We Are Now At A Time Where We Can Ask The Provocative Question: "Who's Zoomin' Who?"


The album cover you see above is one that I actually owned in the 80's.

In fact, at one time, I had every album/8-track/cassette tape/CD that Aretha Franklin ever released. I freaking LOVED that women! What a soulful voice she had.

But her voice will live on forever; particularly now.

And I can't help but wonder if she ever imagined when she recorded the song, Who's Zoomin' Who?, that it would be associated with technology that wasn't invented (or even thought of) back then.


Yet it's funny, because that's the first thing that popped into my head when I heard about ZOOM over a year ago. I immediately thought of that song.

And even more so over the past month because I recently got a freelance job with a new online beauty consulting company that hired me as a virtual beauty advisor to assist their customers. The company officially launches in September. And I'm very excited because it's a whole new concept for the beauty industry. With the way many retail stores are closing due to COVID-19, this concept is ideal because companies are realizing that it can be much more cost-effective to do business online, rather than a brick and mortar store.

Listen, I'm all for working face to face (in the flesh) with customers, however, that has dramatically changed over the past six months. In the retail beauty industry, we are no longer permitted to apply makeup or skincare on customers. We can explain to them how to use the products, but all applications must be done by themselves when they get home. Additionally, customers are no longer offered testers, handmade samples, or even disposable mascara, eye shadow or lip wands for sanitary reasonsTherefore, their only option is to purchase the products and then return them if they don't work out. But they are not permitted to test them first. So, if this is going to be the new way for the retail beauty industry (even if it's only temporary), then I need to change with the times and start working online because there are no longer any advantages to working in a store.

The company I'm working for is using ZOOM to conduct their product knowledge training classes for the various makeup and skincare lines that they will be offering to their customers. And I have to say, I've been loving it. And not only because I enjoy learning about new products, but I've also enjoyed being able to stay at home and train with everyone from all over the United States, via my computer.

Admittedly, it felt strange at first. But after only a few meetings, I got the hang of it. Now it seems second nature. In the first week, I attended 12 ZOOM meetings, which were about an hour to an hour and a half in length.

Before I started my training, I went online and did a lot of research on how ZOOM works (technically) and how to make the most of the meetings. Being a photographer, I also investigated how to adjust the lighting and computer monitor. I finally figured out the perfect angle to position my computer so that the light from my apartment windows would allow me to be seen in the most natural light. I also figured out how to use artificial light behind my monitor, whenever I need to attend meetings later in the evening. And a really great perk about using ZOOM is that I don't have to wear pants because no one can see me from the waist down. I just wear a nice shirt and my undies. HA!

So yeah, ZOOM has been such an awesome learning tool...


In conclusion, I would like to take a moment to thank Aretha for not only recording a terrific song, but for also projecting into the future what would eventually become a way for us to communicate.

And to ask the provocative question:


Oh, and just in case you're in the mood to hear some Aretha Franklin the next time you're on a ZOOM call, I'll leave you with this tune...


Have a ZOOMIN' week, y'all!
💗


P.S. My very favorite Aretha Franklin song is...R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Whenever I hear that song, I have the urge to get up; lip sync and dance, while snapping my fingers and gyrating my hips.

Ooooo, yeah!

36 comments

  1. That’s funny because only recently was I reminded of that song by another online post. I’ve actually had the Zoom PBS show stuck on loop in my head since Covid started and I first heard about Zoom.

    We did a number of family Zoom happy hours at the beginning, but then switched to Microsoft Teams because Zoom was shutting us down after 40 minutes.

    That’s fantastic about the new job! I’m so happy that you’ve found something that you are excited about! And I hope it’s a great alternative for your clients. Personally, I can’t wait to be able to go to a store and try clothes on again. Hope your week is productive!

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  2. Ron, your last several post have made me laugh my ass off. You're very funny. I love your post title!
    I've used Zoom for the past year because of work, but even more since the pandemic because I was working at home for awhile. And it's true what you said about the retail beauty industry, it's dramatically different now. I went into a Sephora last week and the whole vibe is different. Glad to hear you found an online job. That's fantastic!

    Now that you mentioned that song, I'll be thinking of it whenever I ZOOM!

