Story time: The office frat-boy

So, I work for a company filled with computer programmers and scientists. It’s actually a reality that’s quite similar to the Big Bang Theory if you’ve ever seen that show. Most people in the office put me to shame from an intelligence standpoint, but from a social skills standpoint, holding conversations with them is often quite hard.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re all extremely good people. Well, most of them are extremely good people. But they’re scientists and programmers, so they’re awkward. Awkward and hard to carry on conversations with.

Anyways, there’s one guy, Axel (cool name, I know…) who is one of the rare creatures in the office blessed with intelligence and social interaction skills. Axel has not one but TWO PhDs, and upon first glance can seem quite charismatic. The problem with Axel lies within going beyond what’s at the surface to realize that he’s a fucking asshole, and, surprisingly, a massive idiot for having two PhDs.

Axel has terrible luck with women. He doesn’t realize that the terrible luck that he has with women has to do with him being an idiot when it comes to anything that isn’t related to either of his PhDs, and also, the fact that he’s an asshole. So every morning we have to hear stories about how dating is so hard for him and how he understands why men just sleep around because women are so difficult.

Because, you know, respect and kindness is a whole lot to ask for from a man…

Anyways, we have this internal forum for our staff that serves a multitude of purposes, some work related, some not. It’s like a discord server but it was built by our programmers so it’s got a lot more functionality geared towards our company (several dozen people in offices in three different countries). For the purpose of this story, let’s just call it a discord. One of the functions that Axel likes to take advantage of on the discord is the blog.

He’s created this series called ‘Forever alone with Axel’ in which he makes blog posts all about his dating life. In these blog posts he goes into painstakingly stupid detail all about how awful his dating life is.

Keeping in mind that these posts are seen by dozens of employees from three different offices in three different countries, Axel tells stories about how he was afraid to call one girl back because he went to her house to hook up with her, got a sudden case of explosive diarrhea and made a mess of her bathroom then left without saying goodbye while she was laying naked in her room waiting for him. He also tells stories like a somewhat recent blog post he made in which he went on a date with a girl who he felt had bad breath. He asked if they could stop at the store on their way to where they were headed and he proceeded to go and buy mouth wash, give it to her in the car and say ‘A present for you! Don’t say that I never bought you anything’.

His most recent story is about how he took a girl on a date this past weekend and they went to a cafe and sat on the patio, socially distanced style. Whilst on this patio chatting a girl that he’s previously hooked up with was walking by and she stopped to exchange pleasantries. Axel invited her to stay and sit and chat with them (yes, he interrupted their date by inviting a girl to stay whom he’d previously had sex with). I’m 150% certain the way that he tells the story is not the reality of what happened, but either way, the girl who he was supposed to be on a date with went home. So, he took the girl he’d previously hooked up with home with him and hooked up with her. After sex, whilst he was asleep, she got up and left. And she’s been ghosting him since. So, when he couldn’t get in contact with her, he decided he was going to call the girl he originally went on a date with to ask if she wanted to go on a second date. The post goes on to explain that he doesn’t understand why the girl wouldn’t agree to a second date and that he also doesn’t understand why she was mad. At the end of the post he suggests that perhaps the hook-up who left him in the middle of the night is just busy and she plans on calling him back later this week, and that he hopes that’s the case because she is ‘amazing in the sack’.

Completely appropriate things to be sharing on a public forum for all of your coworkers to see, right?

Several times a week we hear remarks about how women are so difficult, smack dab in the middle of our meetings. Or he’ll ask passive aggressive questions to the females in the conversation asking us why we’re so difficult or why we make things so hard for men.

He needs an intervention.

  1. To tell him to stop sharing all of this information in a company forum for all of his coworkers to see because it’s both not appropriate and people don’t care about his shitty love life, or lack thereof. (I guess you could say that I do care based on this post and my admitting to reading it, but I would suggest that I read his posts because it’s a lot like a car accident… you don’t want to look but you can’t look away)
  2. To tell him that he’s a fucking idiot and if he tried common sense, respect, kindness, he’d probably have a lot more luck with the female gender.
  3. To tell him that we’re(females) not that hard to figure out so long as you’re not talking to us in the passive aggressive equivalent of a subtweet.
  4. To remind him that it really doesn’t matter how many PhDs he has, if he’s an asshole people aren’t going to like him.

