Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Your Personal Portfolio

Like 99% of adults in the world I have a Facebook account. I use mine to post pictures occasionally, or witty status updates, and the rest is used for remembering birthdays. I log onto Facebook everyday and check the birthdays and if it's your birthday and I don’t want to wish you a happy birthday I unfriend you. I figure if I don't want to at least send you 2 words every 12 months we’re not really friends. I logged on one day to go through my daily purge attempt and I read a Facebook status from someone I had gone to school with that was basically a list of demands that this woman wanted out of any potential suitors. She had a laundry list of things that she wanted from her next boyfriend and I didn't even bother reading it. I just removed her from my friend list because I felt like she was going down the wrong path. Instead of having demands she should have been highlighting her characteristics that would make a man want to date her. And that is where I think a lot of the problem lies nowadays.

To me getting into a relationship is 50% dateable characteristics and 50% marketing. If you’re single you have to ask yourself "What are my dateable characteristics?" This means what do I have to offer to a potential mate that would entice this person to want to stay with me. This could include anything from being ambitious, good looks (albeit temporarily), wealth, fame, personality, sense of humor, etc. There are a ton of different characteristics which could be used to distinguish yourself from any number of other potential suitors, and that’s where marketing comes in. You have to be able to take all of your dateable characteristics and present them in an attractive package to let people of the opposite sex know that you’re available. No, this doesn't mean being revealing or overtly sexual. Sexuality shouldn't even be anywhere on the list of dateable characteristics, because you’re not a prostitute. You’re a complex human being who should have some other traits or skills or traits that would entice someone to be with you.

When I refer to marketing I’m talking about creating what they refer to as an elevator pitch. I was watching some cheesy TV show the other day that had 2 women basically speed dating 20-30 men and each man had 10 seconds to give a line or two about why they should advance to the next round. In essence, that’s what dating is. First impressions go a long way in life and dating is no different. You should be able to summarize the high points of your dateable characteristics in a form of elevator pitch, in order to get more time to win over the person that you’re communicating with. Time is the most precious resource on earth, and there’s nothing I hate more than feeling like my time has been wasted. The question is why do you deserve my time? And the answer to that lies in your dateable characteristics.

The part a lot of people neglect when creating their personal marketing is that the best marketing campaigns are rooted in truth. It’s great if you can create that attractive package that will have people interested in your product but is your package 100% truthful and honest and objective? If not, you will have a hard time keeping people interested in your product. In the business world this is referred to as a bait-and-switch, in which it leaves the customer feeling cheated. In this instance you would be cheating yourself, out of potentially finding that mate. There’s nothing wrong with being objective with yourself and pointing out your flaws only if you’re trying to improve them. Ask yourself "Am I where I want to be job wise? Income wise? Status wise?" Instead of feeling down on yourself identify some ways you can improve on yourself, and slowly but surely work to improve those dateable characteristics. This will help two-fold. It will take your mind off of being single and at the same time improve your marketing package for the next time you need to make that elevator pitch to someone.

Dating is just like every other transaction we know of today. It involves an exchange of resources by two parties. The dating transaction revolves around meeting someone and exchanging time with them, and if it goes well you two will at some point merge companies and share all of your time together. You have to present yourself as worthy of the merger, and that’s where marketing and dateable characteristics come into play.

Virtual Reality

At work we always have visitors that come in and out from various other organizations. While someone was getting a tour of our facility they crossed our call center and our Technical Support agents were assisting customers. We have a very warm, welcoming setup here, and our call center is no exception. The person getting the tour stated "This looks so nice and cozy. It's so much different than what I was expecting. I guess I was expecting one of those call centers in India like in the movies." We all looked at each other for a minute then continued the tour like nothing had happened.

There's been such an increase in virtual work places and outsourcing that often we forget what the people who do jobs that our integral to our businesses look like. There's a certain dehumanization at play when the only interaction you have with someone is via email. Even if you use conference call setups, there's no replacement for being in a room with someone and reading their body language and composure. This online, digital age we find ourselves in has seemingly replaced human beings with just avatars that respond to our email written requests with a certain SLA.

