Tag Archive: charity


Rose and I have both lost our jobs due to this recession that may or may not be over.  She has been out of work for much longer than I have, but nonetheless, we are both itching to find good jobs and get back out there.  I know that this normally is a photography blog, but I feel that this needs to be put out there.

A few days ago, a friend emailed Rose about a job fair at Longfellows in Saratoga yesterday.  All he had was a scan of an advertisement for vendors, telling them that the job fair would be yesterday from 10am til 4pm.  I was excited for the chance to possibly get my resume out to a potential employer or two, hoping I could get back to work.

So, I Google “Job fair Longfellows”, “Longfellows job fair”, “Saratoga job fair Longfellows”, and a few other terms to find more info on this job fair, because I like to be prepared.  It’s also a good hike to Saratoga from Albany, and I didn’t want to drive all the way up there and waste their time and mine if the jobs were not suitable for me or vice versa.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing came up on Google.  Wait.  One hit.  This crappy little blurb on a job fair at Longfellows and a chance to win $100.  No listings of participating employers.  Who is this job fair for?  Were they hiring staff for Longfellows, or were there actual companies in the area looking to hire qualified employees?  Who knows?

Either way, I really need a job.  So, Rose jumped in the shower, and I got busy ironing my shirt and getting a nice tie to wear with my suit.  I am an old school kind of guy.  If I were to go for an interview at McDonalds making minimum wage, I would wear a suit and tie.  It’s the way it should be.

When we get to Longfellows, there were no signs in the parking lot or on the entryways to the building.  We guessed that it would be in the restaurant area, so in we went.  We walked in and found our way to the area that held the job fair.  There we about 10 or 12 companies in attendance.  Well, at least we made an effort.  If you don’t go, you don’t know, right?

If I were one of the ten or twelve companies that were there, I would have been very upset that I spent between $400 and $900 for a print and booth package and no one showed up.  The advertising for this event was horrible.  Huge FAIL!

But, wait.  There’s more.

I have also been to quite a few of the job fairs at the Marriott on Wolf Road.  They are put together in a much better manner.  The Times Union does a great job advertising this event on their site and in print.  There are usually 50 plus companies that participate in this job fair.  A lot of times, they are the same ones that are there every single time, looking to fill the same exact position they were looking to fill last time.  A lot of them are life insurance sales that require you to get licenses and Series this and that.  No thanks. To quote Austin Powers “that ain’t my bag, baby!”

Others may be positions I am qualified for, so I drop off my resume and chat them up, hoping I make a good impression. Hopefully, they will like me and call me in for an interview.

As I move about through the job fair, though, I notice lots of things.  I am a people watcher.  I love watching people and trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads.  Let’s go back to my McDonalds comment.  I ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview.  As I walk through the crowds of people, I see sagging pants, baseball caps, jeans and a menagerie of other things that makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people.  How do you expect to get a job dressed like that?  Or, did I miss the memo?

When did it become OK to present yourself as a slob at a job fair?  What happened to being respectful?

Another thing that really bothers me about the companies that attend these events is that you go there to meet the potential employers and give them your resume.  At a good number of the booths, the companies wont take your resume.  You must go to their website and fill out an application online.

Say what?  Why are you here?  Why did you spend the hundreds of dollars it must cost to be here if you can’t do anything more than chat with people all day?  What a waste of money.  Here’s an idea – take that money and donate it to a local charity, give a valuable employee a bonus, advertise online, something.  Maybe  I am missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Am I really missing something?  Is it just a write-off?  Please comment and subscribe.  See ya soon…

I am hoping to start writing more about motorcycles in the near future.  I want to try and help raise awareness as much as possible about bikers and clear up some of the stereotypes out there.  For this blog, I wanted to let people know about the good things bikers do for the community.

Over the last few years, I have been a part in many fundraisers as a biker.  Most of the fundraisers are Poker Runs.  Poker Runs are when a large group of bikers get together and ride to raise money for someone in need.  It may be for a fallen biker, a child with a rare disease, or perhaps a biker’s child that has cancer.  A Poker Run is a ride where each biker pays a fee for the rider and a passenger should they have one.  They then go to three more stops before returning to the starting point.  At each stop, they get a card.  At the end of the ride, whoever has the best hand wins a prize.

Last year, a group I ride with every Wednesday night during the warmer months did a poker run for a member’s daughter.  She was diagnosed with cancer and the ride was to raise money to help with medical bills.  In the months leading up to the Poker Run, members of the group went to local businesses looking for donations to help raise money by entering those prizes in a silent raffle.  There was also a 50/50 raffle the day of the ride.  If you are unfamiliar with a 50/50 raffle, tickets are sold throughout the day.  At the drawing, 50% of the money from tickets sold, goes to the fundraiser, and the person with the winning raffle ticket gets the other 50%.

After the ride was over, we met back at our usual meeting place and had dinner and a band played for us.  People entered into a silent auction for the prizes that had been donated, hopeful they would be the winner.  At the end of the night, the money was tallied up.  The group had raised nearly $8,000 dollars for this young girl’s medical bills.  It is an amazing feeling to be part of that.

Riding in a group that large takes focus and cooperation.  Everyone should know the rules of riding in a group.  There are guidelines and hand signals that you must know to keep everyone safe.  The bikes behind the lead bike are blockers (if used).  The blockers stop traffic that could come from side streets and split the pack up, keeping everyone safe.  The riders behind the blockers and through the rest of the pack must ride in a staggered position.  If the riders do not stagger and ride side by side, it could be dangerous.  Should one of the bikes have to swerve to miss a pothole or dead animal in the road, there is a chance they could take out the rider next to them and then cause a chain reaction.  Because of this, the bikers are to ride one bike on the right, and one bike just behind on the left, then one just behind that one on the right and so on and so forth.

In the back of the pack, there are a few sweepers.  The job of the sweepers is to pull over with anyone in the pack should they have an engine problem.  The sweeper will then assist them in getting back on the road, or calling for help.  If all of these things are done correctly, the pack will be safe and no accidents will happen.  Here is a chart I found with the proper hand signals for riding in groups;

Group Riding Hand Signals

Group Riding Hand Signals

Imagine this, if you will.  You are in a pack of 100 motorcycles, riding to raise money for someone in need.  In front of you, you see bikes for a mile.  When you look in your mirror, the same thing.  It is a feeling I will never forget.

I want to make the public more aware that all bikers aren’t bad guys.  Sure, there are some that are.  But a good portion of the bikers that participate in these events are Vietnam Veterans who risked their lives fighting for our freedom.  They deserve a huge thank you for all they do for the community.  If you see a Vet, please thank them for the freedoms we have today…

**Image Courtesy of Group Riding Hand Signals