Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Job-Hunting Strategies: The Cold Call

So, getting back to our discussion on traditional job-hunting strategies... In previous posts we've mentioned how to use networking to your advantage and how including the use of internet job-searching services can help to raise your employee profile. In today's post we talk about another tried and true technique: the cold call.

Wikipedia defines cold calling thusly: The term applies to any situation where one person calls another person or organization without a prior relationship. Headhunting firms, for instance, are notorious for this practice.

It's our understanding then, that to cold call a company when job-hunting is to call with the simple intention of finding out whether or not a company is hiring ...and further, whether or not it might be interested in hiring you. In this respect you may be just interested in gaining information with a cold call. Any knowledge you obtain can be used for future reference, and gaining a better sense of the job market is certain to yield benefits somewhere down the line.

There are two things to remember when making cold calls: first, be sure to speak clearly and concisely and come straight to the point; second, make sure that you find a chilly, if not down-right frozen local from where to place your call. Any polar region in the northern or southern latitudes should be adequate. Also, alpine settings during frigid winter months (especially those within quick reach of a cozy ski lodge) make for excellent cold calling base camps. But for those without easy access to Finish saunas or Swiss ski chalets, simply standing in an isolated grocery or butcher shop cooler may provide enough of a "wintery" environment to come off convincingly to the person on the other end of the line. "Cold call whenever you can," states the FSRI, "...just be sure you're cold when you do it!"


P.S. The FSRI would like to apologize, once again, for frightening any small children by revealing the visage of Decateur Thoms in the previous post. When shown in the future Decateur's image will be drastically un-enlarged to help prevent unnecessary reader shock. Thank you, the FSRI.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Networker

The FSRI would like to introduce "The Networker", Decateur Thoms, to the FSRI blogging team.

Mr. Thoms is known world-wide as an expert on Faking Smart! and has made his reputation as a top-notch corporate networker through his work with the FSRI and its affiliate programs. Decateur graduated from the FSIHL (Faking Smart! Institute for Higher Learning) in October of 2006 and has since been nominated for several awards. His recent book Filling in the Gaps has sent ripples through the job-hunting community. (It will be published any day now...) And his work in philanthropy, obviology and ersatz epistemology has garnered him substantial praise from the FSRI and other leading labs and organizations.

We hope you will share in giving him a generous Faking Smart! salute, and we look forward to his contributions to this invaluable blog.

KWA and the FSRI

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Job-Hunting on the Internet

As we have seen, networking can be a valuable tool for someone on the job-hunt. Another effective method of finding corporate work, however, is by "pounding the internet pavement" and joining some of the more prominent service sites that allow prospective employees find work that best serves their talents. Sites such as CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com and HotJobs.com are excellent resources for pairing employer with employee by combining user-friendly formats with up-to-date information on company hiring trends and job market realities. Here you can find practical advice on how to assemble a solid resume, compose a convincing cover-letter and be informed on the latest psychological research that helps you make the right impression during the interview.


Research done in our FSRI labs has proven that use of these "fly-by-night" services may divert attention from FSRI-verified programs and drastically reduce one's ability to fake smart during a job search. Sure, these companies may provide useful information, but they also adhere to theories that remain untested by the FSRI and should be viewed with skepticism. Yes, you may land a job through use of one of these sites, but how much of your success will you be able to attribute to Faking Smart!?

"Take the high road," states the FSRI, "and use internet job-hunting services only as a last resort."


Monday, July 23, 2007

Networking II

It is commonly held that, when networking, you need to "cast out your net" to "ensnare" others to help you find the corporate work you seek. It holds, then, that the more people you know, the larger your pool of ensnarable targets; and, the larger your pool of ensnarable targets, the more likely you are to pull in a successful catch! So, basically, (to wring out a floundering fishing analogy), the larger your network, the better your chances are for getting a good fresh meal of fish on your table. In other words, go out and meet a lot of people!

Here are two more suggestions for expanding your network:

-Learn to chat: According to research done at the FSRI, everyone loves a good chat; even those who say that they shy away from "small talk." So, when you're in the check-out line at the market, clear your throat, smile and then address the person standing next to you with this comment: "Boy, my shoes are three sizes too big!" or "Wow, they have a lot of dairy products here, don't they?" A couple of "chatty" remarks down the line and you bring up the fact that you're looking for corporate work - and BAM! - it turns out you've been talking to the CEO of Quest for the last 20 minutes - and he wants you in for an interview tomorrow! The virtue to chatting is that you never know who you might strike up a conversation with. The expert chatterer always has a better line on a good job!

