t want to keep working their same old jobs, post-pandemic.

Power to them, I say. Define your own destiny.

I wish I’d understood that so deeply at age 21. But c’est la vie. And laissez les bons temps rouler, for that matter.

Meanwhile: the advice.

The best I’ve seen so far, comes from Google, if you’re young (or not) and ambitious, and looking for a job: Stand out, and show how you can contribute.

Don’t say you’re a team player. I know people advise you that, but studies show it’s dead wrong.

Instead, quantify your accomplishments.

Follow the X-Y-Z rule, meaning: I’d like to work for you, and I think I can help.

Because in my previous role,

  • I achieved X,

  • as measured by Y,

  • by doing Z.

You fill in the blanks: what’s X, what’s Y, what’s Z.

There are a few other bits of advice, too. Use bullet points, format your resume as a .pdf, check for typos. Also, other things I might have thought I’d have to advise, but then frankly, I’d be halfway out of a job myself.

It’s an odd time we’re in right now, and if you’re looking for a nice neat bow to wrap it with, I’m not sure I can do it.

People want jobs, but they hate what work has become; they want choices, but they hate decisions.

Somewhere in the world, apparently, people think they’ll be enticed to apply for a $27,000-a-year job with the promise of a $7.99 appetizer.

There’s no going back in time, my friends. Carpe diem. Achieve your X.

Big employers might want to know the Y and Z, but deep down in your heart, you can quantify it any way you want.

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7 other things worth your time

  • Microsoft’s new ‘virtual commutes’ on Teams aims to rebuild the boundaries between work and home life, and signify the tech firm’s move into corporate well-being. (WSJ)

  • The Air Force reversed its decision to dismiss hundreds of reserve officer training cadets and restored nearly 130 scholarships, officials said, after a lobbying effort assailed the decision as a punishment for many qualified cadets that would create catastrophic financial problems. (WashPost)

  • The latest round of federal stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per person lifted sales at Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, as shoppers used their checks to buy clothing, home goods and other merchandise at stores and online. (CNN)

  • At least 63 children are among the 217 Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas began on May 10. On the Israeli side, 12 people have been killed by Hamas rockets, all but one of them civilians, including a 5-year-old boy. (AP)

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James is joining the Manhattan district attorney's office in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization, James' office said Tuesday. The attorney general office's investigation into the Trump Organization, which has been underway since 2019, will also continue as a civil probe, but the office recently informed Trump Organization officials of the criminal component. (CNN)

  • Spencer Silver, a research chemist at 3M who inadvertently created the not-too-sticky adhesive that allows Post-it Notes to be removed from surfaces as easily as they adhere to them, died on May 8 at his home in St. Paul, Minn. He was 80. (NYT)

  • Robert Durst, the real-estate heir whose crimes were chronicled in the HBO series The Jinx, was a no-show as his murder trial resumed this week after a 14-month delay because of the pandemic. A Los Angeles judge declared Durst “willfully absent” on Monday, while his defense attorney argued that he was simply too sick with cancer and other ailments to attend. “He spends more than 90 percent of his time on a bed, a hospital-type bed,” lawyer Dick DeGuerin argued, unsuccessfully pleading for a postponement. (Daily Beast)

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