Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best is Yet to Come

As 2008 comes to a close, we at Working Girl have been doing a lot of self-examination. Which in more simpler and less philosophical terms means we each went through our archives and picked out our favorite posts of 2008. Read below to find out which were our favorites of our first year of blogging.

Working Girl One's Picks
My dad loves these posts. Specifically Suburbia is the New Manhattan because he is mentioned. I love getting a peak into the day to day aspects of people's lives, so with these I'm sharing my mundane commute with you. Which reminds me, I haven't written about my new commute...

Back on April 24th, I was barely a month into my new position as the marketing assistant and this post completely sums up how lost I felt. I was learning the ropes of the position and the department and just had a bad day. Reading this post over reminds me of how far I've come and what I've learned, it makes me thankful that I've had a lot of good days lately. It probably helps that I took a majority of my vacation days in December.

What was I thinking with this outfit? Seriously? I don't think I've worn that dress since this very day.

She Works Hard for the Money
The article I referenced in this post really resonated with me. I'm so thankful for my upbringing and that my parents taught me how to take care of myself and my life.

Working Girl Two's Picks
I love reading over these posts again and again because they bring me back to those days of just being so happy. I had just met Hanson (!!!!), had a great interview, got a job offer in a city near my family, and had been admitted to Northwestern for a master's in journalism. I was elated to say the least. And these posts remind me to not take those feelings for granted and also remind me that I made the right decision - because I'm still as happy as I was when I wrote those posts.

This is probably the most honest post I have ever written. I was being brutally honest, something I hadn't done with myself for a long time. It took a lot of courage to say that I wasn't happy and that I wanted to move back to Chicago and this post was the first time I really acknowledged my feelings.

This post is a true story account of my day-to-day at my old company. Which in hindsight just makes me laugh. Wow.

I chose this post because like WG1 said above on her post about a bad day, it really shows you how far you have come. Reading this over, I know I made mistakes that day (like I should have known to ask who I was interviewing with instead of just assuming it was someone). But it's good to see progress in myself that I can acknowledge those mistakes and know that I have grown.

We hope all you Working Girls have a great New Year's Eve celebration filled with champagne and sparkly dresses (and no work the next day! yay!). Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The City: That's So New York

Last night's premiere of The City had exactly one redeeming quality: the choice of music during the DVF fashion was Lady Gaga. I'm going through a huge Lady Gaga obsession right now so any show playing her can't totally suck.

The Cast
Whitney: The California girl that we loved to loved on The Hills.
Erin: The friend/temporary roommate.
Olivia: The frienemy.
Jay: The Australian Love interest whom I hereby dub the Justin Bobby of The City.
Adam: Jay's roommate.

Whitney's introduction to her new job is typical New York: Here are some people. Here is your desk. Good luck. Her introduction to Olivia is typical reality TV. "Who are you?" Olivia asks. Oh, like you don't know who she is, Olivia! The question is, who are you? Other than a "social."

Next, we met Erin. Whitney is crashing with Erin until she finds a place of her own. I'm dying to know what Erin does because that apartment is sick nasty. "That's so New York," Erin says of dinner parties. It so is.

Ah, the token love interest.Whitney met Justin Bobby Jay at Nero in the West Village. He's Australian. While I love the accent I think he's a cheese ball. "Can I sing to you tonight?" Case in point.

The post-date, pre-work roomie breakfast chat just doesn't happen in real life, as far as I know. I'm lucky if I have time to shower before, let alone make breakfast and gab with my roomies about my night. But maybe I should try it. It probably doesn't take long to recap a night of eating potato chips and watching Jon and Kate Plus 8.


At the DVF fashion show after party Whitney's boss told her that she think Whitney will do a great job at DVF. If only she were really employed there. Olivia immediately notices the convo, swoops in and asks Whitney to come to her dinner party (avec Jay). Something tells me Olivia's Mommy nanny told her to keep her friends closer and her enemies closer.

Since Jay doesn't want to go to the dinner because he doesn't think Olivia is genuine. So she brings Erin. Now, I don't die with "socials" often but I'm pretty sure it isn't polite to bring an unexpected guest. Make that guests because Jay did in fact show up. Only with whisk Whitney (and Erin) away from the "socials." He's probably going to go sing to them.

What we know (based on body language along):
Erin does not like Olivia.
Olivia does not like anyone, except maybe Jay.
Jay likes anything with boobs.

Favorite quotes:
"I hate a dead handshake." - Olivia
Oh, girl. So do I.

"There is no polite way to get out of a taxi." - Erin
Fact. 

(Editor's note: MTV aired two episodes of The City last night. The second episode's recap will be posted later this week/weekend).

Image [MTV.com]

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'd Like To Invest

Apparently I started my new job smack dab in the middle of busy season. As the Project Coordinator, I have two large events each year that I have ownership of. One is in January and the other is in February. 

Having started in this position almost a month ago, I've been busy preparing the final details of the big event my new company has in early January. But as I go about attending meetings, editing all the written materials, and ordering the meals, I find myself not getting into it as I usually do. 

See, I love planning. In college and when I lived in NYC, I was always the planner. I took care of New Year's plans, birthday dinners, and spring break plans (and I especially love planning my yearly birthday extravaganza!). I like picking the restaurant or the bar that we'll get to go to. I like knowing all the details and being in the thick of plans. So in a way, it makes sense that I fell into this job of event planning and marketing. At my old job, we did two large events a year as well. I was very invested in both of them. I knew every answer to every question anyone had about the events. The decor, the layout, the food, the collateral - I was involved in every step of the process. 

I think this is why I'm having a hard time throwing myself into this event that will occur in January. I'm not very invested. Some would say that I'm lucky. I started this job and all the work was done for me. The things that are left to take care of are the small details and all the on-ground work the day of the event. Which should have me jumping for joy. Other than putting together some team-building projects, I really haven't had much involvement. 

But every day, someone will come and ask me a question. And most of the time I don't know the answer because I haven't been with this project since day one. I really think the best part of planning an event is following through - being there from the beginning when everything was just an idea and then seeing it all come together. It makes all the stress and all the worry very worthwhile. And you feel proud because you achieved something and you saw the fruits of your labor.

I'm doing my best to get caught up (ah! it's only two weeks away!), and I think I've been doing a pretty good job. Good enough that I know this event will run smoothly and I'll come back to Chicago alive. 

I just wish I was a little more invested.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Working Girls! Have a happy and healthy holiday!

Love, WG1 and WG2

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Bad at Being a Grown-Up

This conversation with WG2 pretty much sums up how bad at am at being a responsible grown-up:

Thursday, December 18th
Approximately 3:30PM

WG1: i decided that i need a life makeover
slash real one

WG2: ok
what does this involve?

WG1: i'll make a list:
1. i need to go to the doctor (i haven't been since college)
2. i need to go to the gyno (same)
3. i need to go to the dermatologist (my skin is a nightmare lately)
4. i need to go to the dentist (haven't been since college)

WG2: WORKING GIRL ONE!
what the FUCK

WG1: 5. once i do all these things, i need to keep up with them and go when i'm supposed to
(I KNOW!)

WG2: you haven't been to any doctors in 2 years?!?!

