Rayanne Thorn

BUSINESS, HUMANITY

Share Your Strength

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Shedding Light

I once spoke at a Women’s Conference called “Business in Heels,” a well-attended one-day event in a beautiful setting. I felt fortunate to be included in their agenda. Not only did I make several new friends, but I learned a bit more about women in business locally and what they are achieving.

The program cover featured slender beautiful legs donned by a pair of hot pink pumps – not exactly my attire, and at the top of my presentation, I told the audience that I hoped next year’s event would be titled “Business in Flip-Flops” – this warranted a low chuckle from the nearly all-female crowd but got me thinking about expectations and how business and life has changed over the last ten to fifteen years. Many women, like myself, and men are fortunate enough to work from home, for a company or running a small business.

Not one morning of my adult, working life have I awakened thinking, “Oh damn, I am a woman, therefore – my day in the world of business will be tougher than if I were a man. How can I fight this injustice?” I simply thought, “Oh damn, the price of Lucky Charms and gas went up again — I need to work even harder so I can afford to be a mom.”  Much of my struggles are no different than other single moms or dads, as well as multiple two-income homes.

Life is expensive, whether or not you have a family.

I Made Choices

Life as a single mom is not easy, but I never had time to dwell on those difficulties. Fifteen years ago, it was normal for me to fall asleep at my computer, writing and working until 1 to 2 am, only to rise by 6 am to get four kids out the door. The end of a couple marriages, surviving a couple controlling relationships that included all kinds of often unspoken abuse, returning to college to get my biz degree, getting a great job then losing my home to foreclosure, being fired from a job I thought was great, unemployment or underemployment for extended periods of time, being drugged but escaping sexual assault while on a business trip, and yet another broken heart….

It’s been tough and I have not been shy about writing and sharing these tough times. The best part? Others have let me know that I am not alone – men and women who have have similar experiences have messaged or connected with me to share their own stories. We all have our individual paths paved with thorns. I readily recognize the responsibility I bear when it comes to my lot in life and the cards I have been dealt. Some of my choices have added to my struggle, there is no denying.

I Am Becoming More and More Aware

With the continued fights against racism and bias, as well as other injustices like LGBTQ prejudices, domestic abuse, and un-equal pay, a resounding personal awareness has come to light.

The fight must be fought by ALL,
not just those who suffer from injustice.

No one who hears my story can believe that I was once an abused wife. “You are such a strong woman, how did you ever let that happen?”

It didn’t happen overnight. It was years of conditioning – of guilt, regret, of “this is my lot”, and how could I possibly ever leave? No academic degree and four mouths to feed. I never thought I could leave until a man, actually several men who were family friends, told me I deserved better. None of my women friends told me to leave. Afraid to get involved? Afraid to break up a family, like I was?

The decision to leave became real when I finally realized it wouldn’t change, it wouldn’t get better, and that one of us would soon be dead. That is a frightening realization. One of us would be dead. 

I didn’t want that someone to be me. I needed to be here for my kids. I had more life to live. And I didn’t deserve it, no matter what I had done or not done – I didn’t deserve to be beaten on a regular basis or fear for my life during the next drinking binge. I deserved better.

Sharing the Strength

The strength of those not subjected to abuses, racism, or discrimination must be shared with those who do suffer, undeservedly or not. If you can be a voice, a hand, a lift – please be that voice and that hand. It is not our place, my place, to remain silent when your/my voice or strength can make a difference.

One more thing…

My fire or passion may not burn within you – and that is ok — we are all in the place or getting to the place where we need to be. It is a journey. My journey – my path – is different than yours.

And if I can share anything, please remember:

Just because you do not see or experience injustice
or inequality yourself doesn’t mean it does not exist.

I never had a bruise on my face, but there were plenty on the back of my head and in my heart.  Lift where you can. Shed light where it is dark. You may be saving the heart or life of your best friend, your brother or sister, your child.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

HUMANITY

The Pursuit of Happiness: Like a Room without a Roof

The Pursuit of Happiness

The best way I have found for me, personally, to combat depression is to discover new levels / places where happiness can be found or discovered: an actual pursuit. Seems elementary, right? I suppose it is, at its base. I want to be happy – I think most people do. But do most people aggressively pursue happiness? Or do they wait for it to show up at their door, unannounced but welcomed with significant fanfare, given today’s social media-infused environment? We live in a strange time – it would seem that gone are the days of suffering in silence, of struggling alone in our heartbreak or addiction, and certainly gone are days of quiet celebration or humility.

Not a Professional

I am not a psychologist; I have visited a few. I am not a doctor of any kind; I have visited many different kinds. Most have wanted to prescribe a pill to help me sleep, to battle light anxiety, to keep me alert, to combat fatigue, to ease digestion issues, and reflux – an so on, you are most likely familiar. I am not against pills or drugs. I am, however, against the masking of issues or unnecessarily prescribing drugs.

Let me clarify, I do not suffer, as many do, from clinical depression or anxiety. I am a person with typical aches, pains, joys, and sorrows that accompany being a human. I’d call myself “normal” if I didn’t have so much trouble believing there is such a thing.

Bipolar Disorder

My father was diagnosed as manic depressive 25+ years ago, before Bipolar became the chosen name of his disorder. He was a light-hearted, loving man who taught me, not only the power of a solid handshake, but also how to see beyond a moment, a place, a person. He truly loved all people.

Even today, many years after his death, I receive messages from people telling me how much they genuinely loved my dad and what a difference he made in their life. That is quite a legacy of someone who suffered severely from mental illness for many years – of someone who made many mistakes later in life – of someone who hurt family and friends with those mistakes.

He never stopped loving people or trying to achieve success. He never gave up on happiness. Just two of the many lessons I learned from him.

The Pursuit

I think it is my responsibility to grow, to develop talents or learn new skills – these things bring me happiness or help me to see beyond a current level of status quo or a feeling of being trapped.

An example of this would be my current obsession with visiting cities or landmarks I have never seen on recent road trips. It’s easy to visit Carmel a dozen times and dine at the same restaurants on every visit. It’s another thing to step outside your comfort zone and take a bit of time to learn something new – you don’t know everything, as much as you would like to believe you do.

Dr. Daniel Crosby, author of The Laws of Wealth,  states in a recent article, “Eighty percent of the non-genetic components of happiness can be controlled by our attitude and by making choices that are consistent with finding true joy. The first step in this pursuit is ensuring that the goals we are setting for ourselves are consistent with finding true happiness.” – Can Money Buy Happiness? Sort of.

Pursuits can be as simple as discovering a new hobby or talent. A little over  a year ago, a good friend introduced me to mosaics. It is an art form very different from what I was accustomed to. I am still learning, even after re-tiling my hearth and a couple window sills, creating several decorative trays, platter, and plates. Expanding my horizons keeps me from being locked in old ways, with old, stale thoughts and same old experiences. For me, NEW = Happy.

Out of the Box

The unexpected in life, as well as meeting new and different people can enrich your soul and change perspectives. You are not done – you are not complete. The moment you find comfort in your own little, lonely box is the moment personal growth retards and doors close for lifelong learning and the actual search for happiness. I am determined to stay outside of that little box which has been my life until now.

Happiness A worthy pursuit, yet somehow, most of us fail.  And in our failure, of what do we miss out?  Does it affect our partners, spouses, families, or friends?  Our work?  Our lives?  Of course, but do we even notice?  We get so caught up in living that we don’t even realize or even care when we are unhappy – it has become our normal.  And then, we fail to recognize when we are happy.  Sometimes, the simplest things alter our attitude and mood enough to allow a little bit of joy to creep in. And sometimes, it’s just faking it – and hell, if it works, why not?

