Social Media in the Workplace

Today, I heard on public radio that people are losing their jobs because of what they’re saying about their bosses on their blogs, Facebook, and other social media. I can understand businesses wanting to preserve their images, but in two cases that were reported on, both women did not divulge their places of employment, and they still lost their jobs. One was a teacher and one a paramedic. A lawyer interviewed during the report said that companies are developing policies to regulate their employees’ use of social media and that during a job interview, you could legally be asked to open your Ffacebook page under the pretense of your prospective employer wanting to see if you are engaged in illegal activity.
Here’s my opinion. What you say and do outside of work is nobody else’s business as long as it doesn’t affect your work performance, and as long as you’re not threatening to plant a stink bomb in your boss’s chair that will detonate when he sits down, you should be able to say anything you want on Facebook, your blob, or in a bar. What happened to the First Amendment, anyway?
Fortunately, I’m my own boss. I can say anything I want on my blog without repercussion. Abbie Johnson Taylor is a fat bitch, and her writing’s not worth the paper it’s printed on or the computer and software used to generate it. Okay, Abbie, you’re fired! Oh, shoot, I guess I won’t be able to plant that stink bomb now.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Breaking Up

I read a poem by Dorianne Laux called “The Beatles.” You can read it at http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2011/03/13 The poet asks why The Beatles broke up since they had families, and their music was bringing in a lot of money. I don’t know the answer, but I can understand that sometimes, musicians feel they need to separate and move on. I recently left a singing group[ because I discovered that my philosophy on performing is different from theirs. Since I joined them over fifteen years ago, members and directors have come and gone. The group’s dynamics changed as a result.
As for The Beatles, I’m sorry they broke up, too. Although some of their songs leave a bit to be desired, there are other priceless hits such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “When I’m Sixty-Four.” I’ll leave you now with another one of their songs, “In My Life.” Click on the link below to hear a recording of me  singing it, accompanying myself on the piano. It’s not one of their more popular songs, but I like it. I used to have a recording of  Judy Collins singing it, and it was used as the theme song for “Providence,” a TV show about a big city doctor who returns to her home town in Rhode Island to work at a clinic for low income patients. Enjoy!
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

The Pinch

I submitted a story to a contest sponsored by a magazine by this name. According to the fall 2009 issue, the publication is named after a district in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. In the early days, the district was inhabited by Irish immigrants and  Jewish merchants. It was called Pinchgut after the malnourished appearance of Irish railroad workers. For most of the twentieth century, it was run-down and neglected, but it was recently re-vitalized and is now a historic landmark and cultural hub.
The magazine publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by diverse voices. I sent them a story called “Heaven” about a pregnant teen-ager who is forced to give birth in a barn on Christmas Eve like the Virgin Mary. For more information about The Pinch, go to http://thepinchjournal.com If you want to enter the contest, hurry! The deadline is March 15th.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

The Bride Quartet

I just finished reading Savor the Moment, the third in the series of four books in the bride quartet series by New York Times Number One best selling author Nora Roberts. Mac, Emma, Laurel, and Parker have been best friends since childhood and run an event business called Vows that specializes in weddings. Mac handles the photography, Emma the flowers, Laurel the cakes, and Parker the details. In each book, one of the four women falls in love and becomes engaged. In the first two books, Mac and Emma meet their matches. In Savor the Moment, Laurel falls in love and becomes engaged to Parker’s brother, a lawyer who handles the legal end of the business. Also, Parker starts a relationship with the mechanic who fixes her car and happens to be  a friend of her brother’s. I imagine in the fourth book which I haven’t read yet, that relationship will blossom into love.
Now, here’s the question. How will four people who run a wedding business manage their own weddings? It’s not too hard to plan and run your own wedding. I did it myself five years ago. Of course, I didn’t do the photography, flowers, or cake. I just did Parker’s job with a little financial and other help from my dad and my sister-in-law who served as matron of honor. Several people handled the photography. My cousins did the decorating, and Marla’s Cakes here in Sheridan, Wyoming,  did the rest. But I digress. Will the bride quartet have a quadruple wedding, the event to end all events at Vows? I guess I’ll have to find out when I read the next book in the series. For more information about Nora Roberts and her books, visit http://www.noraroberts.com/
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Don’t worry. I’m not the shopaholic here. I just finished reading a book by that name by Sophie Kinsella. Rebecca Bloomwood is a financial journalist in London who loves to shop, especially when she’s depressed. She ignores the mounting piles of letters from her bank and credit card companies and goes merrily on her way. But one day after a disastrous date the night before, she tries to buy a large amount of items at a department store and discovers, to her amazement, that all her credit cards have been maxed out. She then runs home crying to Mom and Dad. Okay, she’s not exactly crying. She is, after all, a big girl. But she tells them she’s being stalked by a man who works at her bank, and they agree to let her stay for as long as necessary. While hiding out at her parents’ house, she discovers that their neighbors and others have been scammed by a major bank and writes an article about it which is published in a London tabloid. As a result, she ends up on a major morning television talk show and gets a contract to do call-ins on the show regarding financial issues on a regular basis. This should bring in enough extra money so she can pay off her debts.
Confessions of a Shopaholic is the first in a series of books, but right now, I’m not sure I want to read any more books in this series. I loved Sophie Kinsella’s first person point of view portrayal of Becky because I got the feeling Becky was talking to me directly. Of course, I was listening to a recording of the book I purchased from audible.com, and the English narrator did an excellent job. The problem is that I don’t like Becky Bloomwood. Time and time again, I found myself telling her off when she got herself into one mess after another.
Here’s one case in point. In an attempt to make more money so she can pay off her credit card debts, she gets a Saturday job working in a clothing store. While stocking shelves, she discovers a pair of jeans she absolutely must have and plans to buy them later while she’s on her break. After being assigned to help customers in the fitting rooms, a girl appears, carrying that same pair of jeans, and in a vain attempt to keep them for herself, Becky tells her that she can only try on three items, and she has four. The girl agrees to try everything else on except the jeans. Becky hides them, and when much to her horror, the girl asks for them after trying everything else on, she hems and haws until the girl becomes angry, and the manager appears. Becky is fired on the spot. My poor husband didn’t know what to think when at that point, I said, “Oh, God, Becky, how could you be so stupid?”
I don’t think Becky understood the severity of her circumstances, even at the end of the book. If she did, she didn’t want to admit she was wrong. I prefer to read a book with a main character with whom I can empathize, and I really have a hard time understanding people like Becky Bloomwood. To learn more about Sophie Kinsella and her books, visit http://www.sophiekinsella.co.uk/
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome