Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, May 06, 2022

Four Things

1. To the best of my knowledge, in all of professional sports, only the National Hockey League has a standing rule that can result in a fan being summoned from the stands to play:

On an NHL team, there are two goalies: a starter and a backup. The backup usually sits on the bench, looking bored, until he's called into action due to injury or poor performance. But what if both the starter and the backup get injured? You'd think one of the skaters could put on the gear and hop in the net, but goaltending in hockey is highly specialized and the risk for injury is too high. Hence the EBUG: a local non-professional goalie who stays ready to sub in for either team in exchange for a free ticket. It's a very rare occurrence -- only five EBUGs have ever appeared in an NHL game -- but when it happens, it's always a fantastic story. A regular guy getting to live his dream for a night.
The post includes footage of teammates-for-a-night cheering their emergency goalie after a game, and notes that one man, a Zamboni driver, actually preserved a win while tending goal for half a game.

2. One morning, I ran into two interesting tales about job-hunting/hiring. One comes comes from the annals of big tech, and has a happy ending:
Image by Jeswin Thomas, via Unsplash, license.
At the end of the day the group is split into two rooms, my room is given the good news and I go on to join the grad scheme. Six months later I am shadowing a colleague who is running the "group test". I asked him if he'd ever seen a group complete the test? "Oh, it's not about that, this is an asshole test. You see who turns into an asshole under pressure and they don't make it to the next round". [bold added]
This reminds me a little of a high-pressure interview I had long ago in the process of joining the nuclear Navy. I was asked a question I simply wasn't able to answer. I tried for a while, but eventually had to admit I was stuck and did not see how to solve it.

The interviewer's demeanor seemed to soften and he walked me through the rest. I was nonplussed at the time, but I got the job, and I now wonder if that had been a screen for bullshit artists or people who give up too easily.

3. The second hiring story comes from Ask a Manager and concerns companies that require lengthy exercises before even interviewing job candidates. Alison Green generally is against this new-sounding practice, and ends with this:
[T]here are decent employers who have problematic hiring processes, and you can't say with certainty that companies doing this will have the same disregard for you/your time/your energy once you're hired ... but they're still telling you something about the way they operate and it's worth paying attention to that. It might not be the only data point you consider, but it should be a data point. It's a strike against them, and I'd want to see lots of positive factors in their favor to balance that out before you think about playing along.
As with much of her other job-hunting advice, this is a reminder that job applicants are (or should be) screening potential employers just as much as they are being screened.

4. Moving on to fun and games...

I enjoyed this collection of the 10 Most Shameful RPG Dice. Top in the list is the so-called D6 Dwarven Stone:
A Sauropod roamed the Earth and met an untimely demise. Due to a highly improbable series of events its bones fossilized. Then, it had the highly improbable good fortune to be found by we humans millions of years later and even more good fortune to be correctly identified and categorized by trained experts. Then it had the incredibly bad fortune of someone saying, “LET’S CHOP THIS BEAUTY INTO DICE!” Yes, a dinosaur fossil was made into a D6. If you had an urge to buy one of these things (and you can’t anymore because other people went insane and bought them all out) then really, what can you do with this? You can take it to a game and like a jerk say “See this D6? It’s made out of dinosaur fossil. Paid $60 for it.” You could also not do that, and instead have the die as a display piece. Consider, though that if having a dinosaur fossil on display is impressive, then having a die made from a dinosaur is NOT IMPRESSIVE AT ALL. You’ve taken something that was, by itself, interesting and special and turned into an abomination. It’s like inviting your friends over to look at your fireplace and saying “Hey, check out this fire, I used the Mona Lisa for kindling. Paid a billion dollars for it. Neat, huh?”
I love that analogy.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, No. 4 reminds me of this funny vignette about Craig, an eternally unimpressed-with-the-world Scotsman, or one in a series of eternally unimpressed-with-the-world Scotsmen all with the same name. Eleanor Morton is a Scottish comedian and actress, and she has quite a few roughly 2-minute-long bits of humor in that line. Some of them are excellent.

The other three links are really good too. I remember a few years ago interviewing for three jobs in a row as a legal translator, and in all three cases, after the interview I was given the company's preferred version of the Raven progressive matrices. It made little sense, given my work history, but it's as if the hiring officers weren't really sure what to do when hiring people and ended up following the same fads like sheep.

Gus Van Horn said...

The Rom-Com at "excellent" above was spot-on. Thanks.