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8 Daily Problems Only Left-Handed People Would Understand

8 Daily Problems Only Left-Handed People Would Understand

Let’s face it: this world was meant for righties. Being left-handed can be exhausting, and sometimes downright excruciating. But what choice do people have? You can’t train yourself to be right-handed, no matter what the sisters at your old Catholic school believe. Though being left-handed is frustrating, and it makes every day tasks close to impossible, the only thing you can do is to power through it all, and be the best lefty you can be. If you’re a lefty, you’ve probably experienced at least one of these problems since you woke up this morning:

1. They smudge their writing

No matter the medium, left-handed people inevitably face some annoyance when attempting to jot something down. Forget about writing on a whiteboard; they leave a colorful trail in the wake up their beautiful handwriting, rendering it completely illegible. When opening to a new page in a binder, they have to crook their arm at almost a ninety degree angle to be able to start a journal entry; that can’t be comfortable. And even when they rip a sheet of paper out and lay it flat on the desk, they’ll still end up with more graphite on the side of their hand than on the paper. By the end of grade school, most left-handed people would probably prefer to use a computer to transcribe information for the rest of their lives.

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2. They click backwards

But after they switch to computers, a whole new set of problems arises. While many mouses are supposedly made for both lefties and righties, many specialty mouses (like for gaming) are built specifically with right-handed people in mind. But that’s not even the real problem. When you’re left-handed, a left-click is a right-click and a right-click is a left-click. There’s no getting around that. It might not be a problem for younger people who have learned to accommodate, but I can’t imagine being left-handed and trying to teach my 60 year old father how to use a computer. It would drive us both out of our minds.

3. They cut backwards

No, you can’t just turn right-handed scissors around. Scissors are built so a natural (right-handed) grip will cause the blades to push slightly together, making for a crisp, straight-edged cut. However, a left-handed person using the same scissors, using the same grip in their left hand, will cause the blades to shift slightly apart. Of course, this will lead to many a torn paper, if it gets cut at all. Note to elementary teachers: invest in a few pairs of left-handed scissors; you’ll save on wasted construction paper in the long run.

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4. They hate banks and the post office

Okay, I guess everyone has a certain disdain for these places. But left-handed people have just one more reason to dread the trip to their local bank: the pens on a chain. You probably never thought about it before, but the next time you go to deposit your check, notice where the chain is in relation to the desk. It’s most likely on the right. We’ve gone over the problems lefties face when writing, so just imagine having to deal with smudged ink on a paycheck while also having to either write with a taught string or scrunch their entire body up against the right side of the cubicle.

5. They hate eating in a booth

Even sitting down for dinner with friends is a hassle for a left-handed person. They’ll inevitably hit their friends with more elbows in the half hour it takes to eat than Dennis Rodman coming up for a rebound did throughout an entire basketball game. And, unlike the last few points made in this article, there’s no real way to solve this problem, except to socially isolate the lefties to their own table. But what have we been fighting for this whole time, then?

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6. They can’t just pick up a guitar and play

Even Jimi Hendrix had this problem. If a left-handed person wants to jam with his friends, he better bring his own guitar. It might not seem like much of a difference to someone who doesn’t play, but asking a left-handed person to play a right-handed guitar would be like asking a saxophonist to play it upside down, with his left hand where his right hand should be and vice-versa. I guess the good side of this is left-handed people don’t have to worry about anyone else picking up their beloved left-handed guitar.

7. They can never find sports equipment

When I was younger, and before the Internet and Amazon were in full swing, it was absolutely impossible for me to find golf clubs, hockey sticks, or even baseball gloves without my dad driving me to every sporting goods store within a 50 mile radius. Most of the equipment I ended up getting were hand-me-downs from a friend of my dad’s who, as luck would have it (for me, at least), had faced the same problem throughout the years. But there were also times I spent hours looking through shelves at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s, only to walk away left-handed and empty-handed at the same time.

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8. They hear “Oh, you’re a lefty?” every ten minutes

I’m a lefty, and I still do this to other left-handed people. To me, it’s camaraderie. I find solace when I see other left-handed golfers, knowing they’ve been through the same aggravation I have my entire life. But when a righty asks a lefty to state the obvious, it’s more of an acknowledgement that the left-handed person is some freak of nature that should be put on display next to the bearded lady and lizard man. To a right-handed person, their comment probably seems fairly innocuous, but that’s because they haven’t read this list and have no idea what hell left-handed people have lived through.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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