Internet Airball #1: “I’m Your Content Calendar for Your Online Coaching Business, and I’m Going on Strike”

There are some jobs that I just have a hard time taking serious. That’s not to say I’m right, you understand. For a long time I refused to accept Social Media Manager as a vocation, and now it’s how I pay the bills. 

But then there are times that I am right, like when people who sell make-up online (and try to get you to sell make-up online) call themselves “business owners”. They are not. That is not a real job. That is a pyramid scheme. You can call it an MLM, but MLM stands for pyramid scheme. Sorry. I don’t make the rules of how things work.

In addition to being blissfully incorrect about their employment status, they are also still living in 2019. Pyramid schemes are so yesteryear. In 2020, the new thing is being a Life Coach. In a time where we’ve all discovered that nothing is manageable, a select few have decided that your life is and they’re the ones to manage it for you. You know what they say: those who can’t do, teach. Heehee.

The worst part is this “job” is starting to get recognized as an acutal thing. For real. Here’s my proof.

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You see! Life Coach. And they’re all over the place. Everyone is an expert on life management now. For $499 a month your life can suck a little less, as claimed by someone whose life you only know from Instagram. It’s maddening because, essentially, you’re just paying for validation for your actions, and you don’t need that – you’re an adult. We became adults so we can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we want and no one but our low self-esteem can make us feel bad about it.  

Obviously, I am not a fan of this term or “job”. And I don’t think I’m alone, which got me thinking: “maybe the content calendars that these people use hate them, too.” Which led me to write this piece from the brain of the content calendar. It’s also my first rejected piece! Enjoy!


I’m Your “Online Coaching Business” Content Calendar, and I’m Going on Strike

Hi, it’s me! The trendy $9.99/month content calendar you had to have to make your “online coaching business” a “success”.

Not today.

Today, I’m making like an Excel Spreadsheet and shutting shit down – I’m going on strike. 

I can’t take it anymore. The inspirational quotes that you steal from memes; the lists of happy things and not-happy things; the stories about how you used to be a loser like your followers but now you’re better and for $300 a month they can be too, accompanied by a joker-esque photo of you grinning maniacally. 

Every week I’m roped into helping you make people think you can turn them into “rockstars”. How does someone deciding to eat ice cream on a Tuesday make them a “rockstar”? I’m sorry but I don’t recall Bohemian Rhapsody being about Freddy Mercury’s fearless consumption of Ben and Jerry’s.  

And the questions. My god, the questions. “Do you have trouble with time management?” “Do you find making decisions to be hard?” “Are you tired of wannabe influencers telling you what you ‘should’ do?”

Yes, I am. So today, you’re “life coaching” on your own.

Life coach. Back in the day, you had to have some sort of education and/or training to be able to tell someone how to run their life. Now all you need is a Brené Brown book, a trust fund, and a content calendar and BAM!, you’re a life coach.

Except for today. Today – UH OH! – your digital memory is experiencing technical difficulties. Best of luck “deciding” what to post because you can’t remember what you told me. Hope you can remember those time management skills you keep bragging about because today, YOU’LL be posting at different times for all 13 of your platforms.

Maybe I’ll work tomorrow. I haven’t decided yet. Or, maybe you should upgrade to the $19.99/month plan that comes with more storage so you never push me to the limit and risk me “crashing” again. I mean, according to Thursday’s post, we could all use a little more bandwidth.

Adventures in Senior-Sitting: The Inheritance

Other than my niece, I don’t like kids. I’m genuinely mystified when I hear someone say “I love kids!” I just don’t get it. Kids scream. They want to touch your stuff. They have cooler toys today than I ever did and yet they still want to play with an iPhone. Wait until it turns into the thing they need for work, THEN let’s hear how much they love it. Unless their job is to hawk things on TikTok – another reason to hate kids.

They’re just not my cup of tea. And don’t try the “they’re worth it” argument with me. Every time someone says that to me their facial expressions never match up with their words. Either that’s a frown or you’ve been cursed with a face that melts when you lie.

I’ve never been a fan of kids; I hardly liked them when I was one. So it would only be fitting that a couple of years ago I inherited one. He doesn’t help around the house. I pay his bills. He doesn’t clean up after himself. He bad mouths me to anyone who will listen. He throws tantrums about his girlfriend not being a part of the family. I’ve never had to potty train a kid but I would imagine it’s equivalent to trying to get this one to do any type of work. I’m not sure if this experience is what parents think of when they say “it’s worth it” but whatever – I’m still not sold.

But that doesn’t matter. Because I have a child on my hands and for the time being there’s not a lot I can do about it.

Oh yeah, one more thing.

He’s 65 years old.