He really may just end up being one of those men who is ‘forever alone’. I don’t mean that in the dramatic sense, I just mean that in the… ‘there comes a point in life when you have to realize you’re a fucking idiot’ sense, and I don’t know that he ever will. He’s this weird mix of overly-cocky, overly-intelligent, overly-social but completely inept at understanding social cues.

He’s a weird mixture of Sheldon, Howard and Penny’s ex-boyfriend Zack from the Big Bang Theory. Intelligent, cocky and really fucking stupid.

lol

Someone from our Middle East office asked if he was living in a romantic comedy and he said ‘No. I can’t be. At least in the romantic comedy the guy ends up with the girl in the end. Me, I never get the girl’.

I wonder why…

It couldn’t be because you go on a date with a girl and take a completely different girl home that night to have sex with, could it?

Story time: The time I was spit on

A man spit in my face once. Actually, I shouldn’t really call him a man. He was 20, exceptionally immature and generally a disgusting human being. Calling him a man seems like a disservice to men in this world. Then again, calling him a boy seems like I’m making an excuse for his behaviour. There’s no excuse for spitting on people.

It was March 2018. I was having a discussion with my friend Rob about another crazy story from his work-life. Rob was the chief of police. Though he never told me anything that was confidential, I did hear some crazy stories from the man over the years that I knew him. We’d just grabbed some coffee and we were waiting for players to return from the intermission of the game we were watching. Rob was telling me a story about how a few nights prior he was working the graveyard shift and he found himself, at 2:00 in the morning, chasing a man in his tighty-whiteys yielding a machete high off some sort of illegal substance through the courtyard of city hall. He uh, well he has no fears.

Rob is tower of a human being. He stands at 6 feet 7 inches tall. He has an extremely intimidating presence. Had he not been married to one of my coworkers, I likely would have feared him just based on his presence. Nevertheless, I digress. Cop life was a fit for him.

So, the explanation of Rob is important to the story because Rob actually plays a pretty integral role into what came from the rest of that evening.

During the third period a fight broke out. This was a bad fight. One of the players actually attempted to use a piece of his equipment to inflict dangerous, physical harm that could disable another player for life during this fight.

Typically, though a player is going to be kicked out of the game for such actions, they’re put in the penalty box while the referee reviews the play, what happened and what lead to the dangerous actions to ensure they have everything correct for expulsion from the game because they will have to file a report after.

This player was minutes from being kicked out. He was mad. He got into the penalty box and started using his equipment to try and break the penalty box. Which… physically speaking isn’t possible. But, he was angry and being an idiot, trying to inflict damage and throwing around threats to anyone he laid his eyes on.

Rob being Rob, well he stepped in. He stood in front of this player, towering at least 6 or 7 inches over him, and told him to sit down and calm down. This player didn’t.

I needed to collect some information from this player for the incident report so I asked Rob to get it for me.

Ohhhhhh, let me just say no one was prepared for what happened next.

This player got mad. He got up and in his fit of fury decided he was going to come after me. Problem was, even with all of his equipment on, he was still a lot shorter and smaller than Rob and Rob was standing between him and I. Rob was literally holding this player back from trying to jump at me and swing punches as he hurled insults my direction and shouted some pretty vulgar things.

I’ve been around sports most of my life so hearing vulgar things doesn’t really phase me. I don’t like. I don’t think it’s acceptable. But, I also can’t control the things that people say, so, I don’t let it get to me when disgusting things are said to me. Especially if it’s coming from someone like a 20 year old brat with a bad temper, no social skills and clear anger issues.

What did phase me though, was that in that moment when the player couldn’t overpower Rob, he decided to spit on me. He knew that he couldn’t get past Rob so he hocked a loogie and spit directly into my face.

It was one of the most disgusting moments of my life.

I was shocked. I was embarrassed. I was immediately scared. This idiot’s saliva had just landed in my eye and on my face.

This player does not know that the man he’s been trying to overpower to come at me is actually the Chief of Police. No one ever really knew what Rob did because it wasn’t something that Rob broadcasted to anyone outside of his circles. He just did his job and lived his life.

Well, in the moment when he spit on me, everyone knew it. Largely because everyone heard him hocking a loogie and then because everyone heard me scream in terror when the spit hit my face.

