Monthly Look Ahead: April 2022

March ended up being a pretty busy month for me. I did not have a single day where I was just sitting around at home passing the time. Between seeing people, curling, and whatever else, ya gurl kept busy. So I’m not too disappointed that so far my April seems a bit lighter. It’s been a while since I had a day where I can just play video games alone in my room for several straight hours.

monthly look ahead updated image.

  • The month is starting off on an interesting note as Morbius is finally coming out. It was supposed to come out in January but COVID delayed it. Its official release date is April 1st because anyone who is unironically going to see it is a Fool. Early reviews are pretty bad so it’s sure to be something.
  • There’s a somewhat large professional curling tournament coming to a city near me (Toronto). On one of the days it’s happening, I’m already going to be downtown, so I convinced some people to go with me to a game though they’re very unfamiliar with the sport. I’ve never actually been to see professional curling live in person, so it’ll be neat to see the players I’ve only ever seen on TV.

    Excited man watching tv with a bored woman.
    Me and my friends watching curling (just kidding, we’re all going to have a great time)
  • The wonderful ladies on my Sunday curling team have been talking about going bowling or something, and with our curling ending this month, we’ll have more free time, so that might happen.

And that’s it! Like I said, pretty chill, but I’m okay with it. What’s your April looking like? I’m also looking forward to warmer weather. Not having to wear a winter jacket is always a blessing for this Canadian gal.

 

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A Roll-Up The Rim Rant

Apologies to the non-Canadians reading this, but I’m pretty disappointed by this that I need to rant about it.

The iconic Canadian food chain Tim Hortons does this event every year called Roll Up The Rim. The concept isn’t that unique, so maybe you’ve seen another chain do it too or something similar. Basically for a month, there are special Tims cups made, where after you finish your drink, you’re supposed to roll up the cup rim to see if you win a prize. Prizes can range from a free donut to a free car.

Winner gif.

I always enjoyed this event. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it in Monthly Look Aheads over the years. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I definitely make my way to Tims for hot chocolate a lot more when Roll Up is on because I think it’s fun. I remember as a kid, my whole family would make a Tims trip after church sometimes just because of Roll Up.

When COVID started years ago, Tim Hortons understandably didn’t really want an event that involved touching things your mouth was on and helping others roll their rims (sometimes the rolling was a struggle that you really had to use your teeth for) so they went virtual. Roll a virtual rim on a virtual cup on some website (actually, I think there was a virtual wheel to spin, if I recall correctly). Because of the pandemic, I didn’t go out much so I never got a chance to do it.

Staying Home GIF.

So here we are in 2022. Things in my area of Canada are somewhat back to normal. We’re vaxed and masked, and you can sit in a Tims to enjoy your food or drink. The season of Roll Up is back and there are commercials for it all the time on TV. So I go to a Tim Hortons and order two drinks. After they are consumed, I pull out my phone to begin figuring out how I roll, since it is still a virtual process. That’s when I learn that unless I had informed the lady at the cash register that I wanted to play and registered through the app ahead of time, the cups were useless.

Tim Hortons: why aren’t your employees trained to ask for this when I made my purchase? I had the app downloaded and could have pulled it out, but I wasn’t prompted. I didn’t know. Maybe it’s partly on me for being out of the loop for a couple years, but still.

What Nonsense Is This GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

And your commercials don’t help either. They show someone buying a drink but there’s no mention of an app being needed ahead of time. Just a happy employee saying, “just scan to roll! Every cup is a winner!” It feels a little deceptive.

Doing it digitally in 2020 because of the pandemic was fine and made sense. But by still doing it in 2022 when restrictions have lifted, for one, and still not making it easy to actually play, for two, is unacceptable. If I’m struggling, I can only imagine how other people are with it. What about old people without smartphones? Or people without data going quickly through the drive-thru? You’d think that if Tims wanted to sell more cups and include everyone in this fun event, they’d make it easy or at least clear. Go back to the way it was. Take me back to the days of rolling up the actual rims.

I know there’s basically a literal war going on on the other side of the world, and in the grand scheme of things, Tim Hortons’ silly little cup game is nothing, but maybe someone from the franchise will see this and know that I’m pretty disappointed in how it’s run. I can’t do much else from my blog.

Rant Over mic drop gif.

That’s all for now.

 

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I Am Your Scholarly Sources

In my nearly seven years of blogging, I’ve been faced with this interesting scenario twice: someone wanting to cite my blog in their academic work.

I’ve said yes both times. I mean, why not? I went to school and I wrote many papers. I know how important a good source is for a project, and if someone sees something of use in my blog, then I support that.

Go You GIF.

I just think it’s funny. My blog, though not unprofessional, has always been an outlet for just whatever nonsense I want to post. Minimal SEO, minimal editing, and minimal research. It’s largely a vibes-only kind of thing, ya know? I love inciting conversation and thoughts from my writing, but I just never considered that that would happen in academic cases ever. I was just happy in the comments section.

But it’s very cool that blogs like mine can even be used. Obviously I don’t know the scope of the projects, but I remember dreading the research phase of my own essays because so many sources, especially the peer-reviewed ones, are so dense and written in such a pretentious, complex way. I’d like to think that my blog was and is a refreshing change for these people deep in the trenches of research.

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Sometimes I feel like blogs are only read by other bloggers and that breaking out of that bubble is hard, but I think having these academics find and use my posts is proof that it’s possible once in a while. I like having that impact.

Anyway, I am amused greatly, and have spent a lot of time recently thinking about how cool this whole thing is, so I wanted to share it with you all. It goes without saying that if anyone else wants to cite me, feel free to contact me and let me know!

