Monday, April 21, 2014

And Starring P.S. Elliott as Himself...

Hello once again, my fellow prisoners... today's blog post is brought to you in part by some long overdue and highly disgruntled venting on my part; because after all, what's a blog for if you can't bitch and moan about your normal everyday petty shit? Am I right, or wrong? Well, here goes... By the way, for our home viewing audience, we recommend that you have a drink in hand, so that you play Never Have I Ever as you read through this, my latest quip here... just pay attention to the instructions in parentheses following each declaration, that I'm sure most of you have or at least have had in common at one some point or another.

First off, I haven't been able to find a job in months. (Drink responsibly). And the worst part about applying for jobs online is that you're usually prone to encountering rather dubious individuals online looking to phish your private information from you and perhaps even commit a great deal of identity theft in your good name. (Another shot, please). And when you're not busy dodging the unauthorized cloning of your buying habits, you usually wind up with a lot of spam in your email, because third party sharing of your personal information is just the standard business practice nowadays, courtesy from the last group of people (or collective organizations, as I prefer to call them) that you would least expect; online job search sites. (Go on... have another swig there!)

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor Image

What's that you say? Businesses like these wouldn't dare to sell your information, especially if you're currently unemployed and therefore classified as a deadbeat by your federal tax office? Well, you'd be surprised my friend. Don't believe me? Okay... here's what you do; just for shits and giggles. Register online at any of these top 15 job sites and prepare yourself to be treated to a bunch of half assed written emails that all start with: Good day, my good friend, many blessings upon you... I am Amil Sven Kalifa executive outer rim prime minister of Nigeria and I currently find myself dying of cancer. Your name has been selected as the recipient of my late mother's inheritance of $12,000,000,000.00 farthings. Please leave me your name, social security number, phone number, and current place of residents, and our operators will get back to you shortly. (Bartender, make it a double!) Or at least, something as relatively on unethical crack as that there loose paraphrase of a bogus spam email is concerned. All I can hope is that there really is a terminal cancer that'll successfully eat through the colon, reproductive system, and/or any other vital organ pertaining to the author of these annoying messages. Far be it from me to contribute to the sadness of their recently deceased and supposedly wealthy family members, without wishing them all the best in being reunited with their loved ones in the afterlife!

So it is because of this constant deluge of piss poor attempts at stealing my identity online, that I have ceased applying for work through any of the aforementioned online job sites, and instead have opted to scour sites like Craigslist (keep them shots coming, barkeep!) with the search string "Apply in person" as an efficient means of cutting the red tape of bullshit that any and all job seekers out there may and will encounter when they find themselves "between jobs." This method, while not as 100% fail proof, has yielded in at least four face-to-face interviews this year alone, all of which looked promising as far as a starting salary and weekly/bi-weekly disbursement was concerned, but none of which I actually wound up getting chosen to work for. Let's put it this way... I'm on a bad luck streak, okay?

Now, the reason for this, my latest in a series of online gripes is not the lack of finding a well paying job, but rather a lack of professional courtesy on behalf of the employer/recruiters. And by that I mean... have you ever had a job interview where the interviewer goes out of their way to inform you that they'll contact you even if you don't get the job; you know... as a means of old school professional courtesy, and you just wind up sitting impatiently by the phone and/or checking your internet email to hear back from them? (Make a triple, this time, okay?) Well, three out of these four interviews did just that... well, technically two and a half, because I did receive a call after one of my interviews which was probably made in error and when I called them back, I got treated to hearing the sounds of a rather senile old coot on the other end of the line who had to consult with his assistant when I inquired if the missed call was related to a job I had applied for recently. He didn't sound too convincing and seemed even more confused by my job seeking question. Don't you just love wrong numbers? (I can't feel my face, anymore!).

So, rejection after rejection, has prompted me to try my luck at acting, since after all... being a movie extra was in fact, my first actual job. Two days worth of probably the easiest job I've ever had in my life, just so I can get 15 seconds worth of fame on the screen... of course, you have to squint pretty hard to notice me, but I'm there, somewhere! And that I owe to a friend that hooked me up with that once in a lifetime opportunity. Today, however, finding the right casting agency is not as easy as it looks... it's a nearly impossible mission. I almost bit the bullet signing up with an online casting agency that was advertising via Craigslist and then I did some research only to find out that they were a complete scam. Luckily, I told their telephone representative that I'd give them a call back. How's that for irony, eh? Of course, something else happened that very same morning while I was about to contact this agency, and that was an email that my cellphone picked up... it was just the usual credit card payment reminder; or so I thought, until I decided to open it and follow the link to make sure everything was on the up and up, for you can never be too careful, right?

