Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday: Rain and thunderstorms
Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain
Wednesday: Mostly sunny
Thursday: Few showers
Friday: Few showers
Since a higher being (or the effects of global warming) has decided to make the next few weeks of my life very difficult by soaking New York City with a minor flood, I thought it would be appropriate to write about what a Working Girl should wear in the case of a sudden downpour or just a smattering or even a light sprinkle of rain during her commute to and from the office using my new favorite website Polyvore.
If you couldn't tell from my little rant above, I'm not a huge fan of rain especially because I now live in the city. This ultimately means that on my way to the office the humidity will make my hair frizz, my pants will be soaked, and therefore I will be cranky all day long.
To avoid becoming cranky, a Working Girl needs to make sure she has three items in her wardrobe - staples that every Working Girl should splurge on to make sure she is safe from even the smallest drizzle.
A nice trench coat
The coat featured above is a Burberry Islington nylon trench that is unfortunately sold out (due to popular demand) -- not to mention very much out of my price range. But a good quality, classic trench coat is a must-have for any Working Girl. Not only does it keep the rain away, it is a timeless wardrobe piece that has never gone out of style. The look is not only very Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" circa 1961 but also very Blair Waldorf in "Gossip Girl" circa 2008 (yes, I watch teen drama - don't judge). I snagged my classic khaki trench from Banana Republic on sale last spring so look for some good deals as spring turns into summer.
A snazzy pair of rain boots
Rain repellent galoshes are essential in keeping puddles in the streets where they belong and therefore off your pants and out of your shoes. There is nothing I hate more than having wet shoes/socks/feet all day at work. I know, not a pleasant visual. The rain boots featured above are both colorful and playful and will make a great addition to a classic trench. The ultimate, timeless pair of rain boots to have are Hunter boots from the UK. A way to make them more memorable? Try them in this lime green hue. If you're on a budget, try Target for more reasonably priced version of the classic Scottish wellies.
An umbrella (ella, ella, eh)
The most important of all accessories when preparing to battle the rain is having a truly invincible umbrella. An umbrella that deal with crazy throw-you-to-the-ground wind and can beat off sleet and even snow if need be. My vote for best umbrella goes to the "bubble umbrella" featured above. Not only will it not turn inside out if faced with extreme wind conditions, but it will also help keep your hair frizz-free since it creates a "bubble" over your shiny locks. Another definite plus to this umbrella is its price tag - $16.99 at Target.
My rainy day wardrobe almost makes me want the rain to stay a few more days. Almost.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Bartender: Here you go.
Dwight: Wait a minute what is this? I didn't order this.
Bartender: For you. [points to basketball players] From them.
Dwight: Oh. [pours out the drink]
Ryan's friend: What are you doing man?
Dwight: Not safe. Anything could've been in there. [to the girls] Nice try.
And the quest for someone to “bear” Michael’s fruit continues.
Ryan, former temp turned New York manager, comes back to the Scranton office to talk to the branch about sales and why they need to stay in on a Saturday to convert their sales that they made on the phone to sales made on the Internet which couldn't originally be made on the Internet because of a little sexual predator problem the new Dunder Miflin social network had. To which Kelly responds, "If I had made a website that had this many problems, I would kill myself." Classic. Which reminds me, can we please get more Kelly-isms on this show? Thanks.
While there Ryan admits that he gets “unreal" girls at the clubs in New York, which of course translates to Michael as an open invitation to stalk him by getting Ryan's whereabouts from his assistant, because according to Michael it's not the horniness, it's the loneliness and he needs a girlfriend STAT (yes, caps were necessary).
Michael and Dwight enter Club Prerogative (love the Britney reference!) and surprise, surprise Ryan is actually excited to see them. And it seems that they only friend Ryan has is a very, very short bearded man who Dwight says resembles a J.R. Tolkein character. I have to agree with Dwight on this one. Later in the episode Dwight makes out (yes, full on tongues a real woman) who he refers to as an Amazon. To Dwight, New York is like a sci-fi fantasy novel. And again, I would have to agree with him.
Back in Scranton, Jim & Pam come up with the brilliant idea to convince the whole office to just work late on a Friday instead of coming into work on a Saturday. Everyone agrees and are then stunned to find out that the parking lot has been locked and they are now stuck in the office. Ok, so blah blah Jim calls the security guard, they can't remember his name blah blah. The best part of this entire plot is when Pam winds up to throw a football and clobbers Meredith right in the face.
And I would love to high-five whoever wrote the extra super awkward scene where Toby practically paws Pam right in front of the entire office. He then announces that he is moving to Costa Rica and is "going to jump the fence and jog home now". Superb writing.