-Use internet social-networking sites: The popularity of social-networking sites has skyrocketed in the last five years, and by utilizing sites like Technorati, MySpace, Facebook and DogsUnited you have an excellent means by which to generate corporate contacts. Your task is to take a couple of hours out of your day and go to one of these sites, set up a profile describing yourself as an eager, corporate go-getter and then quickly acquire 500 good "friends." After this, send a message to each expressing your interest in obtaining corporate work. Here is a basic message: "What up, (name of friend)!? Man, we've had some good times here on this site and I feel like I know you like a (brother - sister). Did I mention to you that I'm looking for a job at a corporation? Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy, but it's something I really want to do. If you have any good leads, give me a shout. Word-out! (...your avatar's name.)" Copy and send this message to all your social-networking contacts and see who bites. You just may get a name of a company looking to hire in a matter of hours!

Expanding the size of your network is crucial to increasing the effectiveness of your networking strategy. The more family, friends and acquaintances you have, the more people you will know and the better your chances are of getting a job!

More on internet strategies in the next post.


Thursday, July 19, 2007


There are many who argue that networking is the single, most effective method of getting a job in our current corporate environment. When you network with your family, friends and acquaintances you are essentially "casting out your net" in an attempt to "trap" them into helping you find corporate work.

The first thing you need to do before you start networking is to acquire family, friends and acquaintances, and this can be easy if you follow these steps:

-Get in touch with members of your family: Family members are people directly related to you through blood or marriage. If you don't have a family or don't know where your family is, you may want to consider getting one ...by getting married! ...and you may want to get married to someone with "good corporate ties." Once married, tell your spouse about your desire to find corporate work and then go ahead and tap into this new resource of eager-to-please networkable contacts!

-Make friends: Friends are fun to hang out with, watch movies with, hit up for a few bucks when times are lean and to help you get places when your car is broken down. But there is another advantage to having friends, and that is that friends may have the corporate ties necessary for you to get your foot in the door at a good company. If you don't have any friends - befriend one! Get out and introduce yourself. Volunteer at a non-profit and BE FRIENDLY! Not only will making friends improve your chances of finding a job, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to communicate and talk with someone (or something) other than your pet or a houseplant!

What other avenues of networking can you think of?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Traditional Job-Hunting Strategies

In Look at Me, Corporate America! we examined seven cutting-edge tactics for getting youself noticed by a company. In today's post, however, we mention briefly some of the more traditional methods of the job-hunt. Then, in subsequent posts, we will explore each method in greater depth.

To be frank, today's job market is downright treacherous. To come out successful one must attract the attention of a company's "wandering eye", and to do this one must appear more eager and busy than ever before. This may seem especially daunting (...and for good reason) but if you allow us to steer you in the right direction - if you allow Faking Smart! to grab the wheel during this nail-devouring ride through the corporate landscape - you quickly discover your journey to be pleasant and nearly sleep-inducing.

What many job-hunters don't understand (due to perceptions instilled by distorted television representations)is that companies often do need to hire people. Contrary to popular belief, companies are not necessarily composed of a permanent, attractive staff of lovable misfits who perpetually torment one another in the manner of a close-knit, yet, dis-functional family unit. No. In fact, throughout corporate America jobs are opening every day due to resignations, retirements, layoffs, corporate expansion, disappearances, industrial accidents and mysterious worker death. But to get in you have to act. If a company can't find you, you have to find it.

Here are five traditional job-hunting methods:

1. Networking.

2. Internet Searches.

3. The "Cold Call."

4. Temporary Agencies.

5. The Faking Smart! Secret Method.

More to follow...


P.S. The FSRI would like to apologize for having frightened any small children with the image of Mr. Jankowskowitz in yesterday's post. Such moral indiscretion will not slip by us again.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Jankowskowitz Offers Best Wishes to Ager

"Congratulations KWA for blogging for one month. I cried when I heard the news."

Harry Jankowskowitz, Midwest President, Schmerz Breweries Inc.

Thanks, Harry,

Look at Me, Corporate America!

When you are looking for a job you are competing with millions of other job-seekers. Take a different route and make that company to find you!

