rant!

There Will Be Balance

Posted on

It seems that I’m using this blog as only a place to bitch about things… but I promise, there will be a happy balance.

Yesterday afternoon I was lucky enough to meet two girlfriends for appetizers and a couple of drinks just after 4pm. We met at the most expensive “chain” restaurant in the area, The Keg. (It’s not as high end as a Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris, but it’s pretty darned good and aside from the steakhouse at the Casino, it’s just one of the few places in our city like it.)

Between my these two friends, they have 5 kids, and getting out for a couple of hours is a nice little luxury for us all. When we arrived, the place was empty. The one girl was a little late, blaming her ass-hole kids, her rant was pretty funny.

So we’re not completely white trash, but in conversation, there might be some colourful words here and there. I think that’s pretty normal for women in general, and my friends for certain.

We sat on the bar side, which might encompass about 1/4 of the entire restaurant and is completely separate from the dining area… and who at 4:30 walks in and sits at the table directly beside us? A family. A family with a newborn, a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old.

Great. Now we not only have to hear intermittent crying, but we also have to watch our language… you know, because we at least try to be respectful.

Do families have the right to have a nice dinner and drinks? Absolutely! But they chose to sit on the BAR SIDE. It’s a bar. It’s not the Legion, there will be bad language and perhaps a little too much imbibing (albeit not as likely at 4:30 in the afternoon). They could have had their pick of any table in the dining room, it wasn’t like the bar was their only option. So this was annoying. (Not to mention that the tiny 5 year old was standing and pacing, rocking the newborn who she could barely manage to hold. She had to keep hiking the baby up… it was stressful to watch and just annoying in general.

Fast forward to leaving, I texted my husband to see if he picked up the dog and he invited me to him and some of his co-workers at another restaurant chain nearby, so I thought I would pop in there for a couple of drinks before heading home to get Mr. Shank.

The guys were seated in the bar at high, narrow and long tables, and the place was packed. There were a few families on the “bar side”, which I understand, as sometimes it’s easier to snag a table there rather than wait for a table in the dining room. After a few minutes of me being there (the guys had been there for a few hours, including a late lunch and apps…) the manager came over and informed us that the table behind us was complaining about the bad language, actually “offended”, and could we please be more mindful of ourselves as they had kids (probably about 7, 9 and 14 years old).

Well, I was offended by the father. When I sat down I had a clear view of 5 inches of his ass crack and sloppy and exposed fat spilling out of his jeans. It was beyond gross… could I complain about that? Would the manager have approached the father and asked him to pull up his pants as other patrons were “offended”? Could you imagine?  

And here’s the thing… they chose to sit there. They chose to sit on the BAR side. They chose to sit their family next to a group of men, IN A BAR, who clearly just finished work and were having a few drinks after work.

I asked the manager, “Then why are they sitting ON THE BAR SIDE?

I really don’t care if you’re in a dive, a chain or in a family-style restaurant, bars and bad language go together like bars and booze. It’s gonna happen. If you have the option, then choose the area of the restaurant best suited for your family, rather than attempt to shame a group of guys for being guys in a place where it’s acceptable to BE a guy… in a BAR.

In the end, we toned down our language and were happy that this group left not long after.

On the happy side (I promised balance and there will be balance damnit!), it was great seeing these ladies for a little while. They are both smart and funny and I’m again reminded that I’m very lucky to have so many awesome friends in my life. I hope to meet with them and other “elevator” wives soon.

Life is good.

Advertisements

Why I Hate Facebook for Business

Posted on

Just a little work-related rant that I have to get off my chest.

I manage several Facebook Business Pages (one of them is in Facebook Business Manager, which I don’t recommend using – while it has gotten better over the last year, it’s still not as easy to use as the older version).

Here’s the thing… for whatever reason, Facebook users “choose” to follow a Business Page. Perhaps they work there, know the owners, are customers or (and most importantly) want to stay updated on what’s happening there, sales, specials, updates, etc…

These users can also choose not to receive updates, unfollow the page and even see “fewer posts like this”.

Over the years, Facebook has nearly eliminated the organic reach of Business Page posts – so essentially the users who follow the page rarely see posts in their timelines. Why did Facebook do this? To make more money.

To “reach” users, posts need to be “boosted”, and of course you have to meet Facebook’s guidelines for doing so, but lately, even boosted posts are reaching fewer people.

So, a few years ago, a post “boosted” targeting “people who like your page and their friends” (and a best practice is within a specific geographical area if the business is local in nature) would reach, say 2,000 people for $5. Now, these boosted posts are reaching only a couple hundred Facebook users.

Not fair!

How is this right? These users chose to follow these businesses!

It’s almost like the Business Pages exist (and yes, there are things that have to be done correctly) to be found in only Facebook searches – so now Facebook has essentially become a search engine for businesses, rather than a platform to socially share what’s happening in a business.

Further to this… people who run home-based businesses (such as Avon, Scentsy, Monat, etc.) post on their personal pages, promoting their products… and these businesses encourage this personal posting along with the following:

  • Become friends with every single person you’ve ever met
  • Post several times a day to stay engaged with your Facebook friends, so when they see you talking about the product, they won’t feel that you’re on Facebook just to hock your wares
  • “Like” or comment on absolutely everything – let your friends know that you LOVE them, and hopefully they’ll buy whatever you’re selling
  • Create online and non-existent “Events” for selling your stuff
  • Offer free samples ad nauseam
  • Try to get more people to work under you, selling your stuff
  • Repost and share posts from the people that work under you (gotta show your support and promote them!)

Seriously… the posts by the people who sell for companies via their personal Facebook accounts is enough to drive people off Facebook. Crap such as “What’s your favourite season?” “What childhood tradition do you miss the most?” Crap, crap, crap.

Now, with that said, I understand that they are just trying to make a living, maybe even they have their own Business Page – but the parent companies recommend to post on their personal Facebook account to overcome the lack of organic reach on the Business Pages.

What affect is this having for the average Facebook user? 

They are not seeing posts from businesses which they have “chosen” to follow

Their timelines are blown up with crap content from “friends” who are constantly posting crap and promoting their products constantly.

Solution? 

There is nothing that can overcome the lack of organic reach on Facebook Business pages as far as I can tell (with the exception of encouraging employees, friends, etc. to “share” the post if/when they see it – or creating a Facebook group to alert these people of a new post, encouraging them to “share it”).

For the people who “over-post”, “over-share”, “crap post”, “over-comment-and-like-everything” – unfollow them.

That’s it for now. Thanks for listening.

SMH

Posted on Updated on

So with secret blogging skills out, I thought I’d share with you something that makes me shake my head.

Stock photos.

A little background…

For my various clients I used to pay for stock photos from one of the big companies. I spent hundreds a year on photos. It was annoying.

Even more annoying (and beyond) was a few years back when I accidentally used a random pic from Google images on a blog post (I often would do some recon on photos I wanted to use and would save them for reference) and was sued by the stock company who owned the image (the company I probably gave more than a thousand bucks to over the years…)

I was able to negotiate down the fee without having to go to court, but still, it was ridiculous. Since then, I use only ‘free’ photos that are copyright free, no attribution required images. Yay.

However, (and this is my point) often the photos are crap. Like craptacular. Like super crap.

Searching for an appropriate photo for a blog (an essential element!) can sometimes take longer than researching a topic, writing a blog, editing and the actual posting.

Why though?

  • Mislabeled
  • Too ethnic (as example: searching for ‘kids playing’ and only finding barely clothed perhaps homeless children playing on a dirt road is certainly a third world country.)
  • Not ethnically diverse enough
  • They are just crap

Case in point… searching for ‘saving money’

This little gem appeared…

wtf

 

 

 

 

 

WTF?

A potato?

A spoon balancing on a calculator?

For whom could this image possibly be relevant? (Of course suggestions welcomed… please leave a comment)

Then there’s the overuse of keywords… meaning the contributing photographers (bless them all for saving me hundreds a year…) load the keyword description with every imaginable word that could possibly (loosely) be related to the image.

