My first network.

The first social network I joined was LinkedIn. J.C. advised me to, I think, or maybe he just told me about it. I joined, and spent years deleting emails about people who wanted to connect with me, or endorse me, or whatever. It was utterly useless; no one in journalism used LinkedIn, but my network grew, like a determined but unattended houseplant. Finally, sick of the emails, I took a deep breath and deleted my account. My first breaking of social-media shackles! Yay me.

A few months later I found myself laid off and looking for work. The first thing I learned in the applying-for-jobs thing? You’d better be on LinkedIn. So I had to open a new account, upload a resumé – don’t get me started on that nightmare, i.e. writing a resumé that will be read by an AI bot looking for keywords – and try to answer the essential questions: Does putting my date of college graduation on there brand me as an Old? Does anyone care that I graduated cum laude? How do you write a description of something that boils down to “I write?”

God, I am looking so, so forward to deleting that fucking account. If I get another job, I’m going to submit a resumé that says: I write. Or else I’ll get a very low-skilled thing that just involves filling out an application. That’ll be different. I can fill out a form in about 90 seconds flat, no matter the complexity.

So. I’m reading a story today in the Freep, with one of their dumb clickbait headlines, something about “these eight parts of Michigan” are of special concern for a potential polio outbreak. The areas – Detroit and seven low-income counties up north – are slipping below 60 percent full vaccination. FOR POLIO. The reason isn’t deliberate vaccine refusal, as we’ve seen in New York, but Covid-related slipping in parents bringing kids in for the standard juvenile array. With the New York flare-up, there’s concern it will spread, and honestly I am going insane here. Being a parent of a young child isn’t easy, god knows, but some things are simply no-brainers. Vaccination, for one. FOR POLIO. The childhood-disease shots are free virtually everywhere; all you have to do is come in. I’m sure in rural counties, they’ll come to you. So your child won’t get POLIO.

We live in the stupidest timeline. Just appalling.

Thank you for all your encouragement after learning of my fate. The more time that passes, the more I know this is the way it should be, at least for me. I think your emotions and body tell the truth, and it’s telling me: Time to move on. This is a good thing.

Or maybe I’m just lazy. I guess we’ll see.

Crazy week. We’ll see how things are next. Good weekend, all.

Posted at 8:32 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

27 responses to “My first network.”

  1. Icarus said on August 18, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    When did you join Linkedin?  When I worked at the No-Name Software Company someone in our European office spammed the whole company and sent a link to connect on LinkedIn.  I accepted and thought it was a good decision because back then, it was simply a way to 1) get your resume online and 2) crib colleagues' resumes to describe your job better.

    When I made a profile in the year two thousand something, Social Media wasn’t a thing, and networking was regulated to collecting business cards at job fairs and alumni events. For the electronic/online version, you basically had Plaxo and I’m not sure what else. The one reason I joined LinkedIn was that I am awful at describing what I do for a living and thus terrible at putting a resume together.  so I figured I would simply find other Widget Makers and copy their resume descriptions because that is one of the few times it’s okay to plagiarize.

    Over the years it has been a lame way to find a new job.  Recently, it has become a social media gorilla of its' own.  Back in the day, you could get emails telling you about messages and see who viewed your profile.  Now you have to log into the site to see your messages or pay for the Premium to see all the voyeurs.   And when I do get an email and click on it, I have to log in.  I don't want to log in just to read a comment.  But it's all about the clicks.



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  2. LAMary said on August 18, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    As a recruiter all I ever get from LinkedIn are connection requests from financial planners and offers of jobs working as an insurance agent. I get good applicants from Indeed and I can vouch for good employers looking at Indeed, posting jobs on Indeed.

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  3. Deborah said on August 18, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    I got a LinkedIn account eons ago, then promptly forgot my password, so haven’t looked at it since, never deleted it. If they automatically delete your account after you haven’t accessed it for years fine with me, if it’s still there who cares.

    So the window guys left at 5pm and hadn’t put the screens in yet, so we’ve only got our new windows open a slim crack and have our ceiling fans cranked up. It’s going to get down to 59° tonight so we’ll be ok.

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  4. Ann said on August 18, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    So glad you’ve got Spain in the near future and lots of fun ideas after that. I like the lifeguard one myself. Or maybe the weed shop.

