Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"How to stay positive during a long job search"/ "Why creating a personal brand is a win-win for you and your company"

Oct. 14, 2016 "How to stay positive during a long job search": Today I found this article by Gordon MacKay in the Globe and Mail.  The picture of a man with his head down in front of a laptop:

One of the most difficult aspects of almost any job search is dealing with the frustration of being unsuccessful. You build what seems to be a good resume, send out applications to posted positions or try approaching employers directly, you attend a few interviews that don’t result in an offer, you try to build relationships with recruiters, and yet, you’re still searching.

You work your network and get no helpful information. As time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain your self-esteem, your feeling of self-confidence, and your sense of self-worth. You may reach the point where you want to pack it in. Are you going to retire, inherit a pile of money, or win a lottery sometime soon? Unless you are certain that one of these is going to happen, it would seem that you don’t have a choice. Like it or not, you’re going to have to carry on, but what can you do to avoid the loss of these extremely important aspects of your personality?

A man I’ll call “Larry” had had a good career with one company for more than 30 years and had never worked anywhere else. He had risen to a managerial level and was making a good income. Then a foreign competitor unexpectedly acquired his employer. As is common, the new owners decided to reduce the size of the company and move many of the functions to its headquarters. Larry, along with many other long-term employees, was let go. I met him when he had been unemployed for about 18 months. In his 50s, and without a formal post-secondary education, he found himself at a major disadvantage in the job market. His search was long and depressing. The lack of responses of any kind, especially invitations to interviews, was taking a toll on him. In one of our meetings, I asked him what his main hobby was. What type of activity gave him pleasure and made him feel glad to be alive? His answer was “mountain biking”, the serious, hardcore kind through forests and over rough trails. He had been doing it for many years and owned a first-rate bike. I asked him when the last time he had been out on it was, and his answer was that he hadn’t ridden it for more than a year. He felt that it wouldn’t be right to go riding when he should be spending his time looking for a new position. So, instead of doing something once in a while which gave him some satisfaction and enjoyment, he was spending his days in front of his computer, constantly checking for opportunities and firing off applications.

Larry had received a package that gave him 30 months of full salary and benefits, his wife was working, they had few expenses, and he would have EI coverage after the severance payments were done, so money was not his biggest problem. I told him that he needed to get out on his bike at least once per week and give himself a reason to feel good about himself. It took some convincing, but he did, and his mood improved almost immediately. Eventually he found a position with a new employer and got his career going again. Going out for a ride on his bike once or twice each week did absolutely nothing to shorten the time of his search for employment, but it made a big difference in his attitude while he was going through a most difficult time.

We all need to try to maintain good feelings about ourselves, especially when things just don’t seem to be going our way. Whether you enjoy mental or physical activities, you shouldn’t abandon them just because you aren’t employed. If money is a barrier, find alternatives that are free or relatively inexpensive. If, for example, you can’t keep up the gym membership or club fees, see if you can do the same things at the YMCA, YWCA or local community centre. If you enjoy doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku, go for a walk and pick up some of the free newspapers that offer them. If it’s a nice day, perhaps a walk through a park or along a nature trail will pick you up your mood a bit. If you’re a dog or cat lover, can you put in a few hours every week at an animal shelter as a volunteer? Is there a local food bank or other charity where you can help out? These organizations are usually grateful for the help, and you will find that the small amount of time these activities take will not detract from your job search. In fact, when the day does come that you are sitting across from a potential employer and discussing an excellent opportunity, a positive demeanour will help you immensely. No employer is ever interested in someone who doesn’t display a good attitude.

Solitude can also be a major factor in the deterioration of self-confidence for those experiencing job loss and the obstacles involved in finding new employment. While the old adage says “misery loves company”, the truth is that commiseration can be good for you. It is difficult to prevent the feeling that you are going through something that is worse than anyone else could appreciate if you sit at home all day. Your family may be supportive, but you may still have a feeling that they really don’t understand what you’re going through. Find a way to spend time with others who are in similar situations. There may be free services from local non-profit agencies or networking organizations where you can meet people to share experiences and ideas. You may be able to help someone else in their search and they may be able to help you. Even if the only thing you have in common is that you’re all looking for a new job, perhaps they could suggest friends or acquaintances who could be helpful to you and perhaps you could do the same for them. Either way, spending an hour or two out of the house and interacting with others will reduce your sense of being all alone in this situation and improve your attitude.

