Freelancing For Dummies

People will pay for the weirdest shit, and I’m not even talking about that one chick on TikTok who sells weird things like her used IUD. Or a former friend of mine who sold a picture of her tonsils to a guy on the internet for $30.

I’m talking about things like bot followers on Instagram or “life coaches”. You’re probably tired of hearing me bitch about that alleged vocation but I can’t help it. Why are you paying a 20-year-old with a trust fund $500 a month to give you life advice that they probably just regurgitated from one of Brene Brown’s bullshit books? It would be cheaper to just read those books yourself and furthermore, if that’s where the life advice is coming from then Barnes and Noble or Amazon can be your life coach.

Actually, support indie bookstores. Thank you.

I’m getting off track. The point is people pay for weird shit. And this is our gig economy. No credentials. No experience. Just tonsils and life advice from someone whose mom pays their phone bill. But guess what? It turns out that I’m a part of the very thing I mock (minus the tonsils and IUD and bamboozling people), and I’ve been trying to be a part of it since I was old enough to work (legally).

It all began when, at 16, I had aspirations of becoming a famous singer and making millions believing that if Britney Spears and Mandy Moore could do it, so could I. So I sent out hand-written essays to a bunch of record companies but when 2 weeks went by without a response (I can’t imagine why), my parents threw in the towel and made me get a job. Shitty stage parents if you ask me.

I worked for the local movie theater and then as a telemarketer before deciding that I needed a job that didn’t require my presence. That’s right. I was trying to freelance before it was a thing #trendsetter. I began looking in the paper for jobs that I could do from home.

*Side note: We did not have social media or Indeed back then and posing as an “expert on living” hadn’t been invented yet.

Anyway, I ended up finding a WFH job: selling Mary Kay make-up. Yes, kids. Younique didn’t invent that. Mary Kay and Avon did. The problem was it was door-to-door sales. None of this harassing people on Facebook and Instagram, NO. You had to do it in person. Like actually get off your IKEA sofa, put something other than yoga pants on, and go door-to-door, business-to-business and talk to people. TALK TO PEOPLE. IN PERSON. I barely like getting texts much less talking to someone. It didn’t work out.

The next want ad I came across was for a job stuffing envelopes. Perfect! All I needed was $399 and I was in. The problem was I did not have $399 and getting a job to pay for an envelope stuffing job seemed counterproductive. There was only one choice left: I had to own my own business.

20 years later I did just that. I’m fucking terrible at it. I started doing freelance digital marketing and because it’s not writing stuff like this, I’m not very good at it. Since starting my “business” I’ve picked up a few clients but instead of collaborating (which, ironically, I hated doing when working with a team) they want ME to figure out their goals and how to make them more money. Why do I have to do everything?!

The clients I’ve wrangled up are all small businesses which means they don’t have the biggest budgets to work with so I can’t do a lot and then feel bad for charging them for the work that I do complete. I’ve really only been successful with one of my clients and that’s only because I love the industry they’re in. So I guess I’m only good at things I care about. Well what other way is there?!

It gets worse. Because I have a problem prioritizing anything that isn’t paying me a regular salary, I would fall behind on tasks and lose clients. Listen, it’s real hard working on tasks that you invented yourself for clients whose goals you had to set and when it comes time to bill them you don’t know what to charge because you didn’t discuss a rate because you didn’t know what the scope of work would be till you started and had to make it up and that pretty much mean you suck donkey dicks at freelancing.

My entire life I’ve either wanted to work for myself or work doing something I loved. I’ve never bought into having to work a job you hate forever. I’ve never thought something impossible. Difficult to achieve, absolutely. Impossible? Abso-fucking-lutely not.

When it comes to work, I want to be a published author, write and sell my screenplays, write for others, and work in publishing. Oh, and I want to work as Head of Content for the Alamo Drafthouse. I don’t even know if it’s a thing but I’ll figure it out.

