Monday, January 31, 2011

Hey Female Lawyers! Want to Be a Stripper??

Then contact this guy:

$$$ Female Attorneys Wanted $$$ (Midtown)
Date: 2011-01-31, 2:03PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


* Compensation: $$$
* 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: 2190132000

"Jamie" deserves some points for his originality & forward thinking. He's apparently read the law school scam blogs or realized that being a lawyer is not what TV shows make you think it is. Bravo!

However, I do wonder if he's going to pay these female lawyers more money than he would to the women who aren't. You know the clientele won't & that's got nothing to do with the environment where the legal advice is coming from. It has to do with people generally being assholes who feel entitled to free services.

You know, maybe that sort of idea could be franchised. That would get under the skin of the state licensing board, eh? Even if you heavily banned & cracked down on drugs, prostitution and other bad things associated w/these kinds of clubs you'd still get the whiny religious types moaning in your face. At least you'd be helping solve the attorney unemployment problem since lots of new ones can't get jobs.

Funny part is I would have become a stripper if I'd had to in law school & came pretty close to having to do it at one point (no one was going to make me have to go back to NC & a life I'd have hated). My undergrad sure made me feel like I ought to become one with all the charging money they knew my family couldn't afford. Anyone daring to stop me, I'd have said "What else can I do to pay law school tuition of tens of thousands of dollars in a few weeks?" If you don't have an answer, you get to shut up. When someone's in dire straits & you've never been there, you don't get to subject that person to your pious comments, especially about God's condemnation of their soul.

However, if you're not stripping for the money, I wonder about your mental state. Everyone knows it's not a glamorous job & there's lots of degradation. Why go through that if you're not desperately poor? Drug addiction, perhaps?

I have many more rants but this I just had to point out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Charm & How Important an Actor's Behavior Really Is

I don't make it a habit of doing this since this is a personal rant blog dealing with only my personal opinions but I have to praise my colleagues for this article posted on our blog today.

Oh, God how true this is!!! When I was doing extra work, do you know what many of the extras were doing??? They were bitching about things including examples here.

Now, I may be a ranter but I have never "bitched" about anyone; I have merely educated people (I seem to do that a lot since people always want to know about legal stuff) & warned them about bad eggs I've encountered so they don't fall victim to a scam or have their production ruined. I will state facts & be assertive about it, but that's it. I don't gossip about people or say anything I'd not say right to your face. That's probably because people did that to me growing up & even pretended to be my friends while trashing me behind my back.

I don't consider my selective screening of performance opportunities as "getting attitude" but being honest about my rather unusual circumstances. Being a lawyer carries responsibilities your average person doesn't have to deal with, be it in performance or in taking a regular job. I simply can't play hookers or do nude scenes unless you'd like to offer me enough money to where my revoked legal license, eroded professional reputation, the breakdown of my marriage & ostracism from family members won't matter. Since that's not likely to happen, it makes sense for me not to waste people's time thinking that's an option for me when it's not.

Anyhow, I saw the remarks of this article play out in real life today with an actor I had to de-friend.

One fact about me: I don't friend or follow strangers 99.9% of the time. If I think someone is a kindred spirit or someone who might value my presence, I will write a message first. I never follow famous people unless I've met them or am very likely to meet them in the near future. If you send me a friend request out of the blue without a message or me recognizing your name, I'm going to ask why I should friend you. Don't have an answer? Then I'm denying your request.

A while back, an actor decided to send me a friend request. Seeing there were mutual friends (though not of people I know well), I chose to friend.

Second fact about me: I have a very strict policy of not doing favors I don't want to do (especially for strangers). Don't bother me about scripts, ask to meet famous people, get meetings w/producers, none of it! I don't want to be liked just because of my job or used as a tool for you to get famous. If you don't like me for myself, then you can't be a Facebook friend.

That's not to say I wouldn't do that for someone but I make that choice of my own free will. You get NO say in it & harassing me doesn't work.

This is also because I wouldn't do that to someone I talk to. Why put on them what I'd hate having put on me? Nor do I need handouts or to harass anyone to do anything for me; I can take care of myself just fine. If someone wants to do something for me out of their own free will, that's fine but I'm not going to inflict myself or my talents onto people who don't want to deal with them.

