Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hump Day: If you love Mondays you must be doing something right

Hump DHump Dayay
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Editorial section

I sometimes wonder how people who have lost the desire to be in their jobs and feel trapped get through the day. It must be awful.

There are many people who keep their jobs just because of the salary. It’s worse when you have a job you hate but make so much money that it’s the only reason you stay. If you’re not making a lot of money, I can imagine you would find it hard to feel sorry for someone who hates their job and is making close to $100,000 per year. Poor baby, right?

I’ve known people who’ve been making close to that and who leave their job because their heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t their passion. They were dying inside and they weren’t fulfilled. Sure, their wallet was in good shape, but their heart and mind weren’t.

It’s important to work in something you’re passionate about.

Like many people, I’ve had well-paid jobs in the past that I just wasn’t very excited about. One in particular, I remember as not being a good fit from the get-go. I knew it wasn’t for me even when I applied for it, but being financially stressed at the time (as opposed to making the Oprah-level money I am now), I didn’t care. All I saw were the dollar signs.

Unfortunately, dollar signs didn’t equal passion when I eventually got the job and found myself behind a desk doing something I could not have cared less about. I was bored out of my tree. The duties didn’t interest me in the least. I could barely muster up the courage to show up at work. Don’t get me wrong, it was an important job, but I had applied for all the wrong reasons. Well, there was only one reason: the almighty dollar.

I often wonder why people who so clearly detest what they do stay in their jobs. Perhaps it’s the money. Perhaps it’s the routine. Maybe the comfort, even. Either you need the job to actually put food on the table, or you make so much that you need to keep the job to maintain the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.

The best option – at least theoretically – is that you’re working in a job that you love, that pays a fortune and that fulfills you to an unlimited degree. Who wouldn’t want that, after all? When you see people going above and beyond and working crazy hours at a job they love, it really isn’t work for them. It’s joy.

Life is too short to be doing something you hate. It isn’t worth it. Depending on what religion you adhere to, we (may) only have one life to live on this Earth. Even if you believe – like some do – that we return to live many lives, then at least it’s important to make this particular life worth it – even if you’ll be back soon for another mission.

As much as I love social networking websites such as Facebook, I’m always dismayed at the number of negative messages every Monday morning. “Mondays suck!” “Mondays are awful!” “I hate Mondays!” If you hate Mondays that much, you should do yourself a favour (and I mean that literally) and get another job.

We’re supposed to look forward to the future. We’re supposed to look forward to Mondays. If you love your job, Monday should be the best day of the week, not the worst. I loved school and loved being with my friends during the school year. While I looked forward to weekends, I always remember loving Mondays ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It’s the start of new week, new opportunities and new possibilities.

Everyone has bad weeks, but bad weeks aren’t supposed to last forever. Bad weeks aren’t supposed to turn into bad months… and bad years… and then a bad lifetime. I’m sure you’ve heard of those who spend their entire lives in a job they hate just because of the pension. There’s nothing sadder than that. And then when they finally retire and are able to live their real life, they get sick… or drop dead.

Working just to retire is no way to live, unless of course you love what you do. And if you’re lucky enough to be one of those people, you are very fortunate.

Working in a job you love isn’t always possible. Sometimes you just have to eat and pay the rent. We’ve all done that. And, quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s dignity in work. There’s honour in good hard work. We learn things. We get things accomplished. We meet people – many of whom become friends.

But it’s not normal to want to be sick to your stomach before you walk through the doors of your office at the beginning of every week.

Some of my best writing gigs right now don’t pay as much when compared to some corporate work I do, but they’re fun and I look forward to them. In short, I love them because they are part of my passion.

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I used to scribble gibberish on paper (some would say that I still do that) because I thought that was “handwriting.” Today, I love the fact that writing has become my career. I look forward to every moment of it – whether it’s for the newspaper or another client.

I used to have a cleaning lady who told me point blank: “I love to clean!” In fact, you could have performed surgery on my floors after she was done with them. I always admired what she said that day. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s your passion.

If Monday is your favourite day of the week, you’re doing something right!

This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published March 25, 2011)

Social Media MattersTwitter an omen for American Idol contestants?:

This season on American Idol, each contestant has a Twitter account.

That’s a good thing! It allows them to interact with fans and hear how they’re doing. The accounts also allow contestants to easily send messages to their fans and even chat with a few of them when time permits.

