THE ANVIL

Transmissions from the alternate universe

Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

7 Common Resume Mistakes

Posted by oldancestor on September 5, 2011

By Robotman

In an effort to cut costs, The Anvil is asking our readers to draw their own picture today

We all know the job market is tough right now. So what can employment seekers do to improve their chances of getting hired? Well, they can start by avoiding some common resume mistakes that will sink their candidacy before it ever sets sail. They should also eliminate corny or bad metaphors in their writing, though that’s a different post. Tangents that go nowhere are not recommended either.

So what are these resume mistakes, you ask? The Anvil spoke to some leading HR professionals to get the inside story:

Mistake # 6 – Numbering your lists incorrectly

“If you promise a list with seven things on it, there should be seven things,” says Brenda Shinbone-Pepperpaste, a human resources consultant with Everything But Human Resources Consulting International, a phony offshore company. On the other hand, she adds, “no one really puts lists on a resume, so forget that I said it.”

Mistake # 5 – Boasting about all the murders you did

You may be a self-employed serial killer who has managed to strangle and hide the bodies of over 20 prostitutes without getting caught. So bragging about it on a resume makes you look ambitious and inventive, right?

Wrong.

“You don’t want hiring managers to think ‘manual labor’ when they see your skill sets,” says Dan Walkingstick, a staffing expert with Omaha International Train Station. “I suggest that people try to get others to do the killing for them. We’re looking for leadership skills.”

Mistake # 4 – Writing your resume with spray paint on the side of a building

It’s a bitch to get that puppy into an email, says Walkingstick. “Most employers use the internet for job stuff now.”

Mistake # 3 – Leaving a dead bird on the hiring manager’s windowsill

“It’s best to stick with a digital-document resume,” explains Shinbone-Pepperpaste. “We know a lot more about germs these days.”

Indeed, popular job-search website monster.com stopped offering dead bird delivery services in 1765 and rival Careerbuilder.com followed suit shortly afterward in 1818, following the birth of Emily Brontë.

Mistake # 2 – Not proofreeding

“Typos will send your resume straight into the recycling bin,” says notorious mass murderer Henry Wayne Ipswich.

He also adds, “Your hair looks pretty. Can I touch it?”

Mistake # 1 – Sending out resumes

There aren’t actually any jobs. Wouldn’t you rather be at the beach anyway?

Don’t miss our other amazing lists, including:

The 5 numbers most likely to come before six

The 11 most ill-behaved celebrity chinchillas

The 6 most common things no one has ever said before

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Posted in Health and Living | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments »

S&P makes A THIRD downgrade!

Posted by oldancestor on August 8, 2011

By Robotman

 

 

Montague Poor, militant poop thrower

NEW YORK – Shadowy militant organization Standard & Poor’s, which just days ago reduced the United States’ credit rating from AAA to Less Than AAA, has struck again. The target this time: The sneeze.

A representative from S&P announced earlier today that the sneeze was being downgraded from a religious experience to a biological function.  Reading from a prepared statement, the spokesperson said, “It has been determined that the soul does not, in fact, leave the body during a sneeze. The sneeze is no more significant than the cough or the hiccup. We are advising people to stop saying, ‘God bless you,’ after someone sneezes. It’s stupid and a waste of time.”

Indeed, most economists agree that, in the United States alone, office employees who stop to bless sneezing co-workers cost more in lost productivity every year than pornography and death. The tradition also causes a backlog in America’s court system, with atheists regularly suing their employers for allegedly permitting hostile work environments.

Many religious groups, on the other hand, are calling the S&P downgrade, “another volley in the War on Christmas.”

Creationism advocacy group Y6K (Yes, the Earth is 6000 Thousand Years Old) issued a statement today claiming, in part, “Our scientists, all graduates of Y6K University, which is fully accredited by the Y6K Accreditation Society, have proven that Satan tickles your nose with a feather just before you sneeze. Only by saying, ‘God bless you,’ is the soul returned to the nostrils and saved from an eternity in the fires of Hell.”

Marcus Bachmann, Y6K’s president and husband of GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, was busy trolling gay bars in disguise and could not be reached for comment.

Standard and Poor’s is no stranger to controversy. Last October, the organization’s co-founder, Montague Poor (pictured above), was arrested for throwing feces at competitor Dow Jones, who was exiting a nightclub in the SoHo section of New York City. The charges were dropped when a judge ruled that feces throwing, while disgusting, is not illegal.

Two months later, S&P found itself in the news again when it downgraded your sister from “skank” to “fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down,” their lowest rating.

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Posted in Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Traditional products fight to stay relevant in the gadget age

Posted by oldancestor on April 25, 2011

The future is here. Woops, missed it. Here comes another one... Damn!

By Eric J Baker

NEW YORK – With Smartphones and iPads and other multi-purpose gadgets all the rage in electronics these days, shoppers are showing little love for the everyday, non-digital products that were once symbols of high status. No longer do children care about being the first on their block to own the latest tube of White Out. None of us carry around our corded house phones anymore, the 30-foot-long wire dragging behind us while we waste precious arm space on a big, plastic door stop.

It’s just not cool anymore.

So what are manufacturers of traditional products to do? Give up and let devices that work better, do more things, and cost the same price or less take over? No! They fight back.

In an effort to compete with popular eBook readers like Amazon’s Kindle, bricks and mortar retailer Barnes and Noble is now requiring its hard-copy, paper-bound books to take batteries as well.

“It’s much more energy efficient than the Kindle device,” says Tony And, one/third owner of the company. “You just stick a couple of AA batteries in the cut-out area, and they never wear out. If you don’t have AA, stick in whatever battery fits. It’s that versatile.”

Some shoppers have complained about the chunk taken out of each book to make room for the batteries.

And says no one reads the top right quadrant of a page anyway, according to focus-group testing. “That’s where writers put periods and commas and the boring parts of sentences,” he explains.

Another print medium, the newspaper, has suffered badly from a sales standpoint since the rise of the Internet, a popular online information-sharing service.

“Newspapers are too big when spread out,”says Internet entrepreneur Betty Google, mastermind behind the somewhat popular Web-based search engine, Yahoo. “It’s, like, 35 inches across. Would you buy a 35-inch monitor?”

In response to similar consumer complaints, the New York Daily News has recently been reconfigured to resemble a 20-inch computer monitor, and its articles now only show every tenth word. New ads for the paper boast that it’s “10 times faster than before!” in an effort to lure back former readers who have switched to broadband information sources.

Sadly, some products seem doomed to be wiped out by their digital counterparts. Old-fashioned, gas-powered search engines have seen sales drop precipitously, which is believed to be worse than a lot.

“Every once in a while an old guy who refuses to use the Internet wants one,” laments heavy-equipment seller Pinky Middleton of Little Rock, Arkansas. “But, realistically, these things are just big, greasy engines that pollute the air, make noise, and chug along doing nothing. Hell, I sell the damn things, but I’ve got an Internet at home.”

Recent economic doldrums have even hurt sales of items that normally can’t be replaced by phone apps, like houses and clothing.

One business segment particularly hard hit has been the clothes iron industry, with sales of the devices plunging despite modern science’s inability to genetically engineer unwrinkling polyester.

“It’s the shortage of iron that’s the problem,” says Sir Edmund Bollocks, an Oxford University professor and expert on heat-producing, flat-sided, metal appliances that aren’t used for cooking.

Indeed, since the United Nations banned the use of iron in products, clothes iron manufacturers have experimented with numerous materials to build a new kind of iron, with little success. The early plastic versions melted and the paper ones frequently caught fire, resulting in ruined clothes and hospitalized customers. More recent models made of leftover space shuttle tiles don’t get hot enough.

“Odd,” says Bollocks. “The device is called an ‘iron,’ yet we make them out of every substance but iron. It’s so… I’m sure there’s a word for it, but I just can’t think of it right now.”

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Posted in Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

Economists warn of job losses in evil dictator industry

Posted by oldancestor on February 22, 2011

By Eric J Baker

Idi Amin, former dictator of Uganda, living in exile on Planet X

 

WASHINGTON DC – The rising tide of civil unrest across the Middle East and northern Africa may bode well for democracy, but it isn’t doing much to help jobless figures. Each time a brutal regime is overthrown, say economists, another name goes on the unemployment roll.

“It’s true,” says Mary Smith, an economist.

While she may feel comfortable showing a flippant, heartless attitude when discussing people’s ruined careers and lost dreams, the grim news is hitting close to home for some.

“I hate being a statistic,” says Hosni Mubarak, 82, who recently lost his job as oppressive ruler of Egypt. “I want to work, but who is going to hire me at my age when some kid fresh out of college is willing to crush rebellion and stifle freedom for a quarter of my salary?”

Skeletor, who briefly ruled Eternia before being overthrown by He-Man (also not elected) two years ago, claims to have turned in over 200 applications since then without landing a single job interview.

“I’ve commanded legions of beasts. I’ve turned skies black. I’ve laid siege to magic castles,” he says. “But will anyone hire me? No. I also have a masters degree in business administration, by the way.”

Even those still employed in the industry are feeling the pressure. Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for over 40 years, says can feel change in the air.

