Saturday, March 19, 2011

Technology and Employment

My radio talk show was cancelled several months ago, and while I have been pursuing employment within the broadcast and journalism industries, and doing some freelance writing, it's become painfully obvious I need to get ANY job. Partly because of money, but mostly because I am bored out of my tree!

I miss dealing with people!

I took to "pounding the pavement". I printed off a ton of resumes and dropped them off at various spots around the city.

The thing I found funny was, two of the places, both within the same corporate fitness business, when I dropped off the resumes, I knew ahead of time, that both locations were hiring because I saw the positions posted online.

BOTH of the young women that accepted my resume said it was best for me to also apply online. To me this sounded crazy, as isn't the best way to size someone up in fact not on a computer screen but to see them face to face and get a "feel" for their personality?

The more jobs I apply for, which now I am expanding to all over the country, I'm finding that companies would much rather you simply fill out a form online and attach your resume
When I was about 10 and wanting to volunteer at the hospital, my dad helped me with a resume and cover letter (not much info as you can imagine) but he insisted I attach a photo so they could see what I looked like. My dad, as an owner/manager said he liked to see who he was going to be talking to/hiring.

I'm curious to know if managers/owners just don't have the time to meet with people face to face and with the technology we have now, such as resume "screening" software, does that take away the need to meet someone personally? Obviously, you'd like to meet the person before hiring them, but do headhunters see a resume and go after some individuals sight unseen? I would imagine that's not new but it would really depend on the industry and the qualifications required.

I just think something is lost, and I almost feeling like I'm "cheating" or being extremely lazy just applying for positions online. Plus, I think it's a confidence and character builder to apply in person. It takes guts.

I have always been taught, if you want something bad enough, you need to go out and get it. And sometimes you need to do jobs as a "stepping stone" to something better.

Getting a job is about feeling confidence in your abilities.

I think that's best communicated face to face.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Text Aversion

I think I've figured it out and it's no one's fault but my own.

I have an aversion to texting because I am awful at small talk. I prefer phone or face to face conversation because I lack the ability to shoot the breeze with no purpose at all to the conversation.

Does that make me a snob? I think it does. And I'm the worst kind of snob because I don't THINK I'm a snob at all!

See, I really am genuinely interested in what people have to say, seriously! I fancy myself as a good listener, I like to hear what make people tick, why they are the way they are, everyone's got a story, right? However as of late I've been observing the way I get when the conversation has no real meaning or purpose for me or if the topic doesn't interest me in the least. Or maybe someone continues to make the same glaringly obvious bad choices in their personal lives.

I am a snob *sigh*.

It drives me nuts when I am having a lovely chat with someone and their smart phone is sitting right on the table and is going off because someone is texting them while they are talking to me. I expect to be the centre of attention, at least while we're talking. That could be viewed as pretty self-absorbed.

Or perhaps it isn't so self-involved but aware of my own self-worth. Aware that chatting with me is something to be enjoyed without distractions and visa versa. Maybe it's about respect.

There are things I want to shout to the rooftops about sometimes! Occasionally I have someone to rant to but mostly, it just swims around in my head. When I have a captive audience, I want to get it all out!

But I am not good at small talk. I know this about myself. Please understand if I don't reply right away to your text about stating the obvious like "It's wet outside today!"...

I am a texting snob.

Monday, February 14, 2011

V-day and Romance in a Tech World

It's Valentine's Day and while most people would agree, it is an occasion created by retail, it does put some pressure on couples to come up with some semblance of a romantic atmosphere.

And guys like this one, who proposed to his girlfriend at a movie theatre where he had designed a "trailer" of their courtship using Muppets and invited all their friends and family to be in the audience... as the proposal is at the end... oh and she said "yes" by the way... are gushed over by scads of women for their well-thought out plan...

Here's the video trailer he created

I think that there's nothing wrong with romance and having a day to remind us in our busy lives to slow down and appreciate the people in them, mostly for those who have been together for many years.

I didn't always think this way.

I think the trouble arises when we put, and perceive, unrealistic expectations. I have to lump myself into this category, as I was one of these people in the past...

I have never made it a secret that I prefer face to face conversations and if not that, voice to voice... but sometimes that's not possible.

