iMoved, Diablo 3, and more

I’ve picked up shop and moved over to my new domain! Welcome to the World of Matticus. It’s got a much better URL then before along with a new host. With that in mind, I would greatly appreciate any donations as I am but a student. All donations go straight towards my hosting.

Now comes the unenviable task of modifying my facebook blog import settings. I apologize for the flood that you’re about to receive in your news feeds (if you haven’t disabled them yet).

What I hope to accomplish on my site is to begin first by establishing a resource for Priests. Drawn from my own personal experiences, I hope to help educate and add to the many different Priest guides in existence. I’ve always taken a liking to playing a healer. I think it’s because I never trusted anyone else. Not to mention there’s a nice little power trip going when the fate of a player decides on who you target. I don’t think I’ve ever played a DPS class in any MMO’s I’ve played. I created a Monk in Guild Wars and a Dwarf Minstrel for Lord of the Rings: Online. My WoW characters consist of a Priest, Shaman, Paladin, and Druid (YES DAVE, IT’S MY DRUID!). So yes, I do love to heal.

My second priority after that is the Blizzard gaming scene. Starcraft 2 is on the horizon. Blizzard also has a third unannounced title in the works but there are some indications as to what it could possibly be:

Following that, who knows? I’m a big hockey guy. I love my Canucks. I’ll even blog about them as the year progresses. It’s my intent to maintain one new post per day. But know that the topics will range between World of Warcraft, hockey, and ways to improve ourselves as individuals. That ranges from some pointers I picked out from my former Human Resources boss to different tips on throwing a memorable and enjoyable party.

On that note, feel free to take a look around and enjoy what I have to offer!

Meanwhile, I need to focus more on how to implement collapsible categories.

Things I learned from my office (qualities, degree importance, salary)

Friday was my last day of full time work at Pacnet. The company had a hiring frenzy during the past few weeks. As the director of human resources, my boss was quite busy calling and interviewing various candidates. But on the last day, I had an opportunity to sit down with my boss and ask her a few questions about the hiring process and the qualities in candidates that she looks for. I figured I’d put some down here on my blog to help you and so that I would not forget (If you don’t write it down, it never happened). I know some of you business majors will definitely benefit from some of this. I can’t remember exactly word for word, but I can relay the general idea of it.

Matt: When you were going through the hiring process, what qualities do you look for in a person?

HR: Seeing as our environment is extremely interactive, I pay a lot of attention to a person’s social ability. I want to see if a candidate will fit in well with our team. To determine that, I’ll ask them a few hypothetical scenario questions. I’m not interested in the answer they provide. I’m interested in how they answer it. Hiring people is an instinctual thing for me since I’ve done it for so long. So if a person dodges or deflects the question, chances are they will not get the second call back. They may take a moment or two to reflect on it (ie, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your last job? If your friends could describe you in 3 words, what would it be?). That’s perfectly alright so long as they answer it.

For example, I know many human resource managers, and 4 out of 5 of them are not suited for the job. Human resources is a field where success depends on your social skills and soft skills. You need to know how to deal with people.

Technical skills are also especially important. In the world of business, you need to have a certain degree of mathematical competency. You need to know how to use a calculator (adding machine). There’s a minimum keystrokes per hour that needs to be maintained. This is tested on after the 2nd interview. English is also a must. Our office is very diverse with employees from multiple cultures. It doesn’t matter what their level of education is, if they’re not able to understand what I’m asking them, then it will be difficult in their working environment.

Show interest in the position you’re applying for but do not appear desperate. Do not beg or plead for the job. Show a strong healthy interest. How would I determine that? Simple really. I ask if they’ve been to our website and if they can tell me what our company does. I don’t expect them to be able to tell me from start to finish how our company operates. What I do expect from them is an answer along the lines of this: “I understand your company processes various foreign currencies from cheques, cash and credit cards for different clients around the world.” An answer that simple tells me that they have visited our website and is familiar with our services. Again, interest must be shown.

Matt: Do you place much emphasis on educational degrees?

HR: Actually, I don’t. Remember that the academic world and the business world are different from one another. Because one candidate has a degree in finance management and another one doesn’t would not rank one higher then the other. I look at the experience they bring to the position as well as other potential assets. But, it also depends on the position they apply for. Something like cheque processing does not require a certificate or a piece of paper that says “I’m qualified for processing cheques”. But a position in our marketing department faces slightly higher demands. While you may not need a degree in marketing, you must show some sort of interest. A certificate would help. But even saying that you’re still studying marketing would be a boon. Marketing is a field where you need to have the experience and the interest in order to be successful.

Matt: One more question, and it’s something that’s stumped me for a while. When do you discuss salary?

HR: Don’t ever discuss salary on the first interview. Allow salary to be brought up by the interviewer. Young people often go into interviews without any idea of what their salary should be. Don’t make that mistake. Do some research. There are lots of websites on the internet with what the average person doing this job makes. So you should have two figures in mind when you’re going in: The absolute minimum salary you’re willing to work for, and your ideal or dream salary. Then you pick two figures in between that. For example, you want to make $60000 a year, but you’re also willing to work for $30000 a year. If the interviewer asks you how much you’re willing to work for, be flexible and give them a range between $32000 – $35000. This way, you don’t overprice yourself out of their reach and you still get a decent wage. You do not ever reveal to them your minimum. Don’t tell them you’re willing to work for $30000.

One more thing, when I placed ads out for our position, I added a note that applicants should specify their salary. Many of them do not. My belief is that I don’t want to waste their time, and they should not waste my time. If a job placement asks you to specify what your salary is, put it down. Surprisingly, many applicants fail to do it. Many times when I phone them, I inform them that they did not place a salary expectancy down.