    Thank you for the giggles, Ron x

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  3. Thank you! I saw the job online and decided to submit my resume. About a week later I had two over-the-phone interviews with the owners and then got the job. The two women who started this business are not only very smart, but genuinely nice as well. I got a really great feeling just from talking with them.

    I know, won't it be great when going shopping gets back to normal? The virus really put a damper on the retail beauty industry because when someone shops for makeup or skincare, they want to try things on before purchasing. It's a very touchy-feely business, but now that's not possible.

    "We did a number of family Zoom happy hours at the beginning, but then switched to Microsoft Teams because Zoom was shutting us down after 40 minutes."

    That's what other people have said as well. The great thing about these trainings that I'm doing is that each company pays for the ZOOM meeting, which is usually for an unlimited amount of time. I've also tried Google Meet and that had some really nice features as well.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantabulous week! We finally got a break from the heat and it feels WONDERFUL!

    X

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  4. Hey there Candice!

    Glad you had a laugh! I had no post scheduled for today in advance, so I quickly put this one together yesterday afternoon.

    Isn't ZOOM really great? Yes, I know a lot of people who use it for work, particularly during the lockdown. I knew of ZOOM and used it once last year. However, since getting this job, I've been using it a lot.

    "And it's true what you said about the retail beauty industry, it's dramatically different now. I went into a Sephora last week and the whole vibe is different."

    Yes...it's a totally different vibe! Places like Sephora and Ulta are usually filled with customers who want to try stuff before purchasing it. Currently they cannot offer makeover or facials because of sanitary reasons.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing where this new job takes me. I'm excited!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an awesome week!
    X

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  5. Ron, Big Congratulations on your new venture! I know you'll do well at it, and how cool that it's coming as an early birthday present for you!!


    I've never used ZOOM, but I understand it's a good solution in these COVID days. In fact, I might have to have online music lessons, if things ever get to where we can't meet outside and in person. It's very challenging to do music with all these rules of distancing, masks, and such (the hand-washing has never been a problem cos I do that ALL the time!)


    I didn't know that about the beauty industry: the not being able to try products on in the store and not having advisors place products on clients. Talk about difficult! You really have to be GOOD to convince someone that a product will fit their needs when they can't try it first!


    Have a great week, my friend! xo

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  6. I love that song and remember it well! Aretha had a nice late-career resurgence with that hit. She also teamed up with George Michael around this time (for another great song, "I Knew You Were Waiting"). RIP Queen of Soul!

    I bet half the people on Zoom calls are pantsless...

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  7. "I don't have to wear pants because no one can see me from the waist down. I just wear a nice shirt and my undies." ROFLMAO! And I'm laughing because I've done the same thing on work related Zoom calls! Hey, that's the beauty of virtual calls, people only see the top half of you!

    Congratulations on your new freelance job, Ron! And I hear you because more and more business are going online because it's cheaper for them than hiring people to run a store. Sadly, this is one of the things COVID-19 has revealed to people --- you can do everything online.

    Do you remember the duet Aretha Frankling and George Michael did? - I Knew You Were Waiting - what a great tune! You're right, she had such a soulful voice. As did Michael!

    Thanks for the laughs, dude!

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  8. Hey there Debbie!

    Thank you, my friend! I am really looking forward to this new venture because it's something I've never done but am eager to try. And you're right, this will be an early birthday present. HA!

    ZOOM is really a very cool system for not only work things, but also for family and friends to stay in touch via the internet. And yes, it's been a great solution in these COVID days.

    "I didn't know that about the beauty industry: the not being able to try products on in the store and not having advisors place products on clients. Talk about difficult! You really have to be GOOD to convince someone that a product will fit their needs when they can't try it first."

    Yes, normally customers can go into any beauty industry-related store and try things before they purchase them. They could also get complete makeup application or makeup lessons in the store for a purchase. That is no longer available as well. All services have come to a halt.

    For me, I've been in this industry for so many years, I'm at a point where I can easily recommend products to a customer online as well as I could in a store. It's just a matter of knowing about each product and addressing the customers needs.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  9. "She also teamed up with George Michael around this time (for another great song, "I Knew You Were Waiting"). RIP Queen of Soul!"

    OMG Mark....yes! They were such a great team-up for that song!

    I can't believe it's already been two years since she passed away!?!

    "I bet half the people on Zoom calls are pantsless..."


    HA! And I bet you're right!!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a superb week!

    X to you and Tara

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  10. Hiya Matt!

    Ha! You're right...that's the beauty of virtual calls. It's doesn't matter what you wear below the waist!

    Thank you! I am really looking forward to this new job because it's a really neat concept that's never been done before when it comes to the beauty industry. The two women who created this are VERY smart ladies!

    "Sadly, this is one of the things COVID-19 has revealed to people --- you can do everything online."

    Yes...you're spot on about that! And I had a feeling it was going to that. Particularly in my line of work.

    "Do you remember the duet Aretha Frankling and George Michael did? - I Knew You Were Waiting - what a great tune! You're right, she had such a soulful voice. As did Michael!"

    Yes I do! And it's funny because you're the second person on the post that mentioned that song!!!! FANTASTIC duet!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  11. "Whenever I hear that song, I have the urge to get up; lip sync and dance, while snapping my fingers and gyrating my hips."

    Ron, promise me if you do that you'll film yourself doing (like the other one you did) and share it on your blog. Pretty please!!!!! You are one funny man!

    All through the lockdown of COVID I used Zoom for my job to communicate with everyone in our office. We also used Google Meet, but I didn't like that as much. I feel like you can do more things with Zoom. And congratulation on the new job. It sounds perfect too! I wish I could work from home all the time. And you're right about retail because when Sephora and Ulta opened, I stopped by because I needed to replenish some of my essential products and it was so different than before the pandemic. Like you said, no testers or applicators. I can't wait until it goes back to the way it used to be because it's just not the same experience.

    As always, fun fun fun post, Ron! Keep us posted on your new job after it launches. I would love to know more about it. xo

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  12. Hola Denise!

    OMG, do you want to know what's funny? I was actually contemplating doing that with that song because I haven't done anything like that in YEARS. So, perhaps I will. I'll surprise you!

    Yes, I've used Google Meet as well and overall I prefer ZOOM. However, GM had some cool features as well. I like how it notifies you through your Google account as a reminder of the meeting. And also that you can use gmail to connect. But ZOOM definitely is more involved with features.

    "I stopped by because I needed to replenish some of my essential products and it was so different than before the pandemic. Like you said, no testers or applicators. I can't wait until it goes back to the way it used to be because it's just not the same experience."

    I know, isn't it so weird? You can't touch or play with anything. And that's the whole neat experience of those places, trying things on and playing with products.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. And yes, I will keep you posted on the launch. In fact, I just got an email from the company, letting me know that they had to change the pilot try-out dates because they are having issues with the website.

    Have a super week!
    X

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  13. Oh goodie, Ron! I will be looking forward to it! xo

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  14. Hysterical, Ron! You are such a hoot! I love the image of your with the speech bubble that says, Who's Zoomin' Who? How did you make that?

    Funny you posted about Zoom because in the past several months, my husband and I have been using it to keep in touch with family members who live in various states. It seems so strange to me at first, but then I really ended up liking it. My husband and I have our computer in a separate room in our home where we Zoom. It's got a lot of great natural light. The only time it I can't see as well is at night. If you don't mind me asking, how did you figure out a way to put light behind your monitor?

    Aretha Franklin was one of favorite singers. I really felt sad when I heard that she passed. So many of her songs bring back wonderful memories for me. Respect is one of my favorites as well!

    Thanks for the laughs, Ron! Hey, are you enjoying this change in weather? It almost feels like Autumn is coming! ox

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  15. Forgot to say in my first comment, congratulations on your freelance job. It sounds very interesting. I've no doubt you'll be awesome! x

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  16. Hey there Elaine!

    Thanks! I made that on a photo editing website I use. I took a photograph that I found online and the edited my face onto the computer monitor in the photo. It was very easy to do.

    That's GREAT! Glad to hear that you're using ZOOM as well. So many people are using it, and have been using it as a means to touch base with family members and friends; especially during the lockdown. I love it!

    Yes, I take a small desk lamp that I have and place it behind the monitor. I place it on a stack of books so that it's a little bit above the monitor. I works great! You can also purchase a light that is specifically made for clipping onto your monitor, but I wanted to be frugal and save money. HA!

    I love so many of her songs, but if I had to choose one, it would be RESPECT. Anytime I hear that song, it makes me want to get up and DANCE!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Hope your week has started off well!

