The Ladders got a ‘makeover’ but didn’t need to

Something disturbs me greatly at a visceral level about the latest commercial from The Ladders.

In his latest email newsletter, Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO (@cenedella) explained the commercials and the creative process behind it. I still didn’t buy it. It felt like someone handed me a dog turd and told me it was fine European chocolate.

And while you are chewing on that visual, watch the commercial.


View on YouTube | The rest

Really, I get it. Average-looking people with exceptional skills look fantastically sexy to quality employers. It’s a good concept and not one I’m going to argue with. But what I do have an issue with is how they are portrayed it in the video.

The premise The Ladders capitulated to is simple; eventually, everything comes down to sex. Period. Even job skills, brains, ability, aptitude and attitude. To be seen as qualified to do the job, you must also be seen as sexy.

That saddens me greatly.

How many qualified women have been hired based on their “skills” and years later found out it was because “she has a nice rack?” Or qualified men being hired because “he had a nice a**?” For someone who values skills, experience and smarts over looks, that is insulting.

I don’t know how else you could have depicted qualified candidates as attractive, but I know this visual is more insulting than complimentary. The Ladders went and gave itself a makeover, but didn’t need to. The quality employees and employers already found them more than attractive. For all the right reasons.

I’m not entirely sure who The Ladders hired to create and shoot the commercials, but perhaps they should have reached just a little further up the ladder for the better label. Perhaps they will next time around. They need to be what they sell.

*Yeah, I’m pretty hot-looking and I have a nice a**, so this isn’t sour grapes, just in case you want to snipe at me. If I wanted to get hired based on my looks, I’d aspire to be a model. I’d rather be seen as a talented writer and thinker; worth well over $100K. And I did get the the Nastassja Kinski cultural reference. Very clever, geeks are well-endowed, ok, subtle. Yes, that is sarcasm. Or is it?

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How this financial disaster is like Catholicism

The Papal Seal of the Roman Catholic Church
The Papal Seal of the Roman Catholic Church
I grew up Catholic.

One of the things you learn very early on is this earthly life is a test of your faith for a reward of either heaven and eternal life or hell and eternal damnation. Life here is supposed to be hard, we are supposed to feel pain because these trials are what helps God determine what kind of person who are and what our reward should be. Yes, I know I am grossly over-simplifying this and I have a large contingent of theologian friends with whom I can argue all day long, so if you don’t agree, please just take that on face value. It will help the analogy move along much quicker.

So you go to Church every Sunday, you help the poor, you don’t commit mortal sins, you do all the things that make you a good Catholic and that in turn will make you a good person. Now, here is where faith wears thin. As you get older, temptations become stronger, specifically, wine, women and song. These things are really, really fun and they make the promise of heaven or hell — while eternal — not believable.

If there is no heaven or hell, if this life is all there is, you sure will have wasted a whole lot of good fun. But, if there is a heaven and hell, and you succumbed to the sins of the flesh, you are in deep do-do.

Moving over to your secular life, as a good citizen, you do good things as well. You live within your means by not buying a house you can’t afford, save money in a retirement plan, don’t put a 58″ plasma TV on a credit card at 28% interest, don’t buy a cherry red Hummer which is really, really yummy looking…. oh, you’re still there… forgive me reader, for I have sinned….

If you are living within your means (good Catholic) and all your neighbors who went out and got drunk on over-priced homes, televisions, cars and stocks get bailed out by the Federal Government (God) what was the point of you living within your means? What if you living within your means actually means that your house is now worth 70% of what it was, you have to spend down your savings because you lose your job and you have no TV to watch to wile away your days of unemployment? Does a great FICO score get you into heaven or is it a worthless ticket?

Are the fiscally responsible who have not been living the high-life of comfort and excess going to now be forced to live with even less because of the sins of their neighbors? Doesn’t God just punish the sinners? How is this fair?

Well it isn’t and it makes one question the value of being a “good citizen.” If I knew with absolute certainty that there is no God, no heaven and no hell, I would be having more fun in this earthly life. I would be sinning and I would care less about the other puppies on this planet. After all, this would be the only go-around I would get and to not grab all I can out of the deal would just be silly.

If I knew with absolute certainty that no matter how fiscally irresponsible I was that eventually the Federal Government would bail me out, that they would force my bank to give me a better interest rate and that I could get a new Hummer every year and a big screen TV for every room of my house, I would not care about excessive credit card debt or paying any part of the principle on my home loan. Saving for a rainy day would be just silly.

But, I am not a gambler and the odds of there actually being a God are a little higher than there not being a God. At any rate, the possibility of spending an eternity frying my tail off just doesn’t sound all that much fun. Why risk it. And, being Catholic, I can always go to confession after sinning (don’t tell God about the loophole.)

I believe that the lack of mental anxiety that comes with living within your means is worth it. Like the Vatican, I don’t believe the government cares about me personally other than I behave myself and don’t make too many waves. By keeping me in a house, family and self-inflicted poverty, they is accomplishing their goal.

I will come out of this recession more intact than my drunken neighbors. I just hope the government can figure out a way to reward the responsible citizen while also making the sinners pay.

But I know our government also believes there is a God and they are leaving the sorting of the sinners to him (or her.) That vote is just way, way too risky and there are no confessionals in Congress.

Scott McClellan from a dog’s point of view

There is a lot of talk about Scott McClellan’s new book. Comments from it range of “now, we know the truth” to “he is bitter” to … oh, who really cares. Just everyone shut up already. If you want, buy and read the book, if not, just quit talking like you know anything.

Here is the canine take on what really happened in the White House and is best illustrated by the fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes, written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, 171 years ago! Amazing we knew so much about humanity back then and still we don’t pay attention. Kids, stay in school, crack a book!

