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What is Facebook Etiquette for ‘Liking’ and ‘Unliking’ Friend’s Business Pages?

Your Facebook behaviour pisses me off to the power of ten!

Your Facebook behaviour pisses me off to the power of ten!

Social media, especially Facebook – where would we be without it? I love social media and I’m particular with how I use it. I use Twitter to catch up on news as I find the constant updates are more timely than conventional news sites. I view Instagram for friend’s holiday snaps, their cafe meals and selfies. And I use Facebook to catch up with school friends and relatives. I also join the odd local group to stay in the loop of upcoming festivals, local news and events.

Facebook is great if you run a business too, as you can set up a ‘page’ and keep your ‘fans’ up to date with what’s happening with your company. All well and good. I’m a ‘fan’ of a few pages and I enjoy seeing the new products or services or recipes that some of the businesses I ‘like’ post. But… You knew this was going to turn into a gripe, a rant, a bitch. But, what I find really, really, really off-putting is when you accept a ‘friend request’ from an acquaintance and you think – great, lovely, they want to connect/re-connect, how nice – when in fact, once you accept their request, they send you a request to ‘like’ their business page. Basically, they’re not interested in being your friend, they don’t want to connect with you, they simply want another ‘like’ for their statistics. Urgh!

Another example of this nonsense happened just recently, spurring me to rant this out, purge it out of my system once and for all. I’ve been invited to ‘like’ a new business page started by a Facebook Friend. I say Facebook Friend, because they’re the type of friend who initiated the friend request to begin with, however they never comment on my posts, never like any of my posts and in turn never seem to post anything themselves. In recent days two of these Facebook Friends have started up ‘businesses’ and have sent me requests to ‘like’ their new businesses. Of course I’ve hit ‘like’ because…because…because…I don’t know why…. Urgh!!! Just because!!! *bangs head on desk, cries, sniffs, composes self*

Let’s call one of the businesses “ABC Cleaning”. (They haven’t started a cleaning business, but for the purpose of this post, let’s say they have). I’ve checked out their business page and I’m not even interested in what they are promoting. Urgh. Everyone owns a broom and mop these days, why do I need to hire someone to use those tools when I can do a good job myself… Anyway. A quick search to see if “ABC Cleaning” had an external website yielded a surprising result – there are other very similarly worded businesses who happen to provide exactly the same service as this Facebook Friend’s new business. There is “ABC Kleaning”, “ABD Cleaning”, “ABC Cleanings” – for example. This confusion poses a whole host of questions – what if potential customers confuse the businesses? Is it even possible to have a business name so close to an exisiting business in the same field? Why didn’t this Facebook Friend do appropriate checks before going to the trouble of setting up a page? Why didn’t they think of a unique name, rather than the obvious and clearly well covered name? Wouldn’t you want your new business to have a stand out name? And looking at their work, I can’t say I’m impressed with their level of workmanship. I can clean better, for example. And wouldn’t it be better for business and ‘friendship’ to write a general post to all the friends letting them know you’ve started “ABC Cleaning” and inviting them to ‘like’ the page, rather than send a request out of the blue? That would surely spur conversation and be far more engaging than the more sterile request method. Do they even know how to ‘business’?

You know, I’ve recently embraced sketching again. I’m impressed with my results. My family is impressed with my results. The real life friends I’ve shown my sketches to, are impressed with my results. Does that mean I should start up a Facebook ‘business page’ and send invitations to all my friends – many of whom are artists – inviting them to ‘like’ my new sketching? And maybe I can call my new business page “Banksey Sketches” because that would be a great and catchy name… No. No, just because I have received a few compliments for my sketches does not mean that I should go out, start a business page using an all-too-familiar name, and invite all and sundry to ‘like’ my page!

So if you have a hobby or a passion and you excel at this hobby or passion and you are constantly asked by others – who are not your family or friends – who see your work to please set up a Facebook business page so they can be kept up to date with your hobby, then please feel free to start up a Facebook business page. In fact send me a link so I too can ‘like’ your page. But if you simply base your feedback on what your family and friends tell you, then don’t. Your family and friends love you and they will love anything you produce, no matter how shoddy your cleaning really is.

In the meantime, from an etiquette point of view, how long before I can ‘unlike’ these pages? And should I really care?

 

One Task At a Time

The contented look on my face when I completed my letter writing task.

The contented look on my face when I completed my letter writing task.

Yesterday I was berating myself for being stuck in the overthinking mindset but I managed to complete one of the tasks that has been bugging me for weeks. I was determined to complete it before heading to bed. And believe me when I tell you that yesterday was a doozy of a day with all three males in the house down and out with the horrid manflu. No amount of coughing and spluttering and constantly tending to their every need was going to prevent me from completing just the one task I had set myself – to send a reply to a re-found friend after many years of absence.

The letter I wrote and sent was far too long, far too personal and far too melancholic so I may or may not hear from that friend again! But I felt that I achieved so much more than just writing to a friend, it was also part therapy and part recounting family life and re-living the past experiences. And of course the satisfaction of being able to complete this task knowing it wasn’t going to hang around my neck like an albatross was a great feeling.  Again, all this sounded so much better in the middle of the night thanks to menopalooza wakefulness, but that’s my life at the moment.

Today, I may just complete another task that has been bugging me for a while. Just watch me!

There’s Thinking and Then There’s Overthinking

 

I think the To Do list has taken on a life of its own and is wrapping itself around me, growing ever bigger and more menacing...

I think the To Do list has taken on a life of its own and is wrapping itself around me, growing ever bigger and more menacing…

As I’m typing this post I can see the many tabs I have open at the top of the screen. Tabs to social media networks – so I don’t miss out on what’s going on. Tabs to creative blogs – so I can learn new skills in sketching, painting, etc. Tabs open to YouTube clips – so I can get my fix of the funnies. Tabs open to the blogs I follow – so I can see what others have been up to. Tabs to gardening blogs – to try and make heads or tails out of what plants I should plant now that spring is almost upon us. Tabs to job seeking websites – so I can apply for any suitable positions should they become available. And I have a tab open to a blog that talks about overthinking.

Overthinking. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. I won’t link the blog post here as it’s only an advertisement post and I’m sure there are other better posts written about the subject, but it’s one that got me thinking, or overthinking, all over again. I spend my last moments before sleep going over my days, and then planning the next. I spend my waking moments repeating the same. And as each day goes on, my list of tasks never seem to diminish but instead grow – there’s an email to write and send to a friend who has popped back into my life after being lost for years. There are creative projects in various stages of completion scattered around my study. There is the list of plants I need to compile so that I can complete the garden before I miss the season and the summer gets too hot to establish a garden. There are the items I’ve cleared out and want to sell, and this involves photographing them and popping them onto one of those selling sites. And I’m not even looking at the list of tasks I wrote out weeks ago that I truly want to get through but I know would leave me feeling overwhelmed if I found it as it’s somewhere on my desk underneath all the papers.

I like the feeling of being able to make a decision, there’s a feeling of lightness that comes with making a decision no matter how trivial. It’s just the process involved in reaching that decision that really knocks me for six. I think that’s why I need to have so many tabs open at any one time. What if I want to read that article properly later when I’m having a cup of tea and if I close the tab I won’t be able to find the article again. What if tomorrow I do have the 15 minutes I need to watch that clip on how to prepare your canvas, for beginners. And yet. Making decisions is still fraught with angst and much hand-wringing. And these days, to the point where if I’m home, I tend not to achieve anything I’d like simply because of that indecision and so berate myself when I go through my day before I finally close my eyes. And so the cycle goes. I’m certainly not like this at work. There I am ordered and timely and my work gets done. At home, I am another person entirely.

Everyday I have wanted to write on this blog. Everyday I draft a post in my mind. And everyday there never seems to be the will or opportunity or the ability to make the decision to actually write the post. I feel as though I’m exposing myself by being so frank but I have nothing to lose. Even drafting this up is making me feel determined to try and get on top of this overthinking. For now. If I were advising a friend, I would tell her to close all the tabs and to tackle one task at a time. Will I listen to my own advice? What advice do you have that may help?

The Good, The Bad and The Raging

There are good days and bad days and then there are rage days. Today is a rage day. Even though I said I would stay away from the political discourse, today I found I couldn’t get away from it. To explain it here would be to feel my rage escalate, suffice to say that I feel as though I’ve woken up in the middle of 1984. The novel, not the year. And that’s bad. That is not a novel you want to wake up in the middle of!

So. What to do. I’m going to immerse myself in some cute youtube clips that always make me smile and will hopefully lift this rage away from me. Please enjoy this clip, it never grows tired and it’s my all-time favourite of theirs. And please, if you have any cutesy clips you think I should watch to calm myself down, then do feel free to link here in the comments!

Glasses, Glasses Everywhere – and Yet I Cannot See

Unbelievably, the mysterious glasses seemed to be my prescription! That was a surprise!

Unbelievably, the mysterious glasses seemed to be my prescription! That was a surprise!

Do you have days where you get the feeling you’re going mad? I do. And today was another such day. Peak Eye Roll was reached today and all because of a pair of glasses.

I have this thing where there are a few pairs of those cheap and cheerful glasses lying about the house. MOTH and I share them and we leave them on coffee tables, dining tables, kitchen, bathroom, garage, bedroom, laundry…you get the picture. When you get to our stage, leaving multiple pairs about is better than having a pair hanging around your neck like those real old foges… Anyway, earlier today AC1 showed me a pair of glasses he’d found in a carry-on suitcase – where they mine? Negative. I hadn’t seen a pair like that before. Maybe they were his girlfriend’s glasses! Nope. Her sister’s glasses? Nope. He’d recently been camping with friends, maybe it was one of theirs? Again, negative. I tried them on and marveled at how nice they were and declared that whoever had lost them would surely be missing them, and that these things cost a lot of money you know.

Fast forward to a few hours later and the mysterious glasses are sitting on the kitchen bench. AC1 is hovering in the kitchen like a seagull at a beach picnic just waiting for dinner to be ready – he’s got places to go to, people to see apparently – and I grab those said glasses to read the recipe I’m trying to follow and declare, much to the shock of AC1, that the glasses mine. I realised, they were my glasses after all, one of the many pairs I’ve bought and leave about the place. I then remembered they were one of the better quality ones, over the $20 mark rather than under the $20 mark.

I’m sure that AC1 is right now putting a call through to those lovely men who come and take you away to that nice safe place where you get to sit and stare out into the middle distance, drink lukewarm cups of tea and watch game shows on the telly all day long.

Still cannot believe I didn’t realise the glasses were mine. I blame menopalooza. /eye roll

Switching on to Auto Pilot

I spend most days yawning in an attempt to stay awake.

It’s winter and although we’ve hit the solstice, there are still 6 freezing weeks to go before I’ll start thawing out. If I’m warm enough, I do actually enjoy winter. And you would think that being in menopause – or menopalooza (thank you Jill Robbins!) as I now like to refer to it, because it sounds far more exciting and something that only the cool* kids have – I should be enjoying the higher temperatures as provided by my own personal thermostat. However, and I’m worried that now I am jinxing myself, but I don’t get the hot flashes that others also sharing in the menopalooza life, experience. And thank goodness, because it sounds totally awful!

What I do endure however, are the sleepless nights. I’ve cut down on my caffeine to two espressos maximum per day. I don’t exercise before bedtime. I don’t use electronic devices in the bedroom and instead read from those old fashioned paper books. Remember those? Anyway, my poor sleeping habits impact on my day -to-day, leaving me exhausted and totally unwilling to head to the gym and exercise. And exercise is important for us menopalooza gals. I’m in a vicious cycle…

I was reading on the weekend that celebrity trainer Michelle Bridges says that she sometimes goes into ‘auto pilot’ mode to get herself off to training. Today, I tried that tip, and it worked. All my body wanted to do was curl up and go to bed, I’d had a sleepless night and I was too tired to exercise or cook dinner or blog or sketch  – it was late afternoon and not bedtime at all, so sleeping was out of the question. Instead, I changed into my training gear without even thinking of what I was doing. I got into the car and drove to the gym. I performed the tasks as set by the trainer, just thinking of the mechanics of the movements I was doing and nothing else. Before I knew it, the session was complete and I was heading back to the car. I drove home, cooked dinner and here I am blogging. I would be lying if I said I feel energised, I don’t, but I do feel a lot better than I did earlier today. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to heat up some milk, add a teaspoon of honey and sip that and hope that my night isn’t a wakeful one.