    X

    P.S. Oh please...I am SOOOOOOOOOO enjoying this weather! For the past three days I haven't even broken a sweat when I'm outside.

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  17. Aw...thank you! I'm really looking forward to it. I've never worked from home, but I've always wanted to try it. I'll keep you posted on how it all plays out.

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  18. DA PerrucciAugust 18, 2020

    Hi Ron,
    What a great tie in from Aretha's album done so many years ago before anyone really knew how Zooming would be happening now! Admittedly, I had never heard this song and so listened to all of it here. Aretha was such a great singer is certainly an understatement and another of my favorites is Etta James, also gone now.

    Congrats and good luck on the new consulting position. I know you will do the best possible for your clients even though face-to-face is so much more personal. But this new world has brought about so many changes and not all for the best, but still life is going on as it should. I haven't used Zoom for anything, My personal videos with several friends have been using FaceTime, but some friends only hand android phones (drat!)

    Thanks so much for the comment about our 2 great nieces and yes, we really like their names as well. Autumn's middle name of Rose is very special as it's in memory of her late grandmother, my mom, who she never met.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend, as I KNOW you will do😀

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  19. Hey there D!

    Yeah, it's so funny because when I first heard about ZOOM, that song instantly came to mind. And come to find out (while reading an interview online), the person doing the interviewing asked the person being interviewed (who was a family member of Aretha Franklin) if ZOOM had approached them to use the song for advertising. Which they hadn't. But the family member said that Aretha would have LOVED it!

    Thank you. I'm really looking forward to this new online consulting position because I think it's going to be "the way" for many cosmetic/skincare companies, at least for awhile.

    "I haven't used Zoom for anything, My personal videos with several friends have been using FaceTime, but some friends only hand android phones (drat!)"

    Yes, I've heard of FaceTime but have never used it. And probably never will because I didn't know it couldn't be used with Android, which is what I have.

    "Autumn's middle name of Rose is very special as it's in memory of her late grandmother, my mom, who she never met."

    Oh, that is so sweet!

    I SO enjoyed the photos of your great nieces. OMG...they are sooooooooo adorable! I love kids; especially the young ones. I adore babies!!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous rest of your week!

    X

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  20. Ron, I commend you for changing with the times and staying open to another way of doing things because this is what's happening since the Covid-19. The way so much of how businesses are running have been altered. I've used Zoom a lot. And also Google Meet. I need them for work so often. And not just when I worked from home, but also for conference calls. I like them so much better than having conference calls over the phone.

    Congrats on your new job. I wish you all the best!

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  21. Thank you, Daniel! You're so right, ever since this virus, so many thing in so many ways have changed. I learned so much about staying open to change through the various careers I've had in my life that taught me that nothing ever stays the same. So be open to change because it's going to happen whether you like it or not.

    I too have used Google Meet, and like it for certain reasons. But people (at least in my business) seem to prefer ZOOM for our calls/meetings.

    OMG yes! I used to hate taking conference calls over the phone. Video calls are much more enjoyable because you can SEE the people you're talking to.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope your has been grand so far!

    X

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  22. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comAugust 20, 2020

    What a great song - one of my favourites. We use Teams at work (instead of Zoom).

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  23. Yes, isn't it a GREAT song, Fiona? I loved Aretha Franklin. I have her songs programmed on my cell phone so that I can listen to her while taking my walks.

    I've not heard of Teams at work before. However, I will google it and check it out.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having superb weekend!

    X

    P.S. LOVED your squirrel post!!!

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  24. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comAugust 20, 2020

    Respect is my favourite song too. At work, we use Microsoft Teams but it doesn't really work that well if you are not in the same company. So Zoom is best for your line of work. :-)

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  25. "At work, we use Microsoft Teams but it doesn't really work that well if you are not in the same company."

    Oh, okay....gotcha! ZOOM is actually very cool. It has technical glitches every so often, but overall is works very well. :-)

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  26. Rob LenihanAugust 20, 2020

    Ron, first of all, congratulations on the new job! I wish all kinds of luck and success with this new chapter of your life. You certainly deserve it!

    Secondly...Aretha Franklin! Of course! She had the perfect theme song for these Covid days long before we knew what a Covid was. Excellent observation, my friend!

