Site Issues :-/

So if you’re seeing this, congratulations. The website went down a couple of days ago, and ever since then, some of my readers are seeing something that looks like this:

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I’m working on it, but I’m also on a business trip right now and don’t have a ton of time to devote to my personal blog while handling about a million and one client issues. So to those of you who won’t be seeing this post until the site magically reappears for you, I sincerely apologize, and thank you for coming back!

Dear Santa (A Grownup’s Christmas List)

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Dear Santa,

I stopped believing in you at age 4, when I saw Mum & Daddy arranging my presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. However, for the sake of this letter, I’m trying to picture you not just as a jolly old man in a red velvet suit, but maybe as the representative of a positive universe that really does want us to achieve all that our hearts desire. In other words, I’m putting out good energy in hopes that some will bounce back in my general direction.

Santa, I’m struggling here. I’m drowning in student loan debt and living in a city where rent prices keep rising but salaries are lower than I’ve ever seen for someone with my experience. I’m working as a freelance marketer, but the stress of living paycheck to paycheck has taken its toll. On top of all of this, I’m unsatisfied with the trajectory of my personal life, and I’m financially dependent on my significant other. I’m trapped. It would be great to get a break.

I’m not asking for much – just a chance at a job that lets me use my skills and education to the best advantage, where I can bolster a team of efficient and competent coworkers who strive for the absolute best every day. I’m an online marketer with strong experience in event management, and would love to work for a company that would let me shine. Bonus points if the job is in Austin, TX or Portland, OR, and infinite bonus points if it includes a relocation bonus. (But that’s like asking for a magic wand (or a hoverboard) so don’t feel too pressured!)

Here’s my LinkedIn page, my About.me page, and my visual resume, just in case any of your elves happen to moonlight as a recruiter. And thanks again, Santa. I appreciate your help!

Love,

Anna

P.S. I went gluten-free recently, so hope you don’t mind Paleo cookies on the mantelpiece this year 🙂

How To Know If You’re An Insufferable Twit (#1: Trolls)

Inspired by a recent conversation in real life, I’m starting a new series here on Compass & Quill called “How To Know If You’re An Insufferable Twit.” I’m sure I could come up with 20 things right now if I took a few minutes to ponder the issue, but at the moment I’d just like to address one major sign: trolling your REAL LIFE FRIENDS on social media.

No, I’m not talking about people who leave clever and/or asinine comments for the joke of it. I’m talking about people who deliberately (or maybe not deliberately – maybe they’re just obtuse) mistake every social media post as the perfect chance to start an argument, and jump in with guns blazing. If this is something you do, make no mistake, it’s highly disconcerting to most of the rest of us. It’s also incredibly rude.

How can you avoid becoming a troll twit, you ask? It’s pretty simple, provided you have a moderate grasp of reality and realize that it’s not ALL ABOUT YOU.

First, realize that most of the time, unless people are posting statements directly to your wall, they’re not seeking to incite a riot when they post an idea or article to their FB pages. They’re simply sharing something that that makes them laugh, ponder, or reflect. Take a look – is the article entirely benign? Are you feeling testy anyway? Do not comment. Just walk away and go find a better battle to fight elsewhere on the web.

If you’re still not sure whether your friend posted this article or idea as an invitation to argue, study the subject matter in relation to your friend’s personality. For instance, if the person is a Grateful Dead fan and they post a Grateful Dead song to their page, they probably aren’t looking to get into an argument about the evils of the legalization of pot (not on this post, anyway). Similarly, if a person is spiritual and likes to talk about upbeat things, then posts an article about an exceptionally inspiring person with a message of peace, they probably aren’t looking to get into a discussion about how misguided the news outlet that ran the story is. At this point, if you can see that your friend posted a story innocently, but it still makes your blood boil for whatever reason, by all means share the story on your own page and start a dialogue there.

Is your friend argumentative, with a proven love of controversial posts? By all means, comment away, and bully for you for finding a sparring partner.

Of course, the best course of action, if you aren’t too self-absorbed and irrational to grasp it, would be to keep replies short and sweet, be calm and rational, and think nothing but kind thoughts as you comment – even if you’re attempting to “correct” your friend’s concept of life. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy, well-founded conversation via social media, especially not if you’re talking to a person you love and admire. Friends should be able to have opposing viewpoints, after all.

But friends shouldn’t have to put up with angry, misanthropic asshats who take every opportunity to claim the moral high ground and go on the offensive. It wasn’t polite before social media, and it’s certainly not polite – or normally even warranted – in this day and age. Being more intimately connected with the thoughts of our friends does not give us leave to make little of them. Instead, it gives us a chance to build stronger bridges, and discuss bigger ideas. We have the opportunity to remain civil and sensitive to the needs of our fellow humans. If you’ve got your fingers in your ears, jumping up and down on the heads of the people who love you best, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

And you’re an insufferable twit.

999 Followers!

Today I got my 999th follower on Compass & Quill – how amazing. I’m incredibly honored that so many of you are reading (if only every now and then). Thanks Roxana!

Wonder who will be Reader #1,000?

Update: Well THAT was quick! Thanks for being the thousandth follower, San Diego Beach Living 😀

The New Orleans ADDY Awards

My beautiful team of coworkers and I won two awards last weekend at the New Orleans ADDYs! We won gold for a leasing brochure produced for Time Warner Center, and silver for an integrated marketing campaign created for a local nonprofit called NO/AIDS Task Force. I had just started working at Cathedral Creative Studios when the leasing brochure was created, so technically our award doesn’t have anything to do with me. However, I was very deeply involved with NO/AIDS’ Art Against AIDS campaign, and actually created the entire online strategy for marketing the event. I’m so psyched that less than a year after graduating with my Master’s in Internet Marketing, I’m already an award-winning strategist! Even better is the knowledge that it only gets better from here.

I had a talk with my boss the other day, and it turns out that my responsibilities at Cathedral will be growing substantially in the near future. It’s fantastic to know that I not only get to work with such fun, fantastic and fearless guys, but I’m also given so much support and love on a daily basis. I can’t begin to stress how wonderful it is to have finally found a workplace to call “home” after so many years of searching. I’m a little scared that I’m not prepared to take the big steps that I’m going to have to be taking pretty soon, but I have a plan for getting prepared and learning the skills I need to thrive in this career of mine.

Here’s a couple of silly snapshots I took of myself the night of the event. It was a 1940’s-themed event, and I scored the best outfit pretty much last minute. Bought my very first (and definitely not my last) dress from Trashy Diva (called “Honey Child” – how appropriate!), and paired it with a fun feathered hair clip and bold red lips for a vintage look. It was a hit, too – just wish someone had taken a better photo.

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