Thursday, February 27, 2014


The traffic reporter is my guide;
I shall not want.
He or she makes me to slow down on bad roads;
S/he leads me out of traffic jams.
S/he restores my sanity;
S/he leads me in the paths of faster traffic for everyone's sake.
Yea, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of snow,
I will fear no exhaust ice;
For the DOT is with me;
Your traffic chart with green, amber, and red, they comfort me.
You prepare a graphic before me in the presence of my fear;
You daub my head with relief;
My coffee never runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me on every road trip;
And I will dwell in auto safely forever.

DOT = Department of Transportation provides traffic management charts and live video feed to the reporters who interpret the data. Minnesota's site is

PS No offense intended. Any resemblance to other source material is purely coincidental.

Thank you DOT!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, February 24, 2014


Our meteorologist who art on TV,
hallowed be thy forecast.
Thy predictions come.
Thy computer-generated images be done
on earth as viewed by radar.
Give us this day our daily temperature,
and forgive us our swearing,
as we forgive those who have better weather,
and lead us not into Polar Vortex,
but deliver us from winter.

For thine is the NWS,
and the low, and high pressure,
for season after season.

NWS = National Weather Service, which provides the raw data to meteorologists. It's all a matter of interpretation and translation, science and art combined. The humorous weather soothsayers are the best! Explore at

PS No offense intended. Any resemblance to other source material is purely coincidental.

Thank you radar!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, February 21, 2014


I just want a job! I have lost track of the depressing number of resumes/applications that I have sent and the numerous interviews...

Questionnaire from a potential employer:
1) Describe your experience with computers, including entering and locating information in databases.
I have experience with Microsoft Suite and a variety of databases including Access, FileMaker Pro, and Excel. Currently, I utilize an Access-based database for the Program. I enter data and create a variety of reports for our program.

2) Describe your experience obtaining information from a variety of people over the telephone or in person. Include a situation where you were effective in talking with an angry, demanding, and/or upset community person (customer).
Telephone skills are imperative for customer service. I worked as a Telephone Research Assistant. I would conduct a variety of telephone interviews depending upon the project. The most intensive was a 2 to 2.5 hour interview with childcare providers. Currently, I converse with clients and others contacting our Program. Occasionally, a client will call with a complaint. It is important for the person to know that they are being listened to and that their complaint will be responded to in a timely manner. We have the policy of documenting complaints and seeking a resolution within 24 hours. Usually, this is possible and the client is satisfied. If we are not able to locate a solution, I make certain that the client is informed of the progress. As a result, we have a very high satisfaction level from the people that we serve.

3) Describe your experience balancing conflicting job demands.
It is not unusual to have conflicting job demands when there are several projects that need to be completed. It is important to speak with the supervisor to determine which project is the highest priority. It is also important to let people know the status of their project. They may also be under a deadline and sometimes the projects need to shift. I have a lot of experience with disaster response and can manage the stress very well.

4) Describe how you have contributed to a positive work culture and team environment.
Relationship building is an asset to a positive work culture and team environment. It is important to get to know your co-workers, eat with them, and participate in office special activities (such as birthday celebrations). A positive environment begins with a smile and "hello" and I also like to have a dish of sweets at my desk.

5) Describe your experience with facilities providing services to vulnerable adults and/or children.
I currently work with clients, many of who are considered to be vulnerable adult. I also worked for five years with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness clients, which provided housing units for clients.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my responses.
Ima B. Musing

Hire me!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


It is becoming more common to have a pre-interview telephone or emailed questionnaire screening. Here is an example of one which I received. I have abbreviated some responses and changed the name of one organization where I worked.

Management Assistant Qualifications Review:
Please complete the following questions as part of the selection process for the Management Assistant position. Please limit your answers to each question to no more than 500 words.

1. Describe relevant experience, education, training and coursework that prepared you for the position of management assistant. Include any seminars or workshops attended and specify the number of credits and length of time for training courses.
I have a Master of Education degree. My education has been supplemented with coursework (sic, et al). Learning is lifelong and I continuously seek more opportunities to expand my knowledge base.

