Part 2

I think brands can take notes from their fans who are already using content to generate new (/corral pre-existing) fans and attention. Fan sites like Kentucky Sports Radio (which started out as a weekly radio program and spread out to podcasts and an internet blogging site) have one general, yet very specific target audience: Kentucky Wildcats fans. They write news and editorial content relevant to Kentucky fans, everything they stand for, and everything they stand against (Louisville, Duke, and other opponents). They are now considered an entertainment news site, with the “entertainment” part giving them a leg up from their competition who are solely news-based.

While most brands and programs feel the need and desire to steer clear from content such as KSR writer Drew Franklin’s letter to Rick Pitino in the recent wake of the Louisville sex scandal, they stop short at entertainment and fall strictly within news-only territory saturated with competition of both the regional and national varieties (and, in some cases, local and international).

If brands could somehow find the happy medium between news and entertainment, while staying objective without crossing enemy lines, they could have their own outlet littered with brand-generated content, be the first to break their own news, take their own stories and create thought-provoking entertainment pieces, and drive their own traffic with their own fans.

The current reality is that brands (such as the University of Kentucky) are losing out to competition that happens to be on their team (Kentucky Sports Radio) and fragmenting their own audiences, which is just as ridiculous as it sounds. The solution truly is just as simple as adding the missing piece to their own content – entertainment. National blogs like Barstool Sports and ESPN’s recently shutdown Grantland have figured it out, regional blogs like Kentucky Sports Radio has figured it out. So why brands rely on others to get their own points across is beyond me.

Advertisements

Part 1

From my own personal experiences, I believe that content can be an excellent way for brands to attract attention and increase Google organic search rankings. However, I believe that you have to have an outside website for your content — adding it to a pre-existing webpage will likely do little to nothing to increase either aspect, at least up front.

For example, I work for a company who umbrellas three sites of content with similar, yet different target audiences, and three clothing lines that coincide with each content site. When you think of each brand, you don’t realize you’re simultaneously thinking of the same overall company, who then cross-advertises its other brands through sharing content that has overlapping audiences and advertising their clothing brands with banner ads.

An even more specific example of obtaining brand attraction and increasing Google organic search rankings that I have would be involving trending topics in your content. Last year, for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, I wrote a list of thoughts every woman has during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that was shared on Facebook alone almost 10,000 times that night. If you had organically Google searched Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that night, my column was on the page one of the SERP. As well as being found on the first page of Google search results, it was also shared by the brand’s big sister site that has a devout female target audience. And though 10k shares may not seem like much in the grand scheme, viewership was off the charts. Around that time, I had nearly 1,000 Facebook friends – so one share alone could have reached a thousand people. If everyone who shared it had similar amounts of friends on Facebook, I could have a potential reach of nearly 10 million readers, who would then see the other brother and sister sites, as well as the clothing brand banner ads.

Obviously, the only caveat with using trending topics to gain brand attraction and organic search results would be that the trending topic must be something that fits the mold of your target audience – otherwise you’re wasting time (and money, if you’re being paid for content creation/paying for the domain/paying for advertisements) for irrelevant content.

A Look At The Health Issues March Madness Has Caused You

From an entire country upset about seeding on Selection Sunday to the likes of 14-seeds upsetting 3-seeds, March Madness has earned its title this year. Between my renewed appreciation for a very stiff drink to the hernia growing under the right side of my rib cage, I believe it’s safe to say that my body will find deep-seated sanctuary in the month of April. The Road to the Final Four ends here–er, well, kinda. Although March Madness ends as the clock strikes midnight tonight, it has brought enough madness to cover you long until you’ve finished paying your newly acquired medical bills.

 

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Starting with the obvious, let’s take a look at what’s bound to happen when your BP shoots well above its healthy 120 over 80. According to WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/default.htm?names-dropdown=), you’re at risk for heart disease in your old age, so basically tomorrow. I’ve aged more years in a mere 40 minutes of regulation basketball this month than I have in my actual existence. You’re also at risk for stroke, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already had a couple of those this month. I find it best to go ahead and get those out of the way early on.