“Sure, I go on TV and say, ‘dissent will not be tolerated, you infidel dogs,’ or ‘you guys are about to accidentally open up a big can of whoop-ass that cannot be closed,’” he told The Anvil today via telephone from his home in Tripoli. “But, realistically, they’ll probably shoot me one of these days.”

Gaddafi adds with a laugh, “At least I hope they shoot me! What else can I do for a living?  Barista at Starbucks? Oppressing people and sponsoring terrorism is all I know.”

Other economists, who are not such icy bitches as Mary Smith, sympathize with the plight of Mubarak and others but also believe the evil dictator industry has not changed with the times.

Ricky Roma of Mitch and Murray, a New York-based economic policy think tank, says, “Kids don’t get into the language of evil dictators these days.  Look at the guy in North Korea, what’s his name. The deadbeat. Kim something. He says, ‘I, your dear leader, will wield the mighty sword of the free workers to combat the enemies of justice bla bla bla. Who tawks like that?”

Roma says young people are the consumers who drive the world leader market these days. “They want someone edgy and hip, not some weirdo in a Cossack uniform who listens to Edith Piaf records and collects antique deep-sea-diving helmets.”

When asked who he thinks will be the next ruler of North Korea will be, Roma smiles and says, “Kanye, of course. You ask me twelve, fifteen years ago, I say Prince. But it’s Kanye. Don’t quote me.”

Don’t miss Part Two of our one-part series on evil dictators tomorrow, when we interview Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Than Shwe of Myanmar, and the editor of The Anvil.

[Perhaps you should start preparing a story on unemployed journalists. You can file it freelance- ed.]

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Posted in Business | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Eight Companies at Risk of Bankruptcy

Posted by oldancestor on January 9, 2011

By Eric J Baker

When businesses run out of this, they go "out." Science has yet to discover where.

 

America’s worst economic recession in almost 80 years may be over, but its aftermath is still being felt by countless businesses struggling to stay above water. These are the eight companies at greatest risk of failing before the end of the year:

 

U-Fly

When U-Haul, the do-it-yourself truck rental company, decided to apply its successful business model to the air-freight industry last year, economists hailed the move. In a tight economy, they said, average Americans would rather fly their own stuff across the country than pay some cargo company and an overpriced pilot.

But when eighty percent of U-Fly’s fleet was destroyed in crashes on the first day of business last August, the company was forced to ground the remainder of its aircraft. They still sit today, rusting.

“What we found out,” says company CEO Zap Crossin, “is that it’s really hard to fly an airplane when you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Seven/sixteenths Foods

With upscale supermarket chains Whole Foods and Wegmans competing for the attention of heath-conscious shoppers, executives at Seven/sixteenths Food Markets decided to target the blue-collar consumer who still cares about quality, but only sometimes. Sounds like a giant, untapped audience, right?

Wrong. It turns out that there are tons of ordinary supermarkets out there that don’t sell imported cheese and gourmet desserts. Seven/sixteenths is finding the competition rather stiff and continues to search, in vain, for a market share. Their nonsensical TV ad slogan, “Slightly less than half,” isn’t helping.

TypewriterMax

The one-stop-shop for Clark Nova, Martinelli, and Krupp Dominator typewriters was one of America’s most powerful corporations in the 1950s and 60s. Then, in 1967, they made the mistake of firing a young clerk by the name of Bill Gates, who vowed to create a software program that would one day render typewriters useless.

“I didn’t even know what the words ‘software program’ meant,” Gates wrote in his autobiography in 2002, “but once I said them, I knew I had to come up with something.”

TypewriterMax hasn’t sold a single unit since 1981, when movie director John Landis needed one for a movie prop.

Johnson & Johnson

Not to be confused with the massively successful global pharmaceutical firm, this Johnson & Johnson (the “Johnsons” are reversed) sells paper bags full of dog poop. Customers place the bags on their cranky neighbors’ porches, set the bags on fire, knock on the door, then run away. The neighbor comes outside and, in a panic, stomps on the… well, you know.

It’s all in good fun. Until the target of the prank is wearing dynamite shoes, as was Edward Gymteacher of Calumet City, Illinois, on the day he was killed in October, 2008.

“We live in a very litigious society,” notes company president Johnny “John” Johnson.

1M and 2M

1M invented little yellow squares of paper. 2M invented strips of mild stickiness. But unlike Reese’s brilliant union of chocolate and peanut butter, these two companies never thought to join forces, and the rest is history.

“It seems so obvious in retrospect,” says 2M executive Jan Brady. “But someone else got there first.”

1M, on the other hand, refuses to look back, instead devoting its resources to promoting pale yellow as the confetti color of choice.

