Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let's Play a Game...

It’s called…’Guess When WG2 Was More Accomplished: In College or In the Workplace?’

1. In college, WG2 was an editor at her college newspaper where she edited up to 10 articles a week (and even wrote some too!). In the workplace, WG2 secretly edits her own blog posts (and sometimes thinks writing two a week seems like a daunting task).

2. In college, WG2 dutifully attended five courses each semester and took lengthy notes. In the workplace, WG2 falls asleep at meetings and doodles on her to-do list.

3. In college, WG2 barely had time to roam the Internet unless it was to research papers on Irish politics or Native-American literature. In the workplace, WG2 spends most her time reading Perez and scoping out other sites that will help her avoid doing work.

4. In college, WG2 went to class hung over or still drunk, and while she was not a pleasant sight, it did not affect her work. In the workplace, WG2’s co-workers have ridiculed her for days on end for her inability to complete work after a night of wine-tasting.


1) In college

2) In college

3) In college

4) In college

In college, I was an accomplished editor, student, and more importantly could drink WG1’s boyfriend under the table.

In the workplace, I’m lazy. Which I blame on boredom and a lack of tasks to do daily. So, it seemed fitting that I ask for a promotion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Commuting Karma

Karma isn't always a bitch, commuting almost always is. This morning as I commuted to work, I thought about what I might write in a post about commuting, the dos and don'ts of commuting, my biggest pet peeves, etc. Thinking about these things got me irritated and riled up during my commute. I even shoved a girl, yes shoved. Not my proudest moment. I become a completely different person the moment I step off the bus and into the Post Authority. 

After the shove, I heard the "ding dong" sound that indicates that the doors to the 'A' train I was attempting to hop on were closing. One of the first to be waiting for the next train, I stood patiently knowing that I had chosen a spot to stand that would align me with the doors of the train. I soon noticed a man getting closer to the tracks as a train came near, edging closer and closer to coveted spot and as the train stopped he was right next to the door, kindly letting people off. Still riled up from my horrific commuting thoughts, I was heating and wanted to cut him off. I restrained and moved to stand behind him. Just as I was about to give me a mean look, he gestured for me to stand in front of him "First come, first served," he said. 

I immediately felt bad for shoving the girl, almost giving this nice man a mean look, oh and cursing an old lady who was walking slowly. I was reminded that some commuters are kind, not in a rush, and thought maybe all those times I held the door for someone had finally paid off. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Friends Forever (Or At Least During the Week)

Making friends in the workplace is a long and painful process. In college, making friends is simple. Knock back three shots of vodka on a Saturday night with your freshman roommate, roam the halls searching for parties, and I can pretty much guarantee that that girl who offers you one of her Mike’s Hard Lemonades will be your new cafeteria buddy, or that girl from your French class will recognize you as you stagger out of the communal bathrooms and ask you if you’ll join her for a beer out of her mini-fridge (good Lord, do I miss those days!).

Work friends are a different story. For one thing, unlike college, no one is starting on a level playing field. Your employees have already made their friends and are going to be wary to let you into their clique (and, oh boy, do office cliques exist). Also, not everyone is the same age so starting a conversation with the 45-year-old in the cubicle next to you about your latest obsession with Chace Crawford might not be the best conversation starter. Work friends may be hard to attain, but there are some ways to try and find yourself a new lunch buddy. Plus, according to Rath’s Gallup Organization research, people with at least three friends at work were 46% more likely to be satisfied with their job. So get out there and make a friend and you just might find that work ain’t so bad after all.

Put yourself out there.
Sitting at your cubicle day in and day out not speaking to anyone will assure you lunches spent alone reading the latest best-selling novel at the deli next your office. I speak from experience here. For the first few months at my first job, I avoided eating lunch in the office to avoid conversations with my fellow co-workers. I blame it on my shy demeanor and my bitterness at not landing an editorial job right out of college. But being bitter is no way to start a friendship. Nor is being too shy to make eye contact with people while grabbing coffee in the kitchen in the morning.

Flattery will get you everywhere.
I truly believe compliments were the key to me securing work friendships. “Oh, is that a new dress?” and “Where did you get cute bracelet from?” are my favorite words to put together while at work. Not only do people think you are truly interested in what they are wearing and saying, but it also takes up at least ten minutes of your boring day to hear about how that dress is actually two years old (and just looks new because your co-worker is great at taking things to the cleaners) and how J.Crew is having a sale on jewelry.

Look enthralled.
Asking follow-up questions and appearing to be interested in your co-worker’s new low-sodium diet is, yes, I realize, very, very hard. Because you could really care less if she can only season her vegetables and chicken with lemon despite her love of soy sauce and table salt. But, feigning interest will in fact be beneficial to you and earn you work friends. And someday the new girl will have to listen to you rattle on about your eating habits.

Never be afraid to ask for help.
Odd as this may seem, a lot of my close work friends are either in my department or sit near the office machinery, meaning the copy machine, fax machine, you get the picture. Don’t be scared to ask those around you for help when scanning a document for your boss or making 20 copies of your meeting’s agenda. Helping hands will be eager to assist, and you might even get a new friend out of the deal.

And remember, a work friend means someone you can gossip with and let’s face it, gossip is the best cure to a boring day at the office.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

There is Something About Sunday Night that Really Makes You Want to Kill Yourself

It's Sunday night, right around seven, and in twelve hours I will begin yet another work week. And this week I will be hitting the eight month mark. For the most part, for the past eight months, I have gone to work, done my job, and once I'm out the door have not let work stress me out.

That has changed. I'm having dreams about work and people at work. My mind is consumed with thoughts about work. Oh, and I'm breaking out, which really makes me feel great.

I'm stressed and dreading this week for a few reasons.

One of my bosses is on vacation in Aruba, leaving me with her workload during the layout of our April issue. I'm beyond stressed out about this because last time she went on vacation we were working on the layout of the September issue. I had been working for, maybe, a few weeks and I royally screwed up, told clients some things I didn't know I wasn't supposed to say, and got throw under the bus by my boss (that story is for another post). I learned my lesson that time, but I'm still not looking forward to it this week.

My other boss, my Facebook friend boss, resigned two weeks ago. She's leaving to work at another magazine in the company. This week is her last week. We are currently working on her turnover report by printing account sheets, proposals, and e-mails and putting them into binders. I think I'm single-handedly destroying the environment. Putting together turnover reports is quite a task, but not nearly as time-consuming as taking on her workload starting a week from tomorrow. Also, I'm bummed she's leaving. Really bummed. I even cried a little when she told me.

Finally, on Friday I got quite the bomb dropped on me. An additional sales rep has been hired, and guess who is going to be her assistant? Moi! Our associate publisher informed me of this at 3:00 PM on Friday. And like a true salesman, he completely sold me on it. He buttered me up, told me how great I was at my job, that he always hears great things about me, that I could handle anything throw at me. Then he threw it at me. I left his office feeling OK about it. "It is what it is," I thought. My boss (Facebook friend boss) wasn't too thrilled and made me realize I got sold. The weekend has given me time to think about how much my workload is going to change and how much more difficult it's going to be to assist three people. Because of this change in my job description, I'm going to be doing something I never thought I'd do in a sales assistant position...but more to come on that.

So, that is why I'm stressed. And why I've been eating cookies and watching America's Next Top Model all day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Will Be the Biggest Loser

I hate dieting. I prefer McDonald's over Lean Cuisine and take-out Chinese food over homemade dinners. I used to be good at exercising at least twice a week, now I'm lucky if I work out twice a month. And it shows. And mostly I blame my leniency with what food I put in my body and how often I exercise on work. It's easier to get fast food when you only have an hour to eat and I get home late so I don't have time to make it to the gym. This my rationale at explaining how I've suddenly gained ten pounds since entering the work force.

I never thought, however, that the solution to my problem would be what I deem my nemesis – the workplace. Research has started to show that workplace diets are becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. Mainly because group dieting has proven to be more effective than dieting alone is. A lot more "enlightened" companies are beginning to offer healthier lunches in their cafeterias, lunchtime exercise programs, on-site gym facilities, and my personal favorite "Biggest Loser" competitions where employees compete over a period of time for a large prize for losing the most weight.

Even I, Working Girl Two self-proclaimed hater of diets, have joined in on the workplace diet phase and have entered my company's "Biggest Loser" competition. My company is trying to follow the actual show's rules as closely as possible, which means we were separated into five teams of six, told to elect team captains, and were assigned colors to tell us apart. You are now looking at the red team captain (oh, and our team name is "The Milky Weighers" in case you want a good chuckle today). Every week, we get weighed in and we are judged on the percentage of weight we have lost. According to that, our teams go back and deliberate on who should be voted off (yes, Survivor style). Eventually, like on the show, the teams will condense into four individual players who will then compete for the grand prize. And oh, how grand this prize is…a week-long spa vacation including airfare paid for by our CEO (and no, this doesn't count for the one week vacation I get yearly, this is in addition). I think you now understand why I have entered.

Even though my teammates and I have only been dieting for a week now, I am already starting to feel better about myself. I've visibly begun to lose some weight (although I'm told this is just water weight), am starting to enjoy low-calorie, low-fat pre-packaged meals, and am sweating like a pig at the gym every night. And let me tell you, it feels great. And the only reason that I'm able to do this is because of my co-workers. Every day, they come over to check what I'm having for lunch (today was Lean Cuisine Mac & Cheese which was delicious!) and even gave me tips before I went off for a long weekend filled with day drinking and basketball games – I was warned to only drink clear liquor, light beer, and to avoid nachos and hot wings. And to my surprise, I didn't eat any pizza or French fries because I didn't want to disappoint my team when I step on that scale this Friday.

A few quick tips from the pro (that means me), try to bring your lunches everyday and this will reduce your need for a taco from the restaurant around the corner. A special tip, try going early to work on Monday and stopping at a local supermarket to purchase meals. This way, you'll have your lunches for the week right at your fingertips. Don't skip breakfast – eat an apple or some oatmeal instead. And last but not least, try teaming up with someone at work. If you're doing this for someone else instead of just for yourself, odds are you won't cheat as much.

For more tips on staying skinny at your workplace, click here for 8 ways to stay healthy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thank You, It's Cashmere

"Cashmere Mafia" has been said to do for women and their careers what "Sex & the City" did for women and their relationships. Or so I heard.

Sex & the City made me want a man, among other things, but we're not that kind of blog.

"Cashmere Mafia" makes me want to take on the business world in a couture dress and 4-inch heels. Friends since business school, Mia, Zoe, Juliet, and Caitlin are at the top of their careers and, like our "Sex & the City" heroines, are living the fabulous life in Manhattan.

For me, professionally, the most exciting character is magazine publisher Mia, played by Lucy Liu. In the first episode she must fight for the position of publisher against her fiancee. I have to admit that during their power plays, I smiled inside when Mia said to her fiancee in a hushed and husky voice something about nailing a 6-page spread and fashion advertorial for one the companies many books. I'm new at this publishing thing, but I'm sure a 6-page spread would turn any publisher on.

As a Working Girl, I find the colleagues around investment banker Zoe the most interesting. In the pilot, Zoe walks into her office to find junior analyst, Katherine, sitting at her desk, on the phone with an important client. Essentially, Katherine is an assistant. An assistant who doesn't get research to Zoe in time for an client meeting, calls Zoe in the morning to ask for a 'mental health' day, leaves with work unfinished and without telling Zoe. Zoe describes Katherine as being a part of Generation I.D., I Deserve. Watching the pilot, I was offended by this comment. Maybe I've been lucky enough to be surrounded by hard-working and dedicated Working Girls, but certainly don't think most of us are of the "I Deserve" school.

As a recent college grad, Caitlin reminds me the good 'ole days. Okay, so she's in her 30's in the show but she's the most relatable for a 22-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She even wakes up hung-over on her office couch after a night out. Many of my Friday mornings would be much easier to deal with if I had my own office with a couch. One day.

And Juliet, well, she has the complexion of Miranda, talks like Samantha, and has the demeanor of Charlotte. I'm not quite sure what she does for a living, something with hotels.

While reviews have been mixed, "Cashmere Mafia" is the perfect Working Girl show, and what else are you going to watch now that "Grey's" and "Gossip Girl" are over? There are only four episodes left in the short season so watch them on Wednesdays at 10:00, be sure to watch the first three on, and on Thursday come back to Working Girl for my thoughts on the episode. Yes, I'm pretending to be a TV critic, just let me have my fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Working Girl Two and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Interview

Since I started my current job back in May, I've been looking for a new job. There are many reasons for this, but to put it bluntly this is never what I imagined myself doing after college. I've always wanted to write, and if you look at my resume things looked like they were going in that direction. But when I interviewed for my current position, I looked at the salary and all my student loan bills and jumped at the opportunity.

I've been applying for other jobs so that I can get back on the 'editorial is my dream job' path. As you might have guessed (since it's almost February), things have not been going well. So, when I snagged an interview with someone in HR at a bigger magazine corporation, I was thrilled to say the least. The interview went beautifully and I was convinced that some great job would pop up magically within the next few weeks and I'd say 'sayonara' to that bi-weekly meeting with Europe that I hate and the copier that I truly believe is out to get me.

About two weeks later, I received the phone call I had been waiting for. My favorite magazine had an opening for a Sales Assistant. Ok, so it wasn't perfect and it certainly wasn't editorial. But it was better pay, better benefits, oh, and did I mention it was my favorite magazine?

I scheduled the interview for 8 a.m. (they offered to come in early for me) and I arrived at 7:45 a.m. that morning. Security called the contact that had scheduled my interview for me, but there was no answer. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Around 9 a.m., the Evil Security Man (that is what I now refer to him as) pointed at me and mouthed 'come here' with a snarl.

"Your contact said you aren't supposed to interview with her, you're supposed to interview with S." He said this as a statement, not a question because obviously this miscommunication is my fault and not S's idiotic assistant’s who set up my interview. I shrug my shoulders and apologize profusely. He continues, "Well, since it isn't the people's fault behind you in line that you made this mistake, you're going to have to wait for my help."

I am now officially on the verge of tears. I am an hour late for my interview because no one told me I was supposed to be interviewing with S and a Security Guard is making me wait in a line that is literally out the door because he deems it my fault. While I am in line waiting, the other Security Guard gets a phone call from C, a woman who works under S. She is apparently supposed to by my interviewer. The nicer Security Guard (who is probably sympathetic because of the tears forming) hands me the phone.

“Is this Working Girl Two? Your interview was at 8,” she says with a tone I can only describe as bitchy. I answer that I thought my interview was with someone else, apologize and she says she will still meet with me. I am now sweating and shaking. Once I get through the doors, C announces that since I am so late that there are no extra conference rooms, so I will have to be interviewed in what appears to be a supply closet. The interview goes from worse to worse. C never smiles and only asks me negative questions. "What are three things you hate about your current job? What are three bad things about your personality? What are three things you hate about being an assistant?"

I cringe and answer with a smile. C then asks me if I have ever met with someone in HR. I answer yes. "Yea, well, it says here on your resume that you're more into editorial than sales. I just want to preface that this is a two-year commitment. Are you ready for something like that? I mean, you might want to ask HR if they have anything available in editorial."

I could not be more livid. If they knew this from the beginning, then they also knew that this interview was a waste of time because they would never hire me if they didn't think I was 100% committed to them. I just wasted time, energy, and two pieces of paper for my extra resumes all for the worst interview of my life for a position that they weren't even seriously considering me for.

C walks me to the door, tells me thanks for coming and practically shoves me back out in the foyer. I stand in stunned silence as a delivery man asks me what floor I want and I can barely open my mouth to utter the word 'lobby' before looking at my cell phone and realize I am now officially an hour late for work. Awesome.

I leave and travel back downtown to my cozy corner cubicle and smiling faces of my co-workers and couldn't be happier to be here. Which is something I never thought I would think or say. Ever. I love the broken fax machine, my Excel sheets, my boss, my manager, and all the stupid things I’ve ever had to do for this company. I feel like I'm five years old again, my company is my security blanket, and I'm going to have trouble letting go.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No Day Off for You

This morning, I left a little early because the temperature has been below zero lately and I thought this momentous occasion meant I could splurge and take the bus instead of walking to the train station. To my surprise, I didn’t see the usual line outside my bus stop and my bus was so empty I got a seat right next to the front. My train to work was so empty I was able to sit instead of stand. The walk from my train stop to work was quiet and almost peaceful.

And then I remembered that my easy commute wasn’t because the gods of transportation had taken pity on me, but rather because my company was one of the only companies in New York City that required their employees to work today. Because today was a national holiday, and while most people were commemorating by sleeping in, or shopping, or even recovering from a 'Sunday Funday' hangover, I was celebrating by getting to work early so I could make sure my boss had a car to pick her up at the airport this afternoon (because that’s what good assistants do). 

So, in short, if I could say one thing to the CEO of my company and not get fired, it would be this: I just want to let you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday (which means it’s a holiday recognized by the United States – yes, the entire country) that we celebrate to remember a man who successfully changed racial federal and state laws through nonviolent protests and hard work. And if that isn’t a good enough reason to get the day off to sleep in, I don’t know what is. I also have a dream, and that dream is to have the next federal holiday off. 

Let's Talk About Sex

If I had to use one work to describe my internship at Cosmopolitan, it would be Sex.

Those of you who are Cosmo readers may be familiar with the "Red Hot Read" section in the back of the magazine. For those of you who are not familiar, "Red Hot Read" features a steamy, sexy, and sensual "love" scene from an upcoming novel.

My job as the Books Intern was to sort through every single trashy romance novel, aphrodisiac cookbook, and how-to-knit your own lingerie book that arrived in the Cosmo office and find the sex scenes. (Please, don't tell my grandmother.) I called myself the Sex Books Intern, I thought it described my position much better. No pun intended.

I sat in Workroom C of the Cosmo office, which was basically a closet with a chair, desk and computer hidden amongst towering bookshelves. I don't think anyone but my boss knew I was there. I was often kicked out asked to leave my workroom when Editor In Chief Kate White's hair and make-up people came. My workroom would then become a dressing room and I would be a lost intern without a place to work. 

Everyday of my internship, I was to read, recap, and rate the books and the sex scenes. Needless to say, I learned a thing or two about how-to turn on your man and how many adjectives could be used to describe sex. Some of them would make Helen Gurley Brown herself blush. 

After several weeks of reading, recapping, and rating, my editorial dream came true. I was given the opportunity to write. 

"Working Girl One," my boss said. "I need you to edit this." He placed an upcoming "Red Hot Read" in front of me. "Also, we think it needs something more, so we need you to write a paragraph or two."

This was an opportunity of a lifetime; a lowly intern gets to write for Cosmo. Okay, so it wasn't my own story and my name wouldn't appear anywhere near it. But this was pretty exciting and a nice change from reading about sex all day long.

"We need you to write some more foreplay, I marked were it needs to be added," he said and walked away. 


"I can do this," I thought to myself and took a deep breath. "I'll draw from personal experience." Let's just say, that didn't really get me anywhere. Thankfully, from reading foreplay and sex scenes for weeks and weeks, I was able to write something decent. As embarrassing as it was to write the foreplay, it was much more embarrassing to stand over my boss's desk as he read the foreplay I had written.

He must have like it because soon after, for the same "Red Hot Read," I was asked to come up with a few headline and sub-headline ideas. Patiently waiting for him to read those was just as embarrassing. But, it was worth it. The foreplay, headline and sub-headline I had written all appeared in the January 2007 issue of Cosmo

New Year, New Man, New Desires

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Am Bored 75% of My Work Day

I will admit it. I am bored. Especially when my boss is in a different country and I fibbed and said I have about a gazillion projects to work on while she is away. In short, I spend most of my time 'looking busy' and preoccupying my time by surfing the net and talking to my fellow Working Girls while they are too suffering from the 9 to 5 grind. Looking busy while really putzing around is an art form, one that I feel I have perfected enough to let you in on my secrets. And then, and only then, will I reveal the best sites to scroll around on when bored at your workplace.

First off, open up at at least six or seven programs on your computer. This indicates that you are working on several different things at once and if you happen to be g-chatting with your Working Girl best friend then the people who pass by your desk just assume that you're flipping back and forth between work and your frivolous conversations. No one needs to know that you've actually been chatting with Working Girl One since 9:03 a.m. 

Always makes sure your desk is mildly messy. I say mildly messy desk because 'too messy' tells your boss that you're overwhelmed and therefore not good at handling pressure. But a 'messy enough' desk says you're busy, but not too busy. My boss also requires me to keep a to-do list (please refrain from your chuckles), so I always try to keep that as bulked up as possible so when she roars past my desk she can see all the things I haven't checked off yet. 

The major (said like Posh Spice) trick to looking like you have no time for 'extra projects' (which by the way are my most hated because they mean 'no one else will touch  this with a ten foot pole but you have no say in whether you will touch it because you're an assistant'), is to partake in a little thing I call the Internet (insert oohh's and ahhh's from the peanut gallery). There are many blogs and games that can take up time and look inconspicuous. 

The trick to browsing around the net during work is to pick sites that aren't too flashy or scream 'I'm really reading about useless facts instead of making Excel sheets'. So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite 'how to avoid work' websites. 

1. Free Rice - Maybe it's because I'm an English major, but this delights me to no end. The website give you four definitions for a word like 'inception' and you have to guess the best match. Greatest part is that for every word you get correct, the United Nations will donate 20 grains of rice to help end world hunger. 

2. MASH - Not as inconspicuous, but I couldn't resist adding this to my list. And yes, this is the old school kind of MASH where you marry Jonathan Taylor Thomas, live in a shack, drive a garbage truck, and have 100 kids. Play on my friends, play on. 

3. The Pioneer Woman - To put it lightly, I am obsessed with this blog. I could read about her beautifully uncomplicated rural life all day if you asked me to. I have to admit that the credit to finding this blog goes out to Working Girl One.

4. Dlisted - This celebrity blog is one of the less colorful (a.k.a. Pink is the New Blog) and less popular (a.k.a Perez Hilton), so it goes unnoticed when you are reading at work. The blogger is also merciless, evil, and sometimes downright mean, which is exactly how I like my celebrity blogs. 

5. Shop Bop and Bluefly - Two great sites to 'window shop' in. Unfortunately, the price tags on these little numbers only allow me to do that. 

6. Fashion Under $100 - So after I skip around Shop Bop and Bluefly, I trickle onto this site and remind myself that dresses under $50 are more in style for my pocket book. 

And one more Working Girl warning, turn your sound off before you start surfing your way out of boredom. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is it Friday Yet?

A look at Working Girl One's morning rituals:

6:45 am - My cell phone alarm goes off. I try my hardest to pick up my phone from the floor beside my bed, turn off my alarm and reset an alarm for 7:00. By the time I finish these tasks it's 6:57, so much for those extra 15 minutes.

7:00 am - The alarm rings again. This time I must fish through my covers, sheets and pillows to turn the damn thing off. When I finally do, I rest my pretty little head back on my pillow. I'll get up in five minutes.

7:10 am - Shit! I shoot up and out of bed. Grab my towel and head for the bathroom. I already know I'm going to be late for work, unless...I take a five minute shower. Yeah, I'll do that.

7:15 am - Still in the shower. Who was I kidding? I don't think I've ever taken a five minute shower; every roommate I've ever had can attest to that. I attempt to shave my legs and I think to myself "I wish I was shaving my legs for a hot tropical beach, or at the very least a hot date with my working boy, not so my panty hose wouldn't itch all day."

7:30 am - Working Girl Two knocks on the bathroom door. (Oh, we didn't mention that we live together?) "Can you plug in my hair straightener?" she says in a morning voice that I believe only I can understand.

7:31 am - I plug in WG2's ghetto hair straightener before leaving the bathroom. She should really get a Chi.

7:43 am - Make-up. Done. Hair. Up in a towel. Me. Standing in front of my wardrobe with my eyes closed wishing new outfits into existence.
7:44 am - I open my eyes. Nothing new has appeared. My eyes drift to my black pants. I've only wore them 4 out of the past 9 working days, maybe no one will notice.

7:56 am - My hot rollers are heating up as I dry my hair. Don't hate, these curlers are a gift from God.

8:00 am - Curlers are in my hair. Working Girl Two leaves. Yes, I can wear her red pumps and she'll never know!

8:05 am - I should really be walking to the bus right now. I take the curlers out and, like a true 'Jersey Girl,' hairspray each curl. Hey, it's a loooong work day.

8:10 am - I throw my keys, wallet, cell phone, and red heels into my bag. Grab my coat.

8:15 am - I'm out the door. I begin to run to the bus stop. I used to find this an embarrassing thing to do. But in Hoboken, NJ, when some mornings buses are few and far between, you run because you never know.

8:19 am - Miss the bus I was running to, get onto the next bus. No window seats. Damn it! I awkwardly make eye contact with four people before sitting down next to another Working Girl. She's on her blackberry. I sink into my seat and am reminded that I'm an assistant.

8:23 am - Annoying girl in front me is talking loudly on her cell phone. I "accidentally" kick her seat. I should really be loyal to another Working Girl but that is by far my biggest pet peeve.

8:37 am - My favorite part of my morning commute, The Lincoln Tunnel. Really, it is. I always fall asleep as the NJ Transit bus I'm on drives through. Some mornings I wish the Tunnel would go on forever.

8:46 am - But it doesn't. We arrive at the Port Authority.

8:51 am - Get on the A train. The commuting gods might just be on my side this morning.

8:55 am - The A train I'm on stops for what feels like forever. Typical. I should have walked from 42nd street to 56th.

9:01 am - I'm in the building. One of the sales reps I work with is steps ahead of me. Maybe if I walk slow enough, I wont have to ride the elevator with her.

9:03 am - She passes the elevator bank and heads towards the cafe. Awkward situation averted.

9:05 am - At my desk. Ready for a nap.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

‘Working Girl’ Idol: Tess McGill

Most Working Girls can site from a long list of successful and bright women where they first caught the Working Girl bug or inherited the working gene. Mothers are a common first answer, teachers a common second. Some mention athletes, actresses, and pop stars (I think Working Girl One has finally taken Britney Spears off her ‘WG Idol’ list, thank God).

I have to admit that my mother can definitely be credited with introducing me to writing and editing but when it comes to my need to take on the world and all its challenges by entering the workforce, I’d have to credit Tess McGill.

