Virtual Education

So, I have been taking a class for several weeks now (I don’t even remember how many) that was supposed to be a one off, but has since snowballed into what I think is quickly becoming a full business program.

This is not important to the story, but my boss wanted me to take it. Since work is paying for part of it, I obliged. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to take, but I won’t say no to education!

So, the first professor was/is great. He understands my work schedule, he understands the stresses of being in school in general, without the full-time job tied to it. He’s just… chill. He’s my kind of a professor.

The second professor, she’s cynical as all hell. She’s giving me major flashbacks to those entry level courses everyone was required to take in first year of university. (Yes, I know that sentence alone showcases a lot of privilege) She’s questioning everyone. She doesn’t care about stressses of being a student. She doesn’t care about people who are also working. She doesn’t seem to care about anything beyond her rules.

The second professor, she has a rule that we’re required to have our webcams on the entire class. The problem is, she records these sessions. She’s recording them and she’s not giving them out to people to look back on. So she’s recording them and keeping them… for something? Who knows. Who cares what she keeps it for.

I DO NOT like being recorded.

It’s a thing for me. I worked in PR too long, I know the nefarious things that have happened with recordings. I have, myself, been responsible for burying recordings of people. I have, myself, been responsible for turning over recordings of someone for a criminal investigation. I don’t like recordings of me existing. I’ve seen too much of how the sausage is made, and I just… am not for it.

What if I wanted to become a spy? I basically would need to wipe my existence. I can do that if some professor has all these recordings of me.

What if I wanted to become a criminal? I don’t need her turning over videos of me that people could use to study my behaviour.

What if I just really don’t like being recorded? Why can’t she just… tell me I can turn my webcam off?

It really doesn’t matter why. If I don’t want to listen to her lectures with my webcam on, I really shouldn’t have to. It’s not like I’m taking an exam. I’d understand if they waned to see me to ensure I wasn’t cheating. It’s a lecture/discussion class. My mic and webcam don’t need to work in sync. I can use my mic without the webcam.

If I do end up taking all of these courses, I’ll probably run into this more and more. I know I need to chill and just go along with her rules. I just… think her rules are stupid. You should not be required to be recorded in order to complete a course.

Work Opinions

My boss and I are butting heads this week.

She thinks that nice compliments are enough to keep me around.

I want a raise.

I don’t go to work in hope of nice compliments.

People in my city, working in my position at other companies are making $10,000 – $20,000 more than I am. The only reason I am not is because I haven’t found the right position yet.

Am I greedy? No. I know what my time is worth. If I wanted compliments and unwavering praise, I’d probably ask my nieces and nephews. I go to work to make money. Sorry to anyone who believes the naive notion that we all just do what we love and the pay is an added bonus. Here in reality, the pay is the priority and the added bonus is that I don’t completely hate my life while doing it.

I work to make money. I want to pay my bills. I want to hopefully travel again, eventually. I want to move. I want to buy a new computer (because this one is on the fritz). All of these things get accomplished by my working.

Compliments, while nice, are kind of just empty words if you’re not backing it up.

If you, as a boss, have enough money to spend $30,000 on a new “OPTIONAL” piece of software for your sales team, then you have enough money to pay your employees what they’re worth, you’re just choosing to not. And… if you’re choosing to not provide a raise, and instead opt for nice compliments, then those compliments are a tad hollow.

I know how much revenue that I, alone, generate for this company.

Am I entitled to a raise? No. No employees are, if the boss doesn’t want to provide it. That being said, if she truly believed even half of the words she’s said to me recently, then show me the money. I know that makes me sound cold, but I don’t care. I know what I’m worth, and it’s a lot more than empty praise.

I just… a rant.

I am trying to explain to my employer why an ‘Anonymous Survey’ asking for feedback on each of my coworkers isn’t anonymous when I am the only female being asked to fill out the survey.

You might as well ask me to stand up in front of each of them and point out their faults and failures. First off, an environment is not safe for criticism when made anonymous. From a psychological standpoint, anonymous criticisms are perhaps taken even more offensively than open criticisms, ESPECIALLY from peers where those peer coworkers are abundantly aware that some are making more money then others.

Furthermore, not signing your name to the bottom of your comments does not make the comments anonymous. As the lone female in the room, and seemingly the only person with the true understanding of this scenario they’re creating, I think differently then men, I speak differently then men and I convey my thoughts differently then men. My feedback provided would stick out like the metaphorical sore thumb.

Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s insulting to suggest that people who communicate with one another every day, multiple times per day, aren’t able to differentiate the ways in which their peers communicate. Some of the men being asked to fill out this survey have been working together for fifteen years. I 100% GUARANTEE they know exactly how their coworkers write. Just like I know exactly who adds extra capital letters where they’re not necessary, throws ‘…’ into sentences they are still trying to form in their mind whilst they’re typing, or starts the majority of their sentences with the words ‘thoughtfully’, or ‘respectively’ or ‘importantly’, so do each of them. I know how they write, and they know how I write. Much like we have clear differentiators in the way we speak, we have differentiators in the way which we write.

This survey is not anonymous.

It’s going to start conflict.

My employer trying to tell me that I’m not being a team player if I refuse to fill this out truthfully is coercion.

In the hierarchy that is 95% of companies in this world, holding employees responsible to other employees (who are at their same level on the company hierarchy, such as my company is trying to implement here) is an abdication of responsibility on behalf of the managers. If they’re not going to manage, why are they being paid extra to be managers? Implementing this change under the guise of being ‘anonymous’ is dangerously misleading.

Are my coworkers going to say mean things about me? Probably. Am I going to be offended by it? I guess we’ll find out when I see it. Am I going to provide honest feedback? Absolutely not. This is not anonymous, I’m not paid management salary and I know better than to walk into a hornets nest. The men in my office hold grudges. You could argue that’s bad company culture, I’d argue that’s human nature. It’s specific to the men in my office (because there are so few females at my company), but it’s a generalization I believe applicable to the human race as a whole.

Companies that are actually interested in honest feedback from employees need to provide a safe-space for employees to provide said feedback. An ‘anonymous survey’ just isn’t that. If they cannot provide a safe-space for people to provide honest feedback, they shouldn’t be asking for it.

Let the in-fighting begin.

Letters to Anyone

Good Morning,

It’s been a while. Truth be told, I hadn’t realized how long. The past few posts that I made on this blog were written a while back and scheduled. The last time I actually sat down to write was on July 21st. That’s an uncharacteristically long break for me to take from this blog.

What’s been happening? Well, I got away for the long weekend. Remember when I said I was Thinkin’ about Vancouver and escaping for the long weekend? I did it. I got away. I walked myself into the airport and onto the plane and I left for the long weekend. It sounds like such a small thing in theory, but it was a really big moment for me. It took a lot for me to get on that plane. My anxiety was in overdrive, and where I would normally avoid situations that make me that uncomfortable, I did it anyway, and I’m really glad that I did. I had an amazing long weekend away from Alberta. For the first time in over a year, I just left the whole world behind. I didn’t pay attention to the news, I didn’t even phone my mom. (She was angry about that) I just enjoyed spending time with my friend.

Would I fly again any time soon? I don’t know. It made me really uncomfortable that we were in a sky-tin with recycled air and so many people just took their masks off because they really didn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

In other news, I’m presently in negotiations for getting a new car. It’s a pretty long story. Perhaps I’ll get there to share at some point, but not now. I’m looking forward to the prospect of some new wheels. BTW, when I say new car, I mean new to me. I am purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

I’m also getting a new set of glasses this week. It’s the first time since 2015 that I have gotten a new pair, so I am hoping new spectacles with an updated prescription will help with my headaches. They were very expensive, so let’s also hope they last a couple of years at least.

Not much else is new around here.

Calgary is still smokey. The provincial government is still being idiotic about basically everything. BC is still burning. People are still denying climate change is real. An actual quote I heard in the grocery story was ‘Lightning didn’t start that fire, lightning is in the sky and it doesn’t touch the ground’. Speaking of grocery stories, food prices are on the rise and no one around here seems to be able to comprehend why. Droughts don’t make for ideal conditions to grow food, or feed cattle to ensure there’s food on the shelves of the grocery story. If it’s harder to produce the food, due to climate change, then the food is going to be more expensive on grocery store shelves, and we will continue to pay bigger bucks each trip to hear people who clearly can’t grasp the basic concepts of weather. Whew. That was a tangent.

Be kind people. Care about others. It shouldn’t have to happen to you for it to matter to you. And always remember, you cannot do all the good that this world needs, but this world does need all of the good that you can do.

Paraphrasing our Wednesday meeting

Me: People don’t use Bing.

Consultant from Georgia: Software developers use Bing.

Me: Hey, software developers in this meeting, how many of you use Bing?


Consultant from Georgia: Okay, but your company is the exception, not the rule.

Me: People don’t use Bing.

Consultant from Georgia: You’re wrong.

Me: More then 80 percent of the internet uses Google. Please don’t waste our time with Bing.

Consultant from Georgia: Software developers use Bing.

Me: Read the room.

Consultant from Georgia: I’ll show you.

*Consultant from Georgia shares screen with the entire meeting, pulls up Google to search for Bing.*

*Developers try to hold back from laughing.*

Me: I think we’re finished here. Thanks for your time this morning. We’ll be in touch later this week.

Meeting draws to a close so that I don’t say anything too snarky or mean.

*Consultant from Georgia proceeds to send our entire staff from stats as to how many people search for software on Bing. Also says, without statistics, that the most popular search engine in ‘The South’ is Bing.

So, you know, that was a fun hour.

I utterly despise when people cannot hear the word no. It’s like he could’ve said 2+2=5 and if I said ‘No’, he’d start to argue with me. He’s that type of person.

Actual steam was coming out of my head this morning when I ended the meeting as a measure to ensure that it stayed professional and I didn’t become mean and he proceeded to email the entire staff to tell us (mainly being directed at me) why ignoring Bing is the wrong answer.


Second, If I’m wrong, then let me be wrong. If there are 300 million American’s who use Bing, who fucking cares? I said I wasn’t investing money into Bing. That should literally be the end of the discussion. You want to tell me once? Sure, I’ll hear you out. You want to tell me four more times, one of which is in front of our team of Developers, and then send a mass email out to all of our staff in three different countries about why I’m wrong? No way, Jose (his name isn’t Jose, it’s just a saying). That’s not going to fly with me.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t waste my time.

I need to write a new resume.

I really don’t think that my current resume makes me sound as good as I am. It’s hard because everyone seems to have different opinions on what makes, or breaks, a resume.

I need to write a new resume.

I need to write a new cover letter.

Well, technically the cover letter gets changed with a job that I decide to apply for. But, I’d love to be able to write a base-letter that I’m proud of, that I can make small adjustments to when needed.

I need to up my game.

I don’t want to be stagnant in life. I want to be the best.

I want to be ready for the right position when the right position comes along.

I need a new resume. If I can negotiate six figure deals with foreign governments, I need my resume to reflect that… without breaking confidentiality. (Because if I read a vague statement like that on someone else’s resume, I probably wouldn’t believe it)

I’m definitely not quitting my job. I just… I just need to have something ready for when opportunity presents itself. Opportunity has been whispering lately and I want to be ready if something comes.

Right now, my resume likely makes me sound average at best.

Acronym Only cont’d

The head of the applicable business unit at Acronym Only sent me a private message on LinkedIn last week that is/was very interesting. They actually want to meet with me. That, in itself, was shocking. There was a couple of paragraphs of stuff in there that really surprised me. I have not responded yet. I wonder if they think that I’m ignoring them. I might be, to an extent. I’m not exactly sure how to respond.


Boston Locals!

If you’re a Boston local, or just someone who frequents Boston, or has frequented Boston in the past, I need your advice!

I need to do some ordering of clothing and food and I want to give the business to local Boston shops/stories/restaurants/bakeries.

Please, if you have some advice, leave me a comment.

I am looking for:

  • Athleisure clothing (Doesn’t have to be a small brand, can just be a local shop that sells bigger brands)
  • The BEST bakery
  • A great restaurant or catering company

I have looked on google. I have seen business listings in the categories which I am searching. I’m looking for I’m not looking for a list. I’m more so looking for anyone who’s had first-hand experience. Anyone who can make recommendations of where to go and where I should avoid!

Small, medium or large shops/restaurants/bakeries are all fine. I’d rather give money to a local business than to order from a national or international business and ship it to Boston.

Many thanks

Acronym Only

In follow up to this story, Acronym Only has launched a new advertising campaign that directly calls out my company. Acronym Only controls a solid 80 percent of the market share in our industry, and now, they have an advertising campaign that directly calls out my company.

You know how good that makes me feel?

I got under their skin. They’re quaking. Their users are leaving their company for mine and they don’t know what to do about that.

In marketing, one of the worst things you can do is call out another company by name in an advertisement. Why? Because no product is perfect. Coke doesn’t want people to ask how Pepsi compares. Coke wants people to only think about Coke. Nike doesn’t ever want to acknowledge Adidas because as soon as they do they know they’ve opened the door for people to consistently and continuously ask them ‘well what about Adidas?’

Acronym Only has created a campaign that says ‘You could go with [My company], or you could stick with the best’.

  1. Best is subjective.
  2. Have fun answering questions all about the features my company offers that yours pails in comparison too.
  3. You’re losing market share and you’re scared and that shows.
  4. My company (myself through use of company platforms) now has space, rent free, in the head of whomever is making these decisions. I FUCKING LOVE THAT.

Now I have to think about this campaign and figure out a way to use it to my advantage.