Thursday, February 28, 2008

See WG2 Online Shop for Office Supplies

Recently I have become obsessed with See Jane Work, a website devoted to office style and decoration and since I write a blog called "Working Girl", I think my obsession with office knick knacks is warranted. And up until about two weeks ago, I couldn't get away with expensing notebooks like this when my office already purchases us $3.00 ones from Staples which we can just take snatch out of the supply closet. 

But a small glitch in our office's usually organized and spot-free glory just recently happened after our Facility Coordinator (a.k.a. Mail Room Guy & Copy Machine Fixer) was fired. Yes, the big 'F' word. And since then our supply closet has been pitifully bare, so I asked a higher up if I could buy these snazzy portfolios to hold my proposals in when I go on sales calls. I almost got the go-ahead signature before the higher-up realized I'm in the marketing department, not sales. Almost had them in my hands, almost.

But like I said, our office has been pitifully bare. And since our Facility Coordinator was usually the one buying all the tabs for my portfolios and pen holders so I have been salivating over office supplies I could not have while using the nub of a No.2 pencil to take notes at all my meetings. So, how did our Facility Coordinator get dropped? It is a doozy and juicy story. 

Even though I'm pretty sure that our old Facility Coordinator does not read this blog since h'es over thirty-five and a not a 'Working Girl', I'm going to change the names of all my fellow co-workers to protect his identity. Let's call him Bob and rewind my story to its beginning about three weeks earlier when my friend and co-worker Olivia heard what she referred to as "moans and screams" so loud she could hear them in her cubicle which is quite a ways away from Bob's old desk (which was practically in a supply closet...behind concrete walls might I add). Turns out Bob was watching a porno during his lunch break.  

Obviously, Olivia and some of my other co-workers complained and then received a threatening e-mail from Bob saying, "You all should mind your business. If you wanted to know so badly what I was watching, rent it yourself. It's called '19 Lesbians'." Promptly after he sent this e-mail he was asked to leave the company. This was a joyous occasion for many in our office because Bob used his power as the keeper of supplies to its full extent. I've only just been granted the honor of receiving ball point pens instead of the Staples generic kind. And thankfully HR has finally hired a new Facility Coordinator and our stock room is now brimming with more office supplies than one knows what to do with (even though they don't look like this, I'm still happy to have new pencils). And the new hire even offers to help package up any mailings you are doing. She claims it saves the company money. I call her a saint for helping me save my cuticles from the evil claws of the packing tape. 

That's right, HR hired a "her" for the heavy-lighting, technology-fixing, supply-buying job that up until now only a man has occupied in our company's ten years of existence. And to that, I say girl power. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'll Take Embarassing Moments for $200

Last year, the magazine for which I work celebrated a huge milestone in magazine publishing, selling 2,000 advertising pages in one year. Since magazines close advertising and editing about three months in advance, we realized our accomplishment in October and celebrated accordingly. Two words: Tequila and Margaritas.

The entire office had a delicioso Mexican meal at a popular New York City restaurant. A pomegranate margarita was put into my hands as I walked into our private room and as quickly as I finished it, a fresh glass was given to me. Before I could dig into the tortilla chips and guacamole at my table, we did a round of tequila shots (and I love good tequila). Several margarita's later, I was d-r-u-n-k, drunk! No big deal though, our ad director (who happened to attend the same college as WG2 and I, which means she can drink) was getting sloppy.

Lunch cleared, co-workers with family and trains to catch headed home. I, along with a few other assistants, the ad director and associate publisher, headed to the bar. Two Corona's later, I told the associate publisher that he owed me $200. Yes, I was that drunk.

Why did I think that he owed me $200, you ask? Well, let me tell you...

I've mentioned before that I interned for a summer at my current workplace. That summer, as an incentive for the team to work hard, said associate publisher told everyone that if they sold a certain amount of advertising pages, the entire team would receive a $200 gift card to any advertiser in the magazine. I believe his exact words were "everyone! salespeople, interns, marketing, everyone!" As an intern, who wasn't getting paid, I was pretty excited to receive a gift card to pretty much any place I wanted.

A few weeks later, the art intern and I were asked to put together plagues that were made for everyone's desk that said their name and the advertiser they chose for their gift card. I can't wait to put mine on my desk, I thought. Then, it dawned on me, no one ever asked me what advertiser I wanted a gift card from. We put together all the plaques and placed them on everyone's desk. I didn't get one and I was bummed. I thought I got over it. But apparently, I was holding a bit of a grudge.

"Associate Publisher," I said. "You know that you owe me $200, right"

"Uh, no." He was definitely not as drunk as me. I filled him in and he joked, "Oh, OK, I'll work on that."

I still have my job, so it seems that I wasn't completely out of line, but now I know better than to drink and tell important people they owe me money.

Oh, and you're probably wondering...I didn't get the $200.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Working Girl Reads

Let me start this post by first stating that I am the unfortunate lover of horrific chick lit - really anything that has a pink cover and a title that gives an air that the main character might be a single Working Girl in a big city and I'm sold. Every once in a while, however, I settle into a memoir about a real, live Working Girl - someone who has been there there, done that, walked a mile in the real deal four-inch heels and lived to tell the tale. 

My recent foray into a memoir was "But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous" by Jancee Dunn. Dunn writes an engaging account of her trials and tribulations as an reporter for Rolling Stone, as well as her foray working as a VJ at MTV2 and Good Morning America. What really draws me to her as a writer is how she writes of how she unexpectedly fell in the lap of Rolling Stone. While writing was not her passion from the day she was born, her love of music and a chance meeting at a party with a girl who worked at for a leading music magazine, Dunn blazed her own path and became a successful Working Girl interiewing Dolly Parton about her love of Velveeta cheese one day and the next hiking in the Rockies with Brad Pitt. 

The book itself is a short, quick read that alternates between interesting interviews that Dunn has conducted (such as Madonna and Ben Affleck) to her personal memoirs about growing up a Jersey girl in the 1980's. The memoir even takes a dark turn as Dunn becomes pulled further and further into the glamorous and drunken lifestyle and begins to pull away from her good girl beginnings and finds herself losing herself and what she had wanted to become. Overall, the read is funny, and a great read for anyone who enjoys celebrity gossip. 

And with chapter titles that come equipped with pearls of wisdom promised such as 'How to Jolly Up a Surly, Hungover Band During an Interview' and 'How to Approach an R&B Artist When You're the Whitest Person in the Western World', who can resist picking up this gem of a book and learn how to ask a celebrity about their recent bout in rehab or their ongoing divorce settlements? 

And in case you find yourself in the sticky situation of being offered illegal drugs by a rock star (which regularly happens to me, of course), take advice from Dunn and hide out in the bathroom so you stop sweating bullets and then quickly sway the conversation to his new album slated to come out that fall. Works like a charm every time. 

Friday, February 22, 2008


The letters NSFW are sprinkled all over my favorite celebrity gossip blogs, but it wasn't until yesterday that I found out what these letters stand for. I googled NSFW to find out the meaning. "Obvi," I thought when I read the hits on google. I gchatted Working Girl Two to see if she knew the meaning since I felt pretty stupid not knowing it myself. She didn't know it so I felt better. With great pride of my new knowledge, I explained to WG2 that NSFW stood for 'Not Safe For Work'. But you probably already knew that.

While Pink is the New Blog and Dlisted censor Britney's Britney and all other nakedness that our favorite celebrities provide us with, I strongly believe that NSFW, now that I know what it means, should be used much more often. I'll share two experiences with you that could have been prevented in which nakedness covered my work computer if someone had just quickly typed in NSFW so I knew not to click while at work.

