Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Year - a New Direction


Everyone here at the FSRI wish you the best and hope your new year is even better than the last!

With the coming year in mind, we here at the FSRI Blogging Division (Spinoza included), look on making a new years resolution. We have decided that we have veered from our original purpose: to expose any and all to the simple virtues of Faking Smart. In the past six months we've made a sincere attempt to do this, but after a series of internal audits we've discovered that we've only managed to show the reader how to successfully reach the stages of the pre-interview phase.

What?, you may ask. It's true. In the six months of this blog's existense we've only gone so far as to describe how to Fake Smart up to the interview portion of your career in corporate America. At this pace it will take us aporoximately two years to actually tell you how what to bring to your first day of work. This is not good.

Starting next month we'll endevour to tell you how to fake smart while at work. Yes!, practical Faking Smart tactics and strategies that you can use right now at the job you currently have!

See you sooon!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's Greetings! from the FSRI

Hello, one and all!

As we brave this Holiday season, I wanted to make it clear that neither the FSRI or the FSIHL had anything to do with the inclement weather wrecking havoc on the lives our country's disparate and disjointed masses. That said, I, for one, need snow. I thrive in it, love it, imbibe it ...given it is outside and at a safe distance from the hearth warming my pale blue toes.

Which brings me to the point of this post: happy seasons, or whatever... We here at the FSRI hope your wishes come true, and all that other stuff. Think of others, not yourself 24/7. And do a good deed or two, like putting out your trash and tidying up around the house. "Do this and you will be rewarded" is a message you might find in your fortune cookie eaten at a restaurant open on the 25th. Yes, good Chinese is a celebratory cuisine consumed on this coming day of celebration, especially when you are alone and, or, a practitioner of different faiths.

I, along with my trusty hound, Spinoza, will make do. Even though the offices here at headquarters are vacant, and even though scandal has rocked our intrepid FSRI ship, I will enjoy a quiet Holiday here at the office and I want to make sure no one out there is worried about me. Go about your business ...I'm safe and sound, no worse for wear. Please, I'm fine, and I'm serious when I tell you this. Ah, wait, who is it ringing me on my cellphone? ...My good friend Mustafa Bey, the Sultan of Istanbul! He's invited me to a party. See! I'm fine. One quick cab-ride to the airport and "presto," I'm in business!

Which brings me to further business: the work on the first Faking Smart! book is in progress. No date, as of yet; the other good news, my ghost-writer and stalwart friend, Martin Fossum, is soon to be finished with his compelation of short fiction ...and when it's available I'll post a link for it here on the site.

Happy Holidays, from myself and Spinoza,


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Holidays, etc...

Today we're going to talk about interviewing strategies; particularly, how to communicate with a company who calls you to set up an interview.

...Ah, who am I kidding? I haven't posted in over a month and I suppose I have some explaining to do. You see, things here at the FSRI have been a little rough-going as of late. Sure, we could have ridden through the debacle involving Hendersen and Ella. (...According to Ella, Hendersen forcibly relocated our innocent and pure VP of Media Relations to Oslo where she was apparently subjected to all means of torture and mistreatment - weekend skiing-gjoring, northern light viewing, cuddly snow-drift love-making, etc...) We'll have you know that her tourism visa expired and she's back safely at FSRI headquarters where she's teaching us all how to knit mittens. But this was the least of our problems.

Following the abrupt disappearance of Ella and Hendersen, Decateur lapsed into a dark in nearly irretrievable depression. He barricaded himself in the employee lounge and made painful and uncharacteristic demands such as insisting that we feed him delivery pizza and pad-thai from the Thai Palace. Continuing his rampage over our good will, he insisted upon opening a netflicks account, getting broadband for his participation in World of Warcraft gaming while requiring that we deliver cases of diet Mug Rootbeer to his door. A dark weekend it was...!

With Decateur on the path to full recovery (he is currently warded in the FSRI video game addiction and root-beer obsession division...) we thought our troubles were over and that we could return to posting on a regular basis. Not the case! Just when things seemed fine Dutch authorities raided our East Indies FSRI offices charging us with illegal dissemination of illicit and superficial intelligence. I am writing you from Brussels ready to answer to a world court judge on the global threat that FSRI may or may not pose. But don't worry, if their case has a flaw, our FSRI attorneys will shred it to pieces. And shred they will!

As our ordeal proceeds here in lovely Europe, I'll make it clear that we are trying with all concert and deliberation to deliver you more content. But, content yourselves with this limited content. And don't expect daily posts - be reasonable and give up some time. In addition to resolving our European legal disputes and posting on this blog, we are trying to get together a published form for our Faking Smart in Corporate America book. Yes, your eyes are not fooling you. A Faking Smart book for any and all to buy!

Cheerio, all, and I'll give you a tidbit of Faking Smart wisdom as time permits.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Decateur and Hendersen Arrive at FSRI HQ

Greetings, my fellow bloggers and blogees...

Got in late on the red-eye tonight with old Hendersen and thought I'd send out a "hello" to everyone. Thanks to Ella we were picked up promptly at the airport and driven straight to the FSRI-approved hotel where I was treated to my "executive suite" while Hendersen was made to feel right at home down in the basement's servants' quarters.

Ella, thanks again. Your kindness and goodwill has made my long trip more than tolerable. ;) I will also take this time to briefly tell you how impressed I was with your blogging. You more than "held down the fort" in my estimation, and if Ager has talent like yours laying around the blogging division, there's definitely a good future ahead for this blog and everyone involved with it.

On to business... I've postponed the "Weekly Roundup" until I recover from my jet-lag. To tell you the truth, though, there really wasn't much business going on in the last week. So don't sweat it.

Thanks again, Ella. And feel free to call me or visit me if you have any questions about the changes for next week. And maybe we can get in a game of Splume or two?


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Anybody out there Spluming?

Hey, happy Halloween, everybody...! Just sending out a hello to all the goblins and trolls who read this blog. Otherwise, there's nothing major to report.

On a good note, my stapler magically appeared on my desk this morning. Gee, wonder how that happened? And, gee, I felt a little sick after eating one too many of the pumpkin cookies Tracie brought in. Oh, and I wanted to ask if anyone out there has played Splume's "survival mode?" It's driving me crazy! I can't tell if you can get past the first screen, or if it's the only level you get?

I think Decateur and Hendersen come in on Friday.

Tricky treat...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spluming the minutes away...

Hello again...

Well, not much to report on here at FSRI headquarters. It's been a slooooowwwwww month, to say the least. My sister and her boyfriend visited me over the weekend. Yippi!! Haven't seen her in a while. ...And, the Red Sox won the World Series, I think...? They're from Boston.

