Friday, June 27, 2008

Nice To See You Again, Let's Complain About Work

A few weeks ago The Boss asked me to attend an after-work function with her. The event was going to involve cocktails and a lecture on event marketing during the time of recessions. I told her she had me at "free champagne". 

So at five thirty on a Wednesday afternoon, The Boss and I threw ourselves into a cab and attended this semi-fancy lecture with scrumptious hors d'oeuvres and a really boring lecture about how the economy sucks (talk about depressing). 

The interesting part of my evening wasn't the slight buzz I got from all the free booze or the stellar gift bag I scored as I scooted out the door, but it was running into three of my former co-workers that made my night. I have mentioned in passing before how the juiciest bit of gossip I have ever heard was when the magazine I worked for went interactive and my company fired many of its employees. What I failed to mention was that a lot of people at work were not happy with decision. A lot of us felt the people who were "let go" didn't deserve the treatment they received and that the decision had literally come out of left field. So when The Boss and I came face-to-face with these disgruntled employees the muggy air became almost suffocating. 

Obviously I didn't have anything to do with the Firing Squad (as we call it at work), but I still work for The Boss and for some reason that makes me an enemy by association. Once The Boss was liquored up and busy rubbing elbows, I started up a conversation with my former friends/co-workers. We did the small talk thing, how are the new jobs talk, and then the conversation quickly rolled around to how much The Boss sucks and why I should get a new job ASAP. 

At first, talking about all the reasons why I hated work felt awkward but a few glasses of champagne later and one of my former co-workers was handing me her card and offering me a interview at a new marketing firm she had just heard about. 

I left the party feeling great (goodie bags and free champagne made me elated) until I sobered up right after my meal of greasy fast food and I realized complaining about my current job with anyone professional probably isn't the most professional thing I could have done. 

Since then I've been fretting. Did I say too much? Did I reveal anything absolutely horrific about our company? And more importantly, do I look petty to my former co-workers for dishing out gossip? 

On one hand, these people could potentially turn on me and ruin me for this industry forever, but on the other hand maybe complaining could get me farther in my career and give me that boost I need. 

In short, I think this drunken gossip binge might have given me a little bit of a leg up (my co-worker swears that the director of a new magazine is going to call me for my resume) but my new vow is to keep my mouth shut - especially when the bubbly is flowing straight from the bottle into my half-full glass. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's In My Bag?

Lately, I've been having bag boredom. Don't get me wrong, I love the bag I've currently been using is one of my favorite bags. It was a gift from my dad from his trip to Italy. I begged for an Italian leather bag since I couldn't afford one when I studied abroad in Florence for a semester. I was somehow able to afford all the pasta and pastries that I wanted. As much as I love my bag, I'm bored. Thankfully, Botkier is coming out with a line of bags for Target in July. But, regardless of the exterior of the bag, the goods inside are usually the same.

My brown bag from Italy.

View from the top.

I'm currently reading WG2's summer reading recommendation "Tabloid Love." I too, would recommend this memoir. It's the perfect mix of chick lit and real life experience. That letter is my bookmark and I desperately need to mail it. It is a document for our landlord stating that WG2 and I are not renewing our lease and it's due by the 30th. Better do that today! Next to "Tabloid Love" is my 2008 datebook. Almost every page is blank, I never write in it. I guess I just have it for show. Or to occupy my time on the bus, I fill in events that have already happened. I don't want someone to find it in 25 years and think I was lame and boring. My pink Lodis wallet is there too, got that baby on ebay for $50 and I love it.

These are the essentials that I need everyday at work. I keep them in the rainbow pouch in the background. My younger sister used to use it as a camera case and then I stole it from her. Hehe. Airborne is a Working Girl's best friend. Sure, sick days are great because you get to stay home but there is nothing I hate more that being sick. An Airborne a day keeps the doctor away, and, unfortunately, keeps me at work. I've never taken a sick day. Burt's Bees is another must-have, along with my lip gloss. Tissues, I guess are just good to have. I think those have been there since November. Oh, and my nail file. I break my nails like it's my job and I bite them too (I know, I know, it's gross), so I use this sucker a lot.

Here are my $10 sunglasses from the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market that I keep in a Ray-Ban case. I tend to break and lose sunglasses often. So I buy them cheap. The Ray-Ban case is from a pair of Ran-Ban's I got at work (pre-South Africa trip), I don't wear them though because the look horrific on me. I'm thinking of selling them on ebay. The pink thing is my check book that I love and only use to pay rent. But it's cute, so I keep it with me. In the corner is a left over Ambien from my South Africa flight. Good to know I still have one.

Ah, the commuting anti-social devices. iTouch for all my music needs (and GMail needs if I can get an internet connection) and cell phone for all of my texting needs. My beloved Blackberry had to be returned a month ago, I've finally got back in the swing of texting on a regular old cell phone and I am no longer have dreams about BrickBreaker.

