Category Archives: Life

Creepy, annoying or brilliant marketing?

About a month ago, I opened my mailbox and found a thick white envelope addressed to me with no return address. At first I thought that the label was machine printed junk mail some jackass marketer disguised as a hand-written personalized letter to me, but upon closer inspection I realized it wasn’t. Someone actually took the time to hand-address this envelope. Then I got sketched out. I didn’t recognize the hand-writing and there was no return address so this letter had to be laced with something bad. (Paranoia, another long term side-effect of unemployment). But then I thought “what if someone died and left all their money to me?” So there I stood on my porch in my house pants holding this non-descript letter thinking “poison or money?” 

I decided to chance it, ripped open the envelope and unfolded a full page (8 1/2 x 11 college ruled) hand-written letter. Getting excited and starting to dream about all the things I could do with this new-found money, I started reading. “Dear neighbor…blah, blah, God’s kingdom, blah, evil-doers, hell, fire, prayer…” and then it went on to quote verses and chapters from the bible trying to recruit me to join. After picking my jaw up off the ground, a number of thoughts rushed into my mind, including:

  • You have to be kidding me…now they’re coming at me via the U.S. Postal Service and they are spending money on stamps in this economic climate?
  • What happened to the street crew that used to knock on my door, did they get laid off or something? I enjoyed answering the door as a recovering Catholic sporting level 1 house pants, fully packed black undereye bags with a wine-glass in hand before noon.
  • What happened to their silent prayers for me and when did I get labeled as an evil-doer? Is this because of my effing swearing problem? 

Creepy, annoying or brilliant marketing?  I’d have to say I personally experienced two of the three and I’m going to describe it to you as if I am tasting fine wine (why not, I am bored). The letter opened with notes of creepy and as the words danced across my palate, flirting with my nerves was a strong sense of annoyance, but the experience ultimately finished with joyful amusement at the thought of everything funny I could do with that letter.  While I doubt that one of their campaign goals was amusement, spreading awareness was probably on the list and I helped build on that because that letter ultimately got tucked into the sleeping bag cover of my visiting sister. Next time she unrolls her sleeping bag, she’ll be made aware, likely get weirded out, and then laugh realizing it was me (because I did something like this before with a VHS Jesus-tape that was left on my porch…hmm…is someone trying to tell me something?).

As for brilliant marketing, a friend suggested this idea to me a couple weeks ago saying “pretend your favorite clothing designer hand wrote and personalized a full page letter to you, wouldn’t that be exciting?” Despite my lack of style so much so that I’m worried Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear may show up at my door anyday, my friend is right. If the person sending this letter had been anyone other than this marketer, perhaps I’d have experienced that excitement. Guess in my case, their targeting was slightly off.

Disclaimer. I realize that talking about religion is a taboo subject, but I just thought this particular story was an interesting example of an average consumer’s reaction to mailbox marketing. I don’t think any one religion is better than another.

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Filed under Marketing, Random thoughts

Facebook break-up

Dear Facebook,

I’m sorry, but this relationship is no longer working for me so I am breaking up with you for the following reasons.

  1. You are addictive and now I’m forced to attend voyeurs anonymous.
  2. You promote unfair competition. Like my baby is cuter than yours. My vacation was better than yours. My relationship is amazing. I have more friends than you. What about the people who don’t have these things you heartless bastard?
  3. I don’t care to receive virtual gifts, you jerk! Why don’t you spend the money and buy me something real!
  4. I also don’t like throwing fake ass snowballs. Next time it snows, it’s on. You and me in an open field. I’m gonna pelt your ass.
  5. Daily you destroy my faith in relationships by allowing people to update their relationship status. I mean, is it really necessary for me to see someone go from “single” to “married” to “divorced” to “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” all over the course of a week? Are all these people on Match.com or something? 
  6. You fuel A.D.H.D. and people are popping Adderall just to keep up with you, the Twitters and all these other technologies. Are you sleeping with someone else, perhaps someone in the pharmaceutical industry? Is your next cool feature going to be a virtual Adderall pill so that everyone can keep up with the happenings of their Facebook-Twitter empires?
  7. You’re an idiot and I don’t know how to operate all your stupid settings. Where is your instruction manual?
  8. I don’t need 224 friends so quit trying to make me have so many! It’s hard enough to keep up with the ones that actually know my phone number and my birthday.
  9. Now my empire expects me to post funny status updates so that I can keep them entertained while they are at work. I don’t need this kind of pressure, Facebook. Finding a job is hard enough! If they want me to keep posting, they’d better start paying for my services.
  10. You are a complete waste of time. As an unemployed person, I have so many better things to do with my day like getting off my ass and enjoying this kick ass weather.

