Saturday, December 31, 2011

Am I Too Poor or Just Too Cheap & Higher Purposes

Seriously, I'm not sure whether we're too poor or just too cheap to do things many people do. We went to a New Year's Eve Eve party last night for an event held by one of my friends & whose entertainment is top notch. My husband adamantly insisted we go to this even based on his good time at the event they had on the 4th of July.

We get to the event and go into the top floor room. It was very nice: wasn't too crowded, you could hear the band as well as your conversation if you went to the sitting area and you got a nice view of the NYC skyline and the street below.

We, and it seems others, were led to believe that both rooms were accessible all night. We saw some great burlesque performers & heard good music. The emcee said there would be more there but after we get downstairs to see another performance and my husband needs someplace to sit without being commanded to spend money or sitting in a stranger's lap. Not to mention I don't like to be standing around in the middle of a crowd & blocking people from walking around (since I hate that being done to me, especially in the tourist areas).

As we try to go back upstairs, we're told the upstairs is closed. Apparently the venue decided to do this to the party. Downstairs, meanwhile, is super packed. My husband saw a lot of disgruntled people and I heard some complaints myself. Some even ignored the coat check since we saw people leave their coats & bags in the outside hallway, where we stayed and talked while figuring out whether to stay or go. As I try to let my husband make these choices since he's got medical issues with his legs and standing on his feet (he, unlike some people, doesn't like making a big fuss & doesn't exhort people to feel sorry for him or give him special treatment because of it), he says it's up to me. Since I don't like seeing him miserable, what choice do you think I make?

We end up leaving but hang out in this lounge near the coat check section in order to decide where we're going for dinner since we haven't eaten and we're not about to spend a million dollars at the club's restaurant. After some wandering about, the night was saved when we happened upon this Mexican restaurant away from tourist row.

Here's my basic stance on going someplace & if my husband will go with me:

1. The event MUST be a price I/we consider reasonable. Clubs not having a special event had better not be over $5 per person (and I really hate paying to go in the first place as I was the recipient of many free ladies nights back in my college days in the early 00s--I was even told by a guy I knew from karaoke that w/my looks I should NEVER have to pay cover anywhere & I'm inclined to agree; I look EXACTLY the same as I did then, by the way). Unless it's a special event or one of my friends is involved, chances are I will not go if it costs money.

If it's a special event, don't even talk to me about it unless your tickets are about $25 a person or less. You're also more likely to entice me to go if you're friends with me, I've heard great things about your talent or my friends are going. $80, $50 per person?!?!?! Not happening & most likely wouldn't even if I had the $ for it. I should be seeing full nudity or getting my house cleaned for that kind of money.

2. If you want me to dress up, it has to be someplace where everyone else is dressed in a similar way. Since my husband HATES dressing up & most dress up events violate #1, I rarely get to do it unless I want to go to a club alone through a promoter's list. I also consider the weather outside & how my feet are going to feel in shoes when I'm having to walk around my neighborhood & trek on the subway to get to an event (the ones I go to are typically in Manhattan). I also HATE having to lug comfortable shoes around so my feet aren't blisters before I get someplace so I'm wondering how those travel shoe things are working for folks; I'm considering getting some for this very reason.

3. If there's a long line, fuck you!!! My husband has ZERO patience for long lines that never move. I also have limited patience with long lines. Status & exclusivity? Screw that!! Nothing is worth my waiting in line for hours (even free Chick-Fil-A for a year). We have a similar attitude on restaurants. If it's a long wait & you don't take reservations, we'll go elsewhere.

I found this article quite accurate to how we sum it up. Plus, my cooking is much better & I can make my food the way I want it, not how the restaurant thinks I want it. If we did a reservation & we're still waiting for a table 30 minutes later?? You can also go fuck yourself & have guaranteed some negative Yelp reviews against you.

4. My husband is extremely picky about music. If he hates the music, he will leave. I'm less picky about that but if you started blasting country music, I'd be out of there myself.

5. Don't hassle me to buy something the second I walk in the room if I'm present for an event!!! I hate that & it's a surefire way to get me to walk out. There's being a polite server & then there's being an ass. We've walked out when the person was being an ass (if the response to "We're looking" is the server hanging around and hovering over you while you look at the menu when you came to go to karaoke, the server is being an ass).

6. Have some seating that doesn't require a person to buy alcohol to use it. Some people DO have health conditions and would rather not announce them to the world. Plus, if there's no space you don't want to be blocking people from walking like you were a tourist standing in the middle of a NYC sidewalk.

So I'm not sure if it's that I'm too cheap or too poor to do things. I can't really afford to go to the theater or Broadway shows but even if I could, there is very little my husband would go to see. With things I go to in Manhattan usually turning out to stink for one or more of these reasons, I wondered last night about what we can possibly do for events to get out of the house.

We did decide we did not want to live in the suburbs. We're huge on not becoming that married couple that never goes anywhere or does anything; we saw that enough with our own parents. Plus, we don't have kids tying us down.

It seems my next step will be looking at things in Brooklyn or Queens. That means some additions to the requirements:

1. It must be accessible by public transit. We're not going to wait 2 hours for a bus to get someplace. If we wanted that, we could just live in the suburbs without a car and go to the local mall.

2. It must be in a safe neighborhood. This is just basic common sense.

I hardly think any of this is unreasonable considering we've managed to find things to go to and have fun at without this kind of bullshit. We'd just like to expand it some to things we both can do & so we have things to point to when people we know visit, especially folk who live in the suburbs. I don't like encouraging suburbanites by letting them sit in my home & not going to NYC when we're so close to it.

Plus, I like to make sure people are having fun without feeling like they have to make a million dollars a year in order to do so.

As we were discussing and thinking about things yesterday, I had a realization with respect to my business & all. I swore that I was not going to be a poor grown up. It occurred to me that as long as I'm in this current career limbo, I'm simply in a state of transition. It's not like "Your status is set in stone & this is where you will be for the rest of your life." Careers do have limits on income & you know that you're not going to advance anywhere after a while. You're just where you are & that's it. I realized that having a transition period means there's some hope I won't die in the same place I'm at already. Bear in mind, though that I'm not the the type to let life happen to me. Psycho Boy was & it wasn't a pretty picture; you see a lot of resignation with people who let life happen to them instead of making things happen that improve their own lives.

Later on, I read this article posted by a Twitter friend that popped up on my feed & it occurred to me that once again, I have a greater purpose to consider than just my own bullshit. It's not just me or my company (which totally defies this study in the leadership make-up & how we are treated); it's being an example. It's proving that it can be done & you aren't living in some caste system where the situation you're at now is the one you'll die in.

There's plenty of sexism in the legal field as well. I read an article recently that I think a different Twitter follower posted that said private law firms practice sexism against women but also engage in heavy lip service to the contrary. Just one more reason I'm not likely to be working in one.

After reading, it occurs to me that maybe it doesn't matter if I make any money from doing this or not, at least with respect to the issue of if I accomplished anything in life. If there's anything I like doing, it's giving someone else ammo in the fight against their own detractors. It never really occurs to me so much that I'm abnormal or doing something different/unusual. I only see it as pursuing what I wanted to do.

Consider that my mother was the one in charge when I was growing up; she HAD to be considering my father was too busy losing jobs & generally being an alcoholic. This is far beyond the dumb father stereotype you see in mainstream media; you're talking about someone who couldn't even hold down a job & lost a driver's license. Someone who's not fitting society's definition of functional.

On that note, I sure hope the answer to female empowerment & gender equality in these fields isn't living in a household where the mother has to be in charge because the father's too messed up for it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What the Holy Fuck?!?! Craig's List Ads, Part 2

It's time. Oh, yes it's time for another installment of this. Seriously, some of the more recent ads I've seen deserve that statement but some classically stupid ones will be mixed in as well.

First off, look at this one:

Looking for a Summer Internship in New York City? (TriBeCa)

Date: 2010-05-26, 4:44PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]







- Answering phones
- Filing documents
- Office errands
- Helping with photo shoots
- Managing the calendar
- Social Media management (blogs/facebook/twitter)
- Mail/shipments (receiving and sending out)
- General assisting with any tasks given


- Professional manner and dress code
- Great knowledge in beauty/fashion/entertainment and current trends
- Great skills with MS Word, Powerpoint and Word
- Someone that is internet savvy
- Creative writing skills for blog content/ideas
- Detail oriented
- Extremely good with time management
- Ability to work with high profile people in a professional manner
- Great people skills
- Attend fashion/social events with company CEO and assist in whatever way required
- Candidate must be open to travel if asked






Compensation: Unpaid Internship
This is a part-time job.
This is an internship job
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 1761062650

Somebody's awfully damn demanding for an unpaid internship, don't you think? Plus, it's illegal to offer internships with full time hours. How would one make a living doing one, huh? Even if it weren't illegal (and you can go to the state or federal EEOC websites & read up on internship rules if you don't believe me), it's also classist. These people deserve what they get since they certainly aren't bright enough to get legal counsel before posting this crap.

Here's another one thinking they're such a saint to offer the "option" of part time, unpaid work.

Fashion Internship -Editorial, PR, Events, marketing (New York)

Date: 2011-11-16, 10:04AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

A boutique full service Media, marketing/PR/Event Production fashion company is currently looking to fill the following internship positions: Editorial assistant, Marketing assistant, and Event planning/PR intern to assist with fashion magazine, Fashion week and other major Event Productions up coming. Ideal candidate will be available Mon-Fri; however we will consider part-time availability as well. You will be fully involved in all aspects of our company., but your primary focus will be on the position you are hired for.

This is a challenging and busy internship, with many rewards. You will be part of a fun and creative environment and will learn a lot about fashion, marketing, editorial procedures, and event planning while networking with a lot of professional contacts in the industry. This
internship is Unpaid but a valuable opportunity to work your way to a permanent position.

Skills and Qualities Required:
Energetic and ready for a challenge
Excellent verbal communication (primarily telephone) and written skills
Professional and friendly manner
Determined and motivated
Strong computer skills and internet research ability
Ability to multi-task
Detail oriented
Strong organizational skills
A self-starter takes initiative
Ambitious and intelligent
MUST be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and/'or MAC
Location: New York
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2705246885

Maybe I should be glad they at least aren't trying to weasel free work from skilled people but sounds an awful lot like an attempt to get unpaid FULL time labor.

And if you think only unnamed companies do this, you would be wrong. Unprofessional? Absolutely in my perspective. Consider this ad:

Casting Internship (Flatiron)

Date: 2011-12-20, 1:05PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

DONNA GROSSMAN CASTING is offering a casting internship, at one of the leading commercial and print offices in New York City.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about the entertainment industry, hard-working and fun!
Duties will include answering phones, setting up auditions, sorting submissions, general office maintenance and working directly with Donna Grossman.

There is a very high level of responsibility, and we treat this internship as a serious, full-time job. Our interns are an integral part of the day to day operations in the office. Hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm. Internship is unpaid, but lunch will be provided. A full-time three month commitment would be ideal, but we are willing to work around the right candidate's schedule.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2762491911

As someone working in this business & having friends who like having a good reputation, this required a response. It wasn't as brutal as some of them can be but it is entirely factual:

Just so you know, it's illegal under state & federal labor laws to have a full time internship. That would be called "slavery" & an attempt to cut out paid professionals by hiring unpaid interns. The state of NY has been cracking down on illegal internships so you may want to rethink posting such an ad on a public website.

Plus, you are making someone PAY to work for you since I see no mention of covering transportation costs or the ability to work remotely. This is a recession & monthly Metrocards are over $100 (which is what you're demanding be paid for a "full time" assignment). Those costs add up and don't magically take of themselves. How do you expect people to pay their rent, utlities, etc.? Do you just want some spoiled trust fund baby who's never worked for anything?

I personally work in this business & did an internship myself with a well known talent agent; however, there are rules & considerations to be made if you expect someone to work for free & have ZERO interest in your buisness. If you were offering PAY or equity for FULL TIME work that was aligned with what I have recently earned in the open marketplace (not necessarily a lawyer rate unless I was asked to use my legal license), I would consider it. I actually have experience in this business, have been told I should consider commercial work b/c of my looks + prefer working with creative types. Plus, I own an entertainment business that you could have gotten potential work from.

However, because you'd rather exploit some newbie instead of paying a professional for his/her talent & skill, I am not interested. Rest assured that I have already formed some very strong impressions from seeing this ad & will make sure my contacts steer clear of you. Thanks so much for tarnishing the reputation of this business for those who ARE professionals and would NEVER demand someone to work 40 hours a week FOR FREE. You get what you pay for.

Ads like this breed hatred and resentment for employers, especially smaller businesses though corporations do a lot of sneaky, shady things as well.

This has made me certain not to hire Donna Grossman Casting since if they can't be bothered to pay people for performing full time work (violating labor laws), imagine how many other laws & rules they violate on a regular basis. Do they place SAG talent & look the other way while clients break SAG rules? How hard are they even working for those clients?

Remember employers, job ads tell the world about you as well & ads that tell me you can't even bother having a lawyer read over them to make sure they're not violating labor laws tell me you're the same people who'd never sign contracts & expect me to "trust you" not to screw me over. Get real! Me reading such an ad is probably going to even trump my best friend's endorsement of your business (and I don't even have a best friend).

Then, let's talk about the blatant sexism in some of these ads. Consider these gems:

HOT, MASCULINE, GOOD LOOKING guy wanted as an Assistant (NYC)

Date: 2011-11-18, 9:39AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am looking for a good looking, hard worker, easy going, open minded, very detail oriented, tall and masculine model looks younger guy to Assist me doing several tasks. MUST send pics and brief work history. This is an immediate opening. No drug addicts or weirdos
Location: NYC
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: 20

PostingID: 2708754013

Yes, it's still sexism even if it's a guy being exploited!!

Attractive female Personal Assistant Needed

Date: 2011-11-18, 10:37AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am looking for a young attractive female to help me with working out, some office work, light cleaning, meeting assistance, etc p/t.

I am a normal, non perverted young professional entrepreneur who would like the company of a sane, normal female who is also pleasant and pretty.

Not looking for sex!

Microsoft office experience would be helpful the rest I can work with you on.

Flexible schedule is desired including nights Saturdays and maybe some Sundays. Bonuses also possible.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: see above

PostingID: 2708847400

He's "not looking for sex" like the next reality TV whore isn't looking for fame & fortune. Otherwise, this schmuck wouldn't be looking for someone with looks. That ad's also a labor law violation since those tasks have nothing to do with looks. The person's not even being asked to sell things & you can't even post a "models only" ad for sales jobs unless you want to get busted by the Department of Labor.

Oh, and eye candy in the workplace isn't a fundamental right!!

Here's more casting couch garbage. Can't we phase that crap off the globe?

Aspiring Female Model

Date: 2011-12-10, 5:46PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Advertising agent with major cable network willing to exchange casting in prime time television commercials for adult benefits. If interested then please reply with a few photos, phone number in an email labeled "Prime Time."

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: TBD

PostingID: 2746683974

I've already ranted endlessly on this one. I hope this guy's dick falls off from all the STDs.

This one amused me some. I even had to respond to it:

Lazy, out of work Television Writer needs Assistant (NYC/LI)

Date: 2011-12-05, 1:05AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Lazy, out of work, television writer needs an assistant. Responsibilities include: organization of research documents, organization of computer files (Mac), drafting correspondence from oral notes I give you (not dictation). I'm looking for someone who's natural writing style can write with economy, is easy to read, breezy and easy. (This is so that the correspondence is in my "voice.") You cover letter to me should reflect this style of writing. It shouldn't begin with "To Whom It May Concern," then you're definitely not the person I'm looking for. Or if you tell me you'll be a great addition to my company, then you're also not right for this job. A resume is appreciated, but what will really tell me that I've found the right person is whether your cover letter has that easy-going style without trying so hard that it shows. The pay is $10 per hour; approximately 12-20 hours per week. Scheduling is flexible. I divide my time between my office in the city and my home office in Nassau County when it's my day to watch the kids. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COVER LETTER to 25 WORDS or LESS because I want to see that you can write with simplicity and economy. THANK YOU.
Location: NYC/LI
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $10/hr

PostingID: 2736480643

My response:

So, you're a "lazy, out of work television writer." Why would one want to assist you? I'm curious about that.

You couldn't afford to hire me since I'm a licensed attorney & made the rate you're offering when I was a college student. My most recent temp job also paid me significantly more than your rate.

I'm also a business owner & started as the CEO's Exec Asst at my company; if you've announced you're lazy & out of work, how would one know the checks you give will be any good? I will give you credit for at least being honest in not having your shit together (unlike so many other Craig's List ad posters); I only wish others used that same courtesy so those seeking day jobs could be spared the BS.

And this, because it deals with indie film & I actually did it at one time, REALLY pissed me off:

Indie Filmmakers' Assistant

Date: 2011-12-25, 9:18PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Looking for a good-looking model or actor to be an assistant at the office 1 or 2 days a week
Please submit headshot with your reply.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2768803825

Here's what I wrote:

Hey, asshole! Thanks for making ALL indie filmmakers look like pornographers. I can tell you don't have an in-house lawyer b/c none of them would EVER allow you to post such an obvious ad that announces employment discrimination & potential sexual harassment.

Haven't you ever heard of a prostitute??? Surely, Long Island has some strip clubs or personals areas where you could find one instead of exploiting some pretty young thing who actually WANTS to work in this industry. I can also tell you aren't legit if you're using the Talent Gigs section of Craig's List as your personal dating website & this guise of a "job". Professionals only want people qualified to do the job, not window dressing or airheads who think they should coast by on looks & develop ZERO aptitude for ANYTHING ELSE.