Don’t Miss It

Like grabbing the brass ring, it is easy to miss.  Life goes whizzing by so quickly that we can’t even see the joy we have found or slow down enough to embrace it and feel the difference between happiness and a droning existence or what we think we should be doing, how we think we should be feeling — what the world or our world expects of us.

My Little Tip

I use a fab little app called Sleep Cycle – every morning when I wake, it asks me how I feel. I started selecting the smiley face, no matter how I felt upon waking – guess what? It has made a huge difference in how I start my day. And why wouldn’t it? Perception becomes reality. If it works the opposite way, it stands to reason, right?

Happiness is contagious and NOT underrated. Share it. Like a room without a roof.

**Stay Tuned for my new 3-part Key Point Podcast series with Dr.Daniel Crosby: “The Pursuit of Happiness”

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: Josh Berry – Hiring for Innovation

Part 5: Guest Josh Berry in a new #KeyPointPodcast series discusses Hiring for Innovation
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 92


Series:
 When HR Kills Innovation Efforts

Hiring for Innovation is a core piece of success for innovative companies and can make or break your breakthrough efforts. Econic helps corporations map and execute innovation. After working with many corporations in many different industries, Josh Berry, Co-Founder of Econic has discovered some barriers to successful innovation that have their roots in HR.

In Part 5 of this series, Rayanne and Josh discuss how hiring the right people can make a difference in innovation efforts. Getting the right people on the right teams is fundamental to transformation innovation success.

Tune in as Josh discusses what he has discovered from his years of consulting and working with hiring and HR departments.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • Hiring for Innovation.
  • New ideas can distract from doing the “basics of business” right.
  • Hiring and equipping the right employees.
  • How we can encourage exec teams to listen to challenges of hiring?
  • Disagreement and Discord: Are these really negatives when it comes to innovation?
  • Complacency and Chaos
  • Succession Planning
  • Hiring Tools for Innovative companies

    On Twitter

    @Josh_Berry
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: Joel Cheesman of Ratedly

Guest Joel Cheesman, Founder, Ratedly
iHR logo

Joel Cheesman of Ratedly stops by for this quick-hit conversation about how Ratedly will change how Employers gather employee reviews.

HR Latte, episode 91
Series: #HRTechNOW

Ratedly aggregates employee reviews from multiple sites to one place – a mobile app that makes following employee reviews easy.
Joel Cheesman talks about all the great things they are doing at Ratedly and how you can learn more. 

***HR Latte launched the series, #HRTechNOW in December to share what’s new and evolving in the HR technology space. Practitioners, entrepreneurs, dev experts, and more join Rayanne in this series. 

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • Joel talks about the employee review sites out there and how Ratedly makes sense of all the noise
  • Ratedly pulls information from Glassdoor, Indeed, CareerBliss, Twitter, etc.
  • Joel points to FairyGodBoss and InHerSight as segmented employment review sites.
  • Benefits of Ratedly
  • Is Google the ultimate aggregator? Ratedly focuses on specific companies
  • Available for download from iPhone, iPad, iPod
  • Expectations for next year: Bootstrapped, self-funded – Looking to build something lean and mean with organic growth
  • Analytics coming soon, along with Recruiting!

    On Twitter

    @JoelCheesman
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: How HR Slows Innovation

Part 4: Guest Josh Berry in a new #KeyPointPodcast series discusses Lack of Speed and How HR can Slow Innovation
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 90

Series: When HR Kills Innovation Efforts

HR is a core piece of the innovation equation and can make or break your innovation efforts. Econic helps corporations map and execute innovation. After working with many corporations in many different industries, Josh Berry, Co-Founder of Econic has discovered some barriers to successful innovation that have their roots in HR.

In Part 4 of this series, Rayanne and Josh discuss how speed or lack of it can impact how innovation happens. HR is not always a quick-moving department, how can we move past this expected road block to get to the discovery of new ideas and innovation more quickly

Tune in as Josh discusses what he has discovered from his years of consulting and working with HR departments.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • Human Resources is typically risk-averse and slow-moving — how can an HR dept move with alacrity?
  • Build, Measure, Learn Cycle (Eric Ries – Lean Start-Up)
  • Identifying the riskiest things, measure and move through new ideas
  • How HR can look at WHAT they can achieve instead of focusing on HOW.
  • What are the right performance measures for an innovative company?
  • Innovation Accounting: how to defend innovative initiatives when profitability takes longer
  • Quantifiable Innovati0n
  • Lean HR – applying the ideas of Lean Start-Up to HR (Dwane Lay)
  • How HR can slow down, if necessary
  • Speed is Key

    On Twitter

    @Josh_Berry
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: How HR’s Fear of Failure can Hamper Innovation

Part 3: Guest Josh Berry in a new #KeyPointPodcast series discusses Fear of Failure
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 89

Series: When HR Kills Innovation Efforts

HR is a core piece of the innovation equation and can make or break your innovation efforts. Econic helps corporations map and execute innovation. After working with many corporations in many different industries, Josh Berry, Co-Founder of Econic has discovered some barriers to successful innovation that have their roots in HR.

In Part 3 of this series, Rayanne Thorn invites Josh Berry to talk about how risk-averse HR can hinder innovation with a Fear of Failure- is too much time being spent saying, “Are we making the right decision?”

Treating failure with respect — what respect is owed failure?

Tune in as Josh discusses what he has discovered from his years of consulting and working with HR departments.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • Econic’s embracing of the Silicon Prairie
  • Having a healthy respect for failure
  • Why tying bonuses to ROI can hinder growth and innovation efforts
  • How HR can get past their risk aversion tendencies
  • Inclusion initiatives: “Is it safe to be unpopular?” – Joe Gerstandt
  • Harmony: is HR responsible? Having healthy discord.
  • The impact of organizational structure on harmony and innovation

    On Twitter

    @Josh_Berry
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: Chip Luman – Digital Disruption at HireVue

Guest Chip Luman, COO & Co-Founder, Digital Disruption at HireVue
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 88

Series: Digital Disruption

HireVue kicks off its 3rd Annual User Conference Digital Disruption at HireVue today. In this Quick Hit Podcast, Chip Luman, COO and Co-Founder visits with Rayanne to discuss what’s happening in digital today, why not only Recruiting but also HR need to take notice and how HireVue is making a difference.

***HR Latte launches this new series to discuss how digital has changed the human side of our work, and how it will continue evolve.

HireVue will be LiveStreaming various Digital Disruption sessions throughout the conference, check out http://www.hirevuedisruption.com/ for more details and follow the hashtag #VueDD16 for details.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • Chip gives his background in technology, data and gaming, He has grown up in tech!
  • Digital Disruption: The Changes we’ve Seen
  • Customer Appreciation: Talent Acquisition Leadership
  • How HireVue benefits Recruiters and what they have done to expand in human resources
  • Automating the process of hiring and talent management
  • Behavioral-Based interviewing: Insights, assessment
  • Using Math and Data to benefit HR
  • Users of HireVue, acquisition and management of talent
  • Expectations for 2016 and how they will help their customers win

    On Twitter

    @CLuman
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR, MARKETING

HR Latte: Digital Disruption – HireVue’s User Conference

Guest Scot Sessions, Sr. Marketing Director at HireVue
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 87

Series: Digital Disruption

HireVue kicks off its 3rd Annual User Conference Digital Disruption today. In this Quick Hit Podcast, Scot Sessions, Senior Marketing Director of HireVue, talks about this fabulous opportunity for HireVue to connect with its users, company growth, and the impact developing a user conference.

HR Latte launches this new series to discuss how digital has changed the human side of our work, and how it will continue evolve.