And there is all my crap. More lip gloss, some random business cards and train tickets, change (including some Euro and South African Rand) and a bag of WG1's would not be complete without bobby pins. Where ever I got, bobby pins follow.

Those are my things, that I take to work everyday, in the bag I'm bored with.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'll Have Some Tongue With My Coffee Please

It's a Saturday night in college. I'm at our local senior bar casually drinking my vodka 180 and contemplating double fisting this evening and ordering a Bud Light. One of the beloved senior couples comes crashing into me and I witness a full on make-out session. This occurred on a nightly basis (with maybe the couple would change from time to time) and I came to expect it like one would expect for the printer to stop working once you need to make copies for a super important meeting.

I never thought though that after graduating college I would witness these daily macking moments soberly on my daily transportation to and from work. Obviously I have seen my fair share of PDA in my 23 years - sometimes a quick peck on the cheek or even things that have made me blush. Lately I feel as though PDA has taken a turn for the worse to the point where I can see taste buds, yes taste buds. 

Maybe it's because I'm single, but I just don't understand the need for all the morning foreplay before the work day begins. It starts with hand holding, whispering in each other's ears and quickly turns to making out four subway stations before you have to say goodbye. Newsflash to my fellow subway riders: this is not an airport and you will see each other in 8 hours. In most cases, I'm guessing you exhibitionists co-habitat from that huge diamond ring her left hand so can we leave the Slobber Fest '08 in the bedroom? 

And it's not so much that they'll see each other soon (since you never know what can happen in 8 hours), but what bothers me the most about subway PDA is the fact that the morning rush means that a lot of bodies are going to be crushed into one small car that is hurtling underground. In my experience and during my intense research, these couples rarely hold onto things (the male thinking he is manly enough to keep them both standing), which causes a lot of bumping, falling, and awkwardness for those around said couple. Not to mention that I'm usually close enough to the twosome that if they asked me to join them in a "triple kiss" that it wouldn't be out of the question (that is if I wanted to join). 

It's possible I'm just being bitter (very possible), but I don't think I'm wrong when I ask that the subway PDA be kept to minimum. My rules are simple to adhere to and I think they should be etched into every subway car in New Jersey and New York. 

1. No tongue before 3 p.m. 
2. Hold onto something so you don't step on my new heels fourteen times on our way to 23rd street (and each other does not count).
3. Keep the slurping noises to a minimum - as in none. 
4. Licking of ears. Yikes. Just no. Not okay.

4 simple rules. That's it folks. That's all I'm asking. 

Or maybe we should just institute an "all couples" car? Thoughts? 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Reason #328 Why I Can't Stand My Job

The CEO, The Boss and The President of my company are the kings and queens of ridiculous e-mails. Emoticons, swearing, and requests that make you want to throw yourself out of the window - these are the kinds of things I look forward on a day-to-day basis when I open up my Outlook at work. 

Without further adieu I would love to provide a few examples of things that give me headaches and make me want to throw my computer out of our 20-story building. 

To: WG2
From: The President
Subject: The poster in the foyer...

Seems to be uneven....not sure if the tripod is set up correctly. If you have a chance to check and adjust that would be great. If it is going to be there until August, we may as well have it looking good :) 


To: The Entire Company
From: The CEO

I love having to do these types of e-mails...such granular stuff...but here it is...the men's room window is a drama to make work right. Please leave it CLOSED and do not, repeat, do not make any adjustments to the window. It looks bad, is hard to get back into place and frankly does no good to open. So thems the rules. Anyone caught breaking the rules will have to pee in their pants from now on. 


To: WG2
From: The Boss
Subject: lunch

Could you please get me lunch from Cosi: a signature salad w/ extra pistachios and low-fat sherry vinagrette (on the side only) with whole wheat bread. Don't forget a fork from the kitchen and napkins. Thanks. 


To: The Boss
From: WG2
Subject: 2008 events calendar

To access Google calendar you need to log into your Gmail account and then in the upper left hand corner will be a link that says "calendar". Click on this and all the events that I have created will show up. 

To: WG2
From: The Boss
Subject: RE: 2008 events calendar

Mmmmm...this assumes I know how to log into my Gmail account WG2 :) 


Yes, The Boss does not know how to use e-mail. Or Power Point. Or Excel. Or how to get her own lunch. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Working Girl Down the Shore

'A Working Girl in...'  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 living on the Jersey Shore about her decision to become a teacher despite her background in Communication. 

I'm not your conventional Working Girl who lives in a big city. I don't wear posh clothes or pointy heels every day to work. I don't do Starbucks runs or make photocopies for my "way too into herself" boss. 

In fact, my daily activities are the exact opposite. I live in a small town down the Jersey Shore. I wear button-downs and flats to work everyday. I make frequent visits to my purse for my Advil bottle and the only photocopies I'm making are for my 25 screaming students since I'm a teacher.