Ryan has a drug problem? Yikes, bikes. Even more frightening, letting Michael and Dwight sleep in his apartment. I wouldn't want to see the aftermath of that in the morning.
Sidenote: As WG1 and I watched Michael order chicken fingers and a Midori Sour at the nightclub, WG1 turned to me and said, "That sounds like the greatest meal ever."
Indeed, it does WG1. Now I know what to get you for your next birthday meal.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
'A Working Girl in the ...' is a post written by a contributing writer that appears on Working Girl twice a month. This week's post was written by a Working Girl from Dallas, Texas about her career as an entry-level advertising executive.
It seems like only a year ago I was graduating from UNC, planning my big move out to Dallas, Texas, and patting myself on the back for snagging a job in advertising. Oh, wait, rewind and retract -- that was only a year ago. Is it just me or do we automatically age five years after college graduation? Since becoming a Working Girl several phrases have entered my vocabulary that I didn't think would pass from my lips just a few months after being able to win five straight games of beer pong. "Oh, no, I couldn't possibly have another - I wouldn't want to be hung over tomorrow," or the common, "I should be getting home. It's getting late." Check your watch after I let these words escape and it's probably only 9:00 p.m. But since graduation, I start getting tired around 8:30 p.m. and once I hit that couch there is no peeling me away.
Contrary to what you might believe, we Dallas girls don’t wear cowboy boots to work (at least not every day) or talk about the latest country diva to grace CMT around the water-cooler. In fact, Dallas jumps on the bandwagon of every new trend in dining and fashion making Dallas essentially the New York City of the Southwest (or at least that’s what Dallas-ites would like to believe).
Dallas is most famous for its pro sports, shopping, restaurants, nightlife and the ever present $30,000 millionaire. Not familiar? This is the Working Girl or Boy who leave their house in the latest designer threads and drive a BMW 3-series (but live in dumps and eat Ramen noodles for every meal unless they are throwing down hundred dollar bills at the trendy, new restaurant down the street). It’s a whole different breed of the Working Girl and Boy.
Not able to reach the exclusive status of a $30,000 millionaire based on my entry-level salary, I settle for a simpler life as an Assistant Account Executive at a small advertising agency in an area just outside of Dallas. Day to day my job consists of proof-reading advertisements, dealing with some of the most uneducated clients you can imagine, and writing new business proposals (this being the most entertaining part of my job), along with several other menial tasks. While I may complain a little about the menial tasks, I do enjoy my job and I’m especially proud that I’ve managed to snag a career in the same field as my college major. I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that I actually learned something in between the late night eating and fraternity parties.
Eventually, my goal is to tack on “senior” to the front of my semi-legit title (I must say having the word “executive” in my title does make me feel smidge important - but only a smidge). My other major goal is to master the art of balancing the different working world dynamics and personalities. For example, I’ve mastered the acting-like-I-care smile when my boss feels the need to delve into the details of her oh-so disgusting sex life. Now I just have to perfect figuring out who you can trust and who is just out to step on you to get to the top is a tricky one.
That, and how to stay up past 9 p.m. on a weekday.
Monday, April 21, 2008
And the episode in dunzo. Not the best episode ever. I'm looking forward to Stephen Colletti's return to Lauren's life.
I have spent my fair share of time serving as an intern – and I use the term ‘serve’ because being an intern is almost synonymous with being a personal slave. Or at least that has always been my take on it since my internships were always at small publications where there were no mail room coordinators, no copy machines, no secretaries to answer the phones and therefore I became the resident secretary/personal assistant/editorial assistant.
But even though my three-two days a week in the office were crazy busy and I sometimes had to do hard manual labor (like schlep around the city buying baby supplies for my editor’s pending trip to Barbados or the times I had to walk many, many avenues to Staples to get paper for the printer/fax machine and then literally strap said paper to my back for my walk back to the office), I wouldn’t give them up because of how much I learned and the relationships I formed.
So I’m hoping this is how my new intern (my very own intern!) will view her internship in a few years down the road as she reminisces about her time underneath my wing learning the ropes of marketing. And in this case, the ropes is entering data and doing all the projects I don’t feel like doing. Like last week she entered almost 2,000 names into our newsletter database because The Boss determined that I didn’t have time to do it. Enter intern to do the dirty work for me.
I felt like I was coming-of-age in the working world when the new intern started two weeks ago mainly because I was no longer at the bottom of the corporate food chain. Now when the President of our company needs her magazines alphabetized while she is at a conference in Australia, I won’t be the youngin called in to bat. The intern will take it from there.
I’m not just excited about having a new wingman at work to help me out with all the boring and tedious projects that get thrown my way, but I also get to (in a very minor role) be able to practice managing someone’s work. For instance, if I give my intern a project and she does it incorrectly, I will be the one to blame. If my intern is sitting at her desk doing homework, then it’s me that gets put on the chopping block. While this is a scary thought, it’s also somewhat exciting. She’s my responsibility and if I do a good job of making sure she does her work correctly and on time then I get a gold star.
I was also not-so-secretly hoping for a new friend in my new intern – one who might be able to tell me all about her college exploits, the fun bars she went to over the weekend, the new cocktails she created with her girlfriends in the dorm – but alas, my new intern seems more like a ‘do her homework on Saturday night’ kind of girl. She’s quiet, avoids chit-chat and gets right to business. On the one hand, this is great because I know I won’t have to walk by her work space once an hour to make sure she’s not checking Perez every five minutes because, unlike me, she seems to be completely 100% committed to her internship and not celebrity gossip.
On that note, I'm going to have my intern put together some media kits so I have more time read about Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson's (on again) budding romance.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I oohed and ahhed over my shiny silver phone for the entire afternoon on Friday. I checked my e-mail over and over and over again all weekend. I'm finally making some progress on my Brick Breaker score. And now I'm sick of it. Every part of it (except for Brick Breaker). Sunday morning, it rang several times to notify me of a new e-mail. Why Sunday morning? Because apparently that is when American Express chooses to e-mail my company card transactions for the week (and my new bosses' and my old bosses'. I received A LOT of e-mail).
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I started watching "The Office" because of my lovely college roommates and it became a tradition to watch it on Thursday nights with a bottle of 'Mommy's Time Out' wine (one for each of us of course!) and laugh at these poor schmucks who have to work at a paper company. As I sipped my chilled white wine I always thought how great it would be to work in an office like that one - full of Olympic games and hilarious co-workers like Dwight. But let me tell you, it's not all it's cracked up to be.
First off, those "Family Meetings" could not be more painful. Our CEO talks about the state of our business, birthdays are announced, two year anniversaries and promotions are celebrated and then the "Employee of the Month Award" is given out. Ring any bells? Yes, we have our very own Dundie awards. And I'm not gonna lie, I would like to win.
This is only the beginning of the similarities between my work place and the fictional one on NBC. For instance, the way Michael Scott is constantly putting his foot in his mouth by insulting his employees. Welcome to my life. These family meetings are open game for our CEO to insult us. He called out one of my co-workers who had gotten divorced, married, and then divorced again in her 5 years at our company (eek!) and once told a horrifically inappropriate story about an employee's hare lip (yea, I don't even think I need to say 'eek' for you to know that is oh so very wrong).
As the Marketing Coordinator, I often have to plan office parties. In this respect I am like Angela the resident party planner with almost no budget (I'm lucky if I can the OK to purchase a cheese platter). In my almost year long career I've had to help plan a few office parties and they all stand out for one reason or another.
At our holiday party, our legal team (which is oh, just one person) sang "I Like Big Butts" by Sir Mix-a-Lot. A sexual harassment lawsuit in the making? I think so.
I also helped plan a 'tea party' for some beauty bloggers and was then forced to play maid/waitress and serve all eight bloggers plus The Boss and the President of my company while being videotaped for a streaming video for the beauty blogger's website. I am now famous for being able to serve green tea and organic muffins and low-fat brownies. Embarrassing? I think so.
My favorite party I planned was what I have dubbed the 'Funeral Party'. In an effort to make our company more green, more global, and more fresh and young, our company turned our magazine completely digital. And then our CEO decided to have a party to celebrate the 'death' of our print magazine...with quesadilla platters, cheese & crackers, and those 'brownies from that place I love down the street'. Was he serious? Of course.
All we're missing is our very own Dwight. We are currently taking applications for a paper-loving beet farmer. He'll fit right into our little 'family'.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Last May I left college with a degree in creative writing, multiple internships in publishing under my belt, a very unfortunate beer belly, and not one clue as to what I'd be doing when I left. It's been ten months now, and my fancy resume, (almost) disappeared beer belly, and I have somehow landed in the tan cubicle of an insurance company in the city of Hartford. I told you it wasn't so glamorous.
When I was a senior in high school I made a strict itinerary for the next ten years of my life. A year in California, two years abroad, a novel by age 28, and so on and so forth. Fast forward five years and half-way through my timeline and all that's fully crossed off my list is graduating college. The truth is that I spent so much time dreaming when I was younger that I never thought that maybe, just maybe, reality was going to kick in. And man alive, did it kick me in the ass.
I suppose I could have made the move to the Big Apple. I suppose I could have even moved in with Working Girls Uno and Dos (ladies? yes? no? maybe?). After all, New York does offer far more opportunities in editing and writing than Connecticut. And I mean far more, like a 20:1 ratio. But the truth is that (and I know this is going to sound blasphemous to some of your little ears) I don't like New York - not one bit. I interned in Lincoln Center during my senior year and it just didn't do it for me. It's chic and exciting for some, but claustrophobic and chaotic for me.
So where does this all leave moi? That's pretty much what I'm trying to figure out. I'll regretfully mention again that I've been working for an insurance company for the past 6 months. In that time span I've looked into dozens of apartments, been in correspondence with multiple European landlords, contacted numerous potential "flatmates" in Ireland, began the registration process for more than one African volunteer group, looked up Hawaiian real-estate, and convinced myself out of quitting my God-awful, car-sickening job at least a hundred times.
When it comes down to it, I just want to have a job that makes me happy. My best friend once told me during my post-college despair that being overwhelming happy with your 9 to 5 isn't necessarily the most crucial part of life. If you're happy with your personal life and not completely miserable with work, then consider yourself a success. I have a sneaky suspicion she was just trying to make me feel better about all the insurance job interviews I had lined up (I mean, really Connecticut? Really? You have nothing else to offer but insurance?). Either way, it worked.
As it stands now, I'm slowly beginning to piece together what I'm meant to do. I want to write, I know that. I want to have a career that let's me be creative, I know that too. And I want to travel, and learn to surf, and open a store, and move to the beach, and become an interior designer, and have a gazillion children, and all of those delicious things. But for now, while I'm 23 and paying loans up the wazoo and living with my Mum and Dad, I'll accept working at an insurance company. I have open house for grad school coming up, and it looks like becoming the next great (emphasis on great) high school English teacher might (another emphasis on might) be in the cards for me. Then I'll have time to get my MFA in fiction writing so I can try to trump J.K. Rowling.
I suppose what I'm trying to say, maybe if only to convince myself of it, is that not being 100% on track with your future career is more than okay - it's normal. You just need to stay on track, otherwise you'll for sure end up hating life. So, as I continue to chip away my mountain of loans with my terrible, horrible insurance job (which I am on the path to replacing, btw), I'll also go home and write a little and, should I decide to, go to class to get my Masters.
And in between the interviews and short-stories and applications, I'll remember to not lose site of the list I made for myself 5 years ago. It's a tricky little balance, teeter-tottering between hoop-dreams and responsibilities, but hot-damn I plan on fulfilling what I set out for myself in high school...even if it takes me till I'm wrinkled and drinking prune juice to complete it.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I was almost a women’s studies minor. Almost. This is a fact that my friends constantly like to tease me about because halfway through my junior year, the chairperson of the women’s studies department sent me an e-mail telling me I only needed to complete two more women’s studies courses to graduate with a double minor. Up until that point I had no idea that this was even possible – I took “The Woman Question: Early Feminism and 19th Century Literature” and “Race, Gender, and Ethnic Relations” just for the fun of it, not because I wanted to delve further in the female psyche.
What this e-mail from the women’s studies chairperson made me realize was that I was a little bit of a feminist (something I like to remind people of when I’m drunk) without even knowing it. Which is why my most recent rent “North Country” really tugged at my heart strings because when you say women combating sexual harassment with a class-action lawsuit, you grab the attention of the almost women’s studies minor in me.
“North Country” stars Charlize Theron as Josey Aimes, a female worker at a Minnesota mining company who is sexually harassed by her co-workers who believe that women don’t belong in the mines – “some work is just meant for men”. Statistically, this seemed true. The first female miner hired in the iron mines of Northern Minnesota wasn’t hired until 1975. By 1989, male employees still outnumbered females thirty-to-one making them the underdog to be picked on.
And man do they get picked on. They get called bitches and whores and get brushed and touched inappropriately. They have dildos put in their lunchboxes and have obscene things written about them on the walls of the bathroom stalls. One of the female workers even gets trapped in a Port-a-Potty by her male co-workers, who then rock it back and forth and eventually tip it over so she is covered in human feces. Aimes is the only one who complains and when she does, management tells her to “take it like a man” and even encourage her to quit.
Aimes quits after being physically abused by a co-worker and hires a lawyer, played by Woody Harrelson, who helps her file a class action lawsuit against the mining company. The other women, desperate to keep their jobs and afraid of the consequences if the lawsuit will fail, refuse to participate. Josey Aimes must face her harassers alone up on the stand and convince the rest of her female co-workers to stand up for themselves while on the job.
Inspired by the true story of Jenson vs. Eveleth Taconite Co., this story inspires me to be a stronger, more independent woman who can stand up and earn the respect that women in the workforce deserve.
Being a little bit of a feminist never felt so good.