WG1: right

WG2: you are usually really responsible

WG1: my insurance is switching on jan 1, so once that happens i'll find a doc and go from there
i know, i think i have a thing about drs

WG2: um yea that is not good
now i'm all worried about you
get the fuck checked out


I know! I know! Believe me, I know! For the past few weeks have had a minor toothache on my lower molars. I told myself that after the holidays I would go to the dentist for a check up. I just thought the pain was my wisdom teeth coming in. Yes, I have no gotten my wisdom teeth out yet. But you're not surprised by that, right?

The pain would come and go and it was never really that painful. Until last night. The pain started and just would not stop. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't read. I couldn't watch TV. I couldn't focus at all. It was beyond painful. I'm visiting my mom, so at 4AM, when I could no longer take the pain, I woke her up. She gave me some pain medication, told me to put a heating pad on my cheek and said she'd call her dentist in the morning.

At 11AM this morning, I walked into the dentist's office and said "Hi, I'm Working Girl One, my mom called this morning...". I felt like a kid. I didn't have the correct insurance card or information, which made me feel stupid, and I was told that they'd have to bill me. I sat down in the funny looking chair and got an x-ray of the area with pain.

It was not my wisdom teeth. It was a cavity. A monstrous cavity. Practically the size of my entire tooth. The dentist was a older man and the look he gave me made me want to run out of that room and go hug my mommy. But he wasn't done. He then informed my that the cavity was so large that I'm going to need a root canal! I pretty much started crying right then and there, which I will blame on the lack of sleep. Thankfully, he was nice enough to prescribe me some Vicodin for the pain.

The tears weren't just due to lack of sleep, I am truly disappointed with myself. I have health and dental insurance so I have no excuse for slacking when it comes to my health. I'm also scared shitless of my upcoming root canal. I have an extremely low tolerance for pain, so it should be interesting. I guess this is what I get for not being a responsible adult and taking care of myself. There is nothing like a good kick in the ass to get it into gear.

Oh, and Working Girls, I beg you not to tell me any horror stories of any root canals you've had. They will scare me and probably drive me to just pull the tooth out myself with pliers. But if there is any info you think I need to know, please share. I'm terrified.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Co-Workers...Oh, Wait I'm the Only One Here

So since I just began working at my new job about four weeks ago, I obviously have not accrued any time off, hence I am still working my 8-5. 

And it's like a ghostland. I don't remember it being like this last year, but then again I had to travel to get home for Christmas, so I'm assuming I took some time off. Anyway, point being is that I am alone in the office. The phones haven't been ringing, almost everyone has taken the whole week off to celebrate (and eat cookies and open presents), and I have managed to get a lot of work done. 

Since a lot of my work is getting done and I have less projects to work on, I have taken to spreading my own holiday cheer through diversions on the Internet. So if you, like myself, are holed up in a cubicle wishing that you were drinking eggnog and watching It's a Wonderful Life on repeat instead, read on because the Christmas cheer is on it's way. 

Bejeweled - The Holiday Edition 
This took up a good chunk of my afternoon today. I am a big fan of MSN and Yahoo games online, though I don't usually play them at work but rather on a lazy Sunday morning. But today, I stumbled upon this little gem that is the holiday edition of Bejeweled. Just switch out the jewels for snowmen, Christmas trees, and candy canes! 

We Love Holiday Sweaters
What is Christmas without an ugly sweater party? I fell in love with this website because it is all about being tacky and making your own Mr. Rogers-esque, scratchy woolen sweater. And even if you're not feeling creative, just window-shopping and seeing other people's creations is well worth perusing this site



Elf Yourself
Buddy the Elf here, what's your favorite color? I love the movie Elf. I love Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf. So why not insert my head onto an elves' body? Oh, go on, just go elf yourself



Drunk Santa Delivery
I'm not sure where my dad dredged this link up from. My guess is a colleague of a colleague of a colleague sent it to him. But please, just click this link. It's hilarious in a seriously cheesy way. It's a game where you have deliver presents for Santa before he gets too drunk to see the numbers on the elevator. Oh, and if you submit your highest score, you are entered to win a Wii! 

So happy clicking and a very merry Christmas from Working Girl!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.

  • First off, I have to mention that Working Girl was offered our first ever guest post! We were over-the-moon thrilled to be asked by The Invisible Student (one of our loyal and of our few male readers). Since WG1 had a huge event going on, I stepped up to the plate and wrote the post, which was posted a few weeks ago on The Invisible Student's blog. It's a good read for any of those who want to know about how WG1 and I met and how we started this sucker of a blog. Plus, The Invisible Student always has some great insight on a lot of topics we write about! So check out his blog!



  • We suppose this can be construed as either a good thing or a bad thing, but we just found out that Bravo's The Rachel Zoe Project , which revolves around the life of stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe, was renewed for another drama and fashion-filled second season. If Brad does not come back, I refuse to watch. He is that show.





  • Speaking of reality TV, we heard some online gossip revealing that Kelly Cutrone, one of our fave parts of The Hills, is going to be getting her own reality TV show. No idea what network picked it up, but Cutrone herself has described the show as being, "Wizard of Oz meets Stephen King meets 'Rhoda'." All we have to say to that is yikes.

  • Since entering my new job, I've tried to not slack off. But with the holidays coming up and getting all settled after my move, you can probably guess how that is going. While surfing the web, I found this article on work habits that help you get the job done. My favorites include taking breaks, ignoring voicemail, and goofing off. Yea, it got my interest too.




  • We have to say that we love this new trend of "celebs" interning. It is a superb idea. Who says that your connections should get you the corner office? Not only is Kanye West planning on interning in London with a fashion design company, but model and heir to the Hearst dynasty, Lydia Hearst is interning at BlackBook. And famous hockey player, Sean Avery, has been interning at Vogue. I'd like a grande low-fat chai tea latte stat. Oh, and can you rap me a verse of Flashing Lights before you go? Kthanks.

  • And my favorite link from the week - an article on the 10 worst employees of 2008. These stories are out of this world crazy - like the deputy coroner who stole $325 worth of gift cards from a dead body she examined and the county baliff who forgot to transport a woman back to jail causing her to be without food, water or a toilet for four days. This article will make you feel amazing about your performance at work!

We hope you Working Girls have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

It took me two hours to get home from work last night because of a snowstorm.

(Yes, this post will be me whining about the weather. My apologies in advance if I sound over-the-top annoying.)

The first thing people usually say to me after I announce that I just moved back to Chicago after living in New York for a few years is, "Well, you moved just in time for the bad weather." Thanks everyone, I am aware. Unfortunately, fate didn't allow me to move when the weather was crisp and light and perfect and instead fate granted me winter.

Chicago winters are notriously horrible. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I have seen my fair share of blizzards, sleet storms, and temperatures so low that school was cancelled. But it's like I had brainwashed myself about these past occurences. Like they never happened. Because I would often hear people in my old office whine about how they had to go to Chicago for a conference in the middle of winter and how they would never survive. I would fight back. 'It's no colder in Chicago than it is in New York,' I would say and snicker. 'New Yorkers, they don't know anything,' is what I would think to myself.

I take back everything I said (and thought). It's effing freezing here. And it makes for one hell of a frigid commute in the mornings. So much colder than New York, in fact, that I had to buy a new coat because the ones I had been wearing in NYC did not suffice. Here is my new Patagonia coat. It is ferociously warm and toasty.

I think I have adapted (back) fairly well to the cold and snow. Unless you ask my dad, who would say I have complained way too much for my own good.

There are some things that come back to me. Like the fact that I remembered that I'm a klutz. Many side stories of twisted ankles could be added here, but I will refrain. How did I remember? When my morning commute, which consists of a five-block walk to my bus stop resulted in me falling on my ass. I looked like a fool. But a warm fool.

I also remembered that walking in the snow is an art form. If there is a lack of salt, one must do a shuffle through the snow. Picking up your feet will get you nowhere, so don't try it.

Also, weather is not a good excuse to be late in the Midwest. Everyone here is used to it. Snow does not deter anyone from getting anywhere. Most of the people in my new office live in the suburbs. And they were all in work yesterday and today. Despite the 6+ inches of snow we got last night.

And the new piece of info I learned during this past snowstorm, do not under any circumstances, take the bus home. I sat on Lake Shore Drive for approx. 45 minutes. Pain in my tush.

Not to mention I have to leave my house earlier to avoid delays...which means waking up earlier. How I loathe the mornings. And commuting.

Whine complete.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's hard for me to believe that only two years ago I was a senior in college, drinking studying my way through finals and then making the drive to Jersey to spend four weeks at home during semester break.

This is my second holiday season as a Working Girl. I still haven't felt like I've gotten out of the routine that has been embedded into my system since I was five: start school, fall break, school, Thanksgiving, school, Christmas/semester break, school, winter break, school, spring break, summer and start all over again.

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I went to Massachusetts for (my first) Hanukkah and to visit his family and friends. I had Friday and Monday off and because the office has been so slow lately, I didn't feel the need to check in. It felt like a real vacation celebrating a holiday, having home-cooked meals and relaxing. With his brother and cousin home from college, I kind of felt like I was on break too.

My boyfriend, for the past two years, has taken most of his vacation during the month of December for this very reason. He likes to have his own semester break. While I constantly beg him to take some time off in late winter or early spring so we can go someplace tropical (because in my head we can totally afford that), I understand why he likes December vacation so much.

Next week, I'm using three of my vacation days and I'll be off for the whole week. Some other magazines at my company get the week off for free. Not us, our publisher loves to work. I'll go home, celebrate Christmas with my family and enjoy a mini-break from work. My own little semester break.

I just wonder if I'll ever get used to this lifestyle, working five days a week with only 15 vacation days (I'll go from 10 to 15 days in 2009). Something tells me that I may not.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes

And I'm back in the game! After a horrible experience with Comcast, I decided to get cable from a different provider who came out the next day to install! How great is that? So I finally have the Internet in my new abode and therefore am back to blogging. Sorry for the hiatus, but I think it was good for me to have a teensy break as I have been uber busy. 

It has only been two weeks since I left New York and so much has changed. I moved into my new studio apartment, which is fabulous. I seriously feel like this place was made for me. I have the perfect sized kitchen with all new Electrolux appliances (and a dishwasher!). I have a washer and dryer, a jacuzzi tub, a fireplace, and a sick patio that I intend to use once it's warmer than 19 degrees outside. My dad was instrumental in helping me A) find the place and B) furnish the place so I can't tell you how grateful I am to him. Without my dad, I would have a bed...and that's it. Below is a picture of my new studio (except it's an old picture from when other people lived here)! I'm in love <3 

Speaking of my dad, that is also something that has changed. I used to talk to my dad maybe twice a week when I lived in NJ, but now my dad lives approximately 6 blocks away from me so I see him at least 3-4 times a week. I've already had dinner at his place twice and he is addicted to my washer/dryer so I expect to see him a lot more which I couldn't be more thrilled about. 

I also have seen my girlfriends from high school quite a few times, which again is a huge change. I used to come back to Chicago maybe 3 or 4 times a year for holidays and maybe a visit in the summer, and I would see the girls once the whole time I was home maybe for dinner and a few drinks. But now I get to see them every moment I want to, which is amazing! 

And work is out of this world different. In some good ways and some bad. 

This week is officially my third week at my new company and I'm still getting adjusted to all the differences between my old job and my new job. And since there are quite a few (and since this blog is all about working), I thought I would list the great new things about my job and some of the not-so-great (quite yet) things about my new job. 

SO GREAT I COULD SCREAM

1. My benefits are the bomb. At my old job, I just had health benefits (and they weren't even that great). At my new job, I have health, dental and vision. Yes, vision! Which means I can get a new set of frames yearly! How cool is that? 

2. My new desk is ginormous. Yes, I still sit in a cubicle, but it could practically be an office it is so large. I finally have enough room to stretch my legs, enough room to hold every file of every project I will ever work on, and still have room to have a impromptu dance party (I mean you never know). 

3.  My boss is maybe the nicest man alive. Every person I have met so far at work has told me that I am the luckiest person to be working for him. Unlike The Boss, he seems to just care about the work you do, not what time you get in the office. And he offers to get me coffee, not the other way around. And to top it all off, he has known me about two weeks and he gave me a bottle of wine as a holiday present! 

THINGS THAT MAKE ME CRINGE

1. Everything starts earlier in Chicago. It is a large understatement to say that I am not a morning person...just ask anyone who has lived with me. I am cranky and about half dead when I wake up. And in order to be in work on time, I have to wake up at 6 am on a daily basis. At my old company, we didn't start work until 9 am, so I usually woke up around 7:30. It is a rough adjustment. 

2. I have to look good all the time. My new company has a stricter dress policy than my old company. In New York, I wore jeans about 4-5 times a week, but at my new company we dress up. I have almost run out of outfits, which I guess means I have to go shopping (what a shame). Also, the fact that I need to look nice all day also means that I have to wake up earlier to do those girly things like straighten my hair and apply make-up. These are things I really do enjoy, just not at 6 am. 

3. I am already out of this world busy. In the next two months, I have a conference and a sales trip (to Key West!) to plan. And last week I had to be at work at 7 am (again, I am not a morning person), to work on another event we had going on. Although I am happy that I have just been thrown into things (since I learn by doing), I also wish I had gotten somewhat of a grace period to ease into things. Instead, I am in bed most nights by 10 pm. 

Overall, I am still adjusting. There are a lot of other things going on that of course are stressful - like a little thing called Christmas. I still haven't done any of my shopping. I'm also broke. So, I'm taking things one step at a time. 

But to be cheesy, I am loving being back in my sweet home Chicago.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On A Teensy Tiny Hiatus

Dear Working Girls,

Man oh man. I think these have been two of the busiest weeks of my life (driving a U-Haul in a blizzard, moving into a new job & apartment...oh yea and I had no heat for about two days). Not to mention the fact that I have no Internet connection at my new apartment quite yet (UGH).

So in short, I am on a teensy, tiny hiatus from Working Girl. Just until I get the Internet installed in my apartment. Which fingers crossed should be this coming Monday!

But I just want to let you all know that despite the snowstorms and gross weather in Chicago, I am loving everything - the apartment is sensational, the job is going smoothly, and it's great to be back with my family and my friends.

From work with love,
WG2

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Think I'm Still Drunk, Again

It's no secret that I get very drunk when I go out with coworkers. Usually, I drink more and stay out later than I do with my friends. To the point where I think they are starting to get mad.

Last Thursday, one of the marketing girls had a few of us over for a small wine and cheese party. Let's just say there was a lot more wine than cheese and yours truly was feeling a little buzzed. After the party, five of us were on the same train home. I brilliantly decided that we should get off the train, go to bar and keep drinking.

Great idea at the time. Not such a great idea looking back on Friday morning. I dragged myself out of bed at 8:15, then took the quickest body shower ever. I covered the circles under my eyes with concealer, then booted and walked out the door.

The subway was rough, but I made it.

Once at work, however, I was not doing so hot. I was falling asleep at my desk. So, I took a short nap in our marketing closet. I tried my hardest to answer emails and be productive, but nodding off and frequent trips to the ladies room did not help my productivity.

At 11 a.m., after a pow-wow with Promo Girl, I decided I had to go home sick. Thankfully, my bosses both had days off and I could sneak out quietly. I spent the rest of my day in bed and over the toilet. I felt guilty all afternoon: for drinking too much, not being in shape to work and for leaving the office early. Once I felt well enough to process a full thought, I decided that work drinking for this girl has got to be toned down. And leaving work early because of a hangover cannot happen again.

Never. Ever. Again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Gift or Not to Gift?


Today, on my lovely day off, I began my holiday shopping. Before I dragged myself out into the cold and down to the holiday shops in Union Square, I made a list of everyone I needed to shop for. The usual suspects were there: Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, Granny, Boyfriend, Friends.

As I shopped, I realized that I forgot to include my bosses on my list. Last year, I bought my two bosses a hand soap and lotion set from a small boutique. I spent about $20 of each of them. They gave me $500 cash. I cried when I opened there card and found five $100 bills.

This year, I don't expect to get $500 cash at all. Last year, my old bosses only had to give me a gift. My two bosses now are direct managers to nine people in our department. I highly doubt they'll shell out that much cash.

I plan on buying them each a little something. They are great bosses and I want to show them that I appreciate that. But, some people have told me that you should never "gift up," meaning you shouldn't or don't have to give your boss a gift.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In a Funk

Last night, shortly before 8pm I received this text message from WG2:

"i made it to chicago! woohoo!" it read.

I replied "yay! congrats! i miss you!" And then, I started crying.

My poor, unsuspecting boyfriend, had no idea why I suddenly broke into tears. I explained that I was upset that WG2 was no longer in the same place as me, not even the same time zone! He tried his hardest to make me feel better. Telling me that I could still talk to her on the phone and GChat. "It's not the same," I said through my snotty tears. "She's my person and she's not here anymore."

Lucky for him Gossip Girl was starting and I just snuggled in his nook and watched the show. But as I watched Serena and Dan discuss sleeping with their Snowflake Ball dates, I realized that not only was I missing WG2, I was jealous of her.

Tomorrow she's starting a new job. So exciting! New responsibilities. New people. New goals. Meanwhile, I'm in a job funk. Things are slow and I'm bored. Today, she moved into a new apartment. Much nicer then my current apartment (not to mention our awful Hoboken apartment) and for less than half of what we paid to live in the Hoboken Hell Hole. She's returning to family and friends and familiarity. My family is close and so are many of my friends, but sometimes it's easy to find yourself lost in the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Within a few days of WG2's departure, two of my friends have accepted new jobs in new cities. It's hard to see friends making big and exciting changes. As bored as I am at work, now is not the time for my to start looking for a new job and even though I tell my boyfriend everyday that we should move to Boston or Chicago or North Carolina, I know it's unrealistic.

I didn't think it would hit me until after the New Year that WG2 was really gone. It hit me and I'm not happy about it. Thankfully, I have the new Britney album to rock out to right now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm Outta Here!

As I write this, I am on the couch of my Hampton Inn hotel room in DuBois, PA (obvi with the TV on because the Britney Spears documentary starts in a half hour and I want to hear her excuses for why she a) married K. Fed, b) dated that paparazzi dude, and c) went crazy and chopped off her hair). 

So, today has been a helluva day. I woke up early this morning, walked to Jersey City to pick up my U-Haul, had my movers come to put my shit in said U-Haul, drove (almost) halfway to Chicago in a rainstorm, got stuck in traffic, and have finally stopped off for the night in a pretty nice hotel room (which is most likely the size of my new apartment). 

And I can't help but get this ohmygoshthisisreallyhappening feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I pass a sign that says "50 miles to [insert town name here]". It has finally hit me that the moment is here. I am moving to Chicago and there is no stopping me. 

It's a bittersweet feeling. Because of course I'm excited, but this past week I had to say goodbye to a lot of things that I'm going to miss. I had to say goodbye to my friends - the girls (and guys) who have been there for me for the past six years. WG1 planned a fab going-away partay which included a beautiful dinner at Jane, lots of hardcore drinking, and of course lots of dance-offs. I may or may not have even pushed good looking males off the dance floor so WG1 and our friend K, could do a super rendition of "Womanizer" for the whole bar. Two of my friends even came into NYC from Boston and Hartford for the occasion!  I can't say anything about these girls without getting teary-eyed because they supported me, listened to me, and loved me when I needed it the most. For that I will always be grateful and that weekend meant a lot to me.

And of course I'm going to miss NYC. Who wouldn't? It's a mecca of all things amazing - nightlife, fashion, Broadway, food! I'm going to miss it all. I'll miss my favorite bars like Swig, Wicker Park, and Joshua Tree. I will of course my favorite lunchtime meals at places like Blue 9 Burger, Barbounia and Mozzarelli's. I'll even miss Hoboken - how most of the people in my neighborhood knew me and would wave and smile each morning on my walk to the PATH (though I will not miss the PDA on my morning commute). 

And since this is a blog about working, how can I not mention my former job? My last day was last week and it was sad to say goodbye. My going away happy hour was the bomb and my company even paid for all the drinks and appetizers! Yay! And though I have complained endlessly on this blog, I am going to miss my job. Maybe I'm not going to miss a lot of the aspects of it but I am going to miss my core work friends, the comfort levels I had with all my co-workers, and the daily camaraderie. 

But while I'm sad to leave things behind, I'm also looking forward to all the new things in my life. New job, newfound relationships with my family and old friends, new city, new restaurants, new bars! So it's bittersweet. I can't wait for the new, but I'm going to miss the old. 

All right, time to lay down my weary and tired head. I have a long day of driving to accomplish tomorrow! Not to mention moving in, setting up cable, and of course a trip to Target

P.S. I know some readers were worried that since I was leaving behind the Big Apple that I would stop blogging. Have no fear, I will continue to regale you with my Working Girl stories - they will just have a different setting and new faces. I'm addicted to you guys so it would be pretty impossible to stop blogging now. Unfortunately, you are stuck with me for a little while longer :) 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Working Girls!

We hope you enjoy a well-deserved day (or two) off from work and have many things to be thankful for this year!