Aside from legal reasons not to take unsolicited material, can you imagine how many wannabes would harass me for things if I didn't do that??? If you're a recognizable face, it has to be a million times worse.

So a few observations I got from this actor:

1. Some very negative status updates that were not kind about industry reps. I remember one status update where it seems this actor took it very personally that particular casting companies weren't interested. If I remember, it may have said "Fuck you!" or came very close to it.

For me, you have free will. No one has to work with me but be an ass & it will come back to haunt you if we cross paths in the future. I'll expect you to have a good explanation if you never followed up with me on something or you will be tainted in my mind as an ass & definitely not my first choice on things.

2. This person had invited me to events & I could see these status updates.

3. A general vibe that this person would be the sort to use people as a means to an end.

Yesterday, this person posted a status that led to questionable conduct among someone famous. Apparently, the actor asked out this celeb via Facebook & the celeb's response was to de-friend & block. Seems this person couldn't manage a simple "no thank you" BEFORE the de-friending or even asking about ulterior motives.

Hearing about this, it led me to conclude a lack of class on this celeb's part & question how this celeb treats PAs, crew members or anyone who's not a director, producer or attorney (big name people have even been nice to me when they've heard I'm a lawyer despite not being a 20 year vet or a Harvard grad). I think it's very uncool to be abusive to people who didn't do anything to you.

As someone doing more in the business & being a woman who got asked out a LOT in her single days, I pointed out that Facebook isn't the best forum to ask someone out on & that I'd be interested in knowing who it was since, again, such deeds do make me wonder about how this celeb would treat our crew, lesser known actors, etc.

I also pointed out the basic rule that we screen people's behavior carefully & face it, if you're me you have to. People will suck up to lawyers, producers, film companies, etc. You've got to be able to look below the surface & be aware of the trouble spots. Nobody wants to deal with star trips or divas.

After writing, this actor decides to violate my strict policy on unsolicited material then realized the mistake. Seemed a little bitchy about it & clueless as to why I'd not want to take it.

Then, the actor claimed not to have had contact with me before that message & seemed to misinterpret my point about polite rejection & basic kindness to others.

I pointed out the misinterpretation, the fact that HE contacted me first via a friend request & that Facebook is a space for my friends & colleagues to talk to me, not a forum to solicit me. I asked how he'd like it if people expected him to work for free all the time or strangers asked him for things b/c of his career.

I also pointed out that maybe this celeb felt there were ulterior motives involved & if that's the case, I don't blame this person for a second. I think if you were one, you'd have to give up being able to take any stranger at face value. I'm already suspicious without being a household name since I had the experience of stalkers & mini-celebrity.

Life lesson: if you're an actor, think of the world as your employer. Your deeds, good or bad, can get around to the people you want to impress & easily come back to haunt you. Oh, and I'm ALWAYS mindful of that sort of thing; if you want to trash someone, you'd better have the spine to stand by your comments & tell the person to their face.

If you think this is bad, read some of the attorney blogs on life in law firms. You want to talk about every little detail being scrutinized + being damned for life because of something, you'd definitely find it in the average big law firm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

General Musings Part 14

I've been meaning to write this entry but in between responding to potential job ads (since you can never put all your eggs in one basket + I figure I've got 2 weeks before I hear something definite about a job I'd really like to do but haven't gotten follow up on since late last month), going to a networking event Friday night, talking to that friend in trouble & dealing with the ring debacle, it's been too crazy to get it done.

Now that I've gotten a moment, some review & rants.

I went to a networking event on Friday, unsure of how things would go. I just knew it was a good idea to get my mind off my friend & sitting at home by myself on a Friday night was a waste. Yeah, that's another thing: getting our car back after the expensive repair work. At least it started today without resistance.

That event turned out to be really fun since

A) fashion people like how I look (I even got photographed)

B) I got to meet some very interesting people (perhaps more interesting than me) who'd have no incentive to become jealous of my success or pester me for favors &

C) the people I spoke to did not make me feel uncomfortable.

It was wonderful talking to people who took me seriously as a professional, had interesting things to say & were not all men. I'd like more female colleagues to talk to since it seems like only men end up speaking to me. The men I did speak to didn't even flirt with me. Yes!!

You don't realize how rare that kind of thing is unless you are considered attractive by society & for whatever reason, will get hit on just for looking like yourself. No effort on your part needed (not even smiling), just being present in a room.

It's not like I'd gone to many of these events since I usually need advance notice & feel bad when my husband won't go. Though honestly, my husband is not big on social events where he doesn't know people. He's not the "hang out in a lounge" type; he told me he likes having something to do. He also doesn't have to network while I have to in my business. Plus if I want to network, he gets all impatient & wants to leave ASAP. I'm not the type who immediately approaches strangers; I need time to feel comfortable & gather my bearings. If I have an "in," no problem but if I don't give me half an hour & I'm fine.

Even if I weren't a business owner or doing PR work, you still need to know many different people as a writer or actor aside from the "opportunity around the corner" so you'll create better work & have more experiences to weave into that work. You can't do that sitting at home all the time.

So, I felt much more comfortable at this event & I should probably see about going to future ones. I think networking events are to him what going to most comic book stores or cons are to me: I'm not interested but you can take friends, have a good time & don't worry about me.

Talked to my friend; she called to wish me a happy belated birthday. Seems she understands my concerns + that of other friends & plans to move on. However, we all know how hard it is when feelings are involved & apparently she's said this before but been pulled back. I'm hoping some friends/family who live closer will keep their eye on things & warn about the bad stuff without being judgmental about it.

Now for rants:

I called this one!!! Told you people in this country would whine about "Skins" & that American mores are too sensitive to handle a show like that. I predict that either MTV will make it more bland (through censorship or otherwise) or turn it into elaborate theater with more shock than substance.

This is food for thought for the old timers & Internet haters.

And if Chipotle continues to screen out illegals, we should all eat there. Protest this?!?!?! Ha! We should hold them up as patriots who support this country & the rights of AMERICAN citizens to have jobs instead of undercutting everyone with illegals.

If you are dumb enough to claim that illegals have more rights to a job than my unemployed family members who are citizens, then you should renounce your American citizenship & get the hell out RIGHT NOW!!! It is immoral when my sister has to fight to get WIC coverage while some illegal Hispanic woman in her area who just popped out an anchor baby practically has it handed to her on a silver platter. Not to mention plenty of other things permanent residents & people trying to get citizenship get screwed on because of illegals with zero loyalty to this country acting like parasites.

What would be better is the ability to trade the citizens who are deadbeats for the illegals who "just want to feed their families & work hard." More details on my views on the matter & just how I've lived it can be found in an earlier post.

In sum, I'm all for jailing some CEOs in "pound me in the ass" prison as opposed to "white collar resort" prison to reform illegal immigration (thank you, Office Space).

Some of this I disagree with on basic principle. My husband & I do not + will not ask for or take each other's passwords. We have used each other's accounts on things before like if I was doing an eBay auction for my husband when he wouldn't have access to a computer but I'd never ask for his e-mail or Facebook passwords. That is controlling & a sign of distrust.

My husband also had an ex who did that & read his e-mail. We also don't like the other person reading over our shoulder as we type messages to our friends or chat with them.

I also don't get this "emotional affair" shit. I don't think a spouse should be expected to have every single interest you have or be the best person to solve all your problems. My husband isn't my jailer or chained at my hip. We are separate people who just happen to compliment one another. I think that as long as you don't mind your spouse meeting or talking to your opposite sex friends, then you don't have any issues. Maybe they'd become friends & if you ended up in a real crisis, they might work as added support. My husband knows he's more than welcome to talk to mine just as I'm welcome to talk to his. If anything, I expect my opposite sex friends to take my husband's side & his to take my side if either of us thought to cheat on the other one. They could understand the opposite sex perspective & empathize with the spouse.

Guess we also see my views on relationships & marriage coming into play there, which are not your typical "2 becoming 1" nonsense or life as seen on TV, Hollywood movies & so forth.

I read this today & think one little thing was missing. That's if you work in a bureaucracy, you have to be an annoying suck up or part of a protected class. You also have to be a moron because no one rewards intelligence.

I admire any CEO that actually sticks to this but if you have a larger company, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that you value these things over butt kissing and maintaining a hopelessly outdated, ineffective or plain awful status quo.

Speaking of denial when it comes to illegal conduct, this article comes to mind. I like the commenter who said you should address nasty interviewing behavior right away & walk out if needed. That's someone after my own heart. I know at this point, I'd absolutely do that & probably would have in the time since I became a lawyer. I'll keep my dignity & my sanity over a hellish job, thanks.

Now to pet my feline who jumped into my lap on his own accord & isn't even a lap cat.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friends or Entourage Members?

So, the specter of something being up with my friend has really gone up. Yesterday was my birthday & usually, she'd call or at least write me a Facebook Wall post. She didn't.

Anyone who knows my friend knows that she's not the type who'd ever ditch her friends. When she & I reconnected after she got married, she told me she'd never ditch her friends because of her husband. There were definitely friends he didn't like, I might add.

She was also MIA to do something with my sister, another bad sign. She did find out she wasn't pregnant, but what was this douchebag's reaction? "I want you to have my baby. Why aren't you pregnant already?"

It is my firm belief that a true friend, a real friend, tells you when you're throwing your life in the gutter. Real friends aren't "yes" people or around to watch you self-destruct. That is an entourage.

I had to finally speak my piece about all this. She will probably be pissed but I don't care. I'm hoping that the words of someone not using the specter of religion will get through. Putting aside any religious disagreements you may have with adultery or divorce, shoving the good book at someone doesn't work. You're just creating a climate of judgment & shaming someone. That doesn't help anyone.

I was quite blunt & direct, as anyone who knows me knows I'm going to be. I pointed out that I do have some real life experience to speak as I did & said she was allowing this guy to treat her like a whore. Considering what I discussed before in this blog, what would you call someone who fights with some guy's baby mama over which one of them will get to sleep in the bed with him? I said she could do far better than this scumbag & that if he's laid a hand on her, he will get what's coming to him. Far too many people we know wouldn't let that slide & live a lot closer to them than I do.

I also asked her if she'd want a guy treating her daughter that way or for me to be taking that kind of abuse.

I'm also seeing what other people who know her make of all this. I can't be the only person who thinks something has to be done. You can't help everyone & I certainly can't make her wise up but I do tend to be honest in a situation + people tend to take me seriously when I speak in other contexts.

This also hits harder for me since I'm not going to have many real friends soon. You can get an entourage pretty quickly but people who really have your back without judgment & will tell you when someone is being abusive? Not so much. I could care less about the religious aspects; I care about the example her child is seeing & her letting a man treat her like shit. As someone who still remembers what it was like to see an alcoholic parent, I think her child deserves better than that & her mother should know it's going to have an effect on that relationship.

I hate to say it but I do think a judge would probably want to consider having that kid stay with her father if her mother's just going to be some possible illegal's whore on the side. If she's going to do that, I think her daughter is safer elsewhere. You know, I have to wonder why it is that most of the illegals I know of in NC are abusive scumbags while there are plenty in NYC who have nothing but the utmost respect for people & wouldn't try running a harem in their house. Do my sister & I just know people who attract these cretins like magnets? Is it any wonder I really don't keep in touch or have real friendships in that town?

Are there any decent illegals in that area of NC who have any ambition for themselves or are they all just sexist, misogynistic pigs who beat up little children & pass on STDs? This cynic would love to hear about some who are single so people we know would have a better dating pool to consider.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Signs a Corporate Job Is NOT For You

I'm not quite sure when I realized a typical corporate job wasn't for me but I think it must have been sometime after I got my partnership in my own film company & started working with people who respected me + wanted to listen to me.

A few other signs were there before that, though. I was reading this article very recently & it reminded me of stories I've heard about attorney job interviews.

If you go to lawyer blogs or spend time with law students, you'll hear all sorts of stories. I've read things that say married women shouldn't wear their wedding rings in job interviews and heard about downright insulting questions like "You were on XYZ Journal. Why weren't you on Law Review?"

One fundamental problem I'm seeing in these career advice articles is telling people that they should yield to companies to a fault. I'm surprised I've not read an article that told people to lie prostrate on the ground in front of the executive suite & say "Yes, Your Excellency! May I have another?" after being kicked in private areas. That might be a bit of a stretch, but not by much.

When I read an article saying to defend & lie about felonious companies you worked for in the past, that author lost all credibility with me. Do that as a lawyer & you'll be accused of participating in the fraud, even if you worked in the mail room.

I believe performing your civic duty & being a decent human being trumps "never say anything negative about a past employer." If you're seeking work in my entertainment business & your past employer was a scam artist, you'd better tell me. You have a duty to protect others from the same experience & not telling an interviewer might lead the company to work with the scammers later on.

