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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Helpful as a Porcupine - Donna Early

Monday, August 29, 2011

Coffee Not Maker

I don't normally do this but this time I'm leaving the company name in because they wouldn't let me send them this mail over the net and I can find no address to send it to them on paper.

Dear Mr. Coffee,

I’ve been using your coffee makers for the last 14 years and I can say definitively that the BW13 is the first I’ve been unhappy with. The Pause-n-Serve doesn’t work, grounds get caught in the filter basket, and cleaning it with those grounds stuck in there is a real pain.

I know this is a cheap unit, but you can do better,

Richard Leland Neal 

Friday, August 26, 2011

BBS Webmaster

One of the unfortunate byproducts of a job search is that job searchers are constantly bombarded with information about online schools. This would be no big deal if it were not for the fact that I need to get a state license to do what I intend to go the school for.

In the flesh education is less convenient and harder, but that would be why it’s more legitimate. When faced with this forty five thousand dollar question the answer is assess, assess, assess. (That fourth “s” is very important)

So I sent this email to the state board. Will they reply? Five bucks says no.

26th August 2011
Dear BBS Webmaster,

I’m currently looking for a grad school to qualify me for a license in mental health counseling.

I’m told you do not recognize a master’s degree from an online school like Grand Canyon University or Capella. Is that true?

Do I need to get an MS or will an MA do?

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Security Director

Another cover letter with no call back. Well, you tell me what I did wrong.

My Dear Friends,

I take interest in your opening for a Security Director because of my more than ten years of experience as a uniformed Security Officer and my spring graduation from Cal State Fullerton with a BA in Psychology.

My last assignment of length with Allied Barton was at a factory that made parts for the US Air Force where I was offered the position of First Officer but declined because it required me to discontinue my education.

As an experienced Security Officer I can relate to Guards under my stewardship. My experience with security providers will allow me to deal with third party issue should they arise. My training in Psychology gives me a great advantage in motivating, communicating with, and understanding Security Officers so I can get you the most output for your investments in security.

My experience and training are strong indicators that I would do well as your Security Director, but let me give you a thought further. Back when I worked for Burns International Security I spent a good amount of time as an On Call Officer. In that post I had to know and work well over fifteen posts for as many contracts, and I learned about how many companies conduct their security. I was even called to evacuate government buildings after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Over my tenure in security people have entrusted me with millions in property, national security, and their lives you can fill confident in doing the same.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rafflesia arnoldii

The date on this file was 12th October 1995, and I had a time trying to make it worth reading. Why I wrote this under the idea of two men looking for a stinky flower I don’t know, but it must have made sense at the time.

Rafflesia arnoldii

"Its here, I can smell it" said the man in the tan hat.
"All I smell is a dead monkey rotting in the heat" Responded the man in green.
"Oh' it’s not far off,” the man in the tan had said as they trudged along through the rain forest. “It’s within ear shot. In a moment you will be gazing on the largest flower in the world." Then they sow it the red petals all five covered with yellow warts. The whole thing was more than a foot across. Growing from the root of a creping plant it is the world’s strangest flower.
“The Rafflesia Arnoldii is by far the weirdest thing in the world,” the man in the tan hat said with pride. “Its common name is the Corpse Flower called this for its stench. That rotten stench is why it’s always surrounded by carrion flies. It is very particular; it springs from the roots of Tetrastigma creepers. Its overnight buds grow to the sizes of large cabbages. As many other plants it has a distinguishment between the sexes by unless you want to dissect it you can't tell the difference.”
“Are you impressed?” asked the man in the tan hat.

 “I am,” said the man in green. “This big old flower is on the verge of oblivion. Two variations have been lost. It’s one of the many residents of the rain forests. It is not the greatest thing to have at a party, but it has its subtle charms. It lives for 4 days then wilts. It’s hard to cultivate in captivity but it can be done. Personally the only way to describe it is to say disgusting but wondrous. It is a curiosity not fully understood, do too its rarity it is one of the wonders of the plant kingdom. One we have no right to destroy.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Experience in a Play

This file is dated 23rd October 2004 and is an essay I wrote in college regarding my experience as an actor in the play ‘Dracula’. To be honest I have almost no memory of writing this, but the events I speak of are clear in my mind. I should have been complaining about the director not doing enough to address actors lighting things on fire and threatening other cast members, but that’s another story.