For anyone under 40ish, here is the synopsis from Wikipedia,

An emperor who cares too much about clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital show off his new “clothes”. During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, “But he has nothing on!” The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth and begins laughing. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession.

But, this is a fairy tale, so the emperor had to be the laughing stock. But, here is what would have happened if this were a true story.

Royal guards would burst out of the royal procession and beat the kid to death in a bloody attack, in full public view. Then, they would have arrested the kid’s family, beating them the entire way to the dungeon, where they would have been tortured and held without a lawyer indefinitely. Do you think the crowd would keep laughing? Do you think the crowd would turn on the royal guards and administer mob justice? Probably not. They would have kept their heads down, waved like they meant it and worked on trying to get out of the parade and go home as quickly as possible.

A lot of royal guards burst out of the royal procession after 9/11. And the crowd did not stop them and did not speak up. The few who did were beaten back like a bratty little kid. And deep in their hearts, the crowd knew this was wrong, yet kept silent because they didn’t want to get beaten and they didn’t want to get hauled off. (Bill O’Reilly, if you are reading this, this is a METAPHOR for what happened, not a literal representation. You use a lot of big words at the end of your show to describe how folks should write you. Can you say metaphor?)

For the people who are saying “If Scott felt this way, he should have spoken up sooner, not write a book later.” Hmmm…. 171 years ago, Andersen knew this. I think what Scott did was kept his head down, waved and tried to figure out how to get home as quickly as possible. Then, when he was safe, he cried out “The emperor is wearing no clothes.” But, the royal guards came after him anyway. And probably will for a very long time.

Please read, then speak. In that order. Start here.

Averaging averages

Spend a weekend watching the news on TV. I did and here is what I conclude.

  • News anchors are really, really stupid and shallow people.
  • No news we like means we’ll just make up news
  • There can only be 3-5 news stories on TV at any one time, REGARDLESS of how many news channels you have in your cable package. Really???
  • Pundits spend their time commenting on comments that were made by people who commented on comments that other people may or may not have said or commented on what somebody else said … isn’t that like averaging averages???

And who the hell needs pundits, anyway. Most of them really have no clue what they are really talking about. They just like being on TV and being called on night or day for their “expertise” because it makes them feel important. For example, Ted Kennedy has a couple of seizures. Who does CNN trot out to fill them in? Dr. Sanjay Gupta. What??? He spends most of his time speculating on what kind of seizure Kennedy might have had and could have had and the prognosis of stuff that may not be true and the long-term effects of stuff that may have happened. Dr. Gupta is an expert at ANYTHING remotely medical. Wow! He must be the smartest man alive!

*HOWWWWWWWLLLL* Is there just not that much news elsewhere??

Read, think, don’t draw conclusions from headlines alone. I’m just a dog and even I know that a headline is just a “hook” to get you into the story, not the story itself. And whatever you do, if you don’t know what you are talking about, keep your mouth shut and your ears open. God made those organs at a 2:1 ratio for a damn good reason.

And don’t be arguing with God. He is the original pundit and the only one who really knows what he is talking about. 🙂 CNN should call him (or her, I don’t really know) on slow news days.

Colors of the Union

I watched the State of the Union last night.. mostly what I heard was that voice that Charlie Brown hears whenever the teacher talks, so I drifted off quite a bit and started looking at other things.. Here is what I noticed:

Dick Chaney was wearing a purple tie… but not a REAL purple tie; i was more red than blue. Is that a small concession or a little private joke from Lynn, who you know dressed him. I vote it is a private joke. *chuckle*

President Bush was wearing a blue tie, but not a REAL blue tie.. a light blue tie. Can you say “I acknowledge blue, but I’m not going to commit to the full, rich, deep color blue”? And, when was the last time you saw a Democrat wearing a light red tie… oops, that would be pink and I think Donald Trump already has the trademark on that.

Now, here is the most interesting thing and I’m surprised nobody has commented on this yet. Laura Bush was in BRIGHT FRICKIN’ FIRE-ENGINE RED from head to toe! While her husband was saying conciliatory things to the Democratic Majority, she was screaming from the balcony, “WE STILL HAVE THE WHITE HOUSE!! CHOKE ON THAT!” 🙂 Well, maybe she wasn’t saying those exact words, but her suit sure was!

They say dogs are color blind, but we’re not really. We just tell you humans we are because it is fun to notice these things. Most of what you SAY isn’t all that interesting. But, you sure do scream what you really mean to say by the way you dress.

Take a tip from us dogs: Go around naked and let your parts hang out. That is the only way people can really see the real you. Or, maybe you don’t want that. So, everybody buy grey suits and ties. Then you can really pull off the lies. Or put the HDTV industry out of business by going back to B&W. I have a date at Tim’s. gotta go!

Anna Nichole Smith Confusion

I am confused. Is ANS a national hero? Has she solved world peace or bombed a sovereign nation? Has she cured cancer? What has this woman done except posed in Playboy, married a billionaire, made a reality show on E! and flashed everyone in Australia? Given the INCREDIBLE amount of coverage on ALL the networks, broadcast, cable and Internet, you would think that we have just lost one of the best and the brightest our society has to offer.

How are we supposed to now mark her death? Do we lower the flag to half-staff? What if we just attached a large bra to a flagpole and lowered that to half-staff?

You humans are really a funny species. Thousands die in Darfur every month. The same with Iraq. Thousands of Americans die each year from the effects of poverty in the richest county in the world and what do you use your public trust of the media for? A debate over a bubble-headed, bleach-blonde, artificially-enhanced, silicon-injected piece of eye candy. Wow. So glad I’m a dog and TV is just plain boring to me.

Gotta take a nap so that I am ready for my afternoon walk now.