Monthly Archives: July 2014

Ransom

I ran into a family friend while at Toronto’s Festival of Beer this past weekend and caught up quickly. He then took a quick photo of me and sent the snap to my dad:

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This whole interaction amuses me: the note to begin with, my Fathers response and, most importantly, the fact that this guy has my dad’s number stored as Papa Bear – he is not related. I guess he got contact information from my sister or I and just didn’t bother to update the contact name 🙂

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Light Sharing Be Damned!

I really am a huge fan of our new office.  Firstly, everything is shiny and new – who wouldn’t like that? The whole place was designed to be bright and open and thankfully not beige like our old office.  The crisp, clean and modern interior really does just feel nice to spend your days in. 

Due to the mantra of bringing more natural light into our space, HR sent out a memo regarding ‘Light Sharing’.  Essentially this is fictitious corporate jargon that means that they’ve planned the office in such a manner that allows for maximum natural light – accomplished mostly by putting offices and meeting rooms on the interior or short sides of the building.  Brilliant, and it works.  The aforementioned memo simply stated that due to the ‘light sharing’ concept, those lucky enough to be seated at a window were not to put down the blinds. Do not block that natural light that we paid some designer a pretty penny to let into our spaces, right?

One tiny flaw here though.  Those lucky ones (myself included, huzzah!) that are seated along a window happen to be forced to have their monitors actually backing onto the window – that’s where the dual monitor brackets are permanently attached to the desks. So I stare out a window, all day.  Most of this is lovely as I can actually see straight down King street and periodically gaze off at the Earl’s patio I can just see and dream of patio beer.  The downside, however, is that I’m staring due west – which is directly at the sun in the late afternoon.

Apparently those on the opposite side of the office have it much worse as they get full on morning sun, while currently I’m only dealing with about an hour a day. We will see how the seasons change this balance.

In the meantime, as soon as the sun hits my eyes I’m lowering the damn blinds. My retinas have enough issues as it stands. I also refuse to wear a visor at my desk to help me cope, which is a tactic my more rule abiding peers have apparently taken on.

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That Would Buy a LOT of Popcorn

After a busy weekend of racing around the woods at Warrior Dash, D and I decided to cap off our weekend by seeing a movie at the new Cineplex VIP theater at Yonge and Dundas. The tickets are more expensive but they gain access to a smaller theater with large arm chair style seating and, most importantly, in-seat Food and Beverage service.  Beer, in the theater, brought directly to my seat? YES PLEASE.

So we avoided cottage traffic and toured down Airport Road lazily back towards the city eventually arriving at the theater with just enough time to find out seats and place our food and beverage orders with the waiter.  He was very friendly and carefully repeated our order before tallying everything up.  He handed me the credit machine and I went through the familiar sequence of button pressing.  When he asked if I wanted my copy I said absolutely not, those things always end up bunched up at the bottom of my purse!

Our beverages arrived shortly and the movie was about to begin.  All snuggled into my favourite sweater, in a big comfy chair, bird-sipping a beer (apparently that’s what my Mom says I do) and about to watch a comedy – what a great Sunday evening after an adventurous weekend.  This arrangement is very similar to the Gold Class theater experience I enjoyed in Australia, but not quite as awesome – the seats in Gold Class were unreal.

Our waiter suddenly reappears and hands me a copy of the receipt.  He then explains that he went ahead and voided the transaction as he assumed my almost FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR TIP was likely accidental.  Holy hell, accidental for sure! I like to think that I’m generous, but a 992% tip is a bit unnecessary – it was only two drinks and entrees!

The curious bit though is how that happened, neither the dollar amount nor the percentage of the tip bear any resemblance to my pin number or to what I would normally tip in this situation.  Thanks random Cineplex dude, while I’m confident I could dispute the charges had this actually gone through, I’m happy that he had the mindset to correct my fault right away.  Hopefully my 20% tip wasn’t a bummer.

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Let Your Fun Out!

Sometimes working in the heart of the Financial District is awesome. Sometimes, not so much, but today I will focus on the awesome.

Summertime brings out all sorts of Interesting marketing campaigns in downtown Toronto – get out there and meet new customers while us office dwellers actually spend time out doors during the nicer summer months, right?  While some tactics are more commonplace, like the free sample handouts (8 Belvita Breakfast Cookies and counting!), others are more inventive and eye catching.

I had a bit of a double header last week in the the marketing slash free stuff category.  First off I received an email from Uber  indicating it was their second annual ice cream day.  For those that may not know Uber, its an App that lets you set up an account, order taxis and provides you with information on the driver (like their name and phone number), where the cab is exactly located and automatically charges your credit card when your ride ends. Given that I love to take cabs (read: lazy as hell) and never have cash on me, this App lets me hail a cab with ease avoid the hassle of them not wanting to take credit.  For whatever reason (probably the built in tip the App suggests) Cabs seem to like working with Uber. So, totally Win Win.

What makes Uber even more awesome is that they are totally committed to experiential marketing in the best possible way.  The company frequently offers up promotions that mostly have nothing to do with taking a cab, but offer you a chance to experience their service while doing or receiving something fun.  Today, for example, as of 11am you could open up your Uber App and order an Ice Cream truck, on demand.  Other promotions have included Poutine delivery during NXNE here in Toronto, Rose delivery on Valentines day, and my favourite Kitten play time in a few cities.  They even have Uber Boat taxis up in Muskoka now, and recently started delivering Grand Electric Tacos and Steam Whistle Beer, by boat. These guys are awesome.

Sorry, I seemed to digress a little there.  So at 11 am, I opened up my Uber App, ordered some Ice Cream and grabbed some coworkers.  The truck showed up as promised and passed out 5 freshly swirled cones and typical Uber swag – sunglasses (Hey Uber, time to change this up! I could outfit a small country in your fake wayfarers by now!).  This was already a quick and fun break from the office, but then we saw this:

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I had noticed the strange blow up tent thing a few days ago, but was never close enough to check it out.  As we had some time to kill eating our cones, we decided to see what the KD Fun Shop had to offer.  The idea is that you browse around the shop, select an item and then go to the checkout to pay – but this store doesn’t accept money, it accepts FUN. Each item has a sticker on it that outlines what type of fun you must have in order to ‘buy’ your item.  If you wanted a set of Kraft Dinner bed sheets (for serious, that was an item) you had to recite a KD rap.  Maybe you were interested in a KD Tshirt that turns into a Horse Mask if you pull it over your head? That’ll cost you a Robot Dance. I ended up selecting a pair of ‘Funderpants’ and had to crack out my best Chicken impersonation.  Fun? Yes! Professional? Maybe not.  Sadly no one snapped a photo of my excellent performance.

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While a bit on the cheesy side, it was a fun way to kill fifteen minutes, get a hilarious novelty item and a free box of Kraft Dinner.  Well done guys.

I even found an excuse to don my brand new KD Funderpants at the Warrior Dash!

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Imelda

I think the majority of people that know me casually as acquaintances, or maybe even some of my closer friends, might not realize I’m a bit of a shoe hoarder.  Or maybe they do and I’m just in complete denial.

Honestly, I tend to wear the same pair of shoes for weeks on end, only changing when an outfit or circumstance demands it.  Case in point, my burgeoning annual flip flop tan. I find that I will buy a cheap pair of flats and wear them religiously until they have to be tossed out, and all winter I live in one pair of boots.

While I tend to jaunt around in only a handful of shoes annually, I am actually the proud owner of a veritable harem of shoes.  I refuse to get into specifics, but we are possibly closing in on the triple digits if you count flops and running shoes. Due to this… umm…  collection, my Mother has been referring to me as Imelda for years. (Quick History lesson if you’re unaware of Ms. Marcos, or her thousand pair shoe collection)

I’ve decided recently that due to my apparent lack of interest In actually wearing the majority of my shoes, I should likely dispose of at least some of them. Contenders for orphaning:

Dinner Shoes – these include a large quantity of shoes that I simply can’t actually transport myself around in as the heels are just too high. I can basically only wear them to dinner with a short jaunt to/from the car or the bathroom and a very moderate amount of standing.

Size 9? – at some point I decided that I was a size 9. I am not, but I have a plethora of shoes meant for someone else’s feet.

Day vs Night – there was a period of time when I was buying multiples of the exact same shoe. I now have boxes and boxes of identical pairs with some labelled ‘Day’ and others labeled ‘Night’. Upon inspection the Night notation seems to indicate that the shoes are best suited for night time drinking antics – but honestly most of these are so battered up I wouldn’t even wear them on the back deck let alone in public.

What the Hell was I Thinking? – Silver and Black lace booties with ankle cut outs, really? Oh and the 5 inch maroon stilettos – I can’t even wear those sitting down.

While I’ve made the aforementioned observations regarding shoes to rid myself of, I’ve yet to actually get around to doing anything about it. Baby Steps.

In related news, my office recently moved to a new location so I needed to slowly clear my desk of the 9 year build up of crap it contained prior to the actual move. Our new office has less storage space so we had been encourage to purge. I finished purging and packing business related items a few weeks in advance and then decided to address my remaining personal items – including a wicker basket under my desk. Apparently, even though I had brought some home, thrown some out and given some away I still had thirteen pairs of shoes at my desk!

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A few of these gems get some air time sporadically, but some I honestly forgot I owned. Given that people were telling me that 13 pairs was unreasonable to store at work – I posted that photo to Facebook and the most astounding responses were from other Women! – I set to reviewing my collection to see which pair would make the move. After some humming and hawing a dropped a pair off at Goodwill, gave a pair to a friend and took another to the shoe menders. Huzzah! Down to 10 pairs! And they even have a lovely new home in a filing cabinet:

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Life is so unfair – so many pretty shoes to wear, and only two feet 🙂

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Who Needs Cake?

Not every birthday boy or girl demands cake at their festivities – and the waitress at local spot Boots ‘N Bourbon read our group just right tonight when she dropped off this inventive cake replacement at our table while we were out celebrating Officer’s Dirty 30!

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Candles? Check
Birthday Wish? Check
Bourbon? Check

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Blood Strong

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First time blood donor alert!

That’s right, I recently stopped by the Canadian Blood Services clinic on College street and gave them a pint (I think?) of the good stuff.  Now this wasn’t just a random occurrence, but I’ll address that later.

Given that the CBS is constantly on the hunt for Blood Donors and there is not shortage of access to clinics in which to donate, it seems a bit off that I haven’t bothered to donate until now in my almost 32 years, right? Wrong.

1. Because, needles.

2. I use to have this crazy theory that my body parts were my own to keep forever and ever amen – ie. no organ donation, those are mine dammit.

Much like many of the loudly touted theories of my youth, this too has passed.

3. Traveling, piercings, tattoos.  Apparently these are an issue and have periodically eliminated my eligibility for blood donation – though to be fair I was mostly unaware of this at the time.

4. CBS Policies, specifically the MSM policy and last spring’s adjustment to the deferral period.

5. Because, needles.

The impetus for my June 27th appointment with CBS hinged on point 4 above.  While the MSM policy shouldn’t affect me directly (for straight females the actions of any of partners would be considered), the implications of the policy affect many of my dearest friends and I saw the move to adjust the deferral period as half-hearted at best.

I was informed by my friend Korean that there was an opportunity to participate in an Ally Blood Donor Clinic, whereby a male who is unable to donate due to the MSM policy finds someone to donate on their behalf.  Given that this is viewed as an LGBT issue, the use of the term Ally makes sense.  This particular clinic was during World Pride here in Toronto and was the perfect opportunity to draw attention to the policy and the deferral period while also offering an opportunity for the community to drum up some support in terms of Blood Donations. Most of the other people I heard at the clinic were first time blood donors as well, so that alone shows the strength of the campaign.

I was actually surprised at how manual intensive the blood donation process is in terms of staff contact – I dealt with five separate individuals including administration and nurses.  I definitely understand the need for all of the screening questions and interviews, but my mind was racing at time and cost savings opportunities while watching the nurse apply like 19 different labels to the various tubes and blood bags required just for my donation.  Everyone I dealt with was super friendly and very thorough with explaining the process and making sure I was there as a willing candidate.

I’ll spare the details of the actual donation, either than to say I squealed like a two year old during both insertion and removal of the needle – even though it barely hurt, I’m such a moron.  Thankfully my body didn’t seem to mind the process at all and either than some stiffness in my hand on my donation site arm, I really didn’t feel anything at all.  Which is probably a good thing since despite the ‘no alcohol’ policy for the day of donation, I definitely imbibed while celebrating at Pride!

Also fun, due to the nature of the campaign and its occurence during World Pride, there was media presence at the clinic, and I even made the front page of the Toronto Star online! Hilariously, Metro News re-posted the link online and made a bit of a faux pas while creating their blurb, falsely listing me as a University of Toronto AIDS researcher and the person that started this clinic to begin with – oooh promotion!

I think the best part of the whole experience was watching the link get passed around by texts then facebook, and seeing the positivity it promoted.  Plus, lots of extra hugs at Pride 🙂  I also was given a first time blood donor pin (swag!) and a red plastic bracelet similar to the yellow ones of Live Strong fame.  It didn’t actually say Blood Strong on it, but it totally should have!

According to Canadian Blood Services approximately every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood.  While not everyone is eligible, I encourage you to check out the eligibility information on Can I Donate on the CBS’s website – it’s in you to give.

 

 

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