Try to focus on the positive aspects of your job search. Responses to applications, interviews, and offers, even if declined, indicate that you’re on the right track. At the very least, you’re being noticed and that can be one of the toughest parts of the job market. These are little victories, little crumbs of encouragement, and they should go a long way toward helping keep your spirits up. It’s the lack of them that can be debilitating. If that is what you’re experiencing, you have to do whatever it takes to maintain some level of self-confidence. Without it, your chances of a prospective employer believing that you are the best possible choice for a position greatly decrease. You will have the necessary skills and abilities, which is why they’ll be meeting you, but you may not project the right attitude.

Take the time to do something that makes you feel good every day. You won’t miss anything of any consequence if you’re not staring at your computer screen for an hour or two and it will make you a much better candidate when that opportunity comes along.

Gordon MacKay is a senior career advisor and coach, and a certified career development facilitator with more than 18 years of experience.

jpwjpw 2 days ago
Also don't spend a lot of time reading about how much the government has botched their management of the economy. They have, but it won't help you to know this, much less discuss it with all the other thousands in the same position as you are. It will just make you a grumpy Gus.

My opinion: Grumpy Gus, lol.
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TorBoy9 2 days ago
In internal struggle with self is the most difficult for me. Pressure from family obligations, internal pressure to provide for kids, to pull your own weight can really hurt yourself. Try to ease up on yourself and remember that from a long-term perspective this is a little blip and not a long-term problem.
Try to pick up a new computer skill. There are lots of videos and help online. Pick one that might be helpful in your next job and learn all you can about it. You can then talk about it during your next interview.

Chin up, we trudge on.

Nov. 12, 2016 "Why creating a personal brand is a win-win for you and your company": Today I found this article by Lina Duque in the Globe and Mail:

A simple search on Google can produce abundant information about you, including where you work, talks you’ve given, articles you’ve written or had written about you, initiatives you’re involved in and pictures from events you’ve attended. Anyone looking to learn about you could put those search results together and infer your area expertise and personality, which may or may not be true. Creating a well-thought-out personal brand affords you more control over shaping that perception and raises your profile within your workplace and to your industry thought leaders. More importantly, by building a personal brand that encompasses your professional identity, you are by default enhancing your company brand.

Jane Griffith, partner at the Canadian offices of the international search firm Odgers Berndtson, is a good case study. In her job, Griffith is focused on the recruitment of senior leaders in the non-profit and academic sectors. She is also driven by diversity and women’s leadership, which led her to found three years ago a women’s group called the Council of Women Executives. Her goal was to bring executive women together into the same room, where they can network, share best practices and learn new skills through speaker-led presentations. Her firm would host those meetings.

Over the next few years, Griffith built a strong personal brand, centered around her women’s initiative and efforts to highlight diversity as an important component of recruitment strategy. Her in-person activities were accompanied with social media presence, including Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

Griffith’s efforts increased her visibility internally to her firm’s leadership, who recently appointed her in the newly-created role of national diversity leader. Griffith also caught the attention of her peers. She recently spoke on diversity and recruitment at a reputable industry conference in Chicago, held by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC). Griffith was the only person from her firm, both in the US and Canada, to participate. “It was very important for my firm to have representation at the AESC event,” she said. Would that translate into business for the firm? “We got invited to submit proposals that we wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to pitch on.”

Hence, by advocating for female executives and helping them network and connect, Griffith has helped enhance her employer’s brand and reputation as a propeller of women’s leadership and diversity in the workplace, which opened up new business opportunities for the firm.

But how do you make the most of your personal brand? Here are a few guidelines to help you create a win-win situation for you and your employer.

Craft an authentic brand

Know your why: What drives you? What makes you stand out as a leader? Perhaps you have a passion for climate change or supporting local entrepreneurs. Pick a cause or an area of interest that is aligned with your job and work to make a difference.

Sean Gardner’s personal brand, for example, extends beyond his day job as social media producer for TwinStar Credit Union to include his commitment to philanthropy. The social media influencer has created a reputation as an ambassador of the #GivingTuesday movement and uses his large online following, including over 900,000 followers on Twitter alone, to encourage people to give back. His personal brand, associated with such a great cause, can only influence his employer’s brand positively.