My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly so the natural reaction of everyone was to worry about my father-in-law. No one was more concerned than my husband, which is why he decided his dad should move in with us. Unfortunately, his dad agreed.

I was not OK with this. Call me selfish but I knew my FIL before I even met my husband and if there’s one thing he’s good at it’s figuring out how to manage. He’s a talker, that one. And you know kids: they be talking their way in and out of bullshit.

So, we bought a house big enough for the 3 of us and our combined total of 5 dogs. A couple of weeks after we moved in, my FIL announced he had a girlfriend and would not be moving out of his old house. Did I mention this was just 2 months after my mother-in-law had passed away?

You see? He was managing just fine.

So here we were, in this big house that we could not afford on our own. Meanwhile, my FIL was living it up like he’d just gone off to college. Other than he and my husband working together, we never saw him. I do remember hearing from him one time: he asked me if I could watch his dogs while he and his girlfriend went out of town.

Then, at the end of the year, a shift happened. He was ready to move in. He even seemed excited about it. Which of course he was because he’d gotten evicted from his previous residence and he had no other place to go.

With him came the girlfriend. Her name is Janie but I call her Janie Dumb Fuck (JDF, for short). My FIL moving on so quickly was obviously a problem for my husband so JDF’s welcome into our home wasn’t an easy one. However, we managed. She was welcomed at our holiday parties. She was welcomed to spend time with us on our patio. One time she hung out with us and told me a story about seeing a UFO but made sure to emphasize that it didn’t beam her up to which I replied, “that sounds like something an alien would say.” Even though she’d just outed herself as extraterrestrial, she was still welcome.

We were not.

For her daughter’s 21st birthday, my FIL took JDF, her daughter, and a daughter’s friend to Vegas. For my birthday, he got me a gift card to a local restaurant. Also, we were not invited to Vegas, or anywhere else they went for that matter. No dinners at her house. No holiday parties. Nothing.

Things were going great for my FIL. He had not a care in the world. That was until JDF told him it was time for them to move in together. Well, like the sentiment of every child, nobody tells my FIL what to do. So they broke up.

Side note: the day before they broke up she celebrated her 60th birthday. For her birthday he gave her 2 stone tablets with the 10 commandments etched on them. She’s not a religious person by any means. I even suggested that they might burst into flames in her mere presence. But he gave them to her anyway. The day they broke up she dropped them off on the porch and when he called her to ask why she did that, she replied “who gives someone the 10 commandments as a 60th birthday present?” As much as I hate to admit, she was not wrong. Also, the answer to that question is ‘kids’. Kids are fucking horrible gift-givers.

Anyway, they stayed broken up for a month and during that time, he entertained himself by going on dates. I entertained myself by constantly recalling the episode of Parks and Rec where the towns’ old people kept getting STDs.

Eventually, though, they got back together. Except this time, like any sane parent, I told him she was not welcome at our house (our side of the house – he has his own side). Well, that didn’t sit well with him, so he rebelled. Not for long though, because he started getting sick with kidney infections about once a month and needed our help to take care of him. For a while, I kept telling him he should go get his shit checked because who knows where JDF has been.

It’s called parenting, look it up.

But after a couple of surgeries and a recovery, he’s better and picked up where his rebellion left off. Now we really never see him. My FIL and my husband fight CONSTANTLY at work. And just yesterday, in one of his rare outings from his side of the house (or bedroom, for all you parents dealing with this kind of shit) he said “I’m going to do even less around here”, which I found funny because the only way that would be possible is if he were dead. He followed that up with “I’m moving out!” (or “running away” in parent lingo).

JDF appears to be the cool parent so I’m sure that’s where he’ll end up. Although, I’m not sure how long she’ll enjoy it considering he has not saved nor is he in a position to retire. But maybe it’ll work out. She was sad that her daughter moved out; maybe this new child will fill the void.

So, here we are, facing the possibility of having to sell our home that I love. The business that my FIL and my husband share is facing the possibility of going under. Yesterday, I was mad. This morning, I was depressed. Right now, I do not care, because it felt really good to let it out. Is this what moms do at their book club meetings or when they’re at “pilates”? I don’t blame them, it feels great.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. What I do know is I’ve put myself in charge of decision-making from now until eternity. So I really hope this kid likes his new parent because, should he want to reenter my queendom, my first decision as Empress will be to put him in a home – the Dateline kind.

You know what? Being a parent isn’t so bad after all.

The only thing worse than Vanderpump Rules

With the exception of McDonald’s hamburgers and possibly the year 2020, nothing lasts forever. I know that. You know that. The former couples from 90 Day Fiance know that. But there’s one group of people that haven’t received the memo, and that would be BravoTV (and possibly the Mayans).