Anyways, I figured it must have been standard routine for a credit card company to send its cardholders a payment reminder via email, even if there's a zero balance on the card; just an automated feature, nothing more. Of course, little did I know that I was well on my way to becoming just another statistic. And how so? You may ask? Well... after receiving this email, I decided to login into my account to see what was what with this unusual payment due notice and it was there that I found out that a fraudulent charge to the tune of three hundred forty-two dollars and sixty cents had been placed on my balance. So one thing led to another... (of course, I held off on contacting the aforementioned casting agency until I got this issue cleared up with my credit card issuer first) and so I resolved the problem. They agreed to refunding me for the fraudulent charge and are investigating into this matter. ;So, for the time being, it looks as though everything is squared away... I got my brand new card with a different account number and had some paperwork to fill out and send back to them. Now, to add some insult to this here injury, I just spent five dollars and sixty cents to ensure that this letter gets back to them via priority service with tracking confirmation.

So I'd like to think that everything has been resolved, however, on one of the letters of correspondence I received from my credit card company, it did state that the merchant still has the right to a rebuttal... Meaning that; if the seller of the item that was purchased fraudulently with my credit card decides that they're not going to honor me that amount, they can dispute the charge and basically put up more red tape for me to make my less than enjoyable life only that more miserable! But here's the clincher, folks... for those of you out there (like myself) whom thought you were completely immune to having your credit card number stolen and used without your knowledge; GUESS AGAIN!!! The only time I've ever actually used this card was several years back when I first opened the account, and ever since that time, I've only been using it solely to transfer credit card balances, you know... just to responsibly manage my credit! & So the only question left on my mind here is... HOW IN THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN!?!? Maybe it was just an error. Yes, it's very possible for a number inputted on a credit card swipe machine to be entered by mistake, isn't it? But then again, it would need a billing zip code, or some other proof that the owner of the card IS the owner of the card, would it not? So again... I have no idea how the fail safe method for all these point of sale purchase machines failed! Maybe it was a clerical error back at the credit card company's headquarters. Maybe, just maybe... someone forgot to cover their ass while they were busy embezzling company funds and dipping their hands in the honeypot that is the credit card company's long list of clients. Hey! Why not? Inside job bank thefts are very common, so I wouldn't be surprised if the very same thing happened in my case!

So anyways, getting back to my job hunt story, after a couple of online searches here and there in the gig section, I did happen to stumble across a director that seemed to have his proverbial shit together. But then, it was through the process of exchanging emails back and forth to discuss this job that the same scene of never hearing back from them once again reared its ugly head. My first tip off must have been when I received a response after his initial explanation, or should I say full disclosure about how this was not going to be a big lavish production and that it was only a small crew working on the picture... big whoop! And that response should have contained the script, but I had to email him once again to remind him that the script wasn't attached. After reading the script, I really enjoyed the project enough to believe in it as a very hilarious comedy... bear in mind, it was just a short. But at any rate, I wrote back and insisted on reading for the initial part that I expressed interest in, and offered to try out for the other roles if any of those were available as well. And that's when the usual bullshit that has plagued my life started.

You know that feeling you get when you think you're embarking upon some journey or project that'll change your life for the better, and then at the last minute, everything turns the other way on account of some minor technicality... in this case it was lack of communication. I kept getting in touch with this so-called director to inquire about the location of the audition to no avail. No response, nothing... I even noticed that there was a home address with a phone number on the script itself and decided to text that number, and again... nada! So to you, Mr. Director, I say: thank you... thank you for being such an unprofessional prick. You see, there's a difference between being a successful prick and an unprofessional one. The former actually uses and exploits your talent and you both wind up walking away with some credit on IMDB, whereas the later has their heads stuck up Hollywood lala land's ass so long that they just can't see the forest for the trees... and at the end of the day, these are the very same people who wind up indebted to their careers, ill conceived ideas, and poorly based decisions that usually wind up ruining people's careers. So because of this, I say thank you again for not including me in your lovely piece of shit film! I guess I'll have to seek my 15 seconds of fame elsewhere, now... with this Rolling Stones choice anthem as the soundtrack for the movie of my life...

You Can't Always Get What You Want
Live on The David Frost Show 1969

Well... that's about all I have to vent for the time being... You have been reading the disgruntled stylings of P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

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