BEWARE: Scammers are trying to take advantage of the unemployed during this pandemic.

As many of you know, I am an unemployed Canadian citizen who has been applying for jobs on Indeed and LinkedIn for throughout 2020. I was worried that, when shit really hit the proverbial fan with respect to the Corona Virus, there would be scams coming out to take advantage of all of the people who’ve found themselves without work due to this pandemic. And, recent days have taught me that this is a rampant problem at the moment.

I received the above email this morning.

I did, in fact, apply for a data entry position on Indeed 48 hours ago. Since receiving this email, I have reported this job posting to Indeed as being fraudulent/misleading and left them a comment that I believe it to be a scam.

If you are unemployed, or have found your job temporarily suspended during this pandemic, it’s important to pay close attention to any communication that you might be getting. Being unemployed can bring on a lot of stress and often times it can be quite easy to see a promising email and not look closely at the details, thinking you need to jump on an opportunity, any opportunity right away.

Please don’t get scammed.

Using my email as an example, here are some things to look for:

  • Who is the email from? In the case of this email, who it’s from is a pretty big giveaway that it’s a scam. The sender’s name is Maggie Susan whilst the email address is MarcThomas055@hotmail.com. The job that I applied for was with what presented itself to be a legitimate Technology Company.
  • Who is the email to? This might seem like a stupid thing to check for, but in the case of this email, it’s not ‘To’ me. I am not ‘iooiioioo@gmail.com’. For privacy reasons, I am not sharing my personal gmail address. But, seeing as this was not addressed to me, and I was clearly BCC’ed, it leads me to believe this was likely sent in a group email to anyone who applied for the position, in their hopes that people would glance over who it was addressed to.
  • Who is the greeting too? A legitimate job prospect, whether with a company that has 3,000 employees or one that has 30 employees, will ALWAYS address the email to your first name. If you applied for a position, they already have your name and information. Any legitimate job seeker will say ‘Hi [Insert First Name Here]’. If they do not, it’s probably because the software they’re using to group send this scam isn’t advanced enough include your first name.
  • Who is it from? Did the sender sign their name? Is the company included? Is their a company signature linking to their website or online portfolios? A legitimate job seeker would NEVER leave their name off the end of an email.
  • Is there a sketchy looking link in the email? Of course there is. Please don’t click it. This is a bait tool to give hackers remote access to your desktop. In the case of this email, what are they asking me to register for? They have my information. If they were actually wanting to hire me, employment contracts need to be signed, and those cannot be done through sketchy links.
  • Do they name their company in their email? If they don’t, why wold a legitimate job seeker leave the name of their company off an email to prospective candidates? Perhaps because it’s not legitimate.
  • Does it make your spidey senses tingle? Because if it seems too good to be true, it is.

If you’ve found yourself without employment during this time, please know that you’re not alone. Please, please, please be diligent in where you respond to your emails. Pay attention to the small details. It might sound stupid when you read it, but A LOT of people fall for scams just like this one. With everyone in a hard enough situation already, I do not want you to get taken advantage further.

Thanks for reading.

Canadian Neighbours

It’s not a smart idea to go for a walk when the neighbours are out. Actually, when these neighbours are out, we tend to just let them be and avoid even driving past them. It’s a little ‘extra’, sure. But they don’t like it when humans bother them and we Canadians, we like to accommodate one another. They might look nice, docile and cute but I promise you, if they feel threatened you will wind up in a lot of pain.

Normally we don’t see the kids (just the grown ups), but they’re extra territorial when their babies are with them. People say Mama Bears are protective, I swear to goodness, the Moose are a lot more protective of their little ones.

And yes, the plural of moose is moose.

And yes, this is a Mama Moose and baby. Only male moose grow antlers.

A new low for the human race.

Honestly, I should just make an series on this blog to showcase all of the reasons why Influencers are idiots. Because there are a lot of them. There are stories which anger me, there are stories that annoy me and then there are stories that make me wonder how I am the same species as some people.

An ‘Influencer’ (we all know I use that term lightly) and aspiring rapper from Ontario was recently detained at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport due to a stunt he pulled on a plane headed for Jamaica that he hoped would make him go viral.

Approximately 30 minutes from landing in Montego Bay, Jamaica, WestJet Flight 2702 (Toronto to Montego Bay) was rerouted back to Toronto.

Why?

James Potok stood up in the back of the plane to exclaim that he had just gotten back from China and was not feeling well, and that he thought he might have Corona Virus.

Potok’s buddy actually filmed the stunt because they had hopes of releasing the video of his ‘prank’ to his YouTube channel and it would make him an internet sensation.

Being the idiot that he is, Potok thought everyone would laugh it off, he’d sit back down and land in Jamaica for a nice holiday, which he exclaimed was to ‘film his new music video’.

Oh no, no, no.

Infectious disease protocols require that any plane must return to it’s originating city unless there is imminent risk of death to one or more passengers on board. Furthermore, the infected passenger must be quarantined and ALL passengers are subject to medical evaluation upon landing.

Jamaica, an Island Nation, certainly isn’t going to let someone land in their country with an infectious disease that could spread throughout the rest of the tiny country. So, the plane turned around and returned to Toronto. More than 200 people had their holidays delayed, put on hold or cancelled and Potok’s response was ‘I’m an artists… any publicity is good publicity’.

There are three important notes to point out here:

  1. More than 200 people were forced to sit on a plane for several hours (as it returned home to Toronto) with someone who’d claimed that he had an infectious disease, a disease that they could very well have caught by just being in proximity to him.
  2. Those people were then subject to medical evaluations, as precautionary measure, after it was learned this was all a hoax, thus delaying their abilities to get on new flights, or rearrange their travel plans. Many people didn’t just miss a day or two of their holiday but there were at least a dozen people on that flight who were headed to Jamaica for a wedding and were not able to get to the wedding because of this.
  3. More than 200 people were stranded in Jamaica, unable to return home to go back to work on time, or back to their lives because the plane that was supposed to drop people off in Jamaica and pick up passengers to fly back to Toronto never got there. Work was missed, and people were in panic mode trying to secure childcare because they thought they were going to be home several days before they were actually all able to get home. They had to spend extra money to stay extra nights in Jamaica because of this, and it could take up to a year for the airline to reimburse them for this, if they get reimbursed at all.

As you can tell from the #VirusBoy and #WuhanClan that are new additions to his Instagram Bio, James Potok clearly shows a great deal of remorse for what he did.

Here’s what he had to say in the airport after returning home, getting medical clearance that he did not, in fact have corona virus, and being detained by Canadian authorities:

Look at the smug written all over his face…

It’s worth noting that Potok is being charged with mischief and breach of recognizance and is due in Ontario Provincial Court on March 9th for the stunt he pulled. But, I really don’t think that he cares.

To take his manipulation even a step further into the territory of shiteous human being, and, in his words ‘to say sorry for all of the hassle [he’s] caused’, he’s now claiming to be giving away $5,000 on his Instagram page. All you have to do is like and follow his account, his friend’s account who was on the flight to shoot the video they hoped would go viral, and to like his post, tag three friends and share the post to your own Instagram.

God, if I were a lawyer right now, that would be cataloged as Exhibits A through Z of why he’s not sorry for what he’s done, shows no remorse and is currently trying to capitalize on the attention he’s received for his careless, dangerous stunt.

I mean, how am I the same species as this person?

Could you imagine believing you were trapped on a plane (a tiny sky tin with recirculating air) with someone who potentially had an infectious disease? As someone who suffers from anxiety, those several hours flying back to Toronto would have been the worst hours of my life. Imagine the people on board with babies, or the elderly people on board who’s immune system’s are, at times, weaker than the rest of us. Imagine the torture of having to fly back to Toronto wondering the whole time, worrying the whole time.

And to the 179 people who commented on his ‘Instagram Giveaway’ tagging their friends, you also need a lesson in basic human decency.

