Meeting was a success

The meeting went really great.

It was unlike anything I’ve ever experience before. By that I mean that I’ve dealt with agreements and arrangements that are supposed to stay hush-hush, but I’ve never actually been involved with something that’s completely confidential and classified to the extent that I can’t even tell my coworkers.

A few weeks back I mentioned that I was hoping to expand the reach of the company (here) and if this deal goes through, that could triple… possibly even quadruple the reach I’ve been aiming for.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but my hopes are up.

I want this.

It’s funny, this is something that is so hush-hush, I don’t even think I could tell my family. It’s not like I could ever have bragging rights for it, at least no publicly. But I want personal bragging rights. I want to be able to stand in front of the mirror and say ‘yeah, I did that’.

As of right now, it’s more like ‘yeah, we’re half way there’.

Fingers crossed.

Toes crossed.

Everything crossed.

Now I’m going to enjoy the office being closed for Easter. I’ve got a few days planned of doing absolutely nothing.

High Anxiety

Something’s coming on Thursday. Something that’s really important to me.

I’m nervous. I’m anxious that I’m going to screw it up. I’m keenly aware that no matter how prepared I could, or will be, come Thursday… it’s likely not prepared enough.

Sometimes I feel like an imposter. I wonder how these things just magically seem to fall into my lap. Did I do this? Does the universe know that I can handle this? Or is this all some sort of a cruel joke to remind me that I shouldn’t get my hopes up?

Regardless of the reason why it’s coming, Thursday is coming fast. I cannot shake this uneasy feeling in my stomach. While this isn’t going to break my career, it could possibly make my career, if I play my cards right. There’s a lot on the line, I guess you could say. While there’s nothing to lose, if I don’t win it could feel like a serious loss.

Can I do this?

Am I capable?

Am I worthy?

Why is it that I’m doubting myself so hard? Where is my confidence when I need it?

Corporate Poaching

A new start-up has been systematically poaching the best employees from my company recently. It has been interesting watching this unfold. Management is… crumbling. They’re trying to hide it but they’re definitely stressed to the max.

This is a new experience for me. I’ve never worked in an industry in which poaching happened. In my previous work people were either fired for incompetence, criminal negligence or general stupidity. People leaving, resigning, willingly… because they were poached to a start-up that isn’t even public yet, it’s interesting to watch. The shape of the entire company is changing right in front of my eyes.

My Day Job

I keep posting this and then sending it back to my drafts folder to make edits. I really should just leave it up.

When it comes to work, I’ve talked a lot about how I work in marketing, communications and public relations. This is all true. My position is one of those chameleon positions that tends to change based on the day. I don’t have a set description of duties because those duties change depending on what is happening.

Here’s a little bit of an explanation of what being Director of Marketing entails:

I draft emails, press releases and professional reports for distribution and print in three countries on two continents, hoping to expand to eight countries on three continents in the next 12 months. I also edit emails, press releases and professional reports and act as the last set of eyes to see information before it’s distributed externally.

I maintain the company website. This involves daily maintenance and upgrades, adding and removing content, collecting registration information, optimizing SEO for the company and much more. I also use the company website to run the company blog – something that has become a bit of a behind the scenes look at the magic my coworkers create.

I create and maintain Google Ads for the company as a measure to help direct even more people to our company website. This is done through identifying what terminology is important to our executives, as well as using an SEM/Keyword Search Tool to stay up to date on what the most popular trends on Google are.

I encourage clients to leave reviews about our company and the software that we sell because I understand the importance of reviews to people who are considering investments of six figures in specialized software like that which we sell.

I manage a sales team of seven people. We’ve been developing and executing a sales plan over the past five months to grow awareness of our products around the world, and hopefully increase our clientele.

I am in charge of graphic design for the company. This includes adding any new design templates to our website, creating info-graphic advertisements for both print and digital publications, designing animations for our YouTube channel and I’m sure a half dozen other places that I can’t think about at the particular moment that I’m writing this. I have more than 800 fonts on my computer and I can tell you which are good fonts for which occasion by the back of my hand. Types of fonts, colours, sizes of documents/images/graphics, they all matter deeply when it comes to consumer purchasing trends.

I make videos for our YouTube channel. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

I manage the company’s social media platforms, ensuring a balance between promotion and showcasing the lifestyle of our company and employees. I’ve given our company platforms a very sassy personality and people seem to be enjoying it. I think it’s a nice change from the otherwise very bland topics that run our industry. I seek growth, I seek to share knowledge and I seek to make an impact with our platforms that is enough for people to want to continue coming back.

I develop presentations for sales calls, events, tradeshows and conventions (that last two have been online the past year) and investment meetings.

I watch daily, weekly, monthly and annual trends within the industry to ensure that our company stays relevant, that we continue to grow and that we maintain our knowledge of competitors to keep a competitive edge.

I send monthly email campaigns/newsletters to 20,000 people to share about our corporate structure, goals, services and products. I keep all analytics from these campaigns to ensure that I improve on each message the following month.

I track our company’s analytics across all platforms. What pages people visit, what emails people open, what videos people watch, how much time they spend doing each activity… these are all important statistics to help my team do a better job in the future.

I organize press conferences for the company. These haven’t happened that often lately, largely due to COVID, and when they have they’ve been more of a virtual feed that we send to journalists. But, I’m that person that’s ensuring there are no wrinkles in the curtain being used as a black background because I know small things like that can look unprofessional and distract from messages you’re trying to deliver.

I host professional development courses for scientists around the world, teaching them the basics of our software. I highly recommend the tactic of using your own products to teach someone something knew. Those who seek knowledge become guinea pigs for your own products and they often don’t even realize it.

I work with charitable organizations across North America to ensure that we donate a portion of our funds back to people in need. Prior to COVID my company did a lot of physical, in-person, volunteering. Since COVID began, though, we’ve switched to a model solely focused on donations because we understand that a bunch of extra heads in and around charitable organizations right now could be dangerous to the spread.

I try my best to understand everyone. I don’t always agree with them. Actually, I don’t agree with them a lot of the time. But, I understand them. I understand them because marketing is about understanding people. It’s about being able to put yourself in their shoes, and being able to know where they’re coming from. If you can know where they’re coming from, you can know how to appeal to them and how to help them. Realistically, that’s all anyone wants.

I think one of the most important things I do is provide a balance. My coworkers often come to me and ask my thoughts on something they’re working on – they treat me as somewhat of a trusted resource and I’m really proud of that. They know I’ll be honest with them and I know they’ll be honest with me. I think this is a reason why we improve upon our communication and messaging each month. I think this is why we’re growing steadily. We’re not afraid to be honest with one-another if something sucks. This pushes our entire office to be better. And, when we operate at a higher level of quality, continuously, people recognize that.

There’s a lot that goes into marketing. And, sharing this isn’t necessarily about bragging, although I’m sure that the majority of this post sounds like I am bragging. I just wanted to explain that there are facets to this type of work that a lot of people don’t think about, or understand. And that’s totally fine. Just… know… know that when I rant about marketing, when I share tips and tricks, it comes from a good place. I’m very passionate about marketing and the difference it can make in what you, I, or anyone is able to accomplish.

Marketing is important. Marketing can make, or break, a company/person. At the end of the day, everything tied to marketing is based upon understanding people. This is why you can always tell when good marketing is happening and… when people really understand the audience they’re marketing towards.

What a week

I’m really not sure where the past week of my life went. Actually, I do know. I’ve been pulling double duty and work due to the shit show that happened in Texas and my coworkers being off-the-map for several days. Luckily the clients were understanding of the fact that our Texas crew was unavailable and I don’t have a biochemistry degree like each of them have. We made due.

Speaking of what happened in Texas – holy shit balls. I feel so deeply for everyone who’s had their lives turned upside down by the aftermath of that winter storm. It’s going to cost hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars and take years to recover from that storm. A storm which I think pointed out a fatal flaw in Texas infrastructure in that, it’s not prepared for weather fluctuations. Luckily, for each of my coworkers on our Texas crew, they’re relatively well-off (financially speaking). I can’t imagine what people are going through who live pay cheque to pay cheque. This must be their worst nightmare come to fruition.

I know there are a few people who read this blog who are from Texas. I hope that you’re safe, warm and staying as sane as possible amidst the cleanup from this winter-storm.

More life lessons from me

I should make this a series.

When you hear ‘this call is being recorded’, make sure that you remember to hang up when a call has ended. There are so many recording features in our day-to-day lives that we can often ignore/forget about them. Most businesses that offer any form of customer service use them. If you call banks, stores, doctors, etc… they all have them. If you’re making a call that’s being recorded, don’t forget to hang up.

Legally, any company that uses a recording software is required to acknowledge you’re being record. Something people don’t realize though (and this is a tangent), is that you’re also legally allowed to say you do not wish to be recorded and they have to stop the recording before the call proceeds.

Anyways, a good rule for life is to always hang up your calls. This is ESPECIALLY true when you’re on a call that’s being recorded. If you don’t hang up a call that’s being recorded, you will be continuously recorded for the remainder of time taken for you to figure out you need to hang up.

A STORY TO PAIR WITH THIS LESSON

On Tuesday I had another call with the man who thinks Canadians have polar bears for pets (you can read it here, if you’d like). Our company uses a call recording software so that we can refer back to the calls and not have to frantically type meeting minutes during.

Anyways, for those of you not familiar with how this type of recording software works, it’s essentially like having a third person on the line. The ‘third person’ is the recorder. However, because it’s software and not a person, it doesn’t know to hang up when I hang up. So, when I left the meeting at 41:03 and he didn’t, he was recorded for another hour and twelve minutes.

You best believe I was listening to that.

In the hour and twelve minutes he continued to record, he continued to be at his computer. His wife came in shortly after I hung up and started asking him about me. He referred to me as ‘a hardass’ and ‘just another stupid Canadian’. He said he’d have the deal wrapped by Friday.

He won’t.

He and his wife proceeded to argue about why he needs to deal with me at all, which turned into an argument about how the dog was barking because he never takes the dog outside and she always has to do it. Then he turned on a meditation session and proceeded to listen to it, followed by calling one of his coworkers.

I will spare you the details of what happened in the remaining hour.

By the end of the recording, one hour and twelve minutes after I hung up, there was a loud ‘Shit. Fuck. Shit. Shit. Shit. Seriously? It’s been recording this whole fucking time?’ Then he hung up.

Suffice to say, when a call is over… hang up. Don’t be ‘that guy’.

Canadian cliches

I’ve been speaking with a potential client for a few days this week and he keeps asking me about Canadian cliches… except not about the realistic cliches, about the stupid/silly ones. The problem is, I’m sensing that he really has no idea and he might actually think that we own polar bears as pets. He keeps implying that polar bears are as common as cats and dogs in Canada. He also definitely thinks we eat beaver tails. He also thinks that all Canadians know one another. When I told him there are 37 million people in Canada his response was ‘Holy shit, where you all been hiding all these years?’

He seems like he’s lead an incredibly sheltered life. He was born and raised and has never left where he’s living now, not even for a holiday (from what he tells me). Which, hey… some people lead simple lives and don’t desire globetrotting, I can understand that much. I just… as someone who’s always been curious for information, find it hard to comprehend someone reaching their forties and never asking or trying to learn. I guess it wasn’t a priority to him. He learned what he needed too and left what he didn’t. lol

I just… I always assumed that it was mockery when people made fun of Canadian’s for stupid cliches. It never dawned on me that people might actually believe them. Perhaps that’s my bad. He seems to like his sheltered bubble, so I don’t want to burst it at this stage of his life. On the other hand…?

So… Jake quit.

Am I surprised? Not really.

Am I glad? Absolutely. Dealing with the man was exhausting. I’m pretty sure that misogyny is his middle name. He clearly did not appreciate having to work with a female. (I was going to add more to this sentence, but the truth is, he just seemed like he didn’t like me because I was female. He also took the liberty of blaming his blunders on his assistant, exclaiming that she was female. I reckon that most of his interactions with females are the same)

I’m exhausted.

Last week he said in an email that I was ‘probably PMSing’ and that’s why I was so particularly hard on him in the meeting we had with my company’s CEO. Firstly, those were all legitimate questions that I asked. Secondly, what a fucking idiot.

Honestly, they had to talk me down last Thursday when I saw that email. Part of me wanted to get on a plane and go visit him just so that I could feel the joy of punching him in the face.

We all thought he was going to quit. We were waiting for him to quit. Yesterday when he “took a stand” and defended his character against my “perilous attacks”, the three of us in the meeting simultaneously thought “what took you so long?”.

What caused him to quit was a surprise to me. Well actually, I guess I’m not really surprised at what caused him to quit when I think back on it. In the moment it seemed like an easy-exit and oooooh boy did he throw a temper tantrum. Jake quit because I asked that he sign a confidential disclosure agreement. I honestly didn’t think it was a lot to ask. He wanted me to provide all of the analytics for my website, my budgets, sales aggregates and administrative views of all of our digital platforms, access to certain clients and a full list of our direct, closest competitors. I wanted him to sign an agreement that said he wasn’t going to take all of the data we provided him to our direct competitor to say ‘Hey, pay me double and I’ll give you their data’.

Jake took my asking him to sign a confidential disclosure agreement as an attack on his character and his business.

Surely I can’t be the first person in his 12 years of business who’s asked for some sort of an agreement to ensure our data and client information is protected?

He was MAAAAAAAAAAD.

I have a two year old nephew and my nephew’s tantrums are easier to deal with than Jake was in that meeting yesterday.

He stomped his foot (actually, he stood up on camera to stomp his foot), he said ‘how dare you’ with great passions and even exclaimed that his twelve years in business, he’s never been so disrespected by a client before me. Which… holla! If asking someone for a totally legitimate legal agreement that he’ll protect confidential information is disrespectful, I’ll take that trophy.

Due diligence is a lot more important to me than hurting his tiny ego.

I don’t know him. And from the interactions we’ve had, I’m not that impressed with his character. How on earth am I supposed to trust that my company’s private data will be protected in his care?

After his tantrum Jake said that he would speak with us in a few hours and promptly ended the call.

About a half hour later he had his assistant send us an email letting us know that he cannot work in partnership with a company that would so boldly call his character and his business into question and for that reason he is terminating our partnership.

Good fucking riddance.

Bye Felicia.

Our CEO wrote him back saying that he’s expecting a full refund by Friday of this week and that if we don’t have it by that time then our lawyers will be in contact.

I officially have ‘Veto Power’ from here forward. I no longer have to deal with Jake, and I’ve been given the green light to leave reviews about his sexist emails and remarks (administrative duties, babysitter and PMSing) online.

To those who were asking why I don’t name/shame him in the stories I share on this blog, I can’t. Well, I could, but I won’t. I can only speak to his shiteous personality, bad attitude and absolutely uncalled-for comments about me because I am female. Sure, I think his business is a scam, but I can’t prove that. If I cannot prove that, I cannot speak to that. The internet is forever and it wouldn’t be right for me to leverage speculation on the internet that could negatively effect his business and the jobs of those who work for him, no matter how much I dislike the man.

I think his business is a scam, yes. I don’t know his business is a scam, though. So he’s just Jake. No last name, no business name. I’ll be leaving appropriate reviews in adequate places that explain his distaste for the female gender. People deserve to know that much.

Anyways, Jake is gone and I am so dang happy about that.

Meeting with Jake in one hour

He sent my boss a really salty email about the fact that he should be able to do his work ‘without a babysitter’ (direct quote, referring to me as a babysitter), but that if we don’t trust him, he will allow us to see the process. It will inevitably take him longer, though. As a result, he will charge us more.

He then said ‘Can’t wait to meet Katie. If she’s anything like Vee, I’m going to be earning a lot more, you know what I’m sayin?’ (Katie is a coworker that I work with a lot)

I’m trying to figure out why this moron is so dense that he just thinks the entire male gender is a part of his ‘broo-ha-ha’ boys club, or if he shoots emails like these into the dark as a test, hoping he’ll get the response he so desires.

If I were a betting woman, I would suggest the majority of his clients are men.

Wish me luck.

Jake just won’t quit.

I’m forty-three minutes into the day and I’m ready give up on the day.

This petulant asshole is trying to get fired. I swear.

If this is how he operates his business, I am unsure as to why anyone would do business with him. Maybe that’s it, though. Maybe no one does business with him and this entire facade is… a scam… like I predicted from day one.

Stories to come.

Additional question that I haven’t previously asked but am wondering more with each passing day: If this man runs a successful marketing company that has raised more than a billion dollars in capital and worked with companies like Nike and Samsung, why is he handling my company’s account? Why am I dealing with the head of the company? One would think (well, I would think) that if he’s so great he’s worked with two of the most recognizable brands on earth and raised more than a billion dollars in capital, that he’d have people who work under him who handle smaller accounts. But no, the head of the company handles all accounts? Every last one of them? Either he’s passing off accounts to people without acknowledging that, or, he doesn’t have as many accounts as he’s trying to portray that he has.