Interviewing fun

There is an excellent question with plenty of great answers at LinkedIn:

What’s the worst thing you ever heard on a job interview?

The question involves both parties – the interviewer and the interviewee. It also covers situations all around the interview – CVs, waiting, arrangements, situations, and so on. There are some really funny answers, some scary, and some insightful. Overall – there are about 150 of them.

Here is a quote from one of the answers:

My favorite was the lady who had 23 jobs in under a year, but went on and on about how much her previous employers had hated to let her go.

Here is another one:

I had a candidate open an interview saying “I don’t respond well to questions. They make me feel unprepared.” The candidate was applying for a level 1 support opening.

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2 years

Maxim in the house

Today marks two years since I became a parent. Wow. Time flies indeed. He used to be a tiny almost 4 kilograms that didn’t know how to move, and so were pretty comfortable in my hand. Now I can barely hold those 13 kilograms of constant movement. He has his character now. He speaks. He goes to the kindergarten. He has emotions. He makes sneaky plans. He is a human being. He is a man.

He is also very popular. I think more people called, wrote, and came to congratulate him with his second birthday, than I ever got for my 16th. Even people who he never so in real life, people who live far away, in other countries even – they all called or wrote in. That kind of makes me proud. Thanks everybody.

We didn’t have any huge celebrations this year. Maxim spent half of the day in the kindergarten, getting back to the routine after being sick for a couple of weeks. We brought two apple pies for him to share with kids and nuns. They loved it. Especially couple with the chocolate cake from another girl’s birthday…

Then we went to Jumbo for presents. The biggest thing he got was a house. He’s now a happy owner of real estate. We hope he’ll put it in the “save-sell-buy a bigger one” cycle, so that by the time he is 18 we can all live in the castle. Huge houses are among his favourite toys, so there is hope.

In the evening, we went for some pizza (hut, hut, pizza hut). For the first time he was given spicy hot pizza treated as an adult. He set with us, and not on a baby chair. He had his own plate. He had his own meal. He participated in the conversation.

I think he liked how the day went by, because he didn’t want to go to bed at all. Well, that happens. Once a year…

Happy birthday, kido!

Suddenly PayPal comes to its senses

I mentioned earlier that I had some troubles with PayPal. While registration is free, it is only possible to send about $500 USD without adding and confirming a credit card. No problem – I added one, but when tried to confirm was asked to fax a number of documents to PayPal office. Which I refused to do.

Since then I’ve been using direct credit card payments. Until recently I wanted to purchase something from a small shop which only accepted PayPal. I though, OK, I’ll just use the credit card via PayPal and and they won’t have to link the transaction to my account. Wrong. I had to be logged into PayPal.

So I created myself another account and tried to use it. PayPal didn’t allow me to add the same credit card, complaining that it is already in use by another account. I go back and remove it from my old account. Now it was added OK. I paid for all the stuff I wanted and then tried my luck once more – I asked for credit card verification sequence.

If you don’t know how it works, here is a quick summary. PayPal charges your credit card with a small amount (EUR 1.50 in my case). The transaction registered by your bank has “XXXXPAYP” in the description, where XXXX are four digits. PayPal asks to enter those digits in the verification form, thus confirming that you are entitled to use that credit card.

I followed the procedure and tada – it all worked out. I don’t know why it couldn’t have been done the first time. It’s the same card after all…

Avatars instead of smileys

I had an idea today. How nice it would be to have changing avatars in the instant messaging conversation, instead of smiley faces. Smiley faces are the greatest thing since beer and sausages German style. But they’ve outlived themselves. They still work pretty good in plain text communications, but when it comes to applications that substitute text smiles into graphical images – that’s where I think we need more innovation.

Most of the applications that use graphical smileys – email clients, forums, instant messaging clients – support avatars. But so far, I’ve seen only support for a single avatar.

What I think would be better is to have support for multiple avatars, which could be changed either manually or, optionally, by the application itself, depending on the smileys used in the conversation. And they will have to be conversation and user specific too.

The closest to this, it seems, is LiveJournal. It supports multiple avatars. And it supports moods – something a user can change. There is even some automation – avatar selection maybe configured based on certain words in the post or comment, if I remember correctly.

Three applications where I want to see this functionality implemented are: Gaim, Skype, and Gmail.