There ARE female filmmakers out there & women involved in indie film who didn't slut it up to get there (many of whom are personal friends). If you display this blatant sexism in your professional life, I guarantee one of them will kick you in the balls sooner or later when you inevitably offend them or their sensibilities.

Yes, it's true!! Women in indie film don't take shit from sexist scumbags & I could totally see one kicking a guy in the balls for offending her. If one did, she'd end up becoming decoration instead of a real team player. I'd probably do much worse to you if you offend my sensibilities but I'm harder to offend & you'll know when you've done it.

As one of my exes once said, prettier women are more likely to be carrying weapons & knowing how to take care of themselves b/c they've had to deal with more harassment. Sound logic, huh? These morons should probably consider that. I have seen what happens to a guy when a woman hits him in the balls & it's not pretty (no, I didn't do it; I saw someone else do it).

Now, some illustration of why unpaid extra work is a waste of time if you're not a friend of the director or a producer:

Horror Film Casting- (Long Island)

Date: 2011-11-19, 1:43PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Serious people who want to act only! Known Stars will be on set and we do not want anyone bothering them with autographs.

Large production company seeking actors and actresses to play lead roles on Monday Nov 21st at 12 noon. This is an incredible role with names attached to the movie. The location is within walking distance front he Wantagh L.I.R.R. We are seeking actors and actresses from 21-40. These roles will be speaking lines.

Be sure to send a HEADSHOT or you will NOT be considered for the role.

Shoot is 2 blocks from the railroad station

Send resume for condiseration!
Kaila martin
Casting Director CSI
Location: Long Island
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2710909368

This was posted in the Bronx section of Craig's List, not Long Island. That meant The Angry Redheaded Lawyer had to respond for the sake of taking someone down a few pegs.

Wow, you're seriously deluded!!!

If you want "Serious people who want to act only" and expect these same people working for NOTHING & in fact LOSING MONEY traveling to LONG ISLAND to not bother your "known stars" for autographs, I suggest you start paying folk. That's what professionals do & it's as clear as crystal that you're a fake.

Plus, any production that can afford a casting director can afford to pay background. At the very least, that production wouldn't be posting an ad in a borough of NYC & expecting professionals to travel ON THEIR DIME to Long Island i.e. the suburbs.

You get what you pay for.

And, nobody cares about "exposure." Ask your friends & people who like you, not strangers reading Craig's List.


Date: 2011-12-05, 12:05PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

If you want to be a part of an amazing experience and be seen in an international music video, then we want you!
We need men and women, in club attire with hair and makeup already done to come to the set at 9am on Sunday, Dec. 11th and stay as long as you can.
In exchange, you will have global exposure with the release of this music video.
Please contact with picture so we can provide more details and and answer any questions you may have.
Location: NYC, LES
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2737017774

Lastly, in case you thought attorneys, who are supposed to know more about the law & what it means than anyone else never post illegal & downright insulting ads you'll rethink that when you feast your eyes on these next few. Take a look:

Paralegal Intern (Financial District)

Date: 2010-11-24, 4:27PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

About EEC
Eltman Eltman & Cooper, is the leading judgment enforcement law firm in the country. EEC has pioneered the location of enforceable assets on dormant judgment portfolios allowing clients to maximize returns on assets once thought of as uncollectible.

National judgment enforcement and creditor rights law firm seeking a paralegal intern.
The position offered is an unpaid internship.
The assumption is that candidates will receive credit from their school for this internship. Even if the candidate is not seeking school credit, this is an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience.
We will train, but candidates should have good writing and speaking skills and be willing to handle everything from administrative tasks to substantive legal work.
Candidates should be available to begin their internship immediately.

As the sole paralegal intern working directly with the firm’s in-house counsel, you will be exposed to a number of key legal documents, issues and initiatives that are aiding the growth of the firm’s business.
You will have the opportunity to work on a variety of matters within the firm, such as:

• Coordinating with other firms and clients for preparation, signing and filing of vital legal documents
• Reviewing, drafting and/or filing legal documents
• Assisting with all administrative duties for in-house counsel

• Qualifications:
• Familiarity with legal documents
• Basic understanding of legal terms
• Ability to work independently and in groups
• Strong organizational skills
• Ability to multi-task
• Superior attention to detail

EEC is an equal opportunity employer.
Interested candidates should send resume with cover letter.

Compensation: Unpaid internship
This is an internship job
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2078237569

I've done paralegal work. No one needs an "internship" to do it. They may have paralegal schools & programs but I did those tasks without doing any of that. There's nothing to learn that one would have to "intern" to learn how to do; it's not brain surgery or even law practice. Can we say "attempt to exploit people for free labor???" Look, they even listed their name!

Consider it another business I'll never work with & will make sure to steer my colleagues far away from. They also have some interesting facts about them already if you do a Google search.

This one was posted recently & really made me mad:

Lawyer or Law Student Sought (Gramercy)

Date: 2011-12-26, 3:02PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

We're looking for someone to write our trademark application. We have a pro-Bono relationship with a top law firm in Manhattan. Your work will be reviewed by the law firm. Your compensation will be $10/hour and introduction to the law firm attorney who will review the application.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $10/hour plus networking.

PostingID: 2769573846

Here's what I wrote in response:

If you have a pro-bono relationship w/a "top law firm in Manhattan," then why are you exploiting some lawyer or law student? I made more than this an hour when I worked as a referral clerk in a mid-sized firm in Atlanta. The last time I made $10 an hour, I was a college student.

Unless the attorney reviewing the application is the managing partner of this firm & guaranteeing someone a job, this is nothing but exploitation (Did you know many attorneys are total assholes who would sell their own grandmothers for a nickel? They don't believe in the concept of networking or loyalty to others & I've read blogs/comments written by BigLaw folks). I say this as an entertainment law attorney myself (I just defy the attorney stereotypes though I also don't take BS). You're insulting professionals here.

Even document review attorneys earn $25 an hour or so at this point & all they're doing is clicking a screen!

You should probably figure out just what you're offering before posting ads. Oh, and lawyers charge about $100 an hour if not more. People like you make prostitution sound better & better.

This is all true about attorneys as a group, the rates charged & the like. If this is what law students have to look forward to, they probably should engage in prostitution. They could always try go-go dancing at this venue:

Earn 1000's Weekly / Bikini GO-GO Dancers Wanted For NYC Sports Bar (Midtown)

Date: 2011-03-16, 12:14AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Earn Thousands Per Week as A GOGO Dancer, Bikini only in a NYC Sports Bar located in TIME SQUARE. Be Your own Boss and Set Your Own Hours
Contact us By email and Please send Pics. Exciting Oppurtunity to Work in a Upscale location

Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2268011329

I haven't seen more of these in the Legal jobs section lately but I always find it funny & innovative of that proprietor when I do. That's a smart person who keeps up with the news.

Or, you could work for people who can barely spell:


Date: 2011-12-15, 3:46PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

To be a practicing attorney is every JD or LLM student's dream . . . whether you are a US citizen or a permanent resident. Unfortunately, during the current recession, graduation day has become unemployment day. Without professional guidance and in need of training, law graduates can become underemployed or jobless, even in debt. Without H1B sponsorship or any other legal status, international law school graduates face an even tougher employment market no matter how many state bar admissions you have.
Our firm will start you on the great path to your respectable career.
Please send your cover letter and resume to: P.O BOX 20281, New York, NY 10001-994
Or Email.
Only motivated applicants with a commitment to stay and work in the US long-term are welcome.

Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2754978446

I decided to pass on sending in anything for this because just as an employer will knock an applicant out for spelling errors in your resume & cover letter, I think applicants should be knocking out employers for errors in their ads. I certainly do it, anyway.

I don't want to work for someone who demands me to be literate when they can't even do it themselves. That's like a parent who makes their kid eat brussel sprouts when they themselves wouldn't even eat them. Screw them! If you're going to impose high standards on others, you'd better be imposing them on yourself first.

As for more client arrogance:

Need an Attorney Writer - REVISED (New York City)

Date: 2011-08-10, 10:08AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I need a licensed new york lawyer to register a corporation for me and prepare all the paperwork and serve as a registered agent of process. The lawyer must a PO BOX or physical address to receive processes if there are ever any. Newly licensed attorneys and senior lawyers welcome to apply. We are a small start up hence budget our current budget is limited. But there will be prospects of future business. $75 is intended for attorney fees only I will pay all the filling fees to the govt seperately
Location: New York City
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $75 for attorney fees

PostingID: 2539432954

Wow, you're going to pay a whopping $75 for all of this legal paperwork & demand the person to be your registered agent of process. How hard up are you as a start up to do this??? They need to be asking a friend.

Here's what I wrote in response:

Legal Zoom charges more than the $75 you propose to pay to an attorney for that kind of work. In fact, I know attorneys charge on average over $300 for this. $75 is a low hourly rate for even a BRAND NEW attorney (as in just got admitted to the bar yesterday). I've written business letters of 2-3 pages for $250.

Stop insulting attorneys with your pitiful $75 for hours & hours of work! It costs more than that to pay for ONE attorney CLE class (CLE classes are required in the state of NY for an attorney to keep a NY license) & on average, lawyers have to undertake hundreds of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS of NON-DISCHARGEABLE loan debt just to get licened.

You'd be wise to remember the saying "you get what you pay for."

It is NOT the attorney's problem that you're broke!!! We've got our own shit to pay for! Are YOU paying six figure student loan debts, many of which from private loan companies (who offer nothing but "fuck you, pay me" plans if you recall)? Unless or until you're doing that, don't talk to me about your poverty. No attorney wants to hear about that b/c we will top you. We want a fair (as in market) rate. Otherwise, you need to be asking an attorney friend/family member or making some new friends.

Hint: you will not make them by assuming the world owes you legal services & giving zero back.

This stuff is an insult & pisses me off. How likely do you think it is that I'm going to do anything to benefit you when you have insulted me? Hell will freeze over first. Stuff like that also discourages us from doing anyone a favor.

Finally, in this last installment of "What the Hell Was This Person Thinking?" is this ad. Someone apparently doesn't know the difference between a mentor & a teacher:

Mentor "Needed" Lip Balm (Financial District)

Date: 2011-12-26, 7:02PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Starting a Company seeking a mentor. What I am looking for.
Willing to Stay Primarily on My Agenda, Not Her/His Own
Open to Learning From ME, As Well As Teaching ME
Successful in Your Eyes
One Who Can Help Me Define My Dream and a Plan to Turn My Dream into Reality
One Who Believes in My Potential
A Teacher
Deeply Committed to Me
A Model for Me
Honest With Me
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2769922058

Here's my response:

Some free tips for you:

1. Tell people what type of company you're trying to start. Don't you want a mentor that knows something about what you're trying to do??? Starting a law firm isn't the same as a film company and starting a non-profit isn't the same as starting a restaurant. Different rules, different experiences, different obstacles. Talk to someone w/some authority on the matter.

2. Craig's List isn't the forum to find a mentor. You should be trying LinkedIn. Maybe join some groups & talk to people doing what you want to do. Perhaps there's a business association or networking group for what you want to do that could also be helpful.

3. You don't tell a mentor that they have to learn from YOU or that they have to be focused ONLY on YOU. Mentorship is a TWO WAY street!!!!!!!! Plus, who the Hell are YOU that someone w/the expertise you want for some business you've yet to identify should be learning ANYTHING from you? What have YOU done? What struggles have YOU faced? What adversity did you ever overcome? Did you earn your way in life or did Mommy & Daddy hand it to you?

I guarantee if you tell someone that without saying WHY anyone could learn from you, you'll be seen as just another arrogant Millenial & the person will be thinking the same things. People have their own shit to do as well & if you don't want to deal with that, you need to seek an actual teacher or career counselor. See #4.

4. On that note, teachers & advisers are paid MONEY for their expertise. If you want that type of one-sided relationship, you need to be offering some pay. People with skills decide if they want to volunteer their services, not the people who seek those services.

Lastly, Craig's List isn't your personal networking group & no one cares about your personal growth. You want sympathy, pay for it. Later.

I certainly have a negative impression of this person after reading this ad. Wouldn't you?

That concludes this installment. I bet you can still find some of these ads on Craig's List if you want to have some fun yourself laughing at the base stupidity, law violations & warped thinking that exist here. If you get a response, let me know what justifications these pinheads offer up.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Illustration of My "Typical Lawyer" Hate

I came across this blog & read this entry. I had to respond. It compelled me. It was screaming "You've got to respond to this attitude that you MUST give to charity, political campaigns & the like as an attorney."

If you've read this blog, you know my basic viewpoints on doing anything: if I don't want to contribute (or it would harm my ability to survive in my home), I'm not doing it!!! You also know my viewpoints on politics & giving money to charity or even helping anyone out in a fundraiser. Essentially, you'd better be doing something for me (i.e. someone who agrees with things I support & isn't worried about what everyone thinks of him/her; getting me or mine a job in the campaign or being a friend is also a factor), involved with an arts, animal rights or other organization that doesn't use 90% of my contribution for things other than the cause you told me about OR selling yummy chocolate, Girl Scout cookies or a punch/good discount card to a local restaurant or business that I love. Otherwise, you've got a better chance getting money from the town Scrooge.

I like to think this blog serves as a warning for the easily offended or status obsessed freaks who might want to know me. If you fit those categories, guess what? I don't WANT to know who you are. I've already concluded that you are at best a sheltered crybaby & at worst an immature asshole. Most people don't have time for either type, me included. I certainly don't want to represent anyone like that as a client. I choose not to have children so I certainly don't want to be responsible for any adult who wishes to behave like one. I would end up smacking the person if not doing worse.

Know how you don't release tigers out in a populated residential area to roam free? Same deal when it comes to enforcers like myself.

As I read this entry I though, "Jesus, haven't you heard of the word 'no?!?'" It's not a hard word to master. If I don't have a use for something or I think you have repugnant views, I'm not supporting you. If you are my friend, you already know the basics on this. If you aren't, I don't care what you think. A little assertiveness never hurt anyone.

The ultimate thing that bothered me though, was the whole status race. I don't know that I've ever directly expressed it here but I REALLY FUCKING HATE the whole status thing. I have personal, firsthand reasons to hate it.

The main reason I despise it is because I grew up a lower middle class kid in a school where all the smart kids were middle class or better. The ones I knew in 7th grade were particularly bad. They were nothing but label seeking little bitches who would base people's worth on what brands they wore. Of course, because my parents didn't have the money to buy fancy mall clothes, I got made fun of. I also had people get critical over what color socks I wore.

One day, this girl who was a bit of a bully made a remark about my socks & I said maybe she ought to be focusing on her own wardrobe instead of mine. This was in 8th grade, after I made new friends who based their friendship on your personality, not your parents' net worth. I got very belligerent over the whole clothing thing & once I showed I wasn't taking shit (plus my friends told one of the bigger bullies they'd kick her ass for bothering me), people backed down. I also got some of these little clique bitches in trouble because the teachers saw them disrupting class by bothering me. Once that happened, I had a much more tolerable school experience.

At first I wanted to get the status symbols to get that respect & acceptance but later learned it didn't matter because everyone deserves basic human dignity. You're not a better person because you have a Gucci item or Juicy Couture or whatever. Trash is still trash, no matter how you dress it (and I'm speaking of people who ACT trashy not those working in the adult industry necessarily).

When I see an attorney expressing the view this person mentions, I form my own very negative impressions. I'm tempted to ask when they're going to grow up since that's a 12 year old's mentality. I also admit freely to being an eccentric & am quite proud of it. I also know those mental midgets are nothing but haters who will never amount to anything because they spend too much time worrying about everyone else instead of focusing on their own wardrobes. I'd bet you money they either have no families or treat them like shit.

Many people I've met who had money didn't waste it on status symbols to look cool. I saw plenty of people in Atlanta who had money & didn't drive luxury cars. They bought for quality & weren't trying to become targets for thieves or angry, displaced occupiers. Plus, I could take down little princess types in a heartbeat with all my real life experiences. Doing it to people this blog author's trying to impress would not only be my pleasure but a public service.

Again, I don't want to know or deal with someone who's got a 12 year old's mentality or is such a PC obsessed crybaby, they should move to their own island or live alone in a mountain cabin in the wilderness so nothing will offend them. Would you?

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Important Life Lesson: Learning How to Fail

This lesson is perhaps one of the most important of all in my book. I also think too many people don't know how to do it and suffer for it later on.

One big problem in this learning how to fail is the punishment heaped upon you for doing so. Consider getting a failing grade in school: you don't get to take a class just to learn the material. If you fail, parents will punish you, teachers will label you as that slow kid, & you could end up on academic probation or even tossed out of college or grad school. In other words, most people don't have a safe environment in which they can fail without being completely annihilated. If that pressure isn't enough, most people have their own inner voice beating them up for it (smart kids definitely feel this & I speak from personal experience).

When you move further up the totem pole, this pressure to be the best intensifies. If you go to law school, you'll notice a high amount of competition. This continues when you get out into the world as a new grad & as a new lawyer.

"What's bad about never failing?" you may ask. "Doesn't that mean that I'm just a super bad ass who's great at everything?"

Here's the answer: everyone in life is going to fail at something sooner or later. No one is good at everything & sooner or later, you're going to fail at something. If you've failed early in life, you realize that it's not the end of the world if you can't play sports or master Algebra. The world still turns, you can take another path & you can move on. You learn about your strengths and weaknesses.

Plus, it builds character. If you've failed, you are human. You aren't some machine or deity. I think it also makes you more forgiving of others' shortcomings & builds self-awareness.

If you don't fail at anything in life, what happens? You become the kid that commits suicide after getting a B. You're the person whose world shatters over some little inconsequential shortcoming that really means crap when you look at the big picture.

I most definitely have struggled with things & faced failure. For one thing, I'm lousy at sports. Get me in a Phys Ed class & I will humiliate myself. Thank God I had the option of Dance in high school; I loved taking it, though I'd call myself an average dancer. Since we never got to learn any useful life skills in Phys Ed like self-defense or even do something I'm halfway decent at like swimming, I just wasn't interested in being mocked by little bitchy clique girls & jocks.

Smart kids totally & completely feel the pressure not to fail. When I was in high school, I was taking AP Chemistry. This was a class that the teacher even said was the hardest one you could take. I was getting a low grade in it & at the time I was in National Honor Society. Despite the level of difficulty of a class, the group would put you on academic probation if you earned lower than a C. The same thing happened to a friend of mine a couple years before but she was in a different AP class. How about letting me learn the material without that kind of pressure, huh? If I was gifted enough to get in to start with, shouldn't I not have been pressured in that way? AP classes are college level courses & I was still in high school. Geez, it's like going to a restaurant and expecting the server to wipe your mouth for you. Give them a break!

I wasn't even given the option to fail in high school. My whole "smart kid" image was so firmly entrenched that when I was slacking off on an assignment for Latin class, my own classmates were harassing me about it! When I got to college, I decided to deliberately avoid any special academically gifted classes or programs since I felt that incident created way too much pressure on me.

This lack of failure in a safe place keeps people from doing new things & getting out of their comfort zones. I think it's a good thing I had those experiences because it kept me from being suicidal in law school. In fact, I think it's pretty damn good that I never got lower than a C- & did not have the assistance of study aids. I also think not being born to money helps in character building but that's another conversation.

Despite any failures, I've had a lot of success in life & gotten things I wanted. My sister recently told me that I'm the only one in our family that has done something with their life since I got an education & no one else did. Lately, though I've had a fear of being 50 years old & still being in the same boat with respect to my career. I know exactly what I want to do, which I guess is a plus since there are so many people who either don't know or are just settled into something they don't really like or care about.

I told my sister that she's being a mother & a good one at that, which isn't easy to do so she should be proud of that. I'd pick my path over motherhood anytime.

Seems like God & the universe are trying to tell me that it's going to work out but I just need to have faith in the whole thing. How else do you explain my luck with day jobs? Some days, I feel like I've lost my ambition. Then I realize that's only when it comes to anything long term unrelated to my company or the entertainment field. Yeah, I just don't care & in a lot of instances, you can see why. I'm used to having autonomy & being treated like an adult. I'm used to being respected. Why would I be motivated to deal with anyone who's not going to treat me in that way? Would YOU have that motivation? I think my soul would indeed die in that kind of job. I can't approach interviews & the like in the same way as someone who's spent their life working for others, being treated like crap & so on and so forth.

A secret about people working in entertainment: some days, it's very discouraging. There are times when you have no faith at all in things. Some days you want to chuck it all and feel like you're out of your league. You do need a positive outlook to work in this area & most of us ultimately believe in ourselves since that's all we've got. However, that doesn't mean you never feel down. This is where supportive people & one's support network come in.

Perhaps I also feel this way because of two family members being in the hospital under dire straits. It's not anyone I'm super close to: one of these is a relative so remote to me, he may as well be a random subway traveler or a celeb I've got zero connection to. The other is someone who has refused to get help for herself and inflicted excessive pain on loved ones (including children), something I obviously have some very personal feelings & animus about.

I'm not going to either funeral because of travel costs & what would I say?

Really, though I think people should be given some space to fail once in a while. It's too taxing & unfair to turn a mere human into a superman/superwoman. I also think it's just as important as sharing, debate, self-defense training or cooking among other survival skills. Otherwise, it might be you or your loved one jumping off the roof or committing hari-kari after getting a B.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Office Christmas Party: An Outdated Waste of Money or a Truly Good Time?

I wonder about this. Read this article today and it did get me to thinking about the first & last time I went to an office Christmas party for a job I worked at.

That was in 2003 when I worked at a mid-sized law firm in Atlanta as an eviction referral paralegal. I've said before it was a good place to work since the higher ups actually cared about employee morale & doing right by those with families (such as offering flexible schedules for employees so they could pick up their kids from school). That party was a LOT of fun for me & a great send off before I moved to CT for law school. I think it was fun for a few reasons:

1. I liked the people in my department & never had issues with them. My problems were with some non-supervisor folk in a different department. My boss & colleagues were great, along with other people I knew in different departments (I owe getting this job to a friend of a friend who worked in a different department from me). I also felt appreciated by them.

2. I got to dress up, which I almost never get to do. While some people were apparently gossiped about for wearing slutty, revealing attire at past parties, I wore what some colleagues dubbed my "Cinderella dress". It's my cool white, puffy evening gown that I found for $20 at a store in my hometown mall (I STILL have it & would wear it if the occasion arose again). It also has these lovely silver sparkly pieces & gathers on one side. The instant I saw it (during the time I was living in NC after graduating from college & didn't have a job), I knew I had to get it.

This dress was actually appropriate for the event since it was black tie (though I had no shortage of evening gowns since I'd gone to many sorority formals in college). These days, I almost never get to go to black tie events since I don't have the $ to pay admission for them. Believe me, if you invite me to one where I don't have to pay, you'll be getting in good with me.

3. I had a date. While I wasn't dating anyone then (I felt it wasn't a good idea to do that when I was moving in a very short time), a guy friend of mine from college volunteered to go with me. I had no romantic feelings for him but he was a shining example of what a great date should be: he danced with me, spoke to the other people at our table from various offices of the firm and even predicted my name would be called in a drawing. He says it at random & sure enough, I was the winner.

4. I won a prize in that drawing. Got a blanket I still have as an emergency blanket, a large bag with wheels (that I've used many times for travel) and a waterproof jacket I kept until the zipper head came off & I couldn't get it back on. Still miss that coat, actually.

5. The prizes in this drawing were also top notch. It wasn't employer branded freebies left over & covered with dust but very nice things like gift certificates to pricier retailers in the city & the like.

However, not everyone works someplace as good as this law firm. Boy, do they not! Some of the horror stories I read astound me.

My husband also gets invited to holidays parties by his union but you can't even bring your spouse. What the hell is that about? If you're so broke you can't afford to allow spouses at the party, maybe you should be rethinking whether to have a holiday party in the first place. At least his official job ones were during the workday so it's not like they scheduled it in the evening & say "Oh, by the way you can't take your spouse."

Do you know what not inviting a spouse says to me? That says "We don't give a shit about you or your family. Fuck them!" Second, it says "You as a spouse aren't valued or welcome here." Yet I bet you assholes would eat my cooking in a heartbeat if you had a potluck. You'd probably be like his former co-workers who kept asking me to make things for their parties.

Yep, I take it VERY personally because not only have you jerks taken away my husband's right to strike, have a horrible vision plan & created rules that keep total incompetents on the payroll come layoff time while my husband is put on the list but you also espouse an exclusionary & elitist viewpoint.

Do you honestly think someone wants to go to an evening party without their spouse if they're happily married? I don't care if you're offering that gold flaked sundae from Serendipity 3 for each person or strippers willing to give free lap dances, most people aren't going to go. My husband certainly wouldn't care about that stuff!

Let's also consider what this article says about conduct: we're supposed to have all the happy fuzzies and never address real issues. In fact, why not just avoid looking at supervisors (or as this article refers, "superiors" which even connotes an "I'm better than you" tone).

So if my company wanted to have a party, here are some considerations I would look at & things to avoid:

1. No alcohol! If people always do stupid stuff that they get made fun of for because they are drunk, then why are you serving it? This is like the airlines flying out of airports where bars are freely available then whining when drunk people want to board the plane.

How about not making the booze available, dumb asses? The law firm I worked at at least gave you 2 drink tickets to have alcohol while avoiding that problem. Maybe that would be an alternative if you have people who insist on alcohol being present.

A dry party or drink tickets. Something other than "Here's the booze. Live it up!"

2. Don't make it mandatory. For one, it seems office parties are designed to be one big Nazi fest. No, not a celebration of Adolf Hitler or racism but rather a guarded prison where we ignore the large, pink elephants in the room, punish individuality & have to watch the boss man grope our wives. And if the wives say anything? Oh, the worker will be punished for it b/c God forbid a woman doesn't consent to be treated like a blow up sex doll.

Second, you're punishing people who aren't social if you make it mandatory. My mom would rather chew off her arm than go to a work function. She HATES seeing these people outside the office & has no desire to deal with them. I should mention that she's not a particularly social person. Shouldn't those people have their rights respected?

Third, not everyone likes their job or co-workers. Maybe people are pissed about friends or productive people being laid off. Maybe you're not offering people advancement opportunities or giving them their due. My husband's sure not getting it from the higher ups & I don't blame him for a second not to want to tattoo the organization's name on his butt or go out of his way for people who don't treat him with respect.

Making the party mandatory is not a reward or a "present" for employees who are being abused or hate socializing. It's a punishment.

If you allegedly are throwing these parties to show appreciation & do something nice for your staff, how does making it mandatory accomplish that aim if one of these situations applies? If you're going to make it mandatory, you'd better be paying staff for that time or otherwise it's the same as making them work off the clock. That, boys and girls, is illegal!

3. Don't invite anyone you don't want to be embarrassed in front of or who will embarrass you. I don't understand why employers want to have a holiday party & invite their clients. Surely disgruntled workers will fill those clients in on the skinny of working there; the clients may even ask for all you know. It's bound to slip out if abuse is taking place.

I think you're better off throwing a party for the clients & a separate one for staff (maybe even at work). Let the clients decide if they want to bring staff members or even let them get a set allotment of invitations or make requests. They don't talk to the "rabble" and they can have someone they actually like dealing with being there.

It may even reward some great worker b/c if (s)he is being requested to be there by a lot of people & the higher-ups don't do it, it might set off something that says "Maybe we should be inviting this person or moving them up if these clients are saying such great things about him/her."

Of course, that presumes the employer has a fully functioning brain & isn't a crackhead. Why an employer would keep around an employee who is sure to embarrass him/her, I have no idea.

I don't care how nice a person the employee is, if they can't do the job get rid of them so one of the millions of talented, well groomed unemployed people can get a shot. Jobs aren't an entitlement or a right; you have to earn them.

4. Give the gift of honesty. One person's comments after the article sum this up nicely:

"What's the point, really? If you can't be yourself, what is the friggin point? Don't talk about vacation, that detracts from the bottom line, plus you might get canned if they know when you might be leaving. Don't talk about this, don't talk about that, be coy, blah, blah blah. You are never safe, so be yourself and live freely. What is this Saudi Arabia?"

I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment even though I worked at some great places. I had the space to be who I am & not get forced into some automaton image of myself. It's why I've decided to stop pursuing legal employment that's not offered to me directly or specifically since associates are required to do this stuff.

A truly great company would be one that says "Be yourself. We don't care what you do here & we won't hold it against you later." A "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" rule, if you will (barring things that would get you arrested like rape, DUI, sexual assault, etc.). Do that & I'll bet you get much more information than you ever would from an employee evaluation sheet.

The design of this is to use information to improve your business & make things better. You have to let go of delusions of grandeur or moral superiority to pull it off but if I saw it happen, that would make a place stand out in my mind. You'd also have to punish gossipers since that violates the "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" rule.

5. Have the party at a neutral location. Rent a hall or a hotel ballroom if it will be outside of work hours. Absolutely no parties at some higher-up's home.

First off, do you Mr./Ms. Higher-Up want to clean vomit, clear trash or let drunks crash at your home? Even if you have staff, that's still costing you money & space.

Second, this screams pretension in the minds of much lower paid staff. You know the average CEO makes something like over 200 times more than the lowest paid worker in most places. Flaunting your money, especially in light of this recession is practically shouting at people to go tell you where to stick it!

Third, if you didn't let anyone else bring a spouse, why should yours get to be there if (s)he does not work at the company or own a piece of it? Inheriting the CEOs share at death doesn't count. Another method of screaming entitlement & sure to cause problems. Why should your kids be there if employees can't bring their kids? Fairness, people. Not to mention they'd probably hate being at an office party or having to play host in their own home for total strangers.

Finally, that's not neutral territory and most people are not magnanimous saints. I could see some scumbag intimdate women into sexual harassment situations by using the specter of continued employment, among many things not to do. Public venues in neutral territory will keep people honest & on their best behavior.

6. Welcome spouses & significant others. If you're going to have dancing, why in the Hell would you institute a "no dates" rule? Are you trying to play the office pimp? Do you want to create problems with workplace romances? As I understand it, most places don't want you finding dates in the workplace or getting involved with people you have to work with everyday. Why would you counteract this by not letting anyone bring their spouse or significant other to the Christmas party?

That whole policy with my husband's union has been a serious sticking point to me & it totally colors my estimation/judgment of them. You'd better believe your employees' spouses will feel the same way & will likely be happy if your headquarters perish in a blazing inferno. Consider if you'd like to have more enemies & detractors.

If you must have a party, do it at the office during the workday (because everyone likes paid goof off time on occasion) or use that money for bonuses, dues refunds, or whatever your organization does that could truly give a gift to the members.

7. Include people who celebrate other holidays/events. That should go without saying. I've been saying "Christmas" but that's largely because of how the parties are typically referred to in the US & especially in the South or anyplace where the primary religion is Christianity. I think other people's traditions, foods, etc. ought to be included to represent them as well & make them feel welcome. Plus, you give the people who celebrate something different an opportunity to educate & answer questions. One great thing about living in NYC is the different cultures and traditions you find out about. I've certainly learned more about different events & traditions living in NYC and even the Northeast than I knew about in NC.

Let's also respect their rights not to pretend to celebrate something they don't believe in or support. I'd love to see that extended to atheists & others in "unpopular" religions as well.

Parties are supposed to be "fun" not witch hunts, contrived niceties or Nazi fests. If you've got the money to throw a witch hunt/Nazi fest, maybe you should be sending that money to the federal government or even the local government so they can use it to balance the budget.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Job Hunting: Must You be a Crackhead in Order to get Hire/Fire Authority in Corporate America?

I think it's a requirement, personally. It also seems all legal employers are required to be addicted to something before getting that type of authority.

Why do I say this? Oh, let me count the ways:

1. The job hunt seems to be the only time when basic courtesy is not only allowed to be ignored but downright discouraged. I've seen this sentiment expressed a hundred times on this one HR blog I read on occasion.

As a business owner having done interviews, I made damn sure to follow up with people seeking opportunities with us. I didn't pull dick moves & lie to people like the SOBs I've had to deal with (some of which you can read about in this blog).

After my latest experience in that whole "waiting for a job" (that's not even paying a basic salary, by the way) garbage, I've given up on looking for any sort of day job.

For one thing, there's no opportunity for someone with my usual background and anyone claiming that they seek someone different or unique is a liar. When I put my hat in the ring, it never pans out.

Second, I'm just not motivated to do it. If someone wants me to do something, they'll have to find me & make an offer. Barring that, I don't care anymore. I want to work in my own business badly enough to die before taking on some job I'd hate that would kill my spirit.

Oh, and that same social media you use to monitor employees? It works both ways, assholes!!! People will talk about your shitty behavior & future applicants will not want to work for you. Think for a second: would YOU want to work at a company that has a history of lying to applicants, paying nothing while expecting one person to work for 5 or breaking the law? Would YOU want to work someplace where sexual harassment was encouraged instead of punished? Many people don't want to work at these places.

Frankly, lying pisses me off & I don't care about maintaining bridges with liars. Maybe these jerks might should consider that someday THEY may need jobs & guess who their interviewer is...someone like me that they've lied to. You think I'm going to give such a person a job? You must be on crack.

2. Career advice articles continue to tout that job applicants should "suck it up" and not complain when a potential employer interviews them & then refuses to follow up. Consider that they actually suggest you continue an interview after being asked illegal questions.

Let me tell you, law firms are notorious for doing this shady crap if you believe sites like Ms. JD and other legal blogs where people talk about sexism toward women (not to mention other asinine remarks that people told me about getting in interviews). I know precisely what I'd do if I were asked an illegal question. I'd immediately say "I don't think we have anything else to discuss. Good day," and walk out the door/hang up the phone. Try & stop me and I'll freely explain your blatant disregard for the law + what it says to me about your business (i.e. that you're perfectly okay with sexual harassment, defrauding clients, making people work off the clock & God knows what else).

If I wanted to be demeaned, I would go work as a stripper or as a prostitute. Craig's List keeps allowing those ads for escort agencies so certainly I can find places to be demeaned without having to work for some hypocrite wearing a business suit.

Let's not forget that how an employer treats you when you're an applicant & not even working there is the best you're going to get. If they're treating you like crap at the stage when they're supposed to be impressing you (or "wooing" if you want to go BigLaw fancy), how will they treat you when you're a rank & file employee? This is a question I asked myself in dealing with schools & I think it's very relevant to potential employers.

And if you're treating a potential client that way, it's inexcusable to keep giving business to you since you're the worst business person ever.

3. This article that outright says promotions are based on favoritism.

So, if this is how promotions happen, then why the hell would I bother with working for anyone other than myself, my best friend or anyone who truly respects me???

In sum, it seems no company not owned by you, your friends or anyone with a semblance of competence wants anyone with a brain. They only want "yes" people & slaves/robots. Case in point and I'm shocked "absolute fealty to the company above everything & everyone else" isn't listed as a trait that's irresistible to employers.

Newsflash: you can't expect absolute, unconditional loyalty from someone who isn't a partner or a high ranking person in your business. Underpay them and/or make the workplace atmosphere suck & you're an absolute joke if you think anyone's going to have a speck of loyalty to you. I don't care about industry custom, this is a just a fact of life.

One final thought: if you're too much of a pussy to tell people the hard truth (you're fired, we're not going to give you a 2nd/3rd round interview, we gave someone else the job [probably the owner's kid or some other nepotistic relationship]), then you should not be in management. Being a pussy is a good way to get shot up when someone finally snaps & starts a killing spree. Bad karma begets bad karma. I personally don't want pussies in my ranks; perhaps they remind me of the 7th grade clique bitches I grew up around who'd be nice to your face & cut you down behind your back. I say tell me the damn truth & let ME handle it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Extra Gig #6: An Enforcer NEVER Accepts Abuse. Don't Forget That.

As you've probably read, most of my extra experiences have gone fairly well. This is an exception. You'll soon learn why.

Normally, I've done my extra gigs through Central Casting. No matter what you may think of Central Casting (and I've heard actors say various things about them), they deserve credit for a few things:

1. Central Casting has NEVER lied or omitted material information about a shoot they scheduled me for or that I submitted for. When they say "it's going to be cold" or "it's an overnight shoot," that's what you get. They even tell you if food is going to be in limited supply.
2. Central Casting does PAID extra work. I'm not sure if they handle no pay extra gigs but if they do, I've never submitted for them or been asked to do one.
3. Central Casting has NEVER given me an issue on getting paid or cashing their checks. As long as you've filled out your paperwork correctly, you'll get your check and you don't have to worry about it bouncing.

Overall, Central Casting is a professional entity. I feel that I have a professional working relationship with them so I would never do what I did on Friday night on one of their sets.

The story begins with me going to a talk with casting director Amy Gossels at 36th Street Studios this past Thursday. One of my friends has given talks there and aside from some recent political rants veering a bit toward the crazy fundie cousin zone, he's generally a solid person who knows a thing or two. I expected to see that at this talk, which I did. I also ended up missing a good chunk of a City Bar event I'd signed up for ahead of time to go to this thing.

During this talk, she mentioned a non-union unpaid extra gig her office was staffing for that would be the next day. She said it was going to last until about midnight & you'd get IMDB credit. I already have IMDB credit for other things but not acting work (yet). She also mentioned it in the spirit of "going out & doing things in order to find new opportunities." Solid, sound words that I certainly don't disagree with.

Despite having a doctor's appointment earlier in the day, I had nothing to do that evening so I figured "why not?"

The next day, I get a call from her assistant about the event & got an e-mail to confirm (and by the way, I'll show you the text of the e-mail with personal details omitted if you doubt this story). Her assistant as well as this e-mail reiterates that the extras will be needed "approximately 6-7 hours" from the "5:00 sharp" call time. 5:00 pm + 7 hours = 12 am, right???

At no time was this stated any differently so I had no suspicion of what was going to happen. Plus, I'd not gotten to do extra work where I had to wear upscale club attire (I was going in as a VIP). I have so many outfits I never get to wear; extra work is one good way to get to wear that stuff if you have it.

I show up to the shoot in Long Island City, an area I'm not so familiar with & hiked to the holding area wearing my most comfortable dressier shoes (which still hurt if you walk for great distances in them). I sign a release giving consent to use my image.

After some time, we are taken to the official holding area at a nearby hotel. Those plentiful "meals/snacks & beverages" were nonexistent. I don't consider having to pay for my own food to be a benefit to me on one of these assignments; in fact, I consider it a form of servitude since if you tell me in advance about lack of food, I'll bring my own so I'm not having to waste my limited money.

The wardrobe person liked my outfit, which seems to happen often on these shoots & I had to change my shoes into my strappies (which I'd brought since they look more "clubby"). We go in and get to dance & all like we're in a real club. I had no problem with shooting & it seems I was put in areas near where the speaking actors were (as I'm a natural redhead & am usually the only one around who remotely looks like me, this tends to happen often--I see no problem with it since it just means I'm earning that non-union pay).

As is customary, there was more of the actors talking when being told to be quiet. I didn't really speak to anyone since, first off, heard the name of someone I didn't want to deal with arriving on the set. This was yet another actor from that whole TV network fiasco who I remember as annoying the hell out of us because you could explain something to him a hundred times & he'd still ask you the very same question you just answered a minute ago. I tried to make sure that guy didn't see me; he also wasn't someone I contacted personally about the whole thing or said a word to later on. Second, I would hate someone doing that on one of our film sets. I would want to kill him/her. Little thing called courtesy & respect for other people's sets.

When you're just listening and no one knows who you are or just what you do (as there really wasn't time to talk & I'm selective in who I deal with anyway), you hear some interesting things. First off, a couple comes up near where I'm at and starts chatting up the guys near me. It seems the man played some non-speaking best friend role on Gossip Girl and they were inquiring about getting credit on IMDB; they went so far as to ask the 1st Assistant Director about it & learned that those who were getting it knew about it. The guy decides to leave since he's convinced he's not getting it, which I found unprofessional. I thought "I'll make sure to look this guy up & make sure we don't work with him." His girlfriend, to avoid drama with him, also decides to leave a short time later. I find leaving a set in the middle like that to be super tacky since you're gone in the middle of filming & that can be very bad for the filmmakers.

While I'm thinking this, I hear that we're going to break for lunch at midnight & there's more work to do.

When I'd arrived, we'd been told we'd be getting food after working. I thought "Okay, so you're giving us that meal & then we're leaving, huh?" Again, this is only my 6th gig & most of mine were for established TV shows where starving was rarely (if ever) an issue.

As I was waiting in the long line for lunch (consisting of sub sandwiches where I only saw mayo, not mustard), I decided to find out about this time inconsistency.

I overhear some actors say that they were told the extras were working until 3 a.m. (constituting 10 hours of UNPAID work).

Uh, hell no!!! I decided it was time for me to leave so I took my gear, changed into something warmer & got out of there.

You may think this sounds like I'm being a hypocrite or a liar to have done this but I disagree. Here's why:

1. I was lied to about a material fact. Leaving at 3 a.m. is very different from leaving at 12 a.m. Working 7 hours is different from working 10 hours.

For one thing, I'd have a very hard time trying to get home on public transit at 3 a.m. vs. 12 a.m.

Second, working until 3 a.m. is practically an overnight shoot. One needs to be apprised of & prepared for that situation. Guess what? People have LIVES. They have FAMILIES. I personally have a SPOUSE & better things to do with my time.

Third, that casting office had more than enough time to tell people about it. They could have called me or sent an e-mail telling me of such a change & ASKING me if I could do it or not. Had I been asked, I'd have said "no" and they could have found someone else.

Instead, they made themselves look bad if people walked out.

2. I'm not some little nobody actor trying to make it here. Regardless of what I say to anyone, I am STILL an entertainment attorney & still have my own damn film company. That mindset & what I see doesn't get shut off because I'm doing something else! Everyone I've encountered in this business who knows what I do is well aware of that fact; I would also think they'd know better than to piss off someone who can affect their career in some measure.

Oh, and your conduct toward me makes me question how you treat your clients. How honest are you with them? How good is your word?

3. They don't call me the enforcer because you can get away with sexually harassing me or put me into involuntary servitude. I'm called that because I don't take shit & will knock your block off for even trying it.

I felt it was not just my duty but a responsibility to that enforcer cred that dictated my getting the hell out of there. I wasn't going to cater to that BS or allow anyone to think I'd do it.

4. It's all about respect. If you aren't professional with me (that is, telling me pertinent details, proving me with notice of changes, etc.), don't expect me to be professional with you.

When you're not even PAYING someone for their time, you'd better be giving heavy respect to everyone. I say this from real life experience. If you take advantage or act entitled to something, people will abandon ship faster than you can take a good, deep breath. 10 hours of unpaid work from background actors is the height of entitlement, especially after your representative told the same people they'd be there for 7. Oh, and when you're not paying transportation costs, you're making the actors PAY to work for you.

So when I'm paying $4.50 to be on a set for 7 hours and I find you've lied to me? Shove it up your butt!

That respect rule is about triple for attorneys. I don't know who this Amy Gossels thinks she is but she'll learn fast that you don't piss off someone who's got a lot of friends in indie film & will be telling all of them not to waste their time hiring her for a project. Clearly, her office isn't professional when it comes to background actors so do you want YOUR production to be associated with furthering negative perceptions of non-union work? Believe me, I'll be looking for her name & making sure to steer clear of any project she's associated with since this experiences leads me to conclude she's shady.

Remember, in this business you're known by the company you keep. My company doesn't play that shadiness.

5. Finally, this was an unprofessional casting office. I'd never walk if it was a professional outfit like Central Casting where all material details were given to me in advance (long before I walk onto the set) & I'd been able to make an informed decision on being able to commit. Plus, I'd have been paid for it with Central Casting.

A professional employer wouldn't slap 3 extra hours on your shift without telling you ahead of time or at the very least ASKING if you could do it. Nor would you be expected to take that extra time unpaid. If I encountered that in the workplace & it had nothing to do with a time sensitive matter that I had to do ASAP (like a last minute issue in a court case or getting papers signed before the signer leaves for months), I would tell that boss where to stick it & walk off.

