The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.


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I gave at the office

Yeah, so, my boss “asked” me to volunteer to lead the office’s giving campaign this year. I think she regrets that decision because I’ve covered the office in signs. No location is safe from my pestering, as you can see.

Also, I’m spamming the office email with memes.

Annoying coworkers is now one of my skills on LinkedIn. Please endorse me.

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Content strategy is so hot right now

Yeah, so, I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I mean, other than retire.

I recently discovered that I like content strategy.

Weird, right? It only took me about 10 years to figure it out. Around this time last year, I was transferred from the Oakland office to the San Francisco office to join the content team. Instead of just writing content for one of our companies, I’d be working on content for all of our companies.

Shortly after I got there, I was asked by my new boss if I’d like to really do the Content Marketing Manager job. I have the title, but I didn’t work much with the metrics and the funnel, and shit like that. I said, “Sure. Why not?”

Well, it turns out that I don’t like metrics. Numbers are not my jam.

At the same time, I started working on this big, new project. The corporate overlords are launching an entirely new section of their website, and I started working with a Content Strategist named Nina on all the copy. From blog articles to transactional learning content to the micro-content in the shopping cart, I worked with Nina on all of it.

I like it. I like it a lot.

I love writing. I mean, duh. But it turns out I like thinking about the customer journey. I like thinking about creating the content to help them through the shopping process. AND, it turns out that one of the things that’s kinda in fashion when it comes to website content is making it less stuffy. You know, write like people actually talk. Well, I fuckin’ love that shit. That’s all this blog is. Writing like how people talk is so hot right now.

So, I’ve been listening to everything Nina says and picking her brain because she’s all smart and shit. I started listening to a really great podcast by Kristina Halvorson from Brain Traffic. And at Nina’s recommendation, I started reading Halvorson’s book, too.

I’m feeling like a real goober right now talking about work and content strategy, but the truth is … I’m kinda excited, you guys. It’s been a long time since I really cared about work. I mean, I always kinda care. I have a work ethic, and I’m not a completely lazy asshole. SHUT UP. I’m not! You’re the lazy asshole!

So anyway, now I have an idea of what I want to do. I’m not just feeling around in the dark, writing whatever is asked of me without any rhyme or reason.

Does this mean I’m going to go back to school and get another degree in content strategy? Hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahah! *deep breath* Hahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahah!

Seriously, going back to school is my nightmare. It’s my recurring anxiety nightmare, so that isn’t happening. I can’t imagine anything worse than homework and tests. BUT, I think I can learn a lot at my job and apply what I learn. Plus, it keeps me away from numbers.


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Feeling Minnesota

Yeah, so, I had to travel for work a few weeks ago.

I’ve never had to travel for work before, other than some particularly shitty commutes I’ve had in the past. I mean, driving from Concord to Burlingame can certainly feel like traveling for work.

Seven years I’ve been working for this company, and they finally noticed that I’ve never visited their headquarters in Shoreview, Minnesota. Actually, some of the bosses did try to get me to come out twice before, but I was busy evicting a baby from my uterus and kicking breast cancer’s ass, so, ummm, no.

This time last year, I was moved into a new position, a new office with new coworkers and a new boss. And my new boss doesn’t really dig my whole “Oh, I’m just going to hide in my cube” career path. “No more hiding, Sonia,” she says. “You’re going to go to Shoreview and take your bow for your hard work.”

Well, when she puts it like that, how can I say no? Plus, I really like my new team. We’re divided: half in San Francisco, half in Shoreview. I really wanted to meet the Shoreview team in person. I think it’s important that they see what I goober I am in person. You have to see it to believe it.

So, I packed my bags and got up at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight. That’s right, 4 a.m.! Did you guys know that there is a 4 in the morning? It’s like 4 in the afternoon but in the morning! When the fuck did that start? Ugh. It’s really early.

Shortly, after I arrived in Shoreview, it started snowing. We don’t get snow in the Bay Area, so this was pretty exciting to me. I practically had my face smashed against the window.

Me: “Ohhhh, you guys! LOOK! IT’S SNOWING!”