Here in Canada spitting on someone is a form of assault. This player, not realizing that he’s just committed a form of assault in front of the city’s chief of police, kept on shouting vulgar things at me as I started to cry and pull off my jacket and sweatshirt and scrape away at my skin with said clothing because I felt disgusting due to their being spit on me.

I kid you not, Rob grabbed this player by the back of his neck, walked him out of the penalty box and down the hall to the dressing room. He didn’t ask the referees, he didn’t wait for anyone, he just walked him down the hall and put him in the dressing room.

He came back to check on me. I was crying at this point in time. It was just such a disgusting feeling. I felt like I needed a shower. I felt like I’d been violated in a sense. I just felt… unclean. People say that I completely overreacted when it happened, but I really don’t think that I did. Until you’ve been spit at, in the face, you really can’t understand just how disgusting it feels. And by a stranger… someone you don’t know. It’s just… it really does leave you with this sense of feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin.

Rob’s a cop. He’d just watched this entire thing unfold. He got on his phone and he called some cops, who were on duty, to come on down and help this get sorted out. He made a statement, he vouched about what happened on the ice, and then about what happened to me when I got spat on. Because the police were there, I had to make a statement about getting spit on.

The police were waiting for this player when he came out of the dressing room. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a good sight. So Rob stayed back next to me, and the two police officers that came waited for this player to walk out of the dressing room to inform him they’d been told of what happened. This player got angry again, screaming down the hall at Rob and myself ‘You called the fucking cops on me, you pieces of shit!’

At this point the player proceeded to walk past the cops saying that everything they were told was a lie and that they were wasting their time and should go back to the donut shop. (Classy, I know)

When the two on-duty police officers pointed out that they had statements from an off-duty police officer that he witnessed the player spit on someone and that’s a form of assault, the player got angry.

‘You’re a fucking pig?’ He yelled in our direction. Then he tried to run at us again. The two on-duty police officers held him back. Like, this player has a serious anger issue. So, the police officers were holding him back and he hit one of the police officers in the face, which is a form of assault against a police officer.

So, they handcuffed him and took him off to the station.

It took three months following, but this player was actually charged with three counts of assault.

  1. For using his equipment to inflict harm upon one of the players on the ice.
  2. For spitting on me.
  3. For hitting a police officer in the face.

The initial count of assault ended up being thrown out because, reviewing the video of the game, they could not prove intent to harm based on what the player had done. The crown prosecutor argued that he could have accidentally tried to use his skate blade to cut the other player’s neck. Which… was complete and utter bullshit, but whatever, I don’t control the justice system.

He was charged with assault for spitting on me and he was charged with assault for hitting the police officer when they were trying to hold him back from running at Rob and I after he learned that Rob was a police officer.

Nothing ended up going to trial. He admitted guilt. I think he realized he had no choice but to admit guilt because he knew that he spit on someone in front of the chief of police and proceed to hit a police officer in front of two other police officers and a crowd of people.

He was given a fine and probation and forced to take anger management classes.

In a weird twist of events, though the player pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, the league actually never punished him. The league said that we could not prove that the player intended to injure the other player his skate blade and that there was no video footage of me being spit on, so it could have been any one of the six people around at that moment who decided to spit on me.

The league took zero ownership of the incident that involved the police officer being hit because they said they cannot control the actions of said players once they leave the ice, and therefore he cannot be held accountable by the league for something that could’ve very well happened on a sidewalk anywhere in the city on any day of the week.

Rob kept working games after that.

I think it was good for him. He loves hockey and he has a commanding enough presence that, when players pull bullshit like what happened that night, he played an integral role in calming down situations.

I didn’t keep working games.

I wrote an angry letter to the league explaining that I went home wearing someone else’s clothing that evening because I was so disgusted and felt so unclean I couldn’t bear to wear my jacket and sweatshirt. I actually threw away that jacket and sweatshirt. I remember crying my eyes out in the arena bathroom trying to scrub my skin, to try and make myself feel clean. It wasn’t like a small spit wad. It was like… a mouth full of disgusting spit that hit my face and ran down my face onto my neck and my clothing because there was so much of it.