That’s as much information I was able to glean from my boss, but all of it was useful. Hope it helps!

11 Tips to Throwing a Good Party

I had this idea stewing around for an idea, but it was a matter of finding the time necessary to go out and do it. Contrary to popular belief, I do go to parties and have fun and all that stuff that people do at parties. Yeaaaaaah. I’ve been to my share of good ones and bad ones, and I’m sure some of you can relate to it. Honestly, these are just some minor things that I notice that some people do and some people don’t. The organizers who’ve followed these tips in the past made their events memorable. If you haven’t, now is a good time to learn.

11: Know how to get there

Simple right? You’d be surprised. People plan a party or a get together at a particular location thinking they know how to get there when in fact they don’t. It only takes five extra minutes to jump on Mapquest and navigate with Translink‘s route map. Bonus points for attaching the maps to your invites so that attendee’s do not need to worry. It could potentially save an hour of walking around a dangerous part of town!

10: Activities

Some activities are best suited for certain audiences. Some guys might prefer to watch Borat. Some prefer to watch the King and I. It helps to know the guests that you’re entertaining and what they like doing. Having a Wii handy is always an option and most people tend to have a blast. You don’t want to invite friends that aren’t interested in gambling to a game of poker. Certain athletically challenged people might experience some discomfort playing basketball or volleyball or going swimming (ahem) ;). Yes, it’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs but there is always a common middleground that can bring everyone together. Some people prefer sitting in a nice coffee shop doing nothing but drinking coffee and chatting (like me)!

9: Invite Conditions

This one is important. To prevent your party from blowing out of control, it’s great to tell people you ask if it’s an open invite or private. Are guests allowed? If so, how many? This saves you from the embarrassing consequence of having to turn away people. If you need to maintain some sort of discretion, this is an absolute must to do. Otherwise, a small get together for a party of four accidentally blossoms to eighteen because a friend didn’t realize it was a private party. Some organizer’s just don’t have the backbone to say no, and if a person who wasn’t originally invited asks to come party, the organizer can do nothing but smile weakly and nod (Rant for another time).

8: Know who is actually going

Facebook‘s event planner is great for this. It allows you to keep track of who RSVP (What does that mean anyway?) and who hasn’t. Having solid numbers makes life so much easier. Should you reserve for 8? 10? 16? Always do last minute checks. Some guests tend to leave things towards the last minute and realize that they have a wedding to go or a graduation to attend and ‘conveniently’ forget to inform the organizer. Follow up on the people who are coming and make sure they are coming. 48 hours before the party is a good time frame. Partygoer’s, same thing applies to you. If you’re listed as going but something happens last minute, TELL someone.

7: Safety and Transport

This one is a no brainer. If there’s alcohol, make sure everyone has a ride home. If not, have them make arrangements with someone to crash at. Party organizers actually have a duty of care to their guests (I’m almost certain there’s a precedent somewhere, I’m just too damned lazy to look it up). If any harm comes to your friends at your place, you could be in a lot of trouble. Strip drivers of their keys and keep them somewhere safe. Sometimes, having Dwight Schrute for a friend comes in handy.

6: Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Who’re you throwing your party for? Your friends. Why? Because they’re your friends. I’m certain they would have no objections to helping in some form another. Girls especially have a knack for decorations, I’ve noticed. Guys, uh, can carry kegs and lift heavy… stuff. Oh, and they know how to work the TV and VCR for those karaoke nights. But really, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s no shame in asking for help.

5: Know the Costs, make reservations

It’s helpful to know the rough prices and quantities that restaurants serve if you’re going out to eat. Some restaurants have certain gratuity fees that are added to the tab if you have more then a set amount of people (ie, 10% for parties over 10). Make sure reservations are set. It’s not fun to arrive at a great place to eat only to find out you’re in for a two hour wait. If you’re unsure of the number, there’s always the internet or the yellow pages.

4: Plan B

This is always a personal rule of thumb for mine. Unexpected things happen. It’s best to expect that. Maybe you’re planning a beach party but the skies look dark and ominous. Go hit the movies instead. Or bowling. The point is you can never be too prepared. If one idea falls through, it doesn’t mean the whole party falls through. You’ll be that much more impressive to your friends when they realize that not all is lost.

3: Quantity

Make sure there’s enough power. Make sure there’s enough chairs or couches or seating room. Make sure there’s enough drinks. Most importantly, make sure there’s enough food. Nothing sucks more then not having enough food around to keep people happy.

2: Scout the Venue

There’s nothing wrong with going a day in advance to a location that you’ve never been to before. Check it out! Make sure it is in fact ideal for the party you plan on throwing. If it’s a restaurant that you and none of your friends have been to, go a week or two in advance and check the place out. Make sure it looks sanitary and has some life to it. I once took a friend out for lunch to a restaurant. She excused herself to go to a bathroom and upon returning commented on the interesting insects she found in the women’s room. Had I known, I would’ve gone to a different restaurant instead. But unfortunately, as it was the women’s room, there was no way I could’ve foreseen such an incident.

1: Be Aware of Politics

Be cautious of who you invite. Just because you invite two people who are your friends does not necessarily mean they may be friends with each other. Be aware of inviting the ex. If you’re going to invite a friend’s ex girlfriend or boyfriend to a party, check with your friend first and see if he or she is comfortable with it. At the very least, they’ll appreciate you asking in advance.

There you have it! Follow this list of simple guidelines, and your friends will love it! You never know what the payoff might be.