Some people are romantic and some people are not. Some people are fantastic with expressing their emotions, some people find it difficult. Some people can write a love note like nobody's business. Some prefer to belt it out in a song or a dance. Sometimes a funny video from or a sappy quote found on a website, expresses one's feelings better than they can.

On a day like today, where romance is an expectation, what exactly is it that you expect?

I think for the most part, I'm not going to make friends by saying this, but for the most part, we women put  fantasy-like expectations on men that have not in any way, shape or form, displayed in the past that they are really that romantically-inclined. And furthermore, if you have some dream-like ideal of what you THINK you may be showered with and it doesn't come to fruition, you can't blame the poor sod, you can only blame yourself.

Appreciation is the key.

So maybe just a simple text of undying love or playful flirtation may be all the fella can muster at this point in the relationship. Maybe that would be the end for some or a wonderful beginning for others.

Maybe some guys don't even bother because the pressure to do something you'll love is too much to bare.

You can't change anyone, but you can change how you perceive them.

I can only say that once you stop putting expectations on people and accept them for the truly unique beings that they are, that's when real love rushes in.

And that's nothing you can create with technology or otherwise.

It just happens.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ready to Confess?

While it raised alot of eyebrows this week, especially those practising Catholics, (I'm an RC=Retired Catholic) the Vatican has made it clear, there is no substitute for sitting in the confessional and dishing all your dirt to the priest, standing in for the Big Guy.

The headlines were of course designed to draw readers in but if you read deeper into the articles about Confession: A Roman Catholic iPhone app, you'd realize, the whole purpose is just to get you to examine your conscience... in other words... get all your ducks in a row so you don't forget to confess ALL your sins when you get into that little closed off room.

This is directly from iTunes:

"Designed to be used in the confessional, this app is the perfect aid for every penitent. With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool."

And here's the link to the app itself!

For any who were raised in the Catholic church, you'll remember as a young person that the Sacrament of Penance was one of the most intimidating of all the practises. I'm not sure if everyone's experience was the same, but in the 8th grade, we had to take religion classes in preparation for our premier visit to that little house of sin. We were told what constituted a sin, that the priest represented God, and that as long as we confessed everything, and did the Acts of Contrition the priest told us to, we would be absolved of all of the wrongs, of course, until the next time.

In walks technology and ruffles some feathers. We all know that church-going numbers are dwindling, regardless of the doctrine or discipline, so what better way to top-up the collection plate than to charge a buck or two for a smart phone app that makes you feel like a better person?

Is that really the purpose? Not likely but I think the Roman Catholic Church is trying desperately to save face and appear "hip" and embracing of new technology. Something's got to take the attention away from all those lawsuits involving priests preying on children.

While I think it's a farce, in a way, you've got to commend the Catholic Church for at least creating something other than "bad press" and trying something new.

Will it bring people back through the doors and into the pews in droves?

About as much chance as Father Guido Sarcucci has of becoming Pope.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where did the time go?

It's February all ready! The most misspelled of the months!

I could muse that time disappeared because I don't have a fancy watch. But I still HAVE a watch, it's just a monster men's Timex with Indiglo and giant numbers (so I can see it in the middle of the night without glasses!) Plus it has a black strap so goes with anything!

It looks something like this except I don't have a calendar, likely because mine is so ancient, and the face is a bit scratched up!

I do, however, own a cool Citizen Eco-Drive that was give to me as a gift by a thoughtful ex! It's swanky with a pretty iridescent face and of course it's "green" but I've never warn it, never even charged it up! It's close to this version:

I like to be on time, early usually. I think it's considerate, always have. Something my parents ingrained into me, therefore, I'm typically wearing a timepiece.

I LOVE the old school pocket watches that you can find at antique stores and the like! It was likely a million years ago that you'd see nurses wearing watches pinned or clipped to their uniforms. I'm not sure if they can wear them at the hospital today.

I've had discussions with several "fitness friends" who like the excitement of having a heart rate monitor/GPS/stopwatch at their disposal, well on their wrist, and of course I think that's the norm.

Most people like the gadgetry. I remember my dad being one of the first people in his social circle to own one of those Casio calculator watches with the tiny numbers you had to use a pen to press.

I wonder though, if because of smart phones, there are a ton of people out there that don't even buy/wear a watch anymore. I'm sure there are some people that have never worn a watch. I've worn one for so long, I feel naked without it. Even on vacation to a sandy, warm destination, I still clip it on my beach bag so I know when it's Happy Hour! 