    I was about to delete LinkedIn in your honor but then remembered I used it just the other day to answer my question about what my brother’s last job title was so it can stay for now. I can’t tell you the last time I checked it before that. Probably the same sort of question about someone I could have asked directly.

    I just wrote a piece for the Mining Journal about the visiting nurse program that the mines had in the first half of the 1900s. They reduced infant mortality in some areas by 50%–and that was before vaccinations. I was telling this to someone today and she said she used to be a visiting nurse in Detroit. They showed up at the house with vaccinations. It worked. But now, of course, like everything else, it’s all about individual responsibility. Sigh.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on August 19, 2022 at 2:14 am

    Big Papi David Ortiz was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a couple weeks ago. Unless one dies tragically, he must wait 5 years to avoid the possibility of a comeback as a player. When he was 40, he had another monster year for the Red Sox, so the fans were disappointed and the Red Sox wanted him back because even at 40, he was still the best clutch hitter in the sport, bar none. But Ortiz was 40 and he ached and couldn’t stand the thought of all the hard conditioning a ballplayer of 40 years must endure; he left. The next spring, the Red Sox really missed his bat, and offered him millions of dollars to just come back to hit as a designated hitter or a pinch hitter…nope. I use this tale to show how pressure works on a person. I took heat from my wife when I retired from a factory job at age 53, but I had had enough with constant shift changes and increased work load and no way was I staying. It would have been less stress actually had the place closed down, forcing me to have to quit. Retirement is easier when a person has the foresight to have a big stash of deposits in the bank and a handsome portfolio. I put three daughters through universities or tried my best but they still needed scholarships and loans. I had little to retire on outside of pension checks. The lottery is really a tax as we all know, but it lures suckers like me in because it’s the only way a working class person with no old money from family trusts can have a decent bank account.
    Question to you retirees who get vaccines and boosters at chain drugstores: Do you get a statement from Medicare that they paid for the shots? The first 3 I got were free from the local county Health Department, then they billed Medicare for the 4th. I thought the government just assumed the costs, no paper trail…not here, not anymore.
    Confusion: NBC Nightly reported a childhood polio vaccinated person could benefit by having another one, for oldsters who had their laced sugar cubes many years ago. The next report said do not get more vaccine, we are good, no more polio vaccine needed. WTF?, especially when the CDC admitted they messed up communication lines dealing with Covid19.

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  6. alex said on August 19, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Dex, I’ve gotten my last two boosters at CVS at no charge.

    Also wondered if LinkedIn divulging my graduation year was a bad thing, but I figure that these days any employer worth a damn is going to do a thorough vetting and find out your age anyway, and probably a whole lot more that you wouldn’t want known. Internet sleuthing on insurance cheats is part of my job and it’s quite amazing, the dirt that’s out there, on just about anyone.

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  7. Jeff Gill said on August 19, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Not to debate the “stupidest timeline” assertion, but it’s also a reminder of how civic projects like vaccination are an ongoing process, and it only takes a small gap in the rolling sequence to create huge openings for disease and debility to step in.

    The open secret for many years in school circles has been that the unvaccinated have long been somewhere around 11%, and enforcement tends to be avoided as much as possible. In other words, with some buck-and-shuffle and occasional outright untruth, you can get your unvaccinated kid into school and keep them there. The teeth in mandatory vaccination policies are gums at best, or at least have been, and now that estimated unvaccinated have bumped up to around 17%, somewhere in those six or seven points increase comes the opening that the virus or infectious agent goes roaring through. It actually doesn’t take much stupid to create truly stupid outcomes.

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  8. ROGirl said on August 19, 2022 at 7:37 am

    I remember when they did the sugar cubes with the polio vaccine. It was in the high school gym, I must have been 4 or 5.

    I actually got my current job from my LinkedIn profile, a recruiter reached out to me and it worked out well. I’m tempted to get rid of it at this point, but you never know.

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  9. basset said on August 19, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Ancestry is my most dormant website, I open it up and feel overwhelmed… all those hints and possible connections.

    Still on LinkedIn even in retirement, it’s an easy way to show my experience and a few work samples but that’s it for me and social media.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 19, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Same, ROGirl, and for a generation of parents who’d been watching polio ravage their children, the gratitude was overflowing. I felt the same way getting my Covid shot(s), and it seemed all those around me were similarly grateful.

    As I recall, the Covid immunizations were free but the provider was allowed to bill your insurance for the cost of administration. Perhaps not all did.

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  11. Heather said on August 19, 2022 at 10:59 am

    LinkedIn has been really helpful for me to find B2B freelance writing work. My profile gets a lot more traffic than my website, and it’s good to find people in specific jobs that might need writers. I’ve gotten two great long-term clients through it who found me on there. But yeah, it does get to be a bit much. And I don’t list my earliest jobs or dates of graduation because ageism is definitely a thing.

    My cousin’s MIL had polio as a child and had permanent damage to her legs. My uncle apparently had it too and now at age 86 has very little strength in his. That might be because he doesn’t really do much walking etc., but the MIL says that sometimes the effect of polio can show up later in life. Not something you want to f**k around with.

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  12. Suzanne said on August 19, 2022 at 11:32 am

    I have a vivid memory of getting the polio vaccine via a sugar cube in the local public school gym. I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. I never had the measles, mumps, or rubella vaccine because I had all three diseases. My mom said I had measles when I was an infant. I do not understand people who refuse vaccinations.
    This podcast does cover the wellness to QAnon pipeline and it’s interesting, especially since so many antivax people come from both groups.

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  13. Deb said on August 19, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    This got me thinking about why I still have a LinkedIn profile. I get the occasional mild frisson of amusement when an email pops up saying X number of people have viewed my profile recently; I’ve been retired almost three years, yo, and only do freelance work for friends, and not even much of that anymore. Once upon a time I would’ve been flattered that someone from Conde Nast or The New York Times took a look, but who cares now? Not me.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on August 19, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Polio rebound is indeed a real thing and seems like the worst kind of cruelty.

    Maybe polio is the reason Boomers are so well vaccinated. Our parents had seen first hand polio and other childhood diseases, so they rushed to get us vaccinated.

    I had mumps and it was pretty miserable. Our kids both had chicken pox a year or two before that vaccine came out. I was already on the bandwagon but those experiences sealed the deal for me.

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  15. David C said on August 19, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    I had all of the harmless childhood diseases before vaccinations were available. Measles left me 75% deaf in one ear. My aunt got measles as a teen and it took most of her hearing in both ears. Harmless, my ass.

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  16. Snarkworth said on August 19, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    I got the Salk vaccine at school just after it was introduced. Julie Robinson is right; parents were beside themselves with joy that the vaccine was available.

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  17. Dorothy said on August 19, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    I never did anything at LinkedIn except create a profile because we moved away from Pittsburgh 20 years ago and I thought I’d need it to find a job. I never found one at that site. And don’t get me started on Ancestry and their breathless emails telling me they’ve found yet another 3rd or 4th cousin for me. My maternal grandparents had 34 grandchildren, most of whom reproduced themselves and I’d never be able to count how many great and great great grandchildren they have now. I just ignore those emails.

    An hour before you posted this new entry, we got home from spending the day at a downtown hospital where my husband had surgery because of the melanoma found on his left arm two months ago. He had more tissue removed at that site (stitches/scar looks to be about 5” long) and took a lymph node at his armpit. He’s sore today but glad to have the surgery done. Now we wait to find out the biopsy results on the lymph node. His third cancer in 12 years is extremely sobering, to say the least.

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  18. Deborah said on August 19, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    I had all of those childhood diseases, as Julie said, mumps was the worst. My sister never got the mumps somehow, we even slept in the same bed as little kids. I remember my parents being very happy when the polio vaccine came out. Seeing pictures of all those kids in those lung machines (I forgot what they were called?) was terrifying.

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  19. Mark P said on August 19, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    They were called iron lungs.

    I got the sugar cube when I was just a little kid. My cousin got polio but recovered with no apparent problems. One of my profs in grad school got polio when he was a kid in Australia. His legs were permanently paralyzed. He had leg braces and could sometimes walk with crutches. Sometimes he needed a wheelchair, especially as he got older.

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  20. tajalli said on August 20, 2022 at 12:28 am

    I had all the standard vaccinations as a baby. I remember having the small pox administered where they put the solution on the arm and then made numerous skin pricks and my mother telling me not to touch it.

    Measles and chicken pox just roared through the kindergarden and first grade classes when I was a kid, with almost all the children being out with it, catching it from siblings, the darkened room for measles, the parental worry.

    The big push to get everyone vaccinated for polio was a huge relief for parents – we couldn’t go swimming at the public pools when there was an outbreak and I later knew a couple people who had contracted it, one seeming to have recovered but another had a withered foot and lower leg causing a profound limp.