Act as an ambassador of your firm

As your personal brand can improve your company brand, it can equally have the same impact negatively. Take Desmond Hague, former CEO of the sports catering company Centerplate, for example. He was caught on surveillance video kicking a puppy in a hotel elevator two years ago and was subsequently forced to resign following the intense backlash on social media over the incident. Hague’s behaviour outside of work highly affected his company brand and caused major harm to his reputation.

While you may not be the CEO or official spokesperson of your company, make sure you represent it well, online and off. On social media, use the bio section to highlight your strengths and issues that matter to you. Make the association with your employer clear. For example, include your company’s Twitter handle in your Twitter bio. Disseminate content put out by your company to raise awareness of its activities and values.

Be clear with your employer about your brand

Have a conversation with your leadership about the direction of your personal brand, the causes you care about and how your participation would impact the company brand. There might be an opportunity for you to collaborate with your firm on a joint initiative that benefits both you and your employer, the way Jane Griffith did when she set up the women’s group.

Get acquainted with your company values and rules of engagement – what’s acceptable and what’s not. As much of one’s personal branding takes place on social media, familiarize yourself with your company policy on social media prior to engaging online.

Lina Duque, MBA (@LinaDuqueMBA) is a social media strategist and university lecturer on digital presence and personal branding. She presented last week at the World Communication Forum Davos in Istanbul.

"learn how to tame your stress response"/ "Why being deliberate is key to succeeding"

Sept. 14, 2016 "Learn how to tame your stress response": Today I found this article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail:

Emotional Agility
By Susan David
(Avery, 274 pages, $32.50)

Emotional intelligence has been a big deal since the mid-1990s bestseller by Daniel Goleman reminded us of the importance of understanding and managing our emotions. Agility has been a buzzword in recent years in tech operations and, more broadly, strategy. Harvard Medical School psychologist and executive coach Susan David has combined those two separate concepts into a new notion, emotional agility, which she believes is the key to workplace and life success.

“Emotional agility is about loosening up, calming down, and living with more intention. It’s about choosing how you’ll respond to your emotional warning system,” she writes in her book Emotional Agility.

She observes that many people, most of the time, operate on emotional autopilot, reacting to situations without true awareness. Others realize they expend too much energy trying to constrain or suppress their emotions, which are treated she says “like unruly children and, at worst, as threats to their well-being.”

When she asks clients how long they have been trying to get in touch with, fix, or cope with their challenging emotions and the situations that prompt them, the answers can range from five to 20 years. Sometimes the answer is “ever since I was a little kid.” Clearly, many people haven’t developed much in the way of emotional intelligence.

The agility part of her approach deals with the thinking and behaviour processes – habits that can prevent you from flourishing. They keep you stuck, reacting in the same obstinate way to new or different situations. Perhaps since you were young you always say the wrong thing or fold when it’s time to fight for what you deserve. Or perhaps you default to certain rules of thumb that served you well in the past but aren’t serving you now, such as people can’t be trusted.

“A growing body of research shows that emotional rigidity – getting hooked by thoughts, feelings and behaviours that don’t serve us – is associated with a range of psychological ills, including depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, emotional agility – being flexible with your thoughts and feelings so you can respond optimally to everyday situations – is key to well-being and success,” she says.

Emotional agility is not about controlling your thoughts or forcing yourself to think more positively. It involves loosening up and calming down, being more intentional when emotions can trip you up. Throughout the book, she regularly comes back to a key concept Nazi death camp survivor Viktor Frankl advanced in Man’s Search for Meaning: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

Emotional agility involves opening up that space between how you feel and what you do about those feelings. You need not be an automaton. You can change what may seem like preordained patterns of response. “Emotionally agile people are dynamic. They demonstrate flexibility in dealing with our fast-changing, complex world. They are able to tolerate high levels of stress and to endure setbacks, while remaining engaged, open and receptive,” she says.

Life doesn’t become magically easy. They still experience feelings of anger and sadness. But they face those with curiosity, self-compassion and acceptance, rather than being derailed by them.

Work may seem coldly rational with spreadsheets and organizational charts but in fact she sees it as a stage on which emotional issues play out. Old stories about who we think we are hook us at critical moments, such as when we are pressured. “To advance in our careers, we need to update those narratives the same way we update our resumes. And just as we no longer list our summer jobs once we’re out of college, some stuff from way back simply needs to be left behind,” she advises.