Here are seven ways to do it:

1. Coordinate and hold a job fair. Everyone knows that a standard method for employers to find employees is to meet over the neutral ground of a job fair. In this fair, however, you take center stage. Come up with a glossy pamphlet outlining the annual AAHA (Association for the Advancement of Hireable Applicants) job fair to take place in your local town or city. (You might want to create a website to support this event.) Then, send your pamphlets out to Fortune 100 companies with the event specifics: dates and location, directions, etc... On that morning, before the fair is to begin, set up your "reception" desk (with plenty of extra resumes to go around) in the middle of the conference room floor. When the fair begins watch how these corporate recruiters descend on you, the only job-seeker present, like vultures. None of these representatives wish to return home with empty hands! Be mindful, however, of the position you finally accept. If you are offered a chemical engineering position at "corporation X", for example, you might want to be sure that your background and education suits such a job description.

2. Create the biggest resume ever. ...And when we mean the biggest, we mean THE BIGGEST! A difficulty many job-seekers experience is to get prospective companies to actually view their resumes. By creating "the biggest resume ever" you essentially circumvent this dreary certitude. Just as the Great Wall of China and the Hoover Dam can be viewed from space, so should your resume! Find a large tract (say 100 sq miles) of corn or wheat field in any of the Mid-Western states and get to work. Start up the combine and carve your resume into the great swaths of the North American bread basket! When you're done send the link to MSN's TerraServer or Google Earth to the companies you like and watch as the job offers pour in. Who knows? ...you may even get an interstellar-passerby to shoot you an email!

3. Hack into a computer system. Everyone, even the government, loves a hacker. Therefore, setting yourself up for the ideal environment to perform "hacking" behavior is a sure bet for you to get the reputation necessary for a long career in the software industry. To do this you need to start a company that specializes in software-support for major financial institutions. When your company reaches a certain level of respectability, quit, ...then get to work! You know the code. You've been there at the start, so this shouldn't be that difficult. If you need to, hire an assistant hacker who really knows his or her way around programing protocol. When, eventually, the FBI comes knocking on your door cooperate fully with the investigation. When, after a month or so, after the smoke has blown over, refuse the government job you will be offered and take a position in the private-sector software industry. You're a successful hacker ...you're a shoo-in for corporate employment!

4. Train to be an Olympic athlete. Yes, there will be a lot of videos involving you running or jumping or skiing or swimming ...but the end result is a secure corporate sponsor with all the perks that come with. Everyone loves someone who is training for the Olympics. It doesn't matter how good you are or whether or not you've won or actually placed in any competition. What people do admire is determination, and that fact that you're training for one of the biggest athletic meetings in the world is enough to bring you the attention you need and a near-certain place at the corporate table when your "dreams" are dashed by physical impossibility.

5. Boast your way to employment. The first thing you should do is find a company. The second thing you should do is find the bar nearest to that company. Once you've found the nearest bar, rent a Rolex watch, buy a nice suit and tie and then hire a friend to accompany you to this bar during either lunch-hour or Friday's happy-hour. Have your friend agree to merely nod when you make claims of huge profit-taking on your last stock dump. Have your friend raise his glass in a toast when you mention how your organizational theories out-did all management expectations. Have your friend "howl" with pleasure when you brag about your cost-saving measures in purchasing. Then, after you have the entire bar's attention, allow your friend to weep with joy when you speak of the international "slug preservation" campaign you spearheaded with last year's surplus funds. By the time the bartender calls it a night you'll have every executive in the bar spilling tears of compassion with your tales of corporate acumen and conservationist noblesse oblige. Have several job contracts with a large "signature" field prepared before initiating this method. ...And monitor your alcohol consumption.

6. Make a YouTube video. Procure or rent an iron lung, a puppy and an non-communicative nonagenarian (...you'll need to rent one if you don't have any compliant ninety-year-olds in your immediate family.) Produce and shoot a short documentary film about the travails of your job search during the last 4,246 days while suffering under the grave diagnosis of IDS (Immanent Death Syndrome.) "Sent out six resumes today," you might wheeze from the confines of your iron lung. "Still no luck." Hire a number of people to read testimonials to your hard work ethic, steel will and dogged determination. Get lots of close-ups of the cute puppy. End the film by stating that "...If I could make a wish, I'd get a job in corporate America." When the video hits the number one slot on YouTube watch the offers for corporate employment bowl down your door. When you show up at work the following day, sprite and spry and swift on your feet claim that your IDS symptoms seemed to have vanished along with the good news of your new job!

