Friday, August 29, 2008

What Working Girl Is Watching This Fall Season

We say it a lot. But we can't say it enough. We love TV. And we love when TV involves anything work-related.

Working Girl One Will Be Watching...

The Hills
The show I hate to love. Every season, make that every episode, I say to myself "I can't stand this show, I'm not watching it anymore." But I somehow find myself sitting on the couch every Monday at 10 PM watching the girls of The Hills. While I cannot stand Heidi and Spencer and the girls probably aren't employed at the fabulous places they film their "work scenes," MTV has a way of sucking me back in to see how the girls will fare at Lex Deux and at their jobs. This season we can look forward to Spencer and Heidi plot against the rest of the cast, Stephanie backstabbing by going on a date with Doug and, if we're really lucky, perhaps will see a little more of Brody.

Monday nights on MTV.

The creators of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway are gracing us with another fine reality show this season: Stylista. Eleven fashionistas compete for an editorial job at ELLE Magazine. The must impress Fashion News Director Anne Slowey with their fashion sense and ability to prepare her breakfast accurately. This means getting a short straw from Starbucks not a long one. I know, seriously? This season we can expect screaming, tears and unaffordable clothes. It's going to be great.

New season begins October 22nd on The CW.

Lipstick Jungle
You all know how WG2 and I feel about Lipstick Jungle. We didn't enjoy if for a minute last season. But since our beloved Cashmere Mafia was cancelled are stuck with this second rate show about Working Girls. Wendy, Nico and Vicotry live and work in Manhattan. They try to have it all: career, family, friends and fabulousness. Spoilers are hard to find but in this second, hopefully improved, season Mary Tyler Moore are Rosie Perez are rumored to appear. And of course Keith's winning outfit from Project Runway. We're going to give it one more chance.

New season begins on September 24th on NBC.

Ugly Betty

I have yet to watch an episode of Ugly Betty. For a girl who works at a national woman's magazine (in marketing) and once dreamt of working in editorial, it's a sin that I don't watch and love this show. From what I've read on Wikipedia I know that Betty is the personal assistant to Mode editor in chief and she works with a number of interesting characters, much like most of us Working Girls do. So, Working Girls since I have so much time before the season premiere, can someone please fill me in on seasons one and two?

Season three begins on September 25th on ABC.

Working Girl Two Will Be Watching...

The Office
Duh. This one is a no-brainer. I could not be more excited for the return of this show. It is by far my favorite in the fall season line-up. I can't wait for all my questions to be answered. Will Jim finally propose to Pam? What will happen after that infamous Angela and Dwight sex scene? Will Angela and Andy stay engaged? According to spoilers, what we have to look forward to is a new girlfriend for Michael (Toby's HR replacement Holly) and Michael plans to be a large part in the life of Jan's baby (reminder: it's not his). And according to Entertainment Weekly, we have an Office spin-off to look forward to which will be premiering after the 2009 Super Bowl.

New season begins September 25th on NBC.

Private Practice
What I truly loved about Grey's Anatomy was the introduction of a little character named Dr. Addison Montgomery. I was heartbroken when I heard she was leaving, but equally ecstatic that she was getting a spinoff...with a lot of hot dudes like Taye Diggs, Tim Daly and murse Dell played by Chris Lowell. Can we say yum? Things we have to look forward to this season: lots of drama. Every male and every woman on this show are dating each other...and all work in the same office...which creates drama. Melrose Place's Grant Show is said to be making an appearance as someone's ex, who will I am sure create more and more drama. I love drama.

New season begins October 1st on ABC.

The Rachel Zoe Project
New to my list of must-watch TV shows this fall is Bravo's new reality show centered around stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe. Cameras are said to follow around Rachel and her inner circle of friends, assistants Brad and Taylor, and her husband. Also said to make some appearances are some of those celebs that she styles. My hope is that Lindsay Lohan and her new gal pal Samantha Ronson make an appearance on the show. What I hope to glean from this show is if Rachel Zoe is really a Working Girl Idol or just plain crazy. And I'm putting $10 on crazy.

Season premieres on September 8th on Bravo.

Samantha Who?
First of all, I have loved Christina Applegate since Don't Tell Mom the Baby-sitter's Dead. Pure genius. Last season, I fell in love with Samantha Who?, a show about a woman who wakes up after being in a coma and remembers nothing about her past life. And apparently she was a raging biotch before the car accident that rendered her without memory. So now Sam has to rediscover her relationship with her parents, her boyfriend, her friends and of course our favorite topic, work. And according spoiler alerts, it looks like this season they are going to be doing a fun little dance episode. I love comedies that do hilarious mocks on musicals.

New season begins October 6th on ABC.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Hills: "Whitney, Can You Come Up?"

(Writer's Note: I realize this post is a few days late but the past few days, I've actually been social rather than watching other people be social on TV.)

Another Monday, another The Hills.

Stephanie and Lauren, do they actually go to FIDM? My guess is, No.

All the restaurants in L.A. look the same to me. Doug ("Lauren's Friend") and Lauren are on a lunch date at Creperie where Doug tries to get her to skip out on work and go to the beach. Three seasons ago, Lauren probably would have ditched work for a boy. I think she's learned her lesson.

At Epic Records Chiara and Audrina almost convince me that are employed. I like Chiara. She's much better than chick Heidi "works" with.

Kelly Cutrone is baaack and she's brought her New York crew with her. While I think Kelly is great, she makes me want to crawl in a closet and hide. Whitney is invited to go out to dinner with Kelly and crew. She's nervous because she's a newbie but if I know anything about Whitney, I know she's going to rock it.

Speidi. Ew. Out to dinner. I do have to give props to Heidi for seemly nicely suggesting that they make an appearance at the Stephanie's party because, after all, she is Spencer's brother. On another note, why does Spencer continue to call Lauren, LC? That's so Laguna Beach.

Whitney's work dinner is held at Simon Restaurant and the red wine is flowing. Whitney, let me tell you, from experience, say no to the red wine. Oh look at her, she's drinking water. I'm so proud. Jessica, the L.A. publicist always looks pissed. Probably because she's bad at her job and people are starting to notice. It's all over when she starts crossing Kelly about working with stylists. "It's my company" - Kelly Cutrone. You better watch out, Jessica.

I'm drained my Stephanie's birthday party. Lo is as fake as Stephanie's tan and it's only a few moments before Audrina shows up and doesn't talk to anyone and a few more until Speidi crashes the party. Yes, Brody!

Lo and Audria: AWKWARD!
Specner and Heidi: ANNOYING!
Everyone leaving because Speidi is there: SO HIGH SCHOOL.

"Seriously, let's go" - Lo

Kelly Cutrone is yelling at her assistant on the phone. We must be back at Peopel's Revolution. She's telling the assistant to try living her life for one day and see what it's like. Ok, I understand if you're an owner of a place like People's Revolution, you're a busy Working Girl. But, Kelly might be underestimating how much work an assistant actually does. She hangs up the phone and calls for Whitney.

Whitney, where is your notebook? Always bring a notebook. Finally, Kelly fired Jessica. It's about time, Kel. And, drum-roll please, Kelly is offering Whitney Jessica's job. Yes! Bi coastal lifestyle, sounds draining. Kelly's advice: "I wouldn't make any plans for the next couple of months."

Congrats Whitney!

To hold you over till next week, here are my favorite Spencer quotes of the night:

"It's like telling Iran and Israel to get along"
(Because the LC/Spencer feud is as important as the Middle East)
"I cant' make you un-my sister"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In It To Win It

We all know that I am a big fan of complaining. That and gossip are probably two of the things I love most about work. Sad? Probably. But as much as I might complain about all the tedious tasks I have to do and putting up with my clueless boss, I am a hard worker.

Hard to believe, I'm sure. But I'm not someone who talks back to my superiors. I do what I'm told to when I'm told to. I come in early and I stay late. I usually eat my meals at my desk. And this summer I have been working myself extra hard. We have had event upon event to plan and I haven't had a rest (proven by the fact that I made myself sick last week!). 

It's always nice to have your hard work acknowledged. But sometimes a nice thank you e-mail just doesn't cut it. At our company, we have a way of giving due credit where it is deserved and that is with the Employee of the Month award (and no, I do not work at a fast-food restaurant or star in a movie with Dane Cook). 

As I have mentioned before, my company slightly resembles NBC's The Office. And when I say slightly, I mean completely. Let's just say Dwight, Meredith, and Angela are all employed where I work. Point being, our Employee of the Month award is like a Dundie. It is given out once a month at our Family Meetings. Yep, I just put family and meeting in the same sentence. So at these Family Meetings, The CEO gets up and talks about how great our company is, how we're doing so well during this recession, announces the new hires, the anniversaries, and gives out a gift certificate to the hardest worker. Barf. I know. I hate these meetings (although they do get me out of an hour of work). 

This month, I won that award. And The CEO said some nice things about me. The office clapped. And I left the office smiling. It is deeply gratifying being told that all that hard work you do means something to someone (especially to the head honcho). All those thankless days and nights you spend toiling in front of a computer screen or all those nights you stayed late for events are finally being noticed. It feels great. It's a top of the world feeling.

And I can't help but feeling like doing a jig in a shower of champagne (preferably pink champagne). Thank you to all the little people who helped me get here...oh, wait, I am the little person! Ok, so instead here's a big thank you to my bosses for seeing that I am putting in the extra effort.

And my prize for working my little ass off? A gift certificate to a spa. Ahhh. 80-minute massage here I come.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

I'm lucky. I have a job that I like (most of the time) and am a mere week from moving into Manhattan. My parents have given me more than I could ever ask for. At this time in my life, I'm the most grateful for graduating debt free, meaning I didn't have to pay off any loans thanks to my parents and other family members. However, the buck stops there. And, as frustrating as that can be sometimes, I also very thankful for that.

My parents taught me from a young age how to manage and budget my money. They showed me that my purchases are more meaningful when I've earned them. I got my first mother's helper job when I was 11 and I remember saving for an outfit from Limited 2. I also remember how gawd-awful it was (think black and white plaid pants, short-sleeved white turtleneck and short-sleeved black corduroy jacket). It was the first thing I bought with my own hard-earned money and I loved it.

Throughout high school I worked at a book shop and in college I babysat at least three times a week. I paid for my books and any meals that weren't on my meal plan. I paid for my spring break trips and all beer I drank over those four years. Sometimes, all I wanted was to have my parents credit card to charge a trip to the grocery store or to buy a new pair of jeans. But I didn't. My move to Hoboken was the same. I received little housewarming gifts from my parents but I paid my security deposit, broker's fee and rent for the 12 months I lived in that first apartment.

I recently read this article in Newsweek. Twentysomething Melody discusses her financial independence from her parents and how many of her peers are not following suit. Her friends in Manhattan and in cities across the country are still, a year or more after graduation, living off of their parents. Melody is living on her own in a city where twentysomethings are forking over more than the recommeneded 30% of their income on rent, buying new clothes, $81 MetroCards each month and expensive groceries. While her friends have Mom and Dad footing the bill.

I agree with Melody that having their parents paying rent and for other living expenses is hindering her friends financially. They aren't learning the value of money or building the credit they will need later in life.

While being financially independent is stressful and usually puts me in the poor house, I'm happy that I am. There is a great sense of freedom that comes along with is and no shopping spree or free apartment could change that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This Is Why I'm Hot...Or Not

My new roommate Natalie is a party animal. 

This translates into meaning she is rarely ever home (which is great for my obsession with TV and means I have total control of the remote). Happy hours, over-nights with friends in the city, concerts. Pretty much you name an activity that can take up your time and Natalie is there. 

I love activities too...but I mainly leave them for my weekends. My work weeks just drain me. Maybe it's because I don't particularly love my job. Or maybe I just stress myself out too much during work and need time to cool down. But whatever it is, I just can't seem to make myself do much after work except go home, make dinner (or in my case, purchase it on my walk home), watch TV, and go to bed. 

Natalie, on the other hand, doesn't usually make it into the door of our apartment until 10 p.m. and it's not because she's working late.

So ever since moving into my beautiful new apartment with gorgeous amenities, I have felt like a grade A lame-o with no friends. Yea, Natalie also seems to have a lot of friends. She is friends with practically all of our neighbors (which means we get a lot of visitors all hours) and she's friends with a lot of people at work. 

I really commend her. I mean, I almost envy her fun-loving weekday lifestyle. I just wish I had more energy to join in on the fun. 

So my new challenge to myself is to start doing more activities after work - whether that's shopping, grabbing dinner or drinks with friends, or just going to a movie. I'm going to try and institute a new after-work routine that involves more than just dinner and bad Lifetime movies. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

O to the M to the G

At work, I have a few nicknames. Most have been given to me by my gay, pushing 45-year-old, Cuban bff. To be quite honest, none of them make any sense. My bff is one of those laugh at his own jokes kinda guy. But I love him anyway. But I digress. My other office-wide nickname is the Queen of Target. And no, I'm so not joking. On a daily basis it is guaranteed that something I'm wearing from the retail chain. 

So good golly Miss Molly am I excited for the news I am about to type out here. Target is opening a chain of "bullseye bodegas" in New York City! How awesomely stellar is that?!? Apparently Target's numbers are down this year (sidenote: recessions are one of my irrational fears), so they are really pushing their diffusion lines. Translation: diffusion lines are those special lines done by hot designers like Botkier, Alice Temperley, and Jovovich-Hawk. Which means Target is going to be coming out with a lot of new lines for me to drool over. 

An apparel line by Jonathan Saunders, a new handbag line by Anya Hindmarch, and a shoe collection by Sigerson Morrison. What I'm really looking forward to? The new Richard Chai line. I love the bold colors for fall (dark purples and blues! woohoo!) and of course I love how Working Girl friendly the whole line is. 

Fellow NYC Working Girls, the bodegas will open in September in midtown, Union Square, Soho and the East Village.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All By Myself

After a long day of travel, I have arrived safely on the west coast. A very rainy and cold part of the west coast. The magazine is hosting an in-store event for one of our advertisers tonight and I'm in charge.

When I arrived last night, I met with the store manager and talent for the event to have a site inspection. A site inspection is just a fancy way of saying "checking out the venue." I was nervous. The store manager is in her late 30's and so is the talent. I'm 23. They didn't know my age, obviously. But they discovered that I was young and not exactly uber experienced when it was time for the business card exchange. I don't have any. Assistants don't get them, which I can understand. Assistants usually aren't jet-setting across the country to manage events. But I am and I'd like business cards, thankyouverymuch.

The event isn't until 6:30 tonight, so I have the day to kill. And by kill, I mean I have to sit in a coffee shop for the next two hours and actually do my work for the day and make-up for the work I missed yesterday. I stayed up until after midnight New York time last night on my laptop sending e-mails, organizing excel sheets and booking travel for my boss.

Sitting in this coffee shop, I've been more productive over that past two hours than I think I have ever been on any given day at work. There is something about being in your weekend clothes, sipping coffee and listening French pop songs that make me work better. It probably also helps that I didn't have a ringing phone next to me or sales reps popping by my desk to ask me questions (that they should already know the answers to).

I'm off to go find some lunch. Confession: I've never gone to a restaurant and eaten by myself. Thank god I have an unread issue of People. I'll update later about how the event went.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sick of Being Sick

Yesterday morning I woke up with a raging headache and a throbbing sore throat. So I took a sick day and skipped work (except I didn't really skip work since I kept refreshing Outlook on my laptop to make sure I wasn't missing anything).

Needless to say I think my sudden bout of sickness is from my recent case of running-myself-ragged-from-the-crazy-amount-of-work-I've-been-doing-and-that-little-thing-called-moving-plus-all-that-jetlag-from-all-that-jet-setting syndrome.

I have this problem of pushing myself so hard for multiple weeks at a time that all of a sudden my body just crashes. I did this in college once - commuting twice a week in and out of the city for my internship, balancing three classes on top of that, and editing the school newspaper late into the night...not to mention my nights of binge drinking - all led me to crash myself straight into the hospital with some mysterious stomach pains that were never really identified.

So to avoid doing that to myself again, I didn't push myself to go to work yesterday. Instead, I took the day off to answer my important e-mails from my couch while watching reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 (gotta catch up before the new 90 starts in a few weeks!) and drinking what felt like gallons of water and ginger ale.

Unfortunately, I only feel a tiny bit better today and I also have the unfortunate luck of having a work event to work/plan tonight. In other words, it's going to to be a long night of schoomzing clients and refilling trays of crudite and antipasto.

I am just so over being sick. Normally, I love getting sick. I know, it's kinda weird. But it's like a free 'get out of jail' free card. No work and an excuse to sit on the couch or lay in bed all day. That is so right up my alley.

But today I just want to be healthy. I want to not have a fever. I want my throat to stop aching. I want food to taste good again. And I would love it if my eyes weren't permanently half-shut. That way I could make this party that best party it can be.

Instead, I am so over it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthdays Make Me Fat

Monday August 18, 2008 at approximately 4:15 PM

WG1: i just ate like 4 cupcakes
WG2: sick
i want some
WG1: yes, exactly, i feel sick
WG2: how did you do that?
WG1: two birthdays today
we had a dozen from crumbs, so obviously, i had to take several flavors
then someone got magnolia and the icing is just soooo good
WG2: haha
that's so much sugar

Since the marketing department is overworked and underpaid, our bosses treat us to Crumbs cupcakes or big cups of Jamba Juice on our birthdays. Yesterday was one of my boss's birthdays. We celebrated with the usual dozen cupcakes from Crumbs is assorted flavors: Oreo, strawberry, caramel apple, red velvet, just to name a few. One word, yum!

First, I had half of a lemon icing cupcake. Then, I had a fourth of the Hosttess cupcake. The "birthday party" ended before I could grab another piece. And by "birthday party" I mean, eight of us sitting in the conference room eating cupcakes with rather awkward silences. After the party, the remaining cupcakes were placed behind my desk. Once of the benefits of having a desk in the center of the office, there are always treats within a 5-step radius. But, I swore I would not eat another Crumbs cupcake. Keywork being Crumbs.

Back at my desk, I ate a Magnolia cupcake. Best. Icing. Ever. End. Of. Story.

A half an hour later, I at another fourth of a Crumbs cupcake. Now for some cupcake math, one Crumbs cupcake equals three normal cupcakes. Magnolia cupcakes are normal cupcakes.

Okay, so I had three cupcakes. Not four. Still, I felt awful for the rest of the afternoon.

The Hills: Nice is Not Lo's Middle Name

Spoiler Alert!

When we last left the girls of The Hills, Whitney and Lauren were working at People's Revolution in LA and Heidi ditched her boss in Vegas for Specner. This season there is bound to be drama. Hopefully some of it will be work related.

Scene 1, People's Revolution. This is a good sign. Perhaps the girls will continue to be somewhat career focused this season. Whitney and Lauren are discussing friendships (Lo and Audrina hating one another) and romance ("Doug's such a funny name" - Whitney), don't we all do this at work? And I don't mean gossip. I mean, talk about Lo, Audrina and Lauren Conrad's love life.

Scene 2, Bolthouse Productions. Seriously? Heidi wasn't fired after last season's Vegas fiasco? Are you kidding, Brent? I'm losing respect for you here. Also, this chick Heidi works with needs to get her act together. She totally encourages Speidi. She seems smart, mature, doesn't she know better?

Secne 3, Epic Records. Good to know all the girls are still employed. I take that back, where is Lo working these days? Was she ever working? "Lo's always been super bitchy, that's just how she is." - Audrina. Perhaps her job is to be a bitch?
And that's the extent of our work coverage for this premiere episode of The Hills. But, because there is so much ridiculousness going on in The Hills, I'll continue my commentary:

Heidi's sister Holly is visiting LA. Ugh, Speidi. I have zero tolerance for them.

"Please be nice" - Heidi
"It's my middle name" - Spencer.
I hate him, but sometimes he has great lines.

Seeing Doug makes me miss Brody. We need Brody back. But I'll give the guy a chance.

I love love love that the Black Eyed Peas "Don't F*uck With My Heart" is still the outro music.

Audrina's Birthday Party. Yes, Frankie! Brody can't be far away. What? No Brody? C'mon!

Lo is officially a bitch. And that look Lauren gave her when she commented on Audrina's friends. Priceless. That girl has the best evil eye.

Justin Bobby is hot. He wasn't when we first met him, but he got wicked hot.

I didn't always buy the whole "Lauren is such a sweet girl, she's so genuine" thing. Now I get it. She's a straight up, good friend. It's Audrina's birthday. She isn't supposed to be in the kitchen, she's supposed to be enjoying her party. Granted, I'm not sure I'd be rolling with Audrina's friends, but Lo has got to learn to be nicer.

Back to Speidi. Is it just me or are Heidi and Holly kind of fake to one another. Holly's LA move is going to be fantastic. Unfortunately, her LA Makeover hair extensions are heinous.

Lo and Audrina will never be friends. Bummer.

Monday, August 18, 2008

When Co-Workers Become Roommates

Two weeks ago, I moved in with my co-worker Natalie. 

I know, I feel like it came out of left field too. So let me back it up and reverse it and explain how I went from living with WG1 to living with a co-worker I barely know. 

Back during those winter months that never seemed to end, I started getting restless. I knew marketing isn't what I wanted to do with my life, but all the interviews and the resumes I had sent out weren't getting me any closer to my dream job in journalism. So I thought about possible solutions and the solution I ended up pursuing was applying to graduate school. Then I had to break the news to WG1 that once our lease was up in July that I most likely wouldn't be able to renew our lease (or rather move out of our shit hole apartment). 

I remember when we had been discussing my moving out that she had been so concerned about our reader's reactions. Yes, you heard me right. Her first concern wasn't that we wouldn't see each other's bright smiling faces every day before and after work, instead she was worried that our reader's would freak out because we weren't living together anymore. As I expected, you all didn't seem too concerned. I kid. I'm sure you all shed a tear for the two of us. 

So, WG1 decided to move back home to the suburbs and I frantically began searching for a sublet in Hoboken. I had a lot of luck finding creepers and a lot of dead ends on Craig's List. Then I thought I had found a winner when I met a group of frat guys looking for a new roomie (they had a kegerator and Wii!). But that little gem fell through the cracks and I was back at square one. 

After I got back from London I had all of a week to find a place to live. My co-workers Small Fry and Red suggested I talk to Natalie who they said had a free room starting August 1st. And as luck would have it here I am sitting my new apartment (which has air conditioning - I know, I'm bragging now). 

So far this has been working perfectly. The apartment is immaculately clean, nicely decorated and completely renovated. The apartment even has a washer/dryer!!! And yes, that amenity deserves multiple exclamation marks. I don't think anyone can understand what a horrible apartment we were living in. To name just a few things that made our apartment a shit hole: our ceiling fell in, we had no hot water for days on end, and I had no door on my room. Yea, we still don't know why we thought it was a good place to rent. 

Luckily, I have the same commute at my new palace and Natalie and I get along pretty well. She works in a completely different department than me so we see each other only at the apartment, which means it's hard to get sick of each other when you only see each other three-four hours a day. 

I got really, really lucky. Unfortunately, this little set-up I got going is just temporary until I find out about grad school. But for now, I'm loving living the plush life. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Working Girl Watches: Project Runway

Are you in or are you out?

"Project Runway": I'm in!
Last night's "Lipstick Jungle" challenge: I'm out! And so is WG2.

Last winter, both ABC and NBC filled the void of the writers strike with short seasons of two Working Girl shows, "Cashmere Mafia" and "Lipstick Jungle," respectively. As two girls who love television, WG2 and I were beyond excited about these work-related dramedies.

"Cashmere Mafia" was everything I wanted it to be and more. As I said in January, "Cashmere Mafia" makes me want to take on the business world in a couture dress and 4-inch heels. Lipstick Jungle was the complete opposite. As WG2 said in February, "I don't have "Lipstick Jungle" fever."

Needless to say, we were completely dumbfounded as to why "Cashmere Mafia" was cancelled and "Lipstick Jungle" was not. I'm still hoping that ABC is playing a joke on us and bringing back Mia, Zoe, Juliet, and Caitlin. As unrealistic as their lives were, they inspired me to work hard and focus on my career. And, bottom line, it was fun! The "Lipstick Jungle" ladies made me depressed and convinced me that if I become a career woman I'll be alone for the rest of my life. Who wants to believe that? Even if it could be the reality.

However, last night's episode of "Project Runway" made me rethink my hatred of "Lipstick Jungle." How can a Working Girl hate Brooke Shields? She's definitely a Working Girl Idol.

September 24th, when "Lipstick Jungle" premieres, I'm going to give it another chance, another try. At the very least, I'm going to watch for Keith's sexy outfit:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Backkkkk

I just got back from my first business trip and I can honestly say it was a truly relaxing experience. 

I should probably explain that completely out of the blue statement I just made. First of all, I have to preface that this was my first business trip...ever. And while I was super excited about the prospect of traveling on my company's dime, I was also terrified of the client dinners The Boss had lined up. I was also petrified of socializing with my co-workers (aka I was afraid of getting drunk and exposing my secret blog to my boss). 

Not to mention I was super, super stressed right before we left for our big trip. Why so stressed you ask? Well, I had just gotten back from my trip to London where I was greeted with a truck load of work and as WG1 mentioned previously, we just moved out of our apartment in the sixth borough so I had to pack, pack and pack some more, hire movers, and then unpack, unpack and unpack some more all while simultaneously preparing for the biggest event my company does all year. Whew. So you can see why I was a teensy bit stressed.

As the marketing coordinator of my company I play a large part in all our company events. Most of these include small office parties, but each year we do one big event in Aspen, Colorado. I mean, this event is so big to us that I've been working on planning and coordinating since November. Huge, huge, huge. 

I flew into Aspen on Thursday and got right to work. Things I quickly discovered included the following: 

1. I am not made for living in the mountains. I missed the city after two days. 
2. High altitudes give me huge headaches.  
3. I told the VP of Marketing that she and I might have been separated at birth. To which she responded, 'Except I'm old enough to be your mother. But only if I had been a slutty teenager'. I discovered I really love her. Like a lot. 
4. Events are mega hard work. But totally satisfying when they are over. 
5. I love all my clients. I want them to all to be my bff and move to NYC. 

So as you might have guessed by my discoveries that I had an awesome time. The event was amazing. That is truly the only way I can describe it. None of our clients had any complaints. The tent looked amazing. We got great foot traffic. And I had a really, really fun time hanging out with my co-workers. I mean, I had always enjoyed the VP of Marketing's personality, but she and I discovered we have so much in common that it scared us. We adore country music, burgers & fries, and vampire sagas. What more can you ask for in a boss? Oh, and we love complaining about work. It bonds us. 

The Boss was surprisingly calm. She almost always finds something to freak out about. But really the event went so well that she couldn't find anything to yell at me or the VP of Marketing about. And as a treat, she took us out to dinner at a posh Italian restaurant (where I had some spectacular gnocchi) and she got drunk, cried, and told us that she couldn't have done it without us. Which, to tell you the truth, felt pretty damn great. 

To top it all off, I was smart enough to take a few vacation days after the event ended on Sunday, and I stayed in Aspen for a few extra days. It was great just being alone and experiencing a paradise in the mountains. I took a gondola ride up to the top of Aspen Mountain, got a massage, bought a super cute cowboy hat, and finally saw The Dark Knight. It was the perfect end to the perfect event. 

I came back to work today relaxed, calm, and happy. My gay, Cuban, and pushing 45-year-old best guy friend at work told me I hadn't looked so radiant in weeks (he then offered to get a pool going so I could get a massage monthly so I wasn't such a raging bitch when stressed). Such a sweetheart that one. 

So I'm enjoying my moment of relaxation and sheer bliss that the event is over. 

Next on my list: begin planning the Colorado event for 2009. I kid you not. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

GOAL! ! ! ! ! !

Doing the same thing day-in and day-out can take it's toll on a Working Girl. It can cause her to lose ambition and motivation; to give into boredom and not use her time wisely; to just do a bad job.

Lately, I've been bored. I've given into the daily routine of checking e-mail, making phone calls and working quietly on my projects. I'm not being proactive and showing my superiors that I can excel in my position. There is a small chance I could receive a promotion from assistant to coordinator in the fall. So, that needs to change.

I work well with planned out goals that result in a reward for myself. In this case, the ultimate reward is a promotion. Not only would the raise involved be nice but I have go to get the Ass(istant) out of my title.

Goal: Flawlessly execute my projects.
The Deal: It's the nature of the business for advertisers to make several changes and therefore pushback the timelines of projects. Just once I'd like to do everything on time.

Goal: Successfully execute next week's west-coast event on my own.
The Deal: I'll be heading westward next Wednesday to manage a reader and advertiser event. According to our events manager, it'll be a turn-key event. I'm nervous as hell. I'll be the only representative from the magazine. It's all on me.

Goal: Develop a big idea for a big anniversary the magazine will be having in a year or two.
The Deal: I've yet to bring my own flushed out big idea to the table in my department. I've sat in on brainstorms and added to the ideas of others. Now, I want to come up with my own big idea and see how it goes.

This is just the beginning. I should probably also stop gchatting so much and not work on Working Girl posts at work. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Working Girl Idol: Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood won American Idol at age 20. Her first album Some Hearts was certified platinum seven times and is the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history. Underwood has the best-selling album by an American Idol contestant in the United States to date, and in addition she is the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history. Plus, she dated the dreamy Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford.

Oh, and the greatest part about Carrie Underwood. Her birthday is March 10. So is mine. 

So is it any surprise that this divine songstress is my latest Working Girl idol? Here's a little tidbit that you probably didn't know about WG2. If tomorrow someone came up to me and said, 'Hey, it's your lucky day. Fate decided to let you pick a celebrity to be for the rest of your life. Pick now!', I would pick Carrie Underwood. 

Not only is she gorgeous, dates gorgeous guys, but she is also wildly successful and works in the country music business. And I have wanted to go to Nashville, Tennessee for as long as I can remember (someday, someday).  

Overall, Carrie Underwood is an amazing Working Girl with a great combination of luck, beauty, and talent that has gotten her to where she is today. 

And if you're ever feeling low and need a great pick-me-up song about dreams and life, download these gems from Carrie - "Crazy Dreams", "Wasted", and "Lessons Learned".

Friday, August 8, 2008

Working Girl Rents Baby Mama

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two strong, independent and more importantly hilarious women. These funny ladies are definitely role models of mine - working their way up from small-time comedians at Second City and the Upright Citizens Brigade to starring on Saturday Night Live. And now, the they are starring in major motion pictures (with Fey even writing and sometimes producing them). Talk about inspiring. 

So when ads started coming out for a Tina Fey & Amy Poehler collaboration in the form of a movie about surrogate parents, I jumped at the chance to go see the movie that I was sure would make me pee my pants from laughter. I even think that WG1 and I saw it the day it came out (we heart going to the movies btw - I think mainly because we have an excuse to eat nachos). 

To my surprise and sublime happiness, Baby Mama wasn't just a movie about finding a surrogate parent. It also incorporated succeeding at work - or rather succeeding so much so at work that everything else gets put to the side. Tina Fey stars as Kate, a 37-year-old vice president at an organic food company who desperately wants a baby - like she says in the movie, "When other women were getting pregnant, I was getting promotions". And while the movie totally revolves around Kate's clock a ticking to have a baby (any way and at any cost), sometimes we do get to see Kate at work - and when we do it made me crack up. 

Steve Martin plays Kate's completely granola and new age boss Barry. I love Steve Martin (Father of the Bride is still one of my fave movies), and he didn't disappoint with his scenes. He had me cracking up every time he joined Fey onscreen. Barry's wacky requests (like having Kate join him on top of the conference room table to enjoy five minutes of "uninterrupted eye contact") made me happy I don't work in the organic food industry. Just a sidenote: don't let my boss see this movie because she would totally want to incorporate this eye contact idea into our one-on-one meetings. No joke.

I suppose what I truly liked most about this movie was the pairing of Fey and Poehler. Like I said before, I love their passion. They obviously bring their spunk and love of what they do to everything they do (30 Rock or SNL) and this movie is no different. While Baby Mama is not the best movie ever made, nor does it keep you laughing the entire 96 minutes, it does send the message that women can have both baby and career (if they have enough dough to go it alone - the movie tells us that it's $10,000 to have a baby through a surrogate parent). And I love that in the end, Kate and Angie are still best friends raising their children together. Two women happy with the choices that they have made in life. 

So while I didn't leave the movie theater wow'ed or with wet pants, I still admire this movie for its message and for its comedic actresses. 

Do we think I can hire Fey and Poehler to be my friends? Just for the day? 

Baby Mama comes out on DVD on September 9, 2008. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much

On a monthly basis, I work on two multi-advertiser promotional programs. One that appears in the magazine and one e-mail blast. Each one typically features anywhere from three to thirty advertisers.

Long story short: advertisers send their materials (images and copy) and I, or the art department rather, design the promotion. Once it's designed, I send it to back to the advertiser or their media agency for approval. Simple, right? Oh, how I wish it were! Instead of e-mails saying "Looks Great, WG1. It's approved!" I get e-mails saying:

"The client would like to change the copy and the image."
"The font color needs to be changed. Can we pick our font?"
"WG1, we understand that you need approval by Friday. However, the client it out of the office until two weeks from Friday, can we get you approval then?"
"Where is the listing on the page? Our product cannot be next to any food advertisers or technology advertisers. Also, can you be sure that our listing is the largest on the page?"
"We really love the overall style of the page, but we'd like to change the font, colors, size and send new images."

I'll make (most of) the requested changes and send the listing back to advertiser. Then, they come back with more changes. I send the listing, they send more changes and it just keeps going until I finally tell them the page is going to print or the email blast is going out to our database.

I simply don't understand how the advertiser can send me the materials on the due date and a week later change absolutely everything about the listing. These programs are only the beginning. With bigger, more detailed programs the requests are more and more outrageous. Kind of like this:

(Writers note: I tried to embed a video here and it wasn't working on some web browsers and it seemed screw up the whole blog. Since I'm not computer savvy at all, here is the link to the video:

Yes, this is a little extreme. Ok, a lot extreme. But sometimes it truly feels like I am dealing with the people in this video. They are crazy, they don't know what they want, random people pop out of nowhere with their comments and I'm left sitting at my desk and pulling out my hair.

Did Someone Say Discount?

Working Girl Two posted a Working Girl Wardrobe post on Monday about cityclips and you all told us how much you loved them and wanted to get your hands on a pair! Now thanks to Alexa, creator of cityclips, all you Working Girls can receive 10% off a set of clips! 

Just type in the coupon code, WorkingGirl, when prompted at check out.
Offer valid through Monday, August 11th. 

Now, I'm going to get myself this set with gold buttons:

 I'm way into gold right now. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My First Business Trip By WG2

Tomorrow morning I am taking the 9 a.m. flight from Newark airport to Colorado for my first ever business trip. 

I'm shaking in my boots nervous, butterflies nervous, all sorts of nervous. Not because I'm scared of flying or taking a commercial airline flight with my bosses. I'm more nervous about performing my best (I'm going to have to be on top of my game 24-7), all the work I'm going to have to complete (this is a four day, all day event where I will have to perform lots of manual labor), and my first business dinner. 

In a meeting last week, The Boss announced that since we had a smaller staff going to our annual Colorado event this year that I was going to have to take clients out to dinner. I had a minor heart attack. 

I mean, I don't mind sitting in on meetings, taking notes, or talking in front of clients. But a whole dinner to entertain them? And to top it all off, since we're so short-staffed I will be heading this dinner alone. Which makes me shake with nervousness. What if I don't know the answer to one of their questions? What if I go over the budget for my dinner expenses? What if we run out of stuff to talk about? I mean, I'm only 23. I feel like I'm too young to be taking very important clients out for dinner at a posh restaurant. 

I guess the main reason I'm taking these clients out are because they are young so The Boss wants to show these clients a good time. Which leads me to my next big question: by a good time do we mean taking shots of tequila and dancing on tables while singing "Pour Some Sugar On Me"? Or do we mean sipping white wine and talking politics? It all makes me a little weary. So much room for error, but also a lot of room for success.  

So wish me luck readers. This is make or break time and I'm hoping I'm one tequila shot away from making it. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Suburbia is the New Manhattan

For an entire year WG2 and I lived the fabulous city life. Ok, so it was more like the broke life in what some consider to be the 6th borough of New York City (aka Hoboken, NJ). But it was still fantastic having our own apartment (however shitty it was) and being free of parents and siblings.

Long story short, on Sunday we said goodbye to our shabby apartment and parted ways. WG2 is subletting near our old stomping ground and I moved back to my dad's house. Whomp Whomp. It's only temporary, I swear.

Now these days, instead of getting out of my cozy bed at 7:00 am, I am beginning my one-mile walk, yes walk, to the train station. My morning routine had been turned upside down and I'd love to share it with you all. So here it goes, the first three hours and fifteen minutes of my day. Wow, I just realized how awful that is.

5:45 am - My cell phone alarm blares it's obnoxious ring and I struggle to find my phone among the pillows, sheets, comforter...until I discover that it's on the nightstand. I hit snooze.

5:50 am - Alarm goes off again. I hit snooze.

5:55 am - Alarm. Snooze.

6:00 am - Alarm rings and I finally turn it off. I turn on my lamp and squeeze my eyes shut as I get used to the bright light. I've recently decided that this is the worst part of my morning.

6:03 am - I'm still struggling to get out of bed. It's at this moment that I wish I had a servant, personal assistant or young sibling to go fetch me some coffee. Or I wish that I was a princess and didn't have to get out of bed at all.

6:05 am - In the shower. I don't have coffee but a hot shower will do the trick.

6:11 am - Almost halfway done with my shower. I've come a long way since I last shared my morning routine with you.

6:18 am - Out of the shower. The bathroom is freezing, the air conditioning in this house is way too cold. Note to self: talk to padre about this.

6:21 am - Make-up time. Wow, I really need an eyebrow wax.

6:27 am - Make-up is done. Six minutes, I really am getting good at this. See, make-up can be done fast Working Girls. There is no reason any Working Girl should be doing her make-up during her commute.

6:30 am - Drying my hair which will take forever despite my recent haircut. It's still very long and if I don't dry it, it will be a mess. I guess it's usually a mess even when I dry it, just not as bad.

6:40 am - Still drying. Bored. Singing "Mamma Mia" into my hairbrush.

6:45 am - Done drying, plug in my hair straightener.

6:46 am - Ok, I lied before. Now it's time for my least favorite part of the morning: getting dressed. It's especially hard in the summer because trains, subways and offices are usually frigid and outside it's sweltering. Today, I opted for my white jeans, a colorful silk-ish top and sweater for the train, subway and office.

6:53 am - Straighten my already straight hair. I know, it doesn't make sense but I do it and I swear my hair looks better. If only it wasn't so boring.

6:58 am - Grab a breakfast bar from the box of breakfast bars that my dad bought (reason #14 why living with your parent doesn't totally suck: they pay for food).

7:00 am - I start walking to the train station.

7:04 am - "Good Morning" to the middle aged man on a run. Who in their right mind runs at this hour?

7:15 am - Still walking. Sweating.

7:20 am - Arrive at the train station.

7:21 am - "Would you like a free breakfast bar?" asks a young woman in a blue shirt that says something about God. Yes, I already have a breakfast bar but God knows I eat another one if it's free. Yes, please! Clipped to the breakfast bar is a postcard about God.

7:23 am - The double-decker NJ Transit train arrives at the station and I go find myself a seat. No window seats. Bummer. No forward facing seats. Double Bummer.

7:24 am - Put my sweater one because I'm shivering already.

7:30 am to 8:06 am - Sleep. Thank Goodness.

8:25 - "This is New York Penn Station," says the automated announcer as if we're arriving at Disney World.

8:27 - Wait to get up the escalator.

8:34 - Take the A train to 59th Street and try not to hit anyone with my bag and keep my balance without holding on to anything. It's an art, really.

8:41 - Push through the crowds of the hot, sticky, urine-smelling subway station to fresh air.

8:49 - At my desk. Ready for nap, per usual. I opt for coffee (finally) instead.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Working Girl Wardrobe: cityclips

Proving that twenty-something's are taking over the world, here is my new "must-have" for the upcoming fall season - cityclips - a new stylish and oh-so-cute accessory and the brain child of a twenty-something Working Girl. cityclips are an accessory specifically designed to keep Working Girl's long slacks and pant cuffs from dragging on the narsty, gritty streets of NYC without having to resort to stuffing your pants in your boots or picking up your pants and wading through that flood on your way to happy hour.

If you can't follow my diatribe above (sorry, it's been a long day), here's the condensed version:

Problem: most work pants are hemmed to be worn with high heels.
Another problem: most Working Girls wear flats on their commute to work.
Solution: cityclips.

Here's how they work. You buy a pair of these stylish cityclips, roll up your pant cuffs, clip on two cityclips to either the sides of your pant cuffs or the back heel area (note: these can be worn in a multitude of different ways, which makes me giggle with excitement). The best part - the cityclips are made with magnets so ultimately you're not ruining a pair of pants by using these god-sends - you're actually helping preserve them!

Ok, so I admit, my black pants aren’t designer-made (admittedly, they’re from Target, but if you say Target with a French accent then it automatically makes them cost $50 more than you bought them for), but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them dragging or fraying. Even though they’re cheap, I still expect them to last longer than six months. So once I get my next paycheck, I am totally shelling out the $36 to buy a pair of these cityclips.

Now I just have to decide what design I want. My biggest dilemma of the day, whether I should get the large nautical anchor cityclips or the pearl cityclips.

Or splurge and buy both. I vote both.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bored on a Summer Friday

Summer Fridays in the office are usually one thing: boring. Half of the office is out on one of the four Fridays we have off this summer, clients are on vacation or are allowed to leave the office at noon and I'm left twiddling my thumbs. Ok, I guess there is always work to be done, but where's the fun in the that. When the office is quiet and slow I am bored and not in the mood to do work. Instead I visit some of these great sites:

Manhattan is full of celebrities but in unlike in sunny LA where the paparazzi are following their every move, they are hard to spot. Manhattan's celebrities are spotted by the 1.5 million people that occupy the tiny little island and those people report back to Gawker Stalker. Everyday, you can find out where Anna Wintor ate dinner last night or what movie Mary-Kate Olson saw at 7:30 on July 23th (The Dark Knight).

Not only can you find an apartment, furniture and a part-time gig on Craigslist, you can also find out if that hot guy from the A train was checking you out too, thanks to Missed Connections. Craigslisters post reverse personal ads on the site, describing the person they found attractive and asking that person to describe them in the hope they will respond and make a connections. And if reading these personal ads excites you, also check out Misconnecting in the City. Single New Yorkers write their own missed connections, respond to missed connections and blog about it. 

I just discovered this blog, like yesterday. Seriously. And I'm obsessed. In one day Jezebel covers everything from John McCain's campaign to The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Thank you in advance Bravo!). I'd even argue that Jezebel is somewhat educational for those of us who like our celebrity gossip with a side of substance. And honestly, how can you not love a blog with a contributor that goes by the name Slut Machine? I mean, come on, that's great!

I don't consider myself a fashionista at all. Getting dressed for work in the morning is my least favorite thing to do. I sometimes wish I could wear a uniform. Oh, how I miss my pleated skirt. I do however, love looking at fashion, clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. FabSugar covers the high-end designers and the more budget-friendly ones with almost hourly updates. If FabSugar doesn't strike your fancy, check out one of the other SugarNetwork sites: Popsugar, BellaSugar and BuzzSugar are a few of my favorites. 

I hope these hold you over for the rest of the day Working Girls. It's not even time for lunch and I'm already bored.