Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To the Stockroom

In middle school, Abercrombie & Fitch was the place to shop. If you weren't wearing A&F, you weren't cool. Done and done.

My mother hated it. Hated that I wanted to shop there. Hated that I was so concerned about being cool. Hated the loud music. Hated the bratty employees. She let me shop there but only with my money.

Years later, I realized how ridiculous the store was. And how ridiculous it was that my classmates and I all wanted to look alike. That is was Abercrombie is about: uniformity. It doesn't take long to notice that most of the employees are young and attractive. You wont find much diversity.

Twenty-two year-old Riam Dean is young and attractive. She also has a prosthetic arm. The British student was working at Abercrombie & Fitch to earn extra money while she was in-school. According to her, when her employer became aware of her prosthetic arm she was told she'd be working in the stock room until winter, when their uniforms would cover her arm.
Dean is now suing Abercrombie & Fitch for disability discrimination.

Abercrombie & Fitch has been criticized in the past and according to Jezebel, hiring managers at the store are given a guidebook of mostly photos of examples of the "look" minority employees should have. Their tipster said "all of the minorities, by the way, are as white looking as a person can be without actually being Caucasian."

It'll be interesting to see what happens with Dean's case. Regardless, the allegations against Abercrombie & Fitch are appalling.

[source, source]

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Whole Lotta Heartbreak

Last week, it was officially announced that my boss (aka the best boss ever) would be leaving our company. And I have probably been more heartbroken than I should about it.

It's hard to describe why my boss leaving is so heartbreaking. And try as I might, explaining it to my friends and family always leaves me coming up short. My explanations are never on point, or do the situation justice. And I think unfortunately this is something only my co-workers can fully understand.

But I'm going to try and explain to the best of my abilities.

The news came really suddenly. I had no inkling or women's intution that this news was about to hit the airwaves (or in this case I guess hit the fan). And my boss told me first so that I wouldn't hear it from someone else, which was really considerate but also horrifically painful. Now, I'm pretty good at keeping secrets, but when it affects me in some way (aka my job description changing drastically) then it's hard for me to keep it in. And that's what I had to do for 5 days while my boss and the rest of the higher-up's were away on a management retreat.

So I sat here and got more and more depressed because while I had been told my job wasn't in jeopardy, I still felt weary about the whole thing. Not to mention this is the best boss I have had ever. In the existence of bosses, I don't think anyone could do much better than the one I have now. He is fair, kind, hard to make angry, self-sufficient, and treated me with a lot of respect.

So last week was a pity party. And the party was for 1.

Eventually my new boss sat me down and we had a heart-to-heart about she wants me to grow in the company. She also let me know that she has no use for an assistant, so really my new job description will be of the make-it-up-as-we-go variety. (I will still get to do events, but my special projects will all be different).

So this convo lifted my spirits for about a minute and then I went back to depresso mode. All my friends and family tried to make me see the light. "This will be good for you" and "there's a silver lining in this change". I would get to move up in the company, not handle calendars and schedules. I would pretty much get betting a better job by default. And yet this didn't make me feel better.

When the news was officially announced to the rest of the company, everyone came over to give me their condolences like he had died and wasn't just moving on to a better job in the suburbs. Which made me depressed all over again. But at least now I had people to comiserate with. His old assistants (who still work at the company but have been promoted) came over crying. See! That's how great he is!

I think a part of me is just really depressed because he was such a great boss, but I know I'm also sad/depressed because I've never been left behind. I always did the leaving. At my last company, I left them. At internships there was always a time limit. And I don't like being left behind.

A part of me really wishes he had asked me to go with him to his new company, but I know I should be happy about the changes and advancements that I'll be able to make under my new boss. This just wasn't in the plan (aka how I thought this job would pan out for me).

I've always been really great about handling change, but this has been extremely hard for me to stomach.

Tonight is his going away party (that I planned of course!) and it's going to be a lot of fun - people are even flying in for it from other offices around the country. And right now instead of being depressed, I'm going to try and be happy for all the changes and to celebrate having a really superb boss (even if it was just for eight months).

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Summer Job Files: Shop Girl

In honor of the summer, we have rolled out a new weekly feature. Each week we will take turns to recount a summer job we had back in the day. [Editor's Note: Back in the day refers to when we were in school...sigh...college].

For three summers, I was a shop girl. A book shop girl.

Shortly before my senior year of high school, my mom drove me (cause I was awesome and still didn't have my driver's license) to our local book shop and forced me to go in and ask if they were hiring. By forced, I mean threatened. She wouldn't let me drive my new hand-me-down car to school (when I eventually got my license that September) if I didn't also have job to drive to.