ALCOHOLISM
March may not be the only reason Kentucky makes bourbon, but it is the reason there are more barrels of bourbon in Kentucky than there are people. Alcohol can be found in the fridges of casual game day drinkers, but it will definitely be found in the livers of those mourning a loss and celebrating a win. And if you were looking for Warren Buffett’s billion dollars, 83.7% of America lost their chance at it after Ohio State lost to Dayton in the first round, creating reason enough to drink right there. Sometimes alcohol is the only shoulder you have to cry on…

LOSS OF CONTROL OF BODILY FUNCTIONS/EMOTIONS
If Tourette’s has an awareness month, I hope it’s March. It seems to find it’s way to many people during the month, though I probably don’t have to tell you that. Raise your hand if you’ve sat at your desk suppressing fits of rage and/or excitement and hiding the slipped “goddammit” or “motherfucker” under a couple of forced coughs as your boss walks by. I’ll be the first to admit to the puke and rally I pulled after the Kentucky versus Louisville game, and by “rally” I mean “sweet tears of joy.” And we all know (read:  are) the person who flips the bird to Frank in IT for the rest of the year after his smack talk at the Christmas party. What now, Frank!

HAIR LOSS
As if you needed another reason to lose your hair other than good ol’ aging or the Mackenzie brief, all the close second halves played during this year’s tournament has your scalp shining. Whether it be you physically ripped them from the follicle or found them at the bottom of the tub after your shower, you are questioning what Charles Barkley would look like with a full mane and contemplating your first Rogaine purchase to regrow your fallen hair. After all, you’re still in your twenties and you need those.

HERNIAS
Back to reliable WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-hernia-basics), hernias are normally caused by these three things: lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles, diarrhea or constipation, or persistent coughing or sneezing. If I had a dollar for every rage-induced table flip across America this season, I’d be close to making my own billion dollars, Mr. Buffett. And I don’t care who you are, you either get nervous diarrhea or nervous constipation. Let’s just not get me started on all the forced cough cover-ups occurring in the presence of family and coworkers this month. Basically, the moral of this story is we’re all getting hernias in our Easter baskets.

DEPRESSION
Your team fought and they fought hard, but they didn’t manage to pull out the win? You’ll wear black to work for a week and sit under your desk in the fetal position anytime someone mentions “seeds” or “baskets,” which is really unfortunate for you now that it’s Spring. You’ve used enough Kleenex to play paper toss all day if you wanted, but that cuts deep nowadays. Your newly alcoholic friends invite you to happy hour after work, but you’d rather spend time with that gallon of Rocky Road in your freezer and cry yourself to sleep. They have their ways of dealing with loss, you have yours.

NIGHT TERRORS/SLEEP LOSS
You’d sleep, but you’ve replayed the final seconds of the game in your head so many times that you’re doing it in your sleep. Even in your dreams, Dukies, the Mercer Bears still come away with the upset. Except in your dreams, actual bears in jerseys are playing and terrorizing the citizens of Durham. You wake up in a cold sweat. You call your mom. She subsequently calls to check up on you several times a day for the next three weeks which is about 287 calls too many. Your insurance doesn’t cover it.

SYMPATHY PAINS
The forward of your team goes up for the rebound and comes back down with bones everywhere. Two gag reflex-testing instant replays later and you finally realize you’re holding onto your shin and thanking it for still being in one piece. A quick way to test if you’re a serious fan or not is if you volunteer your own body parts as tribute so long as that forward can get back out there and help bring home the W.

HEART MURMURS
Quick! How many times has your heart physically stopped beating this month?! Possession lasts 35 whole seconds, dammit! Why must you wait until there is four seconds left on the clock to make a play? But really, why? What you’re doing to me can’t be healthy, especially considering the gross amounts of Chik-fil-a I consume. March may only last 31 days, but the scar from open heart surgery lasts forever.