Insecurity can be a hook. So can caring too much, leading us to step on co-workers’ toes. Groups can also get hooked, developing tunnel vision. In all cases, step back and let go. Stay true to your values. Move on with small, deliberate tweaks to your mindset, motivation and habits.

She lists signs you’re hooked at work: You can’t let go of an idea or being right, even when there is an obviously better answer; you stay silent when you know something is going wrong; you busy yourself with small tasks without considering the bigger picture; you volunteer for only the least difficult tasks; you make backhanded comments about co-workers or projects; and you rely on assumptions about colleagues.

To get past those and truly show up for work, you must make room for and label your thoughts and emotions. That will help you to see them as information rather than facts or directives.

The book is not a guidebook for regaining emotional balance and agility. But it does set out some key principles for understanding the power of emotions upon us and how to be more effective in life and at work.


Disruptive Marketing (Amacom, 234 pages, $35.50) by communications designer Geoffrey Colon shares diverse ideas from the digital world to expand your horizons and improve your brand.

The First Two Rules of Leadership (Wiley, 148 pages, $28) are don’t be stupid and don’t be a jerk, and consultant David Cottrell explores them in his new book.

Academics Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Jean-Pierre Landau look at Europe’s great monetary endeavour and its difficulties in The Euro and the Battle of Ideas (Princeton University Press, 440 pages, $43.95).

My opinion: That was a good psychology article.

Nov. 18, 2016 "Why being deliberate is key to succeeding": Today I found this article by Chitra Anand in the Globe and Mail:

de·lib·er·ate > adjective >consciously and intentionally. > “a deliberate attempt to provoke conflict” > verb > engage in long and careful consideration.

I love the word, as an adjective and a verb. Any decision that you make in life – whether in your personal or professional life – should be with some amount of deliberation. I have spent my career in large corporations and innovation is something that companies struggle with; the problem is with maintaining their relevance in the marketplace. We are seeing it in all kinds of industries. With the rise of technology, the way we shop, eat, travel, and manage our finances are being presented with new business models and all of this has been done with deliberation. New start-ups have found gaps in the market, problems to solve, and a way to do things better. For the corporation to survive in this new marketplace, they need to adopt this kind of thinking; They need to nurture the talent from within that exemplify these kinds of behaviours.

In my career, I have never been a ‘yes’ person. I have always been curious about doing things differently, challenging current ways, researching, trying new things.

The business decisions that you make should be in the best interest of the project or organization that you work for. What ideas could drive high impact, move the needle rather than just going through the motions. I am not afraid to take risks, fail, learn and move on. The reality is that most large corporations are not set up for this kind of a learning environment as much as they may say they are.

I remember the words of the first president that I worked with at Microsoft. He said to me, “Here is my advice to you. Do something, don’t talk about changing things and go through the motions of the job, do something that has big impact.” Those words were great guiding principles. One of the dangers of working in a large corporation is that you can spend a year in a job and do just that – go through the motions, get caught up in meeting minutia and, before you know it, the year is up. I recently spoke at a conference in Cincinnati and one of the attendees conveyed just that. He was at Macy’s for five years and he felt like he did not accomplish anything meaningful.

To become deliberate in what you do requires elements of mindfulness and reflection, which will ultimately improve your performance. To be deliberate means the following things in large, complex organizations; its around how you are spending your time. Ask yourself the following questions:

How much time am I spending on e-mail, meetings and social media?

These three things are time killers. You are simply consuming your time with busy work. If you think that answering e-mails all day is work or by sitting in a meeting is work – it’s not. What you are creating and building is the work. I have made a deliberate effort to ensure that I deliver two-three tangible things in every work quarter. Ensure that there is tangible, impactful work that you either contribute to directly or that you lead.

How much time am I spending on modelling possibility?

This is where creative experimentation comes through. To breakthrough with innovation from within, you need to allow yourself time and space to solve problems by thinking through possibilities. I have dedicated my time to research how companies can make innovation more deliberate from within by embedding it into their culture daily. The question you should ultimately ask yourself is, ‘how much value am I creating?’

Are you willing to take risks?

Innovation requires being fearless, the ability to make mistakes, learn and move on. Any business that achieved results assumed risk. As children, a big part of the learning process is to make a mistake. Why, as adults and in corporations, do we lose the essence of learning?

Chitra Anand (@chitra_anand), formerly director of marketing at Telus and head of public relations at Microsoft Canada, is involved in the intrapreneurship movement. Intrapreneurs possess an entrepreneurial spirit, driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas.

jojo ba 2 days ago
Some very good and thought provoking points are made, one of the better articles I have seen in this column. Personally I have always thought of email as a time drain, half the senders can't convey their thought and half the recipients don't read the whole text. A phone call is much more effective, less time consuming and re-enforce relationships.

CYNIC11 3 days ago
A thought provoking interesting article. The G&M need more of such, other than simply repeating the popular comments of other journalists.

"We are overly sensitive as a country, survey finds"/ Happy Holidays!

Aug. 30, 2016 "We are overly sensitive as a country, survey finds": I found this article by Laura Hensley in the National Post section of the Edmonton Journal:

Canadians may be notoriously polite, but many think we are becoming too sensitive.
Seventy-six per cent of respondents said political correctness has “gone too far,” while 72 per cent said they censor themselves to avoid offending others, according to a survey released Monday by the Angus Reid Institute.

It found people over 55 are most likely to agree with this sentiment, 82 per cent,  while almost the same number — 80 per cent — think it “seems like you can’t say anything” without upsetting someone these days.

When it comes to language, millennials (aged 18 to 34) are the most likely to be impatient with being political corrected: 71 per cent say too many people are easily offended by word choice.

“We might be inclined to make assumptions that younger Canadians are more politically correct or more sensitive to these issues,” said Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid’s executive director.

“In fact, they are the most likely to say people are too easily offended by what others say, and by the language that others use.”
The youngest cohort is also least likely to say people need to be more careful about their language to avoid offending those from different backgrounds. Twenty-nine per cent agreed, compared with 39 per cent of the 55-plus group.

When it comes to political beliefs, Conservative voters are also less likely to think people need to watch their words.
Only about 20 per cent agree people should be more sensitive, compared with about 40 per cent of Liberals and 38 per cent of New Democrats.
“I think what’s really interesting about the results there is that our views north of the border on political correctness are much more uniform across the political spectrum than south of the border,” Kurl said.

U.S. leaders like Donald Trump can create divisions among their supporters when it comes to political correctness.  The issue can be “one that sort of pulls voters apart across party lines.”

“Here, in Canada, majorities across the political spectrum — whether you’re left, or centrist, or to the right — everyone seems to think that political correctness has gone too far,” she said.

But even though most Canadians think correctness has got out of hand, more than half “hold their tongue” daily to avoid upsetting people around them. Almost 90 per cent of those who self-censor say they do so to be polite.

“It’s just such a typical Canadian finding,” Kurl said. “On one hand, we feel that people are too easily offended, we feel that political correctness has gone too far as a country, and those same majorities then turn around and say that they are choosing to censor … and they are doing it to be polite.
“Because they don’t want to offend.”

My opinion: I don't think we are too sensitive.  I don't think anyone wants to start fights, drama, conflict, and tension over their words.  I'll see that on my fictional TV shows. 

The main rule is to not say anything about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation.  If I want to be offended, then I will watch MadTV, Tosh. O, and Family Guy among other shows. 

When you're at work or at school, you have to be professional.

Oct. 22, 2016 "Crime so awful even a juror felt victimized": I found this article by Christie Blatchford in the Edmonton Journal on Oct. 21, 2016.  This should be the counter argument to the above article.  It's a about a juror who experienced vicarious PTSD. 

That changed this week with the story, broken by Jane Sims of Postmedia in London, that one of the Rafferty jurors, a single mother of two, is claiming she suffered vicarious Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the trial, thus is an indirect victim of crime herself and is seeking compensation.
The 57-year-old woman — her identify is forever protected, as jurors are to remain anonymous — first applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board but was denied, and her first appeal of that order, at the Ontario Divisional Court, also failed.

Her case at the Court of Appeal will be heard next month.
In essence, she claims “jurors are effectively ordered to participate in the process” and are indistinguishable from bystanders who witness violent crimes.
As her lawyers wrote, “The involuntariness of jurors equates with others who are victims of crime — those who are involved, not by choice, but by circumstance.”

Yet that involuntariness is the norm in the criminal courts, and the very reason that jury duty is so often called the highest civic service a citizen can perform.

No one asks to serve on a jury; one is asked to do it, and even then, only the least wily and with the best-protected jobs (which means they won’t suffer financial hardship while serving) do not evade it.

The only thanks ever comes from the trial judge. The pay is terrible. The working conditions — when not actually in court and sitting on hard chairs, you are routinely trapped with 11 of your fellows in a small room, watched over by a court officer, urged to keep your opinions to yourself and warned not to discuss the trial with anyone else — are almost as bad.

Yet from all I’ve seen in dozens of courtrooms, most people rise magnificently to the task. They take it seriously; they follow the judge’s instructions; they listen to the lawyers and weigh the evidence, however terrible, and are fair.

A former colleague, Kirk Makin, once said that you can actually physically see how jurors change: On the first day, they come to court with the posture and clothes of the schlubs that most of us are; by the third, they’re standing tall, ignoring if not overtly glaring at the TV reporters they were thrilled to have recognized on day one, and magically have acquired from God knows where a dignified mien.

One of the legal tests for what’s still called “nervous shock” in courts and tribunals goes like this: “Was it reasonably foreseeable that a person of ordinary fortitude would suffer mental injury in the circumstances?”

The answer, in the Rafferty trial, is probably “Yes — and also that this person of ordinary fortitude would be able to carry on, certainly sadder, perhaps not without difficulty, but yes.”

Hundreds of them do it every year actually, emerge from the metaphorical darkness of courthouses into the bright light of real life, forever changed, but not broken.

Oct. 30, 2016 Blind boy tears up after seeing mom's face for first time: This made me say "Awww..."

Benny Francey, 10, is living with a rare disease called Leber congenital amaurosis. It has prevented the boy and his brother, Ashton, age eight, from seeing anything but silhouettes.

But all that changed for Benny last Wednesday, when the Selkirk family took a trip to Toronto to try on a pair of eSight glasses they've bought after months spent fundraising the $15,000 US cost of the glasses.

"When he put on the glasses we could tell that he could see because his first word was 'wow,'" said Benny's mom Jenna Cason.
Cason said there were tears, Benny smiled and then "he told me I had a big nose," she said laughing.
"Then we giggled and it kind of changed the mood."
"It was amazing. I mean he sat there and stared for a very long time and so you could tell I guess that he was taking it all in."
"It was very emotional."

Amanda Vitt is the boys' aunt. She started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the glasses and for horseback riding lessons for Ashton, who has no chance of seeing.

She said she was nervous when Benny put on the glasses because the family knew there was no guarantee her nephew would be able to see.
"We were really, really scared about that," Vitt said.

"We prepared him for that, you know. We still wanted to be hopeful and excited for him, but he needed to know the reality that there was a chance that they couldn't work."

Vitt said after the emotional encounter, Benny watched Kung Fu Panda and looked at photos from a past family vacation to Mexico. In the photos were palm trees the boy hadn't been able to see.

It was in that moment Saucedo was consumed with guilt but she knew she didn’t lay or roll over him and that there was nothing blocking Ben’s airway when she slept. Yet somehow after she fell asleep, Ben stopped breathing.

Weeks went by before Saucedo received Ben’s final cause of death — Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrom (SUID). Although the autopsy wasn’t able to prove Ben suffocated, his death was ruled an accidental asphyxiation.

“I was one of the unlucky mothers who got a coroner that refused to rule a death as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) because of his sleeping conditions. Naturally, I was angry and consumed with guilt,” she says.

My opinion: This is a sad story.  She didn't roll over on him, it was a SIDS.  She should get counseling.

My week:

Dec. 17, 2016 Subscription boxes: I was reading the comics, and in the comic strip Betty, they were talking about subscription boxes.  I wrote about it before in a Sept. 2014 post:

phone interview/ homeless to law school graduate

For the Quarterly business: biohack, literary, culinary or maker.

Literary Box
    Receive three books a quarter, including a brand new release annotated by the author with hand-written notes, two more curated titles and delightful bookish goods—all delivered to your doorstep.

My opinion: I have mentioned this before in the 2014 post.  I don't want more stuff and clutter; things I don't really need or want.  I'm sure some of you would like to get a box of surprises of things you're interested in.  A box of books, there maybe something really good to read.

I get that from the newspaper everyday.  The Edmonton Journal and the Globe and Mail are good and they do have interesting articles.  I'm sure you can tell by reading my blog on how much I like it because I cut out and write a lot about it.  However, as soon as I cut it out, I put it in an envelope to give to my friend and co-worker Je.  Now it has turned to co-worker and friend S.

Dec. 20, 2016: This is like a gift basket, but you put things in a basket and you can see what's in it.  As for this box, you don't know what's in it.

Dec. 19, 2016 Ashley Stahl: I woke up this morning, and it was a slow start.  I was sending/ posting 2 of my weekly emails/ blog posts up.

I went to work and I got home.  I listed to this 1hr 30min webinar by Ashley Stahl, who is a career coach.  I wrote down notes.

Planogram: As I was listening to her, I was also looking for a job.  I learned this new word from a job ad:

"A diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail products on shelves in order to maximize sales."

Then I send/ posted one more of my weekly email/ blog post up.

Dec. 20, 2016 Adler University: Yesterday I found this ad on Facebook about careers for social change.  They were all Masters degrees.

Work-Sharing Temporary Special Measures: I found this "Be proactive with minimum wage hike" by Alison McMahon in the Edmonton Journal.  It was in my box of articles.  It mentioned "Work-sharing provider"):

The Government of Canada has put in place Work-Sharing ( WS ) temporary special measures to assist employers directly or indirectly affected by the downturn in the commodities sector.
  1. For WS agreements that begin or end between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, we are extending the maximum duration from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.
  2. If you are an employer whose WS agreement ended between July 12, 2015 and March 31, 2016, you can immediately enter into a new agreement with a maximum duration of 76 weeks. You do not have to wait between applications.

Marijuana business: I've been reading a lot about this in the newspaper.  I see there is still laws about it being medicinal and what the age should be.

Opening a bookstore: I read this article "Pushing paper" by Mark Medley in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 17, 2016.  I have read an article in the G&M business section about a couple opening a bookstore and selling a lot of their books online.  I read an article in the Edmonton Journal about a retired couple who opened one too.  It's very hard to be run a bookstore.  You can read this article, and you have to find a place, buy bookshelves, and learn about inventory, etc.

When I was a kid and teen, I read a lot of books.  Now when I got to my 20s, I read the newspaper.  It's rare that I read books.  I have never worked at a bookstore before.  I have applied to some before, and I did one interview for one.  There is so much competition:

1. The big bookstores like Chapters.
2. Amazon.
3. ebooks.

Should I get a driver's license?: My friend Sherry was the only one who emailed me back on this.  She did mention that I can drive to jobs that are farther away.  I know that.  I have mentioned this before on the post, but I would rather sit on the bus for 1 hr, then drive for 30 min.

"Does your job make the world a worse place?"/ Should I get a driver's license?

 "What the spy film Manchurian Candidate says about the era of Trump": I found this article by Barry Hertz in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 17, 2016:

The YouTube comments compare Trump to the Manchurian Candidate.  Maybe I will watch this movie when it comes on TV.

Here's how the White House staff pranked President Obama for the holidays: This is a light and fun holiday pictures and news:

Dec. 21, 2016 Feng shui consultant master course: This is a 3 day event run by Kathryn Weber who has the Red Lotus feng shui website.  This is not a scam.

Start Date: I found out about this when HireGround emailed me:

Faster, more flexible and more secure, our ATS makes the most of today's technology. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry, HireGround's StartDate is uniquely designed to reduce your cost to hire and simplify the recruiting process. And unlike many other HR systems, StartDate is set up and ready to use in days (not months).

Dec. 22, 2016 "Millennials are shaping the future of charitable giving": Today I found this article by Brenda Bouw in the Globe and Mail.  I'm going to put the whole article up in another blog post.

Charity apps: That did lead me to think of charity apps.  There is a lot of them, like this:

Charity Miles is a run, bike and walk tracker app that tells you how many miles you've covered during your workout. Plus, Charity Miles also earns money for charity on your behalf for every mile you move, via brand workout sponsors like Humana, Johnson & Johnson and Chobani!
We're proud to say that, so far our members have earned over $2 million for charity by recording over 40 million miles, just by using our app as their running, biking and walking distance tracker!

Or you can go to Click every day to give food for the hungry. and click and donate for free: