Application Questions vs 5.0

Seeking barista to prep and cook food, from yam chips to hummus, kale salads to juices, dinosaur soup to weird shit. Serve and discipline customers too. Check out our yelp reviews to get a sense of store atmosphere and work culture. (You should be checking out yelp reviews of every restaurant you apply to. If you don’t, you’re a lazy dumbass who doesn’t give a shit about your future and other people).

Application questions below. Most of you won’t be able to figure out the point of the application. That’s ok. You’ve been brainwashed at school, by media, and your parents probably feed your narcissism by inflating your self-esteem, telling you how wonderful you are, even though you haven’t done jack shit in life. Most people prefer to let you keep failing instead of hurting your feelings. Our job is to bring you back to reality, reality about yourself and others. Apply only if you want to live with reality instead of escape and fantasy.

When answering the questions, be reflective, research online for clues. Dig deep. This won’t be easy. For most of you, it’ll be painful if you put in the effort (most of you have been taught to avoid pain at all cost). But there’s a reward in the end if you can figure out the application. No, not a job at Alive Juice Bar. Self-recognition is far more important than landing a job at a hole in a wall juice bar in some soulless suburban stripmall.

Another clue: be consistent. Be honest.

You don’t have to be a superstar. None of us at Alive Juice Bar are superstars. Apply only if you’d like to work with deeply flawed, mediocrities like us. Questions below. Bold face your answer. Pick best answer. Attach resume.


Earthquake during math class! Big enough to topple bookshelves. Nobody is hurt, everyone is okay, just jittery. What do you, as teacher, do?
a) Stop class, act jittery and anxious because that’s how you feel.
b) Have students clean up mess and continue class as if nothing happened. Assign double amount of homework and quizzes for rest of the week.
c) Stop class, bring in school psychologist to discuss how everyone is handling the event and “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Why are you so nice?
a) I’m hiding my incompetence by being nice so nobody except jerks calls me on it. Nice people don’t get criticized.
b) If I’m nice to others, they’ll return the favor.  It’ll help me get ahead in life.
c) I’m not, I’m just faking it to fit in.

How many hours a week does the CEO of Walmart work?

How many hours a week does the CEO of Yahoo work?

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 100

Your child comes home with a “B” on a Math test. You:
a) Congratulate him for doing a great job.
b) Berate him for not doing better because “B” is for Bitch.
c) Call teacher to ask why her tests are so hard.

Who is overpaid?
a) Microsoft Engineer making $150,000 a year, full benefits, 3 weeks paid vacation,matching 401k.
b) McDonald’s Cook making $10/hour, no benefits, no paid vacation.
c) Police Officer making $75,000 a year, full benefits, 4 weeks paid vacation, lifetime pension after retirement (20 years service).

What does the CEO of Walmart do all day?
a)Figures out new ways to exploit hard workers like me.
b)Sets strategy and vision, negotiates partnerships, builds company culture, and manages supply chains to ensure consumers get what they want when they want it.
c)Bangs his hot secretary.

How often do you experience road rage?
a) Once a day
b) Once a week
c) Never

Why are you so mean?
a) I’m impatient, I get annoyed at people easily.
b) I’m not mean, I’m nice, I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings.  Mean people suck.
c) If I’m not mean, I’ll get stepped on.  They’ll crush me.

Why are you so silly?
a) I’m not silly, you’re the one who is silly.
b) I’m stoned.
c) I don’t see the point in taking life so seriously.  In the end, we’re all going to die.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I’m not lazy.
b) I don’t have enough responsibilities.
c) I have chronic fatigue syndrome.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I get stressed out easily.
b) I’m self-centered and self-absorbed, so I don’t like making sacrifices for others. It’s too much work.
c) I like having fun. I need rest and relaxation.

Why do you work so hard?
a) I have a lot of responsibilities
b) I’m ambitious, I want to do something special
c) I don’t work hard, I’m lazy

Why are your friends boring?
a) They’re not boring. They’re a lot of fun.
b) They never want to try anything new. They talk about and do the same things over and over again. They’re really conventional.
c) I don’t know.

How many years SHOULD you spend in jail?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) more than 3

Why are you so lazy?
a) I daydream a lot.
b) I’m bored.
c) I make excuses and blame others when something goes wrong.

What was Eminem likely doing on random date, 2003?
a) Getting high and smacking his hoes
b) Working alone in recording studio, repeating same three lines over and over again.
c) Getting his dick sucked by two of his dancers.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m lazy and obedient, so I don’t ask questions.
b) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point.
c) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!

Why are you so smart?
a)I’m not smart, only stupid people think they’re smart
b)I’ve always worked hard and set the highest standards for myself. I took the most challenging courses and tasks and wouldn’t accept anything less than an “A” at school and at work.
c) I’m naturally smart, it’s God given.

Why do you hate poor people?
a) We hate those we’re afraid of becoming. I’m afraid I’ll become or am one of them
b) I don’t hate them. I want to help them by showing them how to become better, someone more like me.
c) They’re lazy and have bad habits that are ruining society. They’re hopeless.

What was Tupak Shakur most likely doing during a typical evening?
a) Reading Diary of Anais Nin
b) Drinking his 40 and smacking his hoes
c) Having a threesome and some cocaine.

How many people do you hate?
a) 0
b) 1-5
c) More than 5

What would you do to someone you hate?
a) Fart on them.
b) Get Dark Ages on them, dungeon style
c) Death by thousand cuts.

Person A from age 5 to 25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 4 hours a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time learning to build and building, with like-minded friends, random things, like a tree house, a bridge, a dog walking robot. A also spends an hour per day daydreaming of building something that will improve world’s standard of living. At age 25, he graduates with a Masters degree in electrical engineering and is offered a salary of $150,000 to work as a product developer for a green tech company. He gets 3 weeks vacation, full benefits. He accepts the position and works 60-80 hours per week, and is expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails during his vacations. He pays Federal Government 30 percent of his earnings.

Person B, from age 5-25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 1 hour a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time passively watching TV shows and films like Jersey Shore and Twilight, 3 hours a day daydreaming about being wealthy and pampered and adored by everyone. At age 25, he graduates with a degree in Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Unable to find a job in his field of study, he takes a job as a cashier at McDonald’s, making $10 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $20,000 for the year. He doesn’t have to pay taxes.
Let’s assume one of them is “underpaid.” Which one and why?

Multiple Choice
What did Walmart founder Sam Walton drive?
a)Beat up pickup truck

Why are you so stupid?
a)I don’t know what I don’t know.
b) For the last time, I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!
c) You’re the dumbass for asking this dumbass question, like, 3 times.  This is some fucked up shit, I’m out, motherfucker.

Open Ended Question

Mary hires Peter and Paul to dig two ditches, assigning one to each. Peter finishes in one hour because he used his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper. Paul, using a shovel, finishes his in 8 hours. How much should Mary pay Peter. How much to Paul? Whom should she hire if she wants a third ditch?

How do poor people talk?
a) They brag about themselves, make themselves seem better than they are.
b) They like to talk a lot about their problems.
c) They talk like desperate victims, begging for help.

How many hours did Peter spend developing his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper?
a) 2, genius comes naturally to him
b) 200, he got a lucky break
c) 2000, innovation is hard work

Why are you so lazy?
a) There’s no point in working hard. Life is unfair, it won’t get me anywhere.
b) Most of my friends are lazy. It’s contagious.
c) I’ve never been exposed to those who work hard, like 100 hours a week.

Why are you so nice?
a) I’m lazy and have low standards.
b) I want to be liked and popular.
c) I’m not nice.  I’m responsible and want to get shit done.


How We Can Improve Schools (Without Spending More Money)

Businesses depend on a competent labor force to thrive and grow.  If it were up to me, I’d get rid of compulsory education because sending kids to bad schools is like sending them to bad hospitals — we’re killing their natural love of learning, their childlike sense of wonder.  Doing so would improve working conditions for teachers (won’t have to deal with those who don’t want to and shouldn’t be there), freeing resources to increase salaries of most effective teachers and an excuse to fire the incompetent. Since ending compulsory education is too radical an idea for most, let’s discuss reform instead.  More money isn’t the solution.  It’s like giving a .200 hitter more money in hopes that he’ll start hitting .300.  People don’t work that way.  Money does not improve performance.  It only improves recruitment and retention of better performers.

1. Get rid of foreign language requirement.  Not get rid of foreign language classes.  Most students will take first year foreign language and drop out after two or three quarters.  The ones who really want to learn a foreign language will still be able to do so (and in any case, they’d learn it with or without school).  Most are sitting through French 3 or Spanish 3 or whatever without learning anything.  It’s a waste of time and resources.  Come on, how many people in Spanish 3 actually speak even broken Spanish? If we’re serious about foreign language acquisition — very important part of education as it positively alters brain structure — start in 1st grade.  Total immersion, two hours a day.  Resources wasted on foreign language classes in high school can be used to develop grade school language classes.

2. Rote memorization is not the same as rote learning.  Incorporate rote memorization to prevent students from ultimately relying on rote learning.  Rote memorization does not stifle creativity, it is the first step to mastery.  Rote learning makes creativity impossible, and that’s how most students I’ve met learn — they’re obsessed with getting the right answer instead of asking good questions.  Rote learning happens when students don’t understand the point of what they’re learning. And the reason why they don’t get the point is because they lack fundamental skills that are best developed through rote memorization.  Students who don’t know the multiplication tables by heart will do poorly on standardized tests of math skills because it takes them too long to finish problems and on higher level math problems.  The low test scores confirms to students that they’re not good at math, when that isn’t true, they just don’t have fundamentals down because some moron with a PhD in a bullshit field like Education believes rote memorization of table would stifle creativity and prevent students from understanding multiplication.  No wonder so many American students — including the 4.0 students — are psychologically broken when it comes to Math (and most other subjects).  Think of it this way.  If you want to be a great baseball hitter, what do you do?  You drill, drill, drill, 1000 hits per day.  Want to be a great tennis player?  Same thing.  Drill against a wall.  Not exciting or glamorous, tedious to most people in fact, but they can’t be creative on the court until their body has the fundamentals memorized.  Excellence in any profession requires thousands of hours of drilling drilling drilling.  Get students used to drilling — memorizing formulas, historical facts, spelling, vocabulary.  Have them memorize poems, passages, Emimen lyrics, whatever, just get that memory muscle trained early and often. Still worried about their creativity?  Well, recent PISA scores show that 30 percent of Shanghai students are able to apply mathematical concepts in novel situations, while only 2 percent of American counterparts can do the same.  In other words, Shanghai students are MORE creative than their American counterparts.  Much more so.  Once China gets its infrastructure together and has entire nation fluent in English, innovators will mostly be Chinese (or non-Chinese working in China, similar to how US depends on non-Americans for many of its innovations).

3. Give reading that’s relevant.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in the value of the Classics — provides insight into human nature and condition — but most students, including those taking AP classes, are NOT going to read Shakespeare, Homer, Faulkner, Sun-Tzu, Thucydides, whatever.  They pretend to do their reading.  They’re just faking it.  Giving them reading they won’t read is a waste of time and resources.  You can’t force people to do what they don’t want to do.  So give them reading that will interest them.  I’m not saying we should dumb everything down to Harry Potter.  Teachers should give students list a books to choose from.  Empower the students, let them make a choice.   One of my former employees, who graduated with a 3.7 GPA, confessed to me that stopped reading after 9th grade.  She started reading again, and often, when she encountered Anthony Bourdain.  An author like Bourdain works, especially with working class kids.  Not just because of his foul mouthed badass style and sordid tales of sex and debauchery that kids find entertaining, but because because he teaches reality (schools teach fantasy), how to deal with life that is cruel, painful, and lonely. He teaches importance of work ethic, of being reliable, what it takes to reach the pinnacle of any profession.  I guarantee you entire school will be reading daily if we assign them material they can easily relate to.  Just get them reading.  Then we can let them decide if they want to study Milton.

4. Teach students how to read.  Get them in habit of reading a passage and then writing three questions instead of answering three comprehension questions.  They need to be engaged with the reading, challenging it to understand it.  This will break rote learning habit.  And the habit of wanting to give right answer instead of asking questions. Learning only happens when one asks questions.

5. Pair math and science classes with trade classes for all students.  Like Geometry and auto mechanics.  Physics and construction.  Farming and calculus.  Cooking and chemistry.  Whatever students need while they’re at school.  Students need to see relevance of their classes.  Otherwise, they snooze.  This also gets them work experience.  Have them build and repair things for the school.  Making useful products helps them build pride and dignity.

6. Make competitive athletics required.  PE isn’t enough, cancel it.  Not intense enough, school pride isn’t at stake. They need to learn to sacrifice their bodies to the school.  Only then will they feel responsible for it and their schoolmates.  If we don’t put them through pain, they will not love school.  Competitive athletics also makes the body and its movements more graceful. Those who don’t want to be on the field can work as team managers.  As long as they’re part of a team.

7. Give them control of school maintenance.  Some pay 50k a year so their kids attend a school that has them working in the kitchen and cleaning up school grounds.  So why can’t public schools do the same?  Are our kids too good for floor mopping?  Imagine the money saved. And the habits instilled.  Guarantee there will be fewer incidences of vandalism because have too much invested in maintenance of school grounds.  The entire school culture will change if students are in charge of basic operations.

8. Give them freedom to express themselves artistically.  Educator John Taylor Gatto and Pink Floyd have described schools as prisons. Perhaps give each class a graffiti wall.  They can paint over it at end of each year for following class.  It’s like a cost-effective art class that will make schools feel less sterile.  Cancel art classes except for AP Art.  Better to have students build a shed than to make jewelry.  Artistic expression isn’t limited to art classes.  Art is everywhere.

9. School uniforms.  This is especially important in communities like SnoKing, where student body is drawn from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.  Make it more difficult for students to form cliques, help them see past socio-economic difference so they don’t get distracted by envy and peer pressure.  Uniforms will give them a sense of belonging (even if they don’t like what they belong to).   Those afraid they’ll lose their individuality need to get a grip.  Americans are obsessed with individuality even though very few understand what it means in context of American political culture.  Most students think of individuality as personal rights (entitlement) and freedom of expression, not as individual responsibility to others and society and humanity.  Most students conform to peer pressure within their social group.  People don’t become individuals just because they get to choose their own clothes.  Becoming an individual is a Sisyphean process of self-reflection and self-improvement.  Letting students believe they’re already individuals only inflates their self-esteem, making it impossible for them to grow.

10. Get students used to performing in public.  Have them work through problems in front of classmates.  Have classmates help them when they struggle.  Have them recite and perform passages and poems in front of class, with best performing in front of school.  Get them used to embarrassment, humiliation, fucking up.  They need to learn to deal with failure, because most of life is failure.

11. Increase class sizes, hire fewer teachers.  A great teacher is much more productive than a mediocre teacher.  Bad teachers are like bad doctors, they produce negative value, fuck everything up.  Better to have a great teacher teach a class of 50 than two mediocre teachers teach class of 25 each.  Famed math teacher Jaime Escalante produced impressive results despite classes with 50 students (against union rules) in a low income neighborhood.  Reducing class sizes doesn’t improve results by much.  Quality of teaching and leadership matters more.  Most classes at a top high school like Stuyvesant are over 30 (and would be more if not for union restrictions).  Class sizes in South Korea are typically 35-40.

Schools are supposed to provide fundamentals so graduates are ready for work-force.  Most, including colleges, fail to do so.  Considerable time and money is spent to get students to unlearn habits and attitudes picked up in school.



Politics of Minimum Wage, Part VI: How to Negotiate One’s Wage

What’s the value of one’s labor?  How much is “fair”? Ever wonder how agents of professional athletes calculate the value of their clients contributions (sabermetrics)?

The self-absorbed cannot calculate the value of their labor because they understand their work only subjectively, never in terms of objective value they produce for and in comparison to other people.  They rely on subjective categories to calculate how much they think they should be paid, such as how “gross” and difficult they think a job is; how much their body aches after work; how hard and long they think they work, regardless of productivity and actual contribution.  They act like victims, beg for help.  Which ironically only makes them easier to exploit. The undignified are easily dehumanized.

Imagine a world where everyone is a rational economic actor.  That is, they use resources solely to improve or create more resources.  For instance, you purchase a nail for one cent, in hopes that it will increase the value of your house by 3 cents.  (Don’t get sidetracked now, don’t start asking about intrinsic value of working with a nail just for fun.  That’s another issue).  And increasing your house by 3 cents means you increase your credit by 9 cents.  Which allows you to purchase another house, a fixer.  Repeat process.

You’re like that nail.  If you cost 3 cents and can only add 2 cents of value, than those who are rational won’t want you because you don’t add value. (Good news is most of us, I included, are irrational consumers. I make dumb purchases all the time).  The point is, stop telling prospective employer that you’re hard working.  Nearly EVERYONE says that and few employers believe it until they see it (their perception is your reality). Stop thinking you’re hard working. It’s a subjective assessment that doesn’t tell us anything about your productivity.  How hard you work is irrelevant.  If you want to work harder, start believing you’re a stupid, lazy, cunt (what I call myself everyday).

A cashier started at $10 an hour.  Six months later, she asks for a $5/hour raise.  Employer gives it to her.  How did she convince her employer to give her such a large raise?

a) She offered to suck his dick
b) She promised to not tell his wife about his affair with Mr Wiley
c) She provided evidence that she’s twice as fast as second fastest cashier.  And makes 25% fewer mistakes than average cashier.  She presents a well thought out formula that shows she provides 8 times the value of her wage.

Without multiple choice, most applicants pick A or B.  Meaning we have a jaded, exploitative, fucked up working class labor force.  Or maybe I’ve just been sheltered my entire life.

Anyway, so she’s twice as fast as next fastest.  Meaning compared to next best, she is twice as productive.  Actually, more than twice as productive because she makes fewer mistakes.  And it means employer has to deal with one fewer employee, which simplifies running the business.  So basically, she has him by the balls, squeezes them a bit as she asks for $18 an hour.  He whimpers back with a high pitched “how about $14?”  She squeezes harder.  Soon they agree to $15 an hour and promotion to manager so she can train others to be as efficient as she.  And a promise of $18 an hour if she can get staff improve efficiency by 50%.  Employer is grateful to have her at $18 an hour if she can improve efficiency by that much because she would be saving him so much money that he can finally expand.  She gets a big raise because she provides great value.  More importantly, she understands her value and will fight for recognition of her contributions. In this dog-eat-dog world, she fights for respect instead of begging to not be eaten.