Good Morning

It’s actually 3:43 in the afternoon, however, I am going to state that it is morning because I want to.

I am here to report that I have had two small wins in my legal action as of late. I’m holding off from celebrating anything because I know that even the small wins aren’t safe. Nevertheless, a small win is a small win, and two of them have been in my favour as of late.

I have a few job interviews this week. I think the fact that I keep getting invited to job interviews shows that people need someone like me in their office. The fact that no one is willing to pay me a basic living wage for living in Toronto kind of shows that it’s an issue with them and not with me. Perhaps I’m reaching? On the other hand, there’s no way any single person could afford to live in Toronto for less than $60,000. People accepting an offer for $45,000/year when they live in a city where basic closet-sized studio apartments are $2,000 + heat, water, internet and electric each month either have rich parents, or a rich partner to split the bills with.

I know that I’ve ranted about salaries before, but I just want to hammer home both to myself and anyone in the universe who needs a reminder – don’t settle. You know your value and you know what you’re worth. There are days that I forget, most definitely. But I’m only human.

I do still have a lingering ear infection from being sick in July. It just won’t go away and has been making my days feel a lot longer because of it. Perhaps that’s why I am forcing myself to believe it’s still morning.

Alright, bye.

I don’t know what to title my posts anymore, so let’s just title it with – Hey, sup?

The trouble with marketing is that everyone thinks they can do it.

They can’t.

Honestly, to be an effective marketer, it takes a great deal of empathy towards the human race. You have to seek out and really try to understand your audience, in order to create messaging that appeals to them, and is something they will remember.

The average person in the United States is hit with more than 1,000 advertisements per day. EVERY DAY. Does that sound like a lot? It’s not when you stop to think about the fact that between television, computers and our smartphones, there are advertisements seemingly everywhere. Add to that billboards, flyers, radio (for those that still listen to radio, or the non-premium versions of Spotify) in their car and the amount of advertisements continues to climb.

If we really want to talk about the nitty-gritty of marketing, brand labels are advertising as well. Are you wearing Nike’s today? You’re advertising for Nike.

All this to say that it’s easy to become one-of-a-million in the marketing industry, when what you really want is to be one-in-a-million.

Everyone thinks they do a better job than the next person when it comes to marketing their company. Everyone thinks they’re smarter than the next person. In all actuality, they’re not. I don’t mean to make sweeping generalizations of people usually, but in this case, I stand behind what I say when I say that the majority of marketers really suck. They don’t take the time to understand their audience, and because of this, never really live up to the business’s true potential.

Why do I say this? I say this because job hunting isn’t just exhausting in a world where recruiters are increasingly unprofessional with each passing day. I say this because it’s tiresome trying to explain to someone who knows nothing about advertising why he/she should hire me and why I can do a better job than they can.

Having the Director of a Marketing Agency ask me the importance of the Facebook Learning Phase, when he doesn’t even know himself the importance of the Learning Phase isn’t just infuriating, it’s embarrassing. These people that are running the industry of which I work are thriving on mediocrity.

It’s mean, I know. But it’s true.

For those who are curious, the Facebook Learning Phase is the stage of an advertisement on Facebook in which the algorithm isn’t entirely sure how to promote it yet. While the algorithm calibrates the audience, and delivery, statistics will remain low until 50 conversions are reached. Often times, once those 50 conversions are reached, states for a particular advertisement will skyrocket. In a sense, it’s like an uncertainty principle for Facebook. It’s smart.

You cannot outsmart the learning phase. You cannot bypass the learning phase. You cannot hack the learning phase. You cannot convince Meta that it’s unnecessary. It’s how the system was built. Stop advertising in job descriptions that you’re looking for a ‘Growth Hacker’. Growth Hacker’s don’t exist, and anyone anyone who tells you they can bypass learning phase is lying to you.

I know it sounds like I’m harping on one specific thing here, but this is just one example. There are thousands of examples similar to that of the learning phase. We can talk about any aspect of marketing – digital, event, print, programmatic, etc. I’ve been in this industry a long time and I’ve seen the worst of the worst. I’m telling you, the majority of the worst don’t often go viral and wind up on the Philip DeFranco show or trending on Twitter. The majority of marketing failures are just accepted for what is. People move on to more poor marketing, and.. it is what it is.

In the past two months I’ve turned down four jobs. I know that sounds ridiculous as I’m talking about the struggle of being unemployed, and like I’m causing this myself. To an extent, I am. But I cannot take another job this year that involves working for a shit boss who absolutely doesn’t understand marketing and thinks that I should be paid bare minimum to do exactly what they tell me to do when they really don’t even know themselves.

Marketers need to be better.

Marketing can be better.

Okay, rant over.

Wednesday

You are all far too kind giving my brother so much credit. I 100% guarantee that my brother did not wrap the AirPods, nor did he put a card in the package with them. I am almost certain his soon-to-be-wife added those touches, and the nice note to the package. If it were him wrapping and sending it, he would’ve taken the box from the store to the post office, bought the biggest envelope or box possible, so long as it was made, and probably would’ve spelled my name wrong under the “TO” column. lol

My brother is an extremely thoughtful person and a very good soul. But he’s definitely not the type to wrap presents like that. That has Mel written all over it.

I got new AirPods!

A little bit ago I mentioned that I lost my AirPods when I moved out of my house at the end of June and I was missing them dearly.

Well, I got some new AirPods.

My incredible brother, the one who knows everything that’s been going on the past 10 months, kept asking me why my sound was so bad when I was talking to him on the phone. Since I have a bad habit of putting my phone down and doing things while I’m talking, I guess he now was annoyed that when I moved to the other positions of the room he couldn’t hear me as well.

I told him he was on speaker these days because I lost my AirPods. He told me to buy a new pair and I told him I was dedicating all of my extra funds towards paying off debts/legal fees until this was all done with. He said that was stupid and that $150 was not going to break the bank. I said maybe not, but I was determined to pay off these debts as fast as possible because it makes me anxious being in debt.

My brother went to the store, bought AirPods and mailed them to me. He wrapped it in Christmas wrapping paper and included a birthday card. The card says “Now you’ve got your AirPods again, so I can actually hear you when we talk. Happy Early Birthday and Merry Early Christmas, your favourite brother”.

What a stellar human being he is. I can’t even with the thoughtfulness tonight.

My brother is a very good soul.

It’s Sunday.

Hey world, it’s me. I’m alive, and doing okay. I slept until 2:00 pm today. The joys of being sick.

Oh, if you didn’t hear, I’ve been quite sick. The good news is, that I am recovering now. It took three exhausting trips to the hospital but I am finally starting to feel as though I am on the mend.

One thing that I did learn while I was visiting the hospital is that the anti-depressants I’ve been taking since last November aren’t available in this province. I presently have three months worth left, but I am going to have to figure out what to do about that in the next three months. It seems like it would be a bit excessive to get on a plane every time I need my prescription refilled. I’m probably going to have to find a new doctor once I’m feeling better, because if I have to end up weening myself off of these, I’ll probably need at least a month, maybe two, to do that.

Unrelated – in July I earned $134.94 from writing on Medium.com. For anyone who’s been following along with that experiment, I’m told that’s more of a rarity than a regularity, so I’ll keep you posted as to how August goes.

Absolutely unrelated – The other day I decided The Office was an appropriate show to watch in front of my 11-year-old niece (she was over, I was babysitting/not really because she’s pretty self-sufficient). The Office is not a good show to watch with an 11-year-old, ESPECIALLY if you’re unaware of what that 11-year-old’s parents have taught her about sex. Unless you want to answer a lot of awkward questions with “Your mom will teach you”, don’t watch The Office.

If I ever have kids, I’m going to teach them about these things when they’re young. Like second grade, if not younger. I don’t want them to have to hear pop culture references and feel scared to ask their aunt about what’s happening – or have their aunt not know what she is/isn’t allowed to say.

That was an interesting tangent to take.

Educate kids. It’ll help them in the long run. I definitely don’t want any child learning about sex the way I learned about sex (from a strange man on the street).

Okay, this should end now because I am just ranting and I don’t even have kids.

Bye

A Story about my ex-boyfriend

Do you see the adorable creatures in the photo above? They’re precious, aren’t they? These two dogs belonged to my ex-boyfriend.

Gabe, the one with the short brownish fur, was the most loving, considerate little dog. He could tell all of my moods and would make his mood respond to mine accordingly. If I was happy, he was overjoyed to be alive. If I was sad, he would curl up in my lap and just stay there with his head down. He was the ultimate best friend.

Bruiser, the one with longish black fur, was the most protective dog I’d ever met. He would protect his owner come hell or high water. Though he weighed only 12 pounds, he had a serious case of big dog syndrome. I, in fact, recall one day in which he notified his owner of a moose that was in our walking path, and barked at the moose until the moose turned around.

These two dogs were loving in their own ways, their own very different ways.

They came into my life at the same time as their owner, right around the point in time when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I was going through a major transition with my career, and overall, I felt quite lost within the universe.

What I used to believe was some kismet sign from the universe that this person came into my life for a reason, I now realize was him preying on someone in some of their weakest moments. It was a charade, a long game rouse to make me feel as though I could trust when I shouldn’t have been.

See, their owner had this thing about him – though he came across as loving, thoughtful and kind, he had an issue with lying. He lied all the time. About everything. He lied so often that I didn’t even realize how often he was lying. Since I’ve now recognized that my biggest toxic trait is ignoring red flags when they’re presented to me, I look back on life with a new found focus. Hindsight really is 20/20.

One of the first things their owner lied to me about was his age. That’s right – he told me that he was four years younger than he was. At the time I thought he might have just… been insecure, thinking I wouldn’t talk to him if I knew how wide our age gap was. So, I chalked it up to nothing.

Over the course of our relationship, as he continued to lie to me, I continued to give excuses for him, rather than holding him accountable for his actions. (Again, toxic trait = ignoring red flags)

He would lie to me about where he was, what he was doing, who he was spending time with. While I didn’t know all of the lies were lies until much later, I did know some of them when they happened, and I ALWAYS made excuses for him. At one point in time he actually tried to hire hookers using his Facebook messenger. I made excuses for him. I literally saw him trying to hire hookers through Facebook messenger and I told myself that it was nothing.

I told myself that it was nothing because it was easier for me to not fight with him than to face the reality that he was a pathological liar, manipulator, gaslighter, and abuser. Please note that I am choosing my words very wisely here. Every descriptor that I have provided, are truthful statements. Contrary to what the police might think, I am not a jealous ex-girlfriend out to ruin a man’s life. (If I were, for starters, I’d use his name so that this story could live on Google for it to live on forever.

While in our relationship, I looked at it as a stable, steady relationship filled with love, care and strength. I didn’t see anything wrong, despite the warning signs in front of me. Looking back now, I can see all of the times I made a mistake in sticking around and that embarrasses me. I am truly ashamed when I think of how many times I should’ve left and didn’t.

Fast forward to the first time I did leave (yes, the first time. I am ashamed of that fact too).

He used to wake up earlier than me and head off to work in the wee hours of the morning. So it was common that I wouldn’t talk to him until after I woke up and I wouldn’t see him until after he was done work.

One April morning (after having lied to me that he renewed his driver’s license in February) I got a phone call from Registries (where you renew your driver’s license) and the worker there was stating that someone was trying to use my credit card.

It was him.

While I was sleeping, he had gone into my purse and took my credit card. Now, he was at Registries trying to renew his driver’s license – something he’d told me he’d done two months prior.

There were a lot of feelings at play here for me. I was angry – that he’d stolen my credit card. It felt like a violation of my personal space, information and privacy. I was angry that he’d gone into my purse while I slept. I was angry that he’d been lying to me for two months about having his driver’s license renewed. I was angry that every time we’d been driving around for the past two months, we were doing so illegally because he didn’t have a license. I was sad because I felt like I must be a bad girlfriend if he didn’t think he could come to me and ask me to borrow money. I was scared that if I didn’t go along with the Registries employee on the phone, he was going to get in trouble. I was confused as to why any of this was my problem – but, in a moment of weakness, I told the Registries employee that I’d given him permission to use my card.

After that point, Gabe and Bruiser could tell that I was sad and they kept me company all day. Gabe sat on my shoulder, nuzzled into my neck, and Bruiser sat on my lap, ready to bark at any time if the fridge made a weird noise, or if there was a neighbour walking by or anything. They were protecting me in my moment of sadness.

That night when he came home from work, he was preemptively angry with me. (This is where I realize the gaslighting comes in) He had worked himself up all afternoon, thinking that I was going to be mad at him when he came home (and rightfully so) that he worked himself into being angry at me.

When he came through the door I was given a decision – I was to forgive him, or I was to forgive him. That’s all there was to it. He didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t want to hear that I was angry with him, or why I was angry with him. He wanted it to be ignored, and for everything to be fine. He was very aggressive in his trying to convince me that everything was fine.

I told him that I did not accept that.

In a fit of anger, he went downstairs to… I don’t know. He clearly wasn’t interested in talking about what caused him to steal my credit card, so I decided I was going to go for a walk. Perhaps, if he was wondering where I was, it would prompt him to think twice about the fact that we needed to talk about how violated I felt.

That wasn’t the case.

He didn’t even notice that I was gone.

About an hour later, when he came back upstairs, I don’t recall exactly what he said but it was along the lines of ‘Have you decided to forgive me yet?’ Also that I needed to stop being a bitch to him and stop reading too much into this.

When I told him that I didn’t forgive him, he yelled. He screamed. He pounded his fist against his open hand. It was one of the scariest nights of my life, to be honest. I thought he might hit me. And, since he was considerably stronger than I, I knew it wouldn’t be good for me if he did.

The audacity of a man to steal his girlfriend’s credit card, and then be angry with her when she wants an apology. That’s the kind of emotional abuse that, looking back, I now realize I dealt with on the regular.

At this point, he decided that he was going to go to bed. Bruiser and Gabe were sitting on me, as they believed they were protecting me, I am sure. He called them and said ‘we’re going to bed.’ and something along the lines of maybe I wouldn’t be such a bitch in the morning.

Bruiser and Gabe did not go to him.

He called them a few more times and they did not leave my side. This made him extremely angry. More so than he already was. He said something along the lines of ‘You’re my fucking dogs, you’ll come when I call you’ and he walked over to me and ripped Gabe out of my hands, picking him up by the skin on his neck. The dog was struggling to breathe and he didn’t care.

When I told him he was hurting Gabe and that he can’t do that, he responded with something along the lines of ‘they’re my dogs, I can do whatever the fuck I want to them’ and he turned around and threw Gabe at the wall.

He threw a six pound dog against the wall.

It was horrifying. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I was so scared I couldn’t move.

Bruiser, realizing that he’d just hurt Gabe, started barking angrily at him as Gab scampered off towards the corner crying. In response to Bruiser barking at him, he picked up Bruiser by the neck and threw him against the wall.

Bruiser ran off immediately. He ran and hid in the far back corner under one of the beds. Gabe was still in the corner where I could see him. I don’t really remember what happened after this point, other than my saying I was going to call the police and that animal abuse could put you in jail. He stormed off out the front door, got in his car and drove away.

At this point in time, I scooped up Gabe and went to go find Bruiser. I couldn’t coax Bruiser out of the deep corner of the room under the bed where he was hiding, so I thought of what I knew of the dog, he would stay there all night and I could grab him in the morning when he came out.

This all took place in a very small town. I think the population was 5,000? There wasn’t anywhere for me to go. I didn’t know anyone except for my ex. There weren’t busses. I didn’t have a car. The one taxi driver in town stopped working at 5:00 pm every day. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of options.

So, I took Gabe and I locked myself in a room.

I slept on the cement floor of that room and Gabe stayed curled up next to me the whole night.

The next morning, I got my things and I left. I paid $100 plus dollars to get a ride to a hotel in a nearby town and I stayed there until I could get someone to come and get me.

I LEFT.

I should’ve stayed away after that.

I think it’ll probably be a decision that I look back on for the rest of my life with regret that I ever talked to him after that. But sadly, this was not the end of our story. Though I had left, I continued to answer his text messages and phone calls. I don’t know why. I would say love. Perhaps some of it was out of love. I think some of it was out of sheer, misunderstanding and stupidity. I wasn’t looking at how awful our entire relationship was. I was treating it like it was one mistake he made, instead of it being the cultivation of months of mistreatment, gaslighting and emotional abuse. I’m ashamed to admit that I talked to him after that. I’m ashamed to admit this wasn’t the end of our story.

Why didn’t I call the police that night? I can’t tell you. I was afraid? I thought the police might make it worse? I honestly don’t know. I should’ve called the police. Perhaps if I had, I would’ve had more strength to stay away after I left. Perhaps this whole story could’ve stopped right here.

But it didn’t.

Still positive.

Now, only after contracting COVID themselves, do the individuals that I live with believe it’s a good idea to start wearing a mask again.

HMMM.

It’s almost as if doing the bear minimum and putting a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth when you go to the grocery store can prevent you from getting really, really sick.

I took a COVID test today and it’s still positive.

Honestly, shout out to this province. When I was in Alberta, trying to find these rapid tests was like trying o find a needle in a haystack. Now, they’re everywhere. And, they deliver.

Life Updates.

I miss living alone.

COVID this time around has kicked my ass. I don’t say that to sound like I’m trying to scare anyone, I say that to say that as someone who’s now been through it three times – the third was the worst.

I still have a cough. My best friend is a nurse and she says the cough can last several months. I had a bit of a cough the second time around, but it was so much milder. I wouldn’t even compare as to how much more mild the second time was.

All that being said, aside from the cough, I think I am over the worst of COVID. I spent 7 ish days sleeping most of the day, and that really helped. When you have COVID there isn’t much else you really can do. (As I am sure a lot of you have realized) I did take some Tylenol, that I was told would help with fever. I felt like I was living in the Sahara Desert because I was so hot, so I don’t know how much the Tylenol actually did. We’ll call it a placebo at this stage.

Two of the people I am living with are still in pretty bad shape. Suffice it to say, none of us have been anywhere lately. My friend (the aforementioned nurse) has said that everyone seems to heal differently, so they could be sick for a while. We’ll see.

Also, I just want to say that when I am talking about all of the mess circulating around my personal life with bills and money owed and lawyers and whatnot, I’m just doing that to rant. I promise I am not asking for money. I would not ask someone to give me free money. This blog is my place to rant and always has been. So please don’t think that I am begging for money. At this stage, I’ve learned that the individual just took my personal identification information and essentially screwed me over… how does the saying go – seven ways from Sunday? So when I get new bills and learn of new situations that arise, I just want to complain. It’s not surprising to me that this stuff keeps happening though, not at this stage.

One day, when it’s through the courts, I will tell all about what happened to me and what specifically they did, to use as a warning sign for people to protect themselves and their identities. Until then, I just have to vaguely rant and then buck up and deal with it.

In other news, I had a job interview on Friday that was kind of creepy. The guy conducting the interview (which was done over zoom) asked me what I was like in high school, if I had a boyfriend in high school and some other really inappropriate questions for a job interview. I’m starting to remember how annoying it is to look for a job.

Perhaps I should’ve just accepted that job the other week. Though I really didn’t want it and didn’t think they were being fair, it probably would’ve, well I don’t know what I’m even saying.

To those of you who have been following me on Medium, I promised years ago I would provide an update on how well I do on the Platform. Would anyone actually be interested in learning how the platform works? It’s very similar to blogging, but you can earn money from the platform based on how often your stories are read. Well, I can explain it if people actually want to know how it works. Otherwise, though, I thought I’d share that they pay out monthly. July will be my third month in their earning program and this month, as of today, I have earned over $100 Canadian. As someone who doesn’t consider myself a very good writer, I don’t think that’s too bad for sharing thoughts/opinions.

I’ve been using the platform consistently for 3 months, trying to give it the real ‘go-getter’ effort, to see if it is all people brag it is – and it definitely takes time. But, as someone who isn’t a very good writer, I’m trying to prove that if you put effort into it, it can work.

Okay, I’ve been talking a lot. I have another job interview tomorrow. Hopefully this interview the individual doesn’t care about if I had a boyfriend in high school.

More bills.

Today I got a bill for $6,800.

Please, please, please don’t ever give your personal/financial/identity information to anyone. I don’t care if you can think that you can trust them. It’s just so, so, so much safer to keep that information to yourself. It’s so much safer.

Don’t make the mistake I’ve made. Protect your information.