That’s all for now!

 

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Employees Using Social Media

Recently, I watched a webinar about 2022 social media trends. I work in Marketing so I was interested to learn and see some data. Of course the typical topics came up like branding, as well as some new and timely ones like the metaverse. But then the panelists began talking about employees using social media to get messaging out. Rather than having info come from the brand account, it’s suggested that this year, employees be the ones to promote work.

And this concerns me greatly.

Woah woah woah gif.

I understand the concept of it and why in an ideal world this could be a useful way to present your messaging in a new and maybe more authentic way. But I think it’s a very big, unreasonable, and controlling ask.

I wouldn’t say I ‘grew up with the internet’ but when I got to high school, it was a very big and constant part of my life (for reference if it helps, I’m almost 26 years old). As Facebook and chatrooms became a thing that my peers would participate in, we’d get constant lectures at school about internet safety. At first it was don’t talk to strangers and reveal personal info. Then, as we got older, it was don’t post things you don’t want employers to see. It’s common knowledge now, though I can’t say if it’s common practice, that employers may go through your social media when deciding to hire you. Heck, maybe they do it even after hiring you too. Therefore, everyone should take care to present their best selves and censor certain things (related: this post on what I don’t blog about). It can’t be a coincidence that almost all my peers (again, I am almost 26) have their personal Instagram and Twitter accounts set to private, even if they aren’t posting anything inappropriate.

Lock it up gif.

Social media is supposed to be fun and personal, and what you do with it in your free time is yours. A company asking you to use your personal accounts in certain ways and controlling that narrative is a huge overstep. No longer would an employee be allowed to have a private online life and interests out of work if their profiles are being used to prop up company messaging. I don’t want to see ads for whatever product in between pictures of that employee’s kids, ya know?

It also just has such insidious vibes. No one’s going to believe some low level Amazon employee going on Twitter saying “Wow Amazon is great and my work conditions are fine!” because you know that’s not true. Obviously that’s an extreme example, but I feel like companies shouldn’t have to use their employees like puppets to prove they’re a good company. Pay people what they’re worth, treat them fairly, and don’t try to own them.

Its Not that Hard GIF.

If employees want to use their platforms to promote their work and the company, then that’s one thing. I certainly think there can be value to this. Referral/affiliate programs are great and certainly incentivize promotion. Maybe the professional atmosphere of LinkedIn is a great compromise for both parties. My point and initial worry with this whole concept is that it shouldn’t be mandatory. Companies shouldn’t hire based on whose social media they can leverage. Painting it as an easy trend that every brand should lean into is perhaps not a great idea.

What are your thoughts? Would you use your social media platforms to promote and advocate for the company you work for? Are your profiles safe for work and would you be comfortable with bosses and coworkers having access to see it all?

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Are We Even Watching The Same Thing?

Do you ever have those moments where you have to ask yourself and maybe even double check that you were in fact watching the same media as everyone else despite having such a differing opinion of it? It’s kind of interesting when that happens, as it makes me question myself and my taste. How can everyone seemingly love something that I found nearly unwatchable? Am I the problem?

What Is Wrong With Me GIF.

This recently happened with the spinoff show Peacemaker. The first three episodes came out at once, and there were a lot of positive sentiments online about the show from fans and even other celebrities. Based on the character from The Suicide Squad, I went into the episodes with medium expectations and found myself pretty let down. I watched it all with my boyfriend, and he shared my sentiments (which I was very glad for). We actually double-checked that it was in fact only three episodes that came out and we didn’t miss some spectacular fourth one. Even now, with the first season complete, we both thought the show to be mediocre at best. But okay, there were rumours that DC/HBO really put a lot of money into promoting the show on social media and may have artificially inflated the hype machine a bit. That’s just one example.

Peacemaker opening gif.

The other example that bamboozled me more than Peacemaker (which wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as funny as I expected or as good as people said) is the 2020 movie Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. Movies starring Kristin Wiig are hit or miss for me, but when this movie came out, I saw so much hype on social media for this. I made my parents watch it with me because surely a movie so hailed would be of interest to them too. But I cannot begin to explain how much we disliked this movie. My parents, particularly my father, already don’t have a high tolerance for goofy comedy, so I expected to like it more than them, but even I hated it. It was silly and boring and nonsensical and just weird. I couldn’t believe it. I remember a week later I went through that hashtag on Twitter thinking that surely some people agreed with me, but I kid you not, I could barely find any negative opinions of the movie. It seemed like I was the biggest hater. It still shocked me months later when I saw people online mention it as being a possible Oscar nominee. The movie I watched was so bad. There’s no way it’s Oscar material. Did we all watch the same thing? For the life of me, I don’t know.

Concerned GIF.

It’s one thing to not like a piece of media that others do (example: I don’t like the musical Book Of Mormon, though I understand why people enjoy it and think it’s funny), but it’s another to not even understand how anyone can perceive it in such a way.

When it comes to movies and TV, I don’t think of myself as a snob. But it’s instances like the above that have me gaslighting myself somewhat (in an amusing way). Though aside from maybe a Tweet about how I disliked something or a rant amongst friends, I’m not out here spending my time being mad or angry that people have different tastes. I stand by my opinions, and maybe a little part of me does think that anyone who genuinely finds Barb And Star to be a quality film is in need of medical attention, but at the end of the day, this is all meaningless, and as I said, it’s interesting when it does happen.

Are we all looking at the same thing? gif.

What movies or TV shows (or even music) have had you questioning if you were even watching the same thing?

 

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