7. Make a different YouTube video. With this documentary video you come across as one of the greatest humans alive. You'll need to comb the internet for footage, but by placing yourself in the thick of world events you will appear as a statesman, a diplomat and a top-of-the-line corporate go-getter. With simple, low production cut-away shots this is easily attainable. Under this technique you're directing incoming UN planes for landing in Dafur. Your present at middle-eastern peace-brokering deals. You're comforting sick children in La Paz or building homes in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. Heck, if Tom Hanks can do it, so can you! At the end of the "documentary" simply indicate that all you would like to do is "get a good job at a good corporation. Nothing more." When this video hits number one on YouTube you'll see recruiters lining up to have you on their teams. But be forewarned: when you go into work the day after singing on, you may have to come up with some psychological "disorder", something involving the trauma you've experienced, that now forces executives to reduce their high expectations of you and places you in the rank of regular, rank and file, workers.

Each and every method of gaining employment in corporate America mentioned above has been tested and verified by the FSRI. We recommend, if you choose to follow any of these methods to gain corporate employment, that you fully follow the Faking Smart! guidelines when doing so. If there are any other methods that you think we might have missed or forgotten, we would be pleased (and, to tell the truth, awestruck) to hear of them.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Landing the Job

So you have decided to take the plunge and find yourself a job in corporate America. Great! You've called your parents and estranged uncle and told them about your plans. You've alerted your MySpace or Facebook friends about your new resolution and you've told the clerk at the corner store about the big changes that are about to occur in your future. You're in a good mood. You've bought yourself some pickled herring and a bottle of Danish akvavit ...all you have to do is go home, turn on the TV and wait for your future plans to materialize.


While the FSRI is ever wary of promoting physical or metal exertion, we unfortunately have to insist that you actively participate in this phase of your corporate career. Getting a job is never as easy as you think - as we have seen, wanting a job can be even harder - but if you follow the simple-to-use Faking Smart! tactics we will get you through the job hunt and sitting at a cubicle in hardly any time at all!

Through extensive, post-modern research the FSRI has determined that there is one and only one way for you to obtain employment and here it is: You have to inform a company that you want a job.

Yes! It's that simple. When you tell company or corporation that you want a job the message comes across loud and clear ...that you are available for hire. The problem is there are also others trying to do the same thing - millions and millions of others competing for the same job that you might be looking for! And this is right where Faking Smart! enters the scene. Instead of standing side-by-side with this jostling mob of jeering job-seekers the FSRI has determined that you can get ahead of the crowd by following this short list of important suggestions. For the most part, instead of wasting your time finding the company that will hire you, fake smart and let that company find you!

The FSRI has the answers. Details in the next post...


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Do I Really Need a Job?

If you don't have a job there are many reasons why you may want to get one. Remember, jobs pay you to do things ...so if you need money, this may be reason enough for you to become employed. Do you have a pile of bills sitting on your coffee table? Has your cable TV been disconnected for some strange reason? Has the recurring dream come back to haunt your sleep ...the one where you are going to pay for your groceries and you go to pull out your money and all you can find is card with the words Faking Smart! on it.

There may be many reasons why you should seek employment. In fact, there may be other people who might want you to have a job. Your parents? Your boyfriend or spouse? Your college loan-provider might even hope that you get up before noon and find a place where you can constructively spend your time. For that matter, a friend may even suggest that you "give up that dream of becoming a blogger" and get yourself gainfully employed. Whatever the reasons, there are clearly many, and trying to argue against it is a valiant attempt at futility.

"Okay," you say. "I'll become a plumber."

That's fine. Go ahead. Nice meeting you, and we at the FSRI wish you the best.

...But hold on! - all those people you see outside your window coming and going to their jobs in corporate America - all those people wearing shirts and ties and sharp-looking business attire ...they look busy and engaged; fervent in their pursuit of the corporate dream and determined to take their next step on the corporate ladder. Isn't this the life we think you should be thinking of? Isn't this the life where the Faking Smart! systems and programs can be put to their best effect?

Of course it is! When you're Faking Smart! you are taking part in an advice scheme that has been tested by multiple labs in multiple and random scenarios. Using NASA monkey research we have come to devise a system with near fail-safe outcome. When you strictly follow the guidlines and you're Faking Smart! in Corporate America, you've got nothing to lose!