I don't blame the film production for this since I'm sure they knew their schedule & they aren't the ones who lied to me. None of them were unprofessional to me & I didn't see any rude or nasty behavior from their folk. I felt slightly bad for leaving but the majority of me feels that if you can afford casting people, you can afford to at least cover the extras' transit costs if not pay SOMETHING. You get what you pay for & if you want 10 hours of work from people, you'd better start paying or you'll get walk outs. I believe this same production is using Craig's List to seek out extras so that tells me volumes.

At no time in our projects did we ever expect extras to work unpaid for 10 hours. We also never had a casting person so you can spare me any poverty arguments. They also got my release & I don't care if they use my image.

Besides, my gripe isn't really with them. It's with Amy Gossels Casting. So that makes me heavily rethink going to hear anyone at 36th Street Studios.

Upsides to doing this were that I shaved & removed hair, got to wear a skirt I've never really worn & learned a little more of Long Island City.

Some take home lessons, both for me & perhaps for those of you in the industry:

1. I will never, under any circumstances, do unpaid work or pay to work for anyone unless it's for a close friend or someone who is highly vouched for by my friends. This experience illustrates precisely why you should never pay to work for anyone. Self-respect & personal dignity are far more important than anything else in my opinion.

I also resent doing it when the cost is greatly outweighing the reward. Want me to be passionate about your work? Make me feel like you value me! Respect my time! Respect my expertise! Take what you can get. If it's not that person's project & you're not paying them, don't expect them to care like you do.

You want things like priority on your work or extra time? Pay up or shut up. That's what you get from people whose altruism has long been spent elsewhere. Lawyers in particular aren't that altruistic; see how many provide free legal work (especially entertainment law). Now see how many with experience will do it for free.

2. If you choose to do unpaid work for someone, you need to be strategic about it. What are you getting from it? Will you get viable networking from it? A good credit? I think extra work is a waste time for networking considering the hierarchy involved & the perception by many that background actors are lower than cockroaches. Unless these name actors are personally talking to extras or hanging out in the same holding area as background, I don't give a shit whose there.

I'm not going to interrupt someone's work & I'm not going to approach people since I have issues with rejection; I also don't want to be mistaken for some sex starved groupie. Plus, I'm not very forgiving & certainly won't forgive those who don't even apologize for rudeness toward me.

Actors are also some of the last people I need to network with. I know plenty of them & know non-actors who can make recommendations or get me some.

If you're a newbie, just register with Central Casting. At least then you'll get paid for doing extra work.

3. You do non-union work with unreliable sources at your own risk. If you work with friends or friends of friends, there's less chance of BS since the social cost of doing it is very high. Most people don't like pissing off their friends (whether it's you or the friend that recommended the project). If you work with a professional outfit, you'll get professionalism so if you don't give that back, it's your fault.

4. No one working with my company is ever going to have to put up with that type of lie or omission from me. I'm not going to stand for it & I expect managers or anyone else to tell me or one of my colleagues if there's ANY shadiness going on on set or elsewhere. It's my cred as an attorney & professional at stake if folks are breaching contracts.

I also refuse to have my company be known as that trash hole that abuses actors or cheats, lies, etc. to anybody, not just the investors or name actors. Sitting back & letting someone else do it is also unacceptable to me & while I'm around, it's not happening.

You can't be a legitimate player in this business if you do that stuff & if you are doing it, you're eventually going to be found out or run out of town.

5. You never know who's working as an extra on a project. What if you've just lied to some name actor's relative? What if you're lying to a business owner who could have given you work? What if you're lying to some potential investor or their best friend?

Everyone should be treated with basic respect & dignity. If you can't do that, then you don't need to be in the entertainment industry. You should probably be a bill collector instead. Maybe even some lackey to a financial CEO on Wall Street. Then, you can be a jerk to the general populace & not get fired for it. If I'm wrong, let me know but that how those jobs look to me.

This is probably my last extra gig since I feel I've already learned all I need to from doing it. I can't see any new experience compelling me to do it again & I stand by what I did. I'd rather keep my self-respect & dignity than allow anyone to treat me like a chump. I have to face myself in the mirror, you know.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why You're Never Going to See Pictures of Me on LinkedIn...& No, It's Not Because I'm Ugly

As you may know, it always disgusts me to see job ads posted on Craig's List where applicants are demanded to send in pictures of themselves. First off, if it's not an acting/modeling job or something where your looks are a part of it then you're announcing your intent to discriminate in ways that are against federal & state labor law. Second, what about actual SKILLS? Do you want some pretty little airhead or someone who's got some common sense? Since when did banks or law firms become fashion shows? I could point out plenty of people working in non-entertainment jobs who shouldn't be there if we're going to base employment on physical attractiveness. Anyone over a certain age would be out the door unless they'd had plastic surgery or a workout routine like that of the average celebrity. Third, whose standard are you using if you're basing job placement on looks? In entertainment, the answer is easy enough: the designer, production company, or whoever is producing the project.

The real world doesn't have producers & CEOs still have to obey labor laws.

Lastly, in the entertainment world there's artistic merit to hiring based on looks. What merit is there for doing it in a personal assistant job or a law firm associate or even a paralegal?

I read this article yesterday & it made me incensed.

Let me tell you that it's not just ugly people, minorities or old timers who don't want to display their pictures in job applications. No one would call me ugly (I'm industry pretty, remember?) & I won't do it. Here's why:

1. Unless it's a job where my looks actually matter, then WHY do you care? If they don't affect my abilities to perform the job at hand, it's not relevant. If it's icing on the cake, just think of it as some bonus in hiring me & not someone else. Just because someone is as pretty as me doesn't mean they can work as well as I can.

2. I have gotten through this life & earned opportunities without having to resort to my looks. I didn't use it to get through school or get my higher level entertainment positions. Again, they're a bonus to work with me specifically vs. "you must be a goddess to work here." I'd like to think I got my opportunities & grades because of my brain, not because anyone secretly lusted after me.

3. It's unprofessional. To me, using a picture is mixing business with pleasure & I'm happily married. Me using a picture for a non-looks based job is tantamount to me saying I'm sexually available. If I'm going to prostitute myself, I may as well just be a real prostitute & work on my own so I get to keep more of the money.

4. It perpetuates sexism in the workplace. One of my Twitter followers retweeted this story about a lawyer who was hiring a secretary to be a prostitute willing to engage in threesomes with his law firm partner.

Attorneys like this should be disbarred, no questions asked. Can we say "sexual predator?" If this guy is so hard up for sex, he should just hire a prostitute. Granted, this means legalizing prostitution (which I have no issue with as long as it's regulated, children aren't involved & we're talking about 100% consenting adults). Perhaps he ought to try dating, getting a mistress or doing something else that doesn't involve sexual harassment of some poor woman who's just trying to earn an honest living.

Saw this shit firsthand, as you may recall so I take serious offense to this kind of thing. Not to mention that whole higher standard of conduct for attorneys? If we toss out domestic abusers, guys like this should definitely have to go. It seems to me he's broken the law.

Another way it perpetuates sexism? If there are other females in the office, this guy has just told them (in so many words) that if they want a chance for advancement or to not get lost in the next round of layoffs, they're going to have to put out. Isn't the job market shitty enough for women (lower wages, history of discrimination & harassment) without allowing assholes like this to use their power position to rape them? If there are strip clubs that don't make their dancers have sex with people to keep working, why should anyone get to demand that of women not working in the adult industry (I don't know enough about the employment experience at strip clubs to determine whether anyone has to do that & we can save the ethics of requiring dancers to do it for another day)?

5. If you're that curious, you can find out for yourself what I look like. There's no duty on me to make it easier for anyone to find out what I look like.

6. I'm extremely wary of strangers so if you approach me in real life & I don't know you, I might hurt you thinking you're out to harm, harass or otherwise piss me off in some way. I have had stalkers before & that was long before working in this business. One can never be too careful.

I don't understand this trend of telling people to put pictures of themselves on social media profiles viewed by employers or adding these to resumes. Have we forgotten about racial discrimination? Age discrimination? Gender discrimination? Religious discrimination (you may be wearing religious attire in your picture)? As a potential employer, I don't want to know this stuff or open myself or my company up to being accused of it.

It would serve these jerks right to be sued for employment discrimination & have to pay a fortune to a person of color, old timer or some other discriminated person. That would teach a lesson & send a clear message to other companies. This Eve Tahmincioglu needs to remove her head from her butt & see the real world for what it is. Employers aren't your friends & certainly aren't above prejudice or bias. Let's save it for in-person meetings.

I don't mind posting a picture of some cartoon character that looks like me or a picture I took or something close to my heart since it does represent me in a sense. Real pics of me, though? Not on your life! You want one? Take my picture if you interview me.

However, realize that this is what casting companies do when trying to place actors (chiefly, extras) for work. If you're not a casting company, then you need to rethink asking applicants for pictures.