Monday, March 31, 2008

I Am Bored 5% of My Work Day

After getting my promotion almost two months ago I have little time to peruse the Internet. On the positive side I now have more to keep me occupied instead of studying the state of my cuticles for two hours in the afternoon or refresh TMZ every five minutes to avoid boredom. 

There are moments however where I get a free moment in between updating my next event's microsite or filling out forms for my company's next trade show in Los Angeles (these days this 'free moment' is during my one-hour lunch break where I try to sneak my daily gossip fix or pretend to be interested in CNN). 

This week I have hit the motherload in terms of free time -- The Boss is on a trip to Italy for the week and barely checks for CrackBerry when she is on European time which translates into WG2 being allowed to freely browse the net and procrastinate. Here are a few sites that help occupy my 'The Boss free' time. 

1. Post Secret - There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, better than reading other people's deepest darkest secrets while eating your morning bagel. The concept being this spectacular blog is simple; for the past three years Frank Warren has invited people to reveal secrets that they have never revealed to anyone on a creatively decorated postcard which he then posts them on his website. 

2. Miss Couturable - Ever since I lived with two fashion obsessed roommates two summers ago, I've become addicted to fashion. They introduced me to the likes of vintage jewelry and Forever 21. I like it in the small ways though -- window shopping on 5th Avenue after work, getting newsletters from Kate Spade, and stalking Marc Jacobs website. My most recent obsession are fashion blogs and my favorite is written my high school junior who writes posts about Iraqi fashion, her obsession with cupcakes and the latest trend of bow dresses (I definitely need one for the spring btw). 

3. Shorpy: History in HD - This photography blog literally brings photos come to life. The creator of this blog takes old photographs that have been sent into him by members and photos he has found from the 20's, 30's and even from the 1800's and takes them from being low-res photos to hi-res and sometimes even adds in color bringing our ancestors back to life. 

4. Ebay - A big cocktail ring for $21.95, a Rebecca Minkoff bag for $207.50, and the "Pride & Prejudice" mini-series where Mr. Darcy played by Colin Firth where he derobes and therefore wins my heart for $1.05. You had me at ring. 

5. Overheard in the Office - The overheard conversations on this blog are updated every hour and they are hilarious -- and there are four editions including 'Overheard at the Beach', 'Overheard in New York', 'Celebrity Wit', and 'Overheard Everywhere'. My favorite overheard conversation in the work place today:

Office girl #1: Man, I'm really bored. I know what we should do... [Looks around] Aw, we don't have any glue, do we?
Office girl #2, confused and horrified: Um...

All I have to say is thank God for Italia. 

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Romance in Conference Room 1

After some fun Internet research (while I was supposed to be doing data entry might I add), I discovered a office romance survey on (while trying to find a new job to replace my current shitty one). The survey was quite intriguing revealing that almost half - about 40% of workers - say they have dated a co-worker at one point during their careers and 20% admitted to dating a co-worker more than twice in their lifetime. 

I can unfortunately admit to being part of that 40% having awkwardly dated not just my co-worker, but my older and less mature boss. Admittedly not the best move on my part but when you see someone day in and day out for nine hours a day, five days a week who can blame you for having a crush on the guy in the office next to yours? Guys who you weren't normally attracted to suddenly become Greek gods in these situations. Friendships grow quickly and relationships can grow even faster. In fact out of those 40% who admit to having relationships with co-workers, 29% go on to marry the person they dated. I like those odds. 

According to Career Builder's annual survey, however, they say that office romances rarely begin with flirty e-mails or romps in the supply room between meetings. 13% of workers said that their relationships began outside the workplace when co-workers "ran into" one another at other functions. 

Other spark inducing situations for co-workers include a particularly drunken happy hour where 11% of co-workers felt the love, 10% learned to love one another while putting in over-time, another 10% admit to falling in love at first sight and another 2% admitted that a company office party brought them together. 

Did I mention I currently have a crush on a younger, very cute Working Boy at work? Maybe I thought this survey might give me insight to my flirty 9 to 5 relationship. Now if only he didn't have a cute, young Working Girl of his own that he treats to lunch three times a week. 

Sigh. I think I'll just keep crushing on Jim Halpert. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Working Girl in the Windy City

'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 Chicago, Illinois about her career as a junior copywriter. 