HireVue will be LiveStreaming various Digital Disruption sessions throughout the conference, check out http://www.hirevuedisruption.com/ for more details and follow the hashtag #VueDD16 for details.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • How the Digital Disruption User Conference came about
  • The Evolution of Marketing
  • What to Expect this Year
  • Live-Stream
  • #VueDD16

    On Twitter

    @ScotSessions
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

BUSINESS, HR

HR Latte: Adjusting Incentives to Benefit Innovation

Part 2: Guest Josh Berry in a new #KeyPointPodcast series discusses Incentive Adjustments
iHR logo

HR Latte, episode 86

Series: When HR Kills Innovation Efforts

HR is a core piece of the innovation equation and can make or break your innovation efforts. Econic helps corporations map and execute innovation. After working with many corporations in many different industries, Josh Berry, Co-Founder of Econic has discovered some barriers to successful innovation that have their roots in HR.

In Part 2 of this series, Rayanne Thorn invites Josh Berry to talk about how HR can hinder innovation by the Wrong Incentives – are the right incentives and compensation in place?

Where HR finds itself in innovative companies is very different than a standing organization – perhaps structuring incentives differently than expected will have the impact and focus to benefit growth, allowing HR to benefit, as opposed to hinder.

Tune in as Josh discusses what he has discovered from his years of consulting and working with HR departments.

Discussion Points for this episode:

  • HR needs to look at itself differently
  • The Risk Mitagator and Protector that HR sees itself as
  • Identifying short-term objectives that hinder innovation
  • How to grow a different company
  • Structuring incentives differently
  • Measure what Matters: should this change?
  • Undertsanding the mind of an entrepreneurial employee

    On Twitter

    @Josh_Berry
    @Ray_anne
    @HRLatte
    and @intrepid_NOW

    *Click here for past Episodes 1-66

    HRLatte is made possible by:

    Dovetail Software logoDovetail Software delivers web-based solutions & help desk programs that enable organizations to reduce administrative & support costs, diagnose & resolve complex business problems, and increase efficiency, while improving support.

    Rayanne loves hosting talk radio and continues to hone this craft in every way possible by creating and hosting several educational and promotional radio shows, hosting & moderating webinars and podcasts, as well as a featured host on intrepid.media.

    For more information about how you can use online radio or podcasting to educate your target audience or customer, compliment your marketing efforts, and grow your brand recognition, feel free to message Rayanne on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via email at rayanne@intrepid.media.

HR, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

“It’s” a Shame, Not Me.

I wrote and I published.

I recently published a post about an incident in Dallas while I was traveling for work. I was drugged at a trusted restaurant by a bartender / night manager, who followed me into the bathroom and subsequently tried to pull me in the men’s room. This happened in the middle of April, and it has traumatized me far more than I like to admit. I have kept up a good front and tried to smile through it all.

I originally wrote the referenced post a few days after the drugging occurred, but I was unable to actually hit the publish button until 4+ weeks later. I still suffer from nausea, dizziness, insomnia, digestive issues, and headaches. What I don’t know is if these are the ill-effects of the drug or is it how I have reacted mentally to what happened. I will survive, trust me and I will scream what happened to me from the rooftops. I will post, comment, tweet, snap, pin, insta, and link it to as many different sites, to as many different people, as possible.

Why the Follow-Up?

I write this follow-up because I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of people who have messaged me in public and private about their own terror and their own brush with this type of drugging. Innocent women AND men who felt the shame I felt, who still carry those scars with them, who were violated in one way or another, who were raped or robbed, abused and broken.

In conversations, written and spoken with friends and others in my own town of Laguna Beach, I have heard from or about dozens of individuals who experienced this here, in their own town – they weren’t traveling and they were at popular, local restaurants or bars. Most had been raped.

