Daily Archives: February 4, 2013

Welcome back Booksters!

bookster_logoHas everyone gotten their copy of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit? It’s available from CADL in print, compact disc, ebook, and eaudio download.

You’ll never look at a fresh, winter tomato in the same way again.

I was happy to be taken down memory lane with the chapter ‘Roots.’ The Atacama Desert was one of my fave locations on my year-long backpacking trip in South America. I was super surprised to learn that the ancestors of our juicy tomato come from such a dry location – really I’m surprised to learn that anything can grow there. Anyone else been to northern Chile?

And well, you know, it is crazy to think that the tomato traveled to Florida by way of Europe, but what does not surprise me is that the growers are more concerned with money than with the quality of the fruit they produce. In a way, we get what we deserve; we continue to purchase whatever they ship up. I know we’ve all complained that the supermarket tomatoes are absolutely bland, and then run out and purchase a bunch. “Taste does not enter the equation. ‘No consumer tastes a tomato in the grocery store before buying it. I have not lost one sale due to taste,’ one grower said. ‘People just want something red to put on their salad.’” – p.28.

Share your thoughts in the comments below? Any passages get you especially hot under the collar?

kevinpCADL- Kevin P. Bookmobile/Outreach Librarian

If our online discussion of Tomatoland interests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us at 6 p.m., March 11 for a showing of a food documentary at CADL Downtown Lansing.

Older Job Seekers…Be Like Mike!

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Local career expert Lisa (a.k.a. Recruiter Uncensored) shares some of her knowledge with us every Monday. You can read this post in its original form along with comments here.

Remember the old Gatorade commercial featuring Michael Jordan? It was essentially a music video set to the song, “I can Be Like Mike.” Michael Jordan is, without question, the most talented basketball player in history. When I talk with older job seekers in my discussion groups, I often bring up how important it is to be “Like Mike” to employers.

Relax, I’m not suggesting anyone go on a Gatorade binge and hit the hoops to impress an employer.

Care to guess the most common thing older job seekers tell me is an obstacle to them landing an offer? “Companies don’t want to hire me. They think, because of my age, that I won’t be interested in working much longer.” When they share this with me, they tend to offer a boat load of assurances of how they fully intend to work for the next 10 years or so. Though that’s fine, that may not be the best strategy. When it comes down to it, promises of long term intentions are no more than lip service. There is simply no way to know how long you’ll be available to an employer and how long they’ll be able to retain you. Agreed?

So, let’s get back to Michael Jordan. Imagine in your mind it’s 1997. Remember, Michael retired for good from basketball in 1999. If Michael had picked up the phone back then and called the owner of the Detroit Pistons to express an interest in playing for the team for a few years before retirement, what do you think would have happened? Do you think the owner would have given him a no thank you on the basis that he was more interested in someone who could go the long haul? Absolutely not. Why? Because Michael’s value to a basketball team was so great, any time with him in the mix would have been an asset to the organization.

Older job seekers, all job seekers, need to spend less time on assurances and more time on their value proposition to prospective employers. Knowing they can have you for 10 years isn’t valuable. Knowing that every day they do have you will bring an impressive return to the company is valuable. So don’t sweat over trying to prove you want to work until your last breath. Focus on what you are capable of delivering to the bottom line of the company. In addition, what are you capable of delivering that could generate returns even after you’re gone? Do that and you’ve conveniently solved the other problem often plaguing older job seekers, concern over benefit costs increasing when hiring 50+ year old individuals. At the end of the day, if you’re going to make a company more than you’ll cost them, and they can see it clearly, everybody wins.

- Lisa W-P, CADL Guest Blogger