Unemployment Diaries: California Edition Part VI

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I got my hurr did. 🙂

I’m starting to feel like a whole new woman, and it’s only been a few days. I got my hair and nails done. It’s amazing what a fresh cut and color will do to your sense of being. My rat’s nest hadn’t been unleashed from a bun or pony tail in over a year.

I was rockin’ an overgrown bob with dead ends drier than the Sahara desert. Woof.

I reworked my morning routine and started to feel more at home. After a cup of joe I’d throw the tennis ball for their two goldens. I’d go on the treadmill or ride a bike down to the beach, and in-between I applied and reached out to as many people, organizations and jobs I could manage before my eyes would go cross-eyed. IMG_5218IMG_5164

I was able to explore the freeway system. Yes, the infamous 405 freeway where the rest of America watched OJ Simpson flee police after the murder of his wife.

I’ve driven many places, but driving in a borrowed car made me more uneasy. If I happened to fender bender with anything, I’d rather with my own car.

I was pleasantly surprised the freeways are a helluva more direct than the construction fiasco ones in Texas. I think got too used to feeling like a mouse weaving through tight lanes chasing the cheese. I forgot it wasn’t normal.

The on-ramps were long, signs were clear and you had an ample amount of time to change lanes to get on the correct exit. Knock on wood, the driving wasn’t bad, and I got more comfortable each time I ventured out.

Feelin' the Pacific.

Feelin’ the Pacific.

I also got to dip my toes into the much cooler Pacific Ocean.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs

And I traveled east out to Palm Springs. Where the rat pack liked to vacation and party.

One week down, and hopefully only a few more to go. I want a job, I need a job, I’ll get a job. Why not me.

Unemployment Diaries: California Edition Part II

I’ve been caught up with applying to jobs out on the west coast, so I find it harder to sit down after hours of screen time to blog about it. But let me catch you up. 

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Three hours into my first long distance train ride and I have no complaints. I’ve never rode an Amtrak train before. I’ve traveled by subway, trolleys, inner city trams, and traveled back in time with gold thieves who would hold up a vintage locomotive in order to find gold in the passenger’s pockets. The stairwell leading to the bottom car does smell like urine, but my fellow passengers don’t reek of it, yet.

The Golden Eagle Amtrak train route.

The Golden Eagle Amtrak train route.

To say I was nervous about my 5-hour layover in San Antonio would be putting it lightly. I’m supposed to sleep in this thing? To be fair, the seats did recline far enough to snuggle in for an awkward night’s sleep and the leg room was generous.

But I’m one of those strange people who has an unhealthy relationship with their bed. I can’t sleep anywhere unless it’s between my own sheets. When I would do sleepovers at a friend’s house, my mom had to warn the parents I would have to call them before I’d go to bed. I would get home sick and just want to go back to my own house, each time. My mom expected the call and would tell me she’d be there before sunrise if I didn’t have a good time. I guess I wanted reassurance my home would still be there for me the next day, who knows.

Me, reluctantly sitting in my seat.

Me, reluctantly sitting in my seat.

A hour into the train ride I got a dose of what my fellow travelers did outside of the speeding bullet. The man behind me spent a majority of the first leg of the train on his phone. His daughter’s car had overheated, she was stranded in a neighborhood, and he talked her through what she needed to do in order for the car to start and return home.

The man in front of me might be Mr. Bean. He fell asleep within seconds and passengers two cars ahead of us could hear him snoring. I kid you not. I have never heard the most such a disgusting snore come from ones throat, at times people were nervous he was going to choke. I immediately made a mental note to never complain about the light snoring my husband did.

A group of people in the far back talked mostly about sports, but oddly enough politics would swoop into the conversation every once in a while. The loud obnoxious one with smiley tattooed on his neck favored the 49-ers. An older couple sported Dallas Cowboy gear and complained about Tony Romo.

I’ve been through two cities thus far according to the map, but anywhere else in the country I think they’d just be considered a gathering of people who couldn’t ravel far enough inland. We went through the town Crawford, and no joke, I blinked and missed it entirely.