How many of you out there find it absolutely necessary to wear a watch and how many of you don't?

As we age, time seems to become so precious. Not watching it per se but LIVING in it. Kicking up your heels and living in the moment. That, I imagine, becomes tougher when you are watching the seconds, minutes and hours tick by.

Perhaps being concerned about time, is a waste of it.

I find if I'm sitting with someone, having lunch or coffee face to face, if I'm enjoying the conversation, time whizzes by and I feel no need to check the time!

I guess we should fill our time with those kinds of conversations!

I try not to look at my watch when I'm having a conversation. To me, it means something else is more important than the person talking.

I have to admit though, I've used it as an excuse to get out of an uncomfortable date.

Yeah, I'm "that" girl, but at least I can own up to it! I'm not a saint, not in a million years!

But I DO like to be on time!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lesson Learned

I've always thought it's a delicate dance with interaction that is not face to face or even voice to voice. I've often wondered why people feel the need to send photos of themselves in compromising positions or various stages of undress to others, famous or not. Look where it got Brett Favre!

I recently learned a valuable lesson about texting and while it has nothing to do with naked pictures, it gave me pause.

I enjoy meeting new people! I am very fortunate in that I don't find it difficult to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. I met someone one evening, waiting for another friend, it was fun conversation but I left with my pal. I ran into the same new friend another evening when I was on my own! More conversation and we decided to exchange digits because we worked out at the same gym and actually had some mutual friends. This new friend is male.

So I see my new friend out once again, at a local establishment, and think I am being savvy by texting him to turn around and see me. The return comes back, "I don't know who you are!" to which I reply by text, "Don't you remember me?". Then I proceed to go through my photos on my phone and send him one of me, just a head shot, fully clothed I might add, all the while the guy is physically about 10 paces away from me! I have NEVER done that before, I usually walk right up to the person, smile and say hello!

The reply comes back, "I don't know you, but you're cute! What's your name?" Now I realize I have texted some random person and it turns out to be a guy too! To boot, my new friend leaves so I don't even get a chance to say hello, and realize I don't have his correct phone number after all!

Sadly, my mind always leaps to the lowest common denominator. Now a random guy has my picture on his phone and for all I know could be pleasuring himself to it. I know it sounds presumptuous, it's not like I was in a bikini or anything, I just have a gutter-dwelling mind!

Luckily, I see my new friend at the gym, but I don't get a chance to explain.

As technology friendship would have it, I get a "friend" request on Facebook from him. I explain what happened and he gives me the right number.

I didn't follow up with random dude, I thought it's likely best if I don't.

But somewhere out there someone has, or at least had, a picture of me.

From now on, I say hello to someone to their face, especially if they are steps away!

Let's hope the random hit the delete button!

Lesson learned the hard way!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eating Crow

I fear I may be served up a delicious helping of crow.

A dear friend passed away recently, not a close friend, but someone who had an amazing impact on whomever's life she touched. She had a massive heart attack and died at 50. No real indicators except that her blood pressure was high.

High blood pressure runs in my family. So does heart disease, both sides. I have always tried to maintain some level of activity in my life, different intensities at different junctures, for that reason. To keep my health on the up and up and to steer clear of having to be on medication.

After my friend's passing, I thought I should maybe test my blood pressure at one of those machines at the gym. I recently started going whole-hog into fitness again with some crazy goals, and had been feeling a bit light-headed, convincing myself it was from pushing a bit too hard. A friend asked me why I have to go so headlong into everything. I think it's just my personality. I have to be challenged or I get bored. In everything.

My blood pressure was through the roof! Every female relative on my mom's side is on blood pressure medication and I VOWED never to be on it!

I have a doc appointment in the coming days.

It appears my heart is a bit bruised from the things I have subjected it to in the past year or so. It actually personifies my emotional life in the same time frame. Ironic I suppose.

I fear one of the things the doc may suggest is exercising with a heart rate monitor, the same thing about a week ago, I was saying was unnecessary.

I think it's important because my health is important. I plan to be here for awhile.

I, by no means, know everything, never ever want to even hint that I do.

So for dinner tonight, crow. It won't be the first taste, and it won't be the last.

I'm sure it tastes great with salsa. Doesn't everything?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Technology and Getting into Trouble

By now everyone has heard of Ted Williams, the once homeless self-proclaimed alcoholic, with the velvet voice who was discovered through a YouTube video. As the story now unfolds, he has several children, still struggles with his addiction, and after an interview with Dr. Phil, is off to rehab.

How could no one see this coming?

When he was initially interviewed in that now famous video clip, could he have imagined that claiming he had been sober for two years could come back to bite him in the ass? Could he have ever fathomed what happened to him in such a short time?

Today, it appears Courtney Love may be involved in a precedent-setting court case revolving around disparaging comments she sent out through Twitter about a certain individual and her business. The woman is suing for "unspecified damages to her reputation and business". The story stems from a disputed clothing bill. Love took to Twitter to call the woman some not-so-flattering names.

The reason I'm thinking about this is I recently posted something on Facebook about the insane price of Lululemon headbands. I really like the company. I've researched it. I've even considered applying to work for them. So why then was I surprised when a friend read my status and said, "I thought you might want to work for them,".

I never thought about it. I just ranted. Mostly because I could.

I learned a valuable lesson and although I've never been really good at "censoring" myself, perhaps it's time I kept it in the back of my mind.

I have some pretty lofty dreams about my career. And I don't plan on letting go of them anytime soon.

And that leads back to Ted Williams.

I hope that most people are wrong in thinking this new found notoriety will lead to his ultimate demise.

Sadly, the price of fame and fortune has drastically changed.

It is relentless and takes no prisoners.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Car Wash - Can't they do better?

Here's the classic tune with a sexy scene from Cool Hand Luke... something for the ladies and the fellas!

Hard to believe it's from 1967!

Trying to clean the inside of your car in the winter is insane. Trying to clean the interior of your car with your dog IN the car is suicide!

But I had to do it today! During our daily jaunt, my pooch ate something unsavoury and puked it up in the car on our way to get coffee!

I know the new technology is supposed to make things easier. In fact, the car wash near my place actually has a "pet wash" room that you can clean Rover in!

Today, I had to vacuum then shampoo to pick up the puke. To be honest, I'm really bad at keeping my car clean. My ex brother-in-law used to scold me all the time saying, "Your car needs love,". He was actually worried that something heavy in the back may hit me in the back of the head, if I was forced to stop quickly.

First, I would never compare a dog puking in the car to a kid puking in the car. However, I'm pretty sure the kid wouldn't try to BITE and CHEW the vacuum nozzle while you're trying to clean it up!

The shampoo-er was a joke. I literally got more of a workout trying to maneuver the hose for the shampoo brush into the crevices that I wanted to clean, than I likely got at the gym yesterday. (Slight exaggeration)

After all was said and done it cost me $8... which I imagine is cheaper than getting the car detailed. That included me spending $2 on wipes that were exactly like baby wipes, they just were handy in the dispenser at the place.

All I could think of when I was there was, I wish I had brought my video camera. The dog was going nuts. I was dressed in snow pants because it was wicked cold outside today during our walk and I felt like a contortionist trying to finagle the shampoo nozzle.

No wonder this isn't something I enjoy doing, even in the summer!

The only good thing about doing it in the summer, is that I'm usually vacuuming up sand from being at the beach... and the good part about that... is BEING at the beach!

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, even though this technology is supposed to save you time and money, I think it still needs work.

Just my humble opinion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Road Less Travelled - Do I NEED a heart monitor?

I have never listened to what people told me I couldn't do. No, that's inaccurate. I have never BELIEVED what people told me I couldn't do, in fact that fuelled my drive even more.

When I trained for the 40k bike portion of a triathlon, long ago albeit, the motivation came from an ex who thought I couldn't bike, or at least thought that I wasn't very strong at it. A twist of fate, unbeknownst to me until the day of, placed him at the race I did, in the van that followed the cyclists, ready to repair a flat tube, or anything really. It was with immense satisfaction that I finished.

I didn't buy a special bike, it was actually the mountain bike I still have today! I rode it through rain and wind in TEARS, crying and talking to myself at ungodly hours.

I didn't follow ANY training regimen, I never even looked at a book, and Lord knows there was no then! I trusted my body and pushed. That was it.

That same summer, the guy that did the swim portion of the triathlon asked me to do a "try-a-tri" and on a whim, I agreed. I had NEVER run, only on a treadmill and I took swimming classes as a kid but did front crawl without putting my face in the water. My main motivation was to not finish last. I didn't.

I recently took up running again. Why I quit is for another post, I finally figured it out over the holidays.

The last time I finished a real race was in 2004. I trained for a half marathon and finished it. I never followed a training regime, I just ran the same distance everyday, with some hills, and tried to get faster. And I did one long run a week, including a trial of the whole distance, about a week before the event. I would never break any Ethiopian records but I didn't do badly for a first time.

By no means am I criticizing those that utilize gadgets to improve their training, finish, final time, whatever their motivation. I want to make that abundantly clear!

I just wonder, is it necessary?

I'm not a competitive athlete so most would say "no".

Frankly, I don't believe anyone needs anything else for running except a good fitting pair of shoes so your toenails don't fall off! Sometimes they do anyway.

I read a friend's blog, which is fantastic by the way, you can find it here. She discussed getting a new heart rate monitor this week.

Maybe it's because I can't afford one right now. Maybe it's because I have never felt that I had to have a "competitive edge". Maybe it's because I am Scottish and cheap.

Who am I to say that inspirations in the sporting world don't benefit from the state-of-the-art equipment, companies are falling all over each other to get them to use/endorse?

For me the answer came today on a fluke.

I was searching for inspirational videos on and came across a Nike ad. This was it.

There is a very small appearance by someone named Steve Prefontaine. You may have heard of him. I watched the movie years ago called "Prefontaine" starring Jared Leto but recognized Pre in the ad.

I remembered his inspiration. So today, before going to the gym, I watched half of another biopic about him called Without Limits. I watched the other half when I came home.

He didn't have a heart monitor, nor a Garmin, nor fancy running garb.

He loved to run.

His philosophy was, why hang back in a race when you can give it all you've got for the gamut.

He called it "chickenshit" to do it any other way.

He was different. Danced to a different drummer. Wasn't "like everyone else". He had no doubt in his mind that he could do it. And before his tragic and early death, he was among the faster people alive.

His short life was indeed an inspiration.

While I am not in the market to break running records, I believe I can do anything I set my mind to.

And it's because of Pre's story, and many many other famous and ordinary people that have come into my life.

The thing that propels you is not the equipment, but what's in your heart.

And in your head. Sometimes your head gets the best of you. I know mine has too many times to count.

So as tempting as it may be for me to put myself in the poor house and purchase gadgets I think I need, I'll take a pass this time.

But because I am obviously NOT a front runner, at least now, I'll leave it up for discussion.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! You're ruining your eyes!!!

It's that time of year when everyone starts anew! New goals, new commitments, new beginnings. It's also the most popular time for people to join or rejoin a gym.

I have made some fitness goals and luckily for me, I got my membership about a month ago and can go at odd times of day, as to avoid the inevitable ensuing crowds!

I was running on the treadmill on New Years Eve day. I decided to visit a club in the chain I belong to that's closer to my neighbourhood. I've been trying to run outside more but because of the rain, I chose indoors.

What I saw made me laugh out loud!

Not only were there TVs on every wall, like most gyms, but most of the cardio equipment had a TV console right on the front of it!

This isn't my gym and it's not exactly the same but close as I could find!

So there's a couple of regular channels you can surf through, like TSN, The Food Network, and Much More Music.

Am I crazy or is anyone else alarmed by how close that screen is to your eyes?!

It is seriously hard to run, or it was for me, with a screen that close to your face! Again, my eyesight is dwindling with age, but I don't suffer from vertigo nor is my peripheral vision deteriorating!

That screen is too damn close!!!

I looked around to see if anyone else noticed me laugh out loud.

Of course no one did because everyone, and I mean every single soul, at least there when I was, had a pair of ear buds in their ears!

We are drones! DRONES I tell you!

There isn't even a choice of running on a treadmill without the screen!

Don't get me wrong, I used to belong to another "chain" of clubs and they had a screen facing the spin bikes and you could actually do a class with a real instructor... but I don't remember being able to see the size of his pores, which I could most certainly see on Pink as I watched the MMM Countdown!

I know. I'm starting to sound like a curmudgeon... but I don't CARE! Someone has to notice these things besides me!!!

Can't wait till tomorrow when it's back outside :-)