From the moment I saw Tess, I wanted to be her. I wanted the big, blonde ‘80s poof hair, to commute to the city from Staten Island, to come up with genius ideas that my boss would want to steal from me, fall in love with a working boy, and have my very own theme song that played whenever I needed uplifting encouragement while I stared over a large body of water contemplating my next Working Girl move.

If you haven’t already guessed, my first real Working Girl idol was a character in a movie - the appropriately named Working Girl which stars Melanie Griffith as my mentor Tess McGill.

Set in the late ‘80s, the movie has its fair share of bad clothing and hair style choices (my favorite being Joan Cusack’s spiky do that looks like it almost hits the ceiling every time she walks), but if you get past the cheesy era, the movie really tugs at those Working Girl heart strings. Tess is a secretary from Staten Island who works in mergers and acquisitions at a Wall Street investment bank. When her evil boss (played by Sigourney Weaver) breaks her leg skiing, Tess utilizes her boss’s absence and contacts to present her amazingly brilliant merger idea to Trask Industries (enter Harrison Ford as eye candy and love interest).

What really gets me about this movie is Tess’s gumption. Even though her boss discourages her merger idea so that she can ultimately steal the idea and use it for her own personal gain, Tess still believes in herself. She takes her dream and makes it a reality despite all those who are telling her that she can’t do it on her own, that she doesn’t have enough experience, or that she doesn’t have a good enough education. She preserves against the odds.

So for anyone who’s ever won, for anyone who’s ever lost, and for everyone who’s still in there trying, rent Working Girl and inspire the Working Girl within.

Also, I am currently holding auditions for anyone who would like to follow me around singing my personal theme song which is TBD. But I’m seriously considering “Public Affair” by Jessica Simpson.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Working Girl One and Boss are now friends.

"So, Working Girl One, I just asked you to be my Facebook friend," my boss nonchalantly said as she walked by my desk. "It's my new thing, it's so fun."

Cue Outlook to display a new e-mail in pop-up form. "Boss added you as a friend on Facebook..." it read.

Accept? Reject? I can't reject, can I? No, this isn't some sketchy person from the bar this is my boss and she told me, verbally, that she asked me to be her Facebook friend. Doesn't she know that this generation doesn't do the whole verbal communication thing all that well?

I had no choice but to accept. So I did.

Then I began to wonder: is she going to look at my pictures? My wall posts? What is she going to think of me? Will her opinion of me change? As these thoughts raced through my mind, I began to look through the 600 some-odd tagged photos of me. I don't know how I missed them, but quite a few were just bad photos. Bad in that I looked absolutely tragic, not bad in that I was doing anything inappropriate. Don't worry, I untagged those pictures of my friends and I dancing in a cage in Italy down a long time ago. Oh, and the keg race pictures too.

My boss went on to ask me over to her desk to explain Facebook.

"You have more than 300 friends!" she said as she looked at my profile. Uh yeah, and those are just my college friends. I showed her how to view a list of all her friends and see updates on her Facebook News Feed.

"This is so fun," she said. "I love finding people I know!"

Since the beginning of Facebook, I've been told to be careful. Mostly by my grandmother, who watches far too much 20/20 and 60 Minutes. My profile is set to private, I don't accept friendship from people I don't know, and before I started interviewing for jobs I untagged the previously mentioned photos. However, I was thisclose to accepting friendship from a guy who poked me because we both like Jamba Juice (and who doesn't). At work, I'm Facebook friends with the other assistants, they all graduated within a year of me, if not the same year. They get it. My boss's Facebook picture is a photo of her with her one-year-old son. Not so sure if she gets it.

My boss has a family and a demanding job, so I'm sure she's not sitting at her home computer at night looking through my pictures or reading wall posts of inside jokes when she's bored. In the beginning, the beauty of Facebook was that it was strictly for college students. Now, that it's open to anyone, I have to wonder if this is going to become a normality. When I'm a boss one day, will I Facebook friend my assistant? Will I create albums of my children and I? I love spending my share of time on Facebook just as much as the next Working Girl (this is if she is allowed to access it at the office), but this might just be too much.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Working Girl Two: The Marketing Assistant

This working girl has been reading, writing and fascinated with anything that involves literature for as long as she can remember and that’s where my working story begins. Any family dinner that involves heaping helpings of nostalgia, my father loves to bring up how easily entertained I was as a baby – my parents would throw a pile of books in my crib and I would sit, drool and read until noon. My fascination for books and imaginary worlds led me to write my own literature. To this day, my dream is to be an author, write the next great American novel or at the very least some really great chick lit.