So Facebook, I hope you enjoy your 250 million friends because now you have one less…or soon you will once I can break my addiction, jackass!

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Filed under Life, Rants, Technology

McDonald’s billboard ad targeting unemployed?

McDonald's Billboard Ad Targets Unemployed

McDonald's Billboard Ad Targets Unemployed

You may have seen this McDonald’s billboard ad on the north side of the bridge heading east towards I-5 from West Seattle and I am fairly confident that this ad campaign is targeting the unemployed.  “Three reasons to put your pants on.” Who else could it be targeting, nudists? As an unemployed person, these are the three reasons why I am offended:

  1. They are called “house pants” not just pants, McDonald’s – get your facts straight! And you should be forewarned – all levels of house pants are considered appropriate attire for drive thrus so be prepared to see everything from airstream trailer printed flannel to holey work out pants. Oh and one last thing – these pants usually come strapped to some unshowered insomniac speaking a language you don’t understand -so watch out!
  2. This type of food is not allowed in the Muffin Top Reduction Program and just because we might be packin’ a muffin top, doesn’t mean they actually like your cheap greasy ass food. In fact, mine prefers ice cream!
  3. Unemployed people are rarely up before 10:30 when breakfast at your establishment supposedly ends (or is it 11…cuz nobody seems to know!), so this ad isn’t going to bring in a bunch of unemployed people…UNLESS you start serving bloody mary’s. Then, we may roll in hungover to get one of those and an Egg McMuffin.

So, next time you’re planning your ad campaigns and want to target unemployed people, consider hiring me as a consultant ($65/hr). I am after all an expert on the unemployed creature.

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Filed under Life, Rants, Slightly amusing

Gorilla-napping

Back in May, I knew gorilla costumes would become the next big thing and yesterday, someone actually had the balls to steal a 6′ animatronic gorilla in broad daylight from a local garage sale! In case you’re wondering, no I am not the thief and I don’t know the jerks who stole this work of art, but you better believe that if I had bought my own costume back in May, that thing would be put to use today as a crime-fighter!  

gorilla

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Filed under Life, Rants, Slightly amusing

Do you need a Snuggie?

I realize it’s a little hot yet to be making these kinds of decisions, but Fall clothing lines are already hitting stores so you may want to ask yourself if your wardrobe this Fall should include a Snuggie? The chart below might help you decide.  And, if  you’re still on the fence, maybe having a canine partner in crime sporting the same Snuggiefied look will help! Recently released – Snuggies for doggies! I can’t wait for the next Seattle Snuggie Pub Crawl. Who’s in?

Snuggie Graph

Snuggie Graph

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Filed under Outfitting, Slightly amusing

“What is your company’s policy on Monday absences?”

It’s hot. I want to get outside and find a pool of water, so today I’m not going to spend a lot of time crafting up a post about how my cats are whining for me to unzip their furry cat suits. Instead, I’m simply going to re-post something from SavvySugar that gave me a chuckle yesterday.

Hiring Managers Share Their Not-So-Fond Interview Memories. Click here to read full story.

It seems like every hiring manager I meet could write a novel of bizarre interview moments. My pals in charge of hiring recently shared their own memorable outtakes, and CareerBuilder rounded up responses from 43 interviewees that stood out in the minds of managers. Here are 10 that stuck with me most.

In response to “Do you have any questions?”:

  • “What do you want me to do if I cannot walk to work if it’s raining? Can you pick me up?”
  • “What is your company’s policy on Monday absences?”
  • “Can I get a tour of the breast pumping room? I heard you have a great one here and while I don’t plan on having children for at least 10 or 12 years, I will definitely breast feed and would want to use that room.”