Love,

WG1 and WG2

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Today I am Bored

Today has been painfully slow. WG2 is too busy training the new her and cleaning out her desk to talk to me about the lack of Gossip Girl last night or Speidi's recent wedding or the reasons why I want to see Twilight 100 more times. So, I'm here, at my desk, with only the internet to entertain me. It's the perfect time for a "What I Do While I'm Bored at Work" post.
  • Typically on Tuesdays I'm hungover on pizza and Gossip Girl. One of the first things I do in the morning is head over to NYMag.com and find their recap of Monday night's episode. Written by New Yorkers and Gossip Girl lovers, Jessica Pressler and Chris Rovzar, it is the best TV recap I've ever read. Jessica and Chris give and take away points for the realness and fakeness of the show. For your reading pleasure, here is last week's recap of the Thanksgiving episode.
  • Since moving over the marketing department, it's become more acceptable toLink listen to music while I work (I have had to answer my boss's phone in ages). Rather than waste my precious iTouch's battery at work, I listen to Pandora. Type in your favorite artist and Pandora will play that artist and artists with a similar sound for as long as you like, for free! I high recommend trying Lady Gaga radio. Pandora doesn't have rights to her music yet, but the artists that sound like her are fan-freakin-tastic.
  • My mother is most likely finished with her holiday shopping. My brother, sister and I, on the other hand, are usually at Target on Christmas Eve trying not to kill one another while trying to shop for everyone on our list. This year, I vow not to make that trip. Thanks to Gifts.com that may actually happen. The best part? There is a super fun personality profiler. Answer questions about someone on your list and receive great gift suggestions. Or do it for yourself and see which personality you are. I got hipster and while I'm so not a hipster, at least by New York standards, I loved most of the gift suggestions.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Training the Newbie

I spent the majority of last week making a to-do list for training the new "me". Fine, ok, I spent about half a day making the list and most of the rest of the time reading this, and this, and this (what!? I like reading blogs so sue me). 

So today was the newbie's first day. And what a day it was.

First of all, that document I made for the newbie's training was 5 pages long. I am unfortunately not exaggerating. It is only Monday and we have just gotten onto page 2. Which made me realize that I didn't think I did much at my company until I made this training sheet. Events all year long, numerous newsletters, agendas, scheduling meetings, answering phones, not to mention the other 400 things I do. Whew. A mouthful. I mean really, how did I manage to do all that and be on Gchat all day? And read blogs? And be addicted to Perez? Yea, I don't get it either.

The amount I manage to get done is apparently overwhelming. And I could see that in the newbie's face as 6 o'clock rolled around and we were still focusing on how to throw an office party. I guess I'm really making sure she knows everything. It's all in the details and unfortunately for me most of those details are up in my brain. And I really wish that we could take my brain and filter all those minute details into her brain. Don't you just wish life was that easy? 

This training day not only made me realize that I had a lot of work to do on a daily basis, but it also got me worried. In just a week I will be starting my new job in Chicago. And I think it has finally hit me. I'm leaving. I'm outta here. See ya! 

And I'm scared. In a few days, I will be the newbie in a new town, in a new city, in a new job with new responsibilities. I'll be learning the ropes from a girl who knows it all. I will be devoid of knowledge and I won't have any work friends. It's scary! 

But mixed in somewhere with all those butterflies is the excitement. I'm so ready to be the newbie. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Free career tests are my new favorite past-time at work. The latest one I found decides what your career should be by what pattern you prefer more. Squares or swirls? Apparently my choice makes me the perfect Personal Assistant. Womp, womp.
  • Always wanted to know what all the fuss was about your carbon footprint? With the help of the working women of EcoStiletto you can find out how to decrease your carbon footprint from the size of an Ugg boot into a slender Manolo. EcoStiletto helps us understand the green movement in "real-girl terms" and features green picks in fashion, beauty, and helps us continue living the good life without harming the earth.

    • According to the New York Post, Lipstick Jungle, the TV show about three high-powered working women in NYC has been cancelled. Rumors have been floating around all week (is it or isn't it?), but according to this article that was published yesterday, the crew members of the show confirmed that the show has in fact been axed from NBC. Let it go Brooke Shields, let it go.




    That's all for this week's news girls! I leave you with my new favorite girl power song of the moment Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Quirky About My Trash

It is my last full week of work at my current company. How great is it to actually say that! There are a lot of things that I'm going to miss about my job (aka some of the people and the girl at Cosi who knows my breakfast order by heart), but some things I won't miss are The New Kid and the latest thing he does that peeves me off to no end. His new favorite thing is to use my trash can for his trash. 

I know, I know it's quirky. And I know that I shouldn't hate him for needing to throw out some paper or his morning coffee. But it does. It kills me. It really kills me that he can't use his own trash can. 

I sit in a corner cubicle so my trash can is one that is readily available to everyone. Throughout the day I notice it accumulating more and more trash throughout the day. A piece of paper here, a paper clip here, a soda can, a half-eaten bagel. But then there are the times that people throw out something smelly and that really bothers me. See, I have a sensitive sense of smell. WG1 can attest to this. When we lived together, I had to run out of the room whenever she made tuna. It made me gag. 

Bananas have the same effect on me. I can't stand their smell (not to mention it really makes me laugh when people eat them in public - it just looks so lewd!). So when The New Kid threw out a banana in my garbage can a few weeks back, I wanted to punch him in the face. He has his own! Why use mine? 

I know I will never get over this quirk. It's just something I'm not good at. That little thing called sharing. My friend, Pam, and I were talking about it on Gchat the other day (while we should have been working - whoops) about how we just aren't good sharers. We don't like sharing food. We don't like sharing books. And I'm sure Pam would agree that sharing a garbage can is hard work. 

Obviously this is something I need to work on. But one thing I refuse to work on...liking The New Kid

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feedback, Feedback, OH!

My younger sister sent me an email a few minutes before midnight yesterday. Bless her college bedtime. This is what she wrote:

"[my friends and i] were just discussing your blog
and we decided we like when there are pictures, youtube videos, links, etc
we also like the blogs titled: "while i was procrastinating at work today, i found..."
k, loveeee ya!"

It got me thinking. WG2 and I often discuss, and sometimes fight about, what we think you like about Working Girl. What posts you enjoy and comment on. Whether or not we should write more informative posts about interviews, resumes, bosses, etc. We pretty much base our arguments on your comments. But I know, I sometimes read a post on a blog, have my own thoughts and do not post a comment.

So, we're asking for your feedback. What do you like? What don't you like? Do we complain too much? Should we complain more? (Because I totally can if you want!) How do you feel about features like Ask Working Girl, Meeting Notes, Working Girl Wears or contributor posts?

Oh and Sister, I'll write a "while i was procrastinating at work, i found..." post soon!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best (Interview) Day of My Life: Part 2

In my last post, I regaled you with my giant dilemma. A dilemma, I admit, that doesn't seem so bad from an outsider's point of view. I had just found out that I had gotten into Northwestern's journalism graduate program after being on the wait list for three months.

In addition, I had just flown from New York to Chicago and had a wonderful interview with a great mid-sized company (not to mention, I met Hanson). And after I had boarded the plane to go back to NYC, they had called to ask for references. 

I was blown away. Things like this don't happen to me. Often times I will get lucky and some things will just fall into place, but never multiple things at once. I get a job, but have no apartment. I get into college, but not my dream college. You know the drill. 

So I had to sit down and make a choice. And it was a really, really hard one to make. Especially when HR called and offered me the job with a pay increase and benefits that didn't make you want to cringe (like mine at my current job), but instead made me weep with joy.

I sat down that weekend after Halloween and thought long and hard about what I wanted, what I needed, and what I could afford. 

Graduate school was what I wanted. I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. I used to write short stories about eleven sisters and their parents - the Que family (which I was convinced would make me the next Ann M. Martin). My more grown-up dream was to write for a glossy magazine and Northwestern's pricey $80,000 dollar education could help me achieve that dream.

The flip side of the dream, is the harsh reality. My father always made it clear that if I were to go to grad school that I would do it on my own and with my own money. Money, which I unfortunately do not have. Money which would need to come from loans since I don't have time to apply for scholarships or grants since I would start school in a mere two months. Unfortunately, the problems don't stop at the money. Once I graduate, the hope is to leave with a degree that will make me more money in a higher position. This is of course not guaranteed. And I could potentially wind up broke, in debt, and without a job come January 2010. Not to mention that print journalism isn't faring too well in this economy. 

The job offer on the other hand offers me the opportunity to save money (and with my raise and living in a cheaper city - I might actually be able to save for once!), the opportunity to grow and be successful in a career path that I hadn't considered at first but now have grown to enjoy, and I still have the opportunity to live near my family and Chicago friends. Not to mention I will have kick-ass benefits and get to travel! And more importantly, get paid to do so. 

I think you see where I am going with this. When I got the call last week that I had officially received the job, I told them I would think about it. But ultimately, I have decided that this job got me just as excited as the idea of grad school did. So I called them and accepted the offer and I start my new job as Project Coordinator on December 3rd. 

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I've started looking at one-bedroom apartments in the Wrigleyville and Lakeview areas. My friends in Chicago and I are planning wine exchange parties and Christmas parties and yoga classes on Saturday morning. My dad and I are planning dinners together and movies on Sundays. I'm excited to be back in my hometown. 

And don't worry, I don't plan on giving up on my dream of writing for a living. Those stories about the Que's were where I started my writing career and I think it's about time I got back to my roots and start writing fiction again. My first order of business (after filling my craving for a Corner Bakery sandwich) when I move back to Chicago is to enroll myself in a creative writing course. I would love to keep writing, but on my own terms. 

So as of last week, I gave my two week's notice at my current job and am going to be sending a letter of deferment to Northwestern (because a grad degree may be in my future - just not the immediate future). 

I am on my way to living my dream and I couldn't be happier. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • See ya People!: Time Inc. is making more layoffs due to the bad economy. According to Gawker, People Magazine asked editorial staffers to volunteer for 18 buyouts. If, by December 1st, 18 employees don't take the buyouts People will conduct involuntary layoffs.
  • Rich Girl: We believe a Working Girl can accomplish almost anything...with hard work and dedication, of course. However Sheree of The Real Housewives of Atlanta believes you just need to be rich. On Tuesday's episode, Sheree hired designers to create She by Sheree. The outcome? A glitzy (any by glitzy, I mean tacky) party to show her designs without any designs! Maybe you should your own elbow grease into next time, Sheree.
  • Working Girl Asks: Lately WG2 and I have been cutting back on shopping and take-out to save some money. We want to know, how has the economic crisis begun affecting you?
  • CUTENESS!: During a long day's work, we all need a little cheering up. Something to make us smile. That's were the puppies come in. I've watched them every day this week. Even when they are napping, I'm fixated. Enjoy:
Online TV Shows by Ustream

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let's Play House!

This evening, around our dinner table (and by table I mean counter), my roommates and I discussed the things we loved to do as kids. The conversation began with Disney World then made it's was to dolls and finally to the pretend games we just to play. 

School, doctor, dentist, office, store and even church made the this. My roommate, LP, profoundly said, "it's so weird, we played all these games when we're little because it's what we want to be when we grow up and then we grow up and we become these things and we're miserable." For the record, I was miserable playing church but when you're great aunt is a nun and your great uncle is a priest, when you visit them that's what you play.

My favorite of these games as a kid was actually playing "teenagers." My friends and I would pretend we were cool, popular high school girls with cars and boyfriends. We'd go on dates with our pretend boyfriends, shop at the mall and put on make-up. This probably explains why, at the age of 23, my friends call me a teeny bopper. 

But LP was right, we'd played office and house and love every moment of it. Now, I work in an office and have a house (and by house, I mean small apartment) and well, I don't love every moment of it. Office is not just typing at a desk and writing memo's and having meetings about who was cuter: Corey Matthews or Shawn Hunter. House or small apartment is not just cleaning and cooking. Office is doing actual work and having deadlines and a boss who you have to impress. Small apartment is actually cleaning (and paying for cleaning products), actually doing laundry and actually cooking.

Some days, I'd give anything to be a kid again. Playing games and dress up. Not having a care in the world besides finishing dinner so mom will give you dessert.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ask Working Girl

Have a work-related question? Blog-related question? Or want to know something random about one of us? Ask! Send your questions to WorkingGirlOne@gmail.com or WorkingGirlTwo@gmail.com or just post a comment here. Now, onto this week's questions...

SingErin13 asked: I'm currently job hunting (such a daunting task), and do you believe in Internet methods, door to door resume distribution or simply the fact that you need to "know someone". This slump is reeeeally getting to me!

WG2 answered: Wow. Good question. And a hard one to answer. I think it's really just a combination of all three. There is no one method that has proven to be me a job over another. While I was job searching these past few months, I used everything in my power to try and find a job. I distributed my resume to all my family members urging them to be on the lookout for job openings. My dad sent my resume to family friends across the board. I contacted old friends from high school and friends from college. Knowing people is always helpful and in most cases, people want to help you! So don't be embarrassed to send your resume around your inner network. I actually found my current job through just checking career websites on a daily basis - and when I say daily I mean it. Apply for as many jobs as you can every single day. I have never personally tried resume distribution but I am sure it cannot hurt. And I'm sure this technique would impress your future employers! Let us know how your search goes!

Katie K asked: I currently live out in sunny San Diego, and it's getting boring. I've been here my whole life and am looking for a change. I am seriously considering moving to New York, even though it's freezing lol, and I was wondering if you have any tips? I've actually never moved to a new city so I would have no idea how to go about looking for a place or a job. I'm currently a sales assistant for a litigation support firm, so the legal field is my first choice. But starting over in a new city with a new outlook on life would be amazing.

WG2 answered: When I graduated from college almost two years ago (omg, two years already?!), I had two options. One was to find a job in New York City ASAP or move back to Chicago and move in with my dad. At the time, I was adamant that I had to stay in NYC. And I think when it comes to finding a job and apartment in NYC, you have to be in NYC. New York is highly competitive and New Yorkers like to get things done quickly. Being available for interviews at a moment's notice is important. If you have friends or family that live in New Jersey or Connecticut or even in Manhattan, ask if you can live on their couch for a few weeks while you job search. I lived with my friend's family for two months before I found a place to live, but I'm glad I was in Jersey while I searched. 

If this is impossible, you could always try applying to jobs in the New York area while still living in California. If you can fly on a moment's notice then this shouldn't be a problem. That is what I have been doing while trying to find a job in Chicago. And job hunting - oh my lanta - well, it is difficult. I'm not gonna lie. Scouring Craig's List in search of a great deal and if all else fails hire a realtor (but beware of realtor fees - they are killer!). 

Jennifer asked: In your opinion, do you think it's possible for someone to find an hourly job quickly to help them along the way while they work towards looking for that job or do you think it's best to apply to those more professional jobs before making the move? 

WG2 answered: I say apply for both! There is no harm in spreading your resume around. The more jobs you apply to the better! I know that you are looking for a job specifically in NYC, so while yes it may seem like it will be easier to find a hourly gig than a full-time one, you never know when fate will drop the perfect job right in your lap. In short, don't limit yourself to applying for just one type of job. Apply for hourly, temporary, and full-time. You might be surprised at the responses you get. 

Princess Sarah asked: A couple of posts ago I read where you had posted some Job Search Sites. I tried to find it but with no luck. My boyfriend has been trying to find a job since the beginning of October with no such luck. He got a job as a Security Guard but is working the most horrible hours ever and wants to leave and only started yesterday! He has been wanting a job in a company where he can move up if desired. This would be his "first" job out of college. If you could provide some tips, tricks, and some websites it would be greatly appreciated.

WG2 answered: With my latest job search, I became an expert at surfing career websites. Some of my favorites include CareerBuilder.com, Craig's List (just an fyi - beware of scams on this site), Monster.com, Simply Hired, Indeed, Media Bistro, Ed2010, and SoloGig (for temp and freelance jobs). Like I said before, every day after work and on the weekends I would check each of these sites. I probably applied for about 20-30 jobs each week and in total got about 5 responses back. Searching for a new job takes patience. I also believe a stellar cover letter is necessary. When sending out your resume, sit and think about what your cover letter says. Personalize each one to say not only something about why you would be a great fit, but something you admire about their company or how a certain technique you learned in college or at your last job could benefit you in this one you're applying for. If you put in the effort, you will see the results.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WG1 is drained by coworkers. 23 minutes ago.

Recently, a magazine at my company folded. We had an internal meeting at which we were given the news, told that a majority of the staff would soon be informed that they were losing thier jobs and told that a press release would go out that afternoon. To most of us, that meant not to say anything to anyone yet.

Moments after the meeting my coworker, Promo Girl, went on her computer and, out of boredom, checked Facebook. First thing on her Facebook news feed:

Business Boy can't believe that Magazine folded...thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their jobs. 2 minutes ago.

Seriously?! I should mention that Business Boy is Facebook friends with a overwhelming number of people throughout the company. People who had not yet heard the news, people who were possibly losing their jobs. Promo Girl called him immediately and told him to take it down. He protested for a moment before taking down the status.

Business Boy is very protected of his Facebook. After the crazy after-party during our business trip, Business Boy posted inappropriate photos of Michael Scott and the rest of us drinking and looking wasteface. Some were just flat out unflattering photos of yours truly and others, as one of my coworkers put it "the kind of pictures that could get someone fired."

Any rational employee would not have posted photos like this of their boss and coworkers. A rational employee would not have put the magazine's name in each photo caption and photo album title.

I told Business Boy that they was a lot of discussion going on about the album and that maybe he should edit them down. I didn't want to tell him what to do with his photos on his Facebook profile but someone had to tell him. He replied by telling me that, yes, they were his photos and htat he didn't tag anyone so it didn't matter.

Didn't matter? This is the internet we're talking about. It took several more conversations from several more coworkers to convince Business Boy that they pictures were not ok to post on the internet.

Two other coworkers changed their Facebook status to a comment about the folding Magazine. With social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, personal information the line between personal life and work life are thing. Work is a huge part of our lives. I spend more time at work than I do at home and more time with my coworkers than with my family or friends. But there is a line that just shouldn't be crossed when it comes to business information entering your personal life.

The Best (Interview) Day of My Life: Part 1

I have a confession to make. I have been withholding information you guys. Before you start coming at me with pitchforks, let me explain. After I didn't get the last job (or should I say jobs) that I interviewed for back in September, I was convinced I had jinxed myself. So any other leads or opportunities that have fallen in my path I have tried to be vague about. I didn't want to jinx myself again. 

Well, it seems the curse has lifted my friends because for the last two weeks I have felt like I'm in a cheesy rom com where everything seems to fall into place and the main character now has to make a really difficult decision between two really great opportunities. Apparently, I'm playing the lead character. 

Right after I got that sketchy e-mail from my last interview telling me that they were going to keep interviewing for the position, I received an e-mail from a company in Chicago asking if I was still interested in a Project Coordinator position they had open. The HR rep had thought that since I was from New York that I must have applied the wrong position on their website. I immediately called back and explained my situation. From there, I had four phone interviews each with a different person in the company. 

After the fourth call, they offered to fly me out to Chicago for an in-person interview. I couldn't believe my ears. None of the other interviews that I had gone to had offered to pay for my flight and I was convinced that this was the real deal. They seemed really interested in me! 

So I told The Boss that I was taking a personal day to go home to see my dad and on Halloween, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight out of Newark to Chicago. Bleary eyed and with major butterflies in my stomach, I boarded the plane and walked to my seat. When I got to 29F, it seemed that someone else was in my spot, so I sleepily sputtered, "Excuse me, are you 29F because I think you're in my seat?"

The seat stealer had a hat on, so I didn't realize until he looked up at me that the guy I spent obsessing over for hours and hours on end as a thirteen (and even at sixteen) year old tween was on my plane. I had just told Taylor Hanson that he was in my seat. And asleep behind him was Isaac Hanson (oh how I pined over him). 

"Oh, no, I'm 30F. I think that is your seat," Taylor Hanson said and pointed at the seat in front of him. So with no grace whatsoever, I flung myself into my seat and texted my sister (who is also a true Hanson fan), WG1, and our Fabulous Project Manager that Hanson was on my plane.

I have spotted celebrities before. In fact, my sister would say that I attract them. But I live in New York so while you may be surprised to see Keanu Reeves sitting behind you at a movie theater in Union Square, it's not exactly impossible. I've also recently spotted Penn Badgley on the street and ran into Starr Jones at Victoria's Secret. 

But Hanson on my plane sent me into a tizzy (just an fyi, Zac was no where to be found). I told WG1 on the phone later that I could have died happy and I wasn't lying. Those boys were my childhood in a nutshell. My obsession was ridiculous. I only ate red candy for a while because Taylor Hanson's favorite color was red. Wow, big confession there. 

I took this plane ride as a sign. Chicago was where I was meant to be and this interview was going to go flawlessly. 