Like I said, nothing much to report on here at FSRI mission control. Other than more than a FEW people have called in sick this week. I call it the Halloween flu epidemic, 2007. Also, I seem to have "misplaced" my stapler, so if anyone here in the blogging wing finds my stapler, would you please return it to its proper owner...? I also got sent one of the scary YouTube movies. Come on guys down in Tech Support, you can do better than that! And I found a cool site that's perfect for those times when you have work you should be doing, but you're just not in the mood. It's a game called Splume.

Oh, yeah... Captain Wolfbrooks emailed me last Friday and said that he's sending Decateur and Hendersen out for a week, so I'm kind of excited about that. In the meantime I'll be working hard here holding the blogging division fort down.

Take care,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ella Foster - VP in charge of Media Relations

Hi, I'm Ella,

I'm sure you've been wondering where Dr. Ager has been. Well, he wanted me to tell all his readers that he has taken a short leave to serve in the role as Executive Producer for a short film he is involved with. Instead of temporarily shutting down the entire FSRI Blogging Division,(...we were actually threatened NOT to do so by the UPB - Union of Professional Bloggers - Local 808) he asked me to step in to keep this blog afloat.

What will I talk about? I don't know! Dr. Ager's only instructions were to keep it pertinent to Faking Smart, so, I guess that is what I'll do.

So keep Faking Smart! I'll see you around...

Ella Foster, VP of Media Relations

Monday, October 15, 2007

Results of Our Latest Poll...

While discussing the interview process, we here at the FSRI were eager to "test the waters" to see what common perceptions existed when it came to interview attire. But instead of conducting one of our normal polls we decided to get creative and try something new. For starters, let's examine the raw data.

The question was simple, "During an interview, what clothing style are you most likely to wear?" These four options were given:

Business Suit

Corporate Casual

Tuxedo/Formal Dress (or)

Revealing Nightwear

We weren't surprised to see "Business Suit" stand out at the most popular choice of attire. With three votes cast, it is clear that 50% of the world population would chose to go to their interviews dressed in a conservative business suit. What did surprise us, however, was the fact that only 33% of the global population chose tuxedos or formal dress as their preferred attire. This clearly indicates a "softening" of social mores, or a grim deterioration in modern image management. (A traditionalist, I would expect everyone who came to interview here at the FSRI to dress in appropriate formalwear, or feathered boa included!) For the 17% who chose corporate casual as their "look" of choice, we can safely assume that these respondents were software designers.


Yes, this is unfortunate, but true! What we didn't tell you in the question was that we were looking for the style of attire one would wear to a Victoria's Secret job interview. Of course, in this case "Revealing Nightwear" would have been the most sensible choice! But alas, none went that route...

The lesson learned here is to NEVER pick out a style of interview attire before you find out what company you are interviewing for! Not one single respondent found it in his or herself to ask us.

Be vigilant out there.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ingersoll/BIAC Rescind War Declaration on FSIHL/FSRI - Hendersen Sent as Emissary!

In a bold move late last week Buckmister J Ingersoll Ph.D., MD, FSIHL-MD retracted his threat of aggression against FSIHL expansion into Mid-Country. Hendersen, Buckmister's top diplomat and amateur import auto-mechanic, was immediately dispatched to begin the process of dialog (...which quickly descended into a lutefisk and akvavit "blowout.") To clear the air the FSRI has decided to go ahead and publish this, until now, top secret letter of d├ętente:

Salutations Mr. Ager,

Dr. Ingersoll IV, PHD MD here. Forgive me as I scratch out a few words on this stenograph-like device they put in front of me. In beginning, let me indulge your curiosity. Despite investing a small fortune in ointments and elixirs over the years, I have never been able to grow a scant of facial hair. As a direct consequence to this fact I have developed a keen “6th sense”, if you will, on how to read a man by how the mustache hangs from his face. You, I have surmised, are someone who is not afraid to take risks in building his Faking Smart! empire from blood sweat and tears. Your goal is nothing less than to tear down the corporate status quo. Veni, vidi, vici! Mr. Ager, you are indeed a shadowly reflection of me in my youthful days. I too once frolicked in the sunlight of guru status, bathed in the shiny silver dollars of corporate profits and suckled from the sweet pipe of luxury. I remember when Mr. Ford said that he would pay his minions $5 dollars a day. Immediately, I dispatched my best man at the time, James A. Biltmore, to infiltrate the company and see what was transpiring first hand. I soon discovered that it was a Marxist ploy worthy of Socrates himself! You, Mr. Ager, are no Mr. Ford! Or are you?

Now, let me tell you a little about the Buckminster J. Ingersoll Institute for the Advancement of Charlatans. It does not surprise me that you have not heard of us. We are a secret society that has no less the goal than to put those members of BIAC into positions of power in and round government, the corporate hierarchy, and medical establishments around the country. All knowledge of BIAC is strictly forbidden and denied at all costs to all outsiders. Our sacred rights include, oriental cricket fighting, bathing in a tub of German ale while humming The Blue Danube, and the swearing of allegiance to the great practitioner of all BIAC laws, my Great-Grandfather, the late Dr. Buckmister J. Ingersoll I PHD MD. By chance, have you ever heard of Tommy Thompson, the president’s chief advisor? Or perhaps you have heard of Joseph McCarthy and his grand-daughter Jenny McCarthy, both prominent senators? These are examples of current or former BIAC members.

Perhaps Mr. Ager, what you mistakenly call “extremism”, is in fact a passion that rivals the early patriots of the founding of this great nation? This passion wells up from the breasts of my forefathers and can not be quelled. BIAC has revealed through the rigors of scientific analytics that the Faking Smart! formula for success in regards to the inadequate “player” in today’s post-modern-fangled-doodad society is in fact our undoing. We have concluded that anyone who absorbs FSIHL wisdom will in turn run the fast track to corporate stardom and eventually, domination within any company. We here at BIAC are threatened by this. It demonstrates the antiquity of our ancient ideology, the lackluster approach to promoting forgeries in the workplace, and the foolishness of our own non-substance prattle.

I have sent my man-servant, Hendersen, to find this document you speak of, for I am bed ridden with gout and a hyperactive lymphatic system. Hendersen is a loyal Norseman with impeccable fortitude, constitution, and earnest guile. He is the one who tracked you to your notorious “Witch’s stew” hideout. Yes, Mr Ager, I know of its location!

Ah! Hendersen brings forth the gift to me as we speak. I will accept this most gracious gift as an olive branch. I will add it to my title. Thank you. I will also reframe from a declaration of war but I must send this ultimatum and set of conditions.

- Any major acquisitions in Mid-country by Faking Smart! must be provided in previous full disclosure to the BIAC proconsul, namely myself, Buckmister J. Ingersoll IV.
- That you hire Hendersen as the De Facto Midwest advisor at FSRI and accept him as one of your own. He will serve you well.
- That you allow Henderson and myself into the Faking Smart! Blogging Department as guest bloggers hence forth.

I am sure this alliance will find our Institutions in a much more beneficial place. I look forward to working with you and I await your response.

Yours truly,
Dr. Buckmister J. Ingersoll IV PHD MD FSIHL-MD

Friday, October 5, 2007

BIAC Declares War on FSIHL...!

Every now and then, during the publication of this blog, a reader comment catches the eye of one of our blogging editors. The following is one such response to the Ager Midwestern Update post of 27 Sept. 2007:

Damn you Ager!

Dr. Ingersoll IV, PHD MD here.

You are a gentleman of much ambition! I suspected this move in grievous anticipation, for I have been monitoring your organization’s activities since its relatively recent inception. You whipper snappers over at FSRI have no business coming to the great Middle World of Wisconsin. We will never yield our status to up-starts such as yourselves. Here in Wisconsin we have a proud heritage going back to 1748 to the founding of our great state of which many respected embellishment institutions of thought reside. These include the Albert Abrams School of Radionics (AASR), the John R. Brinkley Impudent-Impotence Alliance (JBIIA) and my own Buckminster J. Ingersoll Institute for the Advancement of Charlatans (BIAC). We are an old and venerable business going back to when the red men roamed the lands and snake oil fattened the cheeks of enamored wee babes. Today we have our people in the higher echelons of respected Midwest companies like Rayovac, Menards, Kohls department stores, and Madison Sanitation Services (MSS). We were the first organization to put our certified psychic palm readers in the Chicago and Milwaukee Police Departments (CPD and MPD respectively).

If you do decide to open an office of FSIHL here, as you know, we will consider this an act of war. Consider this cheese as all ready taken, this beer half drunk, and this Polish sausage already smoked! We will fight you until my last breath is drawn from my frail failing lungs.

Yours truly,
Dr. Buckminster J. Ingersoll IV, PHD MD

KWA Responds:

Dear Mr. Ingersoll IV, PHD MD,

First of all, I want to thank you on behalf of the FSRI Blogging Division for having added a comment to one of our posts. Secondly, it is without hesitation that I encourage you, or anyone for that matter, to comment on any and all of the content in this blog being it facilitates dialog on the very subject of this forum - namely, Faking Smart!

Regarding your concerns, Dr. Ingersoll, I speak on the behalf of everyone here at the division when I say that we acknowledge your disappointment with our drive for expansion into the Midwest - namely, Northern Wisconsin - and we are disheartened to hear that you harbor any objection to our future designs.

It has not been our intent, nor will it ever be, that you "yield" your "status", nor is is our wish that the FSIHL supplants any of your "respected embellishment institutions of thought." We do, however, hold a responsibility toward a power greater than any heretofore mentioned - that of society at large. The FSIHL's goals are noble in their simplicity spread Faking Smart! around the globe, and by doing so raise the slightly unmotivated person to the rank of semi-respected corporate player (and when we say "player" we mean it in the most toned-down of interpretations).

Dr. Ingersoll, I will have you know that I am no stranger to your great stretch of Mid-country. Having spent some time ambling through the granite halls of the AASR (Albert Arahms School of Radionics) I am familiar with their achievements, and as for the JBIIA (John R. Brinkley Impudent-Impotence Alliance), I have no doubt their work will find permanence in the contemporary canon, ...but knowledge of your BIAC (Buckminster J. Ingersoll Institute for the Advancement of Charlatans) eludes me at present and I will be the first to admit that the advancement of charlatans is a movement beyond my ken. Each - and all - of us must bear at least one shortcoming.

I want to thank you for regarding me as a "gentleman", Dr. Ingersoll, and acting as such it would not be unwarranted to expect the same from you. To proclaim that you will "fight till the last breath is drawn from my frail failing lungs" is to enter through the door of extremism, and once through that door, it is hard to return. So I beseech you, dear sir, to moderate your reaction to our inevitable entry into your great tracts.

And with this, I wish to extend you an olive branch by granting you an official FSIHL Master's Degree (use code 87403A6H at any Wall Mart Pharmacy or Hallmark Card store to claim your degree). With this honorary degree you hold all the recognition a graduate from our four-week Master's Degree program holds. Please, be kind enough to accept this humble offering, and we hope this will allay any further animosity between our honorable and venerable camps.

Hey! ...and keep Faking Smart!


(FSRI Disclaimer: A degree from the FSIHL should in no way be considered an "official" degreee. Any person receiving a degree from the FSIHL may be subject to DHS investigation and may be designated a "person of interest" by the NSA.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Analysis of Our FSRI Poll

I'm sure some of you have been waiting a long time for this, so let's cut to the chase and tell you what we discovered after analyzing our most recent poll.

Many of our readers were surprised when we first posted this poll, and many of you expressed concern over its accuracy and relevance. But it is important to remember that each and every poll we conduct here on the Faking Smart! blog is first researched thoroughly by the FSRI Blogging Division, scrutinized by the division for bias or "leading", beta tested in several NATO countries, then, finally, sent down to Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary for last minute testing and approval.

After these steps we have before us what we call a "Thumbs Up! Hard-copy" - at this point we are ready to go live.

With our methodology out of the way, let's go ahead and look at what our poll has taught us.

The question ran as follows:

Which company would you least like to work for? (one vote represents 1000 votes.)

The choices were:


Wall Mart

Halliburton or

Ben & Jerry's

Because of massive voter participation in this poll we were forced to incorporate advanced statistical manipulation to help keep the raw numbers in perspective and to keep our supercomputers from overheating. The FSRI Weights and Measures Department decided, therefore, to compartmentalize or "truncate" the final data into rounded-down, shorter and more hand-countable size to facilitate reader comprehension. This may be over your head (it sure was over mine), but here's a simplified version of what we found:

Exxon/Mobil: 1000 voter responses

Wall Mart: 2000 voter responses

Halliburton: 4000! voter responses

Ben & Jerry's: 1000 voter responses

So what does this mean? Well, without getting too deep into statistical mumbo-jumbo, the results indicate this: with over 4000 voter responses, Halliburton, was clearly the winner and should be considered, by far, the most selected of all these companies; next in line was Wall Mart with over 2000 votes; and, last but not least, Exxon/Mobil and Ben & Jerry's were tied for last with 1000 votes apiece.

Congratulations Halliburton! We, here at the FSRI, want to wish you a long and successful corporate life and we thank you greatly for agreeing to participate in our survey. As for the others, ...don't give up! There's always next year. And remember, getting the most votes does not always indicate the overall "quality" of a company or corporation. Sure, getting a lot of votes feels good and it give the higher-ups something to brag about, but companies are made from the bottom up, and with a little hard work and drive you can be assured of getting more votes in the future.

Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll, and look forward the next FSRI poll to come out in a day or two!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ager Returns Safely to FSRI Headquarters

Hello, and welcome back to the Faking Smart! blog.

I am glad to announce that, after a brief, yet well earned reprieve from my blogging obligations, I'm back and ready for work. After a little tidying up (I had to remove the Ping-Pong table, pop-corn machine, wet bar and entertainment center that somehow found their way into my office) I am officially "on the clock" and eager to carry on with Faking Smart!

