Notice the sarcasm?

Nemo / Pixabay

Okay, so this is going to be kind of a rant… You have been warned.

I have this moment of disbelief when someone tells me that they know someone who would be perfect at “doing social media as a job.” The statement is usually followed by an explanation that this person is on all the networks, spends a lot of time on them, has a lot of friends, and “knows what they’re doing.”

The disbelief is followed by a burst of amusement. This is the equivalent of saying that someone is qualified to drive in Nascar because they have a long daily commute. They spend a lot of time doing it, so they must be ready to do it professionally.

::notice the sarcasm?::

In my world, social media is a business. We apply marketing and communications principles to the messaging. Posts are tactics, and they usually have a goal of some sort. And the goal has a KPI of some sort. Yes, we measure. We measure a lot. We measure on schedule, and learn from the results. And make improvements.

All of this requires some knowledge of how social media works, and how it impacts your business’ bottom line. And this is true if your business is a non-profit, a food truck, a school, a freelancing business, or even a blog.

What makes you think you can do my job? What makes you think that my job is so mind-numbingly easy that anyone can come in and just do it, without any training of any kind? What makes you think you have the knowledge and insight to tell me that I’m doing the job wrong.

In my world, social media is a business. So let’s treat it as such.

image source: Nemo / Pixabay

Sorry for having a moment of levity

In a moment of weakness I agreed to do a favor for someone when I don’t have the time and really didn’t have the inclination. I’ve come to regret that in a major way.

I’ve been out of town quite literally watching my grandmother die one breath at a time. It’s an excruciating experience.

I have been unable to meet with the “contact” for this favor. I sent a brief email explaining that I was dealing with a family issue and would contact her as soon as I was available again.

Tonight I got a message telling me that since she saw that I was posting “fun and informative updates on Facebook” she was going to assume I’d resolved my family issues and was available to meet. My reaction is not printable.

I explained that I advance post many many of my updates and that my grandmother had in fact died in another city, where I was staying for a few weeks (nowhere near the actual state where the meeting would have happened), so I was just a little bit too busy for her volunteer activity. In other words, back the fuck off!

Yes, I’ve been posting the odd little moments of my day as I move along — the truck stops and the weird food and the moments of hilarity that have made these weeks bearable. And now, because I was too stupid to say no when I should have, she expects me to justify this.

I will remember her name.

Image source: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

It’s a sign

The point at which you realize that you’ve been having nightmares about work… maybe it’s a sign that you need to change where you go every day in exchange for a paycheck. Maybe I should consider a change?

ramicm / Pixabay

I don’t have the right clothes for that!

2014.02 suitIs it reasonable to pass up a job opportunity because you don’t want to “dress up” on a regular basis?

I once had a job where I had to wear business gear every day. That means wearing women’s business suits, complete with the low heels and the buttoned up jackets. The job itself was not that bad, I never did enjoy the “costume” required for it.

In fact, I had several jobs like that — a few in corporate America, one in politics. I don’t want another one.

One of the things I like about the job I have now is the fact that I get to be comfortable, or as comfortable as someone in my job can be. But that’s honestly one of the very few things I like about it these days.

So, as I go to a job I like less every day, is it a reasonable response to automatically discard the mere idea of a job that might be better long-term just because I don’t want the inconvenience of dressing up?

I didn’t think so. I’m just not normal and that’s not news.

2014.02 dress-shop

A day of running…

There were 5 minutes between meetings held in different buildings…
four meetings in a row, scheduled every hour on the hour…
a walk-through when my lunch hour was supposed to happen…

a dozen phone calls trying to track down the person whose approval I need before I can take the next step…
a phone call from her 10 minutes after she sent me an email asking why I hadn’t responded…

an email from a manager explaining how her employee won’t be able to finish the project she created, for which she volunteered and asked for others to put in time, for which she didn’t respond or meet deadline for three weeks, and, really, I was expecting her to do too much since it was due next week and she just got the final files because they’d been waiting for her to pick them up for said three weeks…

the email where I was told that all the decisions made in the walk-through had been overturned by an assistant and would I please let everyone else know, including those who had cancelled meetings to attend…

18 emails giving me information I need for a written update, with essential facts dripped into each of them, buried in prose and poetry…

reading an email “conversation” between twelve people over a period of three days that ended in 129 separate emails…

deep breath and stretch before walking into a room with people who want to tear me to shreds in the name of doing their jobs…
hold smile and no reaction when people who are supposed to be my allies try to push me off a ledge…
don’t smile at all as I push them instead…
mental image of dousing others in gasoline in setting them on fire…

cup of coffee, more coffee, and more coffee…
desperately looking for change for the vending machine…
grabbing handfuls of chocolate from my coworkers candy jar…

looking at the clock and realizing that once again I am not going to make it to happy hour…
hoping I have liquor at home…

and the day’s not over yet.

**written on my ipad **

Even though they’re imaginary, the bruises still hurt

Photo courtesy of Sander van der Wel via

You told me where to stand, what to say and when to smile.
I did that.

You told me what the goal was, where the line in the sand was being drawn, and what the finish line was.
I surpassed it.

You wanted the red redder, the blues bluer and the golds to shine.
I made that happen.

And I did it while you were gone, concentrating on other things.

I expected a pat on the back. I expected a “job well done.”

Today I had to take a deep breath and tell others that the reds and blues were wrong. That we weren’t supposed to use gold. That the finish line they thought we had reached, in fact, was somewhere else.

Today I had to scramble and rush and make things up to justify tossing dirt on clean floors. And the words sounded false and stupid even to me. And I looked stupid to others.

I stood there and took the hit for doing what I was told in exactly the way I was told to do it.
I took the hit that should have been yours.

I think I might be done.

* * *


  • This was written a few months ago and post-published, for my sanity and to preserve the anonymity of those involved. But if this applied to you, you know who you are.
  • Photo courtesy of Sander van der Wel via
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