How’d you get your job? (5×8 – 9/26/12)

The online job board scam, how a culture changes, it takes a community to respond to bullies, turn out the lights in downtown Saint Paul, and is the caterwauling over NFL referees gone too far?

I’ve been out sick for a few days. Here’s the Monday Morning Rouser I had originally planned.


Have you been unemployed since the economy tanked? Have you gotten a job since? How’d you get it? The chances are it didn’t come via one of the major online job boards, PBS NewsHour reports.

In many cases, the jobs aren’t real. The company just trying to get more information for its databases.

It’s a shame because more and more job seekers are going online to find a job.

Watch Is Applying for Jobs Online an Effective Way to Find Work? on PBS.

The experts say “networking” is now the key to getting a job. That is to say: It’s who you know. Says one commenter:

I think the News Hour did a good job presenting all the sides to this story. The point about the importance of networking and human contacts was particularly cogent. Now more than ever, human contact is the key. I think the technological advances have simply made it easier to do the wrong thing much more quickly, thanks to the technology (software).

So, how are people finding work? If you’re employed, when’s the last time you helped a networking job seeker? Comments are open. Tell us your story.


There is an increasing theme emerging among opponents of November’s same-sex marriage ban amendment on the ballot: Even if the effort to defeat the attempt to limit the freedom to marry fails, the theory goes, eventually same-sex partners in the state and country will be allowed to marry. Times and thinking eventually change.

How might this happen?

The Boston Globe had a fascinating article last weekend on how culture changes. It uses as its prime example, binge drinking on college campuses. It wasn’t so much a crackdown on drinking that changed behavior, it concluded. It was changing the perception of the behavior that changed the behavior.

When you do, the results can be dramatic. The improbable speed with which cultural change can occur can be seen in the history of Prohibition, which, according to a paper coauthored by Michael Morris, most Americans supported “because it was socially undesirable to publicly defend alcohol, and few people did.” But when polls revealed that a majority of Americans actually wanted to be allowed to drink — and in fact large numbers of them were drinking, out of public view — more people were emboldened to speak their minds on the subject, and the tide quickly turned against the 18th Amendment.

A similarly rapid shift appears to be underway in the United States on gay marriage: Younger Americans, who grew up in an environment where gay people were more likely to be open about their sexuality and depicted as regular members of society in movies and on TV, are significantly more accepting of the idea than those who grew up with different norms.

Related: The spin is all in the headlines. Take the headlines on this story, for example:

Reuters: NY state senator loses election after backing gay marriage

Associated Press: 2nd GOP senator who OK’d gay marriage wins primary


There is no more vicious animal walking this planet than the American teenager. In West Branch, Michigan, for example, students at a high school thought it would be funny to elect an unpopular kid to be the homecoming queen. The boy who was picked with her dropped out; he didn’t want to be seen with her, the Detroit News reported this week.

But in West Branch, the adults — at least the ones who aren’t busy raising thugs for children — showed the proper way to respond.

For the homecoming dance Saturday, businesses will buy her dinner, take her photo, fix her hair and nails, and dress her in a gown, shoes and a tiara.

For the homecoming game Friday, residents will pack the football stadium so they can cheer when she is introduced at halftime.

They will be wearing her favorite color (orange) and T-shirts with messages of support. A 68-year-old grandmother offered to be her escort.

“I am in awe, overwhelmed at the amount of support,” said Jamie Kline, 35, who began a Facebook support page. “I never expected it to spread as far as it has.”

For Kropp, a sophomore at Ogemaw Heights High, it’s been a remarkable transformation.

Before the homecoming vote, she was either ignored or scorned by classmates.

Now, when she isn’t fielding yet another free offer from a business, she’s being lauded by hundreds of strangers on the support page.

Supporters set up a Facebook page to show their support, and have spent too much time explaining why they had to.


Missing from all of the news stories about this: the kids in the school who participated in the joke. Bullies are like that.

Not far away, by the way, in Linden Hills, Michigan, a special needs student has been selected as homecoming royalty. The boy’s mother father told the kids behind the campaign he hoped it wasn’t a joke…

“I told Blake [North] ‘I just hope that you’re not putting him on the homecoming court to be nice, or for fun, or because you feel sorry for him.'” His worries were quickly put to rest. “I got a lecture from a 17-year old! He came back at me and said, ‘You don’t get it, Mr. Leideker, we love Danny. We love him for who he is.'”

(H/T: Julia Schrenkler)


Saint Paul spent so much time pining for a Lund’s grocery store in downtown Saint Paul, you’d have thought there isn’t a grocery store in the area now. In a short period of time, there won’t be.

Eisenberg’s is closing after 75 years in downtown, and Max Eisenberg tells the Pioneer Press today that he couldn’t compete with the city’s love for Lund’s.

According to the city, we never existed,” Eisenberg said. “You don’t recall Mayor (Chris) Coleman saying there’s no grocery store downtown? Honestly, the last nail in the coffin has been the two years of light-rail construction. Our business dropped off 30 percent the minute they started light-rail construction again in April.”

But the paper says area neighbors complained that the market wasn’t full service and had limited hours.


Has the caterwauling over NFL referees gone a little too far? Phil Hansen , a Detroit Lakes resident who spent 11 years with the Buffalo Bills, thinks so.

“I can definitely feel for these refs,” Hansen tells the Fargo Forum. “It’s a fast-paced game that these guys are not used to. The speed of the game is tremendous.

“I remember going from college to the NFL. Those first couple of weeks I was just trying to keep up. I was just holding on for the ride. Eventually, you learn to find that extra gear and you know what’s coming.”

Bonus I: In Waterloo, Iowa, a woman has created a foundation — named after her son, who died in a car crash — that takes children of elementary-school age in the Waterloo area and teaches them how to be responsible for their own money.

“When you get older, you’re thrown with bills and how to deal with your money but if you’ve never dealt with your own money before, how do you know how to handle it?” says Dacia Carter, a mentoring tutor with the Job Foundation.

Bonus II: She’s 102 and still changes her own oil.


Musicians at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra are being asked to take substantial pay cuts. Minnesota Orchestra musicians earn an average $135,000 per year, and the guaranteed minimum for musicians in the chamber orchestra is about $74,000 per year. Today’s Question: Does the skill of the musicians in the SPCO and Minnesota Orchestra justify their pay?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Graduation rates of African American men.

Second hour: BBC documentary: The Sound of Deafness.

Third hour: The Virginia election scene.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A new documentary from our American RadioWorks documentary unit: “Keyboard College.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – It’s no secret that the building of a $1 billion light-rail system in St. Paul is causing some headaches for local businesses. But some business owners on University Avenue are taking advantage of this slow period to improve their shops, so that they’ll be better positioned to attract new customers when the trains start rolling in 2014. Much of this energy can be found on the eastern end of the avenue, where Asian groceries, a nail shop, a hair salon, and other storefront businesses are renovating or investing in new equipment. MPR’s Laura Yuen will have the story.

Pao Her is the first member of the Hmong community to graduate from Yale with an MFA. Her first solo photography show is now on display at the Gordon Parks Gallery at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. It examines issues of identity and being Hmong in America. The gallery’s guest curator, well-known Minnesota photographer Wing Young Huie, describes Pao Her as being “at the forefront of young contemporary photographers.” Nikki Tundel has a look.

Many young people living in the U.S. illegally can now avoid deportation. But so far, only a fraction of those eligible for the Obama administration’s so-called “Deferred Action” program have applied. Some are still trying to piece together the required records of their residency — and the $465 fee to start the process. NPR will present some of their stories.