Teaching was not always included in my life plan. In college I was a Communication major from day one - a major that was mostly full of lacrosse players and preppy girls with pearls and matching drug problems. Communication was also known as the 'easy way out' at our college. My roommates joked that I never had a class before noon and that I wrote papers probably once every two months. Unlike my fellow classmates, I took my major seriously. Well, kind of (and apparently not as seriously as WG1). 

At first, I truly did want a career in Communication with the goal being to work for a television station or maybe even in the movie business. However, I ended up taking easy classes with professors who were closer in age to me than my parents. I was basically the Shawn Hunter of my friends (minus the leather jacket and the minor detail of not living in a trailer). 

Fast forward to summer after junior year (also known as my "Gimp Year" because of an injury I sustained on a muddy hill after my team took gold in Beer Olympics) when I interned for CBS Radio in Times Square. I liked the work, (some of) the people, and the grown-up feeling I got as I pushed my way through screaming Paris Hilton fans as I made my way into the MTV building. 

However, everyday I got on the crowded train, I felt more and more guilty.  The money my parents were spending to make me a ‘businesswoman’ was going down the drain. I didn’t want to do this the rest of my life. I realized I wanted to do what I dreamed of since I was a little girl - and that was being a teacher. 

So after graduation, as WG2 moved in with my family and began her job as an assistant three days after we left college (did I mention that WG1 & WG2 are two of my best friends?), I started taking online courses to become a teacher, spent my days at the pool, and waited by the window for WG2 to pull into the driveway at seven every night. By not having a job right out of college, I had become the rebel of the family. 

I stuck with my courses to become a teacher though and in the fall I completed an accelerated nine-month program to become a K-5 Elementary and Special Education Teacher.  It was the hardest nine months of my life (but I've never been pregnant so I assume that has to be worse). I took 30 credits per semester while student-teaching my ass off in a small rural town for one of the toughest classes in the school. Think third graders making suicide threats, stabbing one another with pencils, and students losing their best friends in drive-by accidents. Even though I don't live in New York City, it still felt like it sometimes this year.

Even through all the "but Mom, I don't wanna go to school tomorrow" tears on Sunday nights and partying way too hard on Saturday nights (Fridays are just too exhausting), I made it through and became a certified teacher.  This summer, along with enjoying my time away from the kids (I think I deserve it), I am taking courses toward my Masters and should be finished by December. 

Sometimes I get jealous of my friends and their glam lifestyles in the city, but I will never regret my decision to go back to school and follow my childhood dream. And even though I will never make big money and I'll probably have to live with my parents until I get hitched, I still get my summers off (you know you're jealous). 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ask Working Girl One Answers

Auburn Kat asked: What is your favorite store to shop in and why?

WG1 answered: For clothes, specifically work clothes, H&M is my go-to store. I don't need to wear a suit to work everyday; I need to look professional but can still dress somewhat casual. H&M has clothes that I can wear in and out of the office. Not to mention the great prices. I don't do all my shopping at H&M; the key to a great work wardrobe it mixing clothing from stores like H&M and Forever 21 with items from department stores and The Gap. 

BayJ asked: Do you see yourself in your current career long-term?

WG1 answered: I see myself in marketing long-term but I'm not sure if I see myself in magazine's long term. I've recently been considering event planning as a potential career path as the small amount of event planning I do is my favorite part of work. If event planning is the path, I'd mostly likely be in marketing. 

BayJ asked: If you didn't live in NYC, where would you live?

WG1 answered: Chicago. Boston. London. Florence. Oh, I don't know. As much as I love to travel and enjoy foreign cities, I'd most likely stay stateside. I love the east coast, especially New England, and my working boy has turned me into a pseudo Red Sox fan (don't tell my Yankee fan father) so I'd love to live Boston one day. And I probably will if my working boy has anything to do with it. 

thatChick asked: What's your idea of a perfect NYC weekend? Night?

WG1 answered: The perfect NYC weekend? It'd would be in summer and start with three dollar wine from Trader Joe's with friends and drinking games. Dinner outside somewhere and more drinks to follow. Saturday in the park with some day drinking involved. And probably more drinking games. Maybe a movie on Sunday and walking around Union Square. There are endless amounts of thing to do in the city but it's the most fun with friends and simple pleasures like food and drink. 

Ashley D asked: What is your favorite movie of all time?

WG1 answered: Hardest. Question. Ever. There are so many great movies. Honestly, I could watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on repeat for the rest of my life and never get tired of Andy Anderson and Benny Boo Boo Boo Boo Boo. Great movie.

Ashley D asked: What are of NYC do you live in? Do you like it there?

WG1 answered: Oh, I wish. My current address is in Hoboken, NJ which some people do consider the fifth borough of Manhattan. Hoboken is great, but in August I'll be making my way to the big city. Most likely living on the Upper East Side because it's the most affordable.