A friend from college sent me and a few other friends a link to some pictures he wanted us to check out. Now, this friend is an avid photographer, so no red flag waved as I clicked the link I didn't recognize as I was eager to view his photos. While the page loaded, I turned around to grab a file from the cabinet behind my desk. I turned back. Omigod! And there she was, High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens in all her not-so-Disney glory. My cheeks turned red as I turned around to see if anyone noticed Vanessa's ta-tas sprawled across my computer. No one did. Thank God. I could have avoided this almost embarrassing experience (not to mention potential moment to get fired) if my friend had typed NSFW. Although, at the time, I had no clue what it meant so typing the acronym out probably would have been more effective.

My second Not Safe For Work experience is thanks to a man named Bret and a woman named Heather. They were meant to be, but didn't realize it and that is why Rock of Love failed and Rock of Love 2 is now airing on VH1. And why, after watching the first episode of Rock of Love 2, I was on a mission to find out if one of the girls fighting for Bret's love was a former contestant on Beauty and the Geek (I know, I watch way too much TV). IMDB was no help; I had to figure out this contestant's last name on my own. After searching and searching, I found it. I googled her name, clicked a few links, nothing. Clicked some more, nada. Changed the spelling of her name, clicked another click. And I got something, but not what was I was looking for. I got boobs, huge uncensored boobs. Awesome. I turned around, is this really happening again, to see if anyone noticed. I was safe. Again, thank God!

So, Working Girls, here’s a new tool to help you avoid getting fired. That, and don’t make out with a co-worker in the supply closet (you never know when someone is going to need staples).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Still in the Running

When reading the header of this post, you might think I plan to discuss the presidential debate and give you a million and one reasons to vote for Hilly (too soon for a nickname?) since she could potentially be the first woman President of the United States. While we should probably give her a shout-out soon or at least have a guest blogger post about her since WG1 and I are not known for our knowledge of politics (reality shows yes, politics not so much), today, I’m writing about a different campaign - a campaign close to my heart and I mean that literally because after The Biggest Loser competition at work ends and I'm not the winner, I’m pretty sure my heart will ache for years to come if I don't get the grand prize of a week-long spa trip paid for by the higher-up's of my company.

While I wish I could say I have lost more weight, I have only lost 6 pounds after four weeks, which is just two pounds shy of my goal weight at the month mark. I have been trying to lose at least two pounds per week, but unfortunately long weekends, hung over food, and maybe one too many glasses of wine (hey, it was V-Day after all!) have prevented me from reaching negative eight pounds.

And while I've only lost a mere six pounds to my other components ten and sixteen pound losses, I'm still in the running to be the next Biggest Loser of my company. And this fight hasn’t been pretty either. Two weeks in, I saw a forty-year old Cuban man practically burst some blood vessels when he was voted off his team the Jelly Bellies. Let's just say his outburst was so bad he's still not speaking to me (and I wasn't even on his team and therefore did not vote him out of the game). This game is slightly out of control, but of course it adds extreme enjoyment to my days toiling at my cubicle. 

Truthfully, I made an alliance back on day one so I'm not too concerned about being thrown out this far in the game. But in two weeks I have to step up my game because the competition is going to change big time. After the seventh weigh-in, all the teams will be clumped into one large team and whoever loses the most weight will become The Biggest Loser

I never wanted to be a loser so badly. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hello, Lover

On workdays, my body begins to crave the sweet, syrupy cola from the fountain machine in the cafeteria or carbonated and cold in the form of its signature can right as the clock reads 12:00 pm.

It's about that same time that the caffeine from my morning coffee wears off and I realize my to-do list is nearly two pages long. I don't think I'll get through the rest of the day. I think about lunch, how nice it will be to have an hour-long break, which helps but only a little. Then, I think about my Diet Coke and all its deliciousness. With each sip I take at lunch my head starts to clear and my eyes awaken and I know I'll make it through the long working afternoon.

Go on, grab a DC. You know you want to.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day!

We're taking the day off and catching up on TiVo. 

We suggest you do the same, you have been working hard.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will You Be Working Girl 2’s Valentine?

This morning, I began to miss the good old days – where Valentine’s day meant sugar and valentines from every single one of your classmates (it was mandated in our school so that people like Needy Nelly and Stinky Stanley didn’t get snubbed). I miss grade school because the same formula always resulted in a pink and red, candy-hazed day that left me floating on air. The day before the big “V”, your whole class would go to town on an old cardboard box (preferably a Doc Marten box to look cool) and make a mailbox full of hearts, which would the next day be filled the brim with Barbies, Disney characters, and Power Rangers wishing you a “Happy Valentine’s Day!”. After receiving all your valentines, you’d huddle together with your girlfriends, trying to figure out if that squiggle next to latest crush Brian F.’s name meant that he had a crush on you or if the kid who smelled like fish thought were “the one” because he sent you a Mickey Mouse valentine instead of a Goofy one. Then, you’d consume lots and lots and lots of sugar in the form of “room mom” homemade cupcakes, lollipops shaped like hearts and Hershey kisses.

After witnessing my first ever workplace Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided that grade school V Day’s are a lot like work. Because like grade school, the workplace is awkward and there are boundaries to which you can express your love (or you’ll be slapped with a lawsuit). For example, I have received from my co-workers the following items: a hand-me-down jewelry box, a tube of Dermalogica Treatment Foundation, a piece of chocolate, two candy hearts asking me to marry them, and a card with a dog on the front. Like grade school, I analyzed over the “Marry Me?” hearts. Does he want to marry me? Or is he kidding? I mean, I’m pretty sure he’s already married. Remind me to ask around the office.

And just like grade school some of my presents were odd like the hand-me-down jewelry box and the foundation, but I chalk that up to me pressuring my best office friend (who I must add is pushing fifty and gay) to get me flowers and this is what he stole from his roommate before he got to work. Thanks, really means a lot (said with dripping sarcasm).

I did not receive flowers today because I am one of those dreaded singles who flock to the bars tonight trying to find another single to take home with them to fill the empty void in their life (can you tell I hate this holiday yet?). However, the girls who did receive flowers today flaunted them like no tomorrow. The receptionist got two bouquets (ok, so maybe one was from her dad, but hey, I have a dad too!), and the girl in the cubicle next to me got a vase of tulips, a girl in edit got roses, and a girl two rows over from mine got a teddy bear, a box of chocolates and a vase of wildflowers. Obviously, the girl two rows over took the prize for the most presents. But just like grade school when the girl with the most candy hearts packets took home the “Most Liked Girl in Our Class” prize, this girl took the home the coveted title of “Most Loved by Her Boyfriend”. Touching. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer my hand-me-down jewelry box to two dozen, long stem roses.

But next year, could someone please send me something? I’ll even take a fruit basket. I’ll admit, the competitiveness has turned me into a desperate school girl at a seventh grade dance (material stolen from Dane Cook since I am brain dead from all my back-to-back meetings).

Chicken Soup for the Client's Soul

My boss turned around and said the phrase I hate the most yet hear her voice utter to me several times a day, "Working Girl One, can you do me a faaavuh?"

"Yes, Boss," I replied with a smile but not without a quick roll of the eyes before swiveling around on my chair to face her. I never ask what the favor is because I have no choice and because she's never really asking me for a favor - this is just her way of telling me what she needs me to do.

She handed me a piece of paper with what could only be described as chicken scratch scribbled upon it. On it was a client's name and the address of a kosher deli on the Upper East Side. My boss asked me to have two quarts of chicken soup delivered to her client's home because she was home sick and missing a meeting. Of course, I have all the time in the world to do this. It's not like I have to mail out 50 plus copies of our March issue with personalized letters, prepare for one of my new bosses to start tomorrow, and check Pink is the New Blog or anything.

I also had to track down the client's home address in order to accomplish this task because while my boss claims to be good friends with this lady, she doesn't have any of her information. Of course not, that would be too easy. The client is a well-known senior vice president at a well-known media agency in Manhattan, so finding her address wasn't going to be as simple as looking on I e-mailed the administrative assistant at the client's office. She ignored my e-mail (beotch). I asked my boss if she was positive that she didn't have her client's home address. She confirmed that she did not.