2. Describe the largest and most important work related project which you have managed. Describe the purpose of the project, your specific role, your duties or responsibilities and outcome of the project.
I coordinated the first Immigrant Women’s Conference while serving as the Assistant Director of the Council of Immigrant Women [pseudonym]. I originated the idea, worked with the staff and board to create a mission with accomplishable goals, procured funding, and assembled a committee to facilitate the conference. We focused on success in the American workplace. I organized our deadlines and made certain that committee members had the resources they needed to accomplish tasks. Over three hundred people attended the event and one third were men. The conference was given a positive review and we organized a series of smaller follow up meetings to help women work on leadership skills. Subsequently, immigrant women have organized several groups to network and support leadership development.

3. Describe your experience and proficiency with various computer software packages including word processing, database and presentation packages. Indicate your level of proficiency from 1 - 5 (i.e. 1= no proficiency; 5 = extremely proficient). Be specific. In addition, provide a specific example of a work product/project and which program(s) were used in the creation/development of the product/project.
Microsoft Suite:
Word, typing speed of 50 with level 5 proficiency
Excel level 4 proficiency
PowerPoint level 5 proficiency
Access level 4 proficiency

4. Describe how you would handle a situation in which the customer is asking for something that is not in the best interest of the organization or would violate some policy of the organization.
When a customer requests something that either does not serve the interest or violates an organizational policy it is important to educate the customer. Respectfully decline their request and explain why. Specifically site the policy or mission statement which would be violated, oftentimes the customer is unaware of the established protocol. However, if the request is a legal violation then it is best to consult with the supervisor for the next steps. Document the request for future reference.

5. In this position you will be required to take direction from various individuals and respond to requests from a variety of sources. Describe how you would prioritize requests and how you would prepare a system to help you answer questions and request information efficiently and effectively. Describe what systems you would develop to provide information quickly.
Prioritization of requests is determined by the goals of the department and in consultation with my supervisor. Clear communication is essential and it is helpful to create a calendar listing deadlines. Frequently Asked Questions informational sheet is an ideal reference source. It will ensure consistency in response to similar questions. Flexibility is key.

6. Describe your approach to providing customer service. Provide an example of a difficult customer service situation you were involved in and the specific steps you took to resolve it.
My approach to customer service focuses on communication. Listening is imperative to understand what the customer is seeking. I have worked in both retail and human service positions and encountered numerous difficult customer service situations. On one occasion a customer was upset because an item broke and they needed an immediate replacement but we did not have any at the store. The sales associate was not amenable and made the customer very agitated. As the Assistant Manager, I calmed the customer and asked if I could contact other stores to see if they had the item in stock. The customer agreed and I called eight of nine stores before I located the item. The customer was delighted and decided to travel directly to the store to procure the replacement. The next week she returned with a thank you note for me.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my responses.
Ima B. Musing

NOTE: Made it past this essay examine. I showed up for the interview to learn that it had been cancelled. The person coordinating the meeting sent an email and didn’t bother to call. I never applied there again.

Still searching after all these years.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Dancing in the sun
Shimmering in the light
Omnipresent but not viewed with delight
Breathing in, causing a cough or sneeze
We wipe it away for naught
Are we but a Who?
Seeking a Horton to hear us?
Star-Dust, we are thee.

Time to clean.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte Three Worms
Second book of a series. Historical fact mixed in with science fiction. Once a character is described it is unnecessary to repeatedly remark on stature unless is specifically relates to the story. Surrealist ending needed deeper explanation and another chapter to entice the reading of the next book. (Note: I have friends who are dwarves, they are not defined by their height.)

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin Three Worms
Remembrances of a young boy who dreamed of being a girl mixed in with modern day characters. The transition from the first chapter to the second needed more back-story for new readers to figure out who was who. Beautiful bits derided by confusing flipping between past and present. Final chapters were thin and vague. Gorgeous imagery ended this continuation of the Tales of the City series, which was reviewed in Volume II, Issues 1 & 2 of this blog.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple Three Worms
Genuinely good humor besmirched by the central character’s racist tendencies. Bouncing narrative difficult to follow. The story eventually fell into place with an interesting end. The final chapter needed a bit more to finish off the tale.

The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black Two and a Half Worms
Character thoughts are discombobulated until arriving at the Island. It slowly stitches together into a semi-coherent story with some good prose but lacks continuity.

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini Two and a Half Worms
Historically based novel. Technically well done but lacks emotional depth of characters. The final chapter could have been expanded into a book documenting the post Civil War restoration era.

Snuggle up with a good book!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


4-H continues to evolve from its humble beginnings more than a hundred years ago. Minnesota is a leading state for innovation of youth programming. Leonard Harkness was a long-time visionary leader who developed the program well beyond farm education and home economics. It was an honor to be acquainted with him as he finished his tenure and continued involvement after retirement.

4-H began as an Extension Service program, meaning that it was focused on education based on research at the University of Minnesota. That worked well since the majority of residents were involved in agriculture production and resided in small communities. As the demographics changed, the program was moved to the School of Education at the University of Minnesota. It was mostly good but some of the staff forgets the rural roots of the program. 4-H’ers are still on the farm, in small communities without high-speed Internet, and need support, too.

I would take about a dozen projects to the county fair each year. I hated to write the written “records” documenting my work but other than that chore I loved 4-H. I learned about time management and personal responsibility. I would have to make a plan, figure out a timeline and budget. I was responsible for the projects, though I could ask for help. I would rarely be caught unprepared and that was generally due to an unexpected delay with the project.

I earned blue ribbons well over ninety percent of the time. I usually received at least four purple (merit award) and one or two reserve champion (#2) or grand champion (#1) ribbons. One year of the 16 projects I received 8 purples, two reserve champions and four grand champions. The local newspaper took photos of the champions so I was grinning a lot. I could only choose one project to take to the Minnesota State Fair. I learned to take the project, which required the least preparation. One year I took a food display and it was a nightmare to prepare the meal before meeting with the judge but I still got a purple ribbon and was elated. I had the opportunity to participate in regional records judging but declined. Ironically, I enjoy writing now but I didn’t as a teen.

Head, Heart, Hands and Health!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Is there a correlation between rising sea levels and the increase in volcanoes? It seems logical to me that when the ice caps melt, it will redistribute the water weight and cause the thin crust of the earth to crack, trigger earthquakes, and bring forth lava. It is a balancing mechanism, the eruption spews out ash that blocks the sunlight that then cools the planet and creates more ice... Just an idea, I am not a Vulcanologist or Spock .

If warmth is the absence of cold (because the constant state of everything is cold), does that mean that life is the absence of death/nothingness? It takes energy to create warmth and the electro-magnetic (EM) property of the soul begets life. The EM field powers the Higgs Boson particle which connects us all but what fuels EM? The core of the earth is molten metal, whose twisting turbulence stirs the EM field. The churning heart of the planet, thus, is electromagnetism the Higher Power(s)?

If you believe in fate, that means that you believe in Superior Being(s) which chose your path, correct? You just go along, you have no influence over what occurs to you. If you believe in luck, you figure that you can alter your future with the aide of the ubiquitous “Luck.” What if you believe in both or neither? Perhaps Creator(s) generates a menu of possibilities but you must choose your own option.

The ionosphere rests about 600 miles above the surface of the planet. It contains charged particles that protect the earth from solar radiation and cosmic particles. Lightening flashes upwards to keep the ions positively charged. Does this mean that the ionosphere is heaven? Where is hell? A place devoid or overwhelmed by EM? I don’t know if either exists, I’ve been more existentialistic since my mother died last fall.

Got answers?
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, February 3, 2014


- Mind Ebbed
- Body Died
- Spirit Flew

Missing my mother.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.