I told the league they shouldn’t expect people to be there if they cannot protect the people who are there. I told the league that if they don’t take hard stances on behaviour like that, they’re as culpable for the behaviour as the person who commits it. Yeah, behaviour might be learned, but that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted.

The league basically black-listed me. Which was fine. I wasn’t going back there again.

As for what happened to the player… in late 2018 he was arrested for pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs.

In 2019 he was arrested again for kidnapping his child causing a nation-wide amber alert to go out and ended up ‘on the run’ for just 48 hours before they police caught up with him.

Currently he’s serving a two year jail sentence. After he was arrested for kidnapping his baby, his girlfriend came forward with allegations of continued physical assault throughout the relationship that included statements like her saying she was punched so hard she actually lost two of her teeth.

In 2019 when he went to jail the league, who had allowed him to play all throughout his troubles with the law (spitting, hitting a police officer, pushing his girlfriend down the stairs), finally made a public statement about him.

It was your standard run of the mill PR Bullshit.

‘We’re so shocked to learn of the actions of [player’s name]. We’re sending our complete support to [his ex-girlfriend] and [his child] during this troubling time and we want everyone to know that we do not condone these actions, or domestic violence of any kind.’

Now, I’m not saying this night set off a chain reaction of events in his life that led to him pushing his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs and subsequently kidnapping his baby. He clearly has anger issues and has clearly had them for a lot longer than I’ve ever bared witness to. That being said, an arena full of people watched him take his skate off of his foot and use the blade to physically try and slice someone’s neck. The chief of police watched him spit directly into my face as a form of trying to intimidate me, and two police officers had to physically hold him back, one of which ended up getting punched in the process.

If a league isn’t willing to take a stance on that behaviour, why do they get to play the ‘we had no idea it was this bad’ after this player’s behaviour makes national news.

They knew what he was like. They made excuses for it. They continued to pay him and cover his actions, that continued to the point where a pregnant woman was pushed down a flight of stairs and a baby was kidnapped.

You know that saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’? I kind of feel like this applies to people. If you’re covering up someone’s shiteous actions for years, quite literally until it makes national news and you just can’t anymore, are you not culpable? I mean, you might not have committed the actions yourself but you knew what was happening you saw hard evidence as to what was happening and heard what was going on behind the scenes… hell WE ALL HEARD. Rather than giving the player ramifications for his actions, they covered them. They swept them under the rug. They kept paying him and making him feel as though his behaviour was okay.

Quite frankly I think he got off easy only getting two years. I really hope that his ex-girlfriend has taken their child and started over somewhere new. I hope she’s not waiting for him to get out. People like that… they need more help than any one person can provide. People like that, they will likely continue to be a part of ‘the system’ for the rest of their life. People like that never seem to think they have a problem.

Anyways, that’s the story of the time someone spit in my face.

People say I overreacted. I really don’t think I did. Some people think being spit on is not a big deal, I personally think it’s one of the most disrespectful and degrading things you can do to a person. Also, it’s disgusting. It is. It makes you feel unclean. It makes you feel gross and it makes you feel less than human.

Releasing thoughts from my brain so they don’t control the rest of my day.

Debt scares me.

When I was a kid my family did not have a lot of money. Often we barely had enough to get by. My parents always made sure that we had food to eat., but I do remember instances where I was wearing my shoes until they had holes in them, and then continuing to wear them past that point. I do remember my siblings and I having to go out on our bikes to the nearby recreation centres and ball parks to look for cans so that we could collect enough money to hopefully put five dollars worth of gas in the vehicle so my father could get to work. I do remember a few times when the collection of cans did not provide enough and my dad actually hitch-hiked to work.

Debt scares me. I don’t ever want to go back to that place.

Now that I’m an adult, I am really good at living within my means. I’m really good at not getting something unless I absolutely need it. I’m really good at going without. I know the difference between needs and wants and I know how to stretch a dollar. I’m very careful with what I purchase. I’m very careful with how I choose to live because debt scares me.

I want a plan.

I want to know that everything is going to be okay. I want safety and security in a world that can provide anything but.

A little bit of peace.

After months of infighting my uncle(F) has provided notice to our family that he will no longer continue contesting my uncle’s(K) will. He has let us know that he’s called off his lawyers and will allow the process to proceed without their trying to intervene.

The move comes after my dad made a visit to see my uncle(F) this long weekend. I’m not too sure what happened, but whatever my dad said it seems to have worked.

Hopefully this means the arguing, the name calling, the nasty emails, the nasty phone calls, the everything can stop.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, the lawyers can continue fulfilling my uncle’s(K) final wishes. Hopefully the only lawyers to be involved from here on out are the one’s trusted with fullfilling my uncle’s(K) final wishes. Hopefully there’s no more fighting. Hopefully people choose to remember my uncle(K) for the incredible man he was, rather than how much money he made.

YouTube is the ‘ultimate’ modern day MLM

That’s right, I went there.

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors. In MLM schemes, there can be hundreds or thousands of members worldwide (or in the case of YouTube, Instagram and the likes, millions upon millions), but relatively few earn meaningful incomes from their efforts, indicating a possible pyramid scheme. Multilevel marketing is also referred to as ‘referral marketing’.

The entire premise of multilevel marketing is that people make sales for a company without being actual employees of that company. The ‘consultants’ make a small commission for their work and those higher up at the company will always be the one’s making real money. While companies like LulaRoe, Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Avon might be struggling in a pandemic-ridden 2020 due to the structure and nature of their corporate pyramid, YouTube has been reaping the rewards of their corporate pyramid one-hundred-fold over the past decade.

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out!

Content creators are not employees of YouTube. They’re consultants. They don’t get benefits. They don’t have taxes taken off of the money YouTube pays them. They don’t earn a regular income. They’re paid based on performance. And, if they so like, they can take some of that payment from YouTube and put it directly into the membership costs of belonging to a YouTube network that promises to help them grow their platform. Furthermore, YouTube relies on content creators to bring in new creators and grow the YouTube platform further and bring in more money. In the case of YouTube, content creators are selling advertisements.

Now, let’s compare YouTube to Mary Kay Cosmetics, a widely known MLM. Mary Kay Cosmetics does not hire employees, they instead opt for a company structure that sees consultants making sales for the business, and, bringing in new consultants. Consultants are not paid a regular income, instead they earn based on performance. The more they sell, the more they earn. Mary Kay Cosmetics consultants also have the option to take their earnings and put it towards a network that will allow them to grow their platforms, and (hopefully) in turn sell more makeup.

Sounds familiar, right?

YouTube operates monetization on a sliding scale. Content creators are required to meet certain thresholds with their channel in order to even become monetized in the first place. As an audience grows for a particular content creator, new opportunities open up for them on the platform, such as being able to live-stream, finally earning a portion of the adsense dollars that YouTube is already making from their videos, and eventually even being able to open up their own ‘Membership structure’ for their channel in which people can pay the content creator directly for things like shout outs or sneak peaks. The better you perform, the more chance you have to earn. But also, if you don’t perform at all, it does not hurt the company whatsoever.

Mary Kay also operates their pay structure on a sliding scale. Sales consultants are required to make an initial investment in the company and sell ‘x’ amount of dollars worth of product before they’re able to even earn a profit. Depending on the amount an individual is able to sell, Mary Kay opens the opportunity for said sales consultants to earn bonuses – these can be anything from extra commission to free trips to the chance to drive a pink, branded car. The better that you perform, the more chance that you have to earn. But also, if you don’t perform at all, it does not hurt the company whatsoever.

In both cases, networking is pretty key to finding any sort of moderate success.

Now, wait a minute, wait a minute. The initial investment into a company like Mary Kay Cosmetics is one that you pay directly to the company. What is the initial investment in YouTube?

I’m glad that you asked.

While the initial investment one must make to begin a YouTube channel is not paid directly to the platform itself, you are required to have some form of technology – be it a phone, camera or computer – that allows you to film, edit and post videos to the platform. No, you don’t buy those phones, cameras or computers directly from YouTube. But, what you do give YouTube is your time. And time is valuable. For reference, when you’re just getting started with video editing, it can take as much as thirty hours to edit a single ten minute video. For someone like myself, last year I worked for an economic development firm part-time. The hours weren’t regular, but when I was working, I was earning $20 an hour. If I spent 30 hours on a project, I would earn $600. For a new content creator on YouTube, until they reach 4,000 hours of watch time, 1,000 subscribers or more and compliance with YouTube’s community guidelines, they’re not earning a single cent. That’s 30 free hours of work they’re providing YouTube with, each time they upload a video.

Depending on the content creator, it can take a couple of months before earning monetization, or it can take a few years. This is why hustle culture on YouTube can, at times, be very toxic… which is not unlike the culture among any MLM company on earth. In YouTube, and in Mary Kay Cosmetics, the deck is stacked in favour of the bold, the beautiful and those who are the most ‘commercial friendly’. But, when you’re getting the tips and tricks of the trade from someone in the trenches, they’re not going to tell you that.

Someone with heavy investments into Mary Kay Cosmetics is definitely not going to tell you how hard it is for them to earn an income because they need you to sign up to help boost the income they’re struggling so hard to earn.

Someone with heavy investments (yes we’re counting time and money) into YouTube isn’t going to tell you the cost/value ratio of a single YouTube video because the minute they do, they’re going to lose out on opportunity for earning potential. Yeah, there’s a reason why YouTuber’s don’t comment about how much money they make. The moment they do, YouTube can flag their channel and decrease their earning potential. And, in an industry in which their money isn’t guaranteed, they don’t want to risk earning less if they don’t have to.

In a 2020 world, especially with the ongoing pandemic, marketers and large corporations have realized that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about having regular folk advertise their products. What better way to do that then to enter every person’s home/life through the technology they already have. Advertisers pay YouTube to be able to run commercial campaigns during videos on the platform. In turn, YouTube promises advertisers that their ‘Consultants’ (Content Creators/Regular Folk) will bring enough people to the platform to bring a valuable return on investment in said advertisement. When you really stop to think about it, this isn’t that far removed from well known MLM companies that do the exact same thing through Instagram and, in a lot of cases, YouTube as well.

Somehow, though, YouTube has morphed itself into a ‘Legal’ pyramid scheme. One where those at the top get richer, and those, even in the upper echelon of the platform, still seek out sponsorships and affiliate codes/links to earn the majority of their income.

YouTube was estimated to earn more than 15 billion dollars in Ad Revenue in 2019. (From Business Insider) Only between 10-30 percent of that revnue is distributed to the content creators who are responsible for earning that income in the first place. That means that between millions of content creators who earned YouTube that 15 billion dollars, high-end estimations of that would suggest they shared 4.5 billion. And that’s being reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally generous.

Sure, a portion of 4.5 billion sounds great, right? Let’s say that there was 4.5 billion to go around and approximately one million channels on YouTube to split that among. That’s $4,500… for a year of work. Now take into account that those dollars aren’t being spread evenly. Those who performed better are going to be earning a larger piece of the Adsense pie. Realistically, the dollar amount a content creator could be making from YouTube could be absolutely abysmal compared to a regular nine-to-five job. This is why there are sponsored videos, affiliate links and free giveaways. But that’s a story for another day!

The pandemic has hit this world hard. People who work for companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics can’t just go do what they’ve always done because hosting a ‘Mary Kay Party’ to show off the merchandise isn’t exactly recommended when there’s a deadly disease sweeping the planet. They’ve taken to Instagram and YouTube and made some sponsored content of their own to try and keep their company afloat amidst all that is going on in the world. And, while the blow YouTube might be suffering due to the pandemic isn’t quite as large, they’re hurting too. It’s not easy for companies to produce advertisements for YouTube when their entire staff is/was working from home. For this reason, YouTube has recorded a loss in their second quarter profit earnings from ad revenue. That is also the reason why there are so many more ‘this video is sponsored by’ and ‘this product was gifted from’ videos circulating YouTube. In a work-from-home world, content creators are learning the already low revenue they were earning from adsense is going to be even less in 2020.

What really gets me, though, is when I’m watching a YouTube video and there’s an advertisement for an MLM company or product within the video itself. It’s become a bit like Russian Nesting Dolls… an MLM within an MLM, within an MLM. As the world continues to adapt to circumstances around us, these instances are only going to become more and more prevalent. Especially since YouTube won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

And, because I went ahead and called them the ultimate modern day MLMi in the title, I will add that where struggling MLMs require high investments for you to even test the product, all that is required to test YouTube is technology and boredom. Thus making them a far superior MLM to any other in existence right now.

#MillennialLifeCrisis Shirts

A while back I mentioned that last year for my birthday I made #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts on Teespring. When I did that, I actually listed the shirts on my blog so that other people could buy one too if they so desired. A few people actually did make purchase of the shirt for themselves, two people actually showing me pictures of them in the shirt, which was very cool! I felt so proud when I saw someone who wasn’t me wearing the logo. Is that weird?

Anyways, there were two or three people who left comments on that post (it was a post about Teespring and using Teespring to monetize your blog) asking me what the shirts looked like. Since I haven’t yet purchased an iron for this house (it’s on the list, I’ll get one eventually…) please don’t judge me for the wrinkles. But, this is what the #MillennialLifeCrisis shirts look like. I also made/purchased them in crewneck form. I did that on blue though… and it didn’t look so good.

Teespring is a really great platform to create your own designs on different clothing articles. If you’ve ever considered putting your own designs on clothing, whether making it for yourself, or to sell to your WordPress readers, YouTube subscribers or others, I highly recommend checking out Teespring.

Benefits:
– It’s an extremely easy to platform to use. You don’t have to be a design expert to create trendy pieces, or (much like in my case) pieces that just make you happy!
– Quality control is A+. I have NEVER had an issue with an item I have purchased from Teespring.
– As a creator, you’re not required to purchase/carry inventory in hopes someone purchases. All items are made to order, when someone orders. The profit you can make off of a design depends on the price you list the item as.
– As a creator, if you want the item yourself, you purchase it at cost. There is no price increase. The shirt without your logo or design is $15 and the shirt with your logo or design is $15.

Drawbacks:
– Teespring uses American dollars or Euros. The exchange rate is not always kind for Canadians and well… anyone who lives in a country that doesn’t use Euros or American dollars.

Charges laid in intentional spitting incidents (yes, plural)

A man has been arrested and charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to the public after it was reported that he was spitting on people that he rode by on his bike this past weekend.

Multiple people have come forward, three of which have been noted publicly, exclaiming this same man spat on them as he rode past on his bike during the same time frame on Saturday afternoon.

Initial fears right now are further transmission of the COVID. All victims of the spitting incident who have come forward have been tested for COVID, been subject to contact tracing and have to isolate in their homes until their tests have been/are returned.

It’s not being reported whether the spitting man has been tested for COVID. Though it’s speculative, I’m assuming that they have tested him since his arrest, if for no other reason because spitting on people is a public health and safety risk right now.

It’s been widely reported that transmission of this virus occurs from transmission of a person’s liquid droplets – coughing, sneezing, and yes, spitting are included. Spitting on someone in the middle of a pandemic can mean serious illness, a hospital stay or even death if someone is infected.

Social anxiety has been on the rise in vast numbers the past several months with so many people realizing that serious harm can come through germ transmission. What would you do, how would you react if a stranger intentionally spit on you during this pandemic, or, at any point in time pandemic or not?

I know what I’d do and it wouldn’t be polite, or the least bit kind.

Ebbs and flows

I haven’t shared any tips about blogging for a long time. It’s not for lack of wanting to, it’s largely been due to lack of time. Since I’ve started work, since I’ve moved, since I’ve basically uprooted my entire life for something new, the days seem to go by faster and disappear a lot more quickly. It sometimes feels like I wake up on Monday morning and fall asleep on Friday night, my weeks have been going that quickly.

All that being said, it’s been two months since I’ve shared daily posts on this blog. It’s been two months since I’ve even remotely had somewhat of a schedule for this blog. These days I don’t know if I’ll get enough time to update this blog once a week or four times a week. It all depends on what’s happening. It’s also been two months now that all of my analytics have taken a nose dive.

When I say nose-dive, I’m talking tens of thousands of less views, thousands of less likes, hundreds of less comments, a stark difference in read rates. Everything is 35-50% less, analytically speaking, then the averages I was accruing prior to starting this job.

I say this not to whine. I say this because I think that an important mindset to remember when blogging is that there’s ebbs and flows. Everything goes up and everything comes back down (unless we’re talking about Corona, apparently… but that’s a story for another day). At the end of the day, you have to be contributing to your blog for your own enjoyment. You have to be writing for you, sharing photos for you, interacting for you. If you don’t, you’re never going to be happy with the product you’re creating. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter if those views are tens of thousands higher… you’re never going to be happy with the statistics you’re looking at.

If you’re seeking attention with blogging, the attention you do get will never fulfill you. If you’re seeking an outlet, a place to share, a place to create, a place to vent or a place to learn and grow… you won’t care if there’s 100,000 people viewing your page or 100.

Virtually all of my analytics have taken a nose dive lately. And that’s okay. Honestly, this blog is still one of the things in my life that I’m most proud of. It’s a reflection of me. It’s a reflection of how I think, feel, act… what I know, what I seek to know, what I love. It’s my outlet. Was it really cool when my analytics were as high as they were in the earlier months of this year? Absolutely. But you know what? The people who I’ve made the deepest connections with on this platform, the people who’ve always been there, they’re still here. They still make fun of me for my stubbornness and call me out on my crap, celebrate my victories with me and share with me their own stories. They’re who keep me motivated to keep posting on this blog. Well that and the fact that a lot of crazy, weird shit goes on in my life and I need to talk about it somewhere!

To wrap this up, I say that if you’re solely blogging to garner attention, you’ll likely be forever unsatisfied with any amount of attention you do manage to find. My advice is to create your posts for enjoyment and catharsis.

Oh and weave a little SEO into your posts if you know enough about it to do so. Because there’s a lot of people in this world who haven’t taken the plunge to create their own blog/outlet yet, but they’re still taking to search engines to find someone they can relate to. Some of my posts from over a year ago are still being found on a regular basis through Google and Baidu searches.

Okay, that is all for now.

The English language is really difficult sometimes.

I truly admire people who learn English as a second language. I especially admire people who learn English as a second language as an adult. This is not an easy language to comprehend, and people have been speaking to me and teaching it to me since my birth.

Here’s a few examples to remind you just how fun this language is:

Read is the present tense. Read is the past tense.
Plead is the present tense. Pleaded is the past tense.

The plural of goose is geese.
The plural of moose is moose.

Contractions function almost identically to the full two-word phrase, but are only appropriate in certain places of a sentence. It’s one of the weirdest quirks of this language we’ve.

Cough is pronounced ‘c-off’.
Dough is pronounced ‘d-oh’.
Tough is pronounced ‘t-uff’.
Through is pronounced ‘thr-oo’.

It’s ‘fourth’ and not ‘forth’ but it’s ‘forty’ and not ‘fourty’.

One mouse is a mouse, a few are considered mice.
One house is a house, a few are not hice.

Read and lead rhyme.
Read and lead rhyme.
Read and lead do not rhyme.
Nor does read and lead.

We park in driveways and drive on parkways.

Tear (to cry) and tear (to rip) are two completely different sounding words.

A ‘fat chance’ and a ‘slim chance’ mean the exact same thing.

Why the hell does the word ‘queue’ even exist?

Is it the ‘s’ or the ‘c’ in scent that’s the silent letter?

For the American’s out there, why is Kansas pronounced ‘Cans-as’ but Arkansas pronounced ‘Ar-kin-saw’?

Biweekly can mean every two weeks or two times in one week.

Why is ‘Dick’ a nickname for Richard?

Laughter is pronounced ‘laff-ter’.
One would think that ‘manslaughter’ would then be pronounced ‘mans-laff-ter’, right? WRONG.

Womb is pronounced ‘woom’.
Bomb is not boom.

Does anyone else’s head hurt when they think about the crazy rules, exceptions and things that make zero sense in the English language? All I have to say after writing this post is, give people a little bit of grace if the spell something wrong, say something wrong or use the wrong word in the wrong place. English is hard.

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday

I was probably thirteen years old when I finally learned there was a ‘dne’ in Wednesday. I always thought it was ‘Wensday’ and I was so stubborn, I refused to acknowledge anyone telling me that I was wrong.

Long story short, it’s Wednesday. Wednesday is off to a greeeeeeeat start.

My company’s network is down. I’ve got nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. I’m frustrated that I can’t work at the moment. On the other hand, I’m grateful that I’m not a programmer, or IT right now. Because we’re a tech company, if our network is down, none of the customers have access to our products. Their phones are probably ringing like crazy. Me… I just get to sit here and patiently wait. I guess their are worse things in life than laying on the couch, devouring sugar and waiting for the network to reconnect on a Wednesday morning.