This article essentially tells people to yield to illegal questions & be "polite" in the face of them. Sorry, some things are so fundamentally offensive to ask about & are often delivered in a very snotty tone. You won't get politeness from me in that context; you'll be lucky if I don't smack you. Implying that I'm going off to breed is just insulting to me & asking me about my marital status makes me think you're considering me for a sexual harassment victim instead of an employee. Not every woman has baby rabies, all right?

Oh, and people who hire law firm associates are not ignorant in the least. THEY are assholes & you have to handle those types differently.

I once shut down someone at my career services office who tried pulling the old "you aren't at this rank" attitude with me. I pointed out that I was the first person in my entire family, including extended, to even go to law school & that in light of the fact that I didn't come from money or have the ability to afford all the study guides like everyone else, the fact I wasn't flunking out or made anything lower than a C- was pretty damn good in my view. After I said that, this person backed off & agreed w/me!

Asking something about a journal to me would have invited a combative answer in light of my background, no matter how politely you asked. Personally, there were no journals in law school for my interests so I didn't really care.

I'd have no desire to work someplace where I was asked an illegal or combative question so I'd not care about any impression I gave since they already poisoned the water for me. That whole good impression thing goes both ways.

I really think that my refusal to put up with that kind of shit is a major sign that I'd better own my own business & call my own shots. I've noticed that I'm far more direct & pointed in asking for things than most people probably are. Call me arrogant or pushy if you want but I just have no tolerance for BS & feel that even though I'm nowhere near 40 + look even younger, life's too short for it. I've put up with enough in my own life & telling me to "suck it up" (as you'll find many established attorneys telling newbies) just doesn't cut it. I'd rather be poor & keep my soul than a rich little drone who sold out or became someone's punching bag.

Plus, telling me to take BS means you've just insured that I'll one day snap & kill older folk who pissed me off. Do you really want that hanging over your head?

So, 2 signs you shouldn't work in a typical corporate job: You work someplace where people appreciate you & you don't put up with illegal conduct.

This Craig's List ad also has some relation to this whole theme:

Why does everyone want you do everything free (Manhattan)
Date: 2011-01-17, 9:35PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Actors, Muscians, Photographers, Comedians.......If we all stop working production would not go on.

1. If the comedians stop doing bringer shows there would be no comedians to see at the comedyclubs. You should not have to pay or have your friends pay for you to perform. Let a whole month go by with no comedians clubs will start losing money. You don't need them you can perform at other venues, hotels, parties, colleges, local bars.

2. don't know to have roles available to build up your reel, if you can truly act you can make a demo monologue with your video camera at home. Most of these filmakers out there after you complete the film you gonna have to stalk them to get a copy of it. If filmakers are going to make films then they need to understand the real world of filmaking that you have to raise money for production. At least pay the actors $50 a day and have some decent food on the set.

3. We all love the craft and love what we do but TFCD and Demo Reels don't pay the B.I.L.L.S

4. We have to stop whoring ourselves out for free and start holding out and boycotting these people that want to get everything for free.

5. Actors/models we have to start expecting to pay for things as well. You want a new headshot, demo reel, portfolios. Expect to pay for it.

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

PostingID: 2166075081

I agree w/the general sentiment. However, I think you can only be exploited for as long as you let someone do it to you. I, for instance, will not "PAY to play" in any context. I'm not even doing freebies so you won't convince me that pay to play is worth my time.

Second, get a written contract. If someone refuses to give you one, don't deal with that individual or entity. That's a sure sign that someone isn't a professional & if you hope to be one, you aren't getting anywhere by dealing with people who can't even give you a simple written document concerning your role, rights, etc.

Third, there are ways to do things that don't require posting a Craig's List ad. I know there's a company that will film a short movie starring you & you can use that for demo reel material. Just pay them & you're done. The entitlement attitude of some people truly reeks; professionals don't care about the troubles of strangers. Boo hoo, you don't have a lawyer. If you don't have money, then don't ask me to help you for free when I don't know you & we don't even have mutual friends. Have a friend help you; don't expect strangers to care or give you freebies.

Then again, maybe these people have NO friends because they acted entitled to get freebies & didn't reciprocate. Somebody should post a list somewhere so people don't waste their time dealing with these entitlement issues.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jesus Saves....From Creativity!

One of the great things about living in NYC is the subway graffiti & alternations to advertisements. Some of the funniest things are off 14th Street & in Brooklyn (at least in my area of it, the rising hipster enclave).

We have one vandal who constantly puts up religious graffiti. The "Jesus Save" person, as I've nicknamed this jerk. I've gone into why this vandal is a jerkward before but this little piece of work is just downright funny. Take a look:

But what IS "here?"

Yes, seems Jesus saves people from an education at the School of Visual Arts!

In other words, I'm to believe being a religious person means you're devoid of any type of creativity or right brain activity to speak of! Don't have an original thought or point of view; God hates that! You'll go straight to Hell!

See, this is the fundamental problem I have with the concept of God that nuts like this follow: you're supposed to be a completely compliant, passive moron to receive God's grace. I strongly disagree.

I feel that if God gave you intelligence, a creative mind, etc. that God would not then turn around & say "I gave you these talents but don't you dare use them or you're going to Hell." The God I follow would want you to use those skills to do something good for society, your fellow man, whatever. God wouldn't support being an idiot and letting Republicans, rich people, televangelists or any other so-called "better" figuratively rape you, literally steal your trinkets & claim to do this "for your own good."

I have strong suspicions that this vandal doesn't think. I see this obnoxious proselytizing everywhere & evidence that this asshole is your typical nosy jerk who dares to tell women what to do with their private parts as well as micromanage everyone else's life but ignores every single shortcoming in his/her own life. And if you say you have no shortcomings in your life, then you are full of shit because everyone has at least one.

Plenty of religious people manage to be good followers without butting into people's private affairs or belittling those who don't follow their god of choice. How come more don't follow suit?

Want to attract people to religion? Some being a closed minded bigot & be decent to ALL people, not just "believers." That kind of thing would go a long way to bridging that divide between religious folk & atheists.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Diversity" Efforts

This is a topic I've been ranting about for quite some time. I think I've touched on it a few times here but until now, haven't really concentrated a specific rant on it.

Well, after seeing this job ad yesterday, I think it's time I did so:

Manager Diversity and Inclusion (Downtown)
Date: 2011-01-14, 2:30PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Prominent law firm is searching for one to design diversity training programs, assist in the development of practices to recruit, retain and promote women and minority attorneys, coordinate programs and social events relating to firm's diversity initiatve, as well as getting involved in various other related projects. Candidate must have a college degree, and at least two years related experience. JD's with staff-side experience are encouraged to apply . Very good benefits.

* Compensation: to 175K D.O.E.
* 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: 2160505812

For those outside the legal field, here's a fact you may or may not be aware of. Perhaps if you know me well or even if you know my background, this shows some obvious reasons I don't like the BigLaw crowd in general & those types have to work harder to prove themselves with me.

Here goes: tons of partners at bigger firms are racist, sexist scum bags who'd love to see the country go back to the 1800s when there was slavery, women were property & you'd be ostracized if you got pregnant before marriage, even if you were the victim of a rape.

Now you may argue "But there are women partners & minorities working in law firms! Surely, racism & sexism are dead, relics of the past."

I'd say "Have you ever heard of tokenism? It's very much alive & well."

I'm not saying this based on presumption or guessing games: I'm saying based on statements from friends, things I've read in blogs written by lawyers on life in law firms and knowledge of a culture that every attorney knows about but few are making little real effort to change.

What do I mean by "real" effort? I mean not keeping a minority person around for the sake of tokenism or making that person into your figurehead to look good to the public or in-house lawyers. I mean not penalizing women who decide to have children or get married by undermining them and claiming they are inferior because they choose to be involved parents instead of hiring a housekeeper to be a surrogate mother.

Real effort is treating someone of a minority group the same as you would anybody else. Looking past the color or gender to find a real person who may not be all that different from you.

I was also watching that episode of A Different World last night where Dwayne & Ron are involved in the racial incident & have to go to the holding pen with the white security officer. If you haven't seen it, you should. I applaud the writers of that show for presenting a balanced view of racism and not just proclaiming that all white people are racists & all black people are their victims. I firmly believe anyone can be a racist & everyone who does it has an equal role in it.

For an example in my life of real effort, I look to my high school. Race wasn't nearly the issue there as it was in college or the legal field. Even my law school made a big thing of "diversity" and "inclusion." How did people do it, though? By segregating people into groups!

Who sees the jacked up irony there? As a perpetual outsider, I make friends with people who show me friendship. I could care less about race; in fact, many of my close friends, my real friends, weren't white. They were never my "tokens." If anything, I might have been someone else's token. That's still true today, in fact. Doesn't bother me since I'll take real friends over fake ones & as a redhead, I'm going to stand out regardless.

One day when I was in college, this girl from NYC who was involved in the school's starting a historically black sorority talked about how she hated being known as "the black girl" to white people. I thought to myself "Honey, that kind of thing doesn't work with me. I've had so many black female friends in my life that none of them get to be 'the black girl.'" I even made the comment that when I first met folk, I don't think of them as "Oh, you're [insert race here]." I notice stuff like someone being in my class or saying something I thought was stupid or wearing something I though would look great on me; I remember commenting on that distinction, actually. Believe me, you are NOT going to be "the [insert race] person" with me b/c that gets too confusing.

Over the years, I've had a lot of race discussions with people. No one's ever called me a racist or claimed I was one before or afterward; we've just been people describing our perspectives. A big one for me is the race debate along with the class divide; many people I spoke to even agreed that if you're a minority who comes from money, it's unfair for you to get opportunities ahead of poor white kids since your presence in a school like my college doesn't contribute to diversity while mine as a poor kid would. That kind of thing happens all the time, though & I experienced it firsthand.

In my college, race issues were a HUGE deal. Never mind that we were right near some very good black colleges where black folks could go to school without racist assholes from backwoods GA bothering them. I don't blame black students for not wanting to go to my college; I had no idea they made race such a big issue until I started school there. Their racism is a huge reason I'll never donate money to them.

To combat this whole situation, my undergrad attempted "diversity" and "inclusion" efforts. We never had these things in my high school. It was just hang out with who you want to. I hung out with who I liked & stayed myself. Yeah, there were cliques but no one had to be told how to treat minorities with basic human respect. If you made a racial slur in my high school, half the white kids would have taken a swing at you right along with the black kids (including me). I've told people off on shit like that since that's a personal attack on my friends, which is the same as an attack on me. Just don't make racist remarks around me if you want to live.

So, I have serious problems with trying to inject "diversity" and "inclusion" along with the type of hiring selection for such a position in a law firm. First, the problem with "diversity" efforts:

A) Not addressing real problems like racism of law firm partners & not viewing people primarily as "that black girl" or "that Mexican guy." They have names, they have personalities. Use that. I think doing anything less when you're supposed to be working with these people is racist.

Using description is one thing but I recall a guy who worked with me at the museum who I heard addressed as "Black [insert name]" by white folk. I can't imagine he knew about it b/c he never called himself that. I just knew him as my co-worker from Michigan who said I was the real life Daria.

Who wants to bet that kind of thing doesn't happen in these firms?

B) Tokenism. Most of the time, no one bothers listening to these women & minorities who come in through these programs. They don't get support, respect or the opportunity to make suggestions that are taken seriously. No wonder women & minorities leave in droves; wouldn't you?

C) Separation. Separating people tells them they're not as good so they need special help. That doesn't truly include anyone who gets it. That just says "Here's a handout b/c you're not good enough to do it on your own." Spare me your handout!

Now for hiring these directors:

A) First off, having experience at these shallow efforts at other places doesn't mean you know beans about the problem. You likely have that superficial understanding of "inclusion" like the people at my undergrad did & no clue how to treat anyone equally.

I strongly believe that if you're not part of that group or someone who personally experienced this kind of thing, you can't figure out a way to fix things. You're just on the outside looking in.

B) The programs themselves are flawed & the academics who have "prior experience" are not going to have new ideas. They'll just continue the tokenism & nothing will change.

C) Academic understanding of any problem isn't the same as real life experience. I can tell you a lot more about experiences I've lived than someone who's never had that happen.

In conclusion, you don't make a place more open to women and minorities by creating shallow "diversity" efforts & attempts at "inclusion." You make your environment more pleasant for everybody. You approach people as people, looking at everything about them. Law firms are known for looking only at grades and Ivy League schools, which do result in disparate impact on minorities & women.

If they really gave a damn about diversity, they'd look at the total person. Their total reputation & potential without any regard to color, name, etc. The people I work with don't base me or anyone else's competence on color, directly or indirectly. No one goes on a white person bitch fest around me.

Until my undergrad really hammers down on the racist fringe (kicking the racist frat out would be a start) & the law firms quash the bigots, no diversity effort is going to change things. No one I work with has to use a "diversity" effort or make a big deal about people's racial background (or orientation, for that matter); different people just feel comfortable dealing with them.

THAT'S what these morons should be doing if they want real change. Otherwise, it's just a dog & pony show this cynic could care less about.

Friday, January 14, 2011

An Interesting Way For Women to Pay School Loans & The "Glamour" of Being Rich

Thanks to one of my Facebook friends for highlighting this link.

Are you done reading yet? This prompted discussion w/me & my spouse. We figured you'd better have some limits if you're going to do this:

1. Gender. What if the winner's a lesbian & you're straight?

2. How many people get to win the "prize?" Do you want to be a gang bang or some family's "pet?" There are assholes out there so you might want to think about this.

3. Hygiene. Do you want some guy who hasn't washed his dirty parts putting his dirty parts in you? In my house, we insist on good hygiene.

4. Sex acts. Will the winner get oral? Anal? Get to pour hot candle wax on you? You'd better make that clear or you might get someone who thinks you're losing your oral or anal virginity & not your vaginal virginity.

5. Age. What if your winner is 90 & has no money? Not all old guys are Hugh Heffner or Stefano DiMerra (yes, a TV character but if he existed in real life he'd have 20 year old girlfriends as well), contrary to what they may think. Just because some old guys aren't completely repulsive to particular young women doesn't mean they all are. Figure this one out.

So when I saw this link, it occurred to me that it would be an interesting way for some new law school grad to pay off her loans. Maybe your average law school grad or new lawyer isn't a virgin but there's no law that says you can't lie about it. Or you could simply assert that you're so freaking special & unique that you're worth a high auction price. Natural redheads & little people come to mind. No, I wouldn't do it even if I was single.

Either way, it's probably prostitution so you may want to find a place where you can do it legally but a few thoughts come to mind here:

1. Get a lawyer if you're going to do this kind of thing.

2. Are school debts in relation to job prospects so bad that women have to start auctioning themselves off to the highest bidder to avoid a lifetime of debt? If you ask me, I think if we aren't there already then we definitely will be shortly.

So, if you've got the money let the games begin!

If you think it's bizarre that we have these kind of conversations, you don't know me that well. I'd never have a threesome with anyone either but I analyzed the profile of who you'd need to pick in order to maximize your chances of avoiding awkwardness & disease (in case you wonder, I figure an acquaintance; someone you know well enough to know about their sexual escapades but not so well that you're going to see him/her all the time in day to day life or suffer great loss if things get awkward).

I also happened to read this article today.

Some of that sums up my feelings on why you have to watch your back if you succeed. If I recall, though you can't claim a lottery prize without your privacy vanishing before your eyes. At least, not in NY.

A lot of that wouldn't affect me, though. I've been picky about who I deal with since college; I can spot a Johnny Come Lately pretty quickly & have no patience for them. I also tend to be cheap even if I have the money for things. Getting me to spend on something non-essential is like pulling teeth; seriously. I'll tell you not to spend on me & that something costs too much, even if I could afford it & then some. Even if I do want something, it usually takes time for me to realize "Hey, I can afford this!" My mom has ranted for years about people who have more money than sense; the Keeping up w/the Jones crowd tends to fall into that category.

I also feel no obligation to give to anyone I don't want to. Try prying expensive gifts from me if I don't want to do it; you're not going to win. I'll also point out your sins in a second & trying to come out of the woodwork?? You'll be lucky if I don't kick you square in the butt for bothering me.

I also attempt to know people who know reliable finance professionals so I have resources if needed. No rich person will ever have to deal with me asking for money; they'll just have to deal with me asking for advice or references on reliable professionals.

The funny thing is, some of these things are issues I discussed years ago with someone who knew rich people directly. I also saw some of this play out with people I knew who had money; they never flaunted it or made a big thing of it. That's how you lose it. Not being patronizing to me is also a big plus.

The responses to it show me the class divide & who's had friends w/money vs. who hasn't. If you think only rich people are snotty or classist, you'd be dead wrong. Poor people can be just as snotty as anyone else & I've seen it myself. