My 2 cents about Random LinkedIn Invites

I got motivated to throw my 2 cents out following a discussion on LinkedIn that came up on my feed that one of my connections had commented on. It was concerning how we should all just accept every invite we get because it increases our ‘network’. Since LinkedIn won’t allow their users to make posts longer than just a couple paragraphs I figured I’d rant here.

This discussion was primarily around receiving invites to connect out of the blue from individuals in the recruiting/headhunting professions.

While I very rarely get invites to connect from Recruiters because my skills aren’t really all that in demand I still disagree with the notion of accepting invites just because.

I generally always decline invites from recruiters, when I do get one, because I know that they are sending them because they’re simply clicking down their “People You Might Know” list and sending to everyone indiscriminately.

Like it or not, a Recruiter/Headhunter is only as successful as their contact list and the scope of their ability to network with people in the industry that they are recruiting for.

They’re selling a service and the more people in their contacts list that they can sell to, the more successful they are.

This isn’t in question and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simply the nature of the position.

However, as such, it is far more beneficial to the recruiter sending out the invites than it is for the individual receiving the invite.

Blindly accepting an invite, on the off chance that a recruiter, who really knows nothing about you, ‘might‘ one day have a position you’d be a fit for will simply clutter your feed with posts that you likely don’t care about.

In the meantime, that recruiter gets to mention their considerable range of contacts as a selling point to people they ‘do‘ have a position for. They get to have a “500+ Connections”, etc. on their profile which looks impressive.

Like it or not, those of us on the receiving end of random invites are simply being looked at as a commodity and means to an end.

This isn’t a negative attitude, it’s a harsh reality.

Being a Recruiter/Headhunter is a tough job and is beneficial and necessary for the industries they server, but, like it or not there’s no incentive to simply accept invites on LinkedIn blindly UNLESS someone is actively looking for a new role, in which case THEY would be the ones sending a recruiter the invite.

So, if you’re a Recruiter, take a moment to actually put yourself in the position of the one you’re sending an invite too and don’t go getting all bent out of shape if they decline your request.

Who Am I?

TL;DR: This is a long, rambling, narcissistic post that might as well be my own Wikipedia page. I am writing it for my own therapeutic benefit because honest self-reflection can help one improve who they are as people. Read at your choice.

Both in Science Fiction, for decades, and Science itself lately, we theorize and search for solutions to creating Artificial Intelligence. Sentient Machines. Robots that are capable of independent thought and the ability to ask themselves “Who Am I?”

Funny thing is, when is the last time we’ve asked ourselves that question?

Who Am I?

We rush about in our day to day lives, between our work, casual activities, hobbies, seeking personal pleasure, or helping others in their similar activities. Lost in the endless rut that is our existence. Never really slowing down to look within. To try and honestly gaze into our soul and see just who it is that is looking back.

What are our beliefs? Our Dreams? Goals. Aspirations. Regrets. Where did we come from and who have we become today?

I have had life changes fairly recently, not by my choice, that have led to more inner demons than I had before, or at least brought the ones I had into more focus.

That has lead me to start trying to discover who I am. To work on the issues I have, and to try to develop peace in my current existence.

I recently read a website focused around people who seek attention. Brought on by someone commenting online that my attitude was a way of me trying to get attention.

Here’s the thing. For as long as I can easily remember, at least since my pre-teen, grade school age years, I have had a “self-deprecating”, i.e. “negative” attitude, at least outwardly. I honestly couldn’t even tell you why. It’s not related to any mistreatment or abusive childhood, or any such thing. It’s just how I’ve always been.

The aforementioned discussion had alluded to my self-deprecating attitude as perhaps I was seeking attention. Thus lead to this website I mentioned that talked about ways to get over an attention seeking mentality.

Well, one of the first steps suggested on this website was to look truly at oneself to see ‘who we are’.

So, I’m going to do just that. This is written for myself but I’ve chosen to post it publicly so I’m taking you lucky readers with me. Prepare yourselves for the ride into my inner psyche. You’ll be asked to return the 3-D Glasses after the end of the show.

Who Am I?

Well, let’s start with my name. It’s legally Steven Michael Rigsby. Though, literally since birth, no one in my life has called me by my legal first name, until I got it changed when we were in the Social Security Office getting my wife’s card changed, (topic for future paragraphs), even my Social Security Card said just Michael Rigsby.

The story I was told, not sure if it’s actually true or not, is that my Father, David, had a brother named Steve who complained because no one in the immediate family named any of their kids after him. So they named me Steven to shut him up. Thing is, or so I was told, he was a dick. No one in the family really liked him. So they might have named me Steve, but they refused to call me that.

Ok, enough about the name. I just found out last year, at age 44, that my parents weren’t even married at the time of my birth. Weird how these, somewhat important, little details fail to get mentioned as I was growing up. Not really a big deal, to be honest, but it was weird to have not known that until such a late age.

My previously mentioned father, David, was ex-military. I believe it was the Korean War that he was in, as a Marine. I believe he was a Cook in the Marines actually. His name was David Michael, and I am proud to carry his middle name as my own.

After his military duty, and during the hazy furthest memories I have, he was a Logger. Sadly, it was a logging accident that took his life, at age 44.

I was 7 years old at the time, just one month before my 8th birthday. I’m now 45, older than my father ever reached, which to be totally honest, kind of weird’s me out a bit.

I have, or had (we’ll get into that) a total of 6 half-siblings. My father had two sons and two daughters from a previous marriage. My mother had two daughters from a previous marriage. I was the only child they had together. Obviously I was the youngest of the family.

I’ve since had one older brother die in a vehicle accident, when I was 18, and an older sister die from a terminal brain tumor. I don’t recall how old I was when my sister died but it was sometime in my 30’s. Both were from my father’s side.

My mother, Thelma, passed away when I was 18. Also of cancer. (Side Note: Fuck Cancer!)

In the years between 7, when my father died and 18, when my mother died, she did her best to raise me as a single mom. She briefly remarried a total douchebag for a couple years, in the 10-12 age time frame, but that, thankfully, didn’t last. In those interim years I started keeping a count of addresses that we lived at. By age 18 I had made it up to 65 different addresses. Since age 18 till now, at age 45, I added about 10 more addresses. So I had obviously had my fill of moving.

So, from Age 7, until Age 13, we had lived in 65 different places, around Southern Oregon, the Oregon Coast, and Northern California and California Coast.

No fucking clue why.

My mother was a restless spirit and just liked to move. We had lived in 13 different addresses, in 15 years, all in one city, Coos Bay, on the Oregon Coast.

For several years the longest I lived at one address was 2 months. I literally didn’t unpack. My clothes would be washed, folded, and put back into boxes instead of a dresser, for several years.

Due to the moving I was constantly changing schools and my mother finally just pulled me out of school in the 8th grade. We attempted home schooling through a correspondence course school, which I did for the 9th and 10th grade years. However, even that ended up getting canceled because the course books couldn’t keep up with the address changes.

Also due to this nomadic lifestyle I essentially didn’t have any friends for long until age 13. At least at that point we only moved around in the same city so I was able to keep the same friends, all of which I still actually keep in touch with.

This lifestyle pretty much kept me from developing social experiences with friends, girlfriends, etc. so that’s probably a big reason why I’m kind of an introvert in person to this day and only really comfortable socializing online.

I had my first girlfriend at age 23, which lasted 2 years, then the next one wasn’t until I was 28. Since that age till now I can count the number of relationships I’ve had, including a couple casual ‘friends with benefits ones’ on both hands and not need all my fingers.

At age 32 I met the woman I ended up marrying at age 35. As of this writing we’re still married legally but in 2013 it was decided to separate because she had realized she was no longer in love. It happens and I’m managing to move on. She’s happier now and I’m grateful for the 10+ years of happiness that I’ve had. No harm, no foul, No regrets. Well, no regrets aside from my part in the relationship drifting apart. My life moves on. Just now in the way that I wanted.

Scattered throughout these years, I got my first full time job at age 13, at a car wash. I also got a job for a couple different janitorial companies that I maintained for 15 years. I worked in retail, at the same department store, I worked for 6 years. From age 27 to 29 I lived in Minnesota, with a woman I had met online, and worked at a video store/convenience store in a small town there. I survived two full Minnesota winters and decided to get the hell out and back home to Oregon.

At 30 I got a job at the company I am still with, a contract circuit board manufacturer. Within the company I’ve held several different positions and ended up in the IT department in 2005. I’ve always had an interest in computers and a strong aptitude in working on them. I had fixed, upgraded, etc. computers over the years since age 13, much to my mothers confusion.

There’s little details mixed in that history, like that fact that the previously mentioned douchebag that my mother was married to for a couple years (we lived in Northern California at the time) ended up being literally psychotic. He was a bit of a split personality. A great guy while my mother was getting to know him. Then after they got married she found out that he’d been in prison for assaulting a previous wife with a claw hammer. He also alluded to being a contract ‘problem solver’ for the mob, and frankly I believe him. Like I said, I’m glad my mother got out of that marriage immediately after these wonderful revelations.

This has rambled its way into the present and all of that history has contributed to me being who I am.

Genetics has blessed me with a fairly high intelligence and a great deal of common sense.
My mother’s diligence in raising me and a close knit family has lead me to be an honorable, reasonably ethical, and decent adult.
Natural aptitude has lead me to being a Network Administrator and fairly highly skilled Computer Technician with a good job for a good company.

Those are the positives but positives can’t truly exist without negatives.

Life’s inevitable trials and difficulties have also lead me to being a bit of an introvert. To have a ‘self-deprecating’ negative attitude about myself. To be ‘my own worst enemy’, or critic, because nothing I do is ever good enough for myself. To having a fairly substantial self-esteem problem and knowing there’s no reason for it. To having a bit of an ADD problem. To having a hard time ever feeling truly happy. To being on an anti-depressant. To having a bit of a short temper and lack of patience when it comes to things not working the way I want. To having a hard time letting anyone get close to me. To being a difficult person to be married to apparently.

To learning to accept myself with all of my good, and bad, traits and to being determined to be a better man tomorrow than I am today.

Toss in a sarcastic wit and smartass sense of humor, which may be considered positive or negative depending on who you ask.

 

That, is who I am.

Who are you?

 

On Reflections of a Walrus

“Let us talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax— Of cabbages—and kings— And why the sea is boiling hot— And whether pigs have wings.”.

With utmost respect to Lewis Carroll, let us talk of many things, of Trolls, and Loss, and Growing Old, Of Attitudes and Feelings, and why our Lives are Precious Things, and whether Pizza is better than Buffalo Wings.

I began my morning today, on this March 7th, 2015, the 45th Anniversary of my entering into this world with bickering with a Troll. Not a bad way to start the day considering my past as a Role-Playing Gamer. Sadly for the Troll, I am the one who wields the Banhammer and he gave me just enough experience points to level up as I put him in his place.

In both our Professional and Personal lives, in our Hobbies and in our Passions, we lose a piece of our soul if we shut out everything else around us to the exclusion of our single, myopic vision of “what’s right”.

In this particular Troll instance, the person is a Linux ‘fan’. Fan in this case is truly short for fanatic. My particular industry, Information Technology, is full of them.

Technology in general really. People who will stand in line for hours, sometimes days, for a new iWhatsit. People who take every possible opportunity to tell everyone around them how much better their favorite whatever is superior to everything else on the market. Who hate on a particular RPG, Band, Video Game, whatever and verbally abuse anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Sad, pathetic little creatures who focus so hard on their own self-righteous thoughts and opinions that they miss the wonderful variety there is out there available to those of us who appreciate everything.

Life has far too much to give us to be so totally focused on our preferences as to only see our world in a narrow tunnel vision.

I have a friend of mine who recently, and totally unexpectedly, lost a member of his family. Myself and all of the IT Community that him and I are in immediately extended respects, condolences, and support. Why? Because we’re just that, a community.

We have each others back. Period.

