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.)