Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Take Your Tie Off 2009

Around this time last year, I started itching for Spring Break. So me and two of my friends decided to keep alive the tradition of ditching all responsibilities for a week and headed off to Las Vegas. That vacation was great and included one very drunken night at the only Irish pub on the strip that left us hungover for the rest of our time in Sin City, lots of sing-alongs to "Damaged" by the band formerly known as Danity Kane, and one very interesting experience at Cirque du Soleil

This year, I don't have the funds (not like that stopped me last year) and it turns out that instead of planning my own Spring Break, my company has done it for me. On Thursday morning, I will depart for Key West for a long weekend of sun, sand, and Kenny Chesney on repeat on my iPod. 

Explanation for this little getaway: each year my company has a sales incentive competition. Last year, the top 10 salespeople won a long weekend away in Puerto Rico. This year, it is a long weekend in Key West, Florida. And since I had a hand in planning the excursion (aka all the flights, all the meals, all the hotel arrangements, the shuttle service, and even the guest's beach activities), I get to tag along. Yes, I am pretty much their travel agent. 

But I am more than over the moon about this trip. Not only is it 80 degrees right now in Key West (and it's about -13 here in Chicago), but I get some free time while I am there as well. The first few days we are there we have dinners and meetings that I have to deal with, but come Sunday I have free time to lounge by the pool, drink strong margaritas, and add some more freckles to my already over-freckled skin. 

And that's not all! My company is allowing me to bring a guest, so Thursday night one of my best friends from college is going to be flying in from New Jersey so we can hang out and maybe convince a few of my colleagues to take their ties off. 

I'm sure this trip will inspire a story or two, so stay posted for an update on my excursion down south on Monday! 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Procrastination is Golden

In high school, I was a big procrastinator. I would wait until the last possible minute to start studying for finals and term papers...let's not even go there. In college I was the same way - and I hate to admit this but a lot of the time it was with articles I would write for the student newspaper. My dad tells me I inherited this from my mother, who was also an editor and extreme procrastinator. 

For the most part, I try not to let my procrastination get the better of me in my professional life. I think the one remark I hear from a lot of my superiors is that I do things quickly. If you ask me to do something, I do it. And I realized recently that's because if I don't do it right away and get it over with, then I will procrastinate until the very last second to get it done (which is no way to be in the working world). 

It's easy to procrastinate when you're working on deadlines. And for a good chunk of my life, deadlines are what I worked on. I was a writer, an editor, a journalist, a student. Homework was due at 10AM on Monday morning, I would sit down and do it at 10PM the night before. Article is due at 6PM on Thursday night, and I would still be racing to get the last quote at 5:30PM. 

Some people would say it is sheer laziness, and I would have to agree with the kind of work I do now. I know that if my boss asks me to fax something and I just don't do it right's because I'm lazy. But I think with writing and editing, you pull the best stuff out of your head when you're under pressure. I think some of the best stuff I've ever written was written quickly and without over-analyzing. And to avoid over analyzation, you have to write at the last possible second. 

The last few weeks at work I have seen procrastination start to pull at me. My boss is going to be out of town next week and the week after, which means I will be unsupervised for two whole weeks. For the most part, my boss leaves me be - I get my work done when I get it done. He is very hands off, which is a complete 180 from what The Boss was like (who would read my to-do list everyday to make sure I was getting stuff done). 

At times, I love the hands off atmosphere. I feel less stressed and more relaxed at work. I don't feel panicked if I'm three minutes late and I don't feel the need to stay late and pull my hair out to be an ultimate perfectionist (which is what was required of me at my past job). 

Sometimes I do wish that I had a boss who was there more to watch me and make me perform better. But I think I realized just this past week as procrastination set in, that being a grown-up is pushing yourself. Not having a teacher at hand, or an editor, or a boss to push you requires you to do it for you. And I think that is the best lesson that my boss could teach me. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.

  • It's a fact that unemployment numbers are through the roof, but there are a few states that are staying more afloat than anyone else. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22 states are recored at lower employment rates than the national average. The top five include: Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Utah.
  • The founder of Take Your Daughters to Work Day, Nell Merlino, has a new book out entitled Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work. In the book, Merlino talks about focusing on what you're good at and what's important to you to enjoy your job more. Here are seven of her top tips as reported by U.S. News.

  • Happen to catch my post on how Disney sweatshirts at work make me dryheave? Well, if you happen to see women in your office who are having the same problem, we suggest you send them over to The presidents of the company, Megan and Jennifer, created this website and blog to help women be creative with their wardrobe while still looking professional. My kind of women!

  • Seems that Stewart Bradley, the NFL lineback for the Phildelphia Eagles, has joined in on the celebrities becoming magazine interns. Stewart has joined Elle as a fashion intern. I'm baffled...and slightly attracted (I only said slightly, don't judge).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You're Just a 23-Year-Old Who Can't Drive

I'm the baby sister of my work family. I'm 23, almost 24, and I am given a hard time because of it. When I complain about turning 24, I'm put in my place. When I talk about having worked at my job forever, I'm put in place. Promo Girl often says things to me like, "It's just like in Clueless...have you even seen that movie?" Yes, Promo Girl, I have. I'm not that young. As if!

I'm old enough to drink, to enlist in the army and to drive. But I'm not old enough to drive a rental car. Okay, I am old enough in most states. But, not without an additional fee.

Seriously rental car companies, seriously?

I have been driving since I was 15-years-old. I haven't gotten a single speeding ticket and I've never been in an accident. I should be able to rent a car and drive it at the same price as any 25-year-old.

I'm a serious Working Girl who is going on a business trip on Monday and needs a rental car. My boss is also going on this business trip but asked me to take of the rental car. So imagine how mature I felt when I had to book the car in her name because I'm too young and the company doesn't want to pay an additional fee. Super mature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Do Not Wear Disney Clothing To Work

This week has been crazy busy (and I was seriously bummed when I found out it was Wednesday and not Thursday - isn't that the worst?). And sometimes when I'm crazy busy or just plain tired, I don't make sense when I speak, I forget what I'm talking about halfway through conversations, and essentially become brain dead. Thankfully, I am still able to put together a sentence when writing e-mails otherwise I wouldn't be able to communicate.

So this morning when I was running around printing 100 copies of a worksheet for a training session and making sure the 20 people who my company is taking to Key West next week all had their jet ski tours and deep sea fishing trips booked, I walked over to the copier and saw our legal assistant wearing a Disney pullover.

And I did a double take.

Mainly I did said double take because I was so delrious that I thought, 'Ok, now we can add hallucinating to the Tired WG2 Brain Dead Snydrome'.

But no, my eyes had not deceived me. The legal assistant was wearing a white fleece pullover with Winnie the Pooh on it. And the best part...she was wearing it with white leggings circa 1992 (which I'm pretty sure I also owned and wore at the wee age of seven).

This picture of a Minnie sweatshirt is a marked improvement over what our legal assistant was wearing. Yea, think about that. Sending shivers down your spine?

So my question is how did she get up in the morning and think this outfit choice was ok? Sure it's comfortable...for a Saturday afternoon spent on your couch (because yes I'm guilty of wearing some pretty gross ensembles while lazily lounging around my apartment)! But for a professional day of copying documents and manning the phones? Sorry, I think not. What if a client saw her dressed like that? In Disney attire...most likely purchased at a theme park! This is a working fashion don't if I have ever heard of one.

And sadly, I don't think I will ever be able to take the legal assistant seriously ever again. Because she wore a pullover that made me dry heave.

My advice to all Working Girls is this: Do not wear Disney themed clothing to work. Ever. If for nothing else, so you don't make your co-workers dry heave.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dad Scares Me

First, some housekeeping. For a while now, I've referred to my bosses as my female boss and my male boss. They haven't had super cool blog names like Chicken Noodle Soup Boss or Facebook Friend Boss but now they do. Promo Girl and I have been calling them Mom and Dad for quiet some time now because our little marketing department really is like a family. There are 9 kids and mom and dad. Dad even calls us "kids" when he walks into the office every morning. So now, they are Mom Boss and Dad Boss.

Now that that is out of the way. It's review time at work which means Dad Boss gets to critique my job performance in about 2 weeks. But first, I had to complete self-review online. Last year, Chicken Noddle Soup Boss was the only on reviewing me and she said, and I quote, "Just put 'I think I'm going a great job.'" So that's what I did and I received a good review.

This year, Promo Girl scarred the crap out of me. Dad Boss is the hardest interview everyone is my office has experience. They all say that if you can survive and interview with him, you can survive an interview anywhere. Except for maybe WG2 in about 10 years. My dear friend is going to make one scary boss.

Unfortunately, I never interviewed with Dad Boss and am therefore unprepared for many interviews to come and for my review. The only interview I had was for my internship and that was with Mom Boss. Although they are both my bosses, Dad Boss is handling my review. Dad Boss is critical, asks tough questions and looks at you funny as you answer. Like real funny. Makes you want to crawl under your chair and hide funny.