How I’m not going to get there is freelancing for businesses I don’t care about. So, aside from the one client I love, I’ve gone back into the workforce. That’s right, I got a big girl job. Also, it’s a remote position. It only took 20 years but I finally willed legitimately working from home into fruition. ME. I did that. It was exhausting.

I need to pay my bills but, more importantly, I need to make sure that I’m not juggling a bunch of bullshit so I can work on my writing and getting in at the Drafthouse.

My journey as a freelancer isn’t a total loss, though. Along the way to achieving my dream of not having to go to an office (and also not having to dress like an adult), I’ve worked some pretty weird jobs and think I have some good unconventional business advice to offer, because who better to take business advice from than someone who was horrendously bad at it.

Get ready to get better at things or worse at things. I don’t know, I’m not a life coach. If I were, I would be way better at this “gig economy” shit, and that my friends, is how IRONY works.

Dress For Whatever Job

If I had to use a story to adequately depict my life, it would be the one about the time I was in high school and had a huge crush on a guy named Albert who was super popular and a star varsity basketball player but had to settle for his twin brother who was the chubbier version of him and played JV basketball. Or, the time I wanted Rainbow Brite for Christmas but got Murky and Lurky (the villains – typical) instead. Things are always a bit B-team for me.

Take my job. After deciding that I needed a job that would help me pay the bills while I write, I landed a marketing/admin position with a company that basically serves as the Ask Jeeves of the Medicaid world: instead of Googling how to get Medicaid we do it for them. 

Yet, I take it seriously. Or at least I dress like I do. However, on Thursday I learned that’s not what gets you ahead at this place. 

So I’m sitting at my desk doing actual work for once when my overly-caffeinated chain-smoking boss walks in with a guy he introduces as James – a confusing moment for the guy because he recalled introducing himself to my boss as Chad. His name wasn’t important (to me or my boss, apparently); what I couldn’t help but notice was his appearance.

Chames (mashup because who knows what his real name is) walked in wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts (the kin with an elastic waistband), a haircut that would make the 90s jealous, and plain white tube socks. If I sound like an asshole I do not care – this guy was in the office for an INTERVIEW.

Chames and my boss walked into the conference room – which is 2 steps away from where I sit – and their meeting commenced at hushed volumes. I was being so judgmental that it never occurred to me that Chames was probably just undercover or that this was probably his schtick. 

As I continued to judge his attire and wonder what the hell was so secretive that they had to talk in a high school girl whisper, I officially quit what I was doing and started thinking about the other time I was in a situation similar to this one. 

Back in the day, I did marketing for a motorcycle dealership and one of our annual events was a bikini contest. In the event’s sophomore year we made the rookie mistake of hosting it during a national holiday so our entry list was pretty minimal. In an attempt to conjure up some contestants I was sent to the local strip clubs to try and entice strippers to participate.

OK, we held the contest at 7PM. There was no way we were going to get A-team strippers to compete in a bikini contest where the prize was probably a fraction of what they usually make. 2nd string strippers (you know the kind) was our best case scenario. 

Regardless, I went strip club to strip club speaking to club managers and building my immunities by posting flyers in the stripper’s dressing rooms. While waiting for the manager at my last stop, a girl walked in wearing sweats, her orange/blonde with black roots hair up in a messy pony tail, and no make-up. 

At first I thought, “oh shit, she’s looking for a stripper and it’s about to go down.”

Then she opened her mouth.

“How do you become a stripper?”, she asked with a twinkle in her blood shot eyes. 

There’s no fucking way she’s serious, my expression said. This is just a cover. She’s trying to find an in and then she’s going to beat up the stripper that her boyfriend used their beer money on. 

No. She was 100% (as the kids say) serious. The hostess was a true professional; she was even dressed like a strip club hostess (or dressed for success the way I saw it) and politely explained that the girl needed to come in looking presentable and ready to audition for the club owner. 