In response to “Why do you want to work for us?”:

  • “My old boss didn’t like me, so one day, I just left and never came back. And here I am!”

In response to “What are your assets?” (as in strengths):

  • “Well, I do own a bike.”

See more memorable responses when you read more.

In response to “What are your weaknesses?”:

  • “I had a job candidate tell me that she often oversleeps and has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.”

In response to “When have you demonstrated leadership skills?”:

  • “Well my best example would be in the world of online video gaming. I pretty much run the show; it takes a lot to do that.”

In response to “Is there anything else I should know about you?”:

  • “You should probably know I mud wrestle on the weekends.”

In response to “Use three adjectives to describe yourself”:

  • “I hate questions like this.”

In response to “Have you submitted your two weeks’ notice to your current employer?”:

  • “What is two weeks’ notice? I’ve never quit a job before, I’ve always been fired.”

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Filed under Job search tips, Slightly amusing

Goodbye unemployment

Don’t panic! I’m still a lady of leisure which means that you will continue to read stories about my muffin top in house pants! However, a handful of LOL crew members are saying goodbye to unemployment. Within the last month, four people got jobs which means they get to wake up early, shower daily and collect a decent paycheck – congrats! I can’t remember what it’s like to shower daily, but having four less stinky people in the world wandering the streets in Snuggies has to be a good thing!

Anyway, one of the newly employed in our crew wrote a little piece about what she learned during unemployment and I thought I’d share it will all of you. Enjoy.

Goodbye Unemployment: A Valediction. I have been employed for about three weeks now and it looks like it is going to stick. So, I figured it’s time to officially bid adieu to unemployment, homage style. A-hem.

What I learned while unemployed

The lessons of unemployment were frustrating at times, but ultimately fruitful. It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention, and unemployment was nothing if not a season of mandatory ingenuity. I learned to reach for my library card instead of my debit card. I expressed shock and awe to find that the rubber stamp library of my youth was now a self-scanning, multimedia haven of ways to humor oneself. I learned that lo and behold, West Seattle wasn’t all stroller mommies and cycle dads, and that there were more than a few fun, young, fascinating single ladies like myself ready to paint Alki red at a moment’s notice. I learned that it would take three times longer to find a new job than I thought it would. I learned how much my fiance loves me when I had to lean on him for financial support. I learned there is no financial substitute for feel-good moments like the natural beauty of Lincoln Park, the adrenaline of a bike ride, or the endorphins from a great deep conversation with a close girlfriend. I learned nights in playing board games or going for a walk can be a lot more fun than a fancy dinner out, especially when it is somewhere snobby and overpriced like Saltys. On the flipside, I learned you don’t have to sacrifice style for budget (thanks Sazerac and Cafe Presse). I learned to actually use the stuff I had by learning more about the capabilities of my digital camera and my mac, rather than adding new bewildering technologies to my life. I learned to find lost treasures in my closet and create fresh styles from old clothes rather than purchase new things. I learned volunteering can be just as fancy and thrilling as going out (wooh ArtsWest). I learned that your life passion doesn’t have to be all-consuming, and that just because I quit my last job to write a book doesn’t mean I can’t do a new little job on the side. I learned that you don’t have to save yourself for the perfect job. Settle for a job that’s less-bad than your last one. Most importantly, I learned that you are not your job. Many employed people are just as miserable, listless and frustrated as unemployed people. And no matter what job you end up taking, you’re still you. It’s your friends, your family, your personality, and your hobbies that define you, not your working gig. Last of all, I learned that Coming to America never gets old. Never.

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Filed under Life, Random thoughts

An insomniac’s guide to communication

As many of you know, I’ve been sleeping like shit for several months now and I think I’ve finally reached full blown insomnia which is what I consider a late-stage side-effect of unemployment. I keep having the biggest brain farts and it seems my first language (uh…English, duh!) has actually become my second language. I’ve started calling my new first language the “language of insomniacs” and today I thought I’d post some tricks of the insomniac trade; a survival guide of sorts to help fellow insomniacs communicate in the waking world. And, for those of you who aren’t insomniacs (lucky bastards!), this guide might serve as a translation tool should you encounter an unemployed insomniac person who’s trying to speak, but you don’t know what the hell they are saying. 

Overview. Insomnia makes it difficult to verbally articulate anything. Stringing sentences together so that it’s coherent is close to impossible and sometimes you completely use the wrong word in a sentence. For example, this weekend I said to my boyfriend “is the grill ready for refrigerator?” What the f*ck does that mean? So yeah, I do this kind of thing all the time now and I’ve decided that rather than beating myself up about feeling like a stupid dip-shit, now I’m just turning every brain fart into a game.  

  1. The sentence above  “is the grill ready for the refrigerator?” makes no sense UNLESS you’re playing a “word game” and then it makes perfect sense! I’m trying to tell my boyfriend that there’s something in the fridge that needs to go on the grill without telling him what that item is and now he needs to guess.
  2. Trouble stringing sentences together? No worries! If you speak a second language like Spanish or French, why don’t you try speaking your second language first!  Maybe insomnia only impairs your ability to recall your first language. Now, if you are like me and don’t remember any of your high school Spanish unless you’re sauced in Mexico, then you’ll have to try something else. I have resorted to using sound effects and animations to try to get my point across! This has really become my new insomniac primary language and I call it “charades with a twist.” 
  3. Misplaced items? If the coffee carafe ends up in the cupboard or the cereal box keeps ending up in the fridge, then you’ve got the makings of this fun insomniac game! I call it the “sleep deprivation scavenger hunt.” Just tell the human you live with that you’ve designed a scavenger hunt inside the house with various household items and when they find all the misplaced items, you will bake them cookies or something.

Well, I hope this was helpful.  Doubt these tricks will work in a job interview, so it’s probably best to only play these games with friends and family. Oh…and if you find any typos in this post, they aren’t typos jerkface-person-who-sleeps-well! Remember, we’re playing a “word game!”

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Filed under Mental Health, Sleep trouble, Slightly amusing

Make this your “Summer of George”

Seinfeld fans out there know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who don’t, watch the video clip below. Most days Seinfeld character, George Castanza, is overflowing with useless information except in this episode where George gets laid off and decides that he’s going to make this the “Summer of George.” That he’s really going to do something with this time off and he’s going to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down his chin.

Maybe we should all follow in the footsteps of George. Why not? We’ll never get this time back and the minute we step back into our employed lives (wherever that may be), we don’t want to be kicking ourselves saying “I wish I had done more with my time off.”  It doesn’t mean we don’t still job hunt. It just means that we need to try to have a life outside the job-search and quit worrying the hell out of the day.

So what’s stopping you from making this YOUR “Summer of George?”

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Filed under Life, Sanity tips

5 things to do before you get a job

  1. Get a freaking tan. The sun is out (or was) and a good dose of Vitamin D will improve your mood. Men - your super white ass upper thighs need to see the sun for once in their life. Strap on a Speedo. Grab some SPF and head to the beach. Get creative with it. Own it. Flaunt it. Life’s short and what’s the worst that could happen? You burn your white thighs and someone may gawk? So what? When they start to gawk, walk up to them wearing “it” and ask them if they have any Grey Poupon? Why not? You’ll get a laugh. They’ll get a laugh. Everybody wins!
  2. Go on a vacation. Get out of town. Get away from the job-search, soul-search, date-search. You don’t have to spend a fortune. The goal is to shake up your ordinary routine. The routine that’s being forced and not responding to the pressure.
  3. Take a day hike during the middle of the week. Get in your car and drive 45 minutes east on I-90. There are a ton of day hikes with incredible vistas. Bring some Scooby snacks and enjoy the sights and sounds. Remember, your employed friends are enjoying the sites and sounds of cube farms across America. Weee!
  4. Have a BBQ party at noon on a Wednesday, even if it’s just with yourself.
  5. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Wear that Speedo. Start that hobby. Take that drive. Make that call. Whatever “it” is might just be the thing that opens doors to the next big thing.

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Filed under Random thoughts, Sanity tips