Just Kidding!

I came across a video recently.  The LG company, in an attempt to show how incredibly life-like their 84 inch HD TV is, decided to scare some innocent people half to death.  As pranks go, this one was deviously clever and well executed.

Frightening people and then laughing at their reactions is nothing new.  It’s been a staple of man’s entertainment since the beginning of time.  A Neanderthal named Toorah grunted to his cave neighbor Oog to watch out for that saber toothed tiger behind him.  Oog whirled around raising his club in defense, but found nothing.  He turned back to find Toorah and his buddy Chrok rolling in the dirt laughing at his startled reaction.  Oog swore to himself to never fall for it again.  Eventually the three of them got back to hunting giant ground squirrels and finding suitable mates – though as Toorah liked to point out, not necessarily in that order.

"Holy crap, Oog!  You shoulda seen yer face!  It was priceless!  I'm gonna draw a picture of it on my cave wall" (Image from humanevents dot com)
“Holy crap, Oog! You shoulda seen yer face! It was priceless! I’m gonna draw a picture of it on my cave wall” (Image from humanevents dot com)

LG, or more accurately, its ad agency, raised the bar significantly on the old “Look out behind you!” gag.  They put the horror behind the trickster and let the victims see for themselves.  Instead of a saber toothed tiger, they went with a meteor strike and apocalyptic explosion.  These poor people, who were there to apply for jobs, were then scared beyond their wildest nightmares while several cameras captured every second of it.  In the end, the lights came back on, and a troupe of behind-the-scenes pranksters came in and let them in on it.  It was all a joke!  It turns out that the city didn’t get leveled by a flaming rock from outer space.  By the way, there’s not really a job for you to apply for either.

I would have liked this commercial a whole lot more if the applicants actually received jobs.  They could have come into to work for a few months and under-performed.  When the bosses called them on their lack of productivity, they could shrug and tell them that they thought it was just an elaborate hoax and that no one was actually expecting them to finish the Rodriquez proposal.  The applicants might have been more productive, but they’d often spent their workdays sitting at their desks trying to come up with payback pranks for their employer.

I’m writing this blog to give fair warning to all of you.

I don’t consider myself a violent person.  Nor do I foresee myself applying for any jobs anytime soon.  In the event that you trick me into thinking the world is seconds away from total annihilation and that my death is imminent, it will not go well.  My relief will be brief, followed quickly by a violent backlash.  If your actions result in me crapping my finest interview suit, there will be consequences which will far exceed my bill from the dry cleaner.  In fact, I’m guessing that my reaction may result in some dental bills for you and your cohorts.  There’s not a judge in the world who’s going to find me guilty of assault.  I just hope you keep the cameras running while I pummel you.

You’ll rue the day you played a trick on David J. Oog.

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Bad Jobs – Volume 1: Two Pepsi’s and Hold the Red-Eye

If you've worked, you've had at least one crappy job - maybe several.  This is an example of just such a job.  It turns out that the skinny guy had terrible gas, making for a horrible work environment for the gentleman on the left.  (Image from sodahead dot com)
If you’ve worked, you’ve had at least one crappy job – maybe several. This is an example of just such a job. It turns out that the skinny guy had terrible gas, making for a horrible work environment for the gentleman on the left. (Image from sodahead dot com)

{The following was originally posted- sans photos- at The Green Study as my entry in her “Worst job I ever had” competition.  She’s a great writer who occasionally sponsors blog contests for lesser writers and rewards us with generous donations in our names and at the very least with postcards from the frozen north.  I shouldn’t have to tell you to check her out, but I am anyway}

Naming your worst job is not as easy as you might think.  On any given day, even the best job can seem like the worst one.  Keeping track of the truly awful jobs can be a good exercise to help you appreciate better ones.

I looked at my sordid career history and tried to narrow it down.  Though I had a few doozies back in my youth, I felt it wasn’t fair to look at any of those jobs, since there were no mortgage payments or little mouths to feed.  To me, any job you can walk away from without big repurcussions couldn’t have been that bad.

Overall, I’d have to say my worst job was one which never actually had a single good day.  It was a blissfully short in duration, only a few weeks, but everytime I think of it, I get a chill and a slight wave of nausea.  It was back in my bartending days, before embarking on my current “real” career.  I already had a decent gig slinging gin and light beer, but the commute was brutal.  I was getting old for the bartending scene and driving 45 minutes each way was adding time to my work-night and sucking precious tips out of my pocket and into my gas tank.

There was a buzz about a new place opening up just minutes from my house.  New places are always packed around here.  People go to the “new place” over almost any other choice.  Local bar and restaurant owners have been known to change the names of their establishments just to cash in on this phenomenon.  Getting in on the ground floor of a new place also meant an equal footing with other bartenders when it came to getting the best shifts.

As soon as I got a chance, I rushed over and got my application in.  The bar was huge and had a theme.  I’d have to wear a silly get-up – so what?  I got the job and went in for training.  The little voice in my head which tried to tell me that things might not be so great was drowned out by the amplified crooning of Billy Ray Cyrus lamenting his Achy Breaky Heart.  The specter of dollar signs blinded me to just how absurd I looked in a cowboy hat and bolo tie.  That’s right – investors had gotten together and decided that a country bar with line dancing would be a gold mine in suburban South Jersey, just minutes from Philadelphia.

You'd never guess it, but this ornery old cuss isn't actually a cowboy after all.  He actually works in accounts receivable over in an office building in Voorhees. (Image from fruitless pursuits dot com)
You’d never guess it, but this ornery old cuss isn’t really a cowboy after all. He actually works in accounts receivable over in an office building in Voorhees, New Jersey. (Image from fruitless pursuits dot com)

I already knew I could put up with any music in a bar, as I had done for years.  What I didn’t realize was that even a thousand miles from Gilley’s, people took their country line dancing seriously.  They came out of the woodwork and wore their very best western garb.  I suspected that many of them were closet cowboys, wearing pinstripe suits and hair gel most other waking hours, as there’s just not too many jobs for cowpokes in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Those boots and big belt buckles must have cost them a lot of money, because these folks had scant change left over for yours truly.  In addition, they were so wrapped up in avoiding any missteps while performing the boot scootin boogie, that they didn’t want to risk clouding their minds with alcohol.  Time after time, some middle manager dressed like a ranch hand would saunter up to the bar and order $19.75 worth of sasparilla, hand me a 20 and wait patiently for his quarter.

My tolerance of bad music and idiots playing dress-up is apparently directly proportional to my love of a fat wad of damp dollars in my pocket at the end of the night.  After two tortuous weeks of making less than nothing and listlessly participating in demeaning-but-mandatory staff dance numbers, I’d had enough.  I hustled my backside 45 minutes west and somehow got my old job back.

Somewhere in the weeds and detritus of the side of Philadelphia’s Schuykill Expressway lies an ill-fitting ten gallon hat with a bolo tie nearby.

Write your own damn caption!  This blog post is turning into a bad job itelf!  (Image from date hookup dot com)
Write your own damn caption! This blog post is starting to feel like a bad job itself!. The weekend can’t come soon enough! (Image from date hookup dot com)