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Have you heard the story of “Cisco Fatty”? Lessons in Work, Life –and Astrology?

March 22, 2009

Have you heard the story of “Cisco Fatty”? A parody of it is already on YouTube which you can watch above, or you can read  the original blog post here “How To Tweet Yourself Out Of a Job” which contributed to the mania. (Still not sure what twitter’s good for? Consider these ideas.)

Essentially the story of Cisco Fatty is  this exchange on twitter:

TWIT A: Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

TWIT B: Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

OOPS! or as too many say, FAIL! or maybe just TMI?

It’s obvious that many of us (if not most of us!) face the challenge of competing desires–money vs time. Until recently, you couldn’t tell the whole world instantly and in 140 characters. Until recently, a comment like that would be shared between two or three people over a back fence, over a cup of coffee, over a telephone line, and then maybe gossip would take the comment a little further–maybe across town.

These days,  a comment exchange like this can travel around the world in minutes; the original blog post “How to tweet yourself out of a job” received over 100,000 page views within a few days, causing author Hutch Carpenter to reflect on the experience of going from around 1,000 page views a week to over 100,000 page views: “Viral Viagra”  it’s called.

The author of the tweet is known to be a young woman, and likely a 20 something recent college grad.

There is an important essay to be written here about how many people feel about work and the conflict between “fatty paychecks” and loss of freedoms, and perhaps it will be this young woman who pens the essay-she wold certainly find a place to publish it, points out Carpenter.

As a Gen X college English teacher and the aunt of Gen Y nephews, I know other Gen Xers and Ys who feel the same way, and I wonder: is this anything new?

Women of my mother’s generation didn’t even have the chance to complain about work opportunities. The difference here as Carpenter points out is social media’s impact on how we share our experiences in the world– how far those tweets can travel and how quickly. Forget 6 degrees of separation; one tweet is enough!

So the bigger question here is: how much longer are people going to put up with being treated like crap and accepting jobs that suck even if they come with “fatty paychecks”? What are people willing to do for medical benefits? When will people, enough people say, “I’m out”?

As Dave Norton ( said at the Tourism Symposium I attended,  people are stepping off the treadmill,  consciously stepping off the consumer treadmill and looking for another way of life. That’s in addition to the people being kicked out of the rat race via pink slips.

Maybe the worker’s revolution has finally come along–and no it won’t be televised but tweeted!

So what should Cisco Fatty do now? Hide out or accept her notoriety and capitalize on it?

How about some astrological advice? According to,

On March 22, Jupiter is quincunx Saturn. A quincunx is an astrological aspect that is formed when two planets are 150 degrees from each other. This aspect is also referred to as the inconjunct. The two planets involved usually have very little in common, and their celestial meeting can be uneasy as a result. This aspect, above all, demands that adjustments be made. Things will appear muted or unclear, and it’s important to focus on the matters at hand. A reorganization of priorities, as well as a change in the way things are done, is wanting. A shift in attitude, outlook and perspective can also be indicated.

Sometimes you know exactly where you’re headed and how to get there. As optimistic inconjuncts serious Saturn, this is not one of those times! It will be a strain to achieve balance between expansion and contraction. Jupiter represents your ability to find solutions outside the normal perspective of life. Saturn represents your ability to use the past and create a new foundation for the future. Adjust your vision of what you want in life so that you don’t repeat past mistakes. Rather, use the past as a stepping stone for the future. You may feel frustrated that you can’t do this immediately. However, the economic problems bubbling around you didn’t occur overnight. Creating and implementing solutions will also take time. Your ability to be flexible in the face of changing circumstances will help you navigate this time period. You will emerge a winner if you can mix optimism with a realistic approach.

Does that explain it for you? I’ll let you take what life lessons you find there without any more commentary from The Art Predator…

PS While we’re on the Hitler kick, one of my favs in the genre is related to Burning Man:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gregory Dupre permalink
    March 24, 2009 12:05 pm

    Did I fall asleep in English grammar, or did the rest of the world. I am greatly surprised that more people are not pointing this out.

    To the best of my knowledge THEY is PLURAL. In English the masculine embraces the feminine. This means that if the gender of the hiring manager is unknown, the correct phrase is “I’m sure he would love to know…” If Tim Levad is determined to bend low and kiss the hindquarters of political correctness, he could have written “I’m sure he (or she) would love to know. The plural *they* does not belong with the singular *manager.*

    English teachers! Your opinions please!

  2. March 24, 2009 3:37 pm

    Dear Greg,

    Thank you for reading my post and for taking the time to comment.

    As a college English teacher, and as the Art Predator, I am not surprised at all. In my experience, most people choose to use the plural “they” instead of the sexist “he” or the awkward, wordy, and character consuming “he or she” (I’m not sure what your experience is wuth twitter but I have become obsessed with what can be said in 140 characters).

    When gender is unknown as in the case of the Cisco manager or managers, my choice (and my recommendation to my students) is to use the plural: hiring managers :: they.

    Additionally, you’re right: in English the masculine “embraces” the feminine. And rapes, and subjugates. Which is why the most “correct” solution is to avoid sexist language in the first place or find out the gender of the person.

    Finally, several hundred people have read this post so far; no one except you has commented. What seems more worthy of comment and debate to me isn’t the use of the English language on the twitter post, but the content of it and the imact of it on the applicant’s world, the world of social media, and the world we live in whicih is full of jobs that require horrendous commutes and which suck in order to take home a “fatty paycheck” or a paycheck at all.

  3. Robin permalink
    March 29, 2009 9:05 pm

    Is it possible for a jealous colleague to frame their rival online? What if they misuse their competitor’s name to make them look bad to future employers? Can’t careers be ruined that way?


  1. cisco fatty
  2. Does Twitter/Facebook Replace or Enhance Connectivity? « art predator

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