5 Things You Still Miss About Freshman Year

If one of you science people could do us all a favor and make a time machine, I would like to go back to freshman year of college. You see, freshman year was THE year of anyone’s life. It was easy and you were naive. There were no fucks to give but unlimited fucking to do. And if you’re feeling the weight of your twenties every morning when you wake up, then freshman year is for you.

The Naivety
You went with anyone anywhere anytime. Oh, it’s 3 a.m. and your floormates are going to some random’s off-campus house? Let’s go! Once, I walked out of my dorm only to hear my best friend screaming my name, sitting next to a hookah, and telling me to “hit it ’til it burns!” The base was filled with vodka instead of water and, until that point, I had always assumed smoking hookah was some mysterious and illegal thing. But, let’s face it–if it wasn’t for the naivety of freshman year, you probably wouldn’t know your best friend today. It’s always nice to find a silver lining out of something that produces so many date rapes…

The Easiness
Let’s all take a moment out of our day to remember “University Experience,” the biggest joke I’ll ever pay tuition money for as I experienced way more of my university outside of that class, typically on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Ask me write you a two-to-three page essay on that shit and I will hand you back an A+ novel that could be a New York Times bestseller when you’re finished grading it.

Lack of Fucks to Give
AKA, the most irresponsible year of your adult life. You’ll take out as many student loans as you’d like because it’s not like you will have to pay them back anytime soon and when your grace period is finally over you’ll be rich! In the meantime, you will drink yourself nearly to death and wind up puking all over the host’s couch, but it’s cool because they paid 30 bucks for it at Goodwill, anyway. Class? Oh, you mean that thing you’re supposed to do in the daylight hours? You’ll get to eventually, you’re sure. Just not today because it’s too beautiful or cold or windy or rainy or hot to walk the 60 whole feet from your dorm room to class. Also, Netflix.

Limitless Sexual Conquests
The complete opposite of the previous point, as you have many, many fucks to give. You have four whole years of fucks to give and their names are freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. You may have also run into their cousins along the way:  grad school and professional school. You have no ragrets…yet. Everything, everyone, and every surface is all new to you. The last time you had a twin bed, you weren’t sexually active; but, by the end of this year, you will be a twin XL pro.

The Feeling of Being Young
I can no longer count on my appendages the number of times my mom has said to me, “Lindsay, you’re 23 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you.” MOM. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. In her head, I am but a young child. In my head, I am due for a Chik-fil-a induced heart attack at any given moment. If Chik-fil-a doesn’t do me in, my stress-caused aneurysm is sure to finish me off granted I make it past the surgery to remove my hernia. Freshman year is different. You feel in your heart of hearts that you are a grown and responsible adult, yet you don’t feel the repercussions of your acts. You don’t feel the hangovers for long, if not at all. What bills are you paying? The only obligations you have are calling your parents to assure them that you’re not face down, ass up in a ditch somewhere. I miss feeling young and thinking I’m old. Instead, I’m feeling old and thinking I’m young. And my body lets me know it no  longer appreciates it by way of three-day hangovers.

 

Lulu: How Boys Think Girls Use It and How Girls Actually Use It

Have you ever brought up Lulu around a boy? Have you or someone you know been a victim of Lulu?  Then this column is for you.

Everybody knows what this is, right? I mean, surely you know what Lulu is, unless you’ve lived under The Rock the past year (and if so, could you let the rest of us know where the hell he went? Thanks.). Once described to me as something “created by the ugly fat women who secretly rule the world to punish men just for being men” by a man, Lulu is actually an app that allows women to “rate” the men around them or on their Facebook accounts and give reviews about their vices and their virtues in hashtag form. Created by Alexandra Chong, a Chinese-Jamaican-Canadian Olympian (can’t make that shit up), Lulu began after an inspirational Valentine’s Day date sparked the idea to talk shit good things about the guy without sharing information on Facebook. So, she used Facebook to share information like pictures, age, and current relationship status. LOGIC.

While that may have been the original intent of Lulu, it has since evolved into something way more shallow and less detrimental to male egos everywhere. What do I mean? I mean:  Boys think their rating is unfair. Boys think their negative reviews are libelous smut yet their positive reviews are spot-on accurate. Boys think their post-bar action is commensurate with what girls have seen about them on Lulu. And boys living in some alternate universe believe that Lulu could possibly lead to problems with HR.

In the words of Barack Obama, let me be clear:  y’all motherfuckers are crazy.

Boys think their rating is unfair.
Life isn’t fair. Suck it up. That being said, let’s take a moment to evaluate how your rating is being averaged out. There’s the hook-up you took home that night after the bar. Drunken sex and an awkward series of sober small talk later, she gives you a fair rating for the one night of passionless sex you shared. The not-so-secret crush you have who gives you false 10s on everything because “omg you’re perfect.” The ex-girlfriend whose relationship you ended about as well as David Chase ended The Sopranos. The current girlfriend and the friend who are obviously going to rate you decently high. And the friend of the ex-girlfriend or the hook-up who hates your guts and hopes you die. In a fire. Today. If you still have a poor rating after all that, maybe it’s not us.

Boys think their reviews are libelous.
Unless it’s the “Best” review, in which case they own that shit like a class superlative. Afterall, who is going to get mad at #SexualPanther, #HoldsHisLiquor, or #Big.Feet? But, I’ve come to learn as a female with Lulu access, that you are not to trust the “Worst” section. As a man, I can see how you would miss this memo, but you have my permission to calm the fuck down because the rest of the female population got it. I’ll be the first to say that bitches ain’t shit but hos and tricks, so when I see something like #TooCoolForSchool, #ThatGuy, or #Meh, I can safely assume that some bitch was like “LOL hashtagz!” It’s the ones that follow a pattern that we notice:  #WanderingEye, #SketchyCallLog, #QuestionableSearchHistory. You’re a shady little bastard, aren’t you?

Boys think their dry streaks are due to Lulu and its effects.
It’s not.

And the special kind of boy that thinks Lulu will effect his career.
What’s going to eventually hurt your career is your conspiracy theory mindset and incapacity to take personal responsibility for yourself, crazy. Nobody in HR is going to look at your Lulu score. Nobody in HR cares that you’re a #TalkDirtyPro or a #Mama’sBoy. And, if by some astronomical chance someone in HR does care about your Lulu score, you should really rethink your role in that company.

But, with all that being said, have you ever asked a girl how she uses Lulu? I doubt it. Most guys get hung up on the “it’s like Yelp! for your dick” aspect. Ask a girl sometime if she actually uses Lulu, and if her response is “yes,” you have my permission to run far and to run fast. Sane girls don’t use Lulu. Sane girls got the app to see what everyone was talking about, sat down with it for a few minutes, creeped on a few of their closest friends and their ex for fun, and then never thought of it again. Sane girls know better than to listen to the opinions of that sheep you had a one-night stand with six months ago. I encourage fight or flight from any girl who actively participates in anonymously rating guys with the overuse of hashtags.

Just try not to get too cocky about it, guys. I would bet good money that sometime in the last month you’ve said the words, “She’s a solid __.” Just because you don’t have an app for that yet doesn’t mean you don’t do it, too.

Spring Break: Then v. Now

You drop off a midterm paper in the science building and you throw a few bags and even more cases of beer in the backseat. After starving yourself and spending more hours in the gym than you have in class, you are ready to participate in Spring Break:  the annual shitshow of a student vacation that takes place in Mecca, otherwise known as Panama City Beach. You and your four closest friends pile into a Ford Explorer because Josh is the only one with a vehicle large enough to tote all your drunk asses around. You stop to buy the unhealthiest food you can find because you damn well deserve a carb, you play a little game called “Does This State Have Open Container Laws?” and you keep playing until you find out.

Wake up, Peter Pan… Count Chocula. You’re at your desk working your nine-to-five and the closest you’re getting to the shores of PCB is the live stream of the Holiday Inn you have pulled up in the corner of your desktop, ready to be minimized at the first sign of your boss. You knew that senior year was your last hurrah–your last half-naked parade to show your parents just how well they raised you. But, little did you know the likes of which were the graces that you have since fallen.

THEN
You woke up at 8 a.m. specifically to begin day drinking, beginning with shotgunning a beer.
NOW
You wake up at 5:30 a.m. and everyone can burn in the depths of Hell until you’ve had your morning coffee.

THEN
After you shotgunned that beer, you headed down to the beach to fight for territory.
NOW
After you place your coffee in a travel mug, you head down to the interstate to fight your way to work.

THEN
You played beach volleyball, threw a frisbee/football around, and played several rounds of Kings. Loser went back to the room for another two cases of beer.
NOW
You copy, fax, file, repeat. Nobody wins this game and you’re ultimately going to be the one in the break room making a new pot of coffee.

THEN
You went to the Luke Bryan Spring Break concert.
NOW
You pray for the day they replace the elevator music with literally anything else.

THEN
You happily drank Natty Light from your favorite Rowdy Gentleman koozie.
NOW
You exclusively drink Special Blend from your only favorite “Class of” alumni mug.

THEN
You sent blackout Snapchats with Miley tongue from the shores of PCB to your older, graduated friends with a “Missyewww!” or “Come back to meeee” caption.
NOW
You receive said Snaps, a piece of your soul dies, and you work on becoming the Picasso of your generation with the color pallet to send mock Spring Break Snaps.

THEN
Everyone knew those girls with the fanny packs.
NOW
Everyone knows a SueEllen, the woman who, if not for the dress code, would probably wear her decades-old fanny pack to the office.

THEN
Neon-colored bathing suits, bejewled Bubba Kegs, and tanning oil.
NOW
Khakis, personalized leather portfolios, and SPF 15.

THEN
The only jewelry a girl wanted was a string of purple plastic beads.
NOW
Come home from work, take off pants, cry because you’re not engaged yet.

THEN
The weather forecast called for half-naked and shitfaced with a chance of nip slip.
NOW
You live for #pcb on Instagram.

THEN
You drank the Natty and the Miller and the Bud and the Burnett’s and the KG…
NOW
You can’t deal with the thought of that hangover, much less the actual experience.

THEN
You trashed the room and didn’t care because YOLO.
NOW
You say a quiet prayer for the cleaning service that cleaned that room and will be cleaning the rooms of countless others because you now know the struggle that is cleaning your adult apartment.

THEN
You remembered absolutely nothing from your day.
NOW
You, sadly, remember everything. EVERYTHING.

“Dear Sallie Mae”: A Letter to the Most Corrupt of Student Loan Providers

Dear Sallie Mae,

I would like to take this time to thank you for showing me my first taste of corruption. Apparently, two years ago, when I was a junior in college and couldn’t give a fuck less about where I was getting the money to pay my college tuition, I applied for a private loan through you. I would also like to take a few moments out of my day to tell you, and any other poor souls looking for ways to afford college, how much of a mistake that was.

As a college student, I couldn’t care less about where my tuition money came from. That, I will admit, was my bad. But, at 20 years old, I wasn’t looking as far into my future as I am now. There. I just took five percent of the blame from you, but that is all I am willing to take. Today, as a 23 year old unemployed postgrad who is taking care of her grandfather post-stroke and no longer in the grace period, I care. I care a lot.

