Thursday, June 22, 2017

Frustration with forms


I recently received an email about receiving an e-book that I could easily download. It sounds simple enough and so I decided to fill out the form that I needed to before getting the download. Now the form was pretty simple as it included my name, city and then State. Well I figured that I would be able to at least find the provinces on the list because a lot of companies realize that there are places in Canada that would want this information. I was surprised when I couldn’t find either Canada or any of the provinces but you needed to provide a state to continue with the download. So I decided that considering I had to pick a state I decided I would pick Alaska as it would really confuse the data. I could have picked New York or a state close to Ontario but I decided to make it obvious that I wasn’t happy with the selection that I had.

I did receive the e-book so will now read it and I will probably get a call from the company in the not too distance future asking how they can help me. My answer is going to be that they can help me by making sure the form includes provinces especially since they do have a Canadian presence as I have seen them at various IT shows. I understand that a lot of people joke around that there is nothing north of the 49th parallel and here is an example of why sometimes Canadian’s get upset about how we are treated.

There are a lot of businesses that have their main head quarters down the States but when you providing a service to Canada please ensure that you at least let me either select Canada or a province on your form. When I have to select a state I will pick one that is very obvious and I know that the next time I have to pick a state it will be Hawaii.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog posts and ideas from them

I know that I have been writing blog posts for quite a while and now I am thinking what I am going to do with some of the blog posts that I have written.

I haven’t been writing a lot of posts lately and part of that is because I have been trying to think of what to write and I have also been looking back at some of my older posts. I have come up with an idea for some of my posts but that is going to involve quite a bit of work. I have decided that some of my blogs could be combined into one larger document or at least I could collect all the blogs on one topic into something that is easily shared. Of course, to do this it means going back through lots of posts and figuring out how to combine the different posts and see what happens from there.

I am going to continue to work on writing the posts because I can normally find things to write about. I have been looking around me lately and haven’t had a lot of new topics so that has made it a little harder to actually write about something. I hope that over the next couple of weeks that I will be able to start getting back to the overall writing that I have been doing and have more ideas.

Writing a blog post can sometimes be a challenge because coming up with a different idea or topic can sometimes take a while. I am happy with all the posts that I have been able to write and know that it will continue.

A collection of various posts is going to be a lot of fun to work on and it will also mean that the posts may be edited a little bit as I start to pull them together into the various topics. I may even get some more post ideas just by going through some of the topics that I have written about in the past.

Writing for me is something that I really enjoy doing and I just need to get back to the actual writing instead of just looking at the page and not having ideas that I can write about.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Women in IT

When I go to the various IT events there is one thing that I notice a lack of and that is women in IT.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any women in IT but there seems to be so few compared to the number of men. I go to events where there are around 50 men at a meeting and there is sometimes 3 – 4 women in the group. It is something that I notice a lot and something that I really see as a problem. I have been told that I don’t understand the material or asked if I am just a tag along but I always say that I am there because I am in IT.

A recent experience
I did have an interesting experience recently and it did show that there are still people that have a problem with a women doing what they see as a man’s job especially in IT. A client asked our business if we could assist in moving computers for them. Yes, it was they hired the two staff to do the work so that was one man and one women. The person hiring us knew exactly who he was hiring and was happy that he could get me to assist with something in the office.

We arrive to help move both the desk top computers and the monitors for the various staff members and in this company there are a lot of men. I didn’t care because my role was to move the computers and that was what I was going to do. Sure, I had the cart to help me the computers the distance between the different desks but that was all. The first couple of moves went extremely well and the men seemed to be happy that I was there to move his computer. Now the third man that I had to help was a little different story. He wasn’t as prepared as most of them for the move so that was the first issue that I had to deal with but I understood and dealt with that.

When I went up to him to let him know that it was his turn for the computer move he didn’t seem to be too happy that it was time but he didn’t say anything about that. I did let him know that if he wanted to dust off the desk he was going to be going to he might want to do it then because I was going to be moving the computer quickly. He went off to clean the new desk so at least I could spend the time disconnecting his computer without an issue. I loaded the cart with just his computer stuff and off I went to set it up.

The new desk was at the opposite end of the office so that was fine and as I started to set up the computer he noticed a box under the desk and asked me what was in it. As I am not staff I didn’t have a clue and let him know that he might want to ask the person that had been sitting there about the box. He disappeared for a few minutes which gave me the time to set up the rest of the computer and ensure that it was going to boot up correctly. I did this and finally let him know that if he could log in I would appreciate it and then I was done with his computer and the move of it.