I went in, I asked and they took my name and number. I left dejected and worried that I'd be the only senior taking the bus. Talk about LOSER! As we drove back to home, I got a call from the book shop. We turned around, I spoke to the owner and I had a new job.

For the last few weeks of that summer, I organized shelves, help other students find their summer reading books and got to know my coworkers. I was the youngest...by more than 25 years.

I never thought, at that time, that I'd become close friends with women older than my mother. The women I worked with became my friends. I spent three afternoons a week, every Saturday and every other Sunday with them.

One women, Linda, and I became very close. She was like the Aunt I never had. Not my mother bossing me around and not my grandmother worrying about whether or not I'll meet a nice Catholic boy to marry.

She listened to me stress over my fights with my mother and listened to me worry that I'd never find a boy to even date. She'd buy me lunch every Saturday and I became the daughter she never had. She even considered, very briefly, setting me up with her son (he was a little too old for me)

I was probably closer with Linda than I was with any of my friends in High School. She had wonderful advice and great life experience to share with 18-year-old Working Girl One.

I cherish those summers (and falls and winters and springs) at the book shop. As stressful as working in retail can be at times, I miss it. I miss telling a customer about my favorite book or picking out a colorful picture book for a cute little munchkin but most of all I miss the women I worked with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ask Working Girl: Cliques, Motivation and Pants

We are back with Ask Working Girl. We are only tackling a few questions in our first week back. If your question is missing, don't worry. We thought a few warranted posts of their own so be on the look out.

Mrs. Beautiful asked…How do you keep your spirits up when you start a new job and your co-workers are very clique-ish and very passive aggressive? I'm having a hard time wanting to come to work in the morning.

Your new coworkers may not know they are cliquey or passive aggressive. My coworkers and I have been called cliquey in the past and we honestly had no idea we were acting in such a way that would make someone feel like an outsider.

I would suggest getting to know each coworker individually. You don’t need to try to join the clique but it will certainly make you feel better if you feel more comfortable at work.

It’s great to be friends and get along with coworkers but at the end of the day, it’s just work.

@vesari asked...how [do you] find motivation when work overall morale is low?

When I’m feeling unmotivated I create lists. When I first get in, I’ll make a to-do list for my morning. After lunch, I’ll make a to-do list for my afternoon. It helps me feel accomplished in my day-to-day tasks and motivates me to keep checking things off my list. Once one person starts feeling motivated, it can really catch on.

Ana from far away!
asked...are leggings appropriate to go to work?

I love leggings with the right dress for work. And I think they can work in a business casual setting. But I strongly believe that leggings are not pants, your tush should be covered while you're at the office.

Have a work related question? Send us email, tweet (WG1, WG2) or comment below.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can I Be Transferred to Europe?

Lately all I can think about are vacations.

I think this is for a few reasons. The first being that I feel like everyone is going on vacations lately - WG1 is taking the week of 4th of July off to go to the Shore, one of my friends just got back from Miami, and another one of my friends is off to Disney World in a few days.

Second, I have my own very exciting vacations coming up. One is a trip in August to go visit my sister who is studying abroad in Spain. My family and I are going to meet her in Venice and then take a cruise to Croatia, Turkey, and Greece (don't let my calm facade surprise you - I can't stop thinking about this trip). AND in addition, WG1 has planned this fantabulous trip for us and all our college friends to go to Vegas at the end of September. Yes, color you jealous.

Third, and finally, one of my bff's just got engaged (eek! yay!) and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids (double eek! double yay!). And even though the wedding isn't going to be until next year, I still have started thinking about how I'll have to take a significant chunk of vacation time to be in the wedding since she's English and will be getting married in England...which translates to me taking like a week off for hen parties and dress fittings and tea parties (haha probably no tea parties, but it's just so English).

Which was the longest introduction ever to let you know that I would like to go live in Europe.

Yes, readers, I need to move there. Mainly, I would like to move there so I can have more vacation. Did you know that the average European gets 6 weeks paid vacation?

According to a commentary piece on ABC News's website, the average British worker gets 28 paid vacation days a year, Germans get 35, the French get 37, and Italians get a whopping 42 days to lay around in the sun (or just a few days off to do laundry if they feel like it).

In contrast, Americans get about 10 paid vacation days off a year and America doesn't have a set vacation policy for the country, unlike some European countries. (Which is most likely why last year at my first real job out of college in NYC, I got 5 paid vacation days, 1 sick day, and 1 floating holiday).

And I have to mention that those 10 paid vacation days are a starting norm for a full-time job. Part-time employees usually don't get any paid vacation at all. And even when people DO get full-time vacations, they can hardly find time to take them with conflicting schedules or they just take their computer/Blackberry with them so they can put in some "weisure" time.

According to the National Survey of the Changing Workface, US employees in 1997 were "working 3.5 more hours a week than they did 20 years earlier". Meaning, Americans work harder, do more overtime, bring more work home, and go on more business trips than ever, yet they still don't have enough time to get things done and still have to take work on vacation with them.

Juliet Schor makes a good point when she says, "American corporations seem downright ungracious about vacations when viewed in this light, or when we consider that they give their European employees the same month to six weeks that European companies do."

Which is so true! WG1 and I have one friend who works for a European company that is based in New York, and she gets the same amount of vacation that their European counterpart does. Why, oh, why can't we make this an American lifestyle change?

It makes sense! Europeans see the value in letting their employees take time to relax, unwind, and recover from working. We Americans like to burn out to the point where we are forced to take vacations - and Juliet Schor points out that even when we are on vacation we use the opportunity of vacation to "consume more" by staying at expensive hotels, spending absurd amounts of money, or going on adventurous treks to exotic locations because we only get one vacation a year so we may as well go big or go home!

In conclusion, I'm moving to England where they work just as hard as Americans but get vacation like Europeans. Sounds like a perfect solution to moi!

Monday, June 22, 2009

What is Weisure?

When I have get-togethers at my faboosh apartment, me and my friends love to bring out Table Topics. It's a cube filled with cards with questions on them to start conversation. Questions vary from, "Which celebrity would you most like to see in person?" to "If you had the means how would you address the problem of homelessness?"

But my favorite question of all these questions is, "What historical time period would you most like to visit?" Most of the time I answer Victorian age mainly because I love their dresses (and also because I had the American Girl doll Samantha growing up and I loved her stories/bedroom accessories). But these days I really think I'd like to be transported to the 50's.

All this 50's mumbo jumbo came up while I was reading an article on CNN about this new phrase workers have coined called "weisure time". This phrase pertains to the new work-lifestyle in which the 9-to-5 workday has started to become non-existent. Meaning everyone works all the time and they add in fun/playtime to their workday instead of vice versa.

NYU sociologist Dalton Conley coined the phrase and commented to CNN that, "Increasingly, it's not clear what constitutes work and what constitutes fun." He goes on to say that the two are becoming ambiguous and that worlds that once had very distinct lines are now being blurred.

Which brings us back to the '50s, where Conley remarks that there were "certain rules" in business - that people didn't do business with friends and people kept their social lives very far away from their social spheres.

Sometimes I wished we still lived in that era - where there were distinct lines - a world where we didn't update our statuses from minute to minute on the Internet, and times where taking a vacation really meant taking a vacation.

These days we have personal computers, Blackberrys and iPhones attached to our hands, and social media allows us to easier interact with one another throughout the day to the point where there really is no excuse NOT to be in touch with work (even on the weekend). Conley says this is world that creative types (aka PR, marketing, advertising peeps) are already very much submerged in. They use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to conduct work and they go to cocktail parties to do business. Conley thinks eventually everyone will become accustomed to this being the norm for all sectors of business and not just creative careers.

I'll admit that I'm guilty of mixing work and pleasure. Two years ago on Hoboken's St. Patrick's Day I fielded a multiple calls on a Saturday while I had over 20 people in my apartment drinking mimosas and playing Asshole because we had people at an off-site conference and I was the go-to girl for questions. Have I checked my email when I come home from work? Absolutely. Have I taken work home on a weekend? Definitely. And I mean come on people! I have a blog about work. If that isn't blurring the line of work and leisure then I don't know what is.

I committed the crime of combining work and pleasure. And it seems that our generation will blur the line even more as social media gets stronger and we start to combine work and play even more.

Sometimes I wish we still lived in the 50's, but then I remember that I would fail at making great cherry pies, I would probs have to quit my job after I got preggers, and I would really miss Twitter.

Which reminds me, follow us on Twitter (@workinggirlone & @workinggirltwo)! I love shameless plugs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Working Girl One and Intern are Not Friends

When my first boss asked me to her Facebook friend, I kind of freaked out.

As an employee, a young one who remembers a Facebook that was just for select colleges and universities, being virtual friends with a boss or any coworker for that matter is still a tad bit weird. It used to be just your peers. Now, everytime I add a photo or my Dad post's another video of me as a baby (yes, he figured out how to do this) I think so-and-so is going to see this.

I've grown used to that mentality and live my Facebook life accordingly. It doesn't hurt I'm comfortable with all of coworkers, they know the real me and not just the work me. They know that I love karaoke and am a total light-weight (post-college of course, I used to be a champ). I'm comfortable with them seeing my Facebook page.

When one of my new interns asked me to be her Facebook friend I didn't feel so comfortable. For the past year or so most of my interns have been my age or even older than me and it led me to feel like their peer in the workplace. This summer, all of my interns are four years younger than me so I finally feel like I'm a little bit of a boss.

Of course I was very intrigued and wanted to check out her profile but I wasn't about to accept her friendship and see mine. First, I don't think my intern needs to see photos me singing Ace of Base at a dive bar. I'm not comfortable with her getting to know the out-of-office me yet and probably not ever.

Second, I found it so odd that she would ask me to be her Facebook friend to begin with. I almost want to accept her friendship just to see her full profile and see if she puts me on any privacy settings.

Is it just kids these days? Are they so surrounded with all this technology and social networking that it doesn't even phase them that it would be odd to ask your internship supervisor to be Facebook friends?

I haven't accepted her friendship but her request is still sitting there...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hey Good Lookin'

These past few days at work have been hectic - you know, the kind of hectic where there are so many little things that have to get done that you can't accomplish anything of importance. 

One of those little things that has been going on was a manager meeting being held off-site at a new hotel in downtown Chicago. Since the hotel was a) new, b) had already gotten effed up booking my meeting space and c) was just down the street, I have been making a few trips back and forth during my work day to make sure the managers are all happy, fed, and satisfied. 

This afternoon, one of the tech guys and I took one of those trips down to the hotel to pick up the projector since the meeting was finally over (yippee!). We were kinda rushing because we had another meeting to get to pretty soon so I was pretty much half-running and he was just doing his normal gait (because I'm pretty short it's hard for me to catch up!), but despite my gazelle like walk-run we missed a walk light and had to wait at a red light.

No big deal right? No, because the awkward train decided to mosey on in right at that exact moment. We're standing on the street corner talking about Tech Guy's wife and her iced tea preferences when a homeless man comes near us and practically screams, "You guys make a cute couple" in our ears.

Which would have been laughable had he not screamed it again, "Cuteeeee couple! Yes, a cute couple!" And we just awkwardly stood there neither confirming nor denying that were were a couple. 

Thankfully the light turned green and we walked, but we were super awkward until we reached the hotel and Tech Guy changed the subject from how awk that was to how he rides his bike to work everyday. 

Tech Guy and I are pretty close at work - we chat throughout the day (mostly I think because we're two of the youngest employees and we gots to stick together yo) so I know this was only a teeny blip on the radar of our work relationship - something that down the line we'll be able to laugh at.

And I know he knows that I don't like him like that...oh you know since he has a WIFE and all.

But right this minute, we're still in Awky Town. Thanks homeless dude. Thanks a lot.

Ask Working Girl!

Because we know how smart we are and how much you all depend on our sage wisdom...okay, okay, we know, we aren't career experts or anything but we do like to think we can help another Working Girl out so we're bring back Ask Working Girl.

We fell off the wagon a bit. We couldn't keep track of questions from all of you so we created an email just for Ask Working Girl: askworkinggirl@gmail.com. Creative, no?

Send us an email, comment below or send us a Tweet (WG1, WG2) and check back next week for our words of wisdom.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Phenomenon of the Celeb Intern

I'm sure many of you have seen the recent headlines of Tallulah Belle Willis "shadowing" in the fashion department of Harper's Bazaar.  Gist if you haven't heard is: Demi Moore and Bruce Willis's daughter (who would like to officially change her name to Lula thankyouverymuch), at the ripe age of 15 is an intern at the prestigious fashion mag. 

This boils my blood for a few reasons. 

1) "Shadow" is just another word for "intern". 

Seriously, stop calling it "shadowing". It's pissing me off. I get that they probably have to do this for legal reasons (because she's only 15 and really shouldn't be working without a permit), but let's call this what it is kids. It's an internship. Hell, she gets to sit in on meetings! She's more than an intern. 

2) She's spawn of celebs (not one, but two). 

And I hate this recent foray of celebs into internships at magazines. When did being an intern at a magazine become a celeb-like thing to do. In recent months, hockey player Sean Avery, football player Stewart Bradley, musician Ryan Adams, celebutante Lydia Hearst, and now "Lula" Willis.

What I find really humorous about this whole situation is how not only do these magazines have quasi-famous interns, but then they write stories about how these supermodels and musicians are out there making copies, and getting coffee, and delivering packages just like real interns. Um, hey, I was a real intern at a magazine. And guess what? They never wrote about how I was forced to pretend to need a waitressing job in order to sneak my way into a soon-to-open resto in the East Village and was then sent on a mission to my boss's dentist to get her insurance papers signed (true story). 

Do you know why they didn't write articles about me? Because no one cares about real intern! Sorry all you interns out there, it's true. 

3) She's 15. 

At fifteen, no girl (even one who is half Demi Moore), should be allowed to intern at Harper's Bazaar. It's just insanity. You're gonna peak at 15 and have nowhere to go at 16. Pace yourself kid.

If you want to learn about fashion, "Lula", I suggest starting where the rest of us did...in retail. Or if you're like me and aspired to be a writer at the age of 15, hit up the public library. I'm sure they could use a hand. 

4) Sorry, but it's just plain unfair. 

I think this also falls under the category of jealous. Who me? Never. (Ugh, ok, definitely jealous). 

So in my opinion, Tallulah Belle Willis should not be a "shadow" at Harper's Bazaar because she's spawn of celebs, 15-years-young, and for the sheer fact that it's not fair. 

Done, done, and done.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Take Me Out Tonight?

These days, there are some weekends that I don't even go out one night. In college, I'd go out four nights a week. Now, sometimes it's rare that I go out once. It's not that I don't like people anymore or that I don't like spending time with my friends. It's that going out almost always involves drinking and my body has officially raised a white flag when it comes to recovering from a night of drinking.

Tonight, I found myself torn. I went to the Mets game with some friends and enjoyed a hot dog and a few beers. I stopped myself there. My friends wanted to go out once we got back to Manhattan. Usually, I'm all about it. I like to go with the flow and have fun with my friends. But, although tomorrow is Friday and it's usually a slower and more quiet day in the office, I still have a lot to get done and I'd like to be at 100% for that. Thankfully, my body is still processing three beers for me. (I did go to the bar, nursed a beer and enjoyed the company of my friends.)

There have been several times in the past that I haven't controlled myself so well and a couple of drinks turned to many and that turned into a hangover. A little part of me, two years later, is still in college mode. That part is saying "have another drink, have fun; you'll be fine tomorrow." Sometimes I give in because it is fun. But when I wake up the next morning and have to go to work or get up on a weekend and be productive (whether it's running errands or visiting family), it's not so fun.

I've turned into more of a homebody because of this internal dilemma and while I love a quiet and relaxing night in, a few to many of those can cause me to feel lonely. I need to find a way to make my socializing work for me. I want to have fun, keep a nice social calendar and not have it hold me back in any aspect of my life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's What It Is On the Inside That Counts

I was about ten-years old the first time I heard someone call a name behind my back. I was at a popular girl from grade school's birthday party and while we were all undressing in the locker room to head out and go stuff our faces with birthday cake, I heard the birthday girl tell all her bff's that I was certainly gaining some weight. And I distinctly remember being called 'fat' and sobbing to my friend Nicole that girls were so mean.

And I think that's the probably the moment I realized that looks matter more than I had ever thought they could.

Our parents raise us to think that it's what is on the inside that counts, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. For Working Girls, this is certainly true when we go out on job interviews.

I recently read an article about a new study that the University of Florida that found people with intelligence earn more in their lifetimes than those who are attractive or self-confident. "While beauty matters to career success, brains matter most," said Timothy Judge, the University of Florida management professor, who conducted the study.

The study goes on to say that intelligent people do better in their jobs because they are not only more educated, but more confident in their abilites because of this education. He also hypothesized that "smart people make better career choices, learn more on the job, negotiate pay more effectively, and adapt better to changes in the workplace."

The results were based on a study of 191 men and women who varied in age from 25-75. The researched established tests and exercises that measured the participants intelligence and self-confidence. Their attractiveness was based on personal photographs they sent in and then rated on a scale of one to seven.

While beauty did not come in first, it did come in third. Which means that it still plays a large part in getting hired. While beauty rarely has anything to do with the job that you are performing, it still plays a large role in getting hired and therefore what income you receive.

And the 'fat' 10-year-old in me hates that.

While I do agree that we have to put our best foot forward while interviewing (which means applying your make-up just right or making sure your shirt is ironed perfectly), I despise the idea that a girl who is a little bit skinnier or is more proportinate or has whiter teeth could get a job over someone more qualified.

I believe it is a big step forward that we can say those who are intelligent earn more in their lifetimes, but I hope in the future we judge each other less on how we look and more on qualifications and background experience. (And charisma - cause I got lots o' that).

And I have to say a big suck it to the girl who called me 'fat' in grade school bc according to these stats I'm gonna be making bank before you).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Women in the Working World are Emotional, Grudge-Holding, Bitches...Say What?

I have no idea where my career will take me in 10 months or 10 years but I like to think that one day, I'll be the boss and I'll be a good one. Paul Thompson at AskMen.com Canada doesn't think I can be a boss, let alone a good one. Oh and not just me, all women. Nice Paul, nice.

Thompson begins his editorial explaining the obstacles women have overcome or tried to overcome for equality and fairness; suffrage, sexual harassment, workplace equality, etc. "Anyone who says [women] are [equal] is either grossly misinformed or a woman -- or probably both," he says. Yes, I am a woman but I'm not misinformed. I believe women are equal to men. However, I think that anyone who believes in or strives for complete fairness among men and women is grossly misinformed. More on that shortly.

"Women are ill-equipped to be successful," he says and give several reasons.

First, women cannot control their emotions. What a sweeping generalization there, Paul. Sure some women cannot control their emotions. But there are plenty who can. There are also a great deal of men who cannot control their emotions. I've heard of women yelling in the workplace and I've heard of men yell. Same goes for crying. Now Thompson believes that women bosses treat their employees as if they are in a relationship. Um, they should. When you work with someone, you have a working relationship. Regardless of being a man or a woman, any working relationship needs to be nurtured and developed so that both parties are getting the most of the experience.

His next point is that all women have Queen Bee syndrome. When they reach positions of power, they turn on one another because they feel the need to defend the positions they've obtained. Oh, and they aren't qualified or competent. I know several women who have Queen Bee syndrome and I know, they are not exactly the most enjoyable people I've ever known. But they don't make up the entire female work force. Yes, women can become competitive with one another and get caught up in the race to the top. But bottom line, there are women who are qualified to be there and competent enough to excel.

"Business was built by men, for men," Thompson says. In this argument Thompson discusses dark lounges and pant suits. Not sure exactly how that related to the origins of business but what he's trying to say is that in order to be successful women must adopt masculine qualities. I'd prefer not to wear a pants suit, mostly only because I went shopping for my first suit with my 80-year-old grandma and it was a tramatizing experience, but I don't think putting one on and shaking someones hand in a dark lounge to close a deal would make me masculine.

Finally, women hold grudges. I'll be the first to admit that I've held several grudges in my life and that maybe I'm still holding on to a couple. None of them are work related and all of them are legitimate. But, according to Thompson, grudges are "completely irrational and completely inappropriate." I agree that it is inappropriate in the work place to hold a personal grudge. But again, Thompson believes that because some women go too far with their grudges, women as a whole, cannot be bosses.

"Women are better than men at some things, but being the boss sure ain’t one of 'em," Thompson closes his piece. This brings me back to fairness among men and women. I believe men and women are equal and that in all areas of life they should have equal opportunities. However, as our friend Paul so nicely points out, women excel at some things and men at others. In some industries a female boss may be a more successful boss than a male boss and vice versa.

I have a male boss and a female boss and they are both great bosses. I have a different working relationship with each of them, just like I have a different working relationship with each of my co-workers. Clearly, women can be bosses. Thompson was likely just trying to be satircal but what bothers me is that his points stem from somewhere - stereotypes.

[AskMen.com via Jezebel]

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

If there is one thing all Working Girls have in common it's that at one point in our careers we become frustrated and we start to outgrow our current jobs/companies.

In this current economic state, a lot of women (myself included) begin to feel guilty that we even feel this way. We should appreciate what we have! Not hope for what we don't! Right? Yea, I know. Saying it is one thing, but believing is another.

Then I came across this article about a new book that came out in May called, "Make Every Day a Friday! The Joy of Connecting Who You Are With What You Do" by Marina Spence, CEO of The Pink Edge.

In the book, Spence confronts the problem of women wanting to make career changes during these turblent times, and how to make the recession a career opportunity for you. It's for women who feel stuck - and they want to make a change (big or small).

The book also focuses on Spences's steps to make every day a Friday (like the title - duh!). And I mean, who doesn't want everyday to be a Friday? Because I sure do.

Her top 3 tips include:

1. Pinpoint exactly what you don't like about your current job. Sometimes we say we hate everything about it, when there might just be two or three things. Knowing exactly what you don't like can lead to informed change.

2. Start small. Congratualte yourself for your baby steps, if that's how you begin. Always, move at your own pace.

3. Find your "guiding star". Locate the woman who's leading the life you'd like to live, and who inspires you to say, "if she can do it, I can do it."

While I probably won't purchase the book (I'm poor!), doing a little revamp of my attitude and how I view work might be just what the doc ordered.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Summer Job Files

In honor of the summer, we have rolled out a new weekly feature. Each week we will take turns to recount a summer job we had back in the day. [Editor's Note: Back in the day refers to when we were in school...sigh...college].

My first ever summer job was as a librarian.

Yes, you heard right. A librarian. And I wasn't a sexy one.

This job started as a after school job in the winter (or spring I can't remember) so I could earn some extra cash - let's just say I had a very expensive obsession with music of the pop persuasion - cough Hanson cough - and this was during the time when buying tapes/CD's and singles was still heard of.
I remember seeing that my local library needed some part-time help and my mom really pushed me to apply for the job because to my parent's dismay I didn't continue playing basketball in high school so during the winter/spring months I didn't have much to do after school except homework and watch Boy Meets World.

I don't think I even had to interview, they just hired me right off the bat. Another girl from the public school was also hired around the same time as me and let's just say she didn't care what she looked like (to the point where I don't think she showered). Add in a bunch of older women and kooky older man who wore some sick nasty sweater vests, and you have my co-workers.

To say that I was miserable is putting it lightly. At first the job was fine - I would come after school and work for two hours in my school uniform (sexy...or not). They would have me put books away on all 3 floors and then I would come back downstairs and they would have me work on various projects. But unfortunately since I grew up in a small town with a small library, there wasn't much for me to do - especially because there were two of us girls working there everyday after school.

Eventually I got tired of these "projects" (and for the life of me can't remember what any of these duties included - making flyers I guess?). So I would just take longer and longerrrrr to put away all the books that had come back from being checked out.

And towards the end of my career as a librarian, I would go upstairs and put away books for about a half hour and then just stay up there and read until I could leave. I got through Priscilla Presley's entire memoir before my co-workers figured out that I wasn't doing much work anymore.

One day, I overheard them talking about how they didn't understand what I was doing upstairs the whole time I was at work - 'was I just slow?' And then they said that they wished I was more like the other girl who I worked with (and I threw up in my mouth that I was considered a worse employee than someone who didn't shower).

I realized that my sweet $6.50 an hour job was coming to an end. Meaning: they were probably going to fire me. So I quit and told them I might be able to come back after volleyball camp was over mid-summer. Not that they missed me.

And I scratched librarian off my "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up" list and no longer did my after-school/summer jobs involve being inside the whole day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love to Hear the WGs go Tweet Tweet Tweet

We know you've been sitting at your desk everyday thinking "When are those fabulous ladies at Working Girl ever going to join Twitter!?"

No? You haven't? You've been doing your job and being completely productive? Oh. Well, get excited because we're finally tweeting. And guess what? It's work related. Kind of.

You can follow me (Working Girl One) here and Working Girl Two here (or follow the links to the right).

We're new to Twitter so we're just a eager as you are to see how we'll be using it. Any suggestions of what you'd like to see from us are more than welcome!

(Editor's Note: I apologize for getting "Rockin' Robin" stuck in your head.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pump Up the Jams, Pump It Up: Vol 2

Last July, I told you all about some of my favorite pump up songs that I play on my way to work. And let's face it, if you've been reading this blog since last July you could have probably guessed that just the thought of stepping foot in my office made me jumpy/stressed out. So a good mix was muy importante to getting me out of bed in the morning.

I find myself needing music less and less to pump me up (which is awesome! and means I must like my job), however there is one week every two months out of the year that makes me want to stay in bed forever. That would be this week when the new hires descend upon our corporate headquarters. And lucky me gets to feed them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as print out all their handouts, binders, make their hotel reservations and generally be their maid. Which requires me to get to work early and sometimes stay late. 

Enter my new WG pump me up mix. 

1. "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts
This song has the ability to automatically put a smile on my face because it reminds me of road trips and great country concerts and summer and Coronas. Yum. 

2. "Don't Stop Believing" by the cast of Glee 
You cannot believe my disappointment when WG1 told me that this wasn't a summer show, and that the pilot they showed us was a teaser for the fall. This song will get me through the summer by reminding me of Jersey and just keep believing. 

3. "I'll Make a Man Out of You" by Donny Osmond (from the Mulan soundtrack)
And you think I'm kidding. Mulan kicked some major ass. Talk about a role model! 

4. "What Would Jay-Z Do?" by Ben Lee
Jay-Z would hire a personal assistant to do all this crap work for him. 

5. "Rockstar" by Prima J
Ever since this song was featured on Gossip Girl it makes me feel like I'm Blair Waldorf whenever I listen to it. Is it sad that I idolize Blair Waldorf who is a 17-year-old beotch on TV? I can't help it - she takes names. 

6. "Shine" by Anna Nalick 
She had that hit single "Breathe", which I loved and this song is empowering like whoa. 

7. "Do Somethin" by Britney Spears
This song reminds me of WG1 and I rocking out the summer after sophomore year in college while driving around campus in her car (probably when we should have been at work). Oh how chaotic. 

8. "Fight Like a Girl" by Bomshel
I just downloaded this song and it is sheer feminism in a song. Right up my alley. 

9. "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus

And I'm not even doing a #10 because I just realized that a) I look like a huge teenybopper and b) that's creepy since I'm 24.

But for serious, all these songs make me feel like I could take on the world (or at least that 4PM status meeting). Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Head Case

Back during the summer of '04, I began getting migraines. Horrible, painful, paralyzing migraines. I had a prescription for a migraine medication that did nothing. Thankfully, I quickly discovered Excedrin and had never had to deal with a full-fledged migraine again. Pop two Excedrin and my headache would be done in less than 20 minutes. 

This was all true until last week. Once afternoon last week I had to leave work early because of a migraine. It was after a morning excursion with our entire staff that I began to feel a headache coming on. When I got back to the office, I immediately took two pills and chugged a diet coke. Usually the prefect recipe.

Fifteen minutes later I only felt worse. My head was pounding and the slice of pizza I ate for lunch was not sitting well. I needed to lie down. I went down to the nurse (yes, we have a nurse) to lay down in the resting room. After twenty minutes I got kicked out because someone had booked the resting room (seriously?!) and still didn't feel any better. 

I got back to my desk and my coworkers said I should just go home. But I couldn't, I thought. I'd done the same thing as everyone else that morning, everyone else was tired, everyone else just wanted to go home. I could suck it up. I tried and tired and tried to focus and get some work done but the headache only got worse. 

It wasn't until I was gchatting with WG2, telling her how awful I felt, and said to me sternly "You should really go home right now" that I caved and asked my boss if I could leave. Usually I'm the one telling WG2 how to take care of herself so what the roles are reversed, I listen.

On my way home, I was shaking in the cab and trying not to get sick. It was that bad. I barely made into my apartment before getting sick. I dove into my bed and all I could feel, apart from my head throbbing, was guilt about not being at work. 

In my short career I've barely called in sick or left work early. But whenever I do, all I feel is guilt. I've always been legitimately sick, I haven't lied about it but I always feel like I am. Maybe it's just my Catholic guilt kicking in but I shouldn't feel bad about going home or not going in at all when I'm literally about to vomit, right?

I finally fell asleep but still woke up with the migraine. Two more Excedrin and another nap later I finally felt back to normal. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

A New Addition

The first installment of the newer, bigger, and better things to come from Working Girl. 

Drumroll please! 

A blog roll! (Oh wait, you're not over the moon excited about this like we are?!). Ok, ok. We know we're a little late in the game. But it's better than never right WG's? 

On the right side of our blog, you will see that Working Girl has added a blog roll where you can enjoy our favorite Working Girl reads. Need to know what to wear to work? We recommend WorkChic.com. Need to know if those shoes are green? Click on over to EcoStiletto. Just have to know what's going on with the cast of The Office? Check out this jem of a blog.

And to think this is only installment #1!  

Working Girl Wardrobe: The Interview

You have finally gotten a call back after sending out about 40 resumes a week. You've impressed them with your background and your degrees (and all those stellar extra circulars that you just knew would eventually pay off - and no I'm not talking about how fast you can shotgun a beer). Now it's time to impress them with your wardrobe. 

It's the age-old question. What is appropriate to wear to a work interview? 

According to this New York Times' article, when thinking about your interview wardrobe you should "err on the side of conservatism". And I definitely concur. If you do not know much about the company you are interviewing at (aka if it's conservative or if it's casual), then you should always wear the most formal outfit in your closet. 

Formal for us Working Girls means a suit - this can be a pants suit or a skirt suit. I personally favor the skirt suit - there's something about a pants suit that makes me feel like a linebacker. The pros suggest wearing low heels and hosiery. 

There is always an exception to the rule however. The creative world is always a little less dressy. I have a friend who works at an ad agency and she could wear sweats to work if she really wanted to. At a company like this, it's definitely acceptable to show up in a more relaxed version of a suit. For example, when I interviewed at a luxury magazine when I wanted to be an intern in NYC, I wore bermuda shorts, a nice sweater, and low heels. And I scored the job. Later I found out that it was down to me and another girl who showed up in a full on pants suit and she seemed just too conservative for the job. They wanted someone more fun who liked clothes (and could therefore write about them).

It's important to know who is going to be judging you. But if you're unsure, always stick with the suit. Looking more professional is never a bad thing! 

This outfit combination would be perfect for a more casual interview - perfect if you're in the creative world! (Or in magazines!). And always remember to bring a notebook - coming prepared will look kindly on you in the long run.

These pearl tones are more conservative and perfect for a job interview where you don't know your audience as well as you might like. The only thing I would change would probably be a more sensible heel. At most job interviews (if they like you), they will have you meet with multiple people and walking around the office like you're drunk because you didn't think those heels could hurt this bad, can look unkindly on you. 

I also think a nice (and conservative) dress is appropriate for us Working Girls to wear to an interview. Keep in mind though that you should not be showing off too much boobage or too much leg. We don't want the boss to get the wrong idea and therefore slash you from the competition completely. 

And don't forget to wear panty hose!