Monday, April 20, 2015

“Over qualified” people who’ve made great contributions to society

Author:  Barbara Perone
              Writer | Editor | Reporter | Technical Writer | Proofreader

These days, many people in their 40s may feel certain companies just don’t want to hire them because they consider them to be “over qualified.” And the feeling is worse for those in their 50s and 60s. Sometimes they feel as though a few employers believe that their age may prevent them from performing the tasks necessary to complete a job or that they may not be able to learn new things as quickly like their younger, high-tech counterparts.

Not all companies have this mindset but for the scant few that do perhaps they should consider the list of major achievements made by a few people who could be categorized as “over qualified.”
  •  Comedienne Lucille Ball was nearly 40 when her megahit television show, I Love Lucy, first aired on American television. Since its inception in the 1950s, this TV show is still running on American television.
  • Eugene Polley was 40 when he invented The Flash-Matic, the wireless television remote control.
  • Writer/Comedian Larry David was 41 years old when he began writing 62 episodes of Seinfeld, one of the most successful television situation comedies in television history.
  • American Chemist Stephanie Kwolek was 41 years old when she worked for DuPont and invented Kevlar, a light weight, strong-as-steel substance used in bulletproof vests.
  • Physicist Albert Einstein was 42 years old when he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of photoelectric effect.
  • Ruth Handler, former president of Mattel, Inc., was 43 years old when she launched her 11-inch Barbie doll at the American International Toy Fair.
  • Famed American Inventor Thomas Alva Edison was 44 years old when he invented and patented the motion picture camera.
  • French car designer Louis Reard was 49 when he invented the first tiny, two-pieced, women’s bathing suit called the bikini, named after Bikini Atoll in the North Pacific, where the United States (U.S.) Navy tested two atomic bombs.
  • Julia Child did not become a famous chef until she was 51 years old.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was 51 years old when he was elected the 32nd president of the United States.
  • Abraham Lincoln was 51 years old when he became the 16th president of the United States.
  • A few years ago, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III was 51 years old when the airbus he piloted lost engine power, forcing him to ditch his plane into the Hudson River. The captain and his crew, who ranged in age from 51 to 58, safely evacuated all 155 passengers from the downed airliner.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was 52 years old when he assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress and helped ease poverty, promote women’s rights, and end untouchability in India.
  • Pablo Picasso was 56 years old when he painted Guernia, one of his more famous works of art.
  • George Washington was 57 years old when he became the 1st American president.
  • Winston Churchill was 65 years old when he became prime minister of Great Britain.
  • Jazz musician Miles Davis was still recording at age 65.
  • Noah Webster was 66 when he finished the American Dictionary of English Language.
  • French President Charles de Gaulle made a political comeback when he was 68.
  • Casey Stengel was 71 when he began managing The New York Mets.
  • American singer-song writer Ray Charles was still performing at age 73.
  • Larry King was 73 years old when he celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.
  • Test Pilot Chuck Yeagar was 74 when he reenacted the time he broke the sound barrier in 1947.
  • Astronaut John Glenn was 77 when he became the oldest human being to go into space while participating in a study that showed how space flight affected older adults.
  • Grandma Moses, a.k.a., Anna Mary Robertson, was 77 years old when she began painting; she continued working until she was 101.
  • Actress Jessica Tandy was 80 when she received an Oscar for her portrayal of Miss Daisy in the hit film Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Comedienne Phyllis Diller was 80 years old when she performed the voice over role as queen of the ants in the Disney/Pixar animated movie A Bug’s Life.
  • Comedian George Burns was 81 years old when he played the role of God in the movie Oh, God! Burns continued entertaining audiences until shortly before his death at age 100.
  • Comedian Bob Hope was 91 years old when he finally retired from show business. Like Burns, Hope also lived to be 100.
  • Finally, he’s not famous, but Ralph “Waldo” McBurney was said to be the oldest worker in the United States. Shortly before his death at 106, McBurney was still working as a beekeeper in Quinter, Kansas. He even wrote a self-published book entitled My First 100 Years.