The Brazen River

The Brazen River

I had my first river crossing – the Brazen River which means the Arms of God. I was happy to reach the other side because of the nightmares I had the night before of derailing on a bridge, drowning to death. I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested – in my Sheldon Cooper voice. 

Flat land for days

Flat land for days

The scenery switches up between flat land, bushes texans call trees and run-down homes. And there were plenty of old cars sitting in some backyards, a gold mine for my car-crazed husband and father-in-law.

City of Crawford

City of Crawford

I’m not to keen on getting up and out of my seat, yet. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what is going on around me. I like to absorb the culture before I start to wander the train. Can I leave my stuff on my seat? Which way is the cafe car? Should I sit quietly or make a friend?

I think I’ll wait a couple more hours before I indulge myself of what I’ll call home for the next 35 hours.

Post Graduate Problems

Another day another dollar, except when you’re a postgraduate looking desperately for someone, anyone, to hire you. Then, there are no dollars.

My mornings have been spent scouring the Internet and checking emails. In fraught need of different scenery, I sit at a local coffee shop filling out online job applications.

Its patrons are current college students, street sleepers or weathered motorcycle men enjoying the mid morning sun. I fit right in with my messy bun, workout shorts and oversized T-shirt (not Greek related).

Organic fruits are freshly juiced and blended in the background, while hipster coffee is being squeezed through expensive pressers. The air is obscure due to the dark brick walls, thick wooden tables and the only natural blocked because it’s not early enough in the day to beam through the windows.

 As I sip on ‘blended #1’ I contemplate where my life is headed.

“Will I ever find a job?”

“Of course, don’t be so dramatic.”

“What if I’m a waitress forever?”

Don’t be silly, you have a degree!”

“Are my social media pages haunting me?”

“Shannon, your most embarrassing pictures are on MySpace and they were deleted a long time ago.”

The statistics aren’t in my favor; only 27 percent of college graduates land a job in their desired field. The most hope one can have is that a job miraculously falls into your lap, preferably before student loans start its withdrawal from your already suffocating bank account.

“Network. Network. Network.”

It’s all I ever heard the last two years of my undergraduate degree. Professors, public speakers or guest lecturers were all obsessed with networking. I figured it was important and ran in circles making connections throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

If it was an internship, I got it. If it was a meet and greet, I did it. If it was an open event to college students, I signed up. You name it I did, went and tried it.

“It’ll help me get a job. I won’t be a part of the statistic. I’ll have a job with my degree after I graduate,” I’d say with motivation.

The Metroplex is supposedly the number-one hot spot for college graduates, according to Forbes. It’s also in the top ten of places to live in the United States. I currently beg to differ.

It’s been almost two months since I began applying for jobs. The outcome is as dismal as the day before I started to apply. My hard work has resulted in multiple insurance agencies “recruiting” me for “competitive salaries,” which in the biz means, based off commission.

My email inbox has been championed the “thanks, but no thanks” collector of denials and contacts I had “networked” with haven’t responded to any of the polite, yet titillating, email inquiries.

A women my husband works with at a fitness company can’t find a better job than front desk attendant, because her resume proclaims she has a Master’s Degree.

When did accomplishing an academic achievement become detrimental to your resume? This bit of news came as a swift kick in the pants. I just graduated with my Bachelors. I literally can’t even think about graduate school, yet.

I reflect on YouTube sensation Jenna Marbles. A young woman who couldn’t find a job after graduation and became a viral hit through vloging instead.

I hear there’s a woman hawking her degree on EBay for the best offer. College experience included. For a hefty price you can purchase the full college voyage with campus tours, popular hangouts and bars, and full access to drunken texts you regret from the night before.

Am I destined for this same fate?

Maybe.

“Every no is one step closer to the yes.”

This sentiment has almost become as deterring as “be sure to network while in college.” Is this myth only one with years of experience can crack the code and then gain permission to tell hopeful candidates?

I never understood why professionals preached job searching is hard. I planned ahead and full heartily believed I’d have a job offer before or immediately after graduation. Ignorance is truly bliss. Where are all these jobs one speaks of? Can you ask them if they need a strategic communication major?

At least I have my health.

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference 2015

This was my why not me moment.

Somewhere in March I received an email asking how much my words were worth. Intrigued, I actually read one of the zillions of emails sent by the university, daily. It was informing students about a nonfiction conference in Grapevine, Texas. You could submit work and if selected, attend workshops with editors, authors and professionals in the literary world.

These selections would also be in the running for cash prizes. As a broke, almost graduated, ever-since-I-was-young-wannabe-writer and student, I submitted a personal essay, why not me. And I was chosen for selection! I was floored, I finally threw out my insecurities and dove in head first and it paid off!

The conference was this past weekend. I don’t think I have the words to craft a proper gauge on how I felt. You know when Hagrid tells Harry, ur a wizard -arry, and Harry begins to understand he won’t have to spend all his time with the Dursleys? Or, when Harry rides his broom for the first time and finds out his father was also a decorated seeker? Or … well I could keep the Harry Potter metaphors going all night … you get it.

The conference was more than just a learning experience. I felt like a grew as a person who loves words and reading/writing stories. Here are a few of the speakers from the lectures I enjoyed the most:

1. Anne Fadiman speaking about her book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall DownHer keynote speech left me feeling full. She emerged herself into a unfamiliar world of Hmong refugees struggling with new life in California. “I believe in accidents, without them I never would’ve wrote my book.”

Happy accidents, this resonated with me. I need to embrace all the humps because those are what put me in the right places at the right time, like this literary conference. 

2.  Dan Barry and Kassie Bracken speaking about merging the two worlds of journalists and photographers. The importance of collaborating with professionals to tell a compelling story.

“Writing about people of poverty like victims is a mistake. It’s not fair to them as an individual.”

I think it’s easy to feel sorrow for those who aren’t as well off as an “average” human being. But it’s not just about their monthly income, it’s about the story and how people of poverty survive. 

3. The panel discussion with Caleb Hannan, S.I. Rosenbaum and Hanna Rosin. Hannan wrote an article about “Dr. V” and her magic putter. The outcome was tragic as the subject committed suicide during the interviews. His candid testimony led us to believe if you feel like something bad is going to happen, then you need to have an open discussion with your editor and vise-versa.

I personally believed he had balls to talks openly and honest about his mis-steps and answering the questions from his panel-mates. You can read the article here, and the letter from the editor here. And Rosenbaum’s after the fact article here.

4. George Getschow’s lecture about the importance of place in a narrative. “I’m always surprised to read an article that misses the importance of place.” Place is like a secondary character and it needs to be just as important as character development. These are the dimensions of place, as explained by Mr. Getschow:

  1. The History- Research it and find out what makes your place tick.
  2. Economy- How does the place survive. Is it an oil, ranching or low income?
  3. What do people wear? What do they eat? How do they communicate?
  4. Weather- It influences peoples mood for the day and how they dress. Using weather can reveal character.
  5. Gestures- How do people greet each other?
  6. Superstitions- paying attention to local legends or tales?
  7. Sights & Sounds

As I sat in a dimly lit lush ballroom with desserts on top of clean white soft linens, tempting guests to eat their cake before dinner, the winners for the top personal essays and reported narratives were announced. The top three in each category were awarded cash prizes, and the top ten would be published in the literary journal Ten Spurs.

There’s no better way to say this then, I WON! My name is called after the 8-minute mark in the video below and I get on stage after the 9-minute mark. A professor of mine called my name as I walked by to get on stage and I tackled her into a hug. “I didn’t know you submitted a piece! I’m so proud of you!”

There is no better feeling than hitting a home run. Now that I know how it feels I want to do it again, over and over again as many times possible. This was the perfect way to kick me off into the professional world and end my stay with the University of North Texas, Mayborn School of Journalism.

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It’s a cliche to say, “follow your dreams,” but it’s true. Many times I was red-inked, felt like a poor writer and told I’d never make any money as an author. My personal dialogue said the same thing. I finally told the voices the shut-it and jumped off the high dive.

It was a rough road. I felt exposed and unsure if I propelled my story with the correct words. I cried reliving certain slices of my life. In the end it all happened the way it was supposed to, why not me. 

This conference also added readings to my already to tall stack of books. This list is more for me so I won’t forget, but If you’re looking for something new to read, all the better!

Rap, Hip Hop and Women

Yesterday my race, gender and the media class discussed how women are portrayed in songs, specifically rap and hip hop.

I always find this conversation topic interesting because I’m on the other side of the argument. I was never offended by the lyrics any artist created. I see it as a form of art and storytelling. It’s a form of expression through words, like a poet.

I discovered rap somewhere between 5th and 6th grade. My parents had only listened to their generation of music when I was younger, never turning on the radio.

As a child I could sing Ted Nugent, The Grateful Dead, ACDC, Led Zeppelin, WallFlowers, Candlebox and Dave Matthew songs.

I remember watching the MTV music awards and watching a new artist perform The Real Slim Shady and Way I Am with hundreds of look-a-likes walking in while this guy with bleached hair rapped. My man-crush-monday quickly developed.

I bought every album after that, watched every interview and learned every song.

The professor showed the music video for “Love The Way You Lie” featuring Eminem and Rhianna. He then asked if this was appropriate behavior and were these the images we wanted to represent our culture.

“I never realized the last line of that lyric was tie you to the bed light this house on fire, that’s horrible”

“This shouldn’t be allowed, what if a child saw this and thought this was normal?”

“I grew up loving rap but as I got older I realized how abusive the words were and don’t understand why rappers can’t write positive lyrics.”

These were among the few first responses to the music video. I gave my opinion and added what about what’s written in books, movies or TV shows? You can turn on criminal minds any ION television show and Law and Order and see rape, domestic violence and murder. Those are actors and so are these.

The professor then showed a slide only of the lyrics and asked now what?

Now I know we said things, did things
That we didn’t mean and we fall back into the same patterns
Same routine, but your temper’s just as bad, as mine is
You’re the same as me, but when it comes to love, you’re just as blinded
Baby please come back, it wasn’t you,
Baby it was me, maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems
Maybe that’s what happens When a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much, to walk away now

I find the notion of harmful to children disturbing. Do children not have parents anymore? Don’t allow them to have access to every part of the Internet and television if you don’t want them to be exposed to certain materials. You can do that as a parent, you know that, right?

Asking rappers to change their lyrics to be more PC is also a bit strange to me. All people don’t live in a perfect pristine box their entire childhood. Eminem couldn’t rap about his happy childhood because he didn’t have one.

Did anyone restrict Picasso’s brush or Beethoven’s piano keys? You can’t tell an artist how to be an artist.

Is it hypocritical to have taste for hip hop and still think women should be treated equally and stop being objectified in the media? No.

If I had to boycott every aspect of art and creative expression (TV shows, plays, books, comedy routines, music etc.) I wouldn’t be able to listen, watch or read anything. I would have to delete history, sporting events and every medium that doesn’t have a fair representation of women. I would have to become a bitter hermit.

It’s also important to remember rap/ hip hop aren’t the only artists who talk about women. Country artists twang about beer, women and trucks. The classic rock band Warrant who sang Cherry Pie compares women to a piece of food. Each time they swing to the left or right they’re talking about having sex.

I’d have to shut my eyes each time an advertisement played between my TV shows as well.

I’m not anti-women. I do think women’s representation in the media should and could change as well in the professional outlets. I know plenty of hard-working women and aspire to be one. I just feel like you can’t tag music, specifically rap, as what is wrong in today’s society.

It’s My Birthday !!

The month of May has always been my favorite. You embrace the warm sun because for most of us everything has been in hibernation and it’s not too hot yet. The flowers, trees, weeds and bugs begin their rebirth and the constant sneezing reminds you of the life that is growing. May is the signal for the beginning of summer and the end of a school year.

It’s my favorite month because it’s also my birthday month.

I am 26-years old today and six days ago I graduated from The University of North Texas with my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a focus in Public Relations. I’m the master at strategic communications. It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend before my birthday. I had too much fun if that’s even possible.

My mother flew out from Florida, whom I haven’t seen in over two years. I forgot how much I missed seeing her. We spent mornings sitting outside sipping coffee and talking about family, the future and everything else in between. I forgot how nice it was to have a face-to-face conversation, instead of only hearing a voice on the other end of the phone.

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My in-laws flew out from California as well to see me graduate. The two of them have treated me like a daughter of their own since the moment I met them years ago. I’m lucky. The weekend was already a hit and how could it get any better?

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If walking across the stage was my high for the night I would’ve been satisfied. It doesn’t get any better hearing your name called as a recipient of a degree. I didn’t trip as I walked across the stage to received my diploma, but with so many eyes watching I was bound to do something Shannon like. I lost my graduation cap midway across the stage after I tried to give a hug to a professor. Oops.

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When the ceremony ended and I found my family, my husband had a bigger surprise in store and everyone was in on it.

YES, WE WERE ALL GOING TO THE DAVE MATTHEW’S CONCERT IN DALLAS. No matter what state I’ve lived in Matt and I have always made it to the Dave concert every year. I hadn’t been to a concert with my mom for several years and it was the first Dave experience for in the in-laws. Family booze and good music, that’s all you need in life.

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I am 26-years-old today and six days ago I graduated from college. The first three years of my higher education journey began in Jacksonville, Florida. I was working full-time as a waitress paying my way through junior college, slowly. In those days I thought I would be a elementary school teacher. I wanted to me somebody’s Miss. Honey.

Yesterday I got the best present I could’ve ever received. I was offered a job doing media relations. The best part? I will be PAID to do it, the biggest fear every graduate has — will I ever be paid to do anything? Life for me and my little family has changed so much in the past five years. It’s insane to think about where I’ll be in another five.

The month of May has been a month of growth and learning. I grew a year older today but I’ve jumped mentally and emotionally in age as well. I kept my mantra “why not me” singing in the back of my head and its pushed me into being a better professional. A year ago I wouldn’t of wanted to do half of the social interactions, business meetings or networking opportunities the University presented. The attitude change and confidence boost I gave myself made a worlds difference.

I’m ready to dive into the deep end of adulthood and play with the big kids in careers. This next chapter in life may be the scariest one yet, but no matter how scared shitless I may or may not be I’m ready.

Hello world, I’m ready to kick some professional ass.

Holy Tornado

I like to portray myself as a very strong, brave and stubborn individual, but when it comes to spring in Texas I am the biggest baby in the world. The weather in North Texas is insane, and that’s putting it mildly (unlike its summers). In the winter temperatures drop cool enough to produce snow. In the summer it bakes you like a chocolate chip cookie. Who even knows when fall begins.

The harsh changes in temperatures makes it the perfect breeding grounds for tornadoes. The sky turns into a swampy black color and the clouds droop lower to the ground. The whole experience with a tornado is intense. Last April I went through my first tornado drill, this past Sunday I got to practice again, alone.

I used to sit outside and watch the storms roll in when I lived in Jacksonville, Florida. I would hang out in the garage with my pops and count the number of lightening strikes. It rained everyday in the spring and summer at almost the exact time in the afternoon. I loved it. The thunder and heavy rain could put me to sleep like a baby being rocked.

In Texas I stay huddled under the covers if there is even a slight risk of a storm headed my way. I don’t play with tornadoes. My buddy and meteorologist, Rick Mitchell from NBC5-DFW had told me all week to stay weather aware and I did. My husband was up in Washington State for the weekend and I knew if anything happened I wanted to know about it first. I checked Twitter and kept the news on all day every day.

On Mother’s Day I spent an hour crammed underneath a mattress in my closet with my two pups. The sirens went off as I was digging through old photos. I was sitting on my bedroom floor trying to find the best oldie of my mom to post on Instagram for the holiday. I needed a break from studying and obsessing over the weather.

It’s pretty funny (now) that I spent days paying attention to the weather and nothing severe happened. I took a 15 minutes break to catch my breath and BAM holy tornado. I swear nothing is eerier than sitting around waiting for something to happen while the sirens are going off. It’s the fight or flight response except it gets sawed in half. You have to fight, you can’t run, you just wait.

It took a few seconds for the siren to register as the tornado alarm. I remember thinking, no that has to be an ambulance or firetruck off in the distance. Your brain really does try to protect you from emotional trauma.

A year ago I spent some more quality time with my closet, but last year it had my husband in it with me. I wasn’t upset or afraid. He checked the weather apps while I browsed through Twitter, both trying to get more information on where the tornado/funnel cloud/storm was headed. I wasn’t bawling my eyes out. I was just there and kind of numb.

This year I was alone. After I realized my brain wasn’t playing tricks on me I dashed towards my closet. I had made it a bunker the night before in preparation for Saturday night’s weather that would continue into Sunday.

One dog followed me straight into the closet. She was watching me like we were playing a new game. The other dog went under the bed and I couldn’t convince her to come out by cooing her name or bribing her with treats. I had to get underneath the bed and drag her to the closet. It’s a pretty crappy feeling when you have to drag anything anywhere.

I wrangled all of us into our makeshift bunker within a matter of two minutes. The heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. Have you ever felt so terrified that you thought you were going to puke? I thought haven been through one tornado last year I’d feel some kind of confidence. NOPE. After 15 minutes passed trying to convince my dogs we were going to be okay, I sent out text messages.

“Sirens going off”

My husband had no signal and my mother was at work, but hallelujah my in-laws called me immediately. My mother-in-law asked about school and finals to help distract me from my current situation. My father-in-law searched online for updates on the storm. They couldn’t be in the closet next to me but having them through the phone was more than enough. I wasn’t alone.

It’s funny, I want to be strong, tough and handle things on my own 24/7. My first thoughts after I was situated was MOMMY! Ironic this happened on Mother’s Day, no? I don’t care how old you are, you are never to old to still want your mom and if you’re lucky enough, after you get married you get another one. Thank God for Moms. Happy belated Mother’s Day!

The Denton Tornado

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Hillary Clinton & Menopause

This past week Hillary Clinton announced her plans to run in the 2016 presidential elections. Her declaration came to nobody as a surprise. The past four years Mrs. Clinton has been positioning herself to do just that, run for president.

I have no opinion on whether she would be ‘the next best thing’ for this country, but I do have an opinion on what is being written about her solely because of her gender. The Time published an article about how Clinton is the perfect age for candidacy because she is no longer menopausal. Wait, what?

The article caused a disturbance on Twitter shortly after, here are some of the Tweets in response:

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I personally try to stay away from most social media platforms during presidential elections, not because I want to be ignorant but because it makes people spiteful and hateful. In the past I’ve deleted several friends from social media outlets exclusively because of their obsessive need to post hateful things about opposing parties and its followers.

I’m aware bashing occurs year round on anyone with an opinion, but it seems to intensify when presidential campaigns loom off into the distance, at least from my own experience. Unfortunately, because a women will be running for election I may have to go underground so I don’t fall pray to trolls, haters and said people alike.

I found an article depicting the very thing I don’t want to hear during her run for election, but will hear simply because she is a female and not a male. Ladies, try not to throw your electronics too hard while reading what has already began to surface.

The ignorance is almost comical, if I didn’t in fact have a uterus I might laugh. It’s highly annoying I’m assumed to vote for her simply because I’m a women. I chuckle when menopause is used to question her abilities to think straight. I fall out of my seat laughing when people use, “You can’t send in a women to do a man’s job,” speech and, “only men have led this country, why break tradition?”

Women have been doing a man’s job for years, so give me a break. What year is this? I try to imagine this world as a place we truly are all considered equals, but maybe I should’ve gone to college to only get my MRS. degree. What was I thinking trying to be successful; I’m not a man! Silly me.

Because I am a woman I am a feminist.

Because I am a woman I have to have kids.

Because I am a woman I need to find a husband.

Because I am a woman I have to cook, clean and do all the laundry.

Because I am a women that’s all I’ll ever be.

Is this message what you want to feed to the public? By all means, slam her for political ties, question her agenda and policies, and scrutinize her ability to lead this country, but leave her gender out of it.

Media Tour

This past Friday I was able to attend the annual Alliance for Women in Media Dallas/Fort Worth media tour. There were four tour options you could chose from and personally, I think I picked the best one offered.

Our first stop was iHeartMedia. We got a tour of the facilities, got presentations about the promotional, sales and integrated media departments and got to see The Jaggar Morning Show being tapped.

Jaggar Mornings  Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Jaggar Mornings
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

The next stop was Asher Media, a small advertising agency that sells commercial space to radio, television and Internet companies for its clients. It’s run by a small group of women who love to crunch numbers.

Fun Fact: Asher Media conducts a survey on which Fall TV shows will make the cut. They get paid to binge watch Netflix so they can go back to their clients and provide them with what TV show their ad should follow. YOU GET PAID TO BINGE WATCH NETFLIX!

Next, we got a tour of the Galleria Mall in Dallas, the one with an ice skating rink located in the center. I had never been inside of it before and could only think how much of a madhouse this place must be during the holidays. HOLY NO PARKING!

After some lunch we were able to go see the practice facilities of the Dallas Stars, the professional hockey team in Dallas. We met with Communications Director Tom Holly and he gave us some insight on what it means to work for a sport organization.

Dallas Stars Locker Room Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Dallas Stars Locker Room
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Long story short, you have to have a passion to keep with the long hours for very little pay. You need to be willing to take a position anywhere in the organization (he started in merchandizing) so you can work your way up the ladder.

The last stop on the tour was Fox Sports where we got to meet Dana from The Network. I have to admit it was pretty neat to see the sets in real life. You watch it on television and when you can see it in person, you feel like you’re inside TV, pretty cool.

Fox Sports Sets Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Fox Sports Sets
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Fox Sports Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

Fox Sports
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

The story was the same there but with a twist, especially if you were a female trying to make it as a sports analyst. “You have to be better than the guy sitting next to you,” our host explained. “It’s not fair but that’s the way it is.”

Over all it was awesome to rub elbows with that many professionals in the business. I was able to hand out resumes and speak to individuals one on one. It was a great experience.

I was definitely partial to iHeartMedia, it would be awesome to be able to say I work for them and iHeart it. I strongly encourage expecting seniors and students alike to start knocking elbows early.

The two lessons I came away with was to never say no and be open to all opportunities.

Aww-Jammit

Per a sporadic conversation last night with my husband about a documentary we watched on Netflix. The conversation was about controversial topics and what our own personal opinions were. I brought up the Kellogg’s PB&J Aww Jammit commercial that was aired before Superbowl Sunday in February.

My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it had caused such a hubbub online. I brought up Kellogg’s Facebook page and found the commercial post that can be found here. I began to read the comments out loud and I must say, if you ever want a good laugh, head on over and make sure to read them OUT LOUD.

The number one complaint I found from consumers through comments was the notion the nurse had eaten a baby. Second, that it promoted cannibalism and thirdly, it was wrong to craft such an advertisement that is geared toward children.

I find it hard to connect an animated poptart that is drawn on paper and jump to Kellogg’s murdered a baby. That is a huge leap and frankly a bit dramatic. You can’t murder something that isn’t real nor living.

Second, cannibalism is defined by merrian-webster as a ritualistic eating of human flesh by another human, or the eating of flesh of an animal by the same animal. So by definition the human nurse who is assumed to have eaten the baby poptart cannot be used as an example of cannibalism, humans are supposed to eat poptarts.

Thirdly, yes the poptart is a baby and the commercial is geared toward children, so why is it acceptable to promote such behavior to a child? Easy, kids thoughts are very singular and wouldn’t see the problem unless an adult prompts them to think otherwise. Children know that poptarts are supposed to be eaten for breakfast as a tasty treat.

The first thing my husband said after I read through some of the nasty baby murdering comments, was that this is what Kellogg’s wanted. The company wants people to talk about their brand and as said before in a previous post what is really deemed bad PR?

Is there a line brands shouldn’t cross? Well, personally I hardly think an animated poptart being eaten (the way it should be) should cause so much of a stir. Then again, people were up in arms about the bi-racial couple in the Cheerio’s commercial and their daughter. So who knows what people are thinking.

In conclusion I don’t think you can make a line between good and bad PR, because everybody is different and have different triggers. So though this commercial doesn’t upset some, but it obviously upsets others.

I guess the only thing you can do is not intentionally cross any true controversial or disturbing line.