I know the thing that spawned this line of thought was the tour at work but I thought about how detached we as a society have become in our personal lives as well. It's almost like we're afraid of being alone and must always be connected to one another via social media. We text more than we talk on the phone, and I'm guilty of this. There was a critically acclaimed movie that hit theaters recently about a man being in a relationship with his computer, and smart phones are basically hand-held computers. All of the stigma has been removed, and we're now detached from other human interaction more than ever.

I received a message on LinkedIn by someone who has recently started up a company. The company, which I won't name, sells articifial intelligence software that basically is able to read and interpret text and spit back intelligent answers. Basically, this software is able to replace call center agents that are needed to deal with email, message boards, etc. and basically link queries directly to a directory of help documentation. Everything we have this day and age is getting smarter and smarter to remove human error, but isn't that what makes society so great? I know that human error can lead to huge mistakes, but it can also lead to flashes of brilliance as well. I love humans. Maybe I need to start displaying it more.

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.

3 Sides To A Story

Yesterday was such an unexpected day. I had 100% of my meetings go well today, which never happens. I ordered something different for lunch for a change, and after work I met up with a friend to watch the Brazil/Germany World Cup game. I had a strong feeling that Brazil would lose, but I had no clue it would end in a 7-1 traveshamockery. The bar was full of people there to watch the game, all deciding whether they should leave or stay around and watch the gluttony, except for one couple. I guess that added to the unexpectedness of my day.

The couple in front of my friend and I were a man, probably in his late 40's/early 50's and a woman, probably in her late 20's/early 30's. The man was wearing a wedding band on his left ring finger and the woman wasn't. The game was from 4-6pm EST and they showed up separately halfway through the game and began ordering stiff liquor drinks. They both started out facing the TV, pretending to be interested in the game, but by the time my friend and I left shortly before the end of the game they were turned almost at a 45 degree angle facing each other, with her feet on his chair and her hand on his knee. Their body language made it seem like this was one of the first few times they had hung out like this, but you could obviously tell that there was something more than plain friendship occurring here. I turned to my friend to see if he was witnessing this as well or if I was just going crazy and he said he noticed. They were literally the only people in the entire bar drinking liquor drinks, and since I've been there before I know just how strong they can be. If they wanted to hang out and get drunk together, why not go to a Happy Hour? Or, wait until later in the evening like most normal people to get shit-housed. The only reason to get hammered at 5pm on a Tuesday is because you have someone else to go home to, and that just isn't cool with me.

I don't understand cheating at all. I've never messed around on someone I was in a committed monogamous relationship with. It infuriates me at times knowing all of the vagina I've turned down in order to remain faithful, because I know from firsthand experience how much women love a man in a committed monogamous relationship. There are 2 parts about cheating that I just don't understand at all. The first is why would a person remain in a relationship that he or she is obviously not happy in? Every relationship has ups and downs and people will have various ranges of happiness, but if you truly love that person you love everything about that person. Why would you violate that bond just for a few fleeting moments of pleasure? The second is why would someone knowingly have sex with someone they know is in a committed monogamous relationship? If you don't know or if the person misleads you that's understandable, but if you know the person is married or seeing someone why put yourself through that? Do you not value yourself more than that? Do you think they will leave the other person for you? Or is that the best you think you deserve?

I have a friend that met a coworker and they exchanged a few messages back and forth. She had hit him up with "Good morning" texts the past few days, and now she asked if he wanted to grab dinner sometime this week. She has a boyfriend and didn't hide the fact that she was with someone, yet she is still running what appears to be the dating version of the basketball full court press on my friend. He asked my opinions on the matter and I told him that ultimately he has to make that decision for himself, but I told him the karma might not be something he's ready for. I'm all about trying to put positive energy out into the universe in hopes that something positive will be returned to me. And quite frankly, there are too many single women out here to be wining and dining someone that already has a boyfriend. Everyone just wants to be loved and be with someone that makes them happy and I realize that everyone's situation is different. I guess sometimes you just have to get it how you live.