I would like to go into forbearance on my loan, because I don’t plan on being unemployed too much longer. If you ever wanted to go into forbearance for a private loan, let me tell you how much of a joke that’s going to be. Sallie Mae bills you $50 a month. They also require you to pay, for private loans, a $50 fee if you would like to go into “forbearance,” as described by Sallie Mae as TWO MONTHS. Here’s the fucking deal, Sallie Mae:

1. Don’t you think if I had the $50 in the first place to give to you for any reason, that I would just pay the goddamn bill?

2. Which college-educated person do you think is dumb enough to continuously pay $50 every two months to go into even more debt through interest rates and other shit fees you decide to throw in for funsies.

Call them, I dare you. Long story short, you’re going to be greeted on the phone with someone who sounds like they failed to complete the fifth grade. You will proceed to volley around the fact that you are unemployed yet still owe them money, regardless if you have it or not. I get that you’d like to be paid. But, Sallie Mae will fail to work with you on anything, even though by going into forbearance they will eventually get even more money out of me, anyway. They won’t add the $50 to a later bill, they won’t add money to anything you owe them, but they will somehow manage to find the balls and the right to scold you.

You will get angry rather quickly. They will put you on the phone with their manager, who will then continue to do the same exact thing, except with more authority. The manager will tell you her life story, complete with two heart attacks and a mortgage. And they will also say the words, “I don’t care.”

So, here’s what’s up, Sallie Mae: I don’t care, either.

I don’t care about your heart attacks. I don’t care about your mortgages. I don’t care that I owe you money. I don’t care what your forbearance rules are. I don’t care that you call me a thousand times a day. Because here’s the difference between you and me: you were AT YOUR JOB when you found the nerve to tell me that you don’t care and I was at home helping my unable grandfather take a sip of water.

You should feel ashamed of yourself.

You aren’t getting paid, motherfuckers. No, no–not today.

I would rather sell my conservative, GOP-voting, right wing, NRA-supporting body on the streets of the Democratic National Convention than ever sign a loan with you again. I would rather be trapped in a closet with R. Kelly pissing down my leg for the entirety of the “Trapped in the Closet” series than ever let you see my signature again. I would rather suck Obama’s dick dressed as Monica Lewinsky in a pantsuit than give you a penny of what I owe. And when the shit economy, full of its unemployed postgrads just like me, finally gets to you, I will dance on your grave like a blackout slut at Mardi Gras.

So go ahead and tell countless others of *your* heart attacks and *your* mortgages and *your* problems. Go ahead and make up the world’s most ridiculous rules. Go ahead and call me a thousand times a day. Because each time you call me, it just gives me another chance to answer and say, “Fuck. You.”

Die, Sallie Mae. In a fire. Today. And rot in Hell.

Moral of the story, Sallie Mae: the next time you’d like to rear your ugly, unprofessional, and unethical head, make sure it isn’t to someone who writes for the Internet.

Weekends in Undergrad v. Weekends Postgrad

You were once just trying to make it to class alive. Now you’re just working for the weekend. Can I get a “toot, toot”? Can I get a “beep, beep”? And while you’re at it, can you also hand me that bottle of Advil? Thanks.

THEN
You could go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and probably Sunday. The only reason you needed Sunday was to do the homework you neglected on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
NOW
You go out on Friday and spend Saturday through Tuesday recovering from it. You like to say it’s because you went hard in the paint, and I mean, sure…

THEN
The party don’t start ’til you walk in. And that was usually sometime around 11.
NOW
The earlier to the bar, the earlier to bed. You could be in bed before 1:30 and it is seriously the most exciting part of your week.

THEN
You could skip class on Friday.
NOW
You cannot miss work Friday. No. Not again. You don’t have the personal day to give for it.

THEN
You would always go to your bar. Regardless. Even if there’s a fire.
NOW
Oh, there’s no cover charge from 9:30-10? We will go there.

THEN
You were literally up for anything, including that one mile walk to the downtown bars further away from campus.
NOW
No.

THEN
You participated in a little activity affectionately known as “day drinking.”
NOW
You participate in a little activity affectionately known as “happy hour.”

THEN
You could have a different hookup every weekend if you wanted.
NOW
You’ve forgotten what the other gender looks like out of business casual.

THEN
Tailgating weekend? You showed up still drunk from the night before.
NOW
You reserve your energies for the actual act of tailgating and post-victory/loss drinking.

THEN
You never kept up with the bar specials and just bought whatever was on special.
NOW
You know the bar specials like the back of your hand. You’ve memorized by day and by “lunch,” “happy hour,” and “nightly” specials, and it determines whether you go out or not.

THEN
You would troll the bar in search of the poor soul you were going to take home that night.
NOW
Could you be my future spouse?

THEN
You would dress to impress, even though you had nobody to impress.
NOW
If you’re already wearing sweat pants, the chances of you changing out of them are about zero percent. You don’t care to show up in your sweat pants. Fuck it, you do what you want.

THEN
You bought Natty Light and bottom-shelf liquor because LOL you’re not 21 and you’re such a badass with your fake I.D.
NOW

You buy the good shit and you learn to make it last.

THEN
You were too hungover to care about that quarter of a fifth you left at that house party to concern yourself with the 24-hour rule.
NOW
You’re still too hungover to care, but come Hell or high water, you’re getting that bottle back. It’s only Saturday and you need that.

THEN
Please I.D. me.
NOW
Please I.D. me.

Office Activities You Hate

Once upon a time, you would have done many questionable things for employment. And then finally someone somewhere looked at your poor soul and your even poorer resume and said, “You’re hired.” It was a great day, but somewhere around day seven, you fell off the excited wagon and into the black hole that is employment. Now, you live in a monotonous, day-to-day routine, just working for the weekend so you can go get shitfaced drunk and make several failed attempts at reliving your glory days. I’m not saying you don’t love your job, I’m just saying you don’t love all the aspects of your job.

1.  Signing the happy birthday/condolence card for the coworker you don’t actually know.

2.  Making awkward bathroom conversation while washing your hands, because, as fate would have it, you both finished doing your business at the same time.

3.  The deep stare and telepathy it takes to notify the other coworker headed to the bathroom that you need to poop.

4.  Participating in retirement parties for people you never even knew existed.

5.  You absolutely refuse to drink the last bit of coffee in the pot because you don’t want to be the one to make more.

6.  Pretending like you know what the fuck you’re doing when it comes to unjamming the printer.

7.  Calling the IT guy for any reason whatsoever. “Have you tried restarting your computer? Oh, well try one more time and if it doesn’t help we’ll be out there next week.” He said that two weeks ago.

8.  Making eye contact with the secretary for fear she’ll ask a favor of you, because you know the favor is you moving boxes while she shops for Avon.

9.  Eating the strange food your coworkers bring to the pot luck. Sally is too goddamn pushy with the egg salad. Calm it, Sally.

10.  Having to give rave reviews for pigs-in-a-blanket.

11.  Subsequently being stuck with 40 pigs-in-a-blanket to take home, meaning you have to keep up with tupperware and become a responsible adult.

12.  Remembering the names of children that aren’t yours/related to you, even by marriage.

13.  March Madness brackets.

14.  Even getting remotely close to the one guy in the office who will detain you for over an hour just to talk.

15.  Having to re-route your entire way to the printer/coffee maker/bathroom/exit to avoid said person.

16.  Talking about lunch plans aloud. Because if you do, Todd from accounting will invite himself. You hate Todd.

17.  Pretending to be close friends with the guy in HR so you can continue to Snapchat on the clock without getting reprimanded.

18.  Monday mornings.

19.  15-minute meetings to “get everyone on the same page” that last an hour.

20.  Anytime anybody brings their kids to the office. But, it does remind you to take your birth control…

21.  Staying until five minutes after time to leave to avoid being hassled about slacking off.

22.  Pretending that you don’t hate the intern and everything his/her presence means. Live it up while you can, you lucky bastard, you.