I have given our readers nearly three weeks to muse over the results of our most recent poll. Tomorrow comes the FSRI analysis, so stay tuned!

Thursday arrives with a "surprise" response to one infamous commenter, and Friday returns with Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup. Yes, Decateur has agreed to continue with his weekly column, much to the surprise and muted fanfare of everyone here at the FSRI Blogging Division.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty,


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ager Sends Update from Midwest - Includes Poem!

I'm sure many of you are concerned over my whereabouts, but to reveal my exact location would be a breach of FSRI security policy. Let me just tell you that I'm fine and living and no worse for wear.

Suffice it to say that I'm scouting out a potential new site for an upper Midwest branch of the FSIHL (Faking Smart Institute for Higher Learning). I've found a number of suitable locations, but I think I've narrowed it down to two in Northern Wisconsin. (The FSRI won't allow me to show you where.)

I know that you are probably shocked to hear that I've chosen such a remote location for the new school, but I have my reasons. Leave it at that. Getting the theories of Faking Smart! out to the more remote regions of our country has long been a goal of mine and I'm determined to see this through.

My journey to this part of the country has affected me deeply. One night, as the Great Owl with Horns chirped gleefully from the mangrove trees, this poem spewed from me. I thought I'd share it with, you.


Oh, grand Midwest!
Thou hath fixed upon me!
Thy wholesome hearth!
And filled me with your mellifluous spirits!
And beer!

Oh, solumn Midwest,
I am a strange stranger in your strange land,
Having flown here on wings
Of a giant bird of jet-powered propulsion.

Oh, kind Midwest, I feel thy pulse.
Do your murky - green rivers run through these human veins?
Or am I just dizzy from eating too much Gorgonzola?

Oh, merciful Midwest,
I will remember thee:
Your dancing throngs, hard-rock songs, roads that go on and on,
your mint green lawns, and your people - good people - that said
"Ya, sure, so long!"


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Karl W. Ager Takes Trip to Midwest

Yes, the rumors are true. I've taken a short, late summer/autumn vacation to the Midwest to clear my mind and take care of some regional FSRI business. Decateur has been put on temporary leave.

Throughout the week I will try to post, but I'm not making any promises. This message comes from a system that uses a newer technology call "dial-up service" and I'm just beginning to explore its potential.

In the meantime, keep your cubicle clean and keep Faking Smart!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Your Job Interview

So, you've narrowed down your list of prospective employers and sent out your resume to those companies that merge your personal interests with your long-term career goals. A few days later, an email pops up in your in-box stating that one of the companies you sent your resume to - Company X - is impressed with your background and interested in setting up a meeting.

Great! You've cleared an important hurdle before declaring yourself a bona fide employee in corporate America! Your first instinct may to run out and celebrate - get a few friends together to toast to your good fortune and the lavish prestige you expect from your new corporate lifestyle. That's exactly what you should do, but don't forget, at some point you are going to have to reply to the email and set up a time when both you and Company X's representatives can meet. This future meeting is called an INTERVIEW. This is where you engage in a face to face exchange with your potential employer so that both of you can determine whether you will fit in at Company X and whether or not an extended working relationship will serve both interests.

"Uggh," you're saying to yourself. "Do I really have to go through all that just to get a corporate job?"

The short answer is "yes." The days when landing an interview meant nudge,nudge "...we'll see you on Monday," are now a thing of the past. Due to the rapid global expansion and glamorization of cubicle-based corporate work, landing a corporate job is much more tricky than it has ever been. But don't worry!, when you're Faking Smart! you've got the edge on the competition!

"Ok," you're thinking to yourself. "Now what?"

Nothing. Don't do anything at present. Take a night or two to celebrate with your friends, and remember, to reply too quickly to the email shows you're desperate for work at Company X, so sit back and let that email "ripen" in your in-box. Then turn off your computer and take a couple of weeks off. If you need to, apply for that new credit card offer you got in the mail and take that trip to Phoenix you've always been thinking about. Two weeks later, when you're back and ready for work that email will be right where you left it - waiting for you to take it to the next level!

Next post: setting up the interview


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting back to Faking Smart!

Since this blog is about incorporating successful business tactics and strategies into your daily corporate life, we at the FSRI thought that we should shift gears here and concentrate exactly on this original goal.

Yes, Decateur Thoms has gained a limited degree of fame on this blog (...a fact he seems reluctant to thank us for,) and, yes, Mr. Jankowskowitz is never too shy to broadcast his eccentric and sometimes unsettling visage onto the screens of millions of viewers. But what these distinguished, yet at times overbearing, "characters" seem to be doing is distracting our content away from its initial purpose - that of teaching you how to fake smart!

The truth is, this is a serious blog with a serious mission ...a mission to promulgate the theories and practice of Faking Smart! to a broader public appreciation (...and to promote my book, which is under publisher negotiations right now ...but if you're a publisher and you want to "get in on the process" please, let me know.) This was the aim of this blog at its outset and this is the service we intend to continue to provide. No, Decateur and Jankowskowitz will not "disappear" from this blog, they will merely be playing less flamboyant and more subordinate roles. They have been informed and understand the situation.

With that out of the way, let's get back to business, and the business at hand is to get you off the couch and into the cubicle! The next several posts will discuss one of the most overlooked processes of landing a corporate job - the interview process.


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Harry Jankowskowitz, Midwest President of Schmertz Breweries Inc. and former FSIHL (Faking Smart Institute for Higher Learning) graduate, sends congratulatory note to Karl Wolfbrooks Ager:

Good work on making it to post 50! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes.


Thanks, Harry,

Public Information!

Here's a fascinating site that allows you to see what images are being uploaded to Blogger accounts in near-real time.

Be careful, though, some images may contain people you don't know, products you've never heard of and places you have never been.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Friday again!? ...Man. Guess I better make everyone happy and do the "roundup."

The markets are up, the markets are down. Up, down. Up, down. Hard to make sense of it, huh? This week I'm cutting my losses by going both bear and bull. Bear meaning sell, bull meaning buy. For the bear side of things let go of anything you own that starts with the letter "S": Sysco, Seagram, Starbucks ...if you got stock in a company that starts with "S" get rid of it. As for bullish investments, I'm going with the solid "M" equities. Microsoft, Michelin and Merck, etc... Anything with an "M" is as good as gold this week, as far as I can see. I know this advice is conservative, but when the markets are this wacky, I have no choice but to think on the safe side.

On the news front, there are a few items of interest that the investor should keep his or her eyes on. One such item is the spate of hurricanes that have hit the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in recent weeks. According to the Associated Press hurricane Humberto quickly gained strength before landing on the Texas coast yesterday. This means rain on the Texas plains, by all measures.