It may also be a bad thing because the number of Twitter followers each contestant has this season has so far been a pretty accurate omen (good or bad) on their chances of winning. The first contestant to get booted, Ashthon Jones, had the lowest number of Twitter followers of the Top 13 that week, while last week’s bottom three had the three lowest totals of Twitter followers.

It’s pretty obvious – at least at this early stage of the season – to see that Twitter popularity is playing a role in predicting who won’t be going far in the competition at this point: Haley Reinhart, Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk – all of whom lag far behind the other eight contestants in Twitter followers.

Only time will tell if the trend holds up, but so far Twitter has been a pretty good prognosticator of who hasn’t got a hope of winning season 10 of American Idol.

Kids lying to get on Facebook:

According to a news report by Matt Johnston published March 22 in Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper, children under the age of 13 are lying in droves in order to get on Facebook. (The minimum age to join Facebook is 13.)

In fact, the problem of underage youngsters joining the world’s most popular social networking site is so prevalent that Facebook is banning 20,000 of them per day for being too young, the report states.

According to Mozelle Thompson, Facebook’s chief privacy adviser, about seven million children who have lied about their age are blocked each year. “It’s something that happens on a regular basis,” Mr. Thompson was quoted as saying in the article.

Twitter turned five years old this week:

On Monday, microblogging website Twitter turned five years old. The site, which allows users to post status updates and share links in 140 characters or less, continues to take the world by storm, even being called “the new CNN” earlier this week by PC Magazine writer Lance Ulanoff.

As Twitter enters its sixth year, the most popular Twitter users are: 1. Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) (8,913,728 followers); 2. Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) (8,273,168); 3. Britney Spears (@britneyspears) (7,183,736); 4. Barack Obama (@BarackObama) (7,081,236); 5. Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) (6,823,773); 6. Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) (6,468,530); 7. Katy Perry (@katyperry) (6,297,473); 8. Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) (6,200,700); 9. Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) (5,667,384); and finally, in tenth spot, Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) (5,380,011).

Charging up the rear and gaining fast is troubled celebrity Charlie Sheen who only joined Twitter a few weeks ago.

As of Monday, he was in 34th place at 3,019,094 followers, just behind The New York Times and just ahead of rapper Snoop Dogg. Sheen will likely be in the Top 10 in the next few weeks, knocking off Oprah. A sad sign.

Meanwhile, retired CNN talk show host Larry King clings on to his place in the Top 100 Twitter users in 100th place with 1,794,301 followers.

Now that he’s retired, though, and is less visible, he will likely drop off the Top 100 sooner rather than later.

Other notable placements include celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in 328th place with 973,266 followers, the NHL in 533rd place with 544,101 followers, singer Enrique Iglesias in 799th place with 352,818 followers and, finally, your friend and mine Jesus Christ in 995th place with 282,168 followers.

Suffice it to say that he has more followers in “real life” than he does on Twitter.

All statistics are courtesy of Twitaholic.com, a website that keeps a running daily tally of the most popular Twitter users, and are current as of Monday, March 21 at 11 p.m. Numbers and rankings may have changed since then.

Allure of Facebook too strong, even for inmates:

Prison inmates in South Carolina may be getting 30 days tacked on to their sentences if they don’t stop smuggling cell phones into jail and updating their Facebook statuses.

WFMY television news in Greensboro, North Carolina, reported this week that South Carolina state representative Wendell Gilliard has proposed a bill to add the extra month to sentences if a prisoner is caught updating his or her Facebook status from jail. Gilliard states victim safety as one of the main reasons for the measure.

Across the border in North Carolina, it is against the law for prisoners to use computers and the Internet.

In 2010, 634 cell phones and smart phones were confiscated by prison officials.

An inmate caught with such a device faces up to a maximum of 60 days of solitary confinement or lost privileges.

A pretty stiff penalty for complaining that it’s Monday – as many Facebook users tend to do!

Idol Chatter review of American Idol’s March 24, 2011, episode — Top 11 results show

Brian Cormier - Idol ChatterWow! Shock eliminations on American Idol don’t normally happen this early in the season, but it happened last night in what will go down as a night of surprises. One of the clear frontrunners found himself singing for his survival during the Judges’ Save. What went so badly for Casey Abrams?

Click one of the links below to read about what happened on a night of high drama!

Moncton Times & Transcript: Click here

Fredericton Daily Gleaner: Click here

Watch the dramatic results and Casey’s emotional reaction: