homogenization, frozen dinners, and original ideas

I won’t lie, Facebook and Twitter are very addictive social communication tools, perhaps if I had a job where I was actually interested and/ or had work to do more than 30% of the time I would be less addicted to them both, but that’s besides the point…

My co-workers always discuss various types of food, I will momentarily bypass their extreme obsession with Costco (there’s enough there for an ENTIRE other post), needless to say excluding mentioning their continuously obscene quantity of emails this is their favorite topic of conversation. My favorite co-worker, you know the one, likes to note at about… every work dinner we have that the type of Chinese food they have in most of Canada is not actually ethnically what they eat in China. While having a strong urge  from breaking into a slow clap when she says this I, as per usual, restrain myself and revert back to the dancing penguin in my head.

Most food in North America is homogenized, it’s not exactly new information, globalization has created a strange array of fusion restaurants, and mainly just toning down the intense tastes and spice levels of most amazing food. Needless to say if you want to find truly ethnic food, especially in main urban areas, you definitely can… just have to look a little harder. Next time we go out to eat for work however, I shall be sure to remind her that my ‘ethnic’ food is actually tea and crumpets, and I’m truly offended by the fact in my home land I have access to prawn cocktail crisps instead of this double cheeseburger dorrito nonsense…

 Social networking is part of both the best and worst parts of globalization. The fact that we have access to such vast quantities of information in just a couple of clicks is an incredible educational resource, but… it also leads us to homogenize information. We re-post and re-tweet the same information endlessly until it eventually loses all depth and consistency, unless of course you were the first noted person to post it in which case you deserve a golden burger king crown and a yuppie cape. Original ideas are hard to come by these days, but it seems we have reduced our search for information to simply browsing through the information that select individuals think is valid enough to post. I mean, I love amusing youtube remixes of hit pop songs as much as the next person but when they’re posted 50 times in one news feed it can get a tad nauseating.

So if Facebook is butter chicken, Twitter is crispy sesame beef, then what is Google plus? Lobster Burrito anyone??

 

 

Banana popsicles

The highlight of my work days recently has become going to the convenience store to buy a 79 cent banana flavored popsicle. This is strange for two reasons: firstly I’ve always hated banana flavored types of food and secondly because my job has actually become so brain-numbingly dull that a 70 calorie piece of fruit flavored chemicals on a stick now brings me excitement.

Needless to say I will be applying to far more jobs this weekend.

I have also grown to love Dilbert cartoons, fittingly, mostly ones about cubicles. Whenever I would peruse the newspaper in high school and read the cartoons in the comics section, I didn’t even think Dilbert was moderately funny, but now some of them definitely bring tears to my eyes.  Specifically: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-01-25/, now I understand why this comic speaks to the masses, there really are billions of like-minded lab rats trapped in cubicle-like structures all across the world, I mean, they could at least provide us with hamster wheels to run on for slight entertainment…Though, that does bring up that poor pet hamster that my sister’s friend exploded in the microwave because she thought it would be a faster method than the hair dryer…

Do you think they have cubicles in the facebook headquarters? Signs identifying the status of each employee: “Sarah Smith now has the most facebook friends in the office, take that bitches!”.

 

 

 

 

tough as nails

When I was young and any of my peers weren’t nice to me, my Mum would always tell me that it was because they had no self esteem and were jealous of me. This was hilarious to me at the time because when you’re a 14 year old hockey playing marching band geek with a paige-boy/ brad pitt-esque haircut, the fact that anyone could be jealous of you does not seem plausible.

I suppose in a moment of clarity today, partially induced by glorious post-work bubble tea,  I realized even when you’re done University there’s still silly small-minded people that think by belittling you they’ll feel better about being 27… and still living with their parents in the suburbs… and getting a ride to work everyday… and yet still with all that extra money choosing to wear leggings four out of five days of the week…

Though, in a sense, I’m really glad that people like this exist, mostly because it makes the concept of staying trapped behind the walls of a cubicle for any longer torturous.

On Friday I leave for 2 weeks vacation and my boyfriend, and best friend, has given me one task… figure out what you want. These five words have never been the easiest things for me, as like most, I’m not very good at handling failure…

A main idea that’s been standing out to me in books and blog posts I’ve been reading recently is that those people who are truly successful are passionate about what they’re doing or working towards doing. And then it hit me like an anvil attached to a blue whale… I have no passion/ desire/ interest in what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter if it’s vaguely related to Urban Planning, if it might one day get me enough experience to attain a job I actually like, or if my boss or bosses boss boss knows someone who knows someone who eventually, i I work for the company for ten years, could put in a good word for me.

