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Jun 27, 2013

Yes, I have kids and No, I don't know what it's like to go into labor. Why?

While talking to a pregnant friend the other day the topic of labor came up.  I was asked, "What is it like to be in labor?"  to which I answered, "I don't know."  If we were talking in person, I'm sure I would have gotten a strange look from that comment but instead I just got a, "???"...  Yes, I do have two kids but honestly, I don't know.  I would never be able to differentiate between real labor and false labor if I were ever to have another child.  That's because I was induced for both of my girls.  I never went into labor naturally and was put on an epidural before I ever felt any real pain during labor...

My oldest, Alayna, was induced due to me being pre-eclampsic.  I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during the 20th week of my pregnancy, same time I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so I was watched very closely.  I was also in the hospital quite a few times due to different issues so my pregnancy with her was very high risk as it was.  I went into the hospital when I was 33/34 weeks pregnant and wasn't given a choice.  I was having irregular contractions but I was leaking amniotic fluid and my blood pressure was fatally high.  They said if I waited any longer I would have had a seizure.  So they transferred me to labor and delivery and told me that I was having the baby that night.  (Well, 14.5 hours later.)  So my tall, skinny, beautiful and extremely smart 7.5 year old was a 8lb preemie -- yes, she was the largest baby for the one month she was in the NICU. (Yep, they said if I carried her to full term she would have been 12lbs, probably due to my gestational diabetes.)

My pregnancy with my youngest was such a stark difference from my oldest, I had no issues at all and only gained 20lbs.  However my OB/GYN was pregnant at the same time I was and she was due the day after I was due -- Dec. 26th.  She had a scheduled induction for the 23rd of Dec. so she scheduled me for the 21st for two reasons...

1.  So I would be home with Alayna and Olivia on Christmas2.  So she would be able to deliver my baby.

Olivia's labor was only 7 hours and she was here...also 8lbs, nearly full term and no issues.

So no, I don't know what it is like to go into labor naturally but I do hope that I experience that one day.  I've been through inductions twice and I'm not really a fan of them,  I would rather nature take it's course.  One day I'll actually get to know what real labor is like, but that's one day in the far far future.

Jun 2, 2013

Social Media Pet Peeves from a Social Media Consulant

Wow, that title made me sound so much more important than I am.  I work with Social Media every day, both in my day job, business and daily personal life so I see quite a few things that just get me going.  Did you know that America spends over 100 billion hours on Social Media every single month?  There are 140 million Twitter users -- with those stats, I'm sure everyone has a ton of pet peeves!  

These are in no particular order but the order they popped into my head.

Automated Direct Messages - No one cares if you have your own webdesign business, I didn't ask you.  No, I don't want your services or your unwanted direct message.  All it's doing is giving me another notification flag on my home screen, which I don't like!  Please, don't set up automated direct messages, they are horribly annoying.  If you post and engage correctly, you will get hits and clients without having to spam peoples' direct message inbox.

Do not set your Twitter to automatically post to Facebook -- This annoys me so much.  If I'm on your Twitter and Facebook, I don't need my timeline to be spammed with posts I already saw on your Twitter.  Alternatively, if I'm not on your Twitter but on your Facebook; there's a reason.  Please stop posting all your status updates to Facebook, it spams other people's timelines, makes them mad and just looks desperate for attention.

Stop Sending Game Requests -- I don't have time to play Facebook games (other than songpop) and if you actually read my Facebook you would see that between working a day job, working freelance at night and having two I don't have any time to sit there and play games.  If you see that I am not playing a specific game, there's a reason.

Do not over tweet - Yeah...don't send 50 tweets in an hour.  I will unfollow you because 99% of the time, those tweets are completely useless.  I don't care about you having to pee, or your dog snoring, or you spilling soda on yourself...Unless you're someone special like Bruno Mars, Bradley Cooper or someone who I adore.

Do not over promote yourself -- Twitter and Facebook are fine for promotional uses, hell I use the platforms everyday for that reason.  Just don't over promote.  You have to engage your followers in order to get them to pay any attention to you or your business in the first place so post normal every day things with some promotion sprinkled in.  Customers or clients want to know that there is a person behind the computer screen that you see.

Foursquare or Check Ins - I don't care if you stopped at Target for a bag of Twizzlers, you don't have to check into that location just for that.  Well, if you do this every once in a while it's ok, but when you do this every single day and check into every place you visit, it gets annoying.  Please stop.

When people reply with one word:  Oh yeah, this really gets my blood boiling.  It's like -- If I spent the time to write and perfect that Twitter post, why don't you actually say something worth listening to.  Don't say:
  • "LOL"
  • "Yes/No"
  • "Ok"
And so on, spend time writing back to me.  

All Sponsored or All Automated Posts -- I do sponsored posts and automate my Tweets, Facebook posts when I know I"m going to be away from Social Media for an extended period of time but I don't do it everyday.  If you don't have time to post and have to automate everything, why don't you hire someone who can do it for you? (Business/Blogger wise!)  If you are just too lazy to tweet or post -- why are you on social media in the first place? 

#Hashtags that don't have anything to do with your post --  If you're posting about your dinner, why are you tagging #Kmart or #iPads?  (Random thought! lol)  No one wants to search for a particular tag and see your completely unrelated tweet.  If you're doing this for promotional reasons, trust me it won't work.  People will just skip right over your post.

#Hashtags on Facebook -- I'm going to piggy back off the Hashtag posts and say this,  if you're writing a post on Facebook, don't #hashtag unless it's an inside joke! (I know I have hashtag jokes! lol)  No one is going to search Facebook with "tags" and find your post -- Hashtags are for twitter.

There is such a thing as Facebook and Twitter etiquette and there are so many people who need to learn it.  I go through my Twitter feed every single day and if I see someone post something useless, I check their page.  If every post is like that, I delete them off of Twitter.  I don't have time to browse through posts that are just going to get me angry! :)

What are your Social Media pet peeves?

Jun 1, 2013

Deception, Lies and a Two Faced Boss - Why I Quit My Last Job

Writing Prompt Courtesy of Mama Kat's Writers Workshop
Tell us about a job you quit...why did you do it?
In March of 2013 I lost a job that I loved so very much, it was a huge heartbreak for me and really sent me into a depression that I wanted to get out of.  After sending in resume after resume and feeling very let down, I got a phone call from a company local to my town looking for a Social Media Manager/Strategist.  I was incredibly excited because I didn't think my town was technologically advanced enough to even know what Social Media was. (I may be slightly exaggerating, but I doubt it.)  I went in for the interview, loved that this place was local, it was a small company, seemed great.  The pay was low, but hey - I needed a job.  I was desperate and I think that's what they saw, they saw my vulnerability.

The Monday after my birthday I got a phone call that they wanted to hire me and wanted me to start the next day.  I jumped at the chance, accepted the offer and was majorly excited that I actually found a job in my field locally, since I had been driving almost an hour each way every day for work.

When I first started it seemed great, the manager wanted to hear my ideas, we bounced ideas off each other, I got a blogging list prepared, an editorial calendar, scheduled some social media posts, etc...  The third week I felt like everything went to hell.  My manager started to say that Social Media wasn't working for him, he wanted to nix his plan for that, he wanted me to completely re-design their website (for the $10/hour I was getting paid), he wanted me to make cold calls to local businesses, etc...  Immediately I got frustrated, this was not in my job description.  I am a social media manager, consultant and strategist not an entry level intern working for minimum wage -- no offense to anyone!  Besides, completely re-designing a website for $10 an hour?  I have done that for companies before and gotten much much more than $10 an hour.  After this the manager turned incredibly rude to me, ordered me around, constantly wanted to start arguments about how Social Media is worthless, etc...  So one Friday I left and never returned.  I e-mailed them telling them that I had it with busting my ass for $10 an hour, being disrespected and doing things that were on a lower level than what I wanted to do.  I felt like I was misled at first, I felt like this was their plan all along and I was not going to stay somewhere I didn't feel welcome.  I was done.

Two weeks later I came to find out, they decided they were not going to pay me for the hours I worked the two weeks prior.  Why?  Because I left them hanging.  After a long argument on the phone with my manager and his superior I contacted the New Jersey labor board and within two weeks after that, they sent me a check in the mail.

Moral of my story? My mom warned me before I started there.  She told me that the company I was going to be working for was a "re-start" of a company that went bankrupt a few years back.  She told me they had a horrible reputation for shitty customer service, cheating customers, unreliability, etc...  I dismissed her concerns -- I should have listened to her.  That was a month of my life I'll never get back, I could have been looking for better jobs and settled for that.