Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why am I back in Springfield?

Downtown Seattle from the
top of the Space Needle.

How long has it been since I was back from Washington State? One week or two? Every day here in Springfield washes into the next. It's the same routine. I've been looking at jobs here and out west still.

I had a Hell of a time trying to find an affordable apartment in the Pacific Northwest. I looked on the Internet and used apps on my iPad to find well-recommended and affordable studio apartments, but after finally flying out and spending a week visiting those places, none of them had the affordable units available. The people I spoke to said those units were occupied and then they offered me a more expensive unit. I was very disappointed.

The lessors I visited all said that they rent to people who have been employed steadily for six months. They all quoted me rates of $730 to $750 per month and then told me that monthly income must be at least three times rent. If that's the case here in Springfield with my previous job, I would only be able to afford rent of about $330.00 which is one-third of my net income from the state of Illinois' minimum wage after deductions, and that's if I am allowed to work a full forty hours per week! Most minimum wage work is part-time. I just don't understand business owners are so callus about the lives of their employees. They appear to only see payroll expenses.

I also spent several days applying for jobs in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the prospects replied that they would keep my application, but to contact them once I get settled out there. So, there's that catch-22 situation. Lessors want tenants who are already employed and employers want local tenants. I could get a cosigner, but there is no guarantee that my job prospects will come to fruition before my cosigner is slapped with debt. I refuse to put family at risk. It sickens me that some people are so eager for tenants to risk the financial health of their families.

So I come back to Springfield and sit here in my room day after day, continuing to apply online for jobs. I'm beginning to think that job boards like, Monster,com and other job sites don't get solicited by employers, but instead these job boards go fishing around employer websites for open positions and then post them on their own boards. I received automated responses that appear to be from the employers, but I think they are fake, because I think I heard from one original employer in the last month and had only one interview.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rating IHOP coffee in Seattle

Rating IHOP coffee in Seattle

After tasting the coffee from Seattle's Best, Starbucks, and Panera actually around the Seattle, Washington area, I had breakfast at international House of Pancakes (IHOP) and Denny's where I had the displeasure of their attempt at coffee.

IHOP coffee is by far the worst I've tasted since coming to Seattle. First it's so hot you can't taste it. It has no odor what-so-ever, even though it's dark like coffee should be. Very strange! Plus there is no wifi here at all, as if it's been shielded from coming in from surrounding sources as well. After several attempts at tasting the coffee, a faint flavor of metal coffee pot emerged.

When I was in the Navy, I was accustomed to the odor of water that was raised to a deadly 600 pounds of pressure in the ship's boiler and then cooled. IHOP coffee reminded me of that kind of water treatment.

Denny's was only marginally better. It had some flavor, but barely. I think Denny's and IHOP purposely make bad coffee because they would lose money on seating if people came for just the coffee. The rest of the menu items taste great, which begs the question of whether or not the food is good for you.

Since healthy eating through better choices and smaller portions is becoming popular, it might be wiser to invest in the small coffee franchises. The old breakfast buffets like Shoney's have already gone the way of the dinosaur. Logically, the public will become gradually more aware of the causes of the obesity epidemic and evolve their eating strategies. Eventually, dairy may soon also be a target of criticism, but that's another blog.

Sent from my iPad