The only thing I need to prove to myself is that I am capable of outlining my skills to people who will understand my passions and desires and want to hire me. If anyone sees that you’re truly interested in something and are willing to take the steps to achieve it, eventually… even after 3, or 4, or 5 emails… they’ll listen to you, even if it’s for the fastest meeting of your life to date.

I’m really looking forward to twenty-five-year-old me, I think she’s finally going to start putting these words into action.

 

the glory of a greeting

The problem with being a compulsively over-analytical is that not only do you think too much, but you worry that you’re thinking too much about thinking.

I mean, I’m sure there’s completely normal people out there who go to work each morning and sit behind a desk for eight hours with no contemplation of the other opportunities that life holds. So the fact that I’m unable to go through an entire day without searching through job postings while at my current job either means:

a) I’m not normal or,

b) clearly I’m an idiot and should remember to erase my search history each day

Last week at work after tolerating a 15 minute conversation between my co-workers about the amazing wonder of Michelina’s frozen dinners I began to teach myself Spanish online. This led me to thinking that firstly, I really do want to go to Costa Rica in the near future and secondly, if I have enough time to attempt another language perhaps I should also start my own company on the side.

I’ve sketched a button on the back of my handmade greeting cards since I can remember so I’ve decided to attempt to share the debutton magic with others.

There are two problems with greeting cards that I can see right off the bat:

1) They waste paper

2) Why send a greeting card when you can facebook/ tweet the message to the person in a matter of seconds?

Well my friend, these will be unconventional cards. Instead of paying $5 for a generic Hallmark card with a sappy rhyming message. You can spend that money on a miniature card sized piece of art work that will convey a message without you even needing to write your own. The benefit being, you can keep it for as long as you want by putting it on your fridge, wall, or in a desk drawer, but if a situation arises to pass it along to a friend to give them a laugh or brighten up their day, it’s not considered re-gifting but more so recycling a greeting.

The preliminary concept might seem a tad useless and/ or vague but prototypes will be coming soon! I mean, I still love receiving something in the mail that isn’t a bill, don’t you?

snowball

Whenever I start to feel down on myself I get a snowball to the face… figuratively of course, but usually it involves a little wake up call to remind me that it’s really all about perspective. Yesterday, on my walk home from the gym it involved slipping on the icey sidewalk falling smack on my butt and standing up to the realization that the sudden breeze on my left thigh was cause by my pants being ripped from the inner seam all the way across the back of my leg. Thankfully I was only a block from my apartment otherwise I might have partially mooned a couple of people, but I can laugh at it now… well, maybe not quite as hard as my mum did over the phone.. but still.

Last week one of the VP’s at the company I work for died in his hotel room before turning 40, this morning another VP told us his last day is on Friday.

He told us in the conference room, while we were realizing that we had no boss left on this side of the continent that we’re young… this isn’t like our parents generation where they dreamed of the joyous retirement after twenty years at the same company. Self interest has become a business itself nowadays, experience is definitely necessary and you shouldn’t change companies as fast as you change your shoes, but you also shouldn’t limit yourself (I’ve certainly never limited my shoe collection).

This refreshed my soul quite a bit, maybe I will stay at this company for a year maybe I won’t, but I won’t feel guilty for looking at my other options just because my parents seem to think it will limit my future to stay in the past.

Today marked the end of my probation period at work… I wasn’t expecting a cupcake in a candle or anything but I’m a little more relaxed in the knowledge that I can survive in a type of job that I never thought I’d be able to and… I can use those health benefits to get a massage very soon!

 

A definite must read

“Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to ACTUALLY start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN that gets them the hell out of the Rat Race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short.”

Sometimes you stumble upon uncommon connections in your life, some may call them coincidences but I believe that if the day after you decide to create a blog documenting your rise from cubicle misery a book highlighting this escape via an evil plan is a very good sign!

So in an attempts to keep reading as much as I did during school I’m also going to add book reviews to my blog, why not eh? (had to throw some Canadian in there) A little bit of photography and art too, and perhaps I’ll feel better about the fact that I dropped out of art school to take a double major in social sciences and fall victim to corporate slavery (ok slavery might be slightly overexaggerating, but you have not seen the bland walls of my cubicle)

Much more to come and excited about the future! (well as of Friday at 5:30pm…)

-J

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