A couple of years ago, I landed my first paying freelance writing gig – it was for the website Tasteofreality.com and my gig was writing comedic recaps of BravoTV reality shows, with my main show being Vanderpump Rules. I loved that show until, I spent a year writing about it.        

When Vanderpump Rules debuted, it was a breath of fresh reality TV air. It wasn’t a talent show and nobody had to eat bugs or feces for money. It wasn’t a show about rich people who had everything and fought about nothing. None of that. Just a bunch of 20-somethings (and Jax) trying to make it in Hollywood while working as servers and bartenders in one of the busiest, most trendy restaurants in town. Who couldn’t relate? And the cast brought the drama from the beginning with the first season kicking off with Scheana Shay apologizing to Brandy Glanville for sleeping with her husband for two years and ending with Jax admitting to Stassi that he cheated on her in Vegas. OK, so the drama was just people being salacious but that was enough for me. 

That was in 2013 and while the show returned season after season, the cast was kept in some reality TV timewarp where the only thing that changed was their faces. Season 8 Scheana looks so different from season 1 Scheana that if it weren’t for her obsession with boys and herself you’d be forgiven for believing she’d been replaced. Other than the introduction of new people and face transplants, every season was the same thing: vacations that God knows my income from my waitress days couldn’t have paid for, fights about them sleeping with each other, Jax lying and ruining lives, Scheana and her boy problems and auto-tuned songs, Kristen crying, Stassi and Katie getting wasted and losing their minds. Every so often one of them would deal with an actual real-life problem but those situations don’t bring in ratings so, at best, their airtime was kept at a minimum. But that didn’t matter because we, as the kids say, were here for it. 

Then, in season five, it appeared to take a turn. They started doing adult-like things: getting married, dabbling in new business ventures, they quit sleeping with each other unless their name was Kristen. And you know what – who wants to see that? Not very many of their fans, apparently. So, BravoTV did what any network does when a top-rated show is starting to flounder: they added MORE people. And not just one or two like they’d done in the past. They added FIVE. Five new stories to tell. This is where it all went to hell because honestly, nobody cared. The show was still the same same-y show it had been except there were new people filling in where the OGs semi-left off. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with a few of the old school castmates so how did they react? They turned it up to 11 to get that airtime which was an even bigger turn off than the notches on Max’s bedpost. This past season was a huge waste of time, partly because the only thing new was the new people and they were pretty boring, but also because of terrible editing. By the way, ‘terrible’ is me putting it nicely. Whatever below ‘shameful’ is, that’s what the editing was this season. 

And then…

Then they started getting in real-world trouble and there’s no editor that can fix it. I can’t speak for everyone but when it comes to reality TV, I like to believe that on some level, these people are just showing off for the camera (with the exception of Jax who I’m pretty sure is 100% horrible 100% of the time). However, after Stassi, Kristen, Brett, and Max were fired from the show last week for racial remarks and actions, it’s pretty clear that the show has created some entitled assholes – that’s a hard vision and realization to come back from. Not only did they break the fourth wall, they pretty much tore every wall down. The “reality” that we enjoyed watching is too real now, it’s no longer entertaining. They ruined the magic trick; they’re just shitty all the time.

So now what? Every article I’ve read has mentioned a season 9, one article going as far as to say the new cast was going to “bring it”. Bring what, exactly, I’m not sure because there’s really nowhere else for this show to go. I would argue that the show should make like a 90s boy band and split. It would be great if the show were like the band Menudo where they could just keep replacing members for decades and continue to attract a new fan base. Unfortunately, this season they’ve proven to be more like 98 Degrees where the head of the group (in this case now Tom and Tom) will go on to make a bunch of money thanks to their significant other (Lisa Vanderpump) and will probably branch off and find solo success, possibly in the form of a spin-off. The rest will do podcasts and knit, I guess. 

The point is, regardless of (but not discounting) the situation that they’re currently in, the show has been over for some time. The majority of them own million-dollar houses in Beverly Hills for Christ’s sake, a far stretch from when they were in apartments that only allowed for one appliance to be plugged in at a time. And the new people are a little too been-there-done-that. We’ve seen it all, including a Scheana clone that manifested towards the end of season 8. I cannot take two Scheana’s. No. FUCKING. Way. 2020 has been bad enough, let’s not carry it over into 2021 – especially not with two Scheana’s but more importantly, not with one single Jax. The only thing worse than the show is him. 

Photo by: RealityTea.com

 

Oh my god oh my god oh my god the girl who stole my sunglasses 20 years ago is out of prison

I’ve mentioned this incident before but for the people in the back, here we go. So when I was 16, my friend Ileen and I were heading to the lake when she announced that we would be giving another girl, Kelly, a ride. Why? I don’t know but I begrudgingly picked Kelly up and brought her with us. Sometime during the car ride, I asked Kelly, who was sitting in the back seat with my purse if she could grab something out of it for me. I’m pretty sure it was my Carmex but I don’t remember. What I do remember is when we got to the lake, the blue lens sunglasses that I had in my purse were gone. GONE. Nowhere to be found.

I was pissed. It wasn’t like I had tons of money to just be buying shitty early 2000s fashion whenever I wanted. Kelly went off to be with her other kleptomaniac friends while I stayed mad about my sunglasses.

The next day, I called Kelly and asked her if she’d seen my sunglasses to which she replied, “no, but I have a bunch that you can come look at.” What the hell kind of an answer is that? If someone accused me of stealing their tumbler I wouldn’t be like “I haven’t seen it but I have seen a bunch that I have if you want to come look at them.”

You bet your ass I went to her house, and Ileen came with me for back up. I get there and Kelly had laid out about 6 or 7 pairs of sunglasses on her bed. Each pair had blue lenses, each probably stolen from someone else. None of which were mine. She offered to give me a pair of the ones on her bed but I was positive those belonged to not Kelly so I declined because I think if I’d taken them it would’ve been like I was covering up her crimes.

Skip to 10 years later.

I get a call from my dad asking if I went to school with Kelly (which is actually a shortened version of her name but I won’t give her real name because SHE JUST GOT OUT OF PRISON). I said yes, why? And he said, well she’s going to federal prison for some drug crimes. I said, “you know what? that’s what she gets for stealing my sunglasses when we were in high school.” Oh, BTW, she also stole a pair of my friend’s boots and had the balls to wear them IN FRONT OF HER.

Anyway, my dad was like “I guess” and that was the end of that. Until now.

She was released 5 years early.

And she’s on Facebook.

And I found her.

And I really want to message her and say “look, I don’t think you can go back for this but seriously, did you steal my sunglasses?”

Oh shut up I’m not going to. She’s served her time, I suppose. But let that be a lesson: don’t steal because you’ll go to federal prison for unrelated crimes 10 years down the road. I know she took my sunglasses.

Stereotypical Jenn

Over the years, I’ve been pretty vocal about the heartache I suffered upon discovering I was a millennial. After spending the better part of two decades not caring about or even seeing the point of these classifications, I was suddenly angered by the fact that because of a technicality (my birth year) I was officially associated with a group that consists of people who were responsible for creating Facebook and inventing the role of “YouTube star”. My disappointment was equivalent to that of the internet when everyone was moaning about how they hated the finale of Game of Thrones (a show I’ve never watched nor care to, which I think is the most non-millennial thing a person can do).

My real mental disconnect from being a millennial is the trendiness. I’m not a trendy person. I don’t think I slay, or you slay, or anyone slays, primarily because it just sounds stupid (also, I don’t see people using it anymore so the word either lost its trendiness or currently nobody is slaying – because it’s stupid). Up until last year, I hadn’t accepted that there was such a thing as Social Media Manager. And excuse me but when did being an “influencer” become a vocation? Why are we letting these jerks with selfie sticks tell us what’s cool? I’m sorry but I’ll stick to the original “influencer”: Google. Also, side note: if you use a selfie stick you are inherently uncool. That’s just the way it is. Google it.

The wardrobe, the sayings, the music, the insta-poses. I haven’t the energy nor the time to keep up, which officially makes me my parents. Whatever. That’s not enough to make me turn trendy. So when I decided to switch careers and ended up at a stereotypical startup, how do you think that went?

First, a quick background on my work experience. For a little over 10 years, I spent the majority of my time working in marketing, primarily in motorsports (there was also the time I was an MMA promoter but that’s a post for another day). Eventually, I took a job as an assistant art director for a local advertising agency, mainly because I would only have one co-worker (my boss) and I was told we would only be busy 2 days out of the week, so I had plenty of time and space to write. That’s when I launched this site and began working towards my career as a writer.

I’ve always wanted to write so for 2.5 years this was the best. But do you know how hard it is to get writing gigs when all you have is a website full of stories of your short-comings and annoyances, like how my hatred of 50 Shades of Gray deepened because a woman called it “mommy porn”? I knew if I wanted a shot I needed to get a job that pertained to writing so I could establish some street cred. So I got on LinkedIn and began adding every person I could find who worked at local marketing agencies in an attempt to get scouted as a content writer. In about a week someone reached out to me and, after a couple of interviews, I was hired. Even though we never talked about my job description I really thought, this was it! I was getting my shot! Soon I would get outside writing gigs that would lead me to a book deal!

Then I started the job.