So, it would appear that age may not really be a limiting factor when it comes to one’s ability to do one’s job and do it well into one’s golden years.

Note: The facts in this article came from

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Check your breath before you go to that job interview
Author:  Barbara Perone
              Writer | Editor | Reporter | Technical Writer | Proofreader
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re on your way to your umpteenth job interview, armed with résumés, tons of business cards, your cell phone, maybe even your laptop or I-Pad. You’re wearing shiny shoes and the standard navy blue or black suit, your hair is perfectly cut, combed, or coiffed, – but, uh, how’s your breath?
Most job seekers may be unaware that they have bad breath or halitosis, the scientific name for this odorous problem. Yet, it’s a common condition for lots of people and can have many causes, according to WebMD, including:
  • a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, sometimes caused by slow saliva production
  • failure to brush one’s teeth or scrape one’s tongue twice daily
  • improper flossing
  • low carbohydrate diets that produce ketones to break down body fat
  • dehydration, caused by not drinking enough water each day
  • consumption of alcoholic beverages/coffee
  • certain medications that cause dry mouth
  • smoking cigarettes/cigars
  • consuming strong smelling foods such as garlic or onions
  • problems with cavities/unhealthy gums
  • digestive system problems
  • strep throat
  • a sinus infection
  • liver or lung disorders
The first sign you may have that your breath might not be so hot is to observe the body language of others that surround you as you talk to them during a: networking event, presentation, job fair, or happy hour, etc.
If you are up close when speaking to someone and notice the person doing a subtle little back step; or, if he or she actually backs up a couple of steps, it’s a sure sign your breath probably smells a little bit like your German Shepherd’s.
Now, I swear, I’m not making this up, but actually recommends a couple ways to test your breath odor. One way is to lick your wrist, wait five seconds for your skin to dry. Then sniff your wrist; if you detect an odor, there’s your answer.
Another way seems a bit gross, but here goes … take a teaspoon, turn it upside down, place it way in the back of your mouth (try not to gag). Scrape your tongue and take a whiff of the scrapings. If there’s no aroma, you’re in the clear. If you detect a smell, go brush & floss your teeth, grab a breath mint, or gargle with some mint-flavored mouthwash.
If that doesn’t work, go breathe on your: spouse/significant other, kid, boyfriend/girlfriend, co-worker, or friend and ask that person to tell you the truth about your breath. (Once, I did this with a trusted friend of mine. First, we laughed, then we each immediately popped one of those melt-away breath strips in our mouths!)
Unfortunately, in our ultra-polite society, bad breath is one thing people just won’t discuss with one another. Oh, they’ll be happy to give you an opinion about why the economy is so bad or tell you what they think of the latest disaster on the news, but as to your stinky breath – that topic’s verboten.
Obviously, besides brushing your teeth & flossing twice daily and gargling with mouthwash containing chlorine dioxide, there’re a couple of other ways to curb any foul odors emanating from your pie hole. You can use a tongue scraper. You can also drink lots and lots of water, particularly when your mouth feels dry.
You can also eat a few carbs, consume smaller regular meals, chew sugarless gum or suck on mints, especially after meals, according to WebMD. (The carb thing is surprising, isn’t it?)
If the problem persists, and you have dental insurance, it may be time for a trip to the dentist to make sure gum disease or cavities aren’t causing people to distance themselves from your mouth.

So, before you leave the house for that all-important job interview, gargle with mouthwash (the straight stuff, no water), throw several packages of sugar free gum or breath mints in  your car/purse, and go knock ‘em dead – with your qualifications – not your breath.              

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Call Back Is Like Waiting For A Second Date.

Question: What did you do before the interview?

Author:  Barbara Perone
              Writer | Editor | Reporter | Technical Writer | Proofreader

Okay, you’re deliriously happy because you’ve just had a fantastic interview you feel you’ve aced. Now you’re just waiting for the call back. You’re spirits soar as you quickly email thank you notes to all the appropriate people. Then, you wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more.

After two weeks, as you come back down to earth from that cloud you’ve been floating on, you email the hiring manager. You ask whether he or she feels you are ready for the next round of interviews; or, you boldly ask if you actually landed the position.

Then, no response. So, you wait, and you wait, and you wait some more. Inside your head you’re screaming at the tops of your lungs, “The suspense is killing me, just tell me is it yes or no!” You feel as though you cannot move on with any aspect of your job search until you have a definitive answer.

Sound familiar? Waiting for the job interview call back is a lot like waiting for someone to ask you out for a second date.

During the “first date,” everything seemed fine, even lighthearted. You were all smiles, “your date,” the interviewer, was all smiles, too. You both ended things on a high note. You left the interview feeling giddy with delight, over the moon. You were excited, too, because things just seemed so hunky dory.

Then, you received the dreaded news. You found out that you didn’t get the job after all, even though it was the one you really, really wanted. Instantly, your hopes were dashed. Naturally, you felt devastated by this terrible, heart-wrenching news.

So, you ask yourself, “Why does this keep happening to me?” What am I doing wrong?” “How much rejection is one person supposed to take in life?” “This really, really stinks!” “This just isn’t fair!” “Life isn’t fair!” “Quick, somebody put a cookie in my mouth, NOW!”
Okay, let’s calm down a bit. Let’s talk about rejection and heartbreak, two subjects where I appear to have real expertise.

Over the years, I’ve been rejected for all sorts of jobs I thought I was perfect for; jobs I really, really wanted and knew I could perform easily. But, I never seemed to get those jobs. Instead, they always went to somebody else. Story of my life …

Whenever I didn’t get that plumb job, each rejection shattered my confidence to smithereens and truly broke my spirit. It seemed to happen to me over and over again. I’ll admit, it was truly painful. But, I powered through and soldiered on because that’s what you do in life. What else could I do, cry into my bowl of tapioca?

How did I cope? I tried to remember that a moving target is hard to hit. So, like all the deer and Canadian geese in New Jersey, my advice to you is to just keep moving, no matter what. And, maybe, just maybe, the tractor-trailer of life won’t flatten you.

It’s funny, but the same thing keeps happening in my love life. When it comes to  matters of the heart, mine has been broken about a million times over. If a surgeon opened my chest today, my poor ticker would look so fractured it’d probably resemble a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

But, mind you, I’m not complaining about it. I’m merely making an analogy here. There seems to be a definite link between waiting for the interview call back and waiting for that special someone to be part of your life.

Love does not come to all who seek it. It only comes to a select few. For whatever reason, I’m just not part of that special group. As they say, “it is what it is.” I’ve learned to just accept it. For me, it’s no biggie. This kind of rejection happens to millions of other people all around the world. Enough said. 

Once, when I was at a terribly low point in my life, heartbroken over what some guy I was seeing did, or said to me, my beloved aunt took me aside, gently lifted my chin with her fingertips, looked into my tear-filled eyes, and asked me this one simple question: “What did you do before him?”

The wise old fox explained that I had a life before him; I had friends before him; I went out with other guys before him. The statement made a great deal of sense to me then and it still does today.

So, just relax a bit. Try to think of the job interview call back from that perspective. Ask yourself this question: What did I do before the interview?

Remember, you had a life before the interview. You had fun with family and friends before the interview. You even had a whole host of other interviews before that interview.
So, in the grand scheme of things, what’s so special about that particular interview? If you don’t get that job, will the world suddenly stop rotating on its axis? Will it violently spin out of control and crash into the sun? Will life on earth, as we know it, suddenly cease to exist?

Will the aliens land in New Jersey, take over the Garden State Parkway, and force us all to wear those stupid-looking silver jumpsuits? Will I ever stop talking like an old-fashioned soap opera announcer? Okay, I think I’ve gotten that announcer thing out of my system now …. whew!

Look at it this way, this one rejection may only mean that there is a much better job waiting for you around the bend of the river. Don’t you see? You weren’t supposed to get that job because the perfect job is on its way. Just think about the call back that way. If you do, I guarantee you won’t feel as hurt or devastated or disappointed as you did before you read this article.

Trust me, bunky, it’ll all work out just fine and dandy, you’ll see. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll gladly lend you my bowl of tapioca …