Experience Paper

I must say that this production was no different than most productions that I have been in. I was well loved by most of the cast, well hated by some, and left a definite mark on the production. However, there are some things that did strike me as needing improvement.
The first of which is props. They were not provided in a timely fashion which is what prompted me to provide some of them. The package and the knife were the most significant as they were functional props that required handling that affected character development. I felt that the scene with the package was slightly awkward and this may have been ironed out if we had longer to work with it. This is also true for the flask. I had some difficulties with it in the first act and needed more working time to get used to it. I feel I had trouble with the examination as well but that is my fault. I was under the impression that I was to have more tools during that part of the play.

Another of my concerns was the deadline for ticket sales. I would have liked an explanation for that. I put out twenty five hundred coupons for this play and personally escorted people to the ticket window knowing that I could not get credit for them. Is there no way to encourage people to by tickets sooner? Will the department okay coupons that will expire on the deadline and be useless before the play opens?

It took more than a week to get the fliers I had okayed and I had to be very lean with them. In the future, I will have to use the back if I am to place this information on them and that will double the printing time. It will however give me room for parking directions.

Another difficulty I had with this play was navigating between the dialect coach and the director. At times they did not agree, and it was hard to keep it all straight. I have no suggestion on how to remedy this, it seems to be a fact of theatre but that is the difficulty that I had.

One of the other aspects that seem to be unfixable is volume. I had to try and speak at the level of my fellow actors to avoid feedback from sound adjustments and the American College Theater Festival representative noticed this to be a problem of the show. My only advice on this subject would be to perform more effective warm-ups. I used Sphinx and knee-bend monologues for this and I found that it forces the body to project as well as exercising concentration skills. It works well for me but I have always been louder then the average actor.

That is what I have to say about my experience with ‘Dracula’. I regret that I could not be more helpful but I was given no criteria for this assignment and can’t really say that I know how to go about explaining my experiences. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I’m reasonably sure this is an assignment from an English class I wrote back in 2004. It’s hard to believe that as a twenty four year old I wrote so much like a child but then I was suffering from a deep depression.

I’ve had to edit this text some because of all the typos that would make it almost unrecognizable as literate writing. Indeed, if I were ask to read this now not knowing it to be my own hand I would have thought the writer insane.
23rd October 2004


Once I felt angry, I had worked as a rover for 90 days marking more than one year with my company and they didn’t give me my raze. All it would have done was put me back to my starting pay. They had promised me that much. I didn’t want to work for Burns after that I had thought it was a good job but they just did not holed up there end of the bargain. After that there was just a weight on my back. I just didn’t have a will to work for people that lied to me. I stopped answering their calls after a while. To do that hurt I always liked being reliable before that but it just felt like I had betrayed myself.
Depression is an emotion I know well, sometimes you can see it in my eyes dark places no madder how much I sleep. It feels like the world just jumped on my back, and I can’t get it off. I have a good reason to (Pickle) is mentally disabled; I could spend the rest of my life taking care of him and never be free of it. It builds anxiety knowing that you live with a man that is not stable. You feel like he is always they’re hiding in the shadows and you wonder when he will snap once more. I can’t bring friends over much, who would want their friends to see such depravation from joy.

And then on to joy. Joy is a sense that I have been raised from the ashes of my world. You’d never see it in me; I never was a man to show emotions. It’s just such a light tingle that I can never really know of I feel it or what makes me feel that way. Joy is such a tender thing: it so easily can wilt and die. Like a fine wine held in the mouth forgotten as soon as it’s swallowed.

Emotions are not like me. People think that I don’t like fun you can’t really feel. In a way it’s true, I’m have felt so much I’m just a bit numb. I have never been one to care what I felt. It’s what I thought strong appeared to be.   

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Cover Letters

Here are two cover letters I recently sent out. The truth is that in both letters I try to make my experience relevant to the job I apply for and make myself look like the one they want.

I have never been any good at that.

2nd August 2011
Dear (hiring contact),

I grant that my experience looks irrelevant to the job at hand, but good time management, an attention to detail, and strong communication skills are staples of both occupations.

