Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we thinking Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Word on the street is Bravo might not be bringing Kell On Earth back for a second season. My question we even care? (Sorry Kelly Cutrone!). [NY Mag]
  • This article is worth reading if only because of it's brilliant title, "Are 'silly women' ruining it for everyone else?". [eFinancial Careers]
  • Zac Posen is doing a line of clothes at Target (um to die for!) and a lot of it is totally work worthy so we say snatch this stuff up fast when it goes on sale April 25th! [Fashionista]
  • And last but not least check out the YouTube video below. It's a group of co-workers who lip-sync to a notable song of the '90s. My co-workers and I totally want to do this - help us think of a good song to do it to!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shiny Unhappy People

As my first vacation days of 2010 rapidly approach (T-minus 2 days!), I find myself wishing I could have more. Sure, after this trip I’ll have about 2 weeks left for the year, but that still doesn’t feel like enough. So I was giddy with glee when I discovered that my company allows employees to buy up to 2 extra weeks of vacation a year, especially after reading your comments on my last vacation-day post and hearing how much time off some of you have (lucky, lucky Europeans!).

When I told my Dad about my plan to buy more vacation time, he was surprised. He thought the 3 weeks I started with was already a lot of time off. In fact, he told me that 3 weeks is the most time off he’s ever had throughout his career. 3 weeks! That’s it? It seemed a little sad to me. He deserves more than 3 measly weeks! And when I voiced my opinion, his response shocked me. Sure, he agreed he would have liked more vacation time, but he never expected it. He was happy with the little time he got, especially since all of his coworkers were in the same boat.

I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t even imagine having less than 3 weeks. 4 weeks even seems minimal when you think of how long a year can drag on. I was about ready to get on my little soapbox and start preaching about the problems with the American mindset and how we’re all overworked, etc. But then I stumbled upon the MSN article entitled “Millennials Value Time Off, Money More Than Gen X”, and it got me thinking. A lot.

You see, it’s not just me. Apparently my whole generation is ready to stand on a soapbox and preach about being overworked. For a split second, my mind raced to reform. My fellow Millennials and I could rally together and go all Newsies on corporate America. I’ve always dreamed of breaking out into spontaneous song and dance, so it seemed perfect. But just as the first few bars of “The World Will Know” started playing in my head, reality set in.

This article actually makes me feel pretty bad. And really ungrateful. All of our parents and grandparents worked hard for a living and I doubt they complained as much we do. Would I like more money? Of course! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I expected to be on the fast track to raises and promotions at the very start of my career. But why? How could I just expect that? And why do I always want more time off? Can’t I just be happy with what I have?

I think we could all use a bit of a reality check. And perhaps a healthy dose of appreciation for what we have. What do you all think? Fellow Millennials, do you agree with the article? And for you more experienced Working Girls out there, what are your thoughts about the newest wave of Working Girls? Are we as ungrateful as we sound? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Become a Teacher

...and it's not just because of having summers off!

According to, these are the reasons why one should consider a career in education...and of course, my comments about them...

1. Student Potential-Very student may not succeed in your class, but I still believe if I prepare these preschoolers correctly they have the potential to become good students and be all they can be.
2. Student Successes-When you witness a child learn how to write his/her name for the first time, or finally understand the difference between a square and a triangle there really is nothing like it. Working in a school for special needs students and a school for underprivileged children, the word "unteachable" is used frequently and I make it appoint to prove those nay sayers wrong!
3. Teaching a Subject Helps you Learn a Subject-Completing my student teaching in the 3rd grade helped me learn how to correctly add and subtract fractions (apparently I was doing it ALL wrong during grammar school..and I was writing my capital cursive Q incorrectly all along!)
4. Daily Humor-I intend to write a post one of these days titled "Kids Say The Darndest Things" because they really do. Including "Mommy plays on the pooter all day because she's a liar" Translation: "Mommy works on the computer all day because she's a lawyer"
5. Affecting the Future-Simply put, I wrote my 3rd grade teacher a letter before she passed away explaining what an impact she had on my life and how she influenced me to become a teacher. I hope one day I will hear something similar.
6. Staying Younger-FALSE. I found my first gray hair while teaching and my back and body have never ached so badly. Sure being in a school keeps you up to date with the latest lingo and styles the kids are rocking, but it in no way makes my body feel younger!
7. Conducive to Family Life-It sure is. The schedule speaks for itself. (Although the school I am in now has a daycare so I am stuck there until at least 6pm every night!) My best friends mother was a teacher in our elementary school which made us the "coolest" kids on the playground. Not to mention I got rides to and from school from her and she even let us help decorate her classroom before the summer and make bulletin boards.
8. Autonomy of the Classroom-It is nice being the conductor of creativity in the classroom. It is my job to teach children about their creative freedom and help them to express themselves in the appropriate way. I think that is one thing that really makes my job unique.
9. Job Security-Not so sure anymore. With this economy and rates of college students graduating increasing it is making it so difficult to get and keep a job anywhere really.
10. Summer's Off-Don't. Go. There. My school has a summer program and guess what...if I don't work it I won't have a job for September! Also, I always say, if teacher's didn't have some sort of break from the children, we'd all wind up in the same loony bins. But seriously, is there one young teacher you know that doesn't work in the summer? Whether its at a camp, babysitting, tutoring, or waitressing? Please, I'd love to meet her and be her.

I must put this disclaimer because I know what some of you must be thinking. I in NO WAY think that teaching is the best/only occupation that is important in this world. My whole family is full of business, sales, marketing, etc professionals who have important jobs and who help people in many ways. I'm just passionate about what I do and I hope all of you are too because after all it's not about what you do or how much you make or how glorified your occupation is, it's doing what makes you happy and waking up knowing you're doing what you want, isn't it?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Go Wash Your Mouth

There are some things I miss about working in an office environment now that I'm working from home. Mostly, I miss having work friends. There's a certain comfort in poking your head over a cube and seeing a friendly face, a friendly face you can talk to and who really understands your working girl world. Sigh.

But, one thing I definitely do not miss is "office speak." Before I left my job, a term that I had been hearing way too much of was "low-hanging fruit." And no, I'm not talking about old granny bosoms :) Low-hanging fruit seemed to be the best way for our execs to express how easy something should be to do or obtain. For example, "We haven't saturated the market yet, there is still a lot of low-hanging fruit out there," or "To interest a retail reporter about our nationwide retail store expansion, it's like picking the low-hanging fruit."

So what you're saying is ... it's really that easy, huh? Just like picking that low-hanging fruit ... yes, OK, I'm imagining myself right now in a grove of lemon trees and surrounding me are these lemons within an arm's reach. I get it! It sounds so simple. Piece of cake. And then, wait a second here, I don't think I'm liking this new feeling of a lot of pressure.

Another phrase I can't stand is, "Bubble up," as in, "Why don't you send me an email with your thoughts, and I'll be sure to bubble it up to management." Woa! That's an amazing visual, like, my thoughts and breakthrough ideas all captured in beautiful rainbow-colored soap bubbles and eventually they'll float their little way on up to get paid attention to by big important people ... what a nice concept. And sounds very likely, too.

Probably my least favorite office phrase in the whole wide world is "buckets." Oh my gosh, the first time I heard the term "buckets" used in an office setting was during a job interview years ago when the HR lady kept referring to the job description as a bunch of buckets! Such as, there was an infrastructure bucket, an executive visibility bucket and a shared services bucket. Here I was, a nervous little girl and so uncomfortable and twitchy from wearing a suit that made me feel way too masculine, and trying very hard to to follow what this crazy lady was saying.

OK, so there's all these buckets (here I was talking things quickly through my head while the HR lady kept going) ... and I'm assuming these buckets are all a different color and made of bright shiny plastic, like the kind you take to the beach, right? Wait, what? They're all part of a larger bucket? That doesn't make any sense. How many buckets are there? What am I supposed to do with these buckets? I'll be part of a bucket? Part of more than one bucket? Is that possible? Do we all stand in giant buckets or something and type away on our laptops and then jump from bucket to bucket?! AHH! It wasn't until after the interview that I figured out buckets was just a fancy - and not to mention the most incredibly ridiculous word EVER - for "team." Unbelievable.

What is your least favorite "office speak" phrase or term?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Of Shoes and The Universe

This week, I was reminded of a situation back when I was Front Desk Working Girl at a hotel in downtown Atlanta. That seems like a lifetime ago, back when $8.75 an hour was, to me, a personal fortune. This particular occasion, we had a full team at the desk because we were coming off of a sold out night due to a big aviation convention. It was all about small private planes, jets, rich kids’ playthings, so, needless to say, 95% of the attendees were reasonably wealthy and ridiculously rude. It was a miserable week! The phone did not stop ringing as calls of requests and complaints rained down on our weary staff. One morning, just as I was bringing up my bank and logging into the computer system to start my shift, this rather short gentleman stepped off the elevator, located on the other side of the packed lobby, put his hands on his hips, stuck out his chest and yelled toward me, “CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHY I DON’T HAVE ANY HOT WATER IN MY &%$#@ ROOM?” He marched up to the desk, past everyone waiting in line, and proceeded to deliver an outburst the likes of which I have never experienced since. My face burned as though every vile word was a stinging slap. It took all my customer service and empathy training not dive across that desk and plant a fist in his enormous mouth.

Finally, sweating, panting and beet red, he stopped long enough for me to apologize and offer to have maintenance come up to check the problem and then just sorta waved me away as though I were speaking another language before stalking off toward the restaurant. I caught a few sympathetic glances from the crowd that had seemed frozen in time during the entire tirade but most just snapped their newspapers back open or returned their attention to wherever their focus had been before. I readjusted my uniform and greeted the next person waiting in line.

This incident has stayed with me for 10 years. I can recreate the whole scene in my mind as though watching a film. I remember the way my heart pounded as he went on and on about incompetence and substandard accommodations, as he threatened and railed and damned the hotel, the employees and the company that owned it all straight to hell. Now, I am always mindful to be especially cordial when dealing with people in service positions. There’s a silent kinship there. I’ve been in their shoes and know first-hand how a nasty exchange can bruise self-esteem and possibly ruin a day. (That is, unless they’re rude to me, which of course warrants immediate retaliation because if I could put on a smile and deliver impeccable service for ten hours after dealing with that Napoleonic nightmare, then by God, so should you!)

This morning, a guy approached me at the gas station asking for change. I hesitated at first. He was clean, sufficiently dressed and nothing in his appearance seemed to point to vagrant, perhaps he was just a guy hard on his luck. He was actually collecting money to buy gas, he explained as he pointed to the empty automobile waiting a few pumps down. I emptied my change stash, reserved for drive thru runs and random snacks, all the cash I had, into his waiting palm. I know people who would frown upon such an act, scoff and come up with a thousand scenarios that painted me the fool and him the con artist/drug addict/psycho killer waiting for a clear opportunity to chloroform me and toss me in his trunk. Regardless, I had to. I had been in his shoes. When I was a little girl knocking about the world on a wild, drug-induced adventure with my dad, we sat in a gas station parking lot scrounging for every coin we could dislodge from the seat cushions and scrape from the floorboards of the beat up sedan that doubled as our home. The total was not nearly enough, even back when gas was cheap! So, my dad went around soliciting extra cash from the patrons but he found just few generous of the lot and only gathered a few more coins.

Finally, sure that was the best we could do, he went in to pay, hoping that what we could afford would at least get us as far as the next station to try again. He came out of the store, filled our tank and glided out of the lot with a fantastic smile plastered on his face. He told me that a woman in the store, at hearing his plight, took pity on us and paid for the entire tank full herself and told him to keep his coins. By then, I was smiling too. We probably looked ridiculous to anyone passing by but with that simple tank of gas, this woman, a stranger, had so profoundly impacted our lives that nothing but pure joy filled that moment.

So, of course, I cannot refuse an outstretched hand when I have it to spare. I always see a child somewhere down the line who may benefit in some way. I don’t need to know the whole story. I don’t care that it might actually be a con artist/drug addict/psycho killer waiting for a clear opportunity to chloroform me and toss me in his trunk. When someone is wearing your old shoes, I believe it would somehow upset the flow of energy in the universe not to acknowledge when they walk back up to you in a gas station parking lot or the other side of a check-in desk.

Working Girls, we may have made great strides in our lives and careers or maybe we just made baby steps. We may have taken chances and won big or lost it all but regardless of where we are, it’s important to always remember where we’ve been and the shoes we left behind.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Right to Bare Arms: A Snappy Little Spring Wardrobe Forum

Ahhh yes. Spring is in the air. The snow has melted, the weather is warming up, the sun is staying up later, and the feisty little geese are honking like there’s no tomorrow.

As much as I love the season of baby birds and bright blossoms, it seems to present the greatest number of wardrobe challenges. At least that’s how it is here in the Midwest. It’s a bit too chilly for light spring dresses, but it feels wrong to keep wearing dark winter wool. Not to mention the fact that I might blind my coworkers if I show too much skin too early. Right now, I’m about as white as a Cullen (yes, I just watched New Moon…squeal!) and there’s no hope for a tan in sight.

Which is why I’m now turning to you in sort of an unofficial open forum. Since spring work wardrobes are such a fascinating topic (in my opinion at least), let’s open it up for discussion. I present the following questions to you, dear Working Girls, to hear your thoughts/opinions/two cents on the subject.

• When is a suitable time to ditch the tights and start flaunting those fabulous (and oh so white) bare legs?

• When can you roll out the sleeveless dresses out…if ever? The stores seem to show a ton of tank dresses, but are they even office appropriate?

• Spring clothes mean short sleeves are back in business, but if your office is like mine, it’s ALWAYS cold. So naturally, it’s cool to keep a sweater at your desk. But how many times can you re-wear your “desk cardigan” before it gets gross?

• It’s almost time for toes to run amok. When is it okay to unleash the tootsies and celebrate the season of sensational sandals, peep toes and wedges?

Feel free to add your own. I know many of these depend on where you live, but I bet there’s a general rule all of us follow when it comes to busting out the spring clothes. So let's hear it. Happy commenting!

Sidenote: Is it sad that the title of this post amused me to no end? Even more amusing is that I got the idea from an older man who worked at The Hall of Presidents in Disney World. No joke.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tweet Tweet

Oh, Twitter, such a love/hate relationship I have with you.

I despise Twitter like I despise cleaning out my cat's litter box or any household chore for that matter. It's always hard to come up with something worthwhile to say. At the same time, though, I'm proud of my Twitter and proud to have it on my resume which just basically shows that I've made an investment in my "personal branding" and that I'm "savvy" (about what, though, I'm not quite sure yet).

For those of you not too familiar with Twitter, in a nutshell, it's a somewhat useful tool that enables you to connect with strangers, corporations and otherwise important figures--either work-related or maybe someone famous, like Ellen--who would probably never, ever communicate with you otherwise. Oh, and because it's in real time and totally public, Twitter makes for a good news feed. It's actually kind of amazing how Twitter's changed the definition of news ... which is something only a PR geek like me would care about!

I attempt to tweet regularly about my clients (mostly any newsworthy stuff) and about PR. Every now and then I'll throw in something personal. My hope is that people who find my clients interesting, PR interesting or me interesting, will follow my tweets, maybe feel prompted to ask me a question or comment/reply, and what would be really awesome, feel inspired in some small teeny tiny way. That last bit might be too much to ask, but why not?

I do have one piece of advice, though: Don't jump on the Twitter bandwagon if you think it's just like updating your status on Facebook. It's not, and no one will care because you're not tweeting to friends, you're tweeting to a curious world. In my opinion, you must tweet with a purpose.

By the way, you can always follow Working Girl on Twitter here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Balldroppers

Ok, sure, everyone makes mistakes. That’s an inherent part of being human. We’re prone to failures, slip ups, missteps, gaffs, poor decisions and the like. But, the hope is that we learn from our mistakes and go forward as wiser creatures in the world because of them and that does hold true for many of us. However, there is a distinct segment of the population teeming with serial mistake makers who seem to neither gain knowledge from their errant ways nor make any conscious effort to avoid them in the future.

While we are constantly juggling like crazed circus performers, they can't seem to keep even one ball in the air. So, we’ll call them the Balldroppers.

They can wreak havoc in a professional setting, leaving a trail of missed deadlines, fouled up assignments and wild eyed co-workers panicking to pick up the pieces. Balldroppers can be counted on to screw up the simplest request, will order lunch for two instead of ten and have it delivered at 1PM instead of Noon. They can annihilate a project before it ever gets off the ground despite their apparent excitement at being chosen to assist. They always seem to have the best intentions that eventually tank, sometimes slowly, sometimes all in one fell, messed up swoop.

The best Balldroppers are the ones who tug at our heartstrings, the ones who, despite every possible effort, just can’t seem to get it right. They nudge at your sympathies and draw you into their chaotic world as you attempt to lend assistance in righting their sinking ship. Of course, do this and it will be you who ends up on the phone at 2AM tracking down FedEx packages accidentally labeled Michigan instead of Minnesota.

Beyond the actual work related melee caused, Balldroppers can and will weigh heavily on the nerves, especially when they ask you to cover for them while they go grab a quick bite and then come sauntering back in three hours later. Or, when they RSVP to your swanky afterhours girls get-together and then no show. And you can forget about divvying up the ingredients list for that ice cream social! Balldroppers will either forget whipped cream altogether or drag in with some obscure brand and not have the sense to get the fat free.

These people must be avoided at any cost. They have the intrinsic ability to zap every ounce of one’s enthusiasm and creativity and will to live. They will spark numerous bathroom whispering sessions and planning meeting eye rolling. You will start to hear the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher whenever they open their mouths.

Yet, for all their failings, Balldroppers sometimes have amazing longevity and can occupy that middle cubicle for years before any higher-up gets wind. So, it’s up to you to keep your wits about you and to not completely lose it before the day they bring your lactose intolerant boss a grilled cheese sandwich. And believe me, it will happen!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

But trust me on the sunscreen…and the proofreading

If I could offer only one tip for the future, proofreading would be it. Actually, I’d say it’s even more important than sunscreen. Follow my logic for a second, will you? Because if you don’t proof your resume, you can’t get a job. And if you can’t get a job, you won’t have any money. If you don’t have money, you can’t buy sunscreen. Makes sense, right?

It completely blows my mind that people don’t spend an adequate amount of time proofreading their resumes. I understand if proofreading isn’t your thing. But that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t ask a friend or family member to look it over. It’s common sense! Or so I thought…

A few months after I started my first job, everyone in my office was gushing about this one copywriter’s portfolio that had arrived in the mail. They built up so much hype around it that I couldn’t wait to see it. But as soon as it landed on my desk, I spotted a small, but still significant, typo sitting pretty on the first page.

So what did I do? I showed it to my boss, who immediately threw the book in the trash. Am I a jerk? Maybe. But copywriting is a competitive field and honestly, proofreading is about 85% of what we do. If you can’t even proof your own resume, you might want to rethink you career (which is exactly what my boss said in response.) But hey, I’m not a complete jerk—I anonymously e-mailed the poor guy to tell him about the error, and he really appreciated it.

A few months ago, a friend sent me a resume from one of her other friends to give my boss. He wanted to be a copywriter, too. Of course I was curious, so I started reading through his resume. Not only was it riddled with grammatical errors and a very blatant spelling error, but he also included completely irrelevant work experience, like his stints as a dog walker and sailing assistant…at the very top! I was flabbergasted.

Moral of the story: Proof your resume! And definitely make sure it includes only relevant information. In the meantime, go ahead and have a good laugh at the expense of some very amusing resume mishaps:

Resumania—Explore oodles of excerpts from real resumes. Be sure to read the talk bubbles filled with snappy little comments.

150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever—A compilation of the best resume quotes from a variety of career websites. Some might make you wince, but most will make you laugh. One of my favorites is that someone listed “stalking, shipping and receiving” under work experience. A professional stalker? Heck yes. He’s hired!

So have you guys ever come across a terrible typo on a resume? Or a mention of completely irrelevant information that made everyone in your office laugh? Go ahead and share your stories!

Sick of Being Sick

Hello readers! I apologize for posting a day late but I came down with a case of bronchitis after a weekend of hard partying with WG1&2 for our birthdays. I consider myself a very clean conscious person and I wash my hands every chance I get at work after playing on the floor with toddlers. However, this year I just cannot seem to escape the germs! I got my regular flu and H1N1 vaccines, but I still have been stuck in bed (and out of work!) with numerous sinus infections, pink eye (in both eyes at once), and now bronchitis.

So I did some REALLY intense research on how to avoid getting sick at the workplace (I'd ask if you can smell my sarcasm but if you're anything like me your nose is probably too stuffed to smell anything!) and this is what I found..and of course my opinion on each one.

1. Wash our hands often. Done and done.

2. Keep your workspace clean. My workspace includes toys put in mouths, snotty tissues, dirty diapers, and CHILDREN EVERYWHERE!

3. Eat balanced meals every day. Again, no brainer

4. Avoid coworkers who are sick. That's a joke right?

5. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. I drink bottles and bottles. Unless its holy water, its not helping!

6. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. And then get fired for child neglect.

7. Use your vacation days. For days when you're too sick to get out of bed?

8. Quit Smoking. I don't smoke, so I'm clear on that one.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse by posting these pointers, maybe it's because my head is so clogged and every time I cough I think my life is ending. This may be a question for Health Care Working Girl but what are some remedies that you swear by? My sister insists that her Netti Pot can cure any ailment and Airborne is stronger than any prescription drug. Anyone? Suggestions? Help. Please.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So, What Do You Do?

Sometimes when I tell people I work in PR, they mistake me for a publicist. They think I go to parties and big events and shmooze famous people all day. I can sense their disappointment when I tell them a publicist is a different kind of PR and that I do corporate PR. I have to explain that I don't go to parties all the time, in fact, I usually don't go anywhere at all unless it's a trade show which I do not consider a party in any way, shape or form. And instead of shmoozing famous people, I schmooze reporters and editors. Who, by the way, are famous to me. I would love to meet David Pogue from The New York Times some day.

So yesterday, I got to hang out with a real life publicist of a real life famous person, and you know what? Her job isn't so glamorous.

My women's fashion & lifestyle magazine client had a photo shoot in LA yesterday to shoot the cover of our upcoming spring issue. The celebrity cover girl was there along with her publicist. Can I say uptight? We are all pretty chill as far as those of us on the magazine side go, even our cover girl was chill, but the publicist! She was constantly pacing the room, checking her BlackBerry, tapping her toes, tugging at her hair, taking calls, announcing they were going to be late for this and that ...

Ok, ok, she was just doing her job. I don't want to belittle any publicists reading this. But the point is, why does everyone think being a publicist is so glamorous? The PR that I do is worthwhile, too! And hey, I got to meet and interview a celebrity for the first time ever, and that was pretty cool!

It's funny how sometimes you think the grass is greener, or how other people's perceptions of what you do is not as interesting as it's all talked up to be; it can make you feel down about your job. Or, on the flip side, maybe you think your job is really something, but you have a hard time explaining what it is that you do?

I feel like this post is just kind of rambling, sorry, but ever since I started working from home it's been interesting how much thought I've put into how to describe precisely what I do now to people in a way that sounds impressive. It makes me feel so vain, ugh.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pants on fire

I’m a terrible liar. Absolutely terrible. I blame it on my irritatingly vocal conscience. That damn Jiminy Cricket sits on my shoulder and screams in my ear every time I do something that teeters on the edge of questionable behavior—especially when it comes to lying. I thought crickets were supposed to be cute and charming and wear funny little top hats. But not mine. He likes to yell. A lot.

I’ve always had a hard time telling lies, especially when it comes to work. I’ve never even played hooky once in my life (shameful, I know). So when it came to thinking about changing jobs, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. Knowing how devious I’d have to be made me almost sick to my stomach. And since things at my company were tight, I felt even worse.

But I sucked it up and kept my job search a secret. Every time I went to work, I felt like I had a brick in my stomach. Every time I talked, I was worried I would say too much. I snuck out to make phone calls, hiding under bridges and crouching behind buildings to talk. I didn’t tell even my closest work friends, and when they asked me questions about jobs or moving, I lied through my teeth. Each time, it became easier to ignore Jiminy’s shrill voice.

Then one day I got an interview. And as luck would have it, I was able to schedule it on a vacation day I was already taking. Phew. The best part? It went really, really well. I felt great about it and knew my days of being a big liar were numbered.

But then I had to wait. And wait. And wait some more. The HR girl and I exchanged numerous emails, but that was all. I can’t even tell you how many times I cried/broke down/stressed out during those couple of months. I knew it was the right job, but all I could do was wait and act like nothing was going on. It was like leading a double life.

The call for the second interview came quickly and almost out of the blue after months of waiting. They wanted to see me two days later, in the middle of the week, in the city I wanted to move to.

I couldn’t lie to my boss. I just couldn’t. But once I got used to lying, the lies started to roll off my tongue. After I hung up the phone, I rushed straight into his office and told him I had to take my mom to get a colonoscopy and would be out all day (I’m such a terrible person!) To my surprise, he was so concerned for my mom that he let me take a sick day without question. I felt like a total slime ball.

I didn’t have to feel slimy for too long though, because I got the job immediately after the interview. And all my lying worked because they didn’t have a clue I was looking. I put in my two weeks, moved away and haven’t looked back since.

I’d like to say I’m better at lying now, but that would be a lie. Because as soon as my lying-out-of-necessity habit broke, Jiminy came screaming back with a vengeance and one hell of a guilt trip. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted!

So what do you guys think? Are you good liars? Brilliant at playing hooky? Have any good stories about lying to hide your job search? Let’s hear them! (And by the way, I LOVED reading your coworker rants last week. I laughed out loud many times, so thanks for sharing!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Mama Drama...

I'm not sure if that's even the correct title for this post, but I just like saying it. Have you seen the movie Baby Mama? It was totally underrated and in my opinion, parts of it were pretty realistic. A single woman who works 24/7 to prove to her boss that she can stand up there with the best of them while her maternal instincts are screaming at her from the insides. She hires a surrogate to carry her baby for her since she finds herself to be infertile. What am I getting at here? Well, basically my question is...How does a single working mom do it?

I can barely take care of myself and my dog while working full time. I can't imagine having a baby, full time job, and doing it all alone. Whether you're a single working mom, a married working mom, or just a working girl who is one day hoping to be a baby mama, here is a list of the top 10 companies for Working Mothers, according to Working Mother Magazine:

  • Abbott Laboratories, IL
  • American Express, NY
  • Bank of America, NC
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, VA
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, NY
  • Colgate-Palmolive, NY
  • Computer Associates, NY
  • Fannie Mae, DC
  • General Mills, MN
  • IBM, NY

One of my best friends is currently 6 months pregnant. She is so excited for the baby yet so stressed out about maternity leave and who is going to watch the baby while she's at her job. I work in a day care/preschool so mommies be aware, there ARE educated and responsible people out there who would love to take care of your children while you are at work. Personally I would LOVE to be a stay at home mom. I really enjoy my job, and am lucky to be in a profession that has great hours for children (my mom was a teacher and could easily pick us up and drop us off at school without us even knowing she had a job) but I know it is different for most of you Working Girls.

For those of you who do not have children yet, do you think you'll become a Working Mommy? Continue providing for your family and being a great success? Are there any readers who are already mommies? We'd love to hear your take on it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gut Knows Best

"... After college, I continued to work in agency settings over the next three years. The first year was at the same agency of my first internship (they hired me upon graduation) and then at a PR agency in Chicago for two years (LOVE CHICAGO). I'm now in Orange County, Calif. where I've gone back to working on an internal PR team in a corporate setting for a cell phone company. I've been here for about a year and a half now. So not only am I a writing nerd and a horrible radio DJ, I guess ths also makes me a techhie. Is there anything worse?? Haha ..."

Hi. Yeah, so that was me as of a few weeks ago. (For those who are new to this blog, you can read the rest of my introduction to Working Girl here.)

Guess what? It's time for an update. Here goes:

Some may call me crazy given the state our economy is in, and given that I loved my job so much (no dress code, great boss, remember?), but after a year and a half working on the internal PR team at the Orange County based cell phone company, I decided it was time to say good-bye to the corporate world.

You see, all of a sudden, things got turned upside down at work. It was like someone flipped a pancake on me, slap! Things changed very quickly, changes that were completely out of my control. Literally, guys, one day things were trotting along swimmingly and the next, I was driving home crying at the steering wheel and making a bee-line for the Taco Bell drive-thru (my comfort food) because I was so worried about getting laid off. What was happening?!? Have any of you ever been in that type of situation? Makes me question big corporate companies and who's managing them. Where's The Man? Lemme speak with the bozo in charge here.

After an agonizing month or so, I found out I wasn't going to be laid off. Instead, I was given a brand new role, brand new team, etc. and I was not happy about it. Accepting this new job would be like taking three steps backwards in my career, there would be zero room for growth, limited exposure, non-existent team camaraderie since it would be me in the OC and the rest of my new team on the East Coast, no pay raise or hope for one in even the far distant future, ugh, I could go on and on. It was time to get out and move on.

I can't tell you how scared I was to do that, though. I'm not usually one to just up and quit a job. I like to play things a little more safe, but this time I could not ignore my gut feelings. The negatives were just too overwhelming and far outweighed any positives.

Fast-forward to today, I am the happiest girl ever. See my smiley face? :) The best part, I'm still a PR Working Girl and I'm working 100% from home. I can't believe how things have fallen into place for me, still a whirlwind of craze and stress, no less, but it's like the stars aligned and I was meant to quit my job.


So dear readers, thanks for your patience as I've let the dust settle a bit these past few weeks. Moving forward, my weekly PR Working Girl adventures are going to be pretty cool (in my humble opinion). I have my very own two new PR clients, one women's fashion & lifestyle magazine and one small business, a retail store. I heart them both.

Also, I'll be able to provide the "working from home" working girl perspective, and I know there are lots of you work-at-home girls out there--I'm going to count on you for advice! I've gotten great tips from readers already, probably my favorite is from MonsteRawr who commented on my "Hopelessly Addicted" post where I rant about how I'm such a slave to my cell phone. Thanks to her suggestion, I've set my phone to vibrate when I get a new email so now I only check it when it buzzes, not constantly like I used to. Thank you, friend!

So tell me, ladies, what is your advice to someone just starting out working from home? Any expectations I should set for myself?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finding Happy

I am huge fan of Oprah, which is somewhat puzzling since I rarely watch the show. I’ve been working pretty much 8AM to 5PM every working day of the past 10 years and the show comes on at 4PM where I live. I did watch it regularly from as early as I can remember up to the point I entered the workforce so I have some pretty solid history with Oprah regardless. To make up for missing the actual broadcasts, I get as much as I can from the web, subscribe to her site, listen to Oprah Radio, etc.

Imagine my delight at seeing that the eNewsletter articles and quotes all centered around the topic of happiness. Just in time for me since I rolled out of bed this morning under a cloud of regret, misery and otherwise unpleasant thoughts of work and career. One of the articles, here, talks about how most of us want to be happy but don't really know what it is that would bring about said happiness. The author, Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D., says "Most people do not know how to describe what they want, because they don't have a clue what it really is."

Interesting . . .

Over the course of a typical day choc full of routines and deadlines, requirements and expectations, the last thing that thing that generally crosses my mind is whether or not I'm happy. Of course, there are pockets of time here and there when I'm absolutely elated; laughing with coworkers in the break room, listening to my children attempt to carry on supposedly important conversations in the back seat, prowling Facebook before bed. These are clear high points of my day. But the happiness this article is referring to is that wide reaching, all encompassing, deep and abiding contentment with life in general. How many of us even think about happiness on this level? The more I read, the more I felt the need to do a quick self-assessment!

Working Girls, is your work fulfilling? Do you have a job or career? Are goals clear and attainable? Where do you want to be in 5, 10, even 15 years? Are you as happy as you can possibly be? As you want to be? Those are just a few questions to start with. . .

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things we thinking Working Girls should know. So scroll down to hear what we think you should glean from this work week.
  • Former Rachel Zoe Inc. employee, Taylor Jacobson, made it seem as though she was just moving on her career when she left Rachel Zoe for greener pastures this past year. But Page Six reported today that Jacobson was supposedly fired after a fight over designer clothes disappearing from the closet. [NY Mag]
  • Abbott, Aetna, American Express, and General Mills are just four of the top five named to the top 50 companies for executive women in America. At the companies in the NAFE Top 50, women fill key positions that matter: 23 percent of board seats and 26 percent of the P&L positions. [NAFE]
  • Check out this Forbes article on 28-year veteran Denise Coyne who is the CIO of oil company Chevron. She gives some great advice for women looking for careers in IT. [Forbes]