    With the current climate of denial about COVID, I wonder what excuses parents would make for adverse outcomes with measles, mumps, and chicken pox now.

    As for Medicare, never received a notice of any charges for the COVID vaccines and booster, perhaps because there would be no co-pay due. The pharmacist at Safeway/Albertson’s said the newer version might be out in October and not to worry about getting a second booster at this point. I had a huge allergic reaction with the booster, so my immune system is definitely fully primed.

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  21. LAMary said on August 20, 2022 at 12:35 am

    One of the best teachers I’ve had was on crutches because he had polio as a child. David Kettner knew how to get art school freshman to see what they were looking at.

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  22. Dexter Friend said on August 20, 2022 at 3:43 am

    Pink Floyd lyrics: ”
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons…”
    When I was about 10 I had the measles and felt so horribly sick as I lay in bed I began to feel I was floating and my hands did feel like big balloons, so when I first heard Roger Waters sing these words I flashed back to when it happened to me. In my hallucinating, I thought I had died and was floating away forever. We never had vaccines for measles and/or mumps or chicken pox, hell, parents held chicken pox parties to get it over with for the kids. We ain’t all that far from the Neanderthals, in my humble view.
    For me, clean living has enabled me to retain 20/20 vision without glasses with no changes in my glasses prescription since last year…no diabetes damage to my optic nerve, no problems, and a “way to go” from the V.A. ophthalmologist yesterday. Got me some cool as hell blue plastic frame specs coming, U of Michigan blue color and blue tint. Even with 20-20 vision, I still like to wear readers and at night long range glasses sharpen things up a bit while driving. 🙂

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  23. Deborah said on August 20, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    I’m trying to figure out if my sore throat that I’ve got now is my third go-round of Covid or allergies because I was around ragweed a lot yesterday. I’m hoping it’s allergies, I can’t imagine having covid a third time. I wear a mask every time I’m inside a public space too.

    Today was cool and rainy in most of NM. It only got up to 60° in Santa Fe. Lovely.

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  24. Bitter Scribe said on August 21, 2022 at 11:30 am

    I hate hate HATE LinkedIn. I hate it with the passion of a million white hot burning suns. It’s a confusing, ugly and stupid interface, and it has a habit of sending out misleading alerts. When I retire at the end of this year, deleting my LinkedIn account will be a distinct pleasure.

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  25. Deborah said on August 21, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Don’t read this if you haven’t played Wordle today. I got it finally in 6 because I got the last few letters right away and there are a jillion words that end that way. Also read on Twitter that the new best word to start with is SLATE. They say it’s science. Didn’t help much today.

    I’m loathe to put the window shades back up after our new windows got installed. They’ve been bare since Thursday and they look so pretty but I’m starting to feel over exposed at night when the lights are on inside. We’re on the ground floor but have high fences all around the yard so it’s not like neighbors can see in, plus we’re an end unit from the entry gate and no one walks by our unit to get to theirs. In Chicago we have blinds that we keep down but slats to the open position all the time, it doesn’t bother me there even though we have a high rise building across from us on one side, but the lake is on the most exposed side. I guess because we’re high up I don’t think about it there.

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  26. Carl said on August 21, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    For Wordle enthusiasts who don’t subscribe to NYT, here’s a gift article explaining the new improved WordleBot, dated 8/17.

    Well that’s a mess isn’t it. Hope it works. The primary change is explained as:

    The biggest change since we introduced the bot four months ago is its solving method: WordleBot no longer knows the 2,300-word Wordle solution list, putting it on a more even footing with humans. Instead, it assigns roughly 4,500 relatively common English words a probability of being a Wordle solution, based on what it has observed about the words that have been solutions so far.

    Well I tested the link and it worked.

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  27. Dave said on August 21, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    As I’ve related before, my father-in-law was a polio victim who spent a good long time in an iron lung when my wife was only about three years old. It surely led to his life ending at only 55. Another reason, among the many that our anti-vaccer son upsets us and now, with polio becoming a possibility in this country again, even more so.

    Deborah, I got Wordle in three today, I don’t always start with the same word but I always try to start with a word with at least two vowels. Today, I was lucky enough to start with a letter that was the actual first letter of the correct word, which made it much easier. I got all four Quordle words in eight attempts, two days ago, I only answered two correctly.

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