If you have any tips on staying asleep when it’s the middle of the night, I would love to hear them!

* That’s not my idea of a bad joke, btw. If you get those horrible hot flushes/flashes, then you would be dreaming of being a cool kid. But you’ll have to agree that menopalooza sounds like so much more fun than stupid menopause.

An Open Letter to Retail Workers

There was a time when customer service was part of the whole shopping experience. Not on a sunday though.

There was a time when customer service was part of the whole shopping experience. Not on a sunday though.

Dear Retail Workers,

Today is sunday. I have the day off but I know many of you working in retail don’t get to enjoy your sundays the way people like me do. I’m sorry for that. I hope that the penalty rates you’re currently being paid go some way to compensate for the fact that you have to spend your sunday working instead of being with your family and friends. Retail pay rates aren’t the best to begin with so I’m with you in your fight to retain your penalty rates. I’ve been on your side of the counter and know it’s tough missing out on events simply because the roster says you’re working that day. I truly understand.

I also understand that being a retail worker should be all about customer service. I’m sure your bosses drill that message into you week in, week out. Give your best service, greet each customer, smile, be pleasant, offer assistance, and so on. You’d get messages from head office stating the same, it’s probably part of your job description to ensure you’re meeting high levels of customer service. And I bet you roll your eyes each time you’re told you have to role play the various scenarios that showcase what is good and bad customer service. In fact you probably have posters on your staff room walls giving you pointers on how to provide excellent customer service.  Now is more important than ever to provide excellent service – it’s what those bosses of yours will be saying…as their job may be on the line if more and more shoppers turn to the internet for their retail experience.

Earlier today, I did go shopping, I was looking for various bits and pieces for my home and I needed assistance. I visited four stores and received no assistance in any of the stores. There was plenty of you retail staff about, but you seemed to be more concerned about how much time you had left before you could go home. You were happily chatting with each other and totally ignoring me, your customer. In one store, you were vacuuming the floor and didn’t even acknowledge that I had entered the store. Retail workers, that’s really disappointing. You know that meme – you had one job – well, that was you today. Your one job is to provide customer service. If I were your boss, I would ask that you provide excellent customer service. That’s really the only advantage you bricks-and-mortar stores have over the online world – customer service. I realise this is probably your fill-in job while you wait for your career to take off, or uni to finish but if you can’t get this job right, what makes you think you’ll perform your other jobs in a positive, enriching way? Have you heard of the Fish! Philosphy? Go and check it out and apply it to your retail job, just for one shift and see the difference that it will make to not only your customers, but to you and your attitude.

I know I’m being harsh here, but it’s a tough world out there. The likes of Gerry Harvey are pressuring the government to start charging gst on online sales under $1000. It’s his way of trying to persuade the public to turn away from online shopping. By why should I abandon online shopping when I don’t receive customer service from you, the retail worker? I can tell you there’s nothing more off-putting than knowing that as a customer, I’m in the way or in today’s case, simply invisible.

It’s harsh, I’ve probably gone too far, but today your treatment of me, your customer, sucked. I had money in my wallet, I needed stuff, and you were all too busy looking at your watches, charging your phones, vacuuming and totally ignoring me. I’m sorry you had to work today, a sunday. I would love for all shops to be closed on a sunday like they were in the old days but that almighty $$ is king, so open on a sunday it is. As for the goodies I needed? Yes, thanks, I’ve found them online and they’ll be arriving within the week.

Yours in disappointment,

VN

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