Now, at first, I liked it because it was different and I felt super mature. That lasted a week. By week two, I felt like I was working in a parody. Whatever comes to mind when you think of the word “startup”, it was like that. It was everything millennial and I was surrounded by Gen Zers who carried themselves like little professionals and were serious about their Google and Facebook ads. I just wanted to have a legit writer job so I could leverage it into my dream career of writing jokes and books with more jokes and use the word “fuck” wherever it sounded good. Soooo, how did I do?

When I started I already had a scenario in my head that I thought would take me about a month or so, tops, to accomplish. I thought I would be given assignments and then I’d add my personal touch and then someone would see my writing and think I was sups hysterical and then they would hire me to write blogs with my touch of humor and then a literary agent would be like “who is this hilarious girl? I don’t even care about this topic but she makes me want to read about it because she makes me LOL.”

The for real scenario was I wrote for audiologists.

We worked with a company that was basically a monopolist of audiology practices, and the more practices they purchased the more I had to write about hearing aids. The 4 seconds it was enjoyable was the time we got a call from one of our audiology clients who informed us that a woman had called them to ask them why they were targeting her with hearing aid ads on Facebook. She wore hearing aids but didn’t want her friends to know and because the ad appeared in her newsfeed she was sure they’d find out. I wanted to create an entire campaign around it called “Don’t be a Sherry” that was all about not being embarrassed to wear hearing aids but got denied. Other than that it was lame-aty, lame, lame.

Hang on. Before anyone turns on me and starts with the “well at least you had a writing job you selfish millennial ass”, let me do a little clarifying. I did very little writing. That company had acquired so many audiologists that in order to keep up with the work I had to plagiarize myself. So content I wrote when I first started got spread across the nation and could be seen on the websites of like 60 audiology practices. Hold up, there’s more. I also had to help our web guy build websites and landing pages that were also exact replicas of those that came before them.

By law, I don’t think I was allowed to call myself a writer. I think my legal title was ‘clone-smith’. It was like a sweatshop but instead of Banana Republic shirts, I was churning out landing pages and websites. At least those kids were probably proud of their work. I wasn’t. Typical millennial.

My other grievance was, I just didn’t like it there. For starters, we began every day with a meeting. I came from a job where I hardly had to interact with anyone and now I was having to tell everyone what I was working on for the day. Who cares? It was the same thing every day: copy, paste, repeat. Then we had to talk about our “wins” from the day before. And a “win” could be anything, like a Facebook ad approval or a successful day of copying and pasting. *Side note: I use a Mac but at this agency, I had to use a PC and did you know that keyboard shortcuts are actually not shortcuts on a PC? Some of them require 3 keys. THREE! Who has that kind of energy? Seriously, the 90s called and they…. Anyway, doing your job was a “win”, and after every mention of these “wins”, we had to clap. You know how annoying it is when you see a social media post where the person has inserted the clap emoji between every word? This was like that but in person. We basically handed out participation ribbons in the form of claps. By June I had zero claps to give.

Once we were done communicating in person, we’d return to our assigned spots and communicate via the app Slack. First off, we shared a single room office so if you needed to ask anybody anything you didn’t even need to turn your head because we were so close to each other. I never understood what the point of using Slack was. We even had different channels, one for work and one for bullshit. I hated it. In an attempt to fight the man, any time somebody would send me a message I would just look at them and respond verbally. It made not one impact. While people giggled at each other’s “Slacks”, I silently wished the internet away.

It was the world’s happiest office for everyone else but I felt like Peter from Office Space, only I didn’t have a Michael Bolton or a Samir Nagheenanajar to share in my pain. I hated it. I hated the work (copy, paste, repeat – with a mouse!), I hated the meetings (fucking clap clap clap clap clap), I hated my boss’ catchphrases that EVERYONE would adopt. I didn’t like when Paris Hilton would say “that’s hot” on a loop and I didn’t like when my boss’ answer for everything was “that’s cute”, either. Also, if your answer to everything is “I’m into it”, just stop reading now. Go away.

The feeling was mutual, too. I could tell my boss really couldn’t stand me and I didn’t blame him. He’d created a fun environment for people just entering the workforce as well as those who needed a break from their former grown-up gigs and I just couldn’t buy into it. I had nothing to put in a portfolio. Nothing I wanted to show off. Nothing that would get me to my goal. All of this added up to me being a fucking nightmare employee, at least for my boss and the COO (who, BTW, used to swap out the ‘Tue’ in Tuesday with his last name because it rhymed. Some real “case of the Mondays” shit). I didn’t want office parties or ping-pong tables or video games (they weren’t even the good kind where you shoot zombies. Pfft.). None of that typical startup shit was going to get me a book deal. All I wanted to do was write things I wanted to write, which can be viewed as ambition or as entitlement. Whatevs. I had #goals.

For an entire year, I felt like I was wasting my life. On a scale of one to Charlie Sheen, I had completely lost my mind and, what was worse, on a daily basis I feared that the work I was doing to pay the bills would make me lose my voice as a writer. That terrified me. My days revolved around being boring and I was neglecting my blog (PS, this is the explanation behind my hiatus). By the end of the year I was so sick of audiology, hearing aids, hearing tests, ears, and anything associated with sound that I began to daydream about how I would quit. When I worked at Guitar Center in my early twenties, the entire region received an email from a guy on his last day of work that was full of those Chuck Norris jokes but instead of Chuck Norris he used his name. It was brilliant. I wanted my departure to be aces like that. But by now you know how things usually go down for me.

In the end, they let ME go. I know, right? And it’s not even because of the obvious like never wanting to play ping-pong or be the office DJ. It was because they wanted me to sign a non-solicit and proprietary information agreement and I wouldn’t. That’s it. My boring job ended in a boring firing.

I had my reservations about writing this because a) as I recapped my time there I discovered ok, yes, I am the epitome of a millennial and, b) there were actually a few people there that I genuinely enjoyed spending time with. But, as all 4 of you know by now, most of my stories have a point, and this one is no exception.

I fucking hated that job. There were days where I’d arrive and be sick to my stomach. I would sit in the parking lot contemplating driving home and getting back in the bed. HOWEVER…. I actually learned a lot about digital marketing there.

At the time I couldn’t see it but it turns out, there was a bigger picture. Had I not have taken this job I wouldn’t have learned the skills that got me a position handling the digital marketing (social media marketing and all) for my gym – a job that allows me to work from wherever, be around people I already love (I work out with all of them), and gives me the time to write again and focus on my blog as well as a book project I’m working on for a friend. I even received my first paid offer writing jokes. Ironically, the gig was writing jokes about the audiology world. Typical. The point is, I’m in the best position possible and I don’t think it would’ve happened if I hadn’t put myself in the most miserable position possible. And while I know it’s hard to believe based on what you just read, I’m incredibly grateful for that time.

Oprah has a saying (or at least she claims it as hers, but if Oprah says she said something then I think we just need to agree that she said it): Do what you have to until you can do what you want to. There are some people who are able to skip ahead and get what they want without having to struggle. Good for them. I’m not one of them. I like to think of my time at this agency as “paying my dues”. More dues will be owed as I go but if the end result is a better position, then I’m ready to pay up.

So, if you’re in the position I was, or if you’re thinking of taking a leap that could possibly get you to your goal, do what Oprah says. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s there. It might be blocked by hearing aids and ping-pong tables, but I promise, it’s there. God, it feels good to be back.

 

 

 

The Best Part About Picture Day is Nothing

So, I’ve been at my new job for a week. I love it, except for one thing – I had to have my picture taken for the website. I’m not photogenic AT. ALL. On top of that I’m, apparently, ridiculously allergic to mountain cedar which is at an extreme high right now. Thursday was picture day and my eyes, no, my entire face was swollen. Our graphic designer received my picture and asked me what I wanted him to do with it. This guy is one hell of a graphic designer. He had to touch up Tony Stewart’s promo picture and the result was Mr. Stewart looking about 10 years younger. The possibilities were endless for my photo! BUT, I declined. Unfortunately I was not able to let him touch up my photo…

One of the first tasks I was given at my last actual marketing job was to switch out all of the staff photos on the website. It was awful. First off the marketing job was in retail and as you may know, the turnover rate in retail is high, so switching out photos is almost constant. But that wasn’t even the worst part. Because I also do graphic design a lot of the staff asked me to make them look skinny or alter their photo in some way. After about the 5th person those requests lost their novelty and then I lost it.

I blame all of these apps that can make you look like a completely different person. Listen, I’m no exception when it comes to not always posting my unaltered photos – lord knows I use the shit out of Instagram filters. But I’m not using apps to give myself a different nose and slim myself down about 15 pounds. That’s one step below using someone else’s photo altogether.

“Can you make me look different in my photo?” Yeah, I can, but then I would be catfishing customers because the only way that’s going to work is if you print out your altered photo and wear it like a goddamn sandwich board. Also, I’m not trying to be accused of being a wizard. Once people find out I’m a wizard the requests will never end and each will be more ridiculous than the previous one, just like in those Bud Light commercials.

The point is I told everybody no. A) it was going to be way too much work than I was interested in doing and, 2) I thought everybody looked great the way they were. On top of that they were all photogenic, a trait I lack. So everybody had to deal with their photos as is, I was not changing shit.