Co-workers:

It’s April. They were so over it. I thought it was neat, but I could certainly see how the novelty would wear off. Also, driving in snow sucks ass.

So, yeah, it was really awesome to meet my coworkers in person. We had a team dinner at The Lowbrow in Minneapolis, and it was so good. It had vegan options AND an excellent beer list of local brews. It would definitely be my regular spot if I lived out there.

Oh, speaking of vegan options, there wasn’t a ton to be had in Shoreview, Minnesota. BUT, pretty much every restaurant I walked into had gluten-free options. FYI: About 1 percent of Americans have Celiac disease, while 6 percent of Americans say they’re vegan. It’s more likely that a vegan will walk into their restaurant than someone with Celiac disease, but it’s OK. I made it work. I just think it’s funny that they’ve embraced the whole gluten-free thing, but veganism, not so much.

The other thing about the trip that cracked me up: So many of my coworkers said, “Oh, you look just like your photo.” We have photos in our email, Skype, etc. I kept wondering, “Who doesn’t look like their photo?” Maybe I’ll swap my photo out with the worst wedding photo ever taken.

A week before my work trip, I fell and sprained my ankle, but I didn’t know, because I’m practically a genius. I was hobbling around the office, but no one even noticed. I looked like Catherine O’Hara in “Best In Show.”

It probably didn’t help that there was a huge Super Target nearby our hotel, and one night I spent two hours walking around. My ankle really hurt, but SUPER TARGET.

Every night after dinner I went back to my hotel room, put my foot up and watched the second season “The Good Place.” (So good, you guys! You should watch it.) One night I watched a documentary about Jane Goodall called, appropriately, “Jane.”

On the plane, I watched “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Bad Moms Christmas,” which are perfect airplane movies in that they don’t make you laugh or cry and draw attention to yourself. They were not good. “Pitch Perfect 3” actually had explosions, and I think Fat Amy full-on murders some people. I thought this was a movie about an acapella singing group. WTF?

Anyway, I was in Minnesota for five days – FIVE DAYS! That’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin.

My mighty, mighty good man David travels for work all the time. I never do. In fact, when I told Calvin that I was going on a trip for work, and I’d be gone, he said, “Not Mommy. Daddy is going to work.”

David said that Calvin asked about me every morning and every night. Of course, when I would FaceTime, he would give me the cold shoulder, but at least the pets were happy to see me.

Actually, when I got home late Friday night, Calvin will still awake, and he insisted I get into bed with him. He really missed me, and I missed him terribly. For about a week after I got back, Calvin was watching me like a hawk, never letting me out of his sight. It was nice to be missed.


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Same company. Same job. New office. New people. Eeek!

Yeah, so, there have been a lot of changes my job recently. A pair of big bosses were fired laid off right after the new year, and for a while the team was working on a million projects to show the other big bosses that we were worth keeping.

It was stressful … for other people. Well, I mean, I didn’t want anyone to lose their job, but I try not to stress out about work. Work is just work. It’s not life. Losing your job isn’t as bad as say – oh I don’t know – getting cancer. I figure if I can deal with that, I can deal with it if my company decided to give me the boot.

They didn’t, of course, because I’m super awesome and amazing to work with. Instead, there was a ton of restructuring and now I report to the corporate overload’s director of content who works in — wait for it — San Francisco. You see, the corporate overload owns another company that is based in SF, and a several members of the content team work out of that office. I had no idea!

Even though the company I work for is based in Oakland, my boss said it would be a good idea if I worked at least a couple of days in the SF office. Obviously, I agree. This means I can walk down the hill from my house, get on BART, and be in the office in like 15 minutes. It was taking about an hour to get to the office every morning. It sucked.

So anyway, you guys … That means, for the first time since college, I am living and working in the same city! I am downright giddy about it.

I’ve worked at the same place for 8 years. I’m still doing the same job for the same company, but at a different location. I might even get some content support like – dare to dream – some copy editing. As good buddy Kate said, “It’s like getting a new job without getting a new job.”

I went into the office on Wednesday, and I made it very clear that I was super happy to be there. I practically did cartwheels and a happy dance. The next day I found a cube that would make a good home for me, and set up shop. I introduced myself to all the neighbors. “I’m moving in. Tell me to shut up if I get too loud.” Loud = eating all the free salt and vinegar potato chips from the kitchen, because this place provides snacks. Whaaaat?

You guys! I can even see out the window over my cubicle wall.

But wait, there’s more.

This place has a sparkling water dispenser. And, AND, there are bagels on Monday, fresh fruit on Wednesday, and there’s a full stocked refrigerator of drinks, including BEER AND WINE! I can’t comprehend that this company is owned by the same company that owns us. We don’t have a fully stocked refrigerator. In fact, last year they threatened to stop providing complimentary coffee and tea.

I will still be working in my old office once or twice a week, which is great because I’d miss my Oakland peeps. But it is really nice in the SF office. I feel at any minute the big bosses are going to say, “Send Sonia back to her old office full time.”


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Business, Business, Business, Numbers

Yeah, so, before I get to the Friday cuteness, I’ve got a few random things to share.

The second episode of Dorking Out About Trailers is here. Smith, P Biddy and I talk about “Rings,” “Cars 3” and “CHiPs.” We’re having a lot of fun with this one, including writing our own fake trailers that play before our discussion. I think they are kinda funny, if I don’t say so myself. You should listen.

I don’t talk about work here that often, unless I’m talking about the infamous Office Busybody. But, I did get some good work-related news. I got a promotion, kinda. My title hasn’t changed. I’m still the Content and Social Media Marketing Manager, but I got a nice pay bump, more responsibilities and even my own budget to manage. Oh la la. I’m so fuckin’ professional and shit now.

I will be spending even more time on social media, and I will get to work on some fun marketing projects, including videos. I don’t have a lot of experience with that, but it will be a great thing to learn. Unfortunately, it also means I have to deal with things like “revenue forecasts” and crap like that.

unikitty2

So anyway, here’s your Friday cuteness.

sleepingdogs

Bed buddies.

Umm, fur is murder, Toby.

“It’s a cruelty-free fur wrap.” – good buddy Katie


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Gleaming the cube

Yeah, so, see you on the other side.

I’ve been at my current job for more than seven years. I’ve spent about six of those years in the same cubicle. So, imagine my surprise when the powers that be decided that I need to move into another cube … the one of the other side of my current cubicle wall.

hello

Huh? Apparently, it needed to happen. So, I cleaned out my desk and tossed out a lot of old junk. It’s a good thing. It will be less work for me when this company lays me off, which I’m sure will happen any minute now.

I threw away a ton of stuff. I didn’t get too crazy. I mean, I haven’t read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” or anything. But I did have a lot of crap in my desk, including expired vitamins and aspirin, ultrasound photos of the spawn, a pair of tennis shoes I thought I lost, and tons and tons of stolen Splenda packets. I don’t even use Splenda anymore, because I’m pretty sure that shit causes cancer.

I’m getting situated in my new cube. It took me an entire morning to get the computer monitors set up the way I like it. And I’ve arranged and rearranged my nerd corner countless times, but I think I’m relatively situated now … just in time for them to lay me off.

Squad goals.

Squad goals.

Now, a whole-new side of the office gets to listen to me sigh loudly, make assy comments and ignore my ringing desk phone. They’re so lucky, right?


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I always feel like someone is watching me

Yeah, so, I just discovered that our company put up a security camera in our office. We had a series of break-ins last year, and apparently, they installed this security camera while I was on my chemo-cation.

I don’t really care. I mean, if someone wants to watch me sit in my cube and pretend to work all day, then enjoy. It’s like an episode of “The Office,” but boring and even more cringe-inducing. Maybe they can play a drinking game. Drink every time Sonia:

  • Rolls her eyes
  • Leaves early
  • Makes a horrible pun
  • Says “I’m not your Doralee” to her boss

The security guard will be wasted within hours.

Of course, now that I know about it, I’ve started talking to the camera.

“It’s OK, Security Camera. I’m just getting more tea. I’m not stealing it. It’s free. It’s peppermint tea, in case you are wondering.”

“I’m going to use the bathroom, Security Camera. I’ll be right back.”

“Guess who’s eating carrots and hummus again in her cube, Security Camera? It’s me!”[holding up a tub of hummus]

Sometimes I do a little dance in front of it. Sometimes I just stand there, and smile and wave. I have a feeling that whoever is watching the footage is not impressed.

watching


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Non-dairy creamer has dairy in it. WTF?!

Yeah, so, I was getting a cup of tea at work, because I like to have a cup of tea with me in meetings.  I also like to wear a monocle and talk in a British accent. It’s my new thing. I’m super proper and respectable and shit when I’m at work.

So anyway, as I was getting my tea I noticed that we have powdered non-dairy creamer in the cabinet, and I decided to read the label because apparently I don’t have enough work to do at work.

nondairy

Hey Powdered Non-Dairy Creamer! Stop fuckin’ lying to yourself and everyone else. You’ve got milk listed right in your ingredients. Why does something called “non-dairy creamer” have milk in it? Isn’t that like a garden burger having meat in it?

So, I looked it up. Apparently, “non-dairy creamer” means the lactose has been removed, but it still may contain the milk protein casein.

themoreyouknow

I don’t think non-dairy creamer is a very accurate name. They should call it lactose-free creamer, or maybe “nasty fuckin’ powdered shit for your coffee.” Seriously, that stuff is gross. I don’t know. Maybe this non-dairy creamer fact is common knowledge, and you’re thinking, “Hey dumbass, everyone knows that.”

Well, you don’t need to be so rude about it. Good day! I said, GOOD DAY!

Oh, I can’t stay mad at you. Here’s a video of my kid dancing to the song from the new “Peanuts” movie.

 


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The Notorious OBB Strikes Again

Yeah, so, the Notorious OBB is at it again.

Office Busybody and I have been working in the same office for more than 6 years. So, for more than 6 years I’ve been dealing with her obsessions with my lunches and my restroom habits. She’s just two cubes down from me. I think she heard me explaining what I do to a visitor from our corporate office, which resulted in the following conversation.

OBB: “You’re a writer, Sonia? Is that what you do here?”
Me: “Yes. I manage our blog and Ideas & Inspiration section. I manage our social media, and write all our emails. That’s what I’ve been doing in this cube for the six years we’ve been working together.”
OBB: “Oh, I didn’t know you were a writer, Sonia.”

1120officespace2

This explains why last week she was asking me about our benefits enrollment to which I responded, “I’m not HR. Go ask HR.”

I thought about asking her what she does in the office, just to fuck with her. I know damn well what she does, because she is super loud and everyone in the office can hear her all the time.


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Having a nasty cough is so hot right now

Yeah, so, remember when I wrote about how I was sick nine days ago? It turns out the nasty cough has taken up residence in my lungs, and it has no plans to leave. And I, for one, do not welcome my new cough overlord, so I’m drinking another hot toddy to kill it and blogging.

Wheeee.

This cough has given me a raspy, some might even say sexy, voice that is going over really well in the office. Maybe it’s good timing, because work has been frustrating, and I’ve been having to get my bitch on. My raspy voice is probably the little sugar that makes the medicine go down, or whatever that stupid saying is.

Here’s a little quiz I’m thinking about having some folks at work take:

Is Sonia having it?

a) Sonia is having it.
b) Sonia is not having it.

Hint: The answer is b.

bitches

I understand that work is work that’s why it’s called “work” and not “super happy fun time.” Truth is I don’t usually let work upset me, because, really, work is just work. It’s my job to make money. I do care, and I take great pride in my work, but it’s not my life. My life is my family and my friends. But still, I’m frustrated with work right now.

Ugh.

Let’s talk about something cuter …

So, The Kid is really into accessorizing these days. The other day he wore a hat to preschool.

hatguy

 

Today, he wore sunglasses.

sunglasses

 

At home, he has become very obsessed with our glasses.

readingglasses

Both of The Kid’s parents wear glasses, and he doesn’t, but he wants to be like us because he’s 2.5 years old and doesn’t know any better, so – of course – he wants to wear glasses, too. He will learn soon enough that he doesn’t want to be like his parents, because we’re dorks. In the meantime, we will revel in the fact that our spawn thinks we’re the shit.