I submitted my self review last Tuesday. I think I'm pretty freaking awesome at my job but it's one thing to write that here and a completely other thing to write about it in a formal form for my boss. Once you submitted your review, you couldn't go back and add thoughts or edit a sentence. Promo Girl reminded me of this several times thus making me increasingly nervous. Since I submitted it, I thought of several more points I'd like to make and a few things I'd like reword or just flat out delete.

I'm obviously totally looking forward to my review in a few weeks. Hopefully I wont end up hiding from Dad Boss under my desk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I <3 New York

This past weekend, I dragged my dad to see Confessions of a Shopaholic with me. And just as the opening credits were rolling, he leaned over and asked, "Is this making you homesick?" 

The film was shot in New old home. And I think what I was so taken aback by in that question was that when he said 'home', I instantly thought of New York. I do think of myself as a New Yorker (or Jersey girl really, but for the purposes of this post let's just say New Yorker). New York is where I did my growing up and a lot of soul finding. It's where I left behind some of my closest friends and greatest memories. It's where I had my first job. So I think New York will always be home to me. 

Which leads me to my answer, which was yes. Yes, I am homesick. I think it's hard not to miss the things that are the most familiar to you. I miss being able to go out to dinner with my NYC friends on a moment's notice. And I can't even tell you how jealous I was that everyone just drove to Mohegan Sun to celebrate our friend's 24th. I miss being comfortable with the subway system, and confident that I'm great at my job. 

Moving to Chicago has not been easy. It's a daily struggle. And I know I've said over and over that I've made the right decision (to about anyone who will listen), and I know it's not just to convince myself. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I'm proud of myself for coming to a city that I barely knew and reforming those friendships with my high school friends, and healing my relationships with my family and for getting a new job, and trying out new things (like yikes bikes). 

At the bar this weekend, as I was sipping from my beer tower, I realized that I started over. And it was hard. And some of it was easy because I had my family and old friends. But a lot of it was hard, and it still is. But I started cool is that?

Last night I baby-sat for my cousins (one of whom is my goddaughter) and it was so nice to just be there in that moment. To have them know my name, which wasn't always the case every time I came home for the holidays in the past, and for my goddaughter to fall asleep on my stomach as we watched Hannah Montana - the greatest show ever made. And then when I got back to the city, my dad drove me home and told me goodnight and that he loved me - in person. And I realized that yes, I did make the right decision. Because if I left them, if I left Chicago, I would be homesick. For the first time in a long time I would be homesick for Chicago and all that I had left behind here. 

(I have to apologize for this post because I know it's not about work, and this blog is But I'm running on about five hours of sleep because this is my hell week at said job and I had a brain fart about what to write about. And then this popped into my head and I just went with it. So enjoy my sincerity and this picture below of New York and Chicago blended together like they love one another). 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day is for Suckers

Dear Cupid,

Valentine's Day has always been pretty rough for me. I've never had a boyfriend to speak of when the holiday rolls around. And this year has been no different. 

Last year, I experienced my first Valentine's Day in the workplace which I observed was a lot like grade school. It's like all of a sudden we're keeping track of which girl got the most gifts, the most flowers, and the most praise on this day of 'love' than anything else. Last year, I watched as girls received bouquets upon bouquets of flowers, chocolates and teddy bears (yes, there were even teddy bears) at their desks at work. And my gay bff and husband at the time felt so bad for me that he gave me a tube of Dermalogica cover-up he found in the beauty closet as a gift. Lame, I know. 

This year, I could not be more excited that Valentine's Day has decided to give all us single Working Girls a break. This year, Valentine's Day is on a Saturday. Which means, yea, maybe a few girls will get flowers and balloons and singing telegrams tomorrow at work...but most boyfriends and husbands will be saving up their energy for the actual day. In turn, I not only will we be saved the humiliation of not receiving any gifts, but I also won't have to watch other women get all lovey-dovey, make faces like they want to cry from happiness, and jump for joy when they realize that yes, he really does love me. 

Can you tell February 14th makes me bitter? 

Maybe so, but Cupid thank you, thank you, thank you for letting us dodge the bullet this year. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liar Liar

I called in sick to work yesterday. But I wasn't sick. I lied.

After my root canal, I was not done with all the required dental work. I need a post and core and then a crown. I got my post and cord and then I was told I need a crown lengthening. The dentist did a horrific job of explaining the procedure to me. "Will it hurt?" I asked him. "No, no, you'll be fine. Standard procedure." Fine, no big deal, I thought.

Now, WG2 has enforced a strict policy that I am not allowed to visit websites like WebMD. I'm a bit of hypochondriac. But since WG2 moved halfway across the country, she is unable to jump across the living room and grab my laptop out of my hands when I say something like "omigod, I think I have malaria," I Googled crown lengthening.

I read about the procedure, the recovery and the complications. It was right between the recovery and the complications that I felt faint and began to sweat. I found a health message board and a woman posted a message asking if a crown lengthening was necessary. Several posters wrote back that they were told by one dentist that they need the procedure and then by another that you don't. It was then that I started crying.

After calling my mother and telling her that I'm never going to the dentist again because they scared me. To comfort me, she scheduled me an appointment with my dentist from high school. On a Monday. My dentist from high school is in New Jersey. And I'm not talking close to the city, hop a train Jersey. I'm talking close to Pennsylvania, take a bus because no trains go there Jersey.

I didn't want to waste a personal day travelling to New Jersey and going to my dentist so I planned to call in sick. My catholic school guilt set in immediately and I hadn't even done anything. All week I contemplated just taking the personal day. Or just giving one my bosses a heads up that I'd be calling in sick cause maybe she'd be ok with it? Yeah, I didn't really think so either.

I made my way to New Jersey on Saturday and spent the weekend with my Mom. Monday morning, my alarm went off at 7:30, per usual. I went to the guest room and turned on my mom's desktop. It took a million years to turn on and a million more for my Webmail to load. I drafted my email, told my bosses I had felt sick all night and didn't feel any better in the morning. They both wrote back to feel better.

Today, they both asked me if I felt better. I felt awful. So guilty. I looked fine, not like I was recovering from any sort of illness. I felt like a nun was going to crawl from under my desk and slap my knuckles with a ruler. I told them I felt better and that was that.

As bad as I felt, the calling in sick was totally worth it. I didn't waste a personal day. And I don't need a crown lengthening. In fact, I don't even need a crown. But if I ever want to do this again, I'm going to need a more convincing excuse.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not So Crazy in Love

So I never really did figure out if Jay was asking me out or not. 

Equipped with all of your comments and suggestions on how to deflect his love, embrace his offer of free drinks, and ideas of how to let him know I just wasn't that into him, I went to work last week ready to shoot him down gently (by telling him I was so, so, so, so busy when in reality I was really busy eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby). 

But Jay never put his offer out there to grab drinks again. In fact, he barely spoke to me the last few days he was in the Chicago office. 

On his last day, I was working late again. Some of the IT guys took him downstairs to grab some Berry Chill before coming back upstairs to test the phones and do all that other IT stuff they do in that cave of theirs. As I was leaving, I gave Jay a hug and wished him luck. And that was that. We promised to stay in touch, but I knew that probably wouldn't happen. We'd known each other for a measly month and there is no real attachment/attraction on my part. 

On Monday, I came to work and sat down and in front of my computer screen was a tiny bottle of Visine with a note that said, "Just in case -Jay". (Quick background: one day, my contacts were really bothering me and were all blurry so Jay saved me by giving me some eye drops). Which was a nice gesture...but also bizarre.

So now I have a bottle of eye drops to remind me of my non-existent relationship with the IT guy Jay. Cool?  

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we think you Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • As more and more layoffs begin to occur in industries such as manufacturing and construction, it seems that women are climbing further and further up the nation's payroll. According to this New York Times article, because women are usually employed within industries that survive economic hardships (such as healthcare and education), women are on the brink of being the majority in the workplace. 
  • A lot of people have been asking me recently about finding a job in a different state. I stumbled recently upon this step-by-step process on It has some really good suggestions such as registered with a large staffing firm and offers tips on how to tap into your network to help you make that out-of-state dream a reality.
  • Update! Kelly Cutrone's new reality show has been picked up by Bravo and is set to revolve around "strong women in the workplace". Sounds right up our alley. 

  • Nursing, computer information science, engineering, economics, and education. What do those 5 degrees have in common? Apparently they are the 5 most marketable degrees for anyone who is about to graduate in the upcoming class of 2009. Read on to learn how to make your degree more marketable in today's market! 
  • Do you dress to impress for work? Well if you want to work at the Bank of England you have to. Women's Wear Daily recently obtained a memo from the prestigious bank that dictated what their female employees should be wearing on a daily basis. Some of my favorite requests included being "careful with perfume", "always wear a heel of some sort - maximum of 2 inches", and not to be associated with "overstuffed bags, an overload of rings, or double-pierced ears". If I worked there I would officially have been fired on my first day. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ask Working Girl (and Awards!)

Today I bring you another installment of (insert trumpets blaring) Ask Working Girl! But before we get to my oh-so-experience answers to your lovely questions, WG1 and I would like to say thank you for a few awards we've received recently. 

Symphonic DiscordDreamweaver and She's Got the Gift of Gab awarded us with the The Lemonade Award (which makes me want to drink lemonade out on my porch even though it is currently 12 degrees outside). Thank you! 

Little Woman, Little Home awarded us with the Proximidade Award. Her 101 Things in 1,001 days list makes me want to get off my ass and do it too, so read her blog for inspiration! 

These Are the Days of One Gemini and Relish gave us the Honest Scrap award. Thank you very, very, very much! We honestly love our award!

And last but not least, Sunny gave us the Premio Dardos award. And I just read that Sunny can speak in four languages and write in six. To which all I can say is damnnnn. 

And now on with the show, which includes me answering questions to the best of my abilities (while simultaneously watching a bad Lifetime movie). 

Melly asked: I'm a therapist, but I'm sure there's quite a few of us who have to set-up/decorate an office to meet with prospective clients. Can you give us a DO and DON'T list? 

WG2 answered: I cannot boast of my styling skills. Some of you might remember my recent post where I admitted I would like to use PB Teen to style an office if I ever get one. 

But if I were going to give some do's and don'ts, I would say "less is more" is always a good styling go-to especially when styling an office. You don't want minimalist, but you do want simplistic. Plants and flowers always make an impression on clients and also make you feel like you're in a homey environment (I'm a big fan of orchids myself). Works of art can also spice up the work place and can even get be a conversation starter. I would check out etsy for some good finds or even hit up an art fair - just don't get too crazy on this one, you don't want anything that is NSFW. 

Anonymous asked: How do you manage to juggle between personal and professional life? Has your personal life ever suffered? 

WG2 answered: Juggling between the two has always been a hardship of mine...which is funny because I'm only 23 (almost 24!) and I don't have children or a husband (or even a boyfriend), so it really shouldn't be that hard, but for me it has been. See once I leave work, I usually hit a dead zone where all I want to do is order in Chinese food and veg in front of my favorite TV shows. I am also poor, so going out after work usually takes a toll on my bank account. 

Since I moved to Chicago, I have definitely seen a difference in myself though. I really think it's just a matter of pushing yourself beyond that limit of tired and frustrated. What works for me is making a schedule of what I plan on doing each day after work. Like this week, I went to the gym on Monday, had dinner with my dad on Tuesday, vegged out tonight, and tomorrow is the gym again. You're more likely to do something if you have a set plan. 

Luckily, my work has never really prevented me from plans in my personal life. I've worked a few weekends and late nights here and there, but I usually compensate somehow by leaving work early one Friday or taking a day off. It's all about finding a perfect balance. 

Diaries of an Insomniac asked: I just started a blog and am wondering, what are some good ways for me to get my blog noticed? I'd really like some feedback, and to know someone is reading it. Do you have any advice? 

WG2 answered: One great way to get feedback on your blog is by joining 20sb's. It's a great forum for 20-something's to post discussions, participate in forums, and get feedback on what they are writing and put out on the web. 

Another great way to get feedback is just to ask for it! Sometimes some of our favorite bloggers can be intimidating. I mean there are some bloggers out there who I think of as celebrities! But it never hurts to ask what they think. So just be blunt and ask. 

MY asked: How about getting a job you love in your field? Regardless of how much effort you put into your college career it seems as if none of it has paid off when it comes to finding the first job. Any of us who have graduated last year could not have picked a better time in history to graduate! 

WG2 answered: It's true that the economy is horrible right now. And I can't be anything more than thankful that I found a job during these tough times, but I think my finding a job is living proof that it is possible. 

The only piece of advice I can give anyone looking for a job right now is perseverance. You just have to keep going. I think I probably applied for about 30-50 jobs a week when I was looking for a new job last year. And to be honest I started looking for a job in the summer and didn't get any real interviews until November. The problem with this economy is that finding a job in our dream field might be hard, so taking something that we like (instead of love) might be the best bet. But never stop looking. You never know when the perfect opportunity might pop up. 

Have a work-related question? Blog-related question? Or want to know something random about one of us? Ask! Send your questions to or or just post a comment here. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Might be a Quarter Life Crisis

Last week, I said to WG2: "Is it bad that sometimes I think 'I wonder if I'd be happier if I lost my job and could figure out my dream and then follow it?'"

To which she replied: "That was like when I would walk down the street be like 'Hmmm, I think I would rather work at this Chinese restaurant than go to my job today."

I know that my statement is an awful thing to say in this economy when people are losing jobs everyday but it's honestly something that's crossed my mind and I feel it has for valid reasons.

I truly have no idea what I want I really want to do with my life. In college, I wanted to be a psychologist, then a journalist, I wanted to study sociology or french. I landed in publishing by way of journalism. As a marketing intern for a women's magazine, I thought I found what I loved, what I wanted to do for my career. I began setting goals to make that happen and I eventually landed my sales assistant job and eventually my marketing assistant job.

My boyfriend has known what he's wanted to do since he was five. Both of his parents are journalists and he's been preparing to go into the family business since he was a munchkin. He has late hours, works on the weekends, doesn't get paid nearly half as much as he should for the work he puts into his job and works with some grumpy old men, but he loves being a sports writer. I don't know anyone with the dedication and love for their job that he has. So you can imagine my frustration being around someone who knows exactly what they want to do, is doing it and loves it.

For a while, I thought I had found that when I moved to the marketing department at work. It was creative and fun. I thought that I was on my way to starting a long and successful career in publishing. But I'm growing more and more frustrated with this industry everyday. Because business is slow there is less for me to do and the projects I that I do have are unfulfilling. I could go on for quite a while explaining these projects and every frustration I have with them, but I'll bore you with that another day.

These days, the smallest issue or slightest jab from a client sets me off. I used to be excited and inspired by the marketing department's weekly status meeting, these days I'm bored and don't contribute. I want out but there isn't a chance I'd find a job and having no clue what I want to do next doesn't help. The economy is somewhat of a blessing in disguise; I have a job and I can try to take this time to figure out what's next for me. But I find it difficult to be inspired by anything else when I'm completely drained by work every night and weekend.

While one part of me wants to figure out my dream, another part of me thinks the practical thing to do is stick with what I'm doing and suck it up. I know what I'm doing here and I think I'm good at it. If I'm dedicated I can make my way up the ladder and be successful in the monetary sense. This practical part of me is strongly influenced by the fact that my boyfriend (who I'm pretty much in it for the long haul with) has his dream and it's not exactly the most lucrative one. Let me just say that I'm by no means "all about money" but I do know what I would like for my future and that requires some money.

I feel like I'm in limbo with no direction and zero motivation...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chivalry Is Alive and Kicking in the Midwest

Back in July, I wrote a post about chivalry being dead on my morning commute. If you look back and read the post and then read the comments, you might see that the post wasn't received too well.

And I think I now realize why. It's because all our readers are from different parts of the country/world. When I wrote that post, I was making a sweeping generalization of all men being a-holes when commuting. So, I would like to revise my statement because back then I was commuting in and out of New York City on a daily basis. Since I moved back to Chicago, I've found my commuting experience to be completely and totally different than my experience out east. I have found that men in Chicago (and I'm going to guess most of the Midwest as well) are very chivalrous even in the mornings before they've had their coffee for the day. 

The one thing I have consistently told friends about how much I enjoy Chicago compared to NYC is how people here are so nice. I say this like I didn't grow up here, but I think having been out east for 6 years made me forget. 

I get in cabs, and the cab drivers ask me how my day is going or talk about the weather. (I was in a cab the other day, and the cab driver asked me if it was okay if he used his phone! I was so shocked, I almost didn't answer.) People smile at each other on the streets. People I don't even know say 'hi' to me. This obviously did not occur on a daily basis in New York.  In NYC, you avoid each other's eyes and if you do catch each other staring, you don't say 'hi' look away. 

But what has really shocked me is that all my gripes in my previous post on chivalry being dead have been proved wrong. On my commute in the Windy City, I have witnessed things I never thought I would get the chance to see. I have seen numerous (not just one, but many!) men give up their seats to elderly women, pregnant women, and sometimes women in general on the bus and on the L. Doors on the bus and at my office have been held open for me countless times. And at work, men make sure that women get on and off the elevator before them. 

This isn't to say I haven't seen some men not hold open doors, but for the most part I've been pleasantly surprised at how different men act during their commutes in Chicago as opposed to Hoboken or New York. 

And I have to say, I'm getting used to being treated like a lady.