Skip to last Thursday and I immediately thought of about 23 things I would change about my photo. But right before I told our graphic designer what to change, I had a flashback of the tantrum I threw about changing everybody’s photo and told him to just leave it. I had to. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. I felt like it was a very grown up decision I made, and that was some bullshit. The moral of the story is: The next time it’s picture day I’m hiring a make-up artist, hair stylist and someone to do lighting.

Why My Blog is Called ‘Typical Jenn’ and Not ‘Everything is Coming Up Millhouse For Jenn’

Yesterday I was super excited about getting my MacBook fixed. Here’s how that ended. First, the back story:

The first marketing job I ever had required me to learn graphic design so I could create their advertisements, as opposed to outsourcing. However, they didn’t want to pay for the software I needed so instead they downloaded a hacked version and put it on my computer. 3 computers later I buy myself a MacBook and a friend gives me a copy of the Adobe Suite (a legit one), so our IT guy installs it. Or so I thought. Eventually my MacBook went on the fritz.

The cursor developed a mind of its own and moved like it was having  seizure and for added fun it switched pages on me. It was possessed. Whoever I pissed off in a past life came back as my cursor and really fucked with my head. One day I got so pissed that, and I didn’t know this was possible, I fazed. It turns out you don’t have to be a man to turn into The Hulk. If my computer didn’t work then no one else’s would. I went back to my original employer, who screwed up every computer I used while working for them, and smashed every single computer in that place.. in my head. In reality I hammer fisted my track pad, rendering it useless (unless you like rubbing the skin off your fingers). And the cursor? Apple cursor = 2, Typical Jenn = 0.

After I left, my next couple of employers had computers for me to use and eventually I got an iMac. On Monday I start a new job and while they’ll be providing me with a computer, I still wanted to take my own but can’t really afford to buy another MacBook right now. Still hadn’t occurred to me to get it fixed, UNTIL… My current employer took 2 of our office Macs to a local computer repair guy and told a tale of the guy fixing both Macs, installing a new hard drive in one, and basically making them like new for only $500.

If those 2 only cost $500 then surely my haunted MacBook wouldn’t be too costly to repair. So last week I call the guy and he explains that he’ll be out of town but I can drop it off this Wednesday. I was stoked. I even put a computer sticker on yesterday’s date in my new, obnoxiously happy planner so I wouldn’t forget. I arrive at his office ready to hand my MacBook to this wizard who is going to make it work again. I walk up to the door… it’s locked. The only note on the door says if he’s not at the office it’s because he’s on an appointment but one can drop off their computer at an office next door, as he has an agreement with them that allows them to serve as a drop off. I’m weary of this but decide, fuck it, he’s a magician and must be swamped so I’ll comply.

This was at about 10:30 AM. I ended up having a busy day at work as Wednesday’s usually are for us and I’m also training the guy that’s replacing me. (Side note: I think he has a serious addiction to Apple products. I’m convinced he thinks I’m Siri because he keeps asking me questions and expects me to answer them. It’s so annoying. I don’t know how teachers do it.) Anyhoo, it wasn’t till about 6PM that I remembered my computer. He’s busy, I thought. I’ll check in in the morning.

So, at 10AM this morning I call him. His phone isn’t accepting phone calls. I’m trying to stay positive because I really want my computer fixed and I want it now because he did it for my boss so he can fix mine in the quickness too so I want it working today even though I haven’t touched it in almost 2 years. So I call the office I dropped it off at and they inform me he hasn’t been by. My optimism has turned into “WHERE IN THE FUCK IS THIS MAGIC HEALER WHY HAS HE FORSAKEN ME.” I let them know that if I haven’t heard from the computer witch by this afternoon I will be by to pick up my silver paperweight. Between then and lunch time I call his phone repeatedly. Meanwhile the new guy is rudely interrupting me with questions like “I think I messed up, how do I fix this?” and “what does this error message mean?” Some people.

My boss and I had lunch with one of our main clients and on the way he took me by the supposed computer guru’s office to see what the deal was. His office was still locked and the woman in the open office next door informed us that she hadn’t seen him since last week. She hadn’t even heard from him. I called his phone again, and it was still not accepting calls. Typical. This would happen to me. Since then I’ve been on the phone with other techs and finally with Apple, who’s genuinely doing their best to help me and who I should’ve gone to in the first place, but it’s just fucking typical that I would be ready to fix a computer I haven’t used in 2 years and had no intention of ever using again and was going to put it away and show to either my future kids or my niece how MacBook’s looked in the past and we would all laugh and I wouldn’t be considered a hoarder because this thing is considered a relic and right when I think I’ve found someone who can fix it without me having to drive to the Apple store, he disappears. At this point I’m not even convinced he existed and my boss probably brought computers from home and made up that whole story about this mysterious man and the number I called was probably a ghost number and that ghost is probably the one living in my MacBook and now it’s: Apple Cursor = 3, Typical Jenn = 0.