The interview did go well. I spent two hours chatting with the Director of Sales, the current Project Coordinator, and then got a tour of the company's two floors. Since it was Halloween everyone was dressed in costume (my favorite was a full-on cracked out Amy Winehouse) and they had had a pumpkin carving contest the day before so all the pumpkins were on display in the front hall. My favorite was the pumpkin carved like a hamburger complete with real lettuce, tomatoes and mustard. 


All of the employees went out of their way to be nice to me and I had a great time. Not to mention the job description (event planning! travel!) didn't sound too shabby. I left the interview feeling confident but cautious because we all know my history with the jinx curse. My dad and I met up for lunch at Blackie's where I ate a scrumptious burger and fries. 

Then I jumped in a cab back to O'Hare airport and boarded my plane back to New York. Since it was Halloween (and I had already bought myself a costume), I jetted on over to WG1's apartment where I got drunk on champagne and had a great night out with my friends from college. As usual we ended up at some dive bar on the UES and I spent most of night dancing to Jordin Sparks and Lady Gaga

Monday morning I was still on my "I met Hanson" high and couldn't be brought down. I had met the loves of my life and had a stellar interview. And then I received a voicemail. 

Not as scary as it may seem. I mentioned a while back that I had applied to graduate school and had gotten placed on the wait list. The voicemail was from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern asking me to call them back. My first thought was that they must be desperate to get some bodies to commit to their upcoming Open House. 

So I called him back really out of sheer curiosity and was greeted with, "Congratulations! You've been accepted for winter admission!" 

I had just been greeted with the news of my dreams, but after the best interview ever I didn't know anymore if I wanted that dream to be a reality.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • I often steal Women's Wear Daily from the front desk if I'm feeling particularly gutsy and I am so glad that I did this week because otherwise I would not have known that Alexander McQueen is going to be making a line for Target. Yes, it is a fact. Scream and giggle all you want because today is a momentous day in the world of fashion. Oh, and we hear that the line is gonna be edgy and studded and tattooed. I might sleep outside the store just to get a T-shirt.
  • Is it just me or do the words 'Heidi' and 'unemployed' make you giddy? If you haven't seen the clip from The Hills of Heidi getting the axe after getting too sauced (at work mind you), you must go find it immediately. What I don't understand is why she no longer had her cushy corner office and had to vacate from a cubicle? Also, when I leave my job I hope I have more to take home than just my purse (because we all know I am totally taking that huge box of paper clips and a stack of Post-Its!). 
  • Planning on going to business school any time soon? Seems the time is of the essence. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, with the economy in a slump people are applying more than ever to go back to school and get their MBA's. 
  • But going back to business school sure has its perks! Another article in the Wall Street Journal (which is apparently my new must read) says that a lot of business schools in London will be using the 2012 Summer Olympics as a teaching tool for lessons in tourism and marketing. So if you're in the midst of choosing a business school, my advice is to hit up the UK. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Millennials Get Jobs

Apparently, us kids born between the years 1980 and 2001 have just been given a new nickname and it is the Millennials. 

My father (who is really into me making this job my future career - yay for working from home!), sent me an article in the mail the other day from the Wall Street Journal. The article was really an adaptation from Ron Alsop's new book "The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace"

And let me tell you. This "shaking" they speak of does not include moving of one's hips to music - unfortunately this shaking is used in a more negative connotation. 

In his book, Alsop speaks of a generation that have crazy expectations of how they see themselves at a company as well as in their positions. As the article says, "Employers realize the millennials are their future work force, but they are concerned about this generation's desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace." 

We millennials grew up in a different era than our grandparents and our parents. We were told we could do anything, achieve anything, be anything we wanted to be. We got trophies just for showing up to practice. Even if we got C's and D's on our report cards, we got praise. And now that we're all grown up and entering the work force, we expect nothing but the best. We expect higher pay, flexible work schedules, and longer vacations. Why not? We can have anything we want and be anything we want to be. And if our employers don't like it? So what! We'll get it somewhere else. 

The article really intrigued me mainly because as I was reading it I kept nodding and thinking, 'I totally deserve a pay raise' and 'I have so many talents they could never fire me'. Growing up with a sense of entitlement ingrained in my brain apparently can have some negative effects.

The article also addressed how managers have to adapt to a millennial's mindset in order to make their inexperienced  and high-maintenance employee a more respective and effective employee. His tips to winning us over? Make sure that the job responsibilities that we explained in terms of how they will pay off for us in the end, explain the meaningfulness behind a subject, and place us in an environment where we feel like our views matter. 

Alsop also says that if we are not given enough positive reviews mixed in with our criticism, that you may as well kiss us goodbye. Because millennials are not good with negative. We like the positive and a lot of it. Sure, we can take a negative hit, but follow that up with something positive. Alsop says if we hear too much 'no' and 'not that way' that we will up and quit because "millinnials break down in tears after a negative performance and even quit their jobs". 

Have you been nodding this entire time too? Because I have. 

I am so a Millennial. And some of the scenarios that the article talked about (like a guy who had gone through 3 jobs in one year and saw nothing wrong with it) don't sound like they came out of left field. And the part about needing positive reinforcement. That fits me to a tee. 

I think what I really garnered from this article was the importance of asking for what you want and thinking you can be anything...but within reason. It's perfectly reasonable to want vacation time or more sick days, but taking advantage is bad employee etiquette. Respecting your employer is of the utmost importance, and thinking that you could potentially go from assistant to CEO in a year is utterly impossible. 

While this article does speak a lot about entitlement, I don't think it meant to discourage. In fact, I really think it aids the employer. It tells them how to deal with us - delicately. 

And while yes, I completely agree that I saw myself in the description of Alsop's "Millennial", I also think that over the course of the year and half that I have been in my first job I have grown up. I still think of myself as deserving, but I also know that to truly deserve anything I have to prove myself. And proving yourself takes a while, but once earned can take you quite far in your career. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Biggest Winner

When I told you about my drunken escapades out west, I forgot to mention one thing. 

My company gym is doing a new program called "The Biggest Winner," much like the show The Biggest Loser and what WG2 did at work in the spring. Since I've been paying $60 a month for the gym in my work building and haven't worked out in months, I thought this would be the perfect motivation to get my ass to the gym. In order to participate you need to be on a group of 4. 

So, what does this have to do with WG1 getting wasteface, you ask? 

Well, during all of the drunkenness Michael Scott mentioned that he wanted to participate in the program. I told me I wanted to also. Now, we're on the same team. Along with my female boss and another coworker. We get weighed-in once a week and will soon start bi-weekly tandem workouts.

My coworkers think this is the most hysterical thing ever. Almost every day Michael Scott asks me if I worked out or when I'm working out or if I weighed-in yet. While this a sufficiently awkward situation for me, it's also helping me to develop a working relationship with Michael Scott. 

For example, last week a coworker of mine informed me that Michael Scott's daughter was dressing up as the same thing I was for Halloween: Hannah Montana. Upon learning this, I went to his office and asked what she was going to wear. Because she's like 7, she was able to purchase a special Hannah Montana costume. Something they do not have for adults. Yes, I checked. Before the drunkenness and "The Biggest Winner" I would not have spoken to Michael Scott about it because I would have felt weird. 

So, wish me luck! I need to get my act together, get my ass to the gym and help my team win otherwise it could get really awkward.