Give out my social media passwords for a job interview? Never.

Full disclosure: this has absolutely nothing to do with my current place of work. I’m speaking out because young people and those re-entering the workforce need to know their rights in regards to privacy.

Why would you ever consent to giving someone your Facebook/Twitter/Google +/??Social Media Site passwords during a job interview? Unless you need a security clearance for something ie building a government facility, or entering the police force, DON’T DO IT.

Here is why:

In Canada and the USA there are certain things that a potential employer is NEVER allowed to ask you. They are not entitled to know information such as your marital status, your age (with the exception of determining if you are of legal working age,) your religion, if you have children etc. By asking for your social media passwords you are effectively allowing them to access that information, and that is illegal. Don’t think for one moment that it is okay for them to ‘Friend Request’ you, either. Do yourself a favour and lock up your Facebook account to the maximum privacy settings – Only Friends for everything. Otherwise they won’t even have to ask for the information, it’s there for the taking.

What business do potential employers have peering into the way you interact with your friends and family? The last time I checked it was just an applicant applying for a job, not their dumbass friends and family applying as a group package. Would you allow a potential employer to have access to your personal email? Text messages? The way you talk to your spouse/partner in a private message or the way you interact with your buddies should have absolutely no standing when applying for a job. Sometimes I’m a fucking hooligan on the weekends, and yet on Monday morning I’m in dress clothes, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to kick off that meeting BECAUSE I AM A PROFESSIONAL. Monday-Friday, 9-5 I am a professional and I get it done, and I do it well. If you looked at my Facebook profile or my Twitter feed you might not get the same picture because professional Ro and the rest of the time Ro are two different people. Should your boss care what you do in your free time? Not unless it has an impact at work, and then only things pertaining to work need to be discussed.

Let’s face it, when you’re at the office you’re probably not cracking brewskis or bangin babes in the coat closet. If you are, well, you deserve to be fired (unless it’s office-sanctioned Beer Club Fridays, then you’re fine, but sexual harassment is still sexual harassment.) I think you can say no in a firm, but professional way. Let them know that your accounts contain personal information regarding marital status, your age, and your religion that you don’t need to disclose. Assure them that your personal life has absolutely no bearing on your professional life, and your qualifications, references and demeanour speak for themselves.  You need to practice saying these things now and be confident about saying them. It is illegal for a potential employer to turn you down for not surrendering your passwords, that would be discrimination because what they are asking for is illegal in it’s nature.

Key points:

1. Lock that shit up!

2. Just say no.

3. Don’t be intimidated, respect yourself and stand your ground.

4. You are a professional, so act like one.

In the end, would you really want to work for a company who needed to pry into your personal life? I wouldn’t.

Originally posted on Whats For Lunch BC's Blog:

Have you ever been to Port Moody? It’s at the end of the Barnet Highway and is directly across the water from Deep Cove. It’s a great place to live and play.

A few days ago I went to the Burrard Public House on St. John’s Street in Port Moody which opened at the tail end of November 2011. Formerly a hotel, the new owners have done a complete renovation to the interior, and I have to say it’s pretty nice. It’s a big place with large booths and lots of seating. I went on a Tuesday, but I’ve been following their Facebook page for a few months and driven past on weekends and it looks like they can put on a good party.

Cucumber Collins

I started off with a Cucumber Collins (Rochele is a cocktail girl, Scott is a beer man) and it was refreshing, but just a little…

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Ro Goes Screen Printing

For a point in time I was addicted to buying discount vouchers. I bought them for workshops, restaurants, hotel stays, spas etc. The very first one that I redeemed was a sauna and massage package and that was a disaster. In light of that, I’ve been a lot more careful about what I commit myself to.

I found a Social Shopper voucher for a screen printing workshop at Blim in Vancouver. Last week I finally got around to booking it to keep myself occupied because the husband is away. I took myself for dinner at Acme Cafe (did you know I write for What’s for Lunch BC, too? Check it out) and attended Level 1 Screen Printing and it was AWESOME! I want to screen print everything. My particular class had 3 other adults and 4 kids in it. The kids were really distracting and sometimes a little harrowing as I tried to protect my own work from their messy hands. Did you know that Blim also offers a children’s workshop?

The burned screen after it's water bath

We watched a home made instructional video which was followed by a live demo. There is nothing high-tech about the process except for the emulsion and burning process. My image was printed on a transparency sheet, laid on the screen under a sheet of glass and suntanned under a 1,000 watt lightbulb for 6 minutes. I washed my screen in a water bath and voila! My image appeared on the screen. Neato.

I used super colour, which is more like paint, since my scarf was a little darker, rather than the water-based dyes. The process is easy enough- put paint along the top and use a squeegee to distribute it.

Adding super colour to my screen

It’s a process to change colours because you have to wash and air dry your screen each time. I staggered my image and used three different colours and I really like the look.

Distributing the colour or completing a pass

The first print, yep it's a diamond. Diamonds are a girl's bestfriend!

A big thank you to Yuriko at Blim for being ever so patient!

Gender Equality- or not

Yesterday a (male) co-worker called me ‘woman’ out of anger. Never before in my life have I been reduced to my gender in place of my name.

The situation was not meant to be confrontational. I asked him to clean up after himself and he retorted with, “Jesus woman! It’s just a few dishes. How hard is it to put them away?’ MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am automatically there to clean up after you. You are more than capable of putting your dishes into the dishwasher, especially since I unload it every morning when I get in. I did not resort to name calling or degrading you in any manner. I didn’t send you an email or act in a passive way because I am an adult and if the roles were reversed, I’d want to know. I’d apologize and take responsibility. I am fair to a fault, even if it meant my own undoing. I admit when I’m wrong, I’ll admit when I was snarky, because two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wasn’t either of those in this circumstance and you lashed out and called me woman and tried to put me in my place which apparently is doing your dishes.

And today I got a phone call from another man asking for the principal of the firm. Being unavailable I asked the caller if I could take a message. Then the caller said, “I’d prefer to speak with a gentleman.” I said, “Excuse me?” and the caller said, “I’d rather deal with a man.”  I told the caller never to phone this office ever again. They could have asked for another discipline and I would have been 100% okay with that, but they had to ask for someone not female. Seriously? What century do you live in? I happen to be the principal’s executive assistant, and chances are he’d pass whatever matter to me anyway.

I am balancing being livid and trying not to cry. There is no crying in the executive world, only on the phone when you need the airline to credit your non-refundable flights.