Over the passed eleven years, I have spent my time being adaptable and dependable. I spent the first half of this year finishing my degree in Psychology, and I have a good understanding of what questions to ask and how to resolve conflicts.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

2nd August 2011
Dear (Health Group),

I may appear to be an odd choice for a Director of Risk Management, but this was an onsite duty for me during my eleven years as a Security Officer. I must admit that the majority of the injuries I responded to were due to a failure to adhere to safety protocol.

My education in Psychology and my experiences with the mentally ill offer themselves to this labor. In addition, I have instructed hundreds of people in safety procedures. I know what works and what does not. I have a great deal of experience implementing safety procedures and analyzing the reasons for at work injuries.

I have the advantage of firsthand experience, and the most direct knowledge of how important this work is to a safe work place.  

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, August 5, 2011

Health Advice: Ask a Fat Man

31st July of 2011
Dear Cassi,

The strangest of all things happened last week when I went to the gym. I submersed my three hundred pound bulk in the pool and began to run. An hour after I began my labors, a man struck up a conversation with me from the side of the pool.

He confessed to me that he had gained a great state of health then stopped coming to the gym and gained the weight back. He said, from his spot standing on the side of the pool, that he was committed to dropping another five pounds before working out with weights.

Far be it from a good idea for a fat man like me to give health advice, but I told him that he should pay little mind to five pounds. The man proceeded to ask me questions about health and diet until another hour of my cardio had passed. I found it hard to hear him when I walked to the other side of the pool, but he showed no inclination to walk along as I jogged or find a better spot for our conversation.
I found him to be devoid of understanding in the nature of health. I gave what knowledge I had on the subjects he asked about, but I see little hope for a man who is inclined to watch as others exert themselves. He took his leave of me and said he was on his way to the upper gym to get some work done.
This event should hold little surprise for me. I once saw a five hundred pound man selling diet products and people still took an interest.

Sometimes we see what we want to,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drive Yourself to Poverty, Work for Use

A true account and there is little more to say. Some would tell me that some job is better than no job, others would applaud me for saying no. I say it is what it is and it is time to move on.

25th July 2011
Dear Cassi,

 The latest of my job search woes was a growing security guard company. I sent them my resume online and was called in for an interview. I met a man with my own first name. This fellow told me that the amount of time I had spent with my last company was an exceptional reason for them to hire me.
I was then called in the next week to become a “Flex Officer” in the Orange county area. As I sat filling out paperwork, I found a page about steeling within the company. It stated that the company had four accounts of theft by security guards in the past year. That would be four accounts they know of indicating that there were at least forty in reality.
They asked if I lived anywhere near the job site, and I informed them that I did not. It was when they glazed over that point that I knew something was wrong. I brought up the point for a second time and the operations manager said “You’ll never get a job right next to you.”
I was informed that if I wanted this job I had to be willing to drive fifty miles to work every day at a paycheck that would hardly cover keeping my car running.
I have always thought that this came from the idea that if a person needs the money they will come to work. It is an idea that fails to take into account what this will do to job performance. Financial problems place a worker under stress. Where as it is true that a worker under stress is less likely to be able to get another job they are more motivated to do so. The stressed worker can put less into their work and is less productive.

People work these jobs because they have little alternative. The need for work holds them like the manacles of a dungeon. So many companies right now are held together by the bad economy that if it ever got better these companies might just disappear.

In the end they referred me to another office but I have not heard back,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cover Letter to a Funeral Home

Now you might think that I’m desperate because I applied for a job at a funeral home, but I harbor no dread for working with the dead. I’m told that this is a lucrative profession.

25th of July 2011
Dear (HR director at a cemetery),

I know that my qualifications are somewhat lacking for the position of an Arrangement Counselor, yet I still believe that this is a job for which I am suited. I have a BA in psychology so understanding the emotions of the grieving should be no trouble for me. Both my mother and one of my best friend’s fathers now reside within your park and I would be proud to do for others as was done for them.

Furthermore, my work as a Security Officer instilled in me the values of a tidy uniform, accurate reports, and a friendly spirit. In addition, I have always been a man eager to help in any way I can, and I have a good deal of physical strength.

It is true that I was laid off at the beginning of this year, but my company new me to be a college man and soon to graduate. They had the choice between myself and a family man. I was likely to find a better job in the next year, and he was likely to work with the company for the rest of his life.

Thank you for your time,

Richard Leland Neal