Finally, I went to But, I was convinced she wouldn't be listed.

False. She was, indeed, listed.

When I called the deli they most likely thought I was a creepy girlfriend sending my sick boyfriend chicken soup. Not only was I ordering chicken soup as a "gift" for someone, I also wanted a note sent with it - of the "hope you feel better!" variety. I completed the favor, all while rolling my eyes, thinking about how much of a suck-up my boss was being to this client and how ridiculous it is that she continually asks me to do these tasks.

Sure enough, a half hour later when the chicken soup was delivered, my boss received an e-mail from her client graciously thanking and applauding my boss for knowing exactly what she needed to get better. Upon hearing this, I turned away from my boss and rolled my eyes. However not before replying in my most cheery worker bee voice, "Oh good! That was such a great idea!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Don't Have 'Lipstick Jungle' Fever

I read "Lipstick Jungle" by Candace Bushnell a year ago after my dad got it for me for Christmas. It seemed like an obvious gift since I love Sex and the City and I was an aspiring Working Girl. To use a line from 10 Things I Hate About You, I was "underwhelmed" by the book. I think I made it less than halfway through the book when I discarded it for the new Jodi Picoult novel.

Last Thursday, the TV spinoff of the successful novel premiered on NBC at 10 p.m., and I was excited. I even had the premiere on my Outlook calendar at work. And to say I was disappointed is to say the very least, so I will borrow again from one of my favorite characters Bianca Stratford and say I was more "underwhelmed" by the TV show.

The premise of the show is a lot like Cashmere Mafia. The dramedy follows three high-powered female executives in Manhattan who seemingly have it all. And although this plot seems like the perfect one for a Working Girl like me to watch and hope someday, just someday, that will be me trying to juggle my personal life and career, I did not once wish I was Wendy Healy, powerful movie executive, played by Brooke Shields, who is in the process of losing her husband because she is the main breadwinner of the family, and he's the less accomplished counterpart in their marriage. One scenario I truly hope to avoid in the future.

Nor did I look up to Nico Riley, editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Bonfire, played by Kim Raver, who seemed cold and calculating especially when she scolds Wendy for firing someone then hugging them after firing them (I'd love a nice hug after getting sack, so I'm on Wendy's side on this one). Nico denies shedding a tear at a baby shower, and I didn't think her character could get more stony until she cheats on her boring book obsessed professor husband with a twenty-something hottie and she sheds a few tears on her way back to the office to climb that ladder. Not exactly the role model I'm looking for. Sorry, Nic.

Victory Ford, up-and-coming fashion designer played by Lindsey Price, was the only character that I liked a teensy bit. Her latest line of clothing had less than thrilling reviews, which prompted the cheesiest line in Thursday night television that I've ever heard: "'Out with the old, in with the ewww' - that's just mean!". Despite her tacky lines, Victory is spunky, single, and was very adamant that her investors not bring in a new designer to help veer her clothing line in a different direction.

The show is beyond cheesy and instead of making the cheese funny like Bushnell did in Sex and the City with a character like Carrie Bradshaw, Bushnell brought us three one-dimensional characters who cry a lot (Nico and Victory both shed more than enough tears for Wendy, and even if Wendy didn't shed a tear she sure did frown a lot). What am I supposed to take away from that? It's only the first episode and these women are waterworks central! Aren't these supposed to be strong-willed women? Not only that, where is that great friends vibe that Sex and the City brought us? I don't think I even really believe that the "Lipstick Jungle" girls like one another. They might eat lunch together and meet at a penthouse for some champagne late night, but are they BFF 4eva? I can't tell.

With that said, I think I'm going to smudge this "Lipstick" off my Tivo recording schedule.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Working Girl Idol: Cathie Black

She's been called the First Lady of Publishing and the Fun Fearless Female leader of Hearst Magazines. Oprah Winfrey has called her one of the most influential women in the business. We're just going to call her a Working Girl Idol.