The more we talk about how cool it is to work in corporate America the more we know that you know where we think you should be working. (We may expand on this thesis later...) So the decision is clear. Set your alarm for 10 a.m. and get ready for the next stage in our system: Landing the Job. Yes, you need a job and corporate America is where it's at!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Finding One's Vocation

It seems like wherever you turn these days you see people at work. Whether they are loading grocery bags, making arrests, removing gallstones or slaughtering cattle, they all have one thing in common: they are all trying to get something done. Yes, nearly each and every person you see working has something that is called a job, and a job is what a person gets when he or she is hired to a company, organization or institution. (One can, of course, give oneself a job, but we will avoid this tangent for the sake of argument.) When someone acquires a job his or her job description describes this job and, consequently, he or she is expected to fulfill something near to what the job description defined.

"Whoa!," you're thinking, "that's complicated!"

But it isn't, really. Basically, if you want to get paid for doing something you need to get hired to do it. It's that simple. You could load grocery bags, but if you weren't hired to load grocery bags you wouldn't get paid. And you might annoy many people while doing it ...especially paid grocery-baggers.

Enough about bagging groceries.

The kinds of jobs we here at the FSRI are concerned with are company jobs, or "corporate" jobs--the sort of job where you go to an office, fill your cup of coffee, find your desk and sit down and turn on your computer. That is the type of job we wish to discuss. Now, there are many different kinds of jobs done at companies, each with their own job descriptions and duties, but most, if not all, of these corporate positions fall under a catagory where our Faking Smart! programs and systems can be fully exploited.

"Do I really need a job?"

...coming tomorrow.


Monday, July 9, 2007

The Corporate Life

Have you found yourself questioning your daily routine lately? When you get up in the morning do you look out your window and see neatly-dressed people rushing down the street in neatly-washed cars? Or do you see stylish men and women, coffee cups and cellphones in hand, as they race past to catch a bus? In the evening, do you look out your window and see these very same people return from wherever they have been, and do you find yourself wondering what it may be like to do what they are doing? Do you find yourself wondering if you, too, could get yourself "neated-up" and take part in this strange process you see all around you but know so little about?

If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions then Faking Smart! might be able to help you figure things out.

The people you see coming and going every day are people with corporate jobs ...and there is a good chance that one of those corporate jobs is out there waiting for you. With a small level of motivation and an modeate attention span you may have what it takes to fake it smart and to find the success we think you want to find by getting a job in corporate America.

In the next week or so we examine corporate work: what corporate work is, where one finds it and how one gets it.


Friday, July 6, 2007

10 Guidelines to Faking Smart!

The FSRI has asked that I post these ten guidelines to using this Faking Smart! in or around your place of work. If you are ever have any questions about Faking Smart! refer to the parameters listed below.

1. Use the Faking Smart! strategies and tactics because you should, not because you want to or because you have to.

2. The Faking Smart! strategies and tactics have been tested by the FSRI in professional, highly-controlled lab environments. If you have been faking smart while employed in a lab that contains toxins, explosives or biohazardous materials cease work immediately and call for help.

3. The Faking Smart! strategies and tactics are designed for the short-term benefit of its users. Any long-term exposure to any of the Faking Smart! programs may result in lasting cognitive damage.

4. Faking Smart! cannot and will not claim to be able to resolve all work-related problems or issues. In other words, Faking Smart! will never be able to tell you when you are hungry nor will it be able to inform you when your car's tire pressure is too low.

5. Never admit to a coworker or spouse that you are participating in a Faking Smart! program. By informing others of your use of this cutting-edge job-acceleration program you risk social alienation, malaise and public shame from those who fail to understand the complex theories on which Faking Smart! is based.

6. Never practice Faking Smart! alone.

7. Faking Smart! should not be considered a pyramid scheme, get-rich-quick program or a cure for agoraphobia. It has, however, proved to reduce symptoms of athletes foot and restless leg syndrome.

8. Faking Smart! is an advanced, results-based job-acceleration system--so advanced, in fact, that even the best business schools in the country refuse to acknowledge its existence.

9. Faking Smart! was not thought-up overnight. No. (It took quite a while, actually, to figure it out.)

10. Over a zillion people practice the Faking Smart! system each and every day. You should be proud to count yourself included in such an elite group of corporate go-getters.

Feel free to modify or change any of these guidelines as you see fit.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Company Cookout

As summer enters full swing this month it's important to remember that this is the season of the company picnic or cookout--a time for coworkers to toss Frisbees around under pleasant skies. A time to learn more about the people you see on a daily basis and to mingle outside the stuffy constraints of office protocol and corporate hierarchy.

Avoid these situations at all cost!

You may be hungry, starved for communication and camaraderie or attracted to a coworker who mentioned that he or she would attend, but by taking part in one of these functions you put yourself at a high risk of "being yourself" and consequently inflicting a complete meltdown of everything Faking Smart! has contributed to improving your workplace standing. The FSRI has therefore tested and approved a number of ways for you to elude one of these potentially ruinous company outings.

Sometimes the best impression you can make is the one made when you are not there. Here are six excuses for you to tactfully remove yourself from the obligations surrounding the company cookout:

1. Say that you are attending a computer science conference on artificial intelligence.

2. Mention that you can't come because you are taking your SAT exam again (like you do every month) to see if you can beat your last score.

3. Excuse yourself by bringing up the fact that your chess club is holding an invitational match against a troup of travelling Russian grandmasters.

4. Tell your boss that you are attending a scholarly talk on Stephen Hawking's ruminations on the writings of Max Planck.

5. Explain that can't make it because you are attending a university seminar on chaos theory's impact on organic farming and its implications for global mandrake markets.

6. You won't be there because you promised yourself that you'd finally get down and create the hedge fund you've been working on.

If you employ any of these excuses you are sure to produce a "buzz" when your coworkers gather for their day of sunburn, twisted ankles and an over-indulgence in bratwursts and bacteria-ridden potato salad. When the day of the cookout comes rent a couple of movies, draw closed your curtains and yank your phone cord from the wall. (You don't want to make the mistake of being seen out that day.) Come out of hiding the following the morning with the satisfaction of knowing that you have successfully completed another invaluable Faking Smart! tactic.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dear Mr. Jobs...

Having spoken my word on the iPhenomena in my last post, I did want to come clean and make it known that I am a proud new owner of one of these cute little devices. Every now and then I feel it incumbent upon myself to get out and "blend" with the public and the release of the iPhone offered just the opportunity to make my way down to the local Apple store and to "brush elbows" with other iPhone enthusiasts and to acquire a keepsake of this technological age so thrust upon us.

On Friday I got my things together, leashed Spinoza and set out to discover, first hand, what the all the hubbub was about. I arrived somewhat late, almost 5:00A.M., and found myself, to my surprise, comfortably situated as the fifth person in line. I set up my collapsible deck chair, made sure Spinoza was adequately hydrated and promptly dozed off.

When I awoke it must have been near seven. Having forgotten to eat this morning I inquired whether the young gentleman sitting next to me would be kind enough to fetch me some breakfast--I mentioned that I would reimburse him one dollar for his troubles--and he glared at me and began to raise his middle finger before I excused myself and quickly turned to gaze at a large truck that was maneuvering its way through the parking lot. Having side-stepped this "near" altercation I felt somewhat dizzy and to allay the complaints from my entreating stomach I took out my pipe and lit it. In no less then fifteen minutes, however, I began to mark the increased agitation of a woman sitting next to me. Shortly, thereafter, she began to produce a horrendous cough and finally insisted that I extinguish my pipe! Spinoza sensed my distress and began by producing a fiercesome growl in the direction of this lady of ample carriage. But her calls began to draw others. Soon, to my dismay, what appeared to be an unruly mob was poised to descend upon me and had it not been for the kind intervention by mall security and the local police I think I might have suffered a cruel and painful end. To my satisfaction we were provided with adequate protection--at safe distance from the fray--at the end of the line where Spinoza and I waited several hours before finally reaching the Apple store's sales desk.

To cut a long story short, I returned to the FSRI and delivered my iPhone where the FSRI Cell Phone Department eagerly awaited my find. On Saturday it was sitting on my office desk, completely configured, they noted, and ready for use. I lit my pipe and stared at this strange creation for what seemed like hours. Finally, to my astonishment, it began to "chirp" like a wounded or fearful fowl. This went on for some time before I began to act. I found a bath towel, wrapped the strange invention up in several folds, placed it in a shoebox and set it in the top shelf of a closet where the irritating "chirping" subsided.

My initial compulsion was to call Mr. Jobs straight away and relay my dissatisfaction with his new iPhone, but sounder judgment got the better of me. I'm no Luddite, I thought to myself. Giving Mr. Jobs the benefit of the doubt, this novel iPhone just may prove (sometime down the line) to be something people actually find a use for.