27 June, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Blind Employment Ads Are Fishing Expeditions And You Shouldn't Bite

10. Blind ads are only seen by a small segment of the workforce, e.g., "active" job seekers.

9. Blind ads are not seen by "passive" job candidates, e.g., people who are currently working, are relatively happy in their current jobs, and aren't actively seeking new employment.

8. Smart job seekers won't answer blind ads since they can't know who is behind the ad and what that person may do with the information received from respondents.

7. This leaves stupid job seekers, therefore, the employer ends up with resumes from verifiably stupid people.

6. Top employers wouldn't knowingly hire stupid people.

5. Employers stupid enough to hire demonstrably stupid people are probably employers you wouldn't want to work for.

4. The smart employers who don't hire people stupid enough to answer blind ads know there are better ways to find great employees.

3. Smart employers know that using headhunters brings candidates who would never see an employment ad.

2. Smart employers who are proud of their brands know that running branded employment ads helps overall recruitment while running blind, unbranded ads does nothing to build the brand.

1. Smart employers have Linkedin accounts and know how to use Linkedin advanced search to generate lists of passive candidates by geography, by experience, by skills and by education.

For more on blind employment ads read my archived 17 Feb 2010 post.

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23 June, 2012

What My Mother's Pharmacist Told Me About Why Doctors Would Rather Extend Suffering Than Prevent It

The pharmacist who filled most of my mom's prescriptions was surprised to learn that my mother was asking all her doctors for physician assisted suicide.

I asked him why, in his opinion, physician assisted suicide has gained greater acceptance in Europe than it has here. This is when I found out that my mom's pharmacist is an evangelical Christian.

"I think many US doctors are trying to keep their patients alive longer to give give those patients a chance to accept Jesus as their personal savior" said the pharmacist.

"I've yet to see doctors prowling the halls of the hospice house and the nursing homes, Bibles tucked under their arms, trying to get dying patients to say the sinner's prayer" I said. "No, I don't think religious doctors oppose physician assisted suicide out of evangelistic fervor."

"Well" said the evangelical pharmacist "there's also the Hippocratic Oath. Most doctors interpret the phrase "do no harm" to mean that they can't help a patient kill himself."

"But doctors in other nations also swear the Hippocratic Oath and yet they don't seem to interpret the directive to do no harm that way. Why do you think that is" I asked.

The pharmacist said US doctors are more religious than doctors in, say, Europe.

"Well, that may be, I said "but if it is, why do you suppose it's the religious doctors who insist on dong the harm of extending suffering while it is the irreligious doctors who see suffering, not death, as the harm that physicians should prevent?"

The pharmacist said he didn't know. I said I didn't, either.

"Maybe doctors in the US don't want to 'play God'" said the pharmacist.

"Tell me something" I said: "Why is it not 'playing God' when we artificially extend the life of a person through all manner of expensive 'heroic measures' but it's not  'playing God' when we simply accede to the inevitable and seek to relieve the suffering of a person who doesn't want to live any longer? Imagine a person who is in a terrible car wreck. He awakes to find that limbs have been amputated and he is wearing an ostomy pouch and he will be paralyzed for the rest of his miserable life. The doctors who saved his life never asked if they were 'playing God' by saving somebody who may have preferred to die rather than go on living in this awful condition."

My mom's pharmacist didn't mention the role of money and the fact that doctors make more money extending life than they can make preventing suffering. 

And he didn't mention that 80% US healthcare dollars are spent extending life by 6 months.

I hope that when I'm old and sick doctors will see needless suffering as a greater harm than the facilitation of a comfortable and dignified  death.
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20 June, 2012

Death With Dignity - Why My Mother Didn't Get It (And Yours May Not, Either)

As some of my readers know, my mother recently passed away. Now both of my parents are dead.

