The Most Evil Boss Ever


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What "Watch the Stove" Taught Us About Social Media

Who'd ever thought a staple that goes back for decades could present a fresh concept in how we present social media postings?
Fast. Affordable. Lends itself well to variations like bacon and mushrooms. But Hamburger Helper as a rapper? At first, I thought about intellectual property rights that may have been violated. However, it was that cute little white glove drenched in liquid gold that drew me in.

In case you haven't heard, the April Fool's prank was the brainchild of General Foods and Adweek has the details behind the viral mixtape. The five tracks are modern hip-hop influenced rhymes that mostly talk about the Hamburger Helper and cooking in general. If one weren't listening closely to the lyrics, it could easily be mistaken for a Top 40 hit worthy of twerking across the floor.

Since the golden years, the instant casserole has been popular with those who either hate to cook or don't have the time. However, this will most likely present a renewed interest in the budget-friendly meal preparation. Why? Because social media is great at sharing good news but when it's something really unexpected...people are quicker to hit the share button.

Before you dig up your lost poetic efforts and set them to music, consider how your brand could benefit from sending your followers a nice surprise. Has content gone stale? Is your cat tired of being photographed because you heard pets with paws were the hot trending thing three years ago? Maybe your inner thespian is ready to come out in a video marketing campaign you've been toying around with.
Remember, the opportunities are endless.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ladies..Aren't You Glad These Days Are Over (pretty much anyway)?

 This clip is from the 1950s where women had to announce to their employer when they were getting married, bending over backwards (compared to today) to prove they were competent for the position (bearings inspector sounds like an assembly gig) and the stereotype that women made things more "complicated".  Enjoy watching Brad get his draws in a bunch because he can't handle a little estrogen.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

When Contradictions Go Wrong

In my many years of working, I've seen variations of favoritism and other foul acts committed by the powers that be (TPTB).  And it's one of the things that at-home workers or small business owners don't miss because often it's too easy to find opportunities elsewhere.  Anyway, most of us can relate to having to take that entry-level gig to get to the mountain top.  This includes people who have to work at Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, where they're obviously treated unfairly.

I get that places like Hooters have set a standard of sorts when it comes to the look of the help (because the food is highly overrated, IMO).  They want to sell some level of appeal, like healthy bustlines, a nice smile, or long flowy hair. 

Now the latter is problem in the linked story and it's a moment of confusion for me.  During my time in hospitality, long hair was a no-no.  It can get caught in equipment and though all hair sheds, short hair is best but a ponytail is better.  The goal here is to protect the establishment from a lawsuit, right?

Akua Agyemfra is the woman who wore long, flowy braids to her interview but is being condemned for wearing her natural (read: Afro) style in a nice, conservative bun.  And now she has to deal with lawyers because it's a form of discrimination and the unwillingness to taint peoples food with product-coated hair shreds.

Tell me, can a bun prevent people from being engaging, detail-oriented and nice? Those were the basic qualifications of being part of the service industry.  I've seen people (yes, men AND women) with hair product ad-perfect locks and the worst attitude because their agent forgot to call them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Average Help is Hard to Find

This is a true story that is kind of funny.  Last week, my elderly aunt went missing.  She got in her vehicle to drive to my cousin's home but never arrived.  She's been going through some things that come with age but refused to let age stop her from getting around.

After several days of waiting and fearing the worst as days passed, a Silver alert was put out by local police.  My family in TX had to take a crash course in Media 101 to get the story to the local news and social media.  Then it happened.

A nurse at an Arlington hospital just happened to have the news on TV when my aunt's face flashed across the screen.  That face matched the face of a new patient the staff only knew as "Vi".

The story is that my aunt missed the freeway off-ramp, got lost and ended up at the hospital after getting involved in a hit-and-run.  The other driver got away and she wasn't hurt but was taken by ambulance as a precaution.

Upon arrival, my aunt's memory was on leave so she couldn't give staff her full name or the name of the nearest living relative.  As the days passed, my aunt had food, shelter, and a place to lay her head - for several days.  No questions asked.

She told us that she wouldn't let staff hold her purse and the police was never called.  No one gave thought as to whether this woman has a family or loved ones.  My aunt has an easygoing disposition and was probably nice to have around but who does this?  I suggested that the staff open her belongings in her presence but by this time, she was found and the Silver Alert cancelled..

While the thought of being able to crash somewhere under the condition of no questions asked may be nice.  However, due diligence would have saved the hospital money as well as the nerves of her loved ones.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Looking to Sharpen Your Developer or IT Skills?


While looking for some leads for my biz, I ran across an ad for Girl, DevelopIT! in one of those feminist magazines and here's the summary -

They have chapters in most major cities and offer hands-on computer training for everyone (yes, men are invited).
  • Most classes are evenings and weekends.
  • The prices are low and there are scholarships available as well as volunteer opportunities where one can earn a free class.
These classes have a laid-back, no pressure vibe and if someone is looking to get into web development or just understand web languages like HTML and CSS better, I'd recommend this over most colleges and some vocational schools don't offer the advanced stuff like AJAX, JavaScript and Perl training.

I took the FTP class a couple of weeks ago and so far, I haven't been pressured to join any groups (they have a Meetup page) or buy anything else.

Friday, January 29, 2016

When Work at Home Gets Tough

Maybe you’ve been at this and you’re very successful – so much that you don’t feel right trusting someone else.  Or, you are finding your rhythm but barely keeping up with bills.  As working at home is becoming a new ways of life for many, adjustments must be made to stay afloat.  
While the monotony of performing a single task on a salaried job is history, sometimes keeping different functions going (production, marketing, and clerical tasks) can be draining after a while.  If you have an assistant, this can be good or ….?

Unless a person knows that an assistant will hang in there through feast and famine, just the thought of getting an email stating their resignation can give one pause.  So the best thing to do is stop and find out what small areas can be worked on while you’re tackling the big projects.  Catching things early can also help in matters where a large order or sudden increase in sales has taken over your work at home life.

Here are some simple suggestions for getting ahead so you can take time for self -

  • Keep a notepad or small calendar to take notes on hand at all times.  This can be to record ideas, set deadlines or milestones.  The idea here is to reduce time in front of computer screen and enjoy fresh air.
  • Make a schedule if you haven’t started already.  Some may look at this as stifling the creative process but staring blankly into a screen, or worse, visiting recreational websites during work time can make matters worse.
  • Keep a stash of fresh content nearby.  For those who work mostly online, keeping engagement going for marketing and promotional purposes is a challenges.  Instead of running to an outsourcing company and going through a screening process, upload quality content with good keyword balance that can be quickly tailored and ready to go.
  • Take advantage of scheduling posts.  While some want to keep up with trends as they happen when it comes to social networking and promotion.  Programs like Hootsuite can save time by having the popular social networks accessible within one website.
  • Find a marketing assistant early in the game.  Not all virtual assistants are the same, some have paid experience in fields like healthcare, real estate and other reputable professions.  Networks like the Virtual Assistants League has a plethora of individuals who care about bringing quality work to their clients because their reputation depends on it.

What it comes down to is that starting over can be hard.  Many have done it and few have come back stronger than ever but it’s amazing how small changes, as well as timing, can make the difference.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Outdated Writing Opportunities Should Be Free

People don't pay for these for a reason!

Back in the summer of 2009, I noticed something about Borders inventory of music books.  Without thinking, I picked up coffee table books loaded with vivid color pics of just about every relevant recording artist from the 1950s to present – for less than $10 and weighing about as much as a domestic cat.

I couldn’t quite figure it out at first until I remembered my Library Assistant training years before.  Books that refer to the deceased in present tense must be sold or destroyed immediately.  I was still in shock over MJ’s passing and so badly wanted for him to be chilling on an island somewhere.  The drastically reduced (75% reduction from original list price) book was confirmation this was not going to happen.

So as I’m getting more into freelance writing, I realize that the death of content writing companies, paying guest blog posts and other mediums do not get the same homegoing.  Sometimes, the only way that people know a site is no longer in business is through a discussion forum.  Occasionally, there might be a first-person account about a writer getting stiffed.

However, I’d like to know why I am still paying to find out that Squidoo, Helium and Yahoo Voices are accepting content.  Even worse, is the addition of places like Content Authority that pays something like $0.002 per word and seldom accept submissions?  In other words, things you can find out for free.
Stephen Davies has some good information in his writing books but I got burned (again) last year when he mentioned through his LinkedIn group that his writing book had been updated.  It’s one thing to have limited uploads but to see Suite 101 as a prospect in 2015 is a bit disappointing.

So should this be a rule when selling books that relate to e-commerce?  Some say that things change so fast it’s impossible to keep up.  On the other hand, $5-7 for an e-book can mean a lot to someone on the financial rebound.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Top 4 Free Work at Home Sites

When I wasn’t studying for my pesky math requirement for college last year, I was perusing ads for new places to write and get other online work.  Effective in February, there will be a sidebar of seemingly legit (and free) sites to find long and short-term work in the virtual world.

These were judged by upload time, layout, and current data available.  Hopefully, there will be more to come in the New Year but here my review and a link.

All Stay at Home – this has the best layout and the most categories since many who work online have multiple streams of income.  I found out about many legit leads in other lines of online work.

Penny Hoarder- this is another site with a wealth of information and leads that include ways to save on purchases and everyday items.  Not a fan of scrolling images but I’ll take it over big text blocks any day.
Real Ways to Earn Money Online – Blog owner Anna T. gives an honest take on companies and anything she doesn’t know, she will take the time to insert a Glassdoor (or similar) link for readers to gauge for themselves.  Also, like ASH, she has an incredible database that’s updated regularly.

Workers on Board – this site offers two benefits.  Besides an extensive database that is broken down into many categories, visitors can earn money by posting their online work experiences.  Just sign up here and after going through a quick pre-employment assessment, you can get paid to post your opinions on this site as well as many others of your choice.   The first step is just to eliminate those who have limited conversational English and spammers.  As far as I know, this site uses PayPal only.