So since I started writing this blog I decided it would only be fair to look for others around the internet. I found a blog called "2 Say or Not 2 Say" which I decided I like so I'm recommending it - I suppose that's how this works right?
Anyway, it has nice information in there and the writer is articulate which is more that I can say about the blogs I came across so kudos to whomever you are!


PS - I'd love to find a blog with good recipes for people who want to loose weight (for my, uh...friend). Any recommendations will be highly appreciated.

Translation Aid for Parents in Juvenile Courts

Until now, Sonoma County's juvenile court system has provided a service to assist people who don’t speak English. The translators would meet with parents of young people waiting to go on trial and explain the legal issues facing their children, as well as provide translations in-court. They would even help with testimonies, documents and witnesses.
PressDemocrat.com reported that the administrators of the court system will be cutting the translation services available to people who don’t understand English. While they will still be providing translations inside the courtroom, it has been determined that the translators spend too much time going above and beyond their duties to help these people. As it is, the translators feel understaffed as they run from courtroom to courtroom assisting families to understand the details of the proceedings. Cindia Martinez, the court's deputy executive officer, said that the out-of-court discussions should be left up to the public defenders to take care of. The state-funded interpreters should stick to their jobs in the courtrooms.
The parents of children awaiting trial find it comforting to be prepared when they enter the courtroom, and the translators want to help. Another option available for people struggling with English is to try and familiarize themselves with some of the related terms. There are many ESL programs available. Personally I would recommend the WhiteSmoke Translator for word-to-word and full-text translations because I like them and I very much dislike their competitors but many programs are available out there. Also, here’s a very good blog with free English lessons and English-related news.



Dishonesty in Marketing

Yesterday I read several favorable reviews of WhiteSmoke Translator on various blogs. After seeing so many positive thoughts, I decided to click the links. Boy was I surprised when the links took me not to WhiteSmoke Translator, but to Babylon!
WhiteSmoke Translator and Babylon are competitors in the translation technology field, and each has its pros and cons, but that sort of dirty marketing was completely unacceptable to me. A company writing about its own product with links included is common marketing practice, but to write a review of another company and put links to a competing product is low.
Online marketing is so important to these companies these days and I guess there is no end to the lengths some companies are willing to go. At least WhiteSmoke Translator got some positive PR for free out of this, but I do believe Babylon employed morally ambiguous tactics in this situation.

I know it's rich coming from a lawyer, and since I'm considerably a successful lawyer it would be farfetched to assume I'm totally honest BUT some things piss me off as a consumer. By the way, just to annoy Babylon, I linked a bunch of times to WhiteSmoke here...so THERE.

Jane out. 


Does the World Revolve Around Me?

I'm kidding, I'm not that in love with myself to actually believe the world revolves around me. But sometimes it's funny when you see something generic and feel like it's all about you.
For instance, I saw this blog post on WhiteSmoke's news section (I love their blog!) http://www.whitesmoke.com/brafton26_jobseekers

I know it's very general about the relationship between getting a job and writing correct English, but I couldn't help but smile and think they wrote that about me :)

oh and really, their blog is great, they have pretty much a subject for anyone. Me personally, I like the news section, but my niece uses their grammar rules all the time in school (and the "how to"s but only when no one's looking...)



A Complaint About Complaints

So who hasn't heard of the BBB (Better Business Bureau - http://www.bbb.org/)?
Yesterday it got mentioned in an argument I overheard about some company - we shall keep it nameless for the time being. Anyway, one person basically told the other that "said" company was unreliable, a scam, and a general bad idea. Why did this person believe such horrible things? Because he read about it on the BBB website when he searched for the company's name there. I was sitting with my laptop on the nearby coffee table so I figured I'd visit the site and check it out and here's what pissed me off:

As a consumer, I can see how many complaints a certain company has received in the past year and how long it took the company to deal with those complaints. The problem is - that's all I see! What if I'm happy with the service the company is providing? Can I leave a good comment or review for fellow consumers? NO! It's an organization built solely upon complaints and that's kind of hypocritical and I don't like it.

So here's me saying "I pity the fool" who relies upon the BBB.