Here's what some of you may not know unless you learned it the hard way: before your parents die, they are likely to lose their dignity in a great many ways. No child should ever see his parents urinating on themselves, defecating on themselves and losing their mental capacity but there's a good chance you will be there not just to witness but to cause the embarrassment of your parents as they say things that are crazy, as they forget how to use a phone, write a check, work the TV remote or answer the phone. There's a good chance you'll see your parents' private parts and wipe waste off those private parts much to their embarrassment and shame. And as much as it will bother you to have to wipe feces off your parents and change their diapers and sheets, it will bother them more. Well, it will bother them until they lose their self-awareness as my mother did in the last days of her slow death by cancer.

My mother tried to avoid all this by asking all her doctors from her gynecologist to her radiologist to her cancer specialist to her hospice physician to kill her. I was in the room each time she asked a doctor to kill her. 

"When a dog or a cat gets old and sick we take them to the veterinarian and the vet puts them to sleep with a pill or a shot and we call that compassion. So why can't you do that for me?" she asked.

I'm on her side. I hope one day West Virginia lawmakers will be on her side, too.

A lot of European countries and a handful of US states have legalized physician assisted suicide but West Virginia is not one of them. My mother told one of her doctors about a TV show she had seen about legalized physician assisted suicide in Europe. I hadn't seen it so I Googled it and found that the show was on Frontline and is called "The Suicide Tourist". I found the DVD at the Kanawha County Public library.

Had my mother been able to travel and had she asked me to take her to Switzerland or to Montana or to Washington or Oregon so she could avoid losing her dignity, I would have taken her but by the time  she decided to quit radiation and chemotherapy she was unable to even sit up, much less travel. 

I think mom thought that if she refused further chemo and radiation the cancer would take her quickly. It didn't. She had a slow-growing cancer and spent the last 6 months of her life in hospice care - some of it in her own home. The hospice nurses came to her home every day to attend to her prolapsed uterus and to her many infections but there was nothing hospice could do about her depression and her loss of dignity. In the last months of her life she didn't suffer much physically because, whether she was at the hospice house or home in her own bed, we kept her medicated with oxycodone and Fentanyl but, as my mom said, there are many ways to suffer.

I hope West Virginia joins the growing number of countries and states where the compassion we afford our pets is also available to humans when I get old and sick.

I'll have more to say about death with dignity and lessons I learned from my mother's pointless suffering in future posts but, in case you missed it, here's the takeaway from this one: write, call or email your legislators today and tell them to legalize physician assisted suicide so that you and your parents will not have to lose every ounce of dignity in the last days of of a pointless death vigil. I've already sent copies of this post to delegates I know like Bonnie Brown and Barbara Hatfield and to some delegates I don't know.

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07 June, 2012

Nobody Would Ever Guess That WV Public Broadcasting Is Governed By An "Educational Broadcasting Authority"

Perhaps West Virginia Public Broadcasting's executive director, Dennis Adkins, could solve  WVPBS' financial problems - reported by Phil Kabler in the 7 June Charleston Gazette - if he spent less time finding ways to alienate the kind of people who comprise public broadcasting's natural constituency. 

With its Catholic preaching shows, shows that promote "intelligent design" (Journey Of The Universe) and its shows that feature dozens of fat,  semi-famous gospel singers sitting around singing and crying with each other, nobody would ever guess that West Virginia Public Broadcasting is governed by something called "The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority".

Because I am old enough to remember when we actually called public TV "Educational Television", I'm probably not in Dennis Adkins' target demo, but I should be. People like me have a natural desire to support public broadcasting but can't bring ourselves to write a check when we turn on WVPBS and see some globetrotting Catholic preacher yammering about  how God "jammed the cross into the machinery of sin" and separation from God and how the resurrection of Jesus conquered death and so on.

When I go to the West Virginia Public Broadcasting's website and look at the makeup of the EBA board, I count at least 3 professional educators (Jorea Marple, Bruce Berry, Priscilla M. Haden). I hope these 3 professional educators will actually tune in to WVPBS some time and ask themselves if WVPBS makes them proud.

To be fair, WVPBS also airs some outstanding shows, but people like me who remember when separation of church and state was actually taught in 9th grade Civics, are offended when WVPBS, which receives some taxpayer support, airs preaching and gospel singing when it could be airing something educational.