My days are filled with working on farming equipment, fighting with super-heroes, and searching for just the right words to explain how Facebook on your Blackberry is like having peanut butter with your jelly. I'm a junior copywriter and I get paid to be creative (in other words, I write copy for ads - not copyrights as my uncles still seem to think).

I’m a Midwest Working Girl born and raised, and now I'm working in my Sweet Home Chicago, where the winters are never-ending, the Cubs are the talk of the town (this is our year!) and where you can strike up friendly conversations with anyone on a bus, in an elevator or even on the street. Though just a word of warning, be careful of the creeps...especially on the bus (a story for another time).

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer but when I went to college in the land of cheese and obese Packer fans (don’t even get me started), I discovered and fell in love with the wonderful world of advertising. When I declared my double major in advertising and public relations, it was a no-brainer to me to choose copywriting as my career path since it is defined as a profession that takes publicity, advertising, and writing and uses them to promote an idea, a brand, or a website among many other things.

I completed two internships during my senior year of college. The first was at a regional branch of an amazing Boston-based advertising agency. There, I worked on the McDonald’s account for almost 8 months. After sitting next to giant posters of McFlurrys and Snack Wraps all day, I began to crave them all the time…and I still do. For my second internship, my copywriting professor hired me as his intern and I spent a semester writing copy for industrial heaters, air conditioning units, and eyeglass cutting machinery. Absolutely riveting stuff, I know.

When it came to finding my first real Working Girl job, I didn’t have to look far. In fact, I only sent out my resume to one person (after he contacted me for it), had one interview and voila! I was hired. I was really, really lucky. My current boss had given a presentation in one of my classes in October of senior year. Before he even spoke, I handed him my resume and cover letter. In the beginning of July, he emailed me out of the blue asking me if I would be interested in an interview. Ten days and one short interview later, I was a Working Girl.

My boss later told me (after a rowdy client holiday party) that I stood out to him because never before had someone given him their resume, in front of the whole class, before he even started talking. He said he couldn’t believe I had the guts to do that. Me? A gutsy girl? I didn’t think I was at the time, but it just goes to show how putting yourself out there and meeting the right people can really pay off. I think networking with people throughout all facets of the industry in which you want to work is the key to success and landing your “dream job”.

So where would I like to go with my job? Well eventually I’d like to lose the “junior” on my title. It makes me sound like a girl-scout-in-training. Despite that I feel lucky because I ended up with the job I truly wanted and hopefully I’ll get to stick with it and grow from here.

For now, I’ll just enjoy working on The Magnificent Mile and living in the thriving metropolis that is my home. Though the first few months were a tough adjustment for me (only 10 vacation days?!), I’m beginning to realize that I actually can handle the Working Girl lifestyle. 

But before you think I don't still have a little college in me, I'd like to just say “everybody’s workin’ for the weekend” has become my midweek battle cry even though I love my creatively quirky job. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Working Girl Watches: The Hills

Lauren and Whitney are off to Paris within five minutes of The Hills: Season 3 Continued premiere (but not without Heidi getting some facetime discussing her relationship with Spencer) and my stomach is immediately in knots. How are they going to mess up this time, I think to myself. C'mon you know they are going to. 

They haven't even checked into Le Grand Hotel in Paris yet when they decide to skip the first item on their itinerary, picking up shoes at Colette, and get their ballgowns. When L and W arrive at Colette, oh mon dieu, it's closed. "Clearly, we should have gotten the shoes first, and our dresses second." Clearly, Whitney, clearly. 

"I mean, it's our first night here, I'm sure they'll understand." Right Lauren, because Lisa Love and your colleagues at Teen Vogue have been so understanding in the past.

I'm amazed that the girls are so clueless about their itinerary. Did anyone at Teen Vogue sit down with them and go over their schedule? their tasks for the week? anything? Co-workers of mine are planning a trip for their bosses to three major European cities, it's taken countless hours of planning, pages of word documents, and several discussions with those people taking the trip. Why? So they know what they are doing, where they are doing it, and how they are getting there. How could these two not know what they have to do?

"There's a light show, right?" - Lauren on le Tour Eiffel.

The moment Lauren turned to her ballgown and pondered the idea of wearing out in Paris, I knew she was going to eff-up. Anyone else? I predicted (to myself, because WG2 is still in the Vegas, probably taking pictures in front of the fake Eiffel Tower) that her eff-up would occur as she was taking out her homemade hem. I was wrong, she burned the dress with her curling iron and somehow it looked like coffee on the dress. Remind me not to have coffee next time I'm in Paris. 

"The curling iron does something like that?" - Whitney
"It's fabric, it burns!" - Lauren 

Did Teen Vogue really hire Whitney? Obviously fabric burns. 

Kimball, senior editor at Teen Vogue, had some life-changing advice for Whitney when she told him that she sees herself more in styling. "Then maybe you should pursue that," he said. Very profound. Kimball, however, is right and at the end of the episode Whitney expresses that she's ready for a change, that she doesn't want to sit behind a desk at Teen Vogue. I say, Go Whitney! She's put in, what is it, three years there? It's time for her move her Working Girl heels up in the world.

I'm beyond thrilled that The Hills is back! I finally have something to watch on Monday nights. I have a few lingering questions about this episode:
1. Did Heidi get her lips done?
2. It's been five years since Carrie went to Paris on "Sex & the City", MTV couldn't find a different french r&b/rap song to play during the debutaunt ball scene?
3. How did Heidi manage to get all this time off work to "figure things out?"

Things I'm looking forward to this season:
1. Brody Jenner 
2. Whitney's final days at Teen Vogue and her "deal with the devil" (what is she doing?).
3. Brody Jenner
4. Lo-ism's ("Brody's girlfriend's very pretty." Way to make your BFF feel better, L0.)
5. Justin Bobby
6. She-Spencer's friendship with Lauren.
7. Brody Jenner

Monday, March 24, 2008

Charge It!

A girl doesn't forget her first credit card. Whether it was really daddy's credit card with her name on it or it a pre-approved card that came in the mail.

A Working Girl never forgets her first corporate card. Or, at least I don't think they do. I received my first corporate card last week; I haven't forgotten it yet. With my new position in Marketing, which starts on March 31st (finally), I meet the requirements to have a corporate card.

The shiny brand-new American Express card with my name on it arrived via interoffice mail. I activated my card online and put it in a safe spot in my wallet, right next to a Forever 21 gift card.

The responsibility of having a corporate card makes me feel a little more legitimate as an employee. I'm trusted with spending company money on marketing projects and supplies. Not only will have be responsible for the expenses of my new bosses, I'll have to stay on top of my own. I pay my personal bills on time and my expenses are usually in order, but having a corporate card makes me a little nervous. Maybe the nervousness about handling the responsibility of a corporate card is really nervousness about handling the responsibilities of my new job. Same goes for feeling more legitimate as an employee. Either way, I excited about my upcoming responsibilities.

I haven't used the corporate card yet, because I haven't officially started my new job. It's just sitting in my wallet waiting to be used, along with that Forever 21 gift card.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Let's Do Lunch

My favorite three work related words are 1. let's, 2. do, and 3. lunch. It indicates a lot of things, but mostly that I will be dining at a fine establishment in New York City on the company's corporate card. The fact that I don't have a corporate card nor would anyone ever need to take me out for a fancy lunch at a four star restaurant has not made me fall out of love with these three working words. No, instead I dream of a day when people will want to woo and dine me. Until then, I am a paper-bagger, bring-my-lunch-to-work kinda girl. I'm also poor. So from one poor Working Girl to another, here are some ways to save that moola when considering your lunching options.

Bag It
I know, I know. I hear you girls, paper bag lunches are so middle school. I was even one of those girls in high school who bought lunch everyday, so trust me when I say this is hard even for me to do. Bringing lunch for me is always difficult because I'm very forgetful (so I end up leaving my soup and pretzels in the cupboard and then remember two hours later that I have no lunch) and I'm a sucker for fast food, pizza, etc. My trick is to purchase my food for the week early Monday morning. I wake up early, go to the grocery store near work, buy exactly five meals (healthy, nutritious and usually Lean Cuisine), and that way I have no excuse to 'just run downstairs and grab a slice' when I could just run to our kitchen and heat up a frozen meal. And I end up saving big bucks. 
*Frozen meals can always be substituted for deli meats, canned soup...I think you get the idea.

Get Creative
When turkey sandwiches and PB&J just aren't cutting it anymore, it's time to go Food Network on your lunch's ass. Recently, I've been frequenting the new websites for meals to spice up my brown bag lunches. I happened upon and while their suggestions aren't out-of this-world new, I did think their idea to bring a chicken cutlet sliced up and some honey mustard a good enough idea to try. While I'll admit that Rachel Ray kills me, her 30-minute meal cookbooks are killer in the kitchen for a post-grad like myself. And last but not least, my favorite place to find new killer lunch ideas is Kaboose. They have sandwich recipes, salads, soups, Mexican recipes, and even semi-easy Chinese recipes. My only criteria is that the lunches I find are easy to make and have relatively easy to find ingredients (because I am so not going all the way to Italy to pick some herbs for my next pasta salad). 

Dining Out
When that annoying co-worker just won't stop pestering you to join them for a meal or you just can't fathom eating another stale chip from home, there are ways to skimp on your dining out excursions. My advice is to avoid sit-down restaurants at all costs since these will immediately put you into double digits range, but if you can't avoid it stick with appetizers and side salads. If at all possible try to veer towards mom and pop owned delis - generally they will be cheaper than Cosi or Lenny's whose sandwiches range from $8-$10. 

One thing I won't say no to though is a free meal. And I've had my fill - Sushi Samba, Big Daddy's, The Pump - I'm a regular 'let's do lunch' hoe. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's Time for a Drink

Every so often a group of coworkers will get together for some post-work beverages at a local watering hole. This is called Happy Hour. 

At Happy Hour everyone is happy because the work day is over and drinks are cheap. Or, they are supposed to be. In reality, while everyone is happy the work day is over but most of the time, happy hour is spent talking about work and complaining about work. Not to mention, the drinks aren't even that cheap. 

There are a few things every good happy hour needs:

1. First and foremost, Alcohol. Lots of it. Obvi. 

2. Greasy food. For every two beers or two glasses of wine or two mixed drinks or two shots (if you're gonna go hardcore) there should be one greasy appetizer. My person favorites include fried calamari, baked brie, potato skins and french fries. 

3. Office gossip! A little gossip never hurt anyone, at least not that badly? Ok, sometimes it backfires but gossip is great and you know you love it (reason #12 why work is like high school). 

4. An awkward moment between a male coworker and a female coworker. A coworker of mine once mentioned a broken bedpost, I jumped into the conversation way too late and brought up a pretty inappropriate reason for a bedpost to be broken. 

5. A drunken make-out! Oh I forgot, this isn't college. 

And there is one thing that every happy hour doesn't need, a next day hangover. That would be so college, so freshman year.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Take Your Top Off (And Get Fired)

A year ago today, WG1, and fifteen (yes, you heard right - fifteen) of my closest girlfriends and I would just be getting back from our college Spring Break trip to Negril, Jamaica. We would all be dragging our feet off the plane, possibly still drunk, and walking from the crystal waters and beautiful beaches of the land of Bob Marley into a blustery snowstorm. I remember being tired, cranky, hungry, hungover (in that order) and completely dreading going back to school and subsequently to homework, to boy drama, to internships and baby-sitting.

And now as I sit at my teeny-tiny cubicle in gloves and a scarf because my office lacks any kind of heat in the winter, I would give my left arm to be just getting off that airplane and skipping and clicking my heels back to school. It's such a difficult change - going from getting the odd Monday off here and there for national holidays, a month for winter break, and three glorious months for summer - to working five days a week, maybe getting off one or two national holidays and having to sit sweating at your desk during the summer. But I think the one break I miss the most has to be Spring Break - a week where you can go and be anyone else in a tropical locale with all your best friends during the cold winter months.

In protest to the ways of the working world, I am going to pretend I'm still in college and participate in Spring Break 2008. On Thursday night I will be taking a plane to Las Vegas, Nevada with my Fabulous Project Manager and our friend Lisa. Vegas, baby! I can't tell you how excited I am. In the city of sin, I will get to gamble away my money, throw away my money, and drink away my money at glamourous night clubs, exotic restaurants, and maybe even the Chapel o' Love (just kidding Dad!).

My working friends all had different reactions - The Boss told me I deserved a nice break off (but I could tell she was peeved she wouldn't have anyone to make sure her office lights were on in the morning, the younger crowd all seemed jealous that I had this glorious idea to save this great tradition, and some of my older friends teased me for being young, naive and immature for wanting to splurge on such a decadent five-day vacation.

While I agree, I might not have the funds to support myself and this trip, I do think I deserve a break. Long hours, overtime, even working weekends - eek, I get tired just thinking about my last two months in my new position at work.

I'm looking forward to some sun to cure my Working Girl woes and I might just take my top off - at the pool, with a bathing suit on - so I can get a tan (or more freckles).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How To Not Be Asked Back For a Second Interview

For the past two weeks, my bosses have been interviewing candidates for my job. I've gained new perspective of the interview process from watching candidates come in and out of the office and from listening to my bosses discuss how the interviews went.

I remember the effort and preparation that I put into interviewing for my job. My 25-minute interview required hours of trying on of outfits, researching the magazine, coordination rides and public transportation, resume tweaking, and mock interviewing. One interview, to the interviewee, is a day-long event. To the interviewer, it's just another meeting on the calendar.

I have greeted all the interviewees as they walk through the door. I have to admit, I've looked most of them up and down and judged them based on their appearance and demeanor when I first meet them. Some have thought that I was interviewing them (wouldn't that be nice, some days I really could use my own assistant), others were somewhat rude. It's probably a good idea to be nice to the assistant greeting you, they will most likely tell their boss(es) if you aren't nice.

After almost every interview Chicken Soup Boss has been ready and willing to gossip and share the details of the interview: what she liked and didn't like, what she thought was weird or questions that could have been answered better (sidenote: a few interviewees were people I knew or friends of friends, she didn't go into too much detail with those interviews).

One interviewer that stood out was a recent graduate with some background in magazines but had a great deal of experience in finance. Upon seeing her resume, Chicken Soup Boss said, in her Long Island accent, "does she know this is a magazine job (as opposed to a finance job)?" In her interview, my boss learned that she knew this was a magazine job and she wanted this magazine job. Scratch that, she wanted my boss's job. There comes a time in every interview when the interview asks the interviewee if they have any questions. This overly ambitious interviewee asked the wrong ones. Instead of asking "what can I do to gain positive recognition as a sales assistant?" she asked "what can I do as a sales assistant to gain the recognition to become a sales rep?" She was more interested in the opportunities after a sales assistant position than the sales assistant position itself. My boss said to me at the end of our conversation "you have to the remember to interview for the job you are applying for." Sounds simple enough.

This interviewee worked as an intern with a friend of mine from college and the morning of her interview I found out from my friend that she quit her job that same morning. Her reason for quitting: she needed to focus on studying for the GMAT. If her reason for quitting is true, I'm not sure why she is applying for full-time jobs. The publishing world is small so it's not a great idea to burn bridges or lie if you want to move forward in your career. Needless to say, she wasn't asked back for a second interview.

It's odd watching candidates come in and interview for your job. It reminded me that, at this point in my career, I'm somewhat dispensable. Almost anyone can do my job, I'm just hoping whoever they hire doesn't show me up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Working Girl Idol: The Spice Girls

It has been almost exactly one month since WG1, our Fabulous Project Manager (why yes, we do have a manager), and I saw The Spice Girls reunion tour and I still can’t stop thinking about all the glitter, sequins, Union Jacks, and ‘Girl Power’ chants, which is why I have chosen to nominate The Spice Girls as my most recent Working Girl idols.

I’m have been a fan of The Spice Girls for quite a while and having been in seventh grade when their single “Wannabe” first aired on the air waves, I think that’s respectable to admit. When they announced their ‘Reunion Tour’ dates, WG1 and I had just started doing the 9 to 5 thing and couldn’t afford even the nosebleed seats without having to resort to having WG1 beg her father to buy them so we could totally pay him back later or whatever. We felt like we were in seventh grade again, which was fitting since almost everyone in the crowd had just bought training bras (we literally were three of the oldest people at the concert – except the teenybopper’s mothers).

But the Spice Girls aren’t just a pre-teen obsession of mine (even though I could still listen to ‘2 Become 1’ on repeat for days at a time). The girl group is an icon for Working Girls everywhere. They are five working women who took feminism and being a strong woman and made it into part of their Spice brand helping adolescents and grown women alike have the power to stand tall while being independent.

The Spice Girls are a five-person girl group that formed in London in the mid-1990s. They released three studio albums, thirteen singles, and sold 55 million records in their long career making them one of the most successful girl groups of all time. After taking a hiatus to pursue other projects, the Spice Girls recently reunited for a reunion tour around the world (and more specifically the beautiful Garden State where I almost lost my voice belting out their songs).

Of course what made them stand out to women around the world was their feminist empowerment – that they promoted sexuality, strong-mindedness, and the ability to have lasting friendships all in one package. You didn’t have to choose one part or the other – you could be sexy and smart. Although their message was not a new one (we’re pretty sure Madonna and other women of the ‘80s made being strong look pretty cool), the Spice Girl’s ‘girl power’ mantra made their feminist approach to life such a cultural phenomenon that the phrase itself even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

In conclusion, I’d like to give a big ‘holler’ to Posh, Scary, Sporty, Baby and especially Ginger for giving the girls of my generation and ones to come a positive message to stand behind.

And I’m not-so-secretly hoping that the Spice Girls decide to do another reunion tour in another five years.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

I was completely under the assumption that today was going to suck. Just the thought of having to go to work on a Monday makes me nauseous, but having to go to work on a Monday when it's your birthday – wow, talk about a double edged sword. So if you haven't guessed, today is my birthday and it's a Monday and I was not only dreading today because it's the start of the work week, but also because my birthday won't be on a weekend until I'm 28 or 29. I know, I know I'm whining (something I'm really great at by the way). Surprisingly, today has unexpectedly been a great birthday and I would like to give you a replay of one of the most random, awkward and terrific birthdays I have ever had.

7:00 a.m. I am awake after Timbaland serenades/scares the shit out of me as "The Way I Are" blares from my cell phone. My eyes feel like they are sewn shut because I woke up on the hour every hour since I fell asleep at one a.m. because Mondays make me an insomniac.

7:15 a.m. I get out of the shower shivering because our building is devoid of hot water in the mornings.

7:45 a.m. I put on my "birthday outfit" – a sweater dress that my Dad (a.k.a Jim) bought for me. Thanks Dad! I love this little number.

8:15 a.m. I leave the apartment for my 10 block walk to the PATH. I'm late because I just had to curl my hair today.

8:45 a.m. I got on the late PATH train into the city. But I snagged a seat after jumping over a pregnant lady. Hey, it's my birthday. Cut me some slack.

9:05 a.m. I arrive at work and there is already a line for the elevators (yes, a line). I wait ten minutes for an elevator and then ride Elevator 4, which I have named the 'Other Tower of Terror'.

9:06 a.m. Everyone on the elevator screams when the elevator drops between floor 3 and 4.

9:07 a.m. I arrive safely on floor 10.

9:17 a.m. The Boss arrives at work and greets me at my cubicle and sings "Happy Birthday" to me in a falsetto voice. And she doesn't just sing one verse, she sings the whole thing while I awkwardly sit there saying 'thank you' over and over. Then she hands over the booty. Oh yes, she has bought me a gift. A bracelet and earrings from Banana. And they are awesome. I wear them all day.

9:44 a.m. I get serenaded by another co-worker. The "Happy Birthday" count is now at 2.

11:55 a.m. The Biggest Loser voting results are announced. I am safe for another week. I'm pretty sure it's only because it's my birthday.

1:06 p.m. My best work friend, who is gay, pushing 45, and Cuban, announces that he and three of my other co-workers are taking me to lunch. Tater tots for all.

2:45 p.m. A guy I hooked up with once (I repeat, once) during my sophomore year of college at a music festival in Wisconsin writes on my Facebook wall. It reads, "Happy Birthday. *grin". I didn't know I had made such an impression...on such a creep.

3:22 p.m. The entire office brings over a platter of mini-cupcakes to serenade me for the third time today. Again, I sit awkwardly in my cubicle and say 'thank you, thank you' over and over. Then I eat two cupcakes and kiss my weight loss this week goodbye.

4:00 p.m. I have a meeting with The Boss. She gives me about five new projects. All that need to be done before 6 p.m. Awesome.

6:07 p.m. My gay, Cuban and pushing 45-year-old best friend escorts me to the PATH station. On the walk, he asks me if I would consider marrying his new boyfriend Jose because he needs a green card. And he's serious. He offers me to let me move in so it can be like 'Three's Company' - "only gayer". I think it would make a good reality show - "Two Latinos and a Irish Girl."

8:03 p.m. WG1 surprises me with pretty cupcakes! And I have what every Birthday Working Girl needs at the end of a long day - a glass of pink champagne.

Today wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was an overall entertaining birthday full of singing, cupcakes, tater tots and even a proposal (even if it was from a gay man). And I think I might even be looking forward to my birthday next year -- when I will be turning 24 on a Tuesday. Hey, at least it won't be on "Hump Day".

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hi, I'm Working Girl One and I'm a Marketing Assistant

I'm not quite a marketing assistant yet, but I'm going to be soon.

Recently, our current marketing assistant gave her two weeks notice and recommended me for the job. For some time, I'd been contemplating sales versus marketing. I think I was almost trying to convince myself to like sales because it's so lucrative, but marketing is just more fun (at least for me). I can plan events, create promotions and gift baskets, and I find that very enjoyable.

When Facebook Friend Boss left and I began doing her job, I started to look at what I was doing everyday more analytically. What I found out: my heart is not in sales. When the marketing assistant told me her news, I started jumping up and down (figuratively not literally). This told me something, told me that right now my heart is in marketing.

I spoke to the associate publisher of marketing, who I had interned for during the summer of '06, and she was thrilled that I was interested. I was basically told that if I want the job, it was mine.

It was hush hush for a while and I couldn't tell my current bosses (awkward!), but last week I was officially offered the job. This means I'm going to be an assistant for a little longer than I thought I'd be but the offered me some monetary incentive, the possibility of a promotion to coordinator after six months, and a sweet business trip to South Africa.

Chicken Soup Boss
thinks I'll end up in sales, she thinks I have the personality for it. I think she's wrong.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Big Switch

There comes a time in every Working Girl's life when she decides it's time to move on to greener pastures. For some this is an easy decision to make when your benefits don't cover dental or your need for contact lenses (or Lasik eye surgery which I am so asking for as a gift for Christmas 2008) or when your boss uses you as a punching bag. Sometimes though, it's hard to decide to move on when you've become comfortable in your daily routinue or you can't imagine leaving behind these great new friends you've made in your co-workers.

However, no matter how easy or hard the choice is, at some point it has to be done. As a sidenote, after graduating from college and receiving my first job, a professor gave me the following advice. He told me that if I didn't like my new job within the first few days, I had two weeks to find a new job or I had to commit to my company for at least a year. This is a word of wisdom from someone who has been in the writing industry forever and has interviewed some of the world's great musicians. In other words, I look up to him and trust his advice. But I also understand the urgency in wanting to leave a company the day after you find out that your main duty as an employee will be getting your boss lunch everyday from that salad place two blocks over (signature salad, dressing on the side, whole wheat bread, butter on the side, two knives...I am such a great assistant). So we at Working Girl say, forget the rules and do what your heart tells you to.

All right, so you want to get out and you want to do it now. The first step is of course sending out all those resumes and cover letters (I'm drained thinking about it). And then come the interviews. This is the tricky part and something we had hoped to help you with today. Here are some ideas/options/tricky ways to get out of work to interview for those greener pastures.

Save up those vacay days.
Someone older and wiser once told me that hoarding your vacation days, sick days, and personal days will only help you in the long run, especially if you want to get out of a job quickly. Take a week off work for a "Vegas vacation" and then run around town trying to find a new job. Devoting all your time to interviews, resume revising and rewriting cover letters will only help you score a new career.

Tell those sweet little lies.
One of my best friends in college was one of the greatest liars I had ever met (and I say that with immense pride). She got out of final papers, took her exams late without penalty and skipped class like Ferris Bueller with excuses like, "I had a pregnancy scare over the weekend" and "One of my best friends was in a car accident and I was with her at the hospital." As long as you don't go overboard, lying can only help you in this particular situation. My favorites include "I have to wait for the repairman" and "I have a fever". Apartment problems and sicknesses are my go-to get-out-of-work cards.

Good morning sunshine.
If you cannot get out of work, ask your interviewee if they are willing to meet you before work. Sometimes the higher-ups are willing to come in early to meet candidates (and not just if they are desperate for a new worker bee either).

Let's do lunch.
If mornings don't work, try asking if they will see you during the lunch time rush. Or try to get an interview around 11:30 and talk all morning about how hungry you are and then dash out by saying you were ravenous and just could not wait to eat. Just make sure to ask how long your interview will be since it's hard to excuse a three-hour lunch break.

Now roll on out to greener pasutres.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Working Girl Idol: Andy Sachs

"I think I'd do a good job as your assistant."

If only we could all say those words and land a job that, say it with me now, a million girls would kill for. Yes, I would have killed for the job a Runway. I would kill for that wardrobe, that boyfriend, that apartment, that trip to Paris. Ok, so working for Miranda Priestly wasn't exactly a walk in the park and Andy almost didn't get out of her job with any integrity, but c'mon it looks so fabulous.

But beyond the fabulous couture is a naive college graduate, trying to find her way in the world. Or at least the publishing world. Andy Sachs is a rock star assistant who becomes slightly consumed by the fashion magazine industry, but in a more endearing way. She sacrifices a year of her life because she believes it'll all be worth it. Andy believes that while she's doing the job that a million girls would kill for, she's preparing for the job and career that she would kill for. The New Yorker. Vanity Fair. Whatever that dream job is.

Re-watching The Devil Wears Prada this weekend (WG2 & I have three copies in our apartment) after working for almost a year, I had a new perspective on the movie. Andy learns more about herself in her months of working for Miranda Priestly than she did in college. Her life changes and she discovers what she wants from life and a career.

Even if all that she learned was that she doesn't want to work for a fashion magazine.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dirty Night In

The season premiere of "Dirt", FX Network's popular drama centered around the life of Lucy Spiller played by Courtney Cox Arquette the executive editor of the tabloid magazine, Dirt Now, opens with a warning: "The following is rated TV:MA. It contains strong language, violence and nudity. It is intended only for mature audiences. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED."

I am a new viewer and I am officially scared.
I'm also frightened of the plot. The "previously on" clips show Cox Arquette's character being stabbed by disgruntled actress Julia Mallory because Dirt Now has 'ruined' the actress by showing her addiction to painkillers, uncovering that she leaked her own sex tapes to the press, and oh, Lucy Spiller has been sleeping with the actresses's now ex-boyfriend and actor Holt McLaren. Promptly after stabbing Spiller, Mallory runs away only to be hit by an oncoming car and Spiller slips into a coma. Whew, I missed a lot last season. I made a mental note to rent season one at Blockbuster over the weekend if I end up liking this episode.

And it looks like this weekend I will be holed up in my bedroom watching secrets being exploited and stars' lives being ruined because I am in L-O-V-E with "Dirt". The premiere opens with Lucy coming out her coma only to immediately to utter the word "cover" to the only character on the show that she seems to have any real connection with - paparazzo Don Konkey. After doing some research, I find out that they knew each other in college when they were in the journalism club together (how sweet). I also find out that he is schizophrenic, which I promptly look up online after his cat starts talking to him. But I digress, back to the plot line. Lucy wakes up, asks to see the front cover of Dirt Now after being in a coma for two weeks, and it seems that everything is going to go back to normal.

Let the drama begin. The second season story line reads like Anna Nicole Smith's life. Martina Lynn married a rich, much older man for his money, he croaks, to protect her fortune she hires a lawyer who she then begins to date, gets pregnant by said lawyer and then her son from a previous marriage OD's on methadone. The front page baby picture story ends up turning into much more when a paternity test reveals the lawyer is not the father.
Much of the drama follows the same pattern: celebrity has picture taken of them, they confront Lucy about the pictures, Lucy threatens them by saying 'unless you have a bigger story to give me, then this is front pages news'. Needless to say, the story lines are sticky and therefore sweet.

My favorite part of course are the Working Girl journalists played by Courtney Cox Arquette and her staff writer Willa McPherson. Lucy is a strong working woman who puts aside anything personal - her life is obviously the magazine. Willa appears to be a girl who will do anything to get ahead, which is apparent when she does a short monologue at the beginning of the show saying she tried to do Lucy's job while she was in a coma, but still has a far way to come to be the executive editor and then admits that she rehearsed the speech in order to suck-up. I like the full of gumption, go-getter attitudes of the female protagonists (even if they are a bit slimy, but hey it's a show about tabloids people, I think we should expect some slime).

I'm going to be adding a little dirt (and slime) to my weekly TV routine. To watch "Dirt" tune into FX on Sundays 10 p.m. eastern/9 p.m. central.