IndirectTV

Binocular maker IndirectTV, which asks its customers, “Why pay for TV when your neighbor already does,” has struggled for years to invent a lens that can penetrate curtains and blinds. And with the ubiquity of home surround sound nowadays, the product’s total lack of audio is turning off tech-savvy buyers.

“I thought I was getting a deal,” says unhappy shopper Jacques Voyeur, “but my neighbor hardly watches TV at all. She just has naked pillow fights with her lingerie model friends all day.”

The company says it will have to close its doors if it can’t think of a new marketing pitch for the device.

Puppy&KittenChipper.com

This upstart equipment manufacturer has yet to sell a single one of its $3000 pet chipper units and will likely cease operations by late spring.

“We drastically overestimated consumer interest in a product that grinds up fluffy, cute animals and blasts their bloody pulp all over the wall,” laments company owner Jeffrey D.

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Posted in Business | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Foreclosure Crisis Too Boring for Fake News Journals?

Posted by oldancestor on October 14, 2010

By Lennie

Artist's rendition showing how people might appear when reading a fake news article about foreclosures

You’ve seen them on magazine covers, spread across the front pages of newspapers, and splashed all over the Internet: Articles about the Foreclosure Crisis, usually accompanied by a photograph of a lower-middle-class ranch home with a “foreclosed” sign posted on the front lawn. If you’re a self-styled fake news journalist with several pseudonyms, you may have even thought, for f**k’s sake! Are the news media so bereft of creativity that they can’t think of another way to illustrate an article on this subject?

Whether you’re a fake news writer or not, you probably haven’t said, “Damn, the foreclosure crisis is a goldmine of comedy. It’s like a sopping-wet humor sponge waiting to be squeezed.”

[And if you’re a fake news writer who created a simile using the phrase ‘sopping-wet humor sponge,’ you probably shouldn’t be allowed near a computer keyboard ever again – Ed.]

That’s right. Foreclosure crises and comedy go together like Bill O’Reilly and Whoopi Goldberg (how’s that for topical, boss?). [whatevs – Ed.]  In fact, the last funny person who had anything to do with foreclosures was the late, great Bernie Mac who, along with Fannie Mae, lent craploads of money to people for mortgages they couldn’t afford, or something like that.

“I wouldn’t do a foreclosure article,” says Eric J Baker, head writer for the online fake news journal, The Anvil. “Not even using a false name. Financial stuff is always dull.”

Angry Pink Bunny, head writer for rival fake news journal, The Avocado, agrees. “I’d write a freaking article on filibusters before I touch foreclosure humor, if there even were such a thing. Not only is it boring, but people are sick of hearing about it.”

But what about Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, whose popular fake news program, The Daily Show, has touched on the subject numerous times?

“Don’t mention that name in my presence ever again,” bristles Bunny. “He needs a staff of hundreds to do what I do by myself. And he steals my jokes. Is he reading this? HEY, STEWART! I’M GUNNING FOR YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME, HOT SHOT? I GOT YOU IN MY CROSS HARES. PUN FREAKING INTENDED!”

Baker takes a more philosophical view.

“Jon Stewart isn’t fake news,” he says. “The Onion is fake news. The Anvil is fake news, only a lot more clever. Jon Stewart is real news, done with humor.”

To test Baker’s assertion, I decided to watch a full week’s worth of The Daily Show broadcasts. My intention was to determine if Stewart makes up events and creates false quotes or merely mocks various news broadcasters and politicians by playing video clips and offering wry commentary afterward. Then I remembered I don’t have cable.

Which is just as well, because my editor said I am only allowed 513 words per article and if I go over that amount I have to pay 10 cents per word. I just hope I have enough words left to tell you who really shot John F Kennedy. You won’t believe this, but it was

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Editorial note: The Anvil wishes to apologize to our readers for today’s Angry Pink Bunny image, which looks more like an angry pink cat in a bunny costume. We promise to do better next time.

Posted in Editorial | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Feds cancel economy; not popular with voters

Posted by oldancestor on May 21, 2010

GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDS STUFFING OLD BILLS IN MATTRESS… FOR ADDED COMFORT

By Eric J. Baker

 

WASHINGTON DC – The federal government decided to scrap the economy yesterday after 234 years, citing voter frustration and bloated bureaucracy as the main reasons for the move. By signing the executive order yesterday, President Obama effectively changed the way America will do business going forward. 

“People can now anticipate to a future free of budget deficits, national debts, predatory banking practices, and money,” said the President last night in a televised speech that reminded many of candidate Obama from 2008, whose campaign promises were full of inspirational rhetoric.