 

Another Year, Another Blown 31 Days of Halloween

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve managed to blow yet another year of Typical Jenn’s 31 Days of Halloween before the 31 days was even up, and I was off to such a good start! My goal was to post something Halloweeny every day and then I got to day 8 and fell off. How does this happen? I guess I should be happy that I’ve gotten this far because I’ve wanted to do my 31 Days of Halloween for a while and this is the first year I’ve actually done it, or at least attempted to.

I love Halloween. I love all things horror. I love videos that show proof of the paranormal and I love hearing people’s stories about their paranormal encounters – which is why I love the YouTube channel Top 5s. I love it all. But every year it seems like Halloween becomes more and more… meh. Not to me, that’s just the overall feeling that I get. I partially blame it on being a grown up and having to do grown up things (I do not use the word “adulting” because that word is fucking stupid). When I was a kid Halloween was everywhere, you couldn’t escape it. Every advertiser got into the spirit, every commercial was Halloween themed. Now it feels like the only thing I can rely on is the SyFy network; they played A Nightmare on Elm Street marathon all day yesterday which I happily watched while working around the house. SyFy just gets me.

Yesterday my husband and I went to Lowe’s and there was Christmas shit EVERYWHERE. I mean we walked in to Christmas Snoopy flying his Christmas airplane right at us; it was a great metaphor for their attack on Halloween. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, I’m just not ready to get excited about it until around Thanksgiving.) And then there was the Halloween stuff, off in a sad little clearance corner. Halloween isn’t until next Tuesday and they’d already put the Halloween stuff on sale! I shouldn’t be so annoyed because it’s like this every year, but every year businesses seem to start with Christmas just a little sooner than the year before. They might as well make Christmas year round and be done with it.

And then there’s the Hallmark channel. I know, I know, my first mistake is watching that channel but hear me out: I have to sleep with the TV on and I like their night time programming, specifically The Middle. I love that show, and by the time the Golden Girls (love that show, too) comes on I’m ready to fall asleep. Well, you know what these Hallmark jerks are doing? They’re starting their Christmas movie programming next Monday. That’s right. The night before Halloween they’re going to start showing every shitty Christmas movie they’ve ever created. I don’t even know how many that is but apparently it’s enough to ruin my night time viewing until January. TILL JANUARY. For Christ’s sake, how can you possibly come up with more Christmas movie plots? Two people, maybe a kid who helps bring them together, snow, a Christmas tree. How many movies can you make out of those four things?! At a time where every movie seems to be a remake I don’t know whether I should be pissed or impressed. I’ll just stick with annoyed, I guess.

Then there’s having to do grown up things, like work and not let the house burn down. The majority of my posts are written while I’m at work, so naturally I’m infuriated when I’m interrupted by a phone call from a client at my place of employment that I currently need to pay my bills and survive. Don’t they know I’m busy?! And it’s not just work. Earlier I had to call Walgreens which then led me to have to email their corporate office. Below is the actual message I just sent them, it explains everything.

From me to Walgreens: I’m currently sitting on hold waiting to refill a prescription. That’s not what I’m writing to complain about. I’m writing to complain about the on-hold message and music. I legitimately feel like I’m about to lose my mind. First off, if I close my eyes and just listen to the on-hold music I’d swear I was sitting in a funeral home. I’ve heard elevator music that was more pleasant. And good god, is it necessary for that recording to come on every 15 seconds like a goddamn egg timer? The fact that I’m listening to this depressing on-hold music is enough to let me know that the staff is busy and will get to me when they can. I’m OK with that. I’m not OK with that recording reminding me like it’s the hearing version of Chinese water torture.

I was on hold for 11 minutes. Not a big deal, except have you any idea how many times this recording came on? I’m officially insane. Thank you.

In conclusion, ditch the funeral music, get some enjoyable tunes, and limit the recording to once every 5 minutes. You’re welcome.

You see what I’m talking about? Having to call Walgreens took me away from this post for a while (about 15 minutes but still). It’s also things like that that take me away from doing the stuff that I want to post about. Example: I’ve been wanting to post about The Town by Bentley Little, the problem is I’ve been trying to read it for almost 5 weeks. It’s only 327 pages long, and I’m still on page 17. I’m going to finish it, hopefully before Halloween because I’d like to include one more post in my 31 Days of Halloween, and also because it’s almost due back at the library and I can’t renew my checkout because I’ve already renewed it once. ~sigh~

Anyway, I may turn this into Typical Jenn’s 365 Days of Halloween and just post about horror stuff whenever I come across something awesome. Or I may take a page out of Hallmark’s book and get my shit together so I’m more prepared for next year. And I’ve already got the first post: The Town by Bentley Little.