Highlights from the mini-blog

Please enjoy the following highlights from my mini-blog, http://davisontv.wordpress.com

Charlie Sheen’s last performance review

Charlie Sheen’s dismissal yesterday from the cast of “Two and a Half Men” caught members of the Warner Brothers’ human resources department by surprise.

“We just did his performance review last month,” said Jim Boggles, the local rep for the Hollywood office. “While his evaluation wasn’t off-the-charts great, it didn’t show the depth of negative issues we’ve seen in the last few weeks. Maybe he was keeping on his good behavior until after the review was completed, then just decided to let loose.”

Boggles released results of the evaluation to the press in response to a Freedom of Useless Information Act (FUIA) request. He noted that the five assessment categories ran from “unsatisfactory” at the negative end of the scale, then on to “developing,” “proficient” and “high performing,” with “role model” at the high end of the range.

“He was recommended for a 2% merit increase, which is standard for an evaluation of this type,” Boggles said. “However, because he was already at the high end of the pay range for his position, which we identify internally as ‘Actor 3,’ he would actually see only a 1.2% raise.”

Sets and exceeds goals in the workplace – Developing

Supports high performance through coaching and feedback – Proficient

Acts quickly in response to business needs – Unsatisfactory

Ensures internal and external customer expectations are met – Developing

Acts in accordance with all company policies – Unsatisfactory

Makes and keeps commitments to team members – Developing

Demonstrates teamwork across department boundaries –Proficient

Actively encourages and supports new ideas and change – High Performing

Develops and shares creative solutions to getting work done – Role Model

Adheres to all safety guidelines (including proper handling of hazardous waste) — Proficient

Supports safety committee and participates in safety initiatives – Developing

Completes work with quality in mind; minimal errors and waste – Unsatisfactory

Conveys information clearly, concisely, and in a timely manner – High Performing

Effectively expresses ideas/concepts verbally and in writing – Role Model

Punctual and has satisfactory attendance with existing attendance policy – Duh. Also, tardy a lot.

In the space for Associate Input, Sheen wrote “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain. I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”

Print journalism continues its sad decline

As a former newspaper reporter, I’m as chagrined as anyone about the decline of print journalism.

Our once-great newspapers have shrunk in both size and coverage in the face of economic pressures and the migration of their readership to the Internet. Civil debate on the editorial pages has been replaced by right-wing screeds posing as letters to the editor, blaming President Obama for everything from the spike in gas prices to Charlie Sheen’s haircut. Investigative journalism is as hard to find as newspaper reporters themselves. Lucrative classified ad revenue has all but disappeared with the rise of Craigslist and the increasing number of telephone poles that lost-dog flyers can be nailed onto.

But there are other causes for the decline. As much as I hate the eye strain associated with reading my news online, at least the words are legible. That can’t be said for the print edition of Sunday’s Charlotte Observer, which arrived at the end of my driveway during a heavy rainstorm. By the time I retrieved it from its puddle when I got home from work, it looked like this …

The newsprint had collected so much water that it bulged through the plastic bag that was supposed to protect it. We sat it on the railing hoping it might dry out enough to at least retrieve a few coupons, but as the decomposed paper dripped in pieces to the deck below, a papier-mache project began to appear. My wife brought the sodden mass inside to sit on top of the dryer, though we eventually had to give up on it.

Earlier in the weekend, I brought home a copy of The New York Times from my trip to the coffeeshop. Fortunately, I had finished most of it by the time I had placed it on our kitchen counter. When I returned to finish off the sports section, I saw this …

It’s not just young readers who are using new media and methods to get their news. Our male tabby Tom was sitting squarely on the front page, absorbing details about the unrest in Libya, the surge in Afghanistan and more troubles for the housing market through his butt. Like the thermometer inserted rectally to get a truer reading of body temperature, Tom is doing his part to be sure he receives what’s left of the daily paper in as pure and accurate a form as possible.

Please, knock it off with the inside jokes

“That sounds like something Bob from Ontario would say to his favorite sweatshirt.”

(Audience laughs hysterically while viewers at home turn to fellow family members and ask, “Huh?”)

Let me make it clear at the outset that I’m a huge fan of David Letterman. We’re both grumpy. We’re both runners. We both have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Both our names start with “D-A-V-I” and end with “M-A-N”. I haven’t yet had a quintuple heart bypass operation or sexually harassed my staff, but I’m working on it.

So it hurts me to note that I’m terribly annoyed when Dave and others of his late-night ilk open their shows with inside jokes that everybody in the studio gets, but nobody at home does.

As I understand it, all these talk show hosts typically have a “warm-up” session with their audience before the cameras start rolling. It’s a chance to introduce themselves to the crowd in a casual setting, so that any murmurs of “he’s older than he looks on TV” can be dispensed with before they’re murmured in unison to millions watching at home across the nation.

Sometimes, as much as the first two to three minutes of the opening monologue are taken up with these jokes. Dave will say “… and his wife Marge thinks he’s signed up for the space shuttle” and they’ll cut to a grainy couple sitting in the third row whose delight at being mentioned can’t be contained without gales of laughter.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting on my couch waiting for some actual comedy to start happening.

Dave, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and any other Jimmy I might have omitted, I implore you: Please knock it off before those cows from the Philippines wearing scarves around their necks while shopping online at Amazon.com for a DVD of the second season of “Full House” because they’ve looked and looked and looked for it on eBay but can’t locate it anywhere find themselves drowning in the Mariana Trench.


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One Response to “Highlights from the mini-blog”

  1. Safety Girl Says:

    You just have to appreciate Charlie’s unique outlooks 😉

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