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.

2 Blogging/Marketing Tips

It’s been a while since I’ve provided any tips/tricks or advice related to blogging, so I figured tonight’s a perfect time.

If you’re looking to expand your blog to a wider audience, to get more hits, and to have even more regular readers who continue coming back, try these two things:

The first piece of advice is to post content regularly. The easiest, most effective way to gain regular readers is to post content regularly. If someone reads your blog and is interested enough to come back, make sure there’s new content for them to see when they come back to your blog.

This doesn’t mean that you need to post daily. This means that you need to post regularly. If you want people to return to your blog, you need to be posting on a schedule. Whether you determine that’s every day, twice a week, twice a month – whatever you have time to commit to – let your audience know. If you want to post once a week, tell your audience they can come back for new posts on Mondays. If you want to post twice a month, tell your audience to come back on the first and the fifteenth. The simple act of having the schedule will create a psychological call to action for them to come back and read what you have to share.

POST REGULARLY. Whatever you’re able to commit to, do it. If you don’t, it’ll be a lot harder for you to garner the audience you so desire with your blog.

The second piece of advice that I have is to relate pop-culture and news stories to your blog content. If something happens in the news, share your take on it!

Now hear me out – a lot of people think that the best way to attract the web to their blog is through click-bait. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube are filled with clickbait. People are trying to get attention through dishonest tactics. For some it might work in the short term. Long term, though, there’s no sustainability in trying to lie to your audience repeatedly and hoping they care for you.

How do you get people to care? Relate your content to something they care about.

For example, let’s say that you write a blog about travel. People love travel. The odds are, if you’re sharing content regularly, a certain amount of people can, and will, find your content. You’ll get decent feedback and your blog will be ‘cruisin’. But if you’re looking to expand, perhaps you share your story about a certain country. Now, let’s say that you notice the news is talking this week (right now on September 14, 2021) that the Arc De Triomph in Paris has been wrapped up. People all over the world are googling why the Arc De Triomph was wrapped up. Now would be the perfect time to share your stories and photos from the last time you visited the Arc De Triomph. Mention in your post you saw the news story about why it’s been wrapped (more for search engine crawlers then anything) and then share your content.

Your story and photos about the Arc De Triomph could/would get double, triple or five times the views if you decided to write about it/post about it this week, versus had you done it a month ago. Take advantage of what’s in the news – what people will inevitably be using Google to search for right now, in the present.

When someone gets to your blog to read about the Arc De Triomph, perhaps then and there is when they see “suggested posts” and read other posts, and you convert them to a reader. They stumbled upon you accidentally, when googling why the Arc De Triomph is wrapped, and now you get to keep them as a reader.

Both of these suggestions obviously take some time, effort and a little bit of planning. But, if properly executed, it’s an easy, free and honest way to increase traffic to your blog. You don’t need to post clickbait. You don’t need to beg for traffic on Twitter. You just need to be strategic about when you’re posting and when. Strategy is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

A note for the hospital protests today

There are scheduled protests in front of hospitals in every major city in this country today and I’m just so fucking angry.

So, let’s teach the important distinction between two words:

RIGHT – a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way. Example: You have a right to not get vaccinated against COVID.

PRIVILEGE – advantage granted or available only to a particular person or group. Example: You have a privilege to eat at a restaurant. If you do not follow the rules, they can deny you entry. You don’t want to wear a shirt? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to pay for your food? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to show proof of vaccination? They can absolutely deny you the privilege of eating there.

A right for everyone is not the same as a privilege for those that comply to the rules in place to create a free and safe society.

You don’t have a right to a driver’s license. You have the privilege to obtain it, if you study for the test, follow the rules of the road, wear your seatbelt, insure your vehicle, etc, etc…

You don’t have a privilege to eat at a restaurant if there’s a potential you walk in with the bubonic plague and could spread it throughout everyone in the building. The restaurant can accommodate you, if you have the bubonic plague, by offering to have your food delivered to your front door.

You follow me?

This morning whilst scrolling Twitter before work, I saw a note from a Doctor in which he was pleading with people to not protest in front of a hospital. Why? Because the people in there being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace. Another comment noted that health care workers, who’ve largely been carrying society as a whole for the past year and a half, have really difficult jobs. Really, really difficult jobs. And standing in their way, is going to make it so much harder for them to protect all of us, like they’ve been doing for so long now.

In Ontario, the Premier actually had to threaten the general pop to not block ambulances trying to get into the hospital today because he’s so damn worried these protests he cannot stop will block someone from being able to get life-saving treatment.

If someone is in the hospital, for COVID or other reasons, regardless of what brought them there, they deserve the privilege of medical treatment. They need the privilege of medical treatment. They don’t need a bunch of assholes who don’t understand infectious disease, our health care system, the economy, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, trying to block them from someone who could save their life.

If you want to protest because your privileges might not be as plentiful due to COVID, go to a government building. Stand outside your MLAs office and protest. These are the people who can actually shape the way in which our country responds to this crisis. A doctor doesn’t make policy. A nurse cannot dictate laws. They can save your life, though. So protesting the very people who are, or will be responsible for saving you, just makes you an uneducated, inconsiderate donkey.

While we’re here, let’s talk about discrimination.

DISCRIMINATION – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

I hear a lot of people saying that those who are unvaccinated are being given unjust treatment because they’re choosing to not be vaccinated. What exactly is unjust about what’s happening right now? An unvaccinated person cannot go to a hockey game? It’s not as if you can’t watch the hockey game on television. An unvaccinated person cannot get on an airplane? Why don’t you drive your personal car there. An unvaccinated person cannot eat in a restaurant? Well, if you like the food that much, why don’t you order it to be delivered?

There’s a giant fucking chasm between centuries of discrimination of people because of who they are (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) and some entitled assholes in 2021 who think that society owes them the privilege to spread disease freely, without restraint.

Your privileges will never be rights. NEVER. EVER. EVER.

My privileges will never be rights. Privileges are privileges, whether you’re vaccinated or not.

You are not being discriminated against for choosing to not get a vaccine. You can still eat restaurant food, you just can’t eat it in the restaurant. You can still go on your trip, you just have to drive instead of taking a plane. You can still protest, please just smarten the fuck up and don’t do it in front of a hospital. If you catch COVID, you’re going to need to rely on those very doctors and nurses you’re so vehemently, grossly, disrespecting by protesting in front of their place of work.

If you want to protest because you feel that your privileges should be rights, well I’ve been alive 32 years and you didn’t seem to care about it before 2020, but hey, please go to the office of your local MLA.

Or you could, you know, just stay home and not be a selfish C***.

While you’re at home, maybe you could even read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s some good stuff. Possibly consider putting your money where your mouth is. If you want to protest the altering of privileges because of vaccination status, take a look at your other privileges while you’re at it. Because if this is that important to you, you might as well swing for the fences – get a lawyer. Fight the rules in place that say you have to insure your vehicle to have the privilege of driving. Fight the rules in place that say you cannot drink alcohol before you drive. Fight the rules that say you have to put on clothing to cover your genitalia before you go for a run through your neigbourhood.

Do I sound ridiculous? Good. So does protesting in front of a fucking hospital in the middle of a pandemic.

Society does not owe you anything if you’re unvaccinated.

Society does not owe me anything for being vaccinated.

Society is merely trying to adjust privileges to protect the masses as best as humanly possible through a global pandemic, in hopes of being able to operate as openly as possible. This is not 2019. The world has changed and we need to change with it.

If you’re going to a hospital to protest today, how about you just move the protest to an MLA office. Or, just stay home. Those doctors and nurses and health care workers don’t need your idiotic, selfish arrogance disrupting their ability to save lives. And the people who are being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace.

Canadians – Listen Up

Early voting starts today for the September 20th Federal Election.

What does that mean? That means if you don’t want to go stand in a crowded room on September 20th, you can go today.

Early voting is September 10, 11, 12 & 13th. You DO NOT need a to provide a reason for voting early. If you don’t want to vote on the 20th, then pick one of the next four days, whichever works best for you. Grab your identification with proof of address and go vote.

Election day is September 20th. If election day works for you, please put it in your calendar to make sure you vote on the 20th.

Just pick a day, one of the listed days, and go vote. Please. Don’t skip it. Don’t throw away your vote. Go. Vote.

Visit https://elections.ca/ for any information you might need about your specific riding and where you need to go. Also listed on the Elections Canada website is all of the information about COVID precautions being taken at the voting booth. All you have to do is put in your postal code.

Please go vote. Don’t make me ask 100 times over.

And to anyone who might say, or think, that an individual vote doesn’t matter, stop thinking that way. The riding that I live in was decided by 137 votes in 2019. 137, that’s it! Not 1,000. Not 1,000,000. It was decided by 137 people. Could that margin be even less this election? Could that margin be wider given how COVID changed things? Who knows!

If you listen to nothing else I say this year, please hear me when I say that you exercising your right to vote is an important piece to a well functioning democracy.

Take Note

Take note of who shows up for you, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who is there for you, and who isn’t.

Take note of who makes you feel as though you matter, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who steps up when you need them, and who has excuses.

Take note of who answers your calls when you phone them, even it’s 2:00 am. It really doesn’t matter the time, if talking to you is important to them, they will answer.

Take note of who wants you around. Not out of any sense of obligation, but rather, just because they realize it’s better to have you around then it is to be without you.

Take note of who celebrates your victories as though they’re their own. If you’re important to them then they’ll be happy for you, never jealous. They’ll also never try to make it about themselves.

Take note of who asks how you are and genuinely wants to hear the truth, good or bad.

Take note of who remembers. Whether it’s the little details, or the big, they’re going to remember because it’s as important to them as it is to you.

Take note of who makes the effort. Whether it’s for the littlest of moments, or the biggest, they will treat them all with the same importance, because it involves you, and that’s what matters to them, making the effort for you.

Take note of who is proud of you, and proud to be with you. They damn well better be proud to be with you.

Despite what some might say, it’s not a lot to expect people to treat you properly. Take note of who treats you properly. And, if you read anything on this list and take issue with it, perhaps you ought to be treating some people better. No one is perfect. But, if someone truly cares, they’ll show it. Not with grand gestures or sweeping displays of affection/admiration or praise, but in being there, in whatever way they can – through all of life’s moments.

08-08-21

I have deep-rooted intense fears of failure. It’s really difficult for me to admit to that, but there are a lot of aspects of my life that I allow to be dictated by the prospect of safety, security and of not rocking the proverbial boat.

I have always tried to project to this world that I’m fearless, that I truly do believe I can do anything. Truth-be-told, that’s definitely not the case. I’m incredibly insecure and I struggle with finding the confidence to really put myself out there.

Let’s talk about a “for instance” or two… or twenty.

I’m presently trying to design a lead-generation website. I’ve been working on it since late May. I should’ve been done by down. I should’ve been done a long time ago. But, I can’t. I’m struggling every step of the way. I know what lucrative structure lead generation is, and I know that it’s quite literally some of the most passive income you can make, and I’m struggling. This should be easy for me. Why is it so hard? Why isn’t it done yet? I understand website design. I understand SEO. I understand Google Ads to put my Lead Gen at the top of Google. Why am I not done?

I’ve been talking for over a year about starting a podcast. I want to start a podcast because I like to talk, and talking on a podcast seems like a great medium to share long-form content when I’m struggling to write. I also know some really cool people with crazy stories and crazy careers. I thought that I could leverage my relationships with said people to make sure the podcast isn’t boring being only myself (roadblock one). I finally have a microphone that provides quality sound that I can sit down and record and I’ve rediscovered how much I hate my voice (roadblock two). I actually made the first episode. And… I’ve never let anyone hear it. I don’t know that I will ever let anyone hear it. I don’t even want it to become something that turns into something where tons of people hear it. I’d be happy if like 20 people listened to it in a week. But I also don’t want those 20 people thinking ‘Damn, she’s an idiot’, or ‘Damn, her voice is annoying’. So I stop myself from doing something that I want to do. Why can’t I just allow myself?

I know that I need a new resume. I know that I want to find a new and better job. I desire a job with a better pay structure and fairer treatment. Every time I sit down to work on my resume, though, I get overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed, it stops me from actually writing a new resume. 2021 has taught me a lot about the difference between knowing what you’re worth, and what your company thinks you’re worth, or tries to tell you that you’re worth. All that being said, my company has acknowledged they’re not paying me nearly enough for the industry standard, and that they know I’m worth more, but that they won’t ever be giving me that. So, I need to find my own way out. Why am I not writing my resume? I know that I need to.

Some days it feels as though I can’t get out of my own head. Some days it seems like it’s all I can do to just function like a normal human being. Then, then I start to feel sorry for myself. Then I get angry with myself for feeling sorry for myself when I’m clearly capable. I don’t doubt my abilities. I fear failure. Which is crazy.

Some days I truly wish I could get out of my own head. I’d probably be a lot more successful in life if I did.

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?

*Crickets*

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.

Firstly, PEOPLE DON’T USE BING.

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.

Do not read this.

I think that every man should have to, in their lifetime, wear a bra.

What? What a bizarre thing for me to say, I know.

They should have to walk into a store and blindly guess as to what size would ‘fit them’ (and I use that term loosely because, if you’re a woman you know most/all bras don’t really fit anyway) and they should have to wear it.

You know, if they wanted to go above and beyond and go to someone to get measured for said bra, I wouldn’t be against that.

It’s a learning experience, one that I think even if just tested for a day, could allow men valuable insights into a struggle us women know all too well. There are certain experiences we go through in life as women at that men pretend they know about that they really have no idea. Maybe having to spend a day wandering around in an uncomfortable bra could show them 1/100th of who we are.