According to Reuters, because of the threat this hurricane posed to gulf oil production, oil hit its all time high this past week - $80 a barrel - before dipping to a more comfortable $79 late today. What does this all mean? Well, it means that if you're a pessimist, you'll dive into rain gear and roofing shingle equities on a hunch that this hurricane season will be downright nasty. This also means higher prices at the pump and a rise in oil product prices such as Oil of Olay. Look for weekend trips to stay closer to home and a drop in overall skin texture and condition.

On a final note, I want to make it clear that, with Brett Favre leading the Packers deft offense this season, there's no reason to believe that the Pack won't dominate the league. After their decisive dispatching of the Eagles last Sunday, there should remain no doubt that "the Pack is back!" I'm glad I'm not a Giants fan right now - feeling terror is not something I enjoy. My prediction: Pack 49, Giants 6. Tailgating season has begun! Look for a spike in bratwurst and cheese curd equities.

Thanks for reading my column. Whatever...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Careers at the FSRI

After weeks of exploring other corporate websites and giving you a rundown on how to apply for work at each of these companies, we here at the FSRI decided to come up with our own Careers Mission Statement. Read through it and see if you're an FSRI fit!

If you can imagine it, it's probably already been imagined before and you shouldn't stress out about it. That's where the FSRI comes in. At the FSRI your career begins when you're hired ...and it ends years later after you decide that you don't want to work here any more. Who fits in at the FSRI? Everybody! If your dreams dare to fly higher than the highest mountain, and your career path is clearly marked over easy terrain, then you may have what we're looking for. Are you a "go-getter" you like to run for lunch when others are sitting around during a meeting? Are you a "take charge" type of person who will shoot out to Office Max and put a ream of printer paper on your own credit card when the office has run out? If you answered yes to these questions, take some time off and examine why you were looking for work at the FSRI in the first place.

With between 3 and 38,756 employees in many countries around the world, the FSRI is at the top of the Faking Smart! field. If you put all our employees in front of a gigantic mirror you'd notice a commonality of traits. These traits are what we call the Faking Smart! "core qualities." If at least five of the seven "core qualities" are part of your personality the FSRI may be the place for you!

Our "core qualities" are:

Punctuality: Can you get to work within an hour of your starting time ...and leave no earlier than an hour before you're scheduled to leave?

Hunger: When you're hungry can you let your co-workers know so that everyone can throw some money in for subs or a pizza?

Drive: Do you have a driver's license? If not, can you take a bus or train to get to work?

Sacrifice: Are you willing to commit to at least three solid days of work per week? Are you willing to actually do some work now and then?

Yearning: Do you have the kind of yearning that pushes you to get your work done so that you can beat traffic on Fridays?

Love: Do you love yourself ...or, do you love, at least, your parents and or pet?

Loyalty: Do you have what it takes to abide by the FSRI code of honor? Do you have what it takes to observe most of the above "core qualities" and to see them through to the conclusion of tenure at the FSRI?

Apply for a job and let us know how it goes!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What Polls Can Tell Us About Ourselves...

Well, the data is in for the first FSRI poll ever conducted. The numbers have been assembled, shuffled, tabulated and then analyzed, and it is our hope that results amaze you as much as they did everyone here at the FSRI.

Before we had any idea of what our poll would consist of we had to ask ourselves one question: "Why place a poll on this blog, and what will this poll tell us about ourselves (and others)?" With the help of a roomful of FSRI scientists we carefully worded the poll, eliminated any inherent bias and formed hypotheses on the potential results.

After the last numbers were crunched by our super-computers a collective gasp was heard throughout the halls of the FSRI Blogging Division. The Results were staggering:

1. The FSRI has greater name recognition than either IBM, Microsoft or Google.

2. People LOVE the FSRI!

3. People would work for nearly nothing at the FSRI before working under competitive salary schedules at other corporate technology giants.

4. The FSRI has street cred.

5. When it comes down to it, the FSRI can "walk the talk" - no doubt about it.

It's clear ...because polls don't lie, that the FSRI has a greater standing in popular opinion than others might have at fist imagined. How we at the FSRI process this good news is the subject for months of work ahead, in the meantime, thanks go out to everyone who participated in this poll and thanks for the official permission given by our poll's corporate co-participants: IBM, Microsoft and Google.

What poll would you like to see the FSRI conduct next!?


(A note on this poll: We ran into several "technical" difficulties during the conducting of this poll, one of which might remain apparent. Only seven votes were recorded on the "official" tally, whereas ten were openly recorded in specified categories. As hard as our FSRI polling team worked to correct this, we were still unable to eliminate this glitch in the final product. This, however, should in no way be construed as affecting or tainting the final conclusions reached here.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Brief Note from the FSRI...

There will be no post today due to "technical" difficulties experienced in the FSRI Blogging Division Software Department. There will be no advice given on job-hunting, interview tactics, General Petraeus's report on the Iraq war or how to bake the ultimate peanut-butter cookie.

The next post, however, will contain an in-depth analysis of the pole you see to your right. Stay tuned...


Friday, September 7, 2007

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Back for more of my business advice, I guess? Good luck...

Well, the markets were still mixed this week ahead of a critical jobs report due out today. The dark and looming cloud of the dicey mortgage situation still managed to cast a dark and gloomy shadow over investor confidence. My advice? Buy! I'm going bullish with this forecast. Go nuts and buy stocks and thank me when you cash in later in the month. Also, with the lunar eclipse behind us and the autumnal equinox only a couple of weeks away, I see a window of opportunity in bauxite futures. For all those fans of aluminum out there, you know what I'm talking about.

...So, on with my "roundup."

The sub-prime credit crisis seems to have a broader effect on jobs than first perceived. The NYT reports that "As Housing Market Cools, Far Fewer Become Agents." How this will immediately effect our economy remains to be seen, but what is evident is our country's apparent inability to recruit CIA and FBI agents. Look for stocks to fall for homing device, exploding pen and poison blow dart companies.

Which brings me to my next item. According to the NYT, Starbucks has opened its first coffee shop in Russia, allowing Muscovites a taste of what made Seattle the buzzing center of the coffee brewing universe. Two things might happen if Starbucks gains staying power in this feisty vestige of the former Soviet Union: look for Russian productivity levels to jump, and look for applications for the CIA to rebound. I'm sure any agent would feel better knowing he could down a steamy double-tall latte before a wintry, Gorky Park rendezvous with a Moscow mole.

Lastly, in more Northwest news, Boeing announced yesterday that it conducted a crash test of its new 787. According the Seattle Times the crash went well: ""We've done enough analysis at this point to declare success," said spokeswoman Lori Gunter. I've never flown before, and probably never will, but if Boeing continues to consider crashing 787s as a mark of success, look for a steep downturn in future Boeing equities and a downturn in the travel and vacation services sector.

That's the roundup...!

Probably see you next week.


(Decateur Thoms is one of the most renowned graduates of the FSIHL (Faking Smart Institute for Higher Learning.) He is an expert thinker, commentator and columnist on a wide range of business subjects and he is recognized by the Faking Smart! Global Fund for his work in helping disadvantaged investors understand the current, global investment marketplace.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007


A letter from KWA,

I would like to make an official apology for yesterday's post. It was not my intention to publish an article based on "remorse psychology", nor was it my intention lure unsuspecting readers into the false sense that there was actually something informational contained within the post. The FSRI blogging division has been notified of this oversight and corrective measures have been put in place.

Let me give you an idea of how we publish posts here at Faking Smart! in Corporate America. When I decide that there will be a posting on this blog I create a list of 50 potential topics, then I send this list on to the main office of the FSRI Blogging Division, and this is where things start to get interesting.

After the head of the FSRI Blogging Division receives the my list a meeting is convened gathering all FSRI Blogging Division, sub-divison heads - thereafter a brainstorming session is initiated. At the end of a grueling two-hour session, this "committee", due to the time constraints of the posting deadline, is given the difficult task of trimming the list of 50 topics down to 10. When 10 topics are finally chosen each sub-division head is then given one of these topics to take back to his or her respective sub-division staffs where the process of actual blog composition begins.

Hammering out a post worthy of Faking Smart! publication is the goal of each sub-division. They pool their creative talents with the tough realization that their posts have only a one-in-ten chance of making it to the actual blog. Allowed only 18 hours to complete their posts, things can get a little crazy in the trenches of the blogging division, but this healthy, competitive atmosphere is what these loyal, hard-working FSRI Blogging Division staffers thrive on.

At the end of the 18-hour composition period, all sub-division heads return hard copies of their completed posts to the head of the blogging division where four of the ten posts are picked randomly as finalists for publication. Those four posts are then sent to me in a secured envelope. How do I decide on which post goes live? It's easy. I read each post thoroghly, then place them separately on my office floor with a doggie treat on top. Then I call my assistant to send in Spinoza, my trusty dachshund, and the treat he eats first indicates the post that will go live ...providing he doesn't get playful and tear it up! After the post is selected I make a correction or two, do some minor editing and then send it on to the blog publication office. There you have it!

To make this brief, what happened yesterday was a mistake. For some reason or other an errant post made its way into my office, one from the FSRI Blogging Division's Sub-division on Experimental Posting. In other words, Spinoza unwittingly signed off on an unsanctioned blog post. Again, I apologize, or as I've heard said in the coffee room from time to time bad.

In all sincerity,

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I must apologize for using the above tactic to get you to read this. The FSRI informed me of research suggesting that to tell somebody not to do something invariably encouraged that person to do the opposite. The FSRI has coined this research "remorse psychology"; the idea being that if you don't do the opposite you may feel ultimately guilty for not having done so. I have yet to see convincing evidence of this theory's effectiveness, but the FSRI has never been wrong before. Now, with the above in mind, I must insist that you never read this blog again, never tell anybody about it and never think about it ...even when you are trying to fall asleep!

I guess I should get to the point. Up till now I've been impressed by our readers' ability to adapt quickly to the tenets and theories that have been gradually trickled down through this blog. Yes, I'm proud of you. What concerns me, however, is that many out there are taking too much time to read and learn what has been presented here. The FSRI has informed me that there are several, nay thousands of readers who spend a good deal of their day perusing this site, going through past posts, laughing at old pictures, notating, and collecting and categorizing the advice we provide.


A true practitioner of Faking Smart! - he or she who follows the tenets and strategies to their requisite modicum - would hesitate to spend too much time looking at this site. What I'm saying here is ...if you're still reading this post right now, there is a good chance that you are failing to fake smart! You may not be adhering to the basic principles of our carefully devised programs and strategies. I know this might be hard to believe, but if you're putting too much effort into this whole thing you're potentially misconstruing this program at a fundamental level and taking Faking Smart! too far.

This post is a post of encouragement! I'm happy to see that thousands and thousands of people are finally learning about this "hidden" method of understanding corporate America. And if the enthusiasm for Faking Smart! continues to be reflected in the massive interest in this blog, I'm confident that Faking Smart! will, one day, be the prism through which all American business is seen and done.

Congratulations to you!


(Attention: This post was formulated by the FSRI for scientific purposes only. Any meaningful or useful information is purely coincidental and is not the responsibility of the FSRI or KWA. In addition, no remorse psychology was incorporated when writing this post.)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Hey everyone, what's up?

I'm sure you're here this week for my regular cutting-edge business reporting. Well, that's not gonna happen. My mom wants the back yard cleaned up for a cookout she's having on Monday, and I just downloaded the Wing Commander Saga demo and I've been sucked into ridding the galaxy of the Kilrathi infestation. In other words, I don't have the time.

So instead of giving you my standard in-depth analysis of the past week's market trends, I'll just shoot you some quick business pointers that I've learned through the years.

1. Never place an E*Trade "buy" order after consuming three or more IPAs - or if you've been taking Vicodin for dental work.

2. Never call your dad up asking for money that you've lost placing "compromised" E*Trade orders.

3. Never place E*Trade orders.

4. Never ask your friend's girlfriend to kiss you after consuming three or more IPAs.

5. Never invest in a tip given to you through an "anonymous" email.

6. Never buy a sailboat unless you enjoy crumpling up hundred dollar bills and throwing them away. (I've never been on a sailboat - I get seasick looking at water - but this what a friend told me.)

Okay, that's if for now. And no, I'm not going to my mom's cookout. I'll be far, far, away when that goes down.

See ya next week. ...Maybe.


(Decateur Thoms is one of the most renowned graduates of the FSIHL (Faking Smart Institute for Higher Learning.) He is an expert thinker, commentator and columnist on a wide range of business subjects and he is recognized by the Faking Smart! Global Fund for his work in helping disadvantaged investors understand the current, global investment marketplace.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Real World Job-hunting - Google

The next company we look at for potential corporate employment is Google. What does it take to get a job at this internet colossus? Take a look:

Enjoy what you do, where you do it, and the people you do it with.

What is it that you really want to do? Your master plan, not just your 5-year plan. At Google, our strategy is simple: we hire great people and support them in turning their aspirations into reality. We work hard here, and play here, and dream here. Googlers are bright, passionate people with diverse backgrounds, coming together to create a unique culture. One where the open exchange of ideas is encouraged and thinking beyond the norm is expected, no matter what position you happen to hold. Working at Google is as much a mindset as it is a job.