Losing someone is a stark reminder of our own mortality and should give us a renewed appreciation for what we have and what we can still achieve in life. As I told this friend, I personally feel like that reminder is one final gift given to us by those we’ve lost.

They exit this world with a reminder to those who remain to truly appreciate it.

Don’t focus on your own bias to the point where you ignore all else.

Don’t throw away what, or who, you have in your life because you’ve spent so long focusing on the bad traits that you lost sight of the good ones.

Don’t be so narrow minded in your own personal views of what it right as to discriminate against people who live their lives, and loves, in a manner you don’t agree with.

Live and Let Live and in all things, do no harm.

Oh, except for that whole Pizza thing. Sorry, if you think Buffalo Wings are better, you’re wrong.

 

 

Staring Down the Barrel

In two weeks from tomorrow I turn 45. By all standard measures of time, Mid Life. I’m honestly not looking forward to it.

Shinedown expresses my thoughts well in the attached song.

“Swimming through the ashes of another life. No real reason to accept the way things have changed.”

“Swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart.”

Just a few short years ago I actually had everything in my life that I wanted. Wife, awesome step-kids, living in a House, a good job. By all accounts, I had what most people feel are signs of a good life.

Now I’m staring down the barrel of 45. I’m Single, not by my choice, with no feeling of that ever changing, living alone in a small, but nice, apartment and simply struggling to get from sunup to sundown every day. Life can change in an instant and I hold no ill feelings towards anyone who might have caused it.

People have to do what they feel is necessary to be happy and sometimes others get burnt in the process. When you’re the one who got burnt, there’s no reason to be bitter about it. Dust yourself off, move on, and respect the person who made that choice because you know full well it wasn’t easy for them either.

At least I still have the good job and that doesn’t look to ever be in danger of changing for the worse.

Yeah, ok. I’m whining in a ‘woe is me’ rant.

Tons of others have been in my same situation and tons of other people have it far worse in life.

You know what? Honestly, I really don’t care.

I hate feeling depressed and without much hope of ever being truly happy again and having people tell me “Oh, I’ve been there. It’ll get better.” Or “Stop your complaining. There are millions of people who have it worse and would love to have your life.”

All true and yeah, chances are things will get better and things honestly aren’t as bad as they feel now either.

My point of this public peak into my inner struggles is that I’m tired of feeling beaten, at least temporarily, and then having people throw guilt in on top of it because somehow my struggles and troubles aren’t important enough for me to feel depressed about.

I get knocked down, and I get back up. EVERY SINGLE TIME. No matter what life throws at me, it won’t stop me from getting back up, dusting myself off, and moving on. However, it’s not easy and it is absolutely worth feeling ‘down’ over.

People need to understand that when you tell someone who is going through difficult times in their life and are feeling depressed to “get over it” basically, by saying “Others have it worse” or “You’ll be fine”, you’re not helping. Your intentions are solid and you might mean well, but by belittling someone’s struggles and forcing them to feel guilty because they feel like crap and now feel selfish because they also know others have it worse, it’s not helping.

A friendly hand, a pat on the back, a salute. Showing silent encouragement and obvious respect for someone who’s feeling beaten but is still going, that is what helps.

I also want other people out there who are going ‘through the dark’ to realize they’re not alone. Life’s changes are a roller coaster, both good and bad, and sometimes depression can play a part in it.

The thing is, to get off a roller coaster, you ride it out. You take ‘the Ups’ and ‘the Downs’ and keep going because you know that one always follows the other. There is no surprise here. There’s always good things in life, if you make a conscious effort to look, even during the bad times.

Hell, even this rambling disjointed blog post is all over the board. Starting with negative feelings and ending with hoping to be encouraging.

Giving in and letting the darkness win during ‘a Down’ means that’s how your story ends.

It’s not for you to end your own story. You write it, let the life you lead finish it.

 

Is This Thing On?

Well, here I am. New Domain and a new Blog layout (with much thanks to Shawn Foust, a friend who overhauled my template to save me from WRSD, or WordPress Related Stress Disorder).

So, this isn’t much of a post. More just a ‘ping’ to announce the changes and see if all of the Social Connections work and this posts out to the feeds that I wanted to echo blog posts to.

I am going to make a concerted effort to actually post more than once a year mad rants like I did on my previous blog. So, that either means I’m going to just write up more entries, or rant more. I think that will depend on the mood of the moment.

So, hey. Feel free to follow. There is a Subscription link at the bottom and also please provide any constructive feedback that might arise.

What the hell has happened to us

Where have we gone?
Where have we drifted to as a species?

When we can have a flagrantly immoral, publicity seeking whore throw the entire Women’s Rights movement and Battle for Equality and Respect back to the Dark Ages with one single nauseating photo and gain more attention than the technological achievement of landing a box the size of a van, launched a decade ago, onto an asteroid 3 million miles away.

When we even have such a thing as a “Women’s Rights movement” in the first place. By what possible justification should they need to fight for equality and respect? Why is that even a thing!

When we can have societies who put their daughters to death because they become victims to some human garbage animal who rapes them. All supposedly because they have brought shame to the family. All in the name of some religion.
What about the shame of not giving your own child the support and love they desperately needed when they needed it the most?

When we can pay corrupt Politicians and Corporate Executives millions of dollars while there are homeless Veterans living in alleys who sacrificed everything they had in life for a country they loved and thought would support them.

When we can pay some talented athlete millions of dollars to throw a ball for a few months out of the year while there’s some single mother working 3 jobs just so she can barely scrape by and provide for her children.

When we can have a 9 year old girl accidentally kill a shooting instructor with an Uzi and then we rail about how it’s our “Constitutional Right” to own firearms and we verbally abuse anyone who so much as mentions the possibility of better gun controls.
Seriously?! A fucking machine gun?
A 9 year old girl who now has to live for the rest of her life knowing she killed someone and live with that image.

Fuck you and your “rights of gun ownership”. You know damned well that isn’t what the Founding Fathers meant or what this country was built on.

When we can proudly say that this country was based on things like Freedom of Religion and Equality while at the same time persecuting anyone with different religious beliefs or sexuality than ourselves.
How about you stop waving that precious Bible of yours in other people’s faces and actually read the damned thing you fucking hypocrites.

When we can work 40 hours a week while at the same time seeing the same obviously perfectly healthy person begging for spare change every single day.
Or knowing of people who collect unemployment, welfare, food stamps, and child support while living in low income housing and buying expensive TVs and driving luxury cars.

How about you parasites get a damned job instead of stealing that subsidized support from people who actually legitimately need it.

When we can have charities struggling for finances to help rebuild countries ravaged by natural disaster that we feel we ‘don’t have the money to support‘ while we walk into Starbucks for our daily $5 latte.
I hope your coffee tastes like battery acid.

When we can idolize celebrities and then actively support, and/or ogle, the theft of female celebrities most personal photographs. Then we justify it by saying they deserve it because they’re celebrities? Seriously?
When we can give stricter penalties and sentencing to someone who illegally downloads music or movies than we do to Drug Dealers and Rapists.
When we can have political parties who care more for making the ‘other side’ look bad than they do about improving life for everyone. Then when any decisions are attempted by either side it is immediately opposed by the opposite party all because it is ‘the other side.’
You know what you need in order to even have sides? A whole! Right-wing, Left-wing, Same Goddamned Bird!
How about you morons stop spending so much time throwing mud at each other and actually work together for benefit of everyone?
When we can actively pollute, throw our trash on the ground, waste food, waste resources, hunt animals to extinction because some part of them has monetary value. All doing damage to the only damned planet we have. Actively helping to hasten our own demise. What the hell?! I can’t even form words enough to voice my disgust.

When we can have teenagers bullying others to such a horrible extent that the victim takes their own life, or they mentally snap and kill others in shooting rampages. Then we can say things like bullying should have encouraged them to toughen up.
You know what? Just fuck you.

When we can reach such a desperate point in our lives where we might not actually consider suicide but if we were ever in a fatal accident our last dying thought would be “Thank you” and we don’t even know what we did to reach that point. Let alone have any idea how to get out of it.

What the hell has happened to us?