“You handled that very well,” I said to the hostess, to which she replied “that happens all day long.”

That day I thought 2 things. 1) I did not realize there were that many aspiring strippers out there and, 2) “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” is very good advice.

Or at least it was in 2010 when this happened. In 2020, nothing means anything anymore, and I have proof.

The day after my boss’s top secret meeting, he let me go. And you know who’s replacing me?

Ol’ tube socks. Chames is a salesman (clearly) and my boss needed to free up money to hire him. 

The moral of the story is this: like the girl inquiring about stripping (who I gave a bikini flyer to BTW because I was desperate), we’re all just trying to figure things out. My ex-boss (who pulled a ‘me’ because he is also desperate) is trying to figure out how to keep his company afloat, and I’m trying to figure out who used my credit card to try and buy a hooker on OurTime.com and bullshit on Vista Print a couple of days after I used my card to pay for my MacBook on my work computer. 

Yeah. My ex-boss fancies himself an IT pro so I found it interesting and not the least bit coincidental that a couple of days after I used the work computer for my purchase, my card got hacked. Could it have been him? I don’t know but I’m in the process of figuring it out. 

Yup, in 2020 we’re all just figuring it out. Update coming soon. 

“I’m Right On Top of That, Rose!”

“Sometimes in life, you gotta eat a lotta shit.” No wait, this one’s better: “Life is just one all-you-can-eat shit show.” I’m on a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel kick and I couldn’t have started watching this show at a better time.

Being an adult right now is terrible. Nothing at all like what I imagined, which was me rich and famous living in a mansion but still 12-years-old for some reason. Instead, I’m about to be 37, diving face-first into my plate of shit like it’s a pie-eating contest.

I’ve quit working for myself; I couldn’t do it anymore. I’m not a bad boss but I am bad at doing stuff I don’t want to do (like any good employee) so every day at “work” was like the eternal struggle between good and evil at my own desk. It’s a real bummer because working from home/for myself has been a dream of mine since I was 17. It all started when I worked at the movie theater and had to work on Easter, which meant I couldn’t hang out with my one friend. That was bullshit. I vowed to one day not work a real job.

Back then it was because I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. Now, well, it’s still because I want to do whatever I want to do but the thing I want to do most is to write things I want to write as well as write for all 13 of you. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. I got too busy writing content for three clients, each in different fields. One I know a ton about but the other two I know dick-all.

One is a pest control guy. The few things I know about insects are 1) NO ONE will EVER be able to get rid of all the mosquitos, 2) I discovered I wasn’t allergic to wasps when I got stung by one last summer, and, 3) thanks to my parents, I’m terrified of spiders because they made me watch Arachnophobia when I was 9 and to this day I can’t eat popcorn in handfuls because I’m convinced there’s one hiding in my bowl, just waiting for me to let my guard down.

The other client is a water treatment company. I know we need water to survive but I also know there’s a crap ton of places to get it, which isn’t a good PR campaign when you’re trying to push home reverse osmosis systems.

I’m sure I could make this work but it would be at the expense of my writing, and I’ve already wasted enough time writing about things that are about as funny as the office job I’ve since taken:

I’m doing marketing and admin work for a company that helps elderly people file for Medicaid. So far my favorite conversation with a potential client has been “I’m calling about the Medicaid eligibility form you filled out” and their response was “I did?” My plan was to find an office job (temporarily until I can get paid bill money to entertain you full time) that I could transform into the job I had a few years ago where I really only did actual work 2 days a week and read and wrote the rest of the time. As I write this, my boss is in a training so it’s working out so far.

But this is where I’m at. Back to square one. Doing what I have until I can do what I want to. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

First, I’ve completely forgotten how to be an employee (for a real business) and work in an office. You know they want me to help clean? Like I have to throw my own trash out. Does anyone else have to do this? Additionally, my “boss” tried to change my start time to 8:30AM. Originally we agreed on 9AM and then on my first day he tried pulling the ol’ switcharoo. I told him no, explaining I would not cut into my CrossFit time. He gave me a shaky “ok”. Who does he think he is?