    This is a strange new world we're entering and, while I think we can all agree that it sucks, we don't have much choice.

    I like how you applied your photographic skills to this new technology. You're adapting well to change, which is an important quality.

    My writing class is meeting on Zoom now and I'm always unhappy with how disheveled my computer room looks. (Maybe I should tidy up before class starts...?)

    Excellent post, buddy! Now get out there and lower the Zoom on this new job!

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  27. Thank you, Rob! I'm really looking forward to this new way of working because in my particular line of work, it seems to be heading that way overall. Everything is going "virtual." And as you said, we don't have much choice other than gong with it.

    Isn't Miss Aretha Franklin faaaaaaaaaaaabulous? And yes, this song is a perfect theme song for these COVID days.

    "My writing class is meeting on Zoom now and I'm always unhappy with how disheveled my computer room looks. (Maybe I should tidy up before class starts...?)"


    That's AWESOME! I know so many people doing the same thing with classes. And it's funny you mentioned "tidying up" because I thought the same thing when I started ZOOMING! In fact, before I click onto the meeting, I make sure everything in view of the video camera looks nice. HA!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an excellent weekend!

    X

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  28. The best to you in your new job, Ron! I know you'll excel!

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  29. Aw...thank you, Matt! I'll keep you posted. :)

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  30. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the best! I adore that song. So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit the song Who's Zooming Who has not once occurred to me during the pandemic. Even when I've attended Zoom continuing ed meetings. The song that I do find myself htinking of is the theme song to the old Zoom kids' show. "We're gonna zoom zoom zooma zoom!" I use different platforms for therapy, mostly one called Doxy.me. But I have found that both disability evaluations and the therapy sessions lend themselves very well to online technology. And I really love being able to work from home.

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  31. Don't ya' just LOVE that song? And anytime I hear it, I have to get up and DANCE!

    " The song that I do find myself htinking of is the theme song to the old Zoom kids' show. "We're gonna zoom zoom zooma zoom!" "

    Yes! And I can see why!!! Now you'll have me thinking of that song as well. LOL!

    I clicked over on the link you shared and took a look at Doxy.me. WOW....that looks so cool! I had no idea that even existed.

    I too think I'm going to love working from home. At first, I didn't know how I was going to feel. But with the way retail is right now, I much prefer working from home rather than a store because the restrictions are heavy. I spent TEN hours yesterday online, training on our new website, which goes live in Sept. I really enjoyed it!

    X

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  32. Who new Aretha was such a visionary?! I recently got a freelance job with a new online beauty consulting company that hired me as a virtual beauty advisor to assist their customers. This is awesome! COVID-19 has certainly changed the way a lot of companies conduct business. I'm not a fan of buying clothing online. I much prefer to go try things on. But, I also realize so many stores are closing their brick and mortar fronts to compete with Amazon and save money. I hope your new position is everything you hope it will be. I'm not a huge fan of Zoom; the university uses is extensively with online learning. I find it exhausting. As of now, I'm conducting my class as a hybrid with some in-seat classes and some online, independent work. Our world will look different from now on. Welcome to Level 9 of Jumanji. 😜 Take care and stay well. X

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  33. I know, can you believe that? She was a VISIONARY?!?

    Me too, I much prefer the "in store" experience. But as you said, COVID-19 has changed the way many companies are now doing business.

    "Welcome to Level 9 of Jumanji. 😜"

    HA! Exactly!

    I've used both ZOOM and Google Meet, and like them both for different reasons. ZOOM has been having a lot of technical issues lately.

    Thank you! I am looking forward to this new career adventure!
    X

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  34. Aretha!!!
    It's certainly sad that some businesses didn't make it and have had to close because of Covid. Others though, have gotten creative and adjusted and changed the way they do business and new businesses are now getting started because of being able to offer something needed now.
    Since I'm a mess with technology, I've only been on Zoom one time for a niece's birthday.
    Lighting, angles, etc... so much to learn, but it surely sounds like you will make it the best it can be.

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  35. Yes, Mary, I agree! In fact, there are so many businesses here in Philly that have closed due to COVID. I can't get over how many stores closed on Walnut Street alone. Sad.

    OMG...I LOVE ZOOM! But yes, there are so many things to learn on the app. I've used Google Meet as well, and that is much simplier.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Have a super weekend!

    X

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