Rachel Eden asked: If you could go anywhere in the world for a year all expenses paid, where would it be and why?

WG1 answered: I'd go to Paris, France. When I studied abroad in Florence, I went to Paris with my friend and roommate for a long weekend and it was a disaster. We were both broke, staying in a sketchy hostel with purple walls and one too many homeless men approached us. We also spent and hour or so crying in a McDonald's because we were homesick. After that trip we promised one another that one day, when we were rich, we'd go back to Paris and do it the right way: expensive dinners with expensive wine, shopping on the Champs-Elysees and lots of chocolate. That's what I would do: Paris, the right way. 

Maxie asked: What's your most embarrassing work story?

Meg asked: When you started college, what was your game plan - the dreaded five year plan? And now, five years after that, are you happier with the reality or the dream?

WG1 answered: Around this time five years ago I was at my college orientation. My younger sister is at hers right now and god, am I jealous. In my college Facebook, an actual book of my new classmates faces not a social networking site, next to my picture my interests of Foreign Languages and Dancing were listed. 

My freshman year, I thought I would major in French and teach or translate or travel. The options were endless. But then French class became more and more difficult and I stopped taking French once I fulfilled my foreign language requirement. My plan changed to psychology then sociology and finally I declared my major as communication because I wanted to work in marketing and here I am three years after that where I wanted to be. So it was more of a three year plan once I got my act together. My dream was to live in Manhattan and work for a magazine. That is my basically my reality. But the dream is always better. In the dream, you don't think about waking up early everyday, commuting for up to an hour, getting in trouble with your boss and working late. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

To Blow Dry or Not To Blow Dry

I rarely look good for work. I think it's because I stopped trying around month three when I realized that there were no eligible men at work and after I saw The CEO wear a diamond-bedazzled skull and crossbones sweatshirt to work for the first time. I mean, if The CEO can wear a studded zip-up that promotes death then I think I can scale it down for my day-to-day wardrobe.

This lack of trying has made me commit many a Working Girl fashion faux pas. For instance, I don't wait for causal Friday to wear jeans. I wear the bare minimum of make-up (bronzer, cover-up and blush thanks). I wear flip flops once my heels start to make my feet ache. And I've even worn a sweatshirt to work (to be fair, it was really, really cold out and I was hungover). 

My latest lazy wardrobe no-no has been wet hair. I had never really thought that wet hair at work was really a big no-no until recently when a work friend of mine admitted she felt guilty coming to the office with dripping hair. And let me tell you, I'm the queen of wet hair. In a bun, in a ponytail, still waiting to dry wavy hair. If wet hair is a crime they should carry me off to jail today since I commit this one at least three-four times a week. 

So my question of the moment: should I care more and blow dry my hair? 

For instance, today I was supposed to have a meeting with a client. They cancelled at the last minute and I was so angry because I had dressed up today. I can tell when I truly look nice when my co-workers actually comment on my appearance. My favorite today was, "Omg, WG2, you wore make-up today!" - sadly, they were right. I really did it up today. I wore a nice dress, nice shoes, cute headband, and I even put on eyeliner. And the client cancels. I was pissed because when they reschedule for later in the week I'm going to have to look nice again - more than once in one week! 

That's when I realized that I was mad at a client not because I was all ready to go with my great presentation or because we had to reschedule for the third time. No, I was mad because I would have to look pretty again (maybe even on a Friday). Wow. I have let myself go. 

So this is my pledge to try a little harder not because I want The Boss to notice or to catch the eye of a Working Boy. I'm doing this one for me. 

And personally, I just decided that wet hair during the months of June, July and August is totally acceptable. Using a blow dryer in this heat? Brutal. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Working Girl Wardrobe: Glasses

Dorothy Parker once said, "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." While I might not agree with this statement (you're talking to a girl who has been called 'four eyes' since the fifth grade), I do think glasses make a Working Girl look all the more professional. 

Take these classic tortoiseshell glasses for instance. These little suckers are the glasses that grace my face day in and day out. Do I think they make me look more like a pro than a schmo? I have to admit, when I'm wearing a pencil skirt and a cute top, these can make me feel like I could woo any client.

These playful and colorful glasses are all sunshine and lollipops. Sure to brighten any boardroom. 

Ferragamo. Prada. Versace. Designer glasses are like the little black dress of eye wear. And these Bulgari rimless frames spell out sexy secretary to me. 

Blast from the past eye wear can also spice up a boring black suit. And they're cheap to boot. Buy these throwbacks to the '50's from for $5.99. The price tag might make you even consider to order these without even needing them to read your notes from your latest meeting. 

And with the right eye wear, a Working Girl might not get Working Boys to make passes but I'm sure they could get Working Men to make moves. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ask Working Girl One

You had your chance to ask WG2 any question you wanted. Now you can ask me and on Tuesday you'll have your answers! 

Like WG2 said in May, ask anything: work related or non-work related. The only thing I wont answer is where work and who I work for. 

Get askin'.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Simply Hate Commuting

This morning I woke up at exactly 8:23 a.m. which is approximately 10 minutes after I should leave my apartment for work. Today's post was supposed to be about my commute to work in the mornings but since I literally ran to work I couldn't stop and smell the roses (or take pictures), so what you get is my commute backwards - flip it and reverse it.

This is the back hallway that I often take to avoid all the upper management offices when I am either a) late for work or b) if I want to sneak out without anyone seeing me leave. The latter case is what I used the back hallway for tonight - to avoid having to go to a happy hour with my co-workers (I mean, come on Top Chef finale or a Blue Moon?). 

This the bank of elevators I have to take up and down to get the 10th floor of my building. If you look closely you can see that they doing work on Elevator #2, which I have affectionately dubbed the Tower of Terror since it jumps between floors, which makes me feel like I'm plummeting to my death at least two times a day. 

As we leave my apartment building, you run smack dab into a bank of movie trailers. I work in an area of New York City that often is a set for movies and TV shows, which is pretty sweet except for the fact that I've never spotted a celeb to go with these shiny trailers.

I pass by this ice cream truck everyday on my home from work and I am always tempted to bust out my pocketbook to buy one of those Spongebob Squarepants ice cream pops. Fun sidenote, this is the exact spot where I saw Law & Order: SVU being filmed one morning. I had my bagel with a side of Christopher Meloni for breakfast (yum!). 

Simply put, this is the great view I have of the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park. These views are what remind me why I love New York City as much as I do. 

Today, I jumped on the hot car of the train which accounts for the lack of people in this quick snapshot of the PATH train I take home. The blurriness I can only attribute to the fact that I become a Nervous Nelly when taking scenery pictures or random shots of a poorly lit subway train taking me to New Jersey. I'm a creep. 

I usually walk the ten plus blocks home from the PATH train, but if I'm feeling extremely lazy/tired/it's over 100 degrees, I'll take a bus like this sucker home for $1.35. A true bargain when you're running late for work. 

Welcome to the vestibule of our apartment. WG1 and I have come home after late-night snacking at McDonald's or our local pizza place to bums sleeping in this very corner of our vestibule. We live in one classy joint. 

And the last stop of the tour of my joyous daily commute is the messy bedroom that I left behind this morning at exactly 8:33 a.m. - just ten minutes after I had woken up from my deep sleep by WG1. Stupid alarm. 

Ugh. And to think I have to do this all again tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Working Girl One Talks About Two. Number Two.

The workplace can be a very awkward. Weird co-workers and uncomfortable situations present themselves almost everyday. For example, today my male boss said, out of nowhere, "I have a lot of gas." Uh, thanks for sharing. He was kidding and while my co-workers and I were aware of this, one of our poor little interns is now completely creeped out by him. I'm only slightly creeped out by him. 

That brings me to the topic of today's post: the bathroom. Also known as the the most awkward part of the workplace. It starts with the door. I always seems to walk in at the same time someone is walking out or vice versa. I open then door and do that awkward dance "go right, go left, stop, go right again" until I make my way in or out of the bathroom and awkwardly say "sorry" or "excuse me" under my breath. Does this only happen to me? 

Then getting to the stall. First you might run into a coworker. This usually plays out one of two ways. Scenario one: you walk in while your coworker is washing her hands or fixing her hair and she is out of the bathroom before you even lock the stall door. Not awkward. Scenario two: she just walked into the bathroom  and now you are going to use the bathroom at the same time. Awkward. Especially if you have stage fright. 

When picking a stall you may discover that a coworker already in a stall. They might be in your favorite stall and you're stuck with an unfamiliar stall. Or they are next to your favorite stall and the rest of the stalls are vacant. Do you still go to your favorite stall? Is that too close to said coworker. Awkward. 

You're in the stall. Okay, this is where we get intimate Working Girls. I'm just going to get right into because we've all had to deal with it. Number two at work. Don't tell me this hasn't cause you drama at some point. A friend of mine once confessed that for the first few weeks of her job she had some "issues" going. And let's just say taqueria week in the cafeteria wasn't very good to me. I've even overheard it in my office bathroom. I don't know what is more awkward, going number two at work or hearing someone else go. Thoughts? 

When you're done with your business and move to the sink to wash your hands. But how long do you wash for? Is anyone else in the bathroom paying attention to how long you're washing your hands for? One thing is for sure, they'll noticed if you don't wash your hands.

And you're out. Until next time. Which, for me, is usually twenty minutes later. I'm convinced I have an overactive bladder and that the entire office is aware of it. Awkward. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Is That Wet Cement In Your Hair?

I have a new fear when it comes to work. It's not the thought of getting fired or the idea of someone at work finding out about my blog. It's not about letting a typo slip through my copy-editing hands or putting the wrong dates on my promotional pieces. No, my fear is my commute that could lead to my imminent death.

All right, so I'm exaggerating a little (but like I said before I'm great at that and whining - my specialties if you will).  But anyone who lives in New York City will agree with me when I say that construction sites as of late are giving me the heebie-jeebies. Crane collapse stories are filling the headlines of CNN and MSN and The New York Times (you get my point). 

These tragedies on 50th and 91st streets have started to creep me out. Before these cranes started literally falling out the sky, construction sites meant no more to me than memories of lewd cat-calling and potbellied workers. Now I walk past construction sites and I think about metal falling on my head. 

It also doesn't help that a week ago, I was walking from my subway stop to my office and I saw a full-fledged fire taking place at construction site across from my favorite bagel shop. Red fire engines, a ladder being used to save people, streets being blocked off - the whole nine yards. They even started using a fire hydrant. Can you tell I've lived in a small town most of my life? 

And to boot, the other day Small Fry got pelted with wet cement when exiting our local Subway. "Eat fresh my ass," Small Fry had sputtered as she had sauntered up to my desk after eating. That's when I noticed the gray powder in her hair. Apparently she had been waiting to cross a street underneath a construction site after the sandwich eatery and a glob of wet cement had hit her smack dab on the head. Fortunately, our other work friend who I will call Red (for her stunning red hair of course) was there to clean her up. And don't worry we all had a good laugh at her expense. 

Of course it was nothing a shower couldn't fix. But now on my walk to work I have started avoiding construction, which all us New Yorkers (shut up, I know I live in Jersey, but please humor me) know is hard to accomplish. This has officially added on five extra minutes to my walk and more frustration to my already not-so-fun commute to work not to mention the lives these cranes have taken in the past few months.

My plea? Can someone fix this construction site problem? Because this city is damaged. I thought that I should let you know. So to quote Danity Kane some more, how you gonna fix it New York? 

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is Marketing My All Time Love?

I like to play a game on my way to work in the mornings. Mainly it involves picking a profession and then deciding if I would be in an altogether happier mindset if that's what I was on my way to do at that very moment. Would I like to be a dentist? No, probably not. Would I be happier if I were a professional waitress? Maybe. Could I be happy if I owned my own laundromat? I think that maybe I could.

The moments where I decide that I would be happier sewing buttons on shirts or slinging drinks to underage drunks instead of going to my 9-6 marketing gig is when I know that my current job is not the one for me. I'm afraid to say that marketing might not be my all time love. 

My one-year anniversary at my company was two weeks ago and since then I've been doing a lot of soul searching about what I want to do with my life. I started working just three days after my college graduation and just three days before Memorial Day weekend. I jumped the gun. I knew when I graduated that I wanted to write or edit and when those jobs didn't fall in my lap I rushed into my the job I have now, which now, after much contemplation I know was the wrong decision.  

This past year, I've learned a lot and I've grown a lot. Just last month, Small Fry confided to me that she and The Boss had had many a conversation about whether I was going to make it or not in the field of marketing. Looking back on the first few months, I'd admit that things were pretty rocky. To this day if you listen to my pre-recorded voicemail, you can tell I had no voice (since I had just graduated I'm pretty sure I was still drunk from Senior Week debaucheries) and if you look back at all the Excel sheets I did up until August you would wonder why I was never fired (yea, they were that bad). 

I can truly say I've come along way. I'm a (somewhat) valued member of my company, I've made a lot of friends, and I'm a master at Excel. But some things aren't going to change - the fact that I don't have a dental plan, that I don't have a vision plan, or that I'm always going to be an assistant no matter what my actual title is. Nor is the fact that marketing and I are not in love.

With that being said, I'm going to be making some changes in my life within the next few months. I'm going to be applying to graduate schools across the country for a master's in journalism (fingers crossed I get in) and hope that with this big change in my life, I'll get what I truly want out of my life - to fall in love with my career. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tacos, Interns, Events! Oh My!

Monday was the greatest day of my life. Not only did we have a fun fashion event with Stacy London and have three new interns there to help, it was the first day of taqueria week in the cafeteria. 

Every week the action station in our cafeteria features a different type of cuisine. I've only been waiting for taqueria week since February. The news of taqueria week spread like wildfire among the assistants. By 10:00 am, the assistant to the publisher IMed me, "It's taqueria week!" To which I replied, "You're kidding!" Minutes later, one of the sales assistants came by my desk and said, "You know it's tacos downstairs this week, right?" Finally I looked at the menu myself and it was true. Taco salad every day this week for WG1! 

The first thing the new interns learned about me was my love for taco salad. I'm pretty sure they think it's kind of creepy. Our three marketing interns started on Monday. The entire marketing team was thrilled to have interns; we put them right to work. I gave the first intern to show up the same job I was given when I was an intern two summers ago at the same magazine: calling 100 readers to confirm their attendance at Monday night's event. Two years ago I was terrified of making phone calls. I'm the girl who used to babysit and call my mom to have her order the pizza for the kids I was babysitting. Yeah, I was not a big phone person. That first day of interning is the only reason I'm comfortable on the phone today. 

We then christened them with their first magazine event. It began with a photo shoot for an advertorial that will appear in a future issue of the magazine. The photo shoot was followed by a information fashion event for 100 readers that featured Stacy London. As a big fan of What Not to Wear, I was looking forward to this event. I worked one event previously with Stacy London and she complimented the dress I was wearing. So I had to live up to her standards again on Monday (this was pre-Spanx day). I kept it simple: grey A-line skirt and white button up shirt with a pair of grey and black plaid open-toe pumps. Typically we were all black on event days. But from watching What Not To Wear, I knew Stacy isn't a huge fan of black, so I talked my events manager out of the all black attire. 

When I first saw her on Monday, I casually walked by because I'm awkward but she greeted me like she recognized me. I'm sure she didn't, but it's fun to think she might have. More importantly, she said she liked my outfit, specifically the shirt and the shoes. Mission accomplished. The compliment didn't come without some candid Stacy London advice. When she asked what I wear over the shirt, I replied, "Um...a black wrap?" Immediately regretting saying "black." She made a face and said, "You need a bright green jacket, then it will be fabulous." At the end of the event when I gave her information about where her car would be picking her up (the life of an assistant) she reminded me to get a green jacket. 

That was my Monday. It was really a great day. Then Tuesday happened. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Working Girl in La La Land

'A Working Girl in...' 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 Los Angeles, California about her career enrolled in a finance leadership program that has four six-month rotations that move those enlisted across the country to experience different financial functions while taking internal MBA courses.

"Congratulations, your next rotation will be located in Burbank, CA. Attached is your relocation package, as well as the contact information for your future manager. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with."

When I first heard the news that I was going to have to relocate from New York City to Los Angeles for the first rotation of my finance leadership program, I remember thinking, ‘Sure, can you pay my therapist bills?’

I had been sitting at my desk at the headquarters of a worldwide conglomerate and I had just agreed to move across country. In the next three weeks, I would have to wrap up my current position, train a former Dolce & Gabbana model to “like learn finance”, move across the country away from my family and friends, and start a new life in a new city – alone.

It was six days before Christmas, two weeks before my first year-end close, and approximately one second before a quarter-life crisis and mental breakdown. I’m talking about a legit breakdown. The usually mute manager from across the hall validated the visibility of my instable state when he asked me if there had been a death in my family (I’m guessing the fruit basket I had coincidentally won from the cafeteria that morning hadn’t helped the situation).

That night, I kicked off the celebration of my first rotation with a liquid dinner and a lot of Kleenex.

Fast forward five months, after a weekend of “house hunting”, in which I only left my hotel room and ANTM marathon to a) go to Pinkberry and b) swipe away my signing bonus at the Beverly Center, and I’ve finally learned how to navigate ten Excel documents without using a mouse, audited the “Sexiest Weather Anchor” of Maxim on her excessive company expenditures, and finally completed my first “semester” of MBA-like coursework while commuting back and forth between L.A. and Hotlanta (while singing “Welcome to Atlanta” every time I stepped off the plane).

The most important things that I’ve learned along this long journey are also the hardest. I’ve learned how to step out of my comfort zone to make friends in a new city and have realized what it means to miss someone. I’ve learned how to work hard, but play a bit harder, and to maintain a balance of aggression and compassion at the office – two things that are important and necessary for every worker no matter what industry you are in or how old you may be.

Although I still despise certain things about this city of Hollywood glamour (Wayfarer sunglasses, traffic, Ed Hardy, and waiting in line to get into my neighborhood bar just to name a few), I’ve learned to love the little things that Los Angeles has to offer (like never needing an umbrella).

As the first rotation of my program comes to a close, stay tuned as to where I’ll end up this August (because your guess is as good as mine). And if anyone is interested, I’m hitting up my neighborhood bar tonight. If you want to join me, I’ll be the blonde toasting early retirement with a shot of tequila chased down with a vodka tonic.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Excuse Me, Your Spanx Are Showing

I dropped my laundry off for wash & fold on Sunday. I hadn't done laundry in about two weeks, thus limiting my clothing choices until I had time to pick my $18.00 worth of wash & fold at 8:55 tonight, right before closing. 

Monday, I wore my Working Girl best for an event at work with a popular fashionista (more on that later this week). This morning, I didn't have any clean cami's and I ran out of comfortable underwear three days ago. 

That left me this:

Yes, it's cute, but not for work. A navy dress that I probably should have realized was too short for work, a brown wrap, and brown boots. Oh and Spanx because of the whole no-clean-underwear thing (if you look closely, you can see them). Being a Spanx virgin, I figured you're supposed to wear them without underwear, right? There is no way a pair of underwear would fit between all that Lycra and my tush. I also figured that because I was wearing a short dress the short-like Spanx would make me feel more comfortable. Not the case. 

Walking to the bus stop, I began to feel self-conscience. The Spanx felt funny and I noticed how short my dress actual
ly is as it flew up in the wind. It didn't end there. All day I felt awkward and more and more self-conscience. I pulled my dress down as much as I could each time I got up from my desk. I checked to be sure my Spanx weren't showing every minute as I walked around the office. Every time I went to the bathroom I asked whoever was in there if they thought my dress was too short. They said "no," I'm pretty sure they were lying. All my assistant friends knew I was having a bad clothing day (and bad hair day, but that's another story). 

I should probably point out that then men in my office, all five of them, are uber awkward and I felt more awkward in my outfit in front of them. It didn't help that four of the men have desks or offices within a two-yard radius of my desk. I'm pretty sure at least one of them caught me adjusting my Spanx when I thought no one was looking. I was seriously contemplating taking them off, it's not like I haven't done it before. I couldn't wait for the day to be over. But before it was over, I had to have a meeting with my two bosses (male boss and female boss). 

I was asked in the early afternoon by my male boss if I could meet with them both at five. Having no idea what they wanted to talk about and knowing that they just had a department status meeting about improving the department, I was nervous. Promptly at five, Female Boss called me into her office with Male Boss. I grabbed my notebook and pen (I never go anywhere without those two items) and sat down in her office. 

"Ok, this isn't a scary meeting," Female Boss said. 

"Oh, good," I nervously giggled. 

"Actually," Male Boss began, "we wanted to know who said you could wear that type of outfit to work?"

I was mortified and it definitely showed. But before I could lift my chin off the floor and pull my dress over my knees, Female Boss informed me that he was kidding. He was, I think. Or I thought. Until I started writing this post, I thought he was kidding. But the more I think about Male Boss and his sense of humor and the things I've heard him say to my co-workers (for example: "What's with your hair? Are you sure that's the color you asked for?"), I'm realizing that he was at least 35% serious about my outfit.

It turned out that our meeting was about my work load and future responsibilities, not my short navy dress and Spanx (more about that meeting later). 

Monday, June 2, 2008

The IT Hook-Up

On my first day of work at my current company, I was worried about a lot of things. For example, did my boss really care if a I took a whole hour lunch break? Could I go on Facebook without getting caught? Could IT read all my g-chat conversations? But my main concern during those first few days of being the newbie was if I was ever going to make any friends.

In my past work experiences, I hadn't found it that difficult to make friends. I'm not trying to brag here but it seemed my co-workers and I all had one thing to bond over and that was what we hated about work. As a camp counselor, we had all complained about not being able to play Hangman in front of the kids (I didn't know children these days were so sensitive). At my job as a hostess, it was the long hours for practically no pay. At my internship, it was my boss who we swore was a clone of the Devil Wears Prada.

At my new job though, no one complained. This was the real world. This wasn't an internship or a summer job cleaning tables or wiping mud off kid's knees. No, this was reality where you had to find common ground with your co-workers that didn't involve your hatred for your job because telling the wrong person could get you fired.

This left me friend-less for a few months until The Boss's computer started acting up and I met my IT hook-up. And not hook-up like you're all thinking. No hanky-panky was involved whatsoever. Get your minds out of the gutter! No, when The Boss's computer went whack-o on her and I was ordered to get it fixed while she was in her 2 p.m. meeting, I called IT. In walked my first work friend who I refer to as Buffalo Soldier.

Buffalo Soldier turned out to be Jamaican and as WG1 and I have mentioned before we are big fans of the island of Jamaica since we spent our senior Spring Break on the beautiful isle. So Buffalo Soldier and I already had common ground, which led us to a great IT relationship. He and I aren't the kind of friends that eat lunch together or grab drinks after work. Our friendship is strictly work-related but that common ground has led me to some great benefits. 

Which leads me to my great realization, making friends with the IT department is an absolute must. When you start a new job, don't try to make friends with people in your department the first day. Sure this is important for day two and three, but IT is where the hook-up is and therefore priority numero uno. 

Buffalo Soldier knows that The Boss is no friend of technology, so whenever she has a melt-down and needs me to fix something ASAP, I call Buffalo Soldier and he comes running. When the printer doesn't work, my IT buddy will deal with my whining until the machine is fixed. When I couldn't figure out how to use Microsoft 2007, Buffalo Soldier was there with a tutorial. And my latest IT hook-up? Last week all of upper management got new faster, cooler looking computers. When they had a leftover in the bunch? Yep, you guessed it. All mine.

Heed my advice. Make friends with IT first - they can make your life oh so sweet or oh so horrific.