M. Jane


One Good Thing to Say

This is my story. Well, one of my stories. The only people who know are the people who work with me; it's an interesting anecdote so it caught on. I never thought I would actually tell the world - not because it's private or anything but mostly because I couldn't imagine why I would have to. So, the reason I'm doing that now is because I'd feel a bit guilty if I don't.
You know how sometimes you buy a software, or weight loss program, or "change your life book"....etc.? What would you do if it actually worked? I mean, besides tell your friends or recommend it, would you tell the company that sold it to you? Would you tell the world? You wouldn't, and neither would I. We do however tell the company and the whole world if we're unhappy, don't we? Well, enough about that - if I start blabbing about what's fair and justified, you'll be reading this for days.
I'm Jane - well, actually I'm not but you can call me Jane, as in Jane Doe, as in an anonymous person who doesn't want to tell her your name. Names of people and law firms will be kept out of this - I don't want to get sued.
I'm a lawyer and I'm 42 years old. I've worked at small law firm for ten years, until mid-2010 when I got let go. I wasn't one of the fancy, famous lawyers who won big cases, I didn't have a reputation, and the experience I did have was at a local firm no one heard of. Saying that I was devastated would be an understatement. On the bright side, I didn't have kids so I didn't have the incredible pressure of not being able to support a family, like some of my colleagues. 
So, I sent out CVs, contacted friends of friends and HR companies... and started looking for a new job.
Six months later, I was a broke, unemployed lawyer. I was sad and confused and angry and so many other emotions I can't begin to describe. I never got one call, not one explanation why I wasn't accepted - I was just ignored.
One night, I was sitting at home with my laptop searching the web for wanted ads in anything that requires a law degree. On one of the sites I saw a banner that claimed to have the secret to perfect resume writing and I figured "Hey! Maybe that's my problem". So I clicked and found my way to a company called WhiteSmoke who sold software for writing better English. I had less than 500 dollars in my bank account and quite stupidly decided to buy the software for 120 dollars. Looking back, I can't believe it did that, but I guess I didn't care anymore and was hopeless anyway. 
So I purchased, installed, and just like any other person would do, I played around with the features to see what I can do with it. I figured the best way to test it would be to write a letter and see what it does so I wrote one of those psychological letters shrinks always tell you to write. You know the kind - if you could tell the president what's on your mind what would you say? Remember those?
So, angry and hurt, stupid me wrote a long letter addressed to one of the law firms that ignored me. It was an angry letter and full of all my grief and fear for my future. But it was just for testing the software; it wasn't like I was going to send it out...right?
I edited the text, played around with the software for hours and in the end read the whole letter out loud and thought "this is pretty good". I wanted them to know how I felt but I didn't want to do something reallystupid so I decided I'd go for just a little bit stupid and sent the letter to the first law firm I sent my CV to, six months before. I figured that I didn't have anything to lose! I mean, six months had already gone by; I already blew my chances there, right? 
I may have forgotten to mention, this was a big and successful law firm. But I was too excited and too emotional to think of the consequences - I sent out the letter.
The next morning I couldn't believe what I had done and hoped that my mail would be lost in their spam folders. Before I could even begin to think of writing an apology letter, just in case, my phone rings and - guess who? That same law firm got my letter and would like to schedule a meeting. So many thoughts ran through my head. Will I get sued? Couldn't be, they couldn't sue for sending out a letter. I was a lawyer, I knew that. Then again...
Three days later I was sitting in their offices, in front of an old man with reading glasses. He was looking down at a printed letter; I'm guessing it was the one I sent. I was petrified. 
Then he just looked up at me and said, matter of factly, "We received your resume. It was unimpressive to say the least."
I was relieved! They were just explaining why I didn't get the job! 
I sat there in silence, shocked and scared and a bit embarrassed to be a grown women feeling so afraid. I will never forget what he said next.
"My dear, we do not have time to take in those with unimpressive credentials as yourself. Though we know that among those there are a few with a spark, with a shine that we can use, we cannot spend the time needed to find them nor take the chance that we will waste time on those who don't. Everyone here has had vast experience before entering our firm. We have one who started here nine years ago who had no experience, nothing worth a damn to his resume but he's here because we found ourselves in court against him. He lost of course, but he was good and we saw it, that spark we always look for."
Then he lifted up the paper he was holding, and continued.
"You wrote us this letter explaining to us why we should accept you when your resume is below average and we've never seen you in action. You tried to convince us with your words and for that, we were intrigued. At the end of the day, words are all we have. Our job is to convince others to see things the way we want them to, to agree with us. And if you convinced the partners that you deserve to be hired with just this letter, I'm sure you can convince a courtroom of anything."
I was holding my breath, unbelieving and waiting for him to finish, and then he said those final words.
"You've got that spark. You're hired."
I've been working there for three months so far and I'm the happiest person alive. My career looks more promising than I ever dreamed it could and I've discovered that I'm better than I ever thought I was. 
I owe my current position to myself for being stupid enough to spend 120 dollars when I couldn't pay rent, for being stupid enough to use that software for a letter when I purchased it for editing my resume, and for being stupid enough to send that letter to one of the biggest law firms in the state. But I also owe it to that software I purchased, which is why I'm writing this.
I want to write to WhiteSmoke and the world about how grateful I am because I don't want to be one of those people who speak up only when they've got something to complain about. I want to say the good things, the thanks, and the compliments.
Thank you WhiteSmoke, for saving my life and helping me do the stupidest and best thing I've ever done. Thank you for saving my career and helping me make my dreams come true.

I'll start my blog with "Hi"

I'm one of those old people (and by "old" I mean over thirty) who are a bit wary of everything hi-tech and internet. So I guess with all of the stories of identity thefts and whatnot, I'll choose the path of paranoia and stay anonymous. Well, in name at least.
I just had something to say so I wrote it down, and then I didn't know where to put it so I created a blog which is apparently THE thing to do (or as my niece would say "DUH" - funny that's still used today, somehow that makes me feel less old).

I chose "Jane" because Jane Doe is basically like saying "Anonymous". And I like to think I'm average so... *sigh*... I don't know. I was thinking of calling it Ranting Jane but that's taken and I'm not sure I want to be that single *old* woman who rants, even though I suppose I will be ranting. Anyway, I just went with Mediocre Jane

So if anyone's reading this, I apologize for my rantings, there will be quite a lot of that here!

G'day (Yes, I'm American and I say "G'day" so there)