Well I figured I was finished having to deal with him but it didn’t end there because about an hour later he comes over and questions me about the mouse that I gave him. The mouse that I gave him was the one from his desk but he felt that I had exchanged his mouse for a dirty mouse. I walked over with him to check to ensure it was the mouse that I had moved and sure enough it was as we were only moving one user at a time so it was difficult to mix up any of the computer equipment. I told him that yes it was the mouse that had been on his desk and just explained to him again that we were only moving one desk at a time so it wasn’t possible to get the mice mixed up.

Other notes
I know that there are quite a few women in some IT roles but I think one of the issues is that they are not in some of the higher profile jobs which makes them less visible. I go to some security meetings and there are some women that are extremely knowledgeable and make a point of showing up to meetings.

I hope that soon it will be a lot easier to be a women in IT and not be looked down upon by other members of the same profession. Sure a women may not be able to move some of the equipment that a man can move but with way things are changing the equipment is getting lighter and move of the jobs involve a virtual machine and not a physical machine. Not every women that is in IT is a support person for the men. Women are in IT because of their passion and interest in the work but men have to understand that sure for years it was a male dominated profession but times are changing. A women that is in a role has already had to prove themselves and really doesn’t need to be challenged by other individuals just because they don’t feel she belongs in the role.

I will continue to prove that yes women do belong in IT and we aren’t all just there in the sales or marketing roles. We are there as a key part of a business and need to be seen as that and are no longer the one’s standing in the background.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Vacation Pictures

Columbia Icefields
Have you noticed how many people post their vacation pictures on social media while they are on vacation?

Recently I have been looking through my social media account and noticed that a lot of people have been posting pictures of where they currently are. Sure some of them are at home and doing things but a lot of them are on a vacation and they are posting what they are doing. Yes, I think it is nice to see a little bit about a vacation but then there are the negative aspects of posting pictures when you are on vacation.

1. Through social media you are letting all of your friends know that you are on vacation. That could be nice but then when one of your friends posts a like or a comment then their friends see that you are on vacation as well.

2. Are you sure that your social media page is only seen by your friends and not by everyone else that is on the same social media. Considering how often the different privacy policies change I wouldn’t want to be posting what I am currently doing.

3. Not everyone can go away on vacation due to work or personal responsibilities. If you are on a lot of vacations you could be just making those people feel even worse about their situation so that isn’t good either.

Now here are some good aspects of posting pictures.

1. You get to see different parts of the world by seeing where people are.

As you are see I don’t have a lot of good aspects of posting pictures while you are on vacation. I agree that it is nice to see some vacation pictures but if you are going to do that do it once you are back from your vacation. Another idea would be to put the pictures into an album on your social media page and then people can look at the pictures how they want to look at them. The other thing is if you are going to post daily pictures again put them in albums so that you don’t fill put everyone’s feed with multiple individual pictures.

It was nice today when I was thinking about writing this post to see a e-newsletter that my husband received from an insurance company. The newsletter was saying basically what I was going to be writing and that is if you are going on vacation wait until you are home to post those vacation pictures. Don’t let the world know that you are on vacation and where you are. By posting all these pictures on an ongoing basis you are telling everyone that your home is empty and you don’t be home for a while.

I love seeing the pictures of where people have gone on vacation but knowing when they are at each airport, hotel, tourist spot and even some meals is a little too much information for me. Remember when you are posting pictures please keep them to a minimum and also put them in albums and then I will look at them when I have the time and don’t have to see each picture as a separate post in my feed.

Note: The picture attached to this blog was taken on a vacation a number of years ago.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Blogging

I decided to look and see when I actually started writing this blog and it was May 27, 2011 so yes it has been 6 years of me writing. Sure I don’t haven’t been writing as regularly as I have lately but it is interesting to see how many different blogs that I have written. Before posting this one I have written 392 blogs for this blog alone.

What is interesting is seeing that I have 428 blog posts on another blog and that one was started on November 27, 2007 so that one is coming up to 10 years of having that blog. This blog is my fun and crafting blog and it doesn’t get as many posts as it now gets about a post a week and there were times that I was lucky to get a couple of posts a month on that blog.

Blogging for me is a great way to write out some of my thoughts and also a means of me showing some of the things that I do. My personal blog is where I show my different craft projects that I have been working on and that part of what I do whereas this blog is more my thoughts about life in general. I have found people amazed that I have two different blogs. I actually had someone ask me about this blog after they read my personal blog because of the difference between the two blogs.

A lot of people have moved from blogging to videos but I find that I can work on my blog a bit at a time and actually enjoy doing it this way. Sure some people enjoy being in front of a camera but for me being able to write down my thoughts and feelings is what is important to me. Sure not everything is written down in either of my blogs but there are things I want to show others and my blogs are how I do it.

I have seen people say how often they are going to post as soon as they start a blog without having an idea if that is even going to be achievable. For me I keep my idea of how often I will post realistic and if I can surpass that idea each month I am happy with that. Sure I have been able to write 2 blogs most weeks lately but if I get extremely busy I won’t be writing that much but will still try and maintain the 4 blog posts a month.

Blogging is something that I enjoy doing and I will continue to do it my way and know that there will be people that don’t like it and others that love it. My blog is something that I do because I enjoy doing it and it doesn’t seem like work to me at all.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Project Total Keeps Growing

If you are anything like me, you will probably have a lot of different projects that need your attention and then start to feel overwhelmed when you realize how many things you actually have on the go.

When I say projects I mean both the things for work and also things for yourself. Being someone that is a co-owner of a business there are always tons of projects that need my attention for work so it is just a matter of trying to keep them organized and yes written down. I have been bad lately at writing them down so now it is to get back to writing everything done and then seeing how I can get the things done.

Now the personal list is probably just about as bad as the work list because I haven’t been tracking what I should be working on and what really needs my attention. Maybe just spending some time working on all the lists is something that would be very important. A list of projects can help you feel a little better even if there are the personal projects.

Projects can be something very small which can be accomplished quickly or it can be something that will take days, or even months to finish but tracking them is important. Some people can try and track all their projects in their head but I have found that those are the people that don’t have a lot of different projects on the go. For someone that has a creative mind it can be a challenge to track all the concrete projects and then all the projects that are just little bits of ideas. Sure some of the little bits of ideas may never get any further than the little idea but without a method of tracking these ideas you may lose a good idea that can help solve an issue or even help with another project.

For a lot of people just looking at the lists of projects can be very overwhelming and it is something that you have to manage. For me I keep the project lists separate based on who they are for. Client projects are separate from our own business projects and then the personal projects can also be divided up so that when I am working on a specific item I only see those projects and not everything else..

Over the last little while I have been seeing the project total continue to grow and now I need to figure out what can be accomplished quickly and then get them off the lists. Sure a list of all the projects no matter how big or small they are can help you ensure you don’t forget to do something so now to get back to even updating that list. Some people say that keeping a list takes time to do but then trying to remember everything in your head can also be a challenge and it takes time. The time you spend trying to remember what you should be working on is time away from actually getting the work done.

Well it is now time for me to get back to working on those lists and see what I can get marked off today. Sure the list may grow along the way as well but at least I will remember all the different things I need to do.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Traffic in the city

Living in a big city has it’s advantages and then there are the disadvantages and I think traffic is one of the disadvantages.

For anyone that has to commute to work on a daily basis they really understand how traffic can impact them. It doesn’t matter if you take public transit or you drive to work you are doing to deal with traffic at some point on your commute. It can be as simple as a little bit of congestion on a side street or a main street or the bumper to bumper traffic that you will encounter on one of the highways.

In the big cities sure we have rush hour but now rush hour seems to be getting longer and longer because of the number of people that are commuting to work longer distances. There are times that I wonder when rush hour isn’t in Toronto. In some cases it seems that rush hour even occurs on the weekends especially on the highways. It doesn’t matter when you are on a highway there seems to be a lot of traffic.

For people that don’t know Toronto we have a major highway that at some points is between 12 and 16 lanes wide. Yes, the Highway 401 is that highway here in Toronto that is extremely wide and is one of the main routes along the top of the city for us. It is busy no matter when you are on it and that is because it is the main route from Montreal, Quebec to Windsor, Ontario. It is used by transport trucks as a means of getting across Ontario.

Now traffic isn’t just busy on the highways it can be busy on any of the main streets. Traffic can be impacts by a number of things and more common are accidents and construction. Another thing that impacts traffic is power outages, especially those that impact the traffic signals. When the traffic signals go out it can be a challenge to get around the city and especially through intersections. Some people understand how no traffic signals means an all way stop and then there are the people that figure they have the right of way no matter what. If a traffic signal is out sure you might want to just keep driving but there are other directions that are also trying to get where they are going. In some cases when a street is three lanes in all directions it can be a challenge to get across. It is nice when you can see that directions start taking turns and all the lanes in one direction go at once, one car at a time. Sure, it can mean it is a slower process to get through the intersection in some ways but it is the safest way to do it.

Traffic in a big city can be a disadvantage but when you have a good highway and road system it can work pretty well. Sure, there are going to be times when traffic is extremely heavy but you just have to plan for it and ensure that you give yourself the extra time to get where you are going.