A search for ‘saving money’ also resulted in this bit of stock photo wizardry:

WTF 4

 

 

 

 

Again! Who would use this photo and when? Bandaids on a clock face? Ohhh, how deep in symbolism! Thank goodness someone added the text ‘time heals all wounds’. How profound!

Then there’s this guy…

wtf 2

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen this guy so much in free stock photos that I call him Uncle Frank.

WTF 3

 

 

 

 

Regardless of my search criteria (and my clients vary greatly in their stock photo needs!), Uncle Frank appears in my searches approximately 4 out of 5 times. It’s comforting really always to have Uncle Frank there for me, although he has some pain management and apparent depression issues…

WTF 5

 

 

 

 

 

Other times I just don’t know what’s wrong with poor Uncle Frank.

WTF 6

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, how I worry!

WTF 7

 

 

 

 

 

So now the caveat… I’m grateful to these photographers for generously donating their time and sharing their talent. (I’ve actually used several of Uncle Frank’s benefactor’s images) I appreciate the free use of their images greatly as it saves me money.

But.

Sometimes.

You just gotta say.

WTF.

Jump Out of My Skin

Posted on

I’m just not having a good day…

I slept well, got an early start and the dogs aren’t bothering me too much (it’s really cold out and about 1.5 foot of snow) today.

My clients are really not on me today (well, except one, but that’s okay).

I just feel… annoyed. Like I’m gonna snap. Like I wanna face kick a bitch. I also have a lot on my plate this week and I’m irked because:

  • Some people aren’t getting back to me
  • There are some things that I really don’t want to do (mostly because no notices, comments or seems to care that I do them)
  • I don’t feel that great and I don’t really want to do anything! (maybe read and watch TV)

Arg.

What’s a person to do? Head down? Tomorrow will be better? Take care of what I can and let the rest go?

Geez, real sage advice there LG.

I have golf indoor golf league tonight… maybe getting out of the house for a few hours will do the trick (now that I think about it, I haven’t left the house since Saturday…).

We’ll see.

Have a lovely day.

The Downside(s)

Posted on Updated on

In general, working from home is so very awesome (tell us something new, LG). There are however a few downsides (are you whining about work again LG?).

No, just the facts…

Working at home involves a lot of email. Like, a lot.

Without any exaggeration (you gotta love that preface…) I have only met with my one client once in 2 years and spoken to them on the phone 3 times, (and one was a crank call, okay, just kidding) Oh, and FYI, he’s my favourite client. And because (I know, don’t start a sentence with a conjunction, duh) I’m fairly autonomous in what I do (because, like who cares about social media, right?) I don’t often have a lot of ‘in real life’ (IRL) communication with my clients.

And that’s cool, (more poor grammar; please excuse! I’m not on the clock, it’s my blog gall darnit!)

However, at times, there’s things I need to know, ask or request.

Like for instance (wow, I’m on a poor grammar roll!)…

Subject: 1 question

LG: Hi Greg,

I hope everything is going well with you, I have 1 question…

I understand Lionel is starting July 1st. Could you possibly send me his biography within the first few days of July? I will use this as a blog article, on the ‘about us page’ and in the next eNewsletter.

Thanks so much,

LG

Greg’s response

(no greeting or hello… that’s cool…)

Lionel does not start until July 1st. So it only makes sense to send you his bio within the first week of July. I think this would be great to include this in the July eNewsletter.

LG (in my head)

You’re frickin brilliant. Yes! Perfect. Wow. I gotta write that shit down, as it’s such a unique and original concept to grasp. Where oh where did you come up with that idea? 

LG’s Response

Hi Greg,

That sounds great! I look forward to receiving his bio in the first week of July.

Have a great day!

LG

——-

Or this:

Subject: 3 things

Hi Mackie,

1) I’m available for a meeting online on Tuesday at 3pm as previously discussed. Are you still available to meet at that time?

2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.

3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know – thanks!

Have a great day, I look forward to hearing back from you.

LG

Mackie’s Response

(No greeting or salutation, please note the grammatical errors.)

I tart work a 10 on Mondays,

LG (in my head)

Wow, that is so informative and helpful. Let me mark that on my calendar under the the heading ‘WTF Are You Talking About? Have You Had Your ADD Tested Lately?’ (Just a joke, I fully understand that ADD is a real medical problem for millions of people.)

LG’s Real Response

Hi Mackie,

Thanks for your reply. In regards to my last email, I have 3 questions… please send me your response as soon as convenient. Thanks so much for your time.

1) I’m available for a meeting on Tuesday at 3pm. Are you available to meet at that time online as previously discussed?

2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’ If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.

3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know if this works for you. Thanks so much!

I look forward to your response. Talk to you soon,

LG

Mackie’s response:

Hi LG,

Its been a crasy week hear wow really so busy thanks for you’re email ive only just red it and so important yes the proposal Tues at 6pm is perfect and the jaguar isn’t ready for pick up although I mind some sliver and thas was awsom.

LG (in my head)

Dear Moron,

Are you frickin drunk? It’s 9am on a Monday, so wow, good for you. I sent you 3 questions nearly a week ago. My uber sneaky, ninja email software tells me you opened it 4 days ago in Delaware. Delaware? If you went to Delaware, this is something I should know. Howabout my 3 very direct, hard to misunderstand questions? Can you focus for 8 seconds and answer me so I can do my job… y’know… the thing you pay me for? 

LG’s Real Response

Hi Mackie, 

Wow, that sounds exciting! I didn’t realize you were out of town. With regard to the 3 questions I asked you last Tuesday, if you could get back to me as soon as possible? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

LG

Like, really? Could you imagine walking into someone’s office, and asking them, “What time is the meeting today?” and them replying, “Monkey jackass sausage brains light switch leg twitch!”

Why is email communication so lost in translation? Seriously? I’m gonna estimate I waste 10 hours a week trying to:

  • Decipher poor grammar and spelling.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.

Of course I receive daily the ‘random thought’ emails… one of my life’s true joys. These people will send 8 emails within 4 minutes in reply to one email… each email featuring a poorly written random thought. With my super sneaky ninja email program, I can seriously see that they have not even finished reading the email completely before replying! Seriously?

Here’s my advice.

  • Receive the email
  • Read the email
  • Take a breath if necessary
  • Re-read the email if necessary
  • Reply thoroughly to said email
  • Get on with life
  • Then drink alcohol
  • Enjoy! Now knowing you have the love and etiquette email approval of LG! (Wow, 2012? Time flies.)

Oh, and of course there’s the people that just don’t bother to check their email anymore… because there’s too many of them…

It’s all just entertainment now. Like seriously…  so… If someone who pays me can’t be bothered to properly reply… why should I care?

Right?

(Thing is though… I do)

HENCE!

(…end scene… fade to black)

Random picture:
432William and my nephew Myles… whose college graduation is tomorrow. I’m so proud of him! Oh, and he’s valedictorian of his class! Amazing.

Work from home

Posted on

Hard at it!I recently read an article (I’m too embarrassed to say from which publication – suffice to say it’s a respected Canadian magazine) which stated that people who work from home should still ‘dress for success’.

Really? Like, really?

The article said something to the effect that to be in a proper frame of mind, to be professional, we must look the part even if we work alone from home. The article further stated that us at home workers should be well prepared and looking sharp in case we have to ‘run out at a moment’s notice’ or ‘meet a delivery person for a package’ (of course not real quotes, because I can’t find the darned article online to read again, but you get my gist, right?).

Really?

So I’d like to respond, albeit briefly, as my eyes are bulging out of their holes from staring at this screen all day.

  • When I’m working at home, I’m wearing joggies and possibly a toque, depending on the weather. Odds are I’m wearing the shirt I slept in or went to the gym in (my socks however, always match and look awesome). I’m not drunk or stoned, although I am on occasion, hungover (#keepinitreal #whosnot #dontjudgeme). I truly feel I can articulate myself well regardless if my pants are made of 100% comfy cotton and have a silky draw-string. Hey, at least I’m wearing pants. If you work from home and choose not to wear pants – hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • One benefit of working from home (I am self employed, so this might not be applicable to all) is that I’m rarely called out on a moment’s notice. If I can’t make an urgent meeting (I’ve yet to encounter any drop-everything-and-get-into-the-city-urgent-meetings in the world of social media) it might well be because I’m choosing to walk my dogs at that time. Another benefit of being self employed and working from home is that in general I find I have plenty of time to pull on a pair of fancy pants when the occasion calls. (It rarely calls.)
  • In my most humbled of opinions (and yes, of course this is all just my opinion – it’s a blog!), webcam Skype calls for business purposes are full of cheese and not at all necessary for my line of work (hey, it’s all about me, see above). The request of ‘hey, let’s Skype this meeting’ would be politely declined as I eye roll myself into migraine. So not necessary.
  • Perhaps a package will be delivered. I do occasionally get packages (let’s review: sports tickets, AERO Garden supplies, Grace-Adele jewelry, and I’ve recently ordered my husband a birthday present, but as if I’d tell you what it is!). Nary a business related package. I like to buy my business stuff in person (‘cept fonts) – it’s a special outing. So, do I care if I’m wearing joggies with a runny dog nose print located precisely on my privates? Do I care if I spilled oatmeal on my shirt? Um, so no. Why though? THE GUY IS WEARING SHORTS AND IT’S 2*F OUTSIDE. Is he my target customer? Does he even know what I do in my basement all day? (not that, the other thing). I don’t have a sign outside, so likely not.

Let’s recap:

  • I like to be comfortable.
  • I own fancy pants
  • Whatever floats your boat of goats.
  • Yay! Packages!
  • I don’t care what the UPS guy thinks of me (plus I used to play volleyball with him, during the days of short shorts and I might’ve caught a glimpse or ten of his giggleberries).

One day I’m going to write an article about what it’s really like to be self employed and work from home. One day when my eyes aren’t begging to be closed.

Adventure! Travel! Intrigue and a rant

Posted on

I wasn’t going to post anything today, but I’m logged in, so I thought what the hay…

We’ve booked a trip – yay! In mid April we’re flying into Vegas and heading to northern Nevada, ‘Mesquite’ to be exact for a week long golfing adventure! We have tee times already booked at 4 courses in the Mesquite area and 2 in the St. George, Utah area. St. George was originally our destination, but it appears the courses are a little nice in the Mesquite area, the hotel newer (and less expensive), plus there are a few (cough, low rent) casinos and a country music bar with live performances. Right up my alley (oh, there’s a bowling alley too, but that’s not on the list of things to do). Woo hoo!

One day we’re going to check out Zion National Park – yay! Utah is one of my mom’s favourite places in the world, so she’s excited for us (and has been dropping hints for years that we should go there…)

The golf looks amazing and I really think William will like it better than Arizona..

(I found these images on Google, please don’t sue me for using them, thanks!)

download

golfcourse277

maxresdefault

 

Um yeah…. pretty nice! It’s going to be great!

So the rant part…. it’s still freaking cold. Yesterday I went to the gym and it was -2F with a wind chill of -23*F. It’s been like this for weeks now, however, it’s supposed to reach the freezing mark this week-end and it’ll be a welcomed relief! Today’s gym adventure was a balmy 11*F and my car was actually warm by the time I reached the gym.

The thing is… average high for this time of year should be right around the freezing mark. It hasn’t even been close in weeks! That’s like us having weeks of 50* weather in July – when it should be 80*ish. Boo!

Also annoying is everyone complaining about the weather and the snow – oh and the snow! More to come tonight! We have 4 foot drifts in the space I walk to my mom’s every morning with the dogs. I’m annoying myself just by writing about it. I hate myself! Haha!

SuperBowl party this week-end and it’s going to be super! I think we’ll have around 15 peeps over – crazy!

Life is good – cheers!