The action was met with rare bipartisan approval. Said Nevada’s Republican Senate hopeful Sue Lowden, who intends to unseat Democrat Harry Reid in November, “This will finally make chicken-bartering the foremost system of commerce going forward.”

On MSNBC last night, Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio said, “This is the first step toward creating a Dionysian society where love is free, wine flows copiously, and women behave as woodland nymphs, running barefoot in butterfly-laden meadows.”

He later added, “Man, it’s good to finally have a reason for saying that.”

Even former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, one of President Obama’s most outspoken critics, was supportive of the move.

“For a guy who wants to melt down all the guns and kill your grandparents and was probably born in the heart of communist Iraq, he did a smart thing today, don’cha think?”

She later posed with a high-powered hunting rifle to make herself look cool.

Not everyone is happy with the change, though. Environmentalists are up in arms over a proposed government plan to burn all the now-useless cash and dump the coins in the ocean.

“They should use all those bills for insulation,” said Greenpeace activist Patchouli Johnson. “Stuff ‘em inside the old tires that should also be used for insulation.”

“Or make clothes for the homeless,” added fellow activist Peppermint Smith.

Johnson scoffed, asking, “Who cares about the homeless?”

Both women agreed it would be fun to smoke joints made from rolled up 100-dollar bills.

Ordinary citizen Pinky Middleton asked some stupid questions.

“Um, how are people going to get the stuff they need like food and medicine? Won’t society collapse when no one has a reason to go to work anymore?”

Dumb and pointless as his words may be, the repercussions of yesterday’s executive order are indeed being felt, albeit in places that don’t matter.

Upon hearing of the new national policy, elated US soldiers ran into the streets and fired their automatic rifles skyward with reckless abandon. However, the party atmosphere soon degenerated into one of outright chaos, as staffers in nuclear missile silos across the country joined the fracas and punched in their launch codes. Russia, China, North Korea, and the Middle East were later engulfed in a conflagration of apocalyptic proportions, killing close to half the world’s population, with many more expected to die of radiation poisoning in the coming weeks.

An embarrassed President Obama said he will dispatch Secretary of State Clinton to the UN to offer a formal apology sometime this week

Posted in Breaking News! | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stocks tumble after Earth is destroyed in supercollider mishap

Posted by oldancestor on May 12, 2010

ATOM SMASHER MORE THAN JUST A “GIANT UNDERGROUND DONUT” AFTER ALL

By Eric J Baker

 

President Obama's ship surveys the black hole that was once our planet

NEW YORK – The Stock Market closed 600 points lower yesterday following news of an incident at the Large Hadron Supercollider in Switzerland. The drop is just the most recent example of market volatility that has plagued the NYSE this year and may prompt a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Yesterday’s trouble began in the Supercollider control room when an employee, whose name has not been released, pushed the big red button on the main console. Witnesses say he tripped on a rubber floor mat and his hand inadvertently struck the cylindrical plunger, causing the Supercollider to fire.

The Earth was consumed by the ensuing black hole.

At a press conference later in the day, a beleaguered spokesperson for CERN, the organization that built the atom-smashing device, said, “The button was clearly marked ‘do not press under any circumstances,’ so what do you want me to say?”

She did promise a full investigation before declining further questions from reporters.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones plunged precipitously as news of the disaster spread, and commodities trading was down.

“Anytime the unemployment rate goes from 9.8 percent to 100 percent, you’re going to see instability in the market,” said economist Nicolas Cage. “I’m advising people to look at real estate on the moon and Mars as the safest investment right now.”

Wall Street banking and investment executives acted swiftly in the face of the crisis, issuing themselves ten-million-dollar bonuses.

“My main goal is to financially rape ordinary citizens and do whatever possible to further destroy the country that gave me the opportunity to get this wealthy in the first place,” said executive Lou Ciphers, apparently not realizing he was wearing a Truth Helmet.      

Markets rebounded slightly at the end of the day when investors became aware the financial crisis in Greece no longer existed, nor did the country that spawned it.

President Obama, touring the wreckage of Earth in Spaceship One, declared the United States a pile of dust and called for a bipartisan effort to stabilize the economy.

“I will also introduce a new jobs bill,” said the President, “focusing on moon-colony construction. It’s time to get Americans back to work.”

Activists quickly took sides, with leftists demanding a moratorium on dark side of the moon oil drilling until the potential for wind-turbine energy can be assessed. Right wingers countered by calling Earth’s former satellite “a big ball of socialist government cheese” and declaring that protection from the sun’s radiation is unconstitutional.  

Stocks are expected to open higher today on news of rapid hiring in the gravity-boot industry.

Posted in Breaking News! | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »