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Not By Blogs Alone Shall Man Live

With millions of sites floating through the blogosphere, who really has time to peek at even a fraction of them? Blogophile reads them for you and presents a weekly roundup of the buzz on must-read blogs. Blogophile appears new each Wednesday, and is written by's Melissa P. McNamara.

Are bloggers looking for career advice? You bet. And, if you're a CEO, bloggers may be out to get you. Find out what they have to say about one CEO's rather lengthy vacation. Plus, are you a Fibber? Find out below.

How Not To Get A Job

Are bloggers in need of career advice?

The third most popular blog post over the weekend was "How Not To Get A Job" on Meyerweb, and it gained steam Monday, becoming the top blog post.

The post provide an amusing list of responses from vice presidents and personnel directors of the 100 largest corporations when asked to describe their most unusual experience interviewing prospective employees. And according to this list, if you've ever challenged your interviewer to an arm wrestle or thought about bringing your dog to an interview, you wouldn't be the first to do so.

Most blogs simply linked to Meyerweb's list, but one blogger, Dave, writes, "Those actually searching for work should take note, if only as an example of what not to do (or of what is seen as notably unusual by interviewers). Also, proofread your resumes..."

And another top news story on the blogs was a USA Today article on Office Depot CEO, Steve Odland's ability to predict a person's character based on how they treat waiters. If you haven't guessed already, treating waiters rudely won't get you that dream job. USA Today reports that Odland says you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter…perhaps offering a cautionary tale for would-be Depot employees. And, apparently he's not the only CEO eyeing restaurant behavior. The newspaper got twelve CEOS to agree with the so-called "Waiter Rule."

Au Bon Pain co-founder Ron Shaich, now CEO of Panera Bread, even made a hiring decision on this. Shaich says he turned down a job candidate for general counsel because she was "amazingly rude" to someone cleaning the tables.

Most bloggers agree with the "waiter rule" (would you admit it if you didn't agree?) and are pleased to know companies care about such behavior.
"It's good to know smart business types won't hire people who are rude to waiters and their brethren," Waiterrant writes.

Vinny at Insignificant Thoughts agrees the "waiter rule" offers good insight. "I think the heart of the rule here is that people who don't treat someone with a menial job well tend not to think highly of the average person," he blogs. "I happen to agree with that, and think it's an excellent thing to examine in your friends, coworkers, and others."

And Jay at Accidental Verbosity blogs, "I especially like the anecdote about the CEO who trusted his counterpart in a negotiation to be able to get past the sticking points, just from observing his restaurant behavior. And can you just imagine dealing with the guy who would not speak directly to the waiter, but had to order through his assistant?"


It hasn't been a good week for CEOs in the blogosphere. Not only were bloggers critical of a CEO compensation package, but of another CEO's vacation time as well.

Exxon CEO Gets Mileage From Retirement

Lee Raymond, Exxon Mobile's former CEO may be one of the few not complaining about surging gas prices. News that Raymond drove off into retirement earlier this year with a $69.7 million compensation package and $98 million pension payout, causing bloggers to ask, "is this where our gas money is going?"

Many bloggers on the left were especially angry about a gas company's CEO getting such a large sum of money as consumers are left to pay high prices at the pump.

Like Bile, Snark & Sneer, many angry bloggers put the story under the headline, "In case you were wondering where the $3.25 a gallon for the gas was actually going..." The Real McCoy, "While the customers of Exxon and the other big oil companies, struggle to pay for fuel just to get to work or heat their homes this type of compensation is totally obscene."

Mike Brooks understands payment for a job well done, but writes, "still there is something obscene in an arrangement where one man makes $144,573 per day." "At the risk of sounding like a dreamy socialist, it seems to me that extreme inequities like this concentrate too much wealth and power in the hands of too few," he adds.

But Dick Bell at The Democracy Cell Project says the CEO's fortune was more the result of good timing and dumb luck than talent and skill. "To me, people taking such sums are little more than extremely lucky gamblers. Especially in an industry like the oil industry, where outside forces like the war in Iraq result in windfall profits, like Exxon's world-record setting $36 billion in profits in 2005," Dick writes. "Did Raymond have anything to do with the company earning so much money? Of course he did. But did most of that money fall into his hands because of his managerial genius? No, it didn't."

Other bloggers say Exxon giving its CEO a large retirement package while gas prices soar was, at the very least, a bad public relations move. Truth on the Market bloggers write, "What I find interesting is that Exxon was all too willing to pay—and defend—the package given the virtual certainty it would get slammed in the press. This is not the time for Fortune 50 companies to slip over-sized executive pay packages into the back of a proxy statement. They will get noticed—and publicized."

They have, indeed.


And over at Wal-Mart, the company's announcement that CEO Lee Scott is planning an "unusually long" month long getaway infuriated many bloggers who asked if he truly deserved this.

"If lunch is for wimps, what are month-long vacations for?" DealBreaker's Elizabeth Spiers questions.

"Wal-Mart may not be big on giving generous benefits to employees. But apparently, CEO Lee Scott gets a fair amount of vacation time," is how Daniel Gross views it.

But other bloggers note that Scott's vacation is his first since 2000…and criticize him for that. "Six years without a vacation! That's nuts," Ken Salwen writes. "At a minimum, it tells staffers that Scott believes he is so critical to any and all operations that they can't run without him. More seriously, though, it's not healthy to his own psyche or methods of managing."

Poet Who Didn't Know It

Thanks to the power of bloggers, Gregory Pincus went from screenwriter one day to star of the blogosphere the next. As The New York Times reports, Pincus got his 15-minutes of fame after he wrote a post on his blog, GottaBook, inviting readers to write "Fibs," six-line poems that use a mathematical progression known as the Fibonacci (after 13th-century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci) sequence to dictate the number of syllables in each line. As you may imagine, it's been called poetry for geeks.

Some mathematically-inclined poets sent Pincus their entries, but as the Times notes, after a friend posted his invitation on the popular Slashdot site (in the "from the nerdy haiku dept."), Fibs suddenly appeared everywhere online.

Blogger Sara Latta describes the phenomenon best, in Fib-form of course.

Who knew?
I just thought
They were little lies.
I think he's on to something here.

Pincus told the Times that more than 1,000 Fibs have been written since the beginning of April, ranging from postings on a website for actuaries to electronic musicians' blogs.

But Fibs are for amateurs, a Wisconsin blogger says, daring readers to make poetry from pi, a "pi-em," if you will. "Fibonacci sequence is cool for short poems, but for really heavy poetic lifting, try the decimal expansion of pi," he writes on Letter from Here. I couldn't begin to explain this, but if it may be helpful to note that a blogger did expand pi to the 100th decimal. And if counting syllables isn't your thing, here's a site that will do it for you.

Not only are bloggers rushing to create Fibs, but they are equally happy to see the the blogosphere spread ideas like Pincus' so quickly.

"I just think that it's amazing that a blogger can have a neat idea, see it catch on across the blog universe, and end up in the mainstream media. Very, very cool!" Jen Robinson writes.

Smallest, Coolest Apartments

As a New Yorker, this is one quirky contest that caught my attention. The blog Apartment Therapy is sponsoring its second annual national "Smallest, Coolest Apartment" contest. None of the apartments is larger than 650 square feet. The winner of the contest, run by the blog, will be announced today, and the top prize is a $2,500 store credit to Design Within Reach. Curious? Check out the entries.

By Melissa McNamara