Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ask Smidge - Week Two

Last week’s advice met with such a tremendous amount of ambivalence that we couldn’t wait to answer more of America’s burning questions. Ask Smidge is back for another round.

As always, you are encouraged to send your questions to our new email address –

And remember, Ask Smidge is open to any topic. This kind of wise and thoughtful advice just shouldn’t be limited to one area of your life. Open up, America!

Let’s get to the questions, shall we?

My dog is shedding like crazy. We have dog hair on every inch of the house and ourselves. What can we do?
Hairy in Harrisburg

Dear Hairy,
There is nothing you can do to stop your dog from shedding, short of a full shave, and you don’t want your dog to be naked at the park. It’s embarrassing for you and the dog. Lint rollers can’t keep up, so there’s really only one option: camouflage. You should always buy a dog that’s the same color as your pants. Shedding is no longer an issue when the hair is invisible. Since you already have the dog, you’ll need to get new pants. Happy shopping!

I’m fresh out of Boise State and looking to get one of those sweet California Bay Area tech jobs at a start-up that has bean bag chairs and pays me only in stock options so I can retire by the age of 27. Any advice on interviewing strategies?
Believing in Boise

Dear Believing,
Tech start-up people love corporate buzz words, so use a lot of them. You need to say things like, “I actualize and cloudify all the backend bandwidth to effort our cross functional client-focused future-proof network models.”
But you also have to be hip and cool, so finish with something like, “I leverage synergistic outcomes like that in my sleep, yo.”
Oh, and always have a cup of $11 coffee in your hand. And a beard.
Happy interviewing!

We need some potty advice. Our oldest two are girls, and we didn’t have this problem with them. Our son, the youngest, just potty-trained a few weeks ago, but he’s having trouble with his aim. I’m really not sure if any of the pee ever gets in the toilet. Any suggestions?
Scrubbing the Floor in Scranton

Dear Scrubbing,
We have three boys, the oldest of whom is 13, and he still misses the toilet regularly. Our 9-year-old even occasionally manages to pee on the wall behind the toilet. There’s no hope. All you can do is buy Scrubbing Bubbles by the pallet for the volume discount and encourage them to pee in the backyard as often as possible. At least you only have one!

I work in middle management at a large consulting firm. I started my career with high hopes, but these days I feel pretty expendable. I want to make an impact, but I honestly feel like I’m just lost in a sea of other nameless, faceless employees, toilingly meaninglessly until five o’clock. What can I do to get the spark back and be noticed?
Depressed in Denver

Dear Depressed,
I feel your pain, but you’re looking at this the wrong way. You need to take a good hard honest look at your job and ask yourself, does it really need to be me, specifically, that shows up, or could it be anyone? The vast majority of employees - and certainly you in particular - will need to honestly answer that it could be anyone. Take my job, for instance, as a professional writer. Anyone could do this. In fact, it’s not me writing this, and you didn’t even notice. Take my advice and embrace it. Then shop around for an out-of-work manager, or even a college kid looking to make a few bucks, and hire them to go into the office for you. Cut them in for 20% of your salary and meet me at Applebee’s for happy hour. Cheers!

Since it fell on a Saturday this year, we had a crazy St. Patrick’s Day party on our block, that may have even gotten a little out of hand. Green beer was flowing and I was introduced to a fun drink called an Irish Car Bomb. The last thing I remember was kissing someone dressed as a leprechaun for good luck. Good times. But I’ve heard they don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Is that true? If so, they are missing out!
Slightly Green on Sunday

Dear Slightly,
I’m glad you had fun, and you don’t need to worry about the Irish. They celebrate St. Patrick’s Day much more than we do. Although, they don’t call it St. Patrick’s Day. They call it Tuesday.

There you have it; another week of partially satisfied customers. Remember, you, too, can benefit from this kind of sage advice by emailing your questions to

You’re welcome, America!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen

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