Monday, April 10, 2017

Signed copies of Shrinkage!

People often email me and say, "Hey, I want to give a copy of your book to my friend who just got diagnosed. Can you please sign it for them?" I'm always happy to, but previously, in order to get it signed, you'd have to bring it to a live show when (if) we happened to be in your town. Or go through the time-consuming (and kind of expensive) process of mailing it in to the show's PO Box and waiting for us to get it back to you as soon as we were able.

Now, you can get an autographed, personalized hardcover copy right away. I'll happily sign it for you, your friend, or your enemy (assuming you hated the book), and write whatever message you'd like inside.

Just click the button below for an autographed copy of Shrinkage and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Responses to the "Snowflake Test"

As discussed on the 3/30/17 episode of the Adam Carolla Show, all Carolla Digital employees were asked to take an employment survey designed by the CEO of Silent Partner, an advertising agency. The CEO determined I was the least likely to get an interview based on the answers provided for the survey (colloquially known as a "Snowflake test"). Important disclosure: In his reasoning for why I would not get called for an interview, the CEO cited that my answers made me seem like a "jackass," not a snowflake. The 30-question test appears below, along with my 100%-honest answers, exactly as they were submitted to the company. 


1. Outside of standard benefits, what benefits should a company offer employees?

What are considered "standard benefits"? What is the size of the company? What level of employment? C-suite? Entry level? What industry? What part of the world? Assuming a Director-level or above position at a larger marketing corporation in a major city: health insurance, 401k, stock options, time off (PTO/vacation, sick days, maternity leave) would widely be considered "bare minimum." 

2. What should the national minimum wage be?

There shouldn't be a national minimum wage. The minimum wage should be dictated by a number of (mostly local) factors. $15/hour might be far too low in Manhattan, NY, but it might be too high in Manhattan, Kansas (see what I did there?)

3. How many sick days should be given to employees?

This, of course, depends on a number of factors. Is this for an entry-level position or a VP? What do competing firms in the area offer? Is there a mandatory number dictated by local or state law? As a baseline, one day every 2 months (6 per year) seems fair for entry-level employees. 

4. How often should employees get raises?

Typically, once per year, when they get their annual reviews. The raises should be commensurate with their performance (i.e., a higher score on your performance review gets a higher percentage of salary increase). Of course, if the position is results-based (sales, for instance) then regular bonuses (quarterly/monthly) should be offered.

5. How do you feel about guns?

What a bizarre question for an employment survey.

6. What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns?

Depends on the industry. If I'm a police officer, I feel pretty good about it. If I'm a pre-school teacher, not so much. All things being equal, if the gun owner is licensed and trained and permitted to carry a concealed weapon, go ahead.

7. What are your feelings about safe spaces in challenging work environments?

I believe these are apocryphal and I don't think they actually exist. Unless you're a professional fighter and your "challenging work environment" is the ring and your "Safe space" is the neutral corner between rounds. 

8. In a creative environment like The Silent Partner Marketing, what do you envision work attire looking like?

I'm sure it would look much like all the other marketing firms I've seen: Casual but professional, with certain departments (HR, Finance, etc) dressing a little more conservatively and others (Production, Design) dressing a little more casually. 

9. Should “trigger warnings” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be considered “controversial”?

That depends on the material. If the client is a anti-abortion group who is trying to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and the ad they've approved is an image of a mutilated fetus, then yes, I think it'd be prudent to mention that "the image you are about to see is extremely graphic." 

10. How do you feel about police?

Again, what a strange job-interview question.

11. If you owned the company and were to find out that a client is operating unethically but was a high paying client…how would you handle it?

This is such a vaguely hypothetical question that it's difficult to answer without knowing specific circumstances. Let's just assume the unethical behavior is illegal - in which case, you'd be facing legal action yourself for not reporting it. 

12. When was the last time you cried and why?

Six months ago, when my daughter was born. 

13. You arrive at an event for work and there’s a major celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. What happens next?

If we're both at the event, then I'm assuming the celebrity is there because he/she has some connection to the company. Assuming this is a marketing firm, then it's fair to assume the "major" celebrity appeared in some form of advertising the company produced. In which case, I'd wait for an opportune time to politely compliment and thank him or her on the work they did with our company.

14. What’s your favorite kind of adult beverage?

1. Beer
2. Wine
3. Martini
(If you're asking "Gin or vodka?" - I said "MARTINI.")

15. What’s the best way to communicate with clients?

Like, what is literally the best mode of communication? The obvious answer is "Whatever the client prefers," but all things being equal, face-to-face communication is best. After that, whatever is most convenient for everyone: email, text, instant message, video conferencing, etc.

16. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Take inane surveys.

17. What are your thoughts on the current college environment as it pertains to a future workforce?

I finished college 17 years ago so I have no perspective on the current college environment. 

18. What’s your typical breakfast?

Two eggs, over medium, with two links of chicken sausage and avocado. 

19. What’s your favorite drink when you go to a coffeehouse?

I don't have a "favorite" drink, per se, but my most-ordered drink (aside from just plain coffee) is an iced coffee. I add my own cream and sweetener.

20. How do you handle bullies?

Luckily, at my age, I don't encounter too many "bullies" in my day-to-day existence. Life has a way of kind of "weeding out" the types of people you don't want to spend time with. But if my daughter were to come to me some day and tell her that a kid at school was bullying her, I'd tell her that that little boy or girl most likely comes from a horrible family and is certainly very insecure. His or her parents are miserable people whose lives probably didn't turn out the way they wanted, and the same will someday be said of their children. But don't worry, your revenge will be the quiet satisfaction you feel when they ask you "Paper or plastic?" in 20 years. 

21. How do you handle it when your ideas are shot down?

Depends on who's shooting them down, and why. If they're being shot down by someone who has a better idea, then who cares? If my idea is a B+ and it gets shot down in favor of an A-, I'd be a fool not to go along with it. If my B+ gets shot down in favor of a B-, I'd just hope that there were enough smart people in the room (or at the executive level) to step in.

22. What do you do if a coworker comes to the table with an idea and it sucks?

You mean like this survey?

23. What does the first amendment mean to you?

What is this, 1st grade Civics class?

24. What does faith mean to you?

This is an employment survey, right?

25. Who is your role model and why?

Anyone who completed this survey, because DAMN are they committed to getting the job.

26. You're in Starbucks with two friends. Someone runs in and says someone is coming in with a gun in 15 seconds to shoot patrons. They offer you a gun. Do you take it? What do you do next?

How many people are in this Starbucks? Is it crowded? Where did this anonymous tipster get the gun? If this hypothetical person is offering me a gun, I'm going to assume that, by virtue of them being a gun owner, they have some gun training. In which case, they would be FAR more effective with it than I, someone who's never fired a gun. If they were somehow ineligible or unwilling to use the gun, I'd try to quickly ascertain who in the Starbucks had gun training, and try to get the gun to that person. 

27. What does America mean to you?

This survey is a nightmare. 

28. You see someone stepping on an American flag. What do you do?

Why would I do anything? Besides, if you see someone do this, it most likely means you're at some kind of protest, in which case you'd probably support whatever cause they were championing. 

29. What does “privilege” mean to you?

It always makes me think of my high school driving instructor who emphasized, "Driving a car is a PRIVILEGE, not a right."

30. What’s more important? Book smarts or street smarts? Why?

The obvious answer is "a healthy mix of both." Aside from that, it would depend on the industry the person worked in. I don't think a roofer or a truck driver or a professional gambler needs to be particularly book smart, but I'd very much like my oncologist and CPA to be as book smart as possible.