I know I was lucky

I know this – I know that my situation could have been far worse. There have been times when I wish it had been, so medical professionals and law enforcement officers, and even some friends and family, had taken me more seriously. That is sad – that is horrifying. I KNOW it could have been worse, but saying to me, “At least you weren’t raped” doesn’t ease my suffering or take away my nightmares. It makes me shake with anger for the many who were, scream for the men who were robbed or beaten, and cry for the young girl whose boyfriend betrayed her, beat her, and dumped her outside of her apartment. And continue to weep for those who hide their shame, who still haven’t told anyone of their terror – because they fear, because they want to forget.
But they won’t ever. I won’t ever.

I know why.

I have also heard why they keep it a secret. Why they cloak their faces. Why they avert their eyes.
Why they feel shame.

“Well, you shouldn’t have been drinking.”
“See what happens when you drink?”
“You shouldn’t travel alone.”
“You need to be more careful.”
“Stop talking to people you don’t know.”
“Maybe you need to slow down.”
“This only happens at frat parties or on college campuses.”
“Such a new and horrible thing that is happening.”
“What were you wearing?”
“Did you show cleavage?”
“Did you flirt with him?”
“Why did you give him your name?”

“You shouldn’t have been drinking…”

  • I wasn’t drunk – I didn’t drink too much.
  • This happened to individuals drinking water, Diet Coke, Red Bull, Lemonade, and so on.
  • I have to travel alone AND I like traveling alone.
  • Yes, I will be more careful and will never again take a drink from someone I don’t know or don’t see them pour. Nor will I leave my drink alone or turn my back on it. This one I accept.
  • I will always talk to people I don’t know – it’s who I am, it’s what I do.
  • I’ll slow down when I’m dead.
  • No, it doesn’t only happen to young women in college. I’m 52.
  • NOT new. One friend told me about how it happened to her 40+ years ago. Oh, and Bill Cosby. Not new.
  • I was wearing a tank top with a sweater and baggy pants from Talbots (better known as the old lady store – because guess what? I’m an old lady)
  • Yes, cleavage was showing. Guess what? I have cleavage.
  • I wasn’t flirting, but if I had been – would that have made it ok? I was smiling. I was happy. Was.
  • He had my name because I paid the bill with my credit card
    (Which, interestingly enough was refunded a few days after the incident.)
  • And this happened because it just did and it does to too many people all the time, every day. And it happened because it is a crime that bad people get away with. No one presses charges because it is nearly impossible to get a conviction or even charges. And because someone close to them says or asks the things above. Because we, the victims, are shamed.

No, your Diet Coke won’t protect you.

Blame it on alcohol or the fact that I had a couple drinks?
Blame it on me for traveling alone?
Blame it on what I was wearing?
Blame it on me for being gregarious?

Blame it on everyone or every thing but the man who did this to me and the restaurant who covered it up?

This is real – this is a real danger we all face in our world.  This could have been your daughter, mother, sister. It could have been YOU.

No one “deserves” this.

I didn’t get what was coming to me and I refuse to be a woman who plays the victim, who locks her door every second of every day, one who carries a stick with her everywhere.
Because I fear. Because it could happen again. Because there are bad people.
There are also good people. There are more good people.
And there are MORE people than you know who have been drugged by someone who wanted to take advantage of them in one way or another. 

We need to make it NOT alright for someone to get away with this.

MANY people have messaged me privately and publicly to say this has happened to them, too. Thank you to those who were brave enough to do so, and I’m so sorry. To those who couldn’t or didn’t message me, I get it, I understand. You are not alone. And I am so sorry you went through this and felt you had no recourse, no one to share it with, no one to report this crime to.

It’s not just women who are raped.
It’s not just women.
It’s not just someone drinking alcohol.
It’s not just someone dressed sexily or one who flirts.
It’s not someone was out or traveled alone.

Not my first rodeo

This happened to me before at an industry event in Las Vegas, at a Human Resources and Recruiting Conference. Someone I knew drugged me. I kept quiet because I was embarrassed. Because I didn’t know what I could do. Because I felt shame. Because I wasn’t sure who did it and I was worried about them and not me.

I will not ever be quiet about this. I won’t be quiet again.