It gets worse.

The diva attitude I developed while “running my own business” appears to be permanent. When he showed me to my desk I took one look at the computer and said “that’s not a Mac.” He set me up with an HP. I didn’t even know those still existed. He doubled-down on the subpar electronics by throwing in a laptop. Not a MacBook. A laptop. It’s an ASUS VivoBook, whatever the fuck that is. And by now you should know that my brain doesn’t see ASUS, it sees another word – one that adequately depicts the picture that I’ve painted for myself.

The other thing I’ve learned is nothing is supposed to be like anything. Failure is totally an option; there’s even a book about it. It’s called Failure Is An Option by H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Archer and Bob from Bob’s Burgers. Everyone should read it, mainly because it’s hilarious. Anyway, failure is fine. I thought leaving my job where I had an abundance of time to read and write for a content writing position would be the answer for me, but it wasn’t.

I thought taking that experience and turning it into freelance marketing/content writing gigs would be the answer, but it wasn’t. For me, I need a job where I only have to think about one thing so that my brain is free to come up with anus jokes and figure out ways to write about the things I want to (like books and movies and things that make people forget about the shit for a minute). Does working a real job suck? Yeah, kind of. I have to get dressed every day. I can’t wear flip flops. I have to drive somewhere. I only get an hour for lunch like I’m in prison. But I’m writing this from the office so it’s not a total let down.

The point is, it doesn’t matter how you reach your goal. What matters is, if you want it bad enough, you keep figuring it out. Sometimes things come easier for some than they do for others. Since I was a kid I’ve learned things the hard way. Fortunately, that makes for better stories.

Next week I’ll go into detail about how I royally fucked everything up. For now, I need to finish writing about the time I stalked the white Power Ranger so I can post that story on Friday, AKA National Power Rangers Day. I’m supposed to be working on my boss’s website but that can wait. He’s only been in business a year, I was in business for a year and a half. I think I know what I’m doing.

tenor

 

This Week on Typical Jenn

Hi hello! How was your week? Awesome, here’s what happened to me.

So, according to my husband, our roof is rapidly deteriorating. To me, that sounds like a colossal exaggeration. I don’t ever look at our roof when I drive up to the house but if shingles aren’t flying at my windshield then how bad can it be? Well, he says bad so we submitted a claim to our insurance company and a few days ago, we received our insurance check. As soon as I saw it I had a brilliant idea: find a cheaper way to fix it because we could really use the potential leftover money.

What do you mean “that sounds like insurance fraud”? It’s MY money. It doesn’t matter anyway; I didn’t even get to do it. I made the mistake of telling my husband my plan, to which he responded by calling the insurance company to ask if my plan was something we could do. Well, not anymore it’s not. THANKS. In his defense, ideas like that usually sound better in my head. When I have to actually follow through, I tend to lose interest. But still, he took away the possibility of committing insurance fraud.

Next up, a spying story. A client of mine is in a lawsuit with a former employee and needs help collecting evidence so he asked me and an employee of his to spy on the former employee. Yup. This was a for-real request. After my initial what-the-fuck-is-this-a-joke reaction I thought, maybe hilarity will ensue. Ok yeah I’ll do it.

Here’s how that went down: it didn’t. I couldn’t do it. I’m not stealth enough. I panic when I’m internet spying and my thumb accidentally brushes over the heart button. My anxiety can’t handle real-life spying. Anyway, I told my client I didn’t see anything which is technically true. I didn’t. Unfortunately for me, the other person he asked to spy did do it. And at the same time I was supposed to have done it. And she did see something. And sent the evidence to my client. Typical.

My takeaway from this week is: I’m bad at executing crimes. Just one more thing I suck at.

See you next Sunday for another exciting edition of This Week on Typical Jenn.

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.