Cathie Black is the president of Hearst Magazines and has spent the last four decades in the publishing industry. Black began her career as a sales assistant at Holiday Magazine and quickly made her way up in the industry. She became the publisher of New York Magazine and with this career move she made publishing history. This position made her the first female publisher of a weekly consumer magazine. Black is also known for her success at USA Today, where she was president and publisher. In the mid-1990's Black joined Hearst Magazines.

Her successful career and work experiences inspired her to write "Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)". According to Black, her goals in writing the book were to share her experiences and create a roadmap for the younger reader on their way up in the business world and a provide a refresher course for the older reader with an established career.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend an interview with Cathie Black by the editor-in-chief of Town & Country magazine. By the end of the hour and a half long interview, I knew Black was a Working Girl Idol for not only myself, but for all Working Girls. Black began her career in advertising sales when there weren't many women in sales, those who were handled small accounts while the men had the bigger ones. This meant they brought in more business and therefore made more money. In Black's career, the industry has changed from "three martini lunches" (Black once had a lunch meeting at which her male client consumed seven martinis!) with slow afternoon to working lunches with business coming in after the lunch hour.

Black is a career woman and from listening to Black discuss her career and give advice I know that any Working Girl could learn a great deal from Black's experiences. I plan to begin reading Basic Black soon and will be sure to post any worthy advice, here are few bits from the interview:

-Avoid the Dead Zones - The 'Dead Zones' are the four corners in an office conference room. It's hard for a person to speak at a meeting from these spots, try to sit in the middle of the table of near the middle if you're not comfortable being in the center.

-Dress Your Best - When getting dressing the morning think: "Who am I seeing?" or "Who am I meeting with today?" Dress accordingly.

-We All Have a Boss - No matter where you are in the company, it's your job, not your bosses', to set the tone and ask: "How do you want to work? What's your style?"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Promoted and It Feels So Good

All you Working Girls readers might remember my horrible, no good, very bad interview, my hatred for the Working Girl blues, and my mention of asking for a promotion.

Things were looking down - a frown permanently painted on my face kind of down. I had been looking for another job for almost seven months and then a job opened up at my company and I saw an out of my assistant woes. The position wasn't exactly my dream job description, but it involved a lot of HTML, learning how to traffic impressions and clicks on online ads -- all things I thought might come in handy later on (maybe even for this blog!). 

Last week, I approached my boss about the open position and it seemed like it was going to be a no-go. She didn't see me in the position, she didn't want to lose me as her assistant, but wanted to know if I was bored because she would definitely give me more work if I was. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I'm bored and I want out of these assistant shackles, that's what I want. 

This past Monday, while suffering from my Sunday Funday hangover, my boss called me into her office. I was so sure I was going to get yelled at for not making enough headway of my newly assigned project. Apparently I was all wrong. 'I was getting my wish,' my boss said. She told me the girl above me was getting transferred to another position in the company, and I was being considered for her old job. 

I walked out of her office with a new set of responsibilities, a slight increase in salary, and the 'ass' taken out of my title once and for all. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Working Girl One’s Etiquette: A Guide to Commuting

During commuting hours, Working Girls are in a rush, a rush to get to the jobs they love or the jobs they hate. Most of these Working Girls know the social norms of commuting. However, there are a few that need a lesson in commuting etiquette; this post is for them.

Please Hold – It is one thing to whip out your cell phone to call your boss to tell her you'll be late as you ride the bus to work, it's a completely different thing to chat with your girlfriend about the fight you had with your boyfriend or how "Sally and John totally made out at the bar on Saturday." I know, Sally and John, I can't believe it either.

When One Door Closes – It's not that hard to hold a door, unless you're in Port Authority which happens to have doors as heavy as an anchor for the Titanic. There is nothing worse than one of those "door holder avoiders," who speed up to avoid holding the door. Hold the door; it’s the nice thing to do.

Walk This Way – Walking on the street or in a subway station is like driving on a three-lane highway: slow moving people should stay to the right; faster walkers should keep to the left.

Movin’ On Up – For some time, I didn’t see the point in walking up or down an escalator, the point of an escalator is to not walk, it’s to have a break from walking or to avoid stairs. During commuting hours, this is a different story. Escalators are the way to go and some of us like to walk up or down them. When riding an escalator, if you choose not to walk, stay to the right and stand. Do not stand on the left, block fellow commuters and then get mad when someone tries to push past you.

Give it Up – Most subways, trains, & buses have signs asking commuters to give up their seat for the elderly or the disabled. Give up your seat for these people and watch out for those people that get surly when you stand up and invade some of their space (Working Girl Two ran into one of those this morning).

Boys Will Be Boys – Working Boys can be ferocious in their attempts to get a seat, cut you in line, or getting on the subway. When a Working Boy is mean to you, it’s best not to give him a bitchy “uh, ex-cuse me!?” Kill him with kindness if you get the chance a polite “thank you” or “excuse me” as you walk past him will make him feel bad.

Me So Pretty – You not so pretty when you do your make-up on your commute. I see you when you get on the bus (sans make-up) and when you off the bus (avec make-up). You looked better before. A make-up routine can take as little as five minutes, take the time and do it at home.

Charge It – Many New York City Taxi’s are equipped with credit card machines, but be advised taxi drivers tend to give passengers a hard time and refuse to allow passengers to use a credit or debit card. To avoid a fight with a driver on your way to work on a day you’re running late or on your way home after a hard days work, let him know you plan on using a credit card when you get into the cab. If the driver claims the machine is broken, call 311 and give the medallion number. For more information, click here.

Bag Lady – Carrying your purse and additional bags can be a pain. But those bags can also keep the creeper standing next to you on the subway from invading your personal space and getting his hands a little too close to your Hanky Pankies.

Stand Clear of the Opening Doors Please – You can’t get on the subway train until I get off, please stand clear or I’ll whip you with my bag. Thank you.

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors Please – This should go without saying, but people still do it. Are you really willing to sacrifice your life to get onto the train?

Keep It Down – Maybe I just keep the volume on my iPod down because I don’t want my fellow commuters to know I’m listening to Hannah Montana but it’s a good idea to listen to your music at a reasonable volume. Not only will this keep those around you happy, but it’ll be nice on the ears.

Now that I have imparted my words of commuting wisdom on you, you are ready to hit the streets. And please, share your commuting tips and tricks with me and the other Working Girls reading by leaving a comment.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunday Funday, Monday Hungday

I am not a regular “Sunday Funday” kind of girl. I usually abstain from drinking activities on the eve of a work night – happy hours with friends, farewells for co-workers etc. – I just don’t go there.

This is because I am probably the worst person to deal with when hung over. I won’t go into extreme detail, but let’s just say I don’t look pretty, I probably don’t smell pretty and I could definitely have a prettier demeanor after a night of binge drinking. Since leaving college, a night of binge drinking for me now consists of three glasses of wine. I have been cursed with a post-graduate’s inability to drink large amounts of alcohol. But that topic is for another post altogether.

Today is Monday, February 4th. Other than it being the fateful date of Rosa Parks and Dan Quayle’s birthdays and the day Hitler took command of the German army, it is also serves a more important time in history - the day after the 42nd Annual Super Bowl. Which means, I am hung over. I woke up this morning with a dry mouth, headache, and a really unfortunate stomachache from all the nachos and hot wings I consumed last night. I didn’t understand why I felt like I had been run over by a truck until I remembered how my friends and I had made the Super Bowl into our own personal drinking game. Looking back probably not the wisest decision.

My hands even feel heavy and it has taken me over two hours to write this post. We all know that the only way to truly prevent the hangover that you feel like might result in your untimely death is abstinence. However, I think we all know that you’re not going to be thinking, “Wow, I should really listen to WG2 and put this shot of tequila down!” when you’re hanging out with that hottie five cubicles down at the bar after work. So from me to you, here are some tips on how to suffer through the workday with the aftermath of a true bender.

Fight drinking with more drinking.
And I don’t mean chug a cold one before getting on the subway. For me, the best way to prevent a hangover is drink at least three glasses of water before going to bed. Or stock up on drinks with electrolytes in them – Gatorade, Powerade, Accelerade – and try to drink them before bed as well as in the morning.

Kill the pain.
I’m a big believer in a little remedy I call a bottle of Excedrin. Two before bed, two in the morning.

Eat, eat, and eat some more.
This might just be me, but after a day of hard drinking I am so hungry I think I could eat a whole cow if asked. To appease my talking tummy, I usually head on over to McDonald’s – a #3 always does the trick for me. But you can pick your own poison – Chinese food, a meatball parm, a bagel loaded with cream cheese. I’m literally salivating on my keyboard.

Drown your sorrows…in the shower.
A scalding hot shower in the morning wakes you up and makes you feel less grimy. This solution is perfect for a work week hangover. You will smell less and look cleaner thereby being presentable for your colleagues.

The random remedies.
Over the years, I have been given some very odd cures of how to suppress the looming hangover. One roommate once told me a vanilla milkshake does the trick, I’ve been told apples are a quick way to feel better, or eating peanut butter before going out on the town. Vitamin C tablets, carbonated beverages, a large glass of cold chocolate milk. The list goes on and on.

And with that, I’m going to crawl under my desk and try to sneak a mini-nap.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Been Working So Hard, I'm Punchin' My Card

What a week! What a week it has been!

On Sunday, I told you about how much I was dreading this week. As I wrote that post Sunday night, I secretly hoped that I would air my concerns and, by some grace of God, my week would go smoothly. Not the case.

With Monday came the stress of doing what I never thought I'd have to do as a sales assistant: asking for a raise. Yes, on Monday I asked for a raise... kind of. The associated publisher give me the news a week ago that I'd be assisting one more sales rep, he was the one I had to talk to. First, I called his assistant and got on his calendar for a short afternoon meeting. After that, I prepped. I spoke to my boss (this is Facebook friend boss, remember my other boss is still in Aruba, ignoring my e-mails, but we'll get to that in a hot minute) about what I should say. I wrote down an outline. I practiced my conversation with a coworker in the magazine library.

Then, I went in to his office. My face was flushed but cheeks were bright red and I was sweating. I looked pretty attractive. My voice was shaky as I told him how flattered I was to be given this responsibility, told him my concerns about assisting three people, and quickly mentioned that I wanted to be compensated accordingly. I didn't exactly ask for a raise. Instead I said, "I want to be sure I'm compensated accordingly, whether it's a raise we discuss now or in the future, or ensuring that I am not given a hard time when filing for overtime."

I didn't get the raise. I knew I wasn't going to get the raise. But I still had to ask. I had to let him know that I wouldn't be "sold" or taken advantage of because I have a "can-do" attitude and generally say "yes" when asked to complete a task. It was uncomfortable and awkward, but I did it and I'm glad I did. I have been promised that I will not be given trouble when filing for overtime and for now, that's good enough for me. Now, the bosses know that I mean business.

So, I got through Monday and asking for a raise...kind of. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are all a blur. My brain is also mush. I have been carrying the workload of my vacationing boss, who has time to forward me e-mail from her clients but does not have the time to even open the e-mails I am sending her with important questions. I know this because unopened e-mails on her Blackberry remain unopened on her Outlook, which I am required to check. It must be nice sipping margarita's on the beach with your doctor husband imagining your assistant suffering back in her cubicle. My boss's clients have sent me mean e-mails demanding that we move their ad to a better position or asking me dumb questions and then imply that I'm incompetent when I provide them with a completely acceptable answer that they do not understand. All the while, I must play the "dumb assistant" role because at the end of the day (or should I say, at the end of her vacation?) that gives my boss a scapegoat when something goes wrong and she must fix it.

Today is Friday. Thank God. And tonight, I gotta cut loose. Footloose.