Your Faking Smart! tip: As far as you or I can tell, Google's gradual domination of the universe will take time ...and yes, plenty of employees! That's where you come in. If you've got the Google mindset, you've got the Google job! So think "beyond the norm" when telling them that "coming together" is exactly what you do best. For this company we suggest "turning your aspirations into reality" by utilizing the FSRI-developed personal ad approach. The internet means cutting-edge, cutting edge means sharp, and sharp means sexy! Send in a personal ad/application to this icon of the internet - something revealing your steamier side - and be sure to seal this envelope with some virtual perfume and a kiss. Apply using this open letter format:

Location: (your city)
Occupation: Job-hunter/huntress
Education: B.A. Physics - the movement of bodies
Ethnicity: (your ethnicity)
Speaks: French, Italian, Portuguese, English, C++, html, JavaScript
Relationship Status: Single(?)
Interests: Hyperlinking, web-browsing, working, playing and dreaming hard, Googling (many times a day when I'm alone), dancing, karaoke, hot tubs, candlelight dinners and long kisses.

My Goods
Height: 5 ft 11 in (give or take an inch or two or three)
Body Type: Average - athletic - firm.
Hair Length: Luscious - perfect
Eye Color: Varies, depending on angle of my computer screen.

My Habits
Cigarettes: Prefer not to say
Booze: Prefer not to say
Drugs: Prefer not to say

Age between: 9 and 11
Profession: Master of Worlds
Religion: Scale-free Networks
Ethnicity: Binary
Body Type: Virtual
Have Children: no preference
Want Children: Yes!
Drugs: no
Smoking: no
Drinking: I'm a VERY social drinker

REMEMBER: Google wants you to "enjoy what you do, where you do it, and the people you do it with." It's that simple ..."no matter what position you hold." Look smart for this company (...and sexy, too.) Insist on a good position and don't settle for anything less!

Give us an update on how the application went!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Real World Job-hunting

If my predictions hold true, the PC (personal computer ...or as I like to call it, the blog box) is one of the hottest products out there, poised to one day find its place in the average American home right alongside the iPod, the X-Box, the vacuum cleaner and the Brazilian spider monkey. And landing a job at a company that caters to this breakthrough technology may be an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something big!

Claiming to have over 50,000 employees, Microsoft, the marquee marketeer of personal computer programming, is certain to have an opening or two at its sprawling campus. But don't brush down your suit and starch your shirt just yet - Microsoft may have more in store for you than you think! Here's some words from their careers webpage:

Who fits in at Microsoft? All sorts of people, from all over the world. Technical types and creative types. Introverts and extroverts. Rock climbers and movie buffs. People of all backgrounds, who excel in a multitude of fields.

What's the common thread? If you stood all of the 50,000-plus Microsoft employees in front of a large mirror, you would see reflected a collective group that revolves around a few core traits. Those traits may not be secrets to success, but they do provide a framework for what core values are desired at Microsoft.

Your Faking Smart! tip: According to this employee profile it shouldn't be hard to get a job at this software giant. Who fits in a Microsoft? "All sorts of people, from all over the world." (Exchange students.) "Technical types and creative types." (Nerds and Goths.) "Introverts and extroverts." (Loners and the popular kids.) Yes! It may be hard to believe, but from this brief employee breakdown getting a job a Microsoft may be no harder than getting into a sophomore class at highschool! For this company cut to the quick and shoot them a resume that states the bare bones. Be concise (...and back this up with a note from your parents) and tell them that you're transferring from "out of town" and that you're thinking about trying out for the drama club or the cheer-leading squad. Mention that you did some rock climbing with your older brother once and that you totally dig watching movies over doing homework (...yes, you're a movie buff!) When your resume finds its way into the right hands expect a call from principal Gates himself! Then update your vaccination card, get a backpack and get ready for homeroom!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

KWA (Guidance Counselor)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Hey! Didn't think I'd be back, did you? Whatever...

After a roller-coaster last couple of weeks the DOW finally posted a sizable gain on Friday. This came (many have said) as a result of the government's July housing market report stating that housing sales rose an approximate 2%. Wait. July? You heard me right, these were July numbers ...and what, might you ask, has that to do with the multi-billion dollar bailouts going on in the sub-prime mortgage sector in August? NOTHING. Not a dern thing! So, my fellow investors and seekers of business acumen, strike while the iron is hot and sell, sell, SELL! When August's numbers hit the fan a few weeks from now you'll be glad you did. So drain your bank accounts and liquidate your rare stamp collection and put what cash you've made in a water-tight Teflon container and submerge it in the nearest body of murky water (...not your swimming pool) and wait to see how things pan out.

Which leads me to today's New York Times report indicating a down-turn in home sales prices. This may have a dramatic effect for those who've borrowed on their home equity in anticipation of higher future home prices. But do not worry! As far as my own situation is concerned, I've checked with my mom and she's already paid off the house about eight years ago. In other words, my basement apartment is in NO danger of repossession and my Weekly Roundups will continue unabated as long as I continue to date, keep the lawn mowed and make sure the driveway is shoveled.

In the retail sector, I was startled to hear about The Gap's announcement of a 19% rise in quarterly profits. Is this a result of "back to school" sales? Hardly. This number is something solid and a dependable index of how well this company is run. I should know. I was employed at The Gap in our local shopping mall one summer during high school and the work ethic I helped to instill is, I think, finally showing results. Good work GAP! Keep doting your "Is" and folding your tees.

On a cultural note, I was stunned to read Geoff Colvin's Fortune magasine essay, "Are Americans too Lazy?" In his piece he argued that Americans, by "Global standards," were actually working fewer productive hours than most other countries in the world, and that a hard week's worth of work - 48 or more hours - was almost a thing of the past. He said that Americans don't want to believe that research shows "that we're working much less than we used to." I want to officially take issue with this finding. Admittedly, I'm a pundit and a specialist, so I don't qualify as a factory worker or landscaper. My high education in the field of Faking Smart! allows me certain pundit perks that others often wont see or understand. I do want to say, however, that I spend 60-70 hard hours of work writing this column each week for the FSRI and that I'm proud of my efforts. Yes, my paycheck is small - nearly nonexistent - but I'm American and I'll take my flat wage so long as my conscience remains clean.

Finally, an eulogy for Krispy Kreme. Yes, Great Circle Family Foods, the once largest franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., has filed for bankruptcy owing as much as $100 million to as many as 199 creditors. Apparently the "healthy living" movement has taken a bite out of this doughnut powerhouse's bottom line signifying and end of an era. No more will those delicious rings of surgar and trans-fats grace our office break-room tables - no longer will policemen have an excuse to dawdle. Yes, the doughnut may be dead, but love-handles will live on ...and the American may be all the better for it.

Word out,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Real World Job-hunting

The American automotive industry is considered a staple of American corporate will and determination, and getting on board at one of the "Big Three" would truly be a feather in your corporate hat.

After recent layoffs in the struggling automotive sector, now is the perfect time to "put your pedal to the metal" and make your move. With profits rebounding these companies are on a hiring spree right now and GM is a great place to park your Faking Smart! job-hunting skills. Here's an excerpt from their "Careers at GM..." page:

If out-of-the-ordinary is your inspiration, you’ll have plenty of company at General Motors. We encourage our automotive professionals to breakaway from the mainstream and explore the unimagined. Career possibilities here range from the highest tech … to the most advanced research and sciences … to breakthrough design, engineering and manufacturing … to industry-leading financial and business initiatives. If you have the skills, talent and ambition to extend GM's automotive leadership, come to GM where it’s easy to Love What You Do.

Your Faking Smart! tip: According to this description, GM isn't just a big automotive company's "plenty of company," and if you're inspired by anything "out-of-the-ordinary" you'll make an excellent corporate fit at this monster of American automotive ingenuity. Breakaway from the mainstream application process for this company and show how easy it is for you to "explore the unimagined." What is the most unimaginable thing you could do? Apply directly for their top position! Yes, go straight ahead and send this company an email declaring yourself a candidate for CEO of GM. This would be the last thing anybody would imagine you doing! This inspiration may be "out-of-the-ordinary", but that's exactly what their looking for. Lookout Rick Wagoner, here you come! They'll Love What You Do, and you'll love them for it!

Let us know how it goes, and good luck!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Real World Job-hunting

As mentioned last week, in the next series of posts we'll examine what specific companies are looking for in their employees. We'll give you some Faking Smart! hints ...then you apply for a job and tell us how it goes.

Today we take a look at one of our country's venerable old companies. IBM. Here's a blurb from their website:

We've identified the core competencies that provide the foundation for an employee's professional growth at IBM. These foundational competencies establish a common standard of excellence across IBM for all employees. The IBM Foundational Competencies are:

* Adaptability
* Client Focus
* Taking Ownership
* Communication
* Drive to Achieve
* Teamwork & Collaboration
* Creative Problem Solving
* Passion for the Business
* Trustworthiness

Your Faking Smart! tip: Yes, IBM may be one of the biggest and oldest companies around, but don't let that intimidate you. If you show IBM that its "foundational competencies" are part of your "foundational" personality, you've got this job in the bag! Along with your standard application throw in an essay to raise HR eyebrows, and address each of your "competencies" in a way they will never forget. Here's an example of what your essay might contain:

* Adaptability: Tell them about your vacation to Cancun last spring break and how quickly you adjusted to the change of climate.

* Client Focus: Do you wear glasses? If you don't you may want to get a pair. Glasses make you look 63% smarter, and mentioning this will earn an HR nod of approval.

* Taking Ownership: Tell them about the things you own. The more things, the better, in this case.

* Communication: Who do you talk to and how often is a topic you might want to bring up when you mention your "foundational competency" in communication. Remember, the more you talk the better, because you'll be doing a lot of it at IBM.

* Drive to Achieve: Do you drive to work every day? If so, tell them how long it takes for your commute ...and if you don't drive to work tell them about the food drive for charity you take part in annually.

* Teamwork & Collaboration: What sports are you involved in? Let them know your scoring average from last season (...and don't be afraid to bump up those totals slightly. Standard corporate exaggeration stands at around 23%.)

* Creative Problem Solving: NEVER admit you have any problems. If they press you during the interview tell them that you bite your nails.

* Passion for the Business: Get creative here and explain to them that the bigger the business is, the more passion you tend to have for it!

* Trustworthiness: Be honest. Write that you've never so much as stolen a post-it note from work. You may even want to bring up a story about returning your neighbor's lost dog or cat. Mentioning pets is a great way to gain emotional points.

So, there you have it. IBM here you come! Apply and tell us your story. We'll be eager to hear how well you did!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Decateur's Weekly Business Roundup

Hello everyone. Yep, it's the Roundup again. Guess I should get out of bed...

Might as well get to it. The Dow is up 233 points today thanks to the kindly intervention by Big Ben Bernanke and his posse down at the Federal Reserve. My advice this week regarding stocks: BUY! Yes, buy, buy, buy! Take whatever money you can get your hands on and put it in stocks. Blue Chips, OTCs, whatever you can buy, do it! Drain your bank accounts, dig up your chest from your back yard, sell your homes and indenture your children if you have to. This market is hot and not getting on board now is like watching a party train pull out of the station with you sitting back in bitter resentment for not having bought a ticket.

Which brings me to the announcement by Hewlett-Packard that its profits are up 29% for the quarter. This is big news for many reasons. When printer sales are up count on buoyant consumer confidence, because when people are happy they write. They write poems and books and pamphlets announcing weddings, birthdays and barn-buildings. Look for a spike in paper stocks, book publishing equities and corporate stock certificate printing interests.

Regarding grimmer news, this week New York Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, declared that "the internet is the new Afghanistan." This came as a shock to me being I'm a regular user of the internet and frequent poster on the more relevant blogs. If this is true, and that the Taliban are out there watching my every move ...just waiting to run a virtual suicide truck bomb into this site, I wonder if the small remittance I receive from the FSRI is worth the risk? Karzai, if you can hear me, you have my vote if you keep my web-activity IED-free.

Lastly, according to the Wall Street Journal, It's been said that Whole Foods has been approved to purchase competitor Wild Oats Market Inc. This will help the organic retailer to improve its market niche and to strengthen its brand against up-and-coming "organic" competition such as Kroger Foods. The downside is that the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, has been caught promoting his company by using an internet alias on various stock watcher forums. Apparently, through use an anagram of his wife's name Deborah, he's been posting company-touting blurbs to boost Whole Food reputation and consumer attention to its brand. This is totally unacceptable. To use the internet (and especially the comment section in blogs) as a self-marketing tool is beyond moral consideration. And, as for that, to publish "anonymous" comments that pretend to be random public comments is an even more despicable act.

See ya next week.

Decateur Thoms

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Real World Job-hunting

So, now you know how to get corporate work by Faking Smart! In the past weeks we've explored many strategies for job-hunting, now, let's put your skills to the test. In the next series of posts we'll examine what specific companies are looking for in their employees. We'll give you some Faking Smart! hints ...then apply for a job and tell us how it went!

First off, we look at GE. Here is an excerpt from their website describing what kind of person would make a good member of the GE team:

Whatever your career goal, GE is a company big enough for your dreams. Our six businesses span industries as broadly as they span countries. We are continually looking for people of passion and imagination to help create the future of healthcare, entertainment, finance, energy, communications, and more.

Your Faking Smart! tip: GE is a mega-conglomerate, therefore, you have to think like a mega-conglomerate thinks and think big ...big enough for your dreams. For this company forget the formal application process and get creative. There are four key words in this employee description: dreams, passion, imagination and future. They say that a picture says a thousand words, so snap a picture of yourself representing each of these "themes." Take a picture of yourself sleeping (dreams), take a picture of yourself kissing some random person on the street (passion), take a picture of yourself looking up at the sky (imagination) and, finally, take a picture of yourself in a Star Wars costume (future).

You've got four pictures that show you're a perfect fit for this company. Transfer them to 8"x10"s, put them in an envelope with your name and address and send it to GE's HR department and see how quickly they get back to you!

Good luck!, and be sure to tell us what job you got and your general salary range.