Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Twerking for Dummies

Originally published in the Alaska Highway News in my column "From the Desk of the Green Eyed Girl"

Last week I “danced like no one was watching” and I stubbed my toe so badly that it bled. You know when you hit your foot against the corner of the wall and it separates the big toe from the toe beside it (the no name Presidents Choice toe)? Well, that is what happened. No one was home and that infectious song “Happy” was playing on the television. Jumping up, I began to dance around the living room, my two dogs (who are confused and thinking I am having a seizure) are barking and darting in and around my legs. Sweat begins to bead onto my forehead and I wonder, “exactly how long IS this song?”. But still I continue to dance. Abandoning my fur lined slippers, I begin to move much like I imagine Beyonce might move. My too short, stained pajama pants with the ragged draw-string tied into a ball of knots float about my body and I begin to twirl like Stevie Nicks. THAT is when it happened! Pain like the pain of a thousand childbirths shot through my foot and I crumpled to the floor: barking dogs now panicked because they are CERTAIN that I am seizing and probably afraid that they will not get fed. Dizzy with the pain, I attempt to see if I have truly injured myself. I see blood…….not a lot of blood, not enough for a band aid, but there was some blood. Wiggling my big toe and then the no name toe beside it, I check for broken bones and am relieved that they both move freely (note to self: make a pedicure appointment).

What the hell is happening to me……I used to be agile like a very short, stout Ninja and now a simple Twerk attempt is going to be my demise?

The previous week I tripped going “up” a flight of stairs to an aircraft. Envision my laptop case on shoulder, purse that technically should count as a carry on over the other shoulder and carrying a suitcase that I am going to try to coax into the overhead bin on the aircraft. Smiling…..pleased that my flight was on schedule and we were boarding on time, I begin to climb the stairs. On the fourth step I tripped and because my arms were full, I pitched forward in slow motion with my chin coming to rest on the ledge below where the Flight Attendant was standing. Her non-reaction indicated to me that she had seen this kind of thing happen before and she waited for me to struggle to my feet. I understand she was practicing a type of “tough love” and that I needed to realize that perhaps I was loaded over my maximum GVW. I did get the impression that she might have been holding back a snort of laughter/a guffaw (her shoulders were shaking so she was either crying or laughing).

I managed to navigate the final steps successfully and find my seat, where I now have to put everything away. This is where the “objects may be smaller than they appear” thing happens. I try to force my suitcase into the overhead bin. It SHOULD fit…..I did size it using the metal sizing device located in the boarding lounge. The Flight Attendant no longer looks cheerful and comes up beside me, “Is it too large?”.  The look on her face was reminiscent of the look my sister Jessie would give me when she dared me to do something. I matched her steely look with one of my own and responded, “no…..it will fit, I KNOW it will”. Determined, I huffed and pushed, until finally it slid down into the bin. Embarrassed that I scuffed up the edge of the opening on the bin of what appears to be a brand new aircraft, I saw the Flight Attendant glaring and imagined she was thinking, “this is why we can’t have nice things”.

My point is….twice this month I have taken a tumble and I am wondering if I need to enroll myself into one of those “I have fallen and can’t get up” programs. Is this a slow metamorphosis beginning to occur? Will my next order from Zappos be for Velcro closing runners? Will I begin to wear my progressives ALL the time? Stay tuned……

Friday, May 30, 2014

Even Teflon can break…...

Originally published in the Alaska Highway News May 30, 2014

My hands tremble as I write this, fearing that the universe will somehow get back at me for actually saying this…..out loud….in my column in the newspaper…and now here.

Okay….here goes, “Am I alone in my distaste/dislike/it smells funny reaction to the latest WestJet viral video?”. Titled, “WestJetters read tweets” and a takeoff (that was a pun) from the late night talk show host who has a segment, “Celebrities read mean tweets”.

WestJet might have missed the mark this time.

I realize that WestJet was voted as Alberta’s #1 brand, and was listed in the top100 Canadian Brands and well…....I almost feel unpatriotic writing this. (You see…..I am truly Canadian because I am apologizing before I even begin). I am hoping that by drinking a Tim Horton’s coffee while writing this will reverse any “bad Canadian” karma.

On Monday, I tossed it out into the universe (my Facebook friends) to get a reaction to the video. This is what I said, “I like the direction they were going but question their use of profanity (even though the profanity was bleeped). I think that this is one video that might backfire on them. Unless of course their brand is so solid that it is Teflon and things bounce off (do things bounce off Teflon or slide off?). Just an observation - I would like to know your thoughts”. Immediately after watching it, I felt that they had deviated from their wonderfully crafted brand. They are known for smiles, laughter, jokes and reuniting children with stuffed animals…..that brand is big! that brand is huge! that brand is the envy of many and does not include reading mean tweets.

Some of my friends agreed, others admitted that they enjoyed it. So….I took to the internet to see if there was as much buzz about this video as there was about the Christmas Video or even the April Fools Joke Video. There wasn’t……and I think I know why.

First: not every video is guaranteed to be a home run. WestJet has a wonderful way of engaging with their guests and nine times out of ten, they have tremendous success.

Second: The use of profanity (even though they were reading it and bleeping it). When you see professionals using profanity, we lose respect.

Third: Some of their guests may find this video offensive and be offended that WestJet called out some of their detractors. A sector of the population believes that the customer is always right. Sharing those negative comments might be perceived as disrespectful to the client base they serve. Those individuals showcased in the video might be extremely embarrassed, humiliated.

Fourth: Perhaps a better idea for a video would be showcasing some of the amazing things that happen as a result of using Twitter as well as Westjet does. They could have read tweets that were extraordinary or tweets that were really unusual or funny. Would that have gone “viral”?

So where do we go from here? Obviously the WestJet brand is very solid and a misstep (in my opinion) like this will not hurt their brand in the least. They might have lost some public respect, and in particular, those who had a different opinion of the airline – one that equated them with Disney. That wasn’t a video you could have shared with your children.

As always I am in awe of their ability to master social media and lead the industry in online engagement. I will continue to enjoy their witty videos and twitter responses, but I wonder……..will they do that again?

Okay……I am waiting for the lightening bolt…..I smell smoke….wait! is my hair on fire?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Walking with Scott

I have run marathons, half marathons and 10k's…….but you would never know it. Over the past 5 years I have been lazy, lazy, lazy and with my daughter's wedding coming up in September, I know I will regret not taking my fitness and my overall "look" a bit more seriously. I have exceeded my maximum GVW and it is GO time!

So today I began walking with Scott. Just for clarification, I am not actually walking with Scott, rather I am listening to Scott Stratten. One would think that I would download Gaga or Katy or Kanye, but no……I am a social media junkie so I downloaded every @unmarketing podcast onto my ipod and went for a power walk.

The first unpodcast I listed to? "Why Crowdsourcing Matters" - funny, insightful and sheds a light (as always) on the ridiculous in the world today.

Anyway……I digress. Observations from  today's walk:

Self Magazine should be ashamed of themselves and will retain their spot on the "mountain" for quite a while….in fact, my next walk might be complete with a "tutu" (you have to listen to the podcast for that to make sense.

I need to invest in better, sturdier "underpinnings"

I didn't die….nor did I feel like I was going to die (all good things)

I walked for approximately 34 minutes of an undetermined distance.

Unpodcast "Why Crowdsourcing Matters"