I am the daughter of an over-achieving working mother who could make a steak dinner, help with math homework, plan a sit-down charity event, and write and edit her own freelance articles within twenty minutes if you asked her. With Super Mom as a role model, I also veered down the path of an over-achiever. I played two school sports, participated in clubs to lead the school, save the school, clubs that sang about the school, and of course a club to write about the school. Let’s just say I loved working for my school.

I grew up in small suburban town on the North Shore in Illinois - the land of Lincoln and deep dish pizza. Even in high school, I figured Chicago was small apples compared to the Big Apple – that if I wanted to be something big I would need to make the big move. College seemed like my chance so I flew on over to Connecticut - land of Paul Newman and Stepford wives. My college was small and safely tucked in the suburbs just an hour train ride from the City That Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World, Empire City, well, you get the idea.

In college, I took a small break in working my hardest to bask in the newness of my scholastic freedom that included a casual beer on a Wednesday night, eating junk food at one in the morning and watching TV while doing my homework. I looked into joining clubs, did my fair share of school loving (geeky side note: I was a tour guide), but didn’t get overly involved. But when junior year rolled around, I took off my beer-colored glasses and stepped up my game.

The summer before my senior year I got an internship in New York City at a small e-zine known for its dedication to luxury. The stories from my time there, however, could fill a book. In this case, the devil didn’t wear Prada, she wore vintage and sent me on one too many ridiculous missions. My stories about ‘crazy lady’ are to be continued. I had another internship in college, worked as an editor at the school newspaper, and all the while dreamed of being my own boss someday and in between dreams and real life, co-spirited a magazine idea with my good friend Working Girl One and voila “Working Girl” was born.

However, a blog does not rake in the funds and neither do dreams unfortunately. Because of my lack of funds and my desire to stay in New York, I took a job as a Marketing Coordinator at a website/magazine. Job description: assistant to COO with the promise to move up in the world in under a year. Reality: assistant to COO, CEO, President, and Marketing Manager with lunch breaks spent at desk, and promise to move to editorial dwindling each day. Those are my current working girl trials – sticking out the first job blues of doing grunt work: fetching lunch, answering phones, and utilizing my editing skills for e-mails to schedule meetings with other CEO’s and COO’s of the world.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hi, I'm Working Girl One and I'm a Sales Assistant.

("Hi, Working Girl One").

I don't know how I got here. But I did. So, Let's go back, back to the beginning.

At career day in preschool, while my friends were in fire fighter and nurse outfits, I wore my Care Bear pajamas. I wanted to be Funshine Bear when I grew up. Thankfully, that phase didn't last long.

Ten years later, I decided to take a different path. Childcare. I was a mother's helper, a babysitter, a nanny. I did it all and I'd do it all over again. But my adventures in babysitting are for another time, another blog.

So how did I become a Sales Assistant?

I guess it started the summer Working Girl Two and I were tour guides for our University. Yeah, we were pretty cool. That summer we came up with an idea for a magazine, something we could do on our own, work for ourselves, be our own bosses.

We started working for the school newspaper. We just keep getting cooler here at Working Girl, and I devoted my entire spring semester to finding the perfect summer internship at a magazine. After writing more cover letters than I can count and sending my CosmoGirl! cover letter to TeenPeople (a big Working Girl no-no), I scored a phone interview at a new Hearst magazine and a real-life interview at one of the country's best selling magazines. I came close to getting both, at least that's what they told me. Both of those opportunities were editorial internships and when nothing was working out for the summer and I had already paid to live at NYU for the summer, I took up my uncle's offer of working at the financial business company where he worked.

Out of nowhere, well not really nowhere but we'll save that for a blog post about taking every internship/job lead you get, I got a marketing internship at one of the leading women's lifestyle magazines and loved it. I loved the brainstorming, the creating, the events, the planning. As much as I loved it, I felt I still had to try editorial and I did. During my senior year, I interned at one of the magazines I had previously interviewed for. I didn't enjoy that editorial experience but I still enjoyed writing and editing for the school newspaper.

My internship experience and experience at the paper only made me more confused about what I wanted to do with my life. Upon graduation, I was determined to have a job lined up. Again, I devoted a great deal of my time to more and more cover letters. I applied for marketing positions, editorial positions, sales positions, media buying positions, everything.

One morning, again almost out of nowhere, about two weeks before graduation, I received an e-mail from a coworker from my summer internship. She said they needed a sales assistant and I'd be perfect for it. It all worked out and here I am, sending issues to advertisers, answering phones, filling out proposals, and trying to figure out if I like it enough to make it my career.