23.  Having to be a “team player,” a “go-getter,” or “micro-managed.”

24.  Talking yourself out of becoming homicidal when someone hits “Reply All” to a mass email.

25.  Workshops.

So, You’re Late for Work…

It happens. The younger you are, the more often it’s likely to occur. When I was in college, I was the student that went by the “If I’m more than __ minutes late, I’m probably just not going to go” rule. Mainly because I was a super responsible adult and didn’t want to interrupt class. I mean, you paid a lot of money to get a quality college education and it shouldn’t be interrupted because I got shitfaced last night and hit the snooze button one too many times. But now that I’m the one getting paid, that rule is null and void. I have to show up, even if I do happen to hit the snooze button one too many times. But that’s not why I’m late. THIS is why I’m late:

“Family emergency”
Important and elusive enough to work, the “family emergency” excuse is almost fail-proof. But, be careful. If you tend to use this excuse a lot, you’re going to need a running story that you can keep up with. Sure, “my sister is in the hospital works a time or two,” but if you suck at participating in life, you’re going to need something a little more long-term. Your great-uncle Mike’s wife’s nephew Jason is in the hospital, and although you’re not really close now, he was like your brother growing up (if a brother is someone you only see two times a year…), and they’re having a really hard time figuring out what’s wrong with him, but you need to be there just in case, especially for moral support. It’s hitting your great-uncle Mike really hard. It’s just a difficult time, but your boss understands that. Right?

“I’m sick.”
The solid, age-old excuse. 60 percent of the time, it works every time. But you’ll need to be prepared to suffer the consequences. If your office requires a doctor’s note, you should probably skip over this one, make it the 24-hour bug, or quickly bang–I mean, befriend a doctor. If you’re needing a few days off, check out what’s going around; like window-shopping, but for diseases. It’s currently flu season, so you can jump on that bandwagon. If you overheard Sharon in accounting talking about how her daughter has strep throat, go for the gold and have strep. Blame it on Sharon for being a carrier. Damn it, Sharon! If you’re just wanting to have the morning/afternoon off, say you have an appointment to have your parts checked out. Nobody is going to question a nice pap smear or prostate check, and if they do, you can swear by the fact you told Angela, your boss’s assistant, about it two weeks ago and she must’ve just been so busy that she forgot.

“It’s polar vortex-ing outside.”
This is an excuse I’m pretty sure can only be used by those of us living in the South. We just can’t. We don’t know how to function in weather that isn’t considered the norm, and by “norm” I mean, “it snowed like seven inches when I was a kid and that’s the most snow I’ve ever seen and I barely remember it.” The norm for Southerners is a a slight dusting and temps never dropping below 20 degrees. Those living in the deep South? No. If it drops below 40 degrees down there, they’re just done. They look for ways to secede from the Union that requires physically picking the region up and move it closer to the Equator. You saw what happened the last time. We all saw what happened the last time. And there’s no way we’re making it into work today. They understand.

Daylight Saving Time
This literally only works one day out of the year, and that day this year just happens to fall on a Sunday. But, play it by the rules of a holiday and make it the excuse as to why you’re late on Monday. “I completely forgot about the time change and forgot to spring my clocks forward an hour,” when in reality you’re like, “Fuck yeah, extra hour of sleep!”

And, for the traveler…
The Kevin Hart approach
So you’re hungover (admit it) and missed your first flight out to meet with a client. Fortunately, the next departure is in 20 minutes and you’re going to be able to make it, but you’re going to be a few minutes late to your meeting. It’s cool. The flight gives you plenty of time to figure out all the details to the story of that time you and your great-uncle Mike were on a plane and it was delayed so you were running late to his wife’s nephew Jason’s wedding so he went all Ben Stiller in Meet the Fockers and got “bomb” Tourrets, subsequently leading to you both being escorted off the plane, questioned by TSA, and being subjected to extra security checks before boarding a flight. No one will question it.