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.

Some days

Some days I wander around this earth waiting for the rug to be pulled from beneath my feet. Some days all I do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Some days, I say. Some days.

There are days when I am confident, when not a thing in this world can touch me. There are days when the smile on my face is genuine. There are days when I don’t have to worry. There are days.

These days I worry a lot. These days I’m sad a lot. These days I’m very lonely. These days I don’t know what to do. These days I’m afraid to be honest with people because everyone always says ‘Oh but you have so much’. It’s true, I do have a lot in my life. Things don’t always equal fulfillment, though. Things are just things. Fulfillment comes from within. These days…

One day I’ll figure out what exactly it is that I am chasing. One day I’ll feel as though I finally fit in this world, somewhere. One day I’ll have all of the answers. One day.

Until then, I don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

Dreaming of Travel

I would love to get on a plane right now.

I would love to go somewhere. Anywhere. A new place. A familiar place. I just need a change of pace for a few days. Wouldn’t that be nice? I think that would be nice.

Sometimes I think I should just get in my car and go. Then I realize there’s not really anywhere to go. There are so many reasons why I can’t go, not the least of which being massive anxiety about being around strangers right now. So I just sit here, looking out my window at the planes landing and I dream. I dream of a day that I can go somewhere. I dream of a day that I can be the girl on that plane, headed somewhere for fun, or for business, or just to go.

As much as I love winter, it’s so long. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that in posts the past two years… probably in February back then as well. COVID has somehow made this winter seem so much longer. While I would normally escape somehow, some way, as I have the past two winters for a weekend or two, that’s not really an option right now. It’s just me and my thoughts here for the foreseeable future.

If COVID weren’t holding me back, here’s where I’d go:

  • Vancouver
  • Montreal
  • Niagara Falls
  • Denmark
  • Las Vegas
  • Bahamas

If COVID and money weren’t holding me back, here’s where I’d go;

  • The Maldives
  • The Seychelles
  • Australia
  • Patagonia
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Egypt
  • Morocco
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Japan
  • France
  • Monaco
  • Indonesia

Well, if I am being totally honest, I just want to see the whole world. If it were safe and I had the money to do so, I would get on a plane tomorrow and go anywhere. I’d go everywhere. I’d love to be the writer behind one of those ‘Around the world’ blogs, sharing people and culture and stories I’ve discovered along the way. What a cool career that would be.

Alone on Valentine’s Day

Who’s with me? Are you alone on Valentine’s Day? I feel like we should form a club.

What are you doing to show yourself self-love for the day of love?

I haven’t purchased any gifts for myself, despite my poll asking people for motivation to do so. I couldn’t justify the price tag. That being said, I might buy myself something small tomorrow. Also, a ghost from my past sent me a small surprise, which was very thoughtful.

And if you do have someone to spend Valentine’s Day, treat them well. Remind them how much you love them not just with your words but with your actions.

People want to feel loved.

And if you’re one of those people who says ‘I don’t need no stupid holiday to tell someone I love them’, maybe you don’t… but do it anyway.

Be safe. Stay Healthy.

Culmination of scattered thoughts

I laid awake most of last night.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately, actually.

I try to sleep. I’ve tried things that could help me sleep and they never do. So I just… lay there. I lay there and I think. Usually I think about my life choices.

What did I do wrong? How do I dig myself out of this? Why do I lack so much confidence? Why am I never good enough for those dreams which I aspire to? Is it all in my head, or am I actually as bad as I think I am?

As with everything in life, I really don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

Why does it seem like no matter how many strides forward I take, I am still lost? Will I ever truly feel as though I’ve found my way?

Lately my anxiety has been spiking at absolutely random moments. Today I was watching a video of a puppy who’d just finished eating dinner and he picked up his bowl and walked it around the house. That made me so anxious that I crawled into bed and laid there in the dark to calm down. What is it about the dog that made me anxious? I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you why anything is making me anxious lately. I can tell you that it sucks big time. I wish I knew how to fix my anxiety. Actually, I wish I knew how to not get anxious in the first place.

A girl can dream. Except I won’t because I’ll likely lay awake all night again…

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’.

Life Lessons from Me

It is not appropriate, acceptable, okay, or EVER warranted to tell a woman she’s beautiful in a professional setting. It’s not now, it never was and it won’t ever be. That’s not a compliment.

Women do not go to work to be eye candy. They don’t want comments about their appearance made in the workplace.

Women work long and hard to reach the levels they reach in their professional careers. When a man is willing to interrupt a meeting to refer to a woman as beautiful, what he’s doing in that moment is telling her that no matter her education, no matter her work experience, no matter her skills, her intelligence, her professionalism and her ability to change the very face of the company, workforce and world, he will never see her as an equal. He won’t ever see her as anything more than a shell.

A woman’s appearance has not a single fucking thing to do with how well she can do her job.

Just don’t do it. Just don’t comment on a woman’s appearance in the workplace. Please don’t. EVER.

GameStop in layman’s terms

If you’re confused about what’s been going on with stock-market news lately, especially that tied to GameStop, I tried to explain it as simple as possible.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Hedge Fund – A hedge fund is an investment fund that trades in relatively liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio-construction and risk management techniques to improve performance, such as short selling, leverage, and derivatives.

Hedge fund manager put A LOT of eggs into one basket that has the possibility of being dropped and all eggs being smashed and ruined

Short Selling – Short selling is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a stock or other securities price. In short selling, a position is opened by borrowing shares of a stock or other asset that the investor believes will decrease in value by a set future dateā€”the expiration date.

If I bet stock ‘Vee Co.’ will decrease in value, I can borrow it at a price of $10. When I borrow said stock, I immediately sell it, hold onto the $10 and wait for Vee Co. to decrease. When Vee Co. stock does decrease, it’s new value is $5 so I immediately buy back the stock I borrowed. I sold it last week for $10, but I bought it today for $5. So, when I give the stock back to whom I borrowed it from and I’ve put $5 in my pocket. Multiply this by tens of millions and this is what happens on Wall Street.

Basically, short selling is betting on stocks losing. If you bet a stock loses and it does, you get rich, rich, rich!

On the flip side, if I borrow the stock and immediately sell it for $10 and the price of that stock rises to $15 then I have to buy back said stock for more than I’ve sold it for. I sold it for $10, but I have to give it back, so I have to buy it back at that $15 price, and I’ve now lost $5. This is why short selling is so risky. If you bet on a stock losing and it increases, you could be out a lot of money.

WHERE GAME STOP / REDDIT COME INTO PLAY

Wallstreetbets on Reddit is a platform for regular folk who try to help each other predict trends in the stock market for their individual trading. These people are what Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’. It’s possibly someone’s savings. Maybe someone else’s retirement funds. Maybe it’s someone’s inheritance. It’s just regular folk, there’s no hedge funds, these aren’t millions or billions of dollars worth of trades. It’s hundreds, or thousands.

Back in December some members of Wallstreetbets recognized that two prominent hedge funds were short selling millions upon millions in GameStop stock. These hedgfunds were betting on GameStop to fail in 2021. Which, in theory, is not a bad assumption to make, since video games can all be downloaded these days, brick and mortar stores selling hard copies are to 2021 what blockbuster was to 2010.

These Redditors said ‘No way, this is not happening on our watch’. They banded together like a small army knowing that if enough of them purchased GameStop stock, it would drive up the popularity of the stock and drive up the price. Initially the price increases were small. These hedge funds weren’t in hot water yet, because the increase in value of the stock wasn’t anything they couldn’t cover. But, this army of Redditors expanded, both with people hearing about what Redditors were doing, but also with people just noticing that GameStop had had a slight, promising rise and that could be good for them to get in on the ground floor with.

Over the past few weeks, the price per GameStop stock has gone up from $19 per stock to over $400 per stock at one point. Presently it’s hovering around $289 per stock, from what I can see.

So, doing the math with the present value of the stock… if someone borrowed the stock when it was valued at $19 and immediately sold it, they now have to purchase it back for $289. They are out $270 for that single stock in order to purchase it back, to return it to who they borrowed from. Why this is making Wall Street quake is because they don’t trade in hundreds or thousands, they trade in millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions.

Let’s say, one of these two hedge funds that bet on GameStop losing value borrowed 10 million stocks at $19 each. Their short sale earned them $190,000,000 in December. Now that the GameStop stock is $289, they have to buy back that stock for $2,890,000,000. These Wall Street Hedge Funds are BILLIONS of dollars in to the negatives and they don’t have that money stored away in a shoe box to cover themselves.

One hedge fund has already liquidated assets and begun filing for bankruptcy.

Those hedge funds that weren’t even involved in this particular short-sale fiasco are quaking because they’ve now realized if Redditors have the power to do this one stock, they can do it to any stock. No stock is safe. No short sale is safe. Redditors can do it with any company that Wall Street undervalues. Essentially, Wall Street is Goliath and Redditors are they underdog, and the underdog has just let Goliath know they’re watching every move and they have the power and propensity to knock all of them down like dominoes, if they so choose.

THE ROBINHOOD (AND A SLEW OF OTHERS) ISSUE

There’ve been a few different companies doing this, but RobinHood has gotten the most notoriety, so I’ll share it from the perspective of RobinHood.

RobinHood is an app where individual regular folk like you and I take part in commission free stock trading and investing.

As GameStop stock continued to rise, regular folk like you and I flocked to ‘RobinHood’ to their already existing accounts, or went so far as to make brand new accounts, to get in on this amazing increase in value. Millions of people continued purchasing GameStop in the hundreds or thousands of dollar values. RobinHood, a stock trading application that prides itself on catering to regular folk, something that Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’, realized that purchasing GameStop was causing Wall Street to bleed. So, RobinHood stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop. You could only sell GameStop on their application, you couldnt’ purchase it.

If RobinHood and others stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop then no one could have access to it. If no one had access to GameStop, the price won’t continue rising, essentially trying to soften the landing for Wall Street. So, RobinHood, that caters to regular folk, blocked regular folk from making money in an effort to protect Wall Street.

CONCLUSIONS

Wall Street is crying foul. They’re crying market manipulation and that what happened should be illegal.

Legally speaking, what Redditors did is not against the law. It is a grey area. Regular folk have realized they can take on the 1% and win.

Why this matters?

  • Millennials and are a hell of a lot fucking smarter than people give them/us credit for
  • The one-percenters are not ‘untouchable’ like they’ve perceived themselves to be
  • No short sales are safe, ever again…
  • A small group of people have the power to vastly effect and change the world which we live, the Redditors have proved that
  • If Redditors could take down Wall-Street so easily, seemingly without them realizing until it was too late, are any industries safe?
  • Your reach is farther than you could imagine. One day you’re a regular joe reading reddit and the next, the stock market is in tears directly because of your forethought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

If anyone else has tidbits that I missed, please let me know.

Edit: Sorry for all of the spelling mistakes. I’m fixing them. Slowly.

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…?