As far as I’m concerned, this smug idiot should have his social media accounts shut down. I’d love it if Instagram just outright deleted his account and if YouTube just deleted his channel. People like this deserve to fade into obscurity somewhere.

Point of Note – When asked if he felt sorry for what happened, Potok proclaimed that his joke was taken out of context and that he was talking about a Chinese Food restaurant and that he had food poisoning. Though it’s on video him saying ‘I think I have Corona Virus’, he’s currently trying to tell the news outlets, and the world through his online platforms, that he never said anything about corona virus.

Given this is basically all online at this point, I can’t wait to, in a month’s time, hear that a judge used his Instagram and YouTube messages against him and that he’s being charged criminally.

And honestly, if I were WestJet, he’d be on a no-fly list for life and I’d go after him to seek damages for all of the reimbursements to other travellers they had to make and are going to have to make, because of his stunt.

This disease has killed more than 500 people worldwide. And all that is to him is a means to get more Instagram followers…

*Additional Note: To the people tired of me ragging Influencers, I’d be happy to share some good stories about Influencers, I just don’t know any. I wholeheartedly believe that people who use their influence for good don’t seek credit/internet fame for what they do. But, if you have a lovely story of an Influencer using their influence for good, please share. I’d love to shine a light on it.

Snarky Snippet: Ding dong, the Don is GONE!

Screenshot of Don Cherry in one of the first interviews he decided to do following his ‘Stepping Down’ from Hockey Night in Canada.

Don Cherry is a problem.

Don Cherry has always been the problem.

Canada is ‘up in arms’ this week and the media is spinning it as ‘a country divided’ over the “firing” of Don Cherry. (Though personally, I’d hardly call being told to retire a firing, but that’s just me)

After going on a racist tirade on Hockey Night in Canada on November 9th, a lot of people took to the interwebs to proclaim their general disgust with him as a human being. Truth be told, this isn’t the first time he’s said shiteous things on television. He’s actually got quite a long resume of spouting horrendous remarks when he gets in front of the camera. Quite simply, I believe he’s been in his position as long as he has because he makes the network money. A lot of money. A lot more money than it has ever cost to cover his ridiculous behaviour.

Neverthless, since his “firing” Cherry has stood by his remarks Why? Because a racist never believes they do anything wrong. That is a fact. Racist people never believe they’ve done or are doing anything wrong.

Quick question: when you get fired for being a racist, where’s the first place you’re going to do an interview about your firing? None other than what’s quite possibly the most racist television show in the United States, The Tucker Carlson White Supremacist hour on Fox news!

It’s worth noting this isn’t the first time he’s spouted racist remarks on Hockey Night in Canada. In 2007 he used his national television platform to promote his belief that ‘Natives have an inferiority complex’, in 2015 again referring to Indigenous people as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’ for their way of life. In 1993 he asked fellow cohost ‘Ron, did you fall off a turban truck?’ when Ron McLean questioned him about the egregious remarks he was making about French Candians.

Don Cherry isn’t just a racist, though. No, his hatred for people goes much deeper. He’s also a misogynist too. With comments over the years about how women are only trying to be a part of hockey for publicity stunts, that female reporters don’t deserve the right to interview players after the game like male reporters do, claiming that women don’t bother watching hockey and all they do is ‘yap, yap, yap’ and that’s why so many of them get hit with flying pucks, or likening me (yes me) to a waitress, because I was the lone female at a table filled with men. I must’ve been there to serve them right? What else could I possibly have been doing if only men were welcome at their table?

As if being racist and a misogynist isn’t enough, Cherry is also a xenophobe, who over the years has taken ‘below-the-belt’ style jabs at people from basically every other hockey playing nation on earth. Russian’s are cheap, Swedes are wussys, Slovaks are lazy, and so on and so forth.

He’s touted fighting as a requirement of the game, frequently over the years stating there needs to be more, it needs to be tougher, more noses need to be broken and more fists need to fly. When people questioned his remarks with statistics of head injuries from fighting his simple response was that he just doesn’t care. He’s told the public that a player was weak if they took time off to recover from concussions and compared players to ‘pussys’ if they chose to wear a face mask during the game.

In case my point hasn’t become clear as of yet, Don Cherry is a problem. A problem that Sportsnet, initially, wasn’t willing to do anything about following Saturday night’s racist tirade as they merely offered the following statement:

As you can see, Sportsnet basically said ‘We know what he said was wrong, but we don’t care’. This is PR code for ‘he makes us money, so this too will blow over’.

Following enough outrage and more complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council then they could possibly record at one time, Sportsnet came out with the following statement two days later on Nov 11th.

The Don is gone! And it only took several hundred thousand people to remind Sportsnet that racists shouldn’t be given a national television platform to promote their racism for Sportsnet to do anything about it. Now that, that’s a quality television network.

THE DON IS GONE! That being said, Sportsnet doesn’t get much credit for this in my opinion. Canada gets credit for this. A desire to be a country free of racism and a country ‘better than that’, is why this racist has been asked to retire.

Where does this divisiveness come from that the media speaks of?

Well, people are arguing that he’s been fired though we’re a country that touts ourselves on freedom of speech. I’d argue that a racist can be a racist all he wants, that doesn’t mean we need to give him a national television platform to promote those views.

People are arguing that he’s ‘a symbol of the working class’. What the fuck is it with people and claiming rich, white idiots and racists are a symbol of the working class? First off, Don Cherry made more money in one (yes, one!) Saturday night broadcast than most of the working class makes all year, and secondly, I’d like to believe better of Canadians than to believe the working class is made up of racist assholes. So truthfully, if you see him as a symbol of the working class, you really ought to find a new symbol.

People are also arguing that ‘he’s not politically correct’ and that he often says the things we often feel but are too afraid to say and that shouldn’t be held against him. To that I say, if your inclination is to be a racist, then it’s probably a good thing for the Canadian public that you’re too afraid to say it. Because, again, if a racist wants to be a racist, that doesn’t mean they need a national television platform for which to promote that behaviour.

People are arguing that Don Cherry is a Canadian Icon. To that I say, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHO YOU ARE, THAT BEHAVIOUR IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Whether you’re an icon or John Doe in the middle of a tirade in Aisle 11 of the grocery store in Tuktoyaktuk. Racists of the world, please remember this next time you try to push your beliefs on others. Also, please take this as a reminder that it really doesn’t matter how big or powerful you might be, or think you are, you’re not above basic human decency.

I’m one of those people who believes the moment we accept racist behaviour as a society is the moment we slide the slippery slope to being racist ourselves. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a country full of fucking racists.

It’s 2019, and if this year has taught us nothing more, it’s certainly taught us this: if you’re a shitty fucking person, you will get your just rewards.

Ding dong, the Don is gone. And Hockey Night in Canada is going to be a lot fucking better without his ignorant ego.


Snarky Snippet is a series on Filosofa’s Word and I really appreciate her writing, take and snark. It’s definite inspiration for this post, so please check out her blog here >

Also, if you’d like proof to any bit of what an ass Don Cherry is google ‘Don Cherry is a problem’ and you’ll see all sorts of news releases, youtube videos and interviews of him spewing hate and shiteous behaviour over the past thirty years.

#PizzaItForward

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to convey a distinct message with a story that I wanted to share but always felt that I couldn’t quite find the right words. Something wonderful happened, yesterday, that has lead me to believe I need to share this story regardless of whether I get the messaging correct.

I’m not sure how many people heard of this story or not, I know it was big in a lot of circles, but I still think many people missed out on the goodess.

In late September the Fire Department in Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada was hosting a PTSD Seminar for Firefighters and decided to order pizza for dinner for everyone.

Local Fire Chief, Alex Pavcek, asked one of his team to call ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ in Slave Lake to order pizza for the crew, gave him his credit card to pay for it and told him to tell ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ they’d drive down and pick up the pizzas when they were ready.

Not knowing the phone number for ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ the firefighter placing the order went to google to find it. And with an easy mix-up, he used google to find the phone number for ‘Alamo’s Pizza’. He phoned and placed an order with ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ (in San Antionio, Texas) not realizing that he’d called Texas and not realizing that he’d misspelled the restaurant’s name by one letter.

An hour and a half later ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio called them to let them know their pizza’s would be ready for pickup in ten minutes. A different firefighter answered the phone and when he saw the number on call display, he realized something wasn’t right. They googled the area code and thought ‘Why was Alimo’s calling from a San Antonio number?’. Then they realized they’d made a huge mistake.

The Slave Lake Fire Department had called ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio, Texas rather than ‘Alimo’s Pizza’ in Slave Lake, Alberta. They’d paid for 18 pizzas and ‘Alamo’s Pizza’ in San Antonio had spent the past hour and a half making all of these pizza’s.

The Slave Lake Fire Chief, Alex Pavcek, called up Alamo’s Pizza in San Antonio to let them know about this hilarious, huge mistake that was made and that they wouldn’t be down to pick up these pizzas. The Alamo’s Pizza Manager in San Antonio, laughing over the mistake offered to refund their purchase but Pavcek wouldn’t have it. 18 pizzas was a large order and a lot of money for that restaurant and he didn’t want that food to go to waste.

So, instead, Pavcek suggested that Alamo’s take the pizza and deliver it to local fire departments in his area. The owner of Alamo’s obliged and the pizzas were dlievered to firefighters in local fire departments in San Antonio, Texas, telling them they were a gift from the firefighters in Slave Lake, Alberta and to ‘pizza it forward’ if they ever get the opportunity.

Photo of the San Antonio fire fighters eating their pizza! The photo courtesy of Alex Pavcek (from GlobalNews.ca

The act of kindness sparked an international campaign of paying it forward where Fire Departments, Police Depatments, Hospitals and other locations across Canada and the USA were being randomly delivered pizza for their first-responders and given the message #PizzaItForward.

It was a really heartwarming story to follow on Twitter and Instagram. If you search the hashtag you can still find photos and stories of police officers and nurses, doctors and firefighters being handed large quantities of pizza, ‘just because’.

I share this story because, for weeks now, I’ve been wanting to promote the notion that paying it forward is one of the best things that we can do for fellow human kind. ESPECIALLY, with the holidays coming up. American Thanksgiving is next month and Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before we know it. Random acts of kindness are wonderful things to do all year, but I find them especially important during the holidays! Holidays can be really difficult times for a lot of families, whether they can’t afford things or have lost loved ones or are just struggling with mental health issues. There are plenty of different things that can make holidays really hard.

I’ve been wanting to encourage every person who reads my blog to go out and ‘Pay It Forward’ to a stranger, to a friend, to a family member… just to someone who will appreciate it. Then, yesterday as I was counting ballots for the Election, an extremely thoughtful, kind individual (Katherine) who reads this blog did something extremely, extremely kind for me with a simple note that said ‘Pay It Forward’. It was so kind I actually started to cry when I saw it. I thought of how good it felt and how happy it made me, and I thought, yeah, I have to pass this on.

To the firefighters of Slave Lake, all of the people who took part in the #PizzaItForward campaign, and to Katherine, thank you. Thank you for your random acts of kindness, thank you for spreading so much good in the world.

I have plans to take Katherine’s kindness and pay it forward, though I doubt my abilities to make someone as happy as she made me, I’m definitely going to try. And, since I’m here and telling you these stories, I’d like to encourage anyone who reads this to do commit their own random act of kindness. To do something nice for someone you know, or someone you don’t, and tell them to pay it forward. Ahead of this holiday season, the world could definitely use a lot more kindness in it. And it might as well start with you and I… right here and now.

#PizzaItForward #PayItForward #KindnessAboveAll

It’s Election Day, Canada.

Photo from the dailyhive

Please, please, please, I beg of you, go out and vote. Don’t spoil your vote. Don’t throw your vote away. Don’t refuse to vote. Just go and vote.

People all over the world are wishing they could do the very thing we have the privilege and right to do today. People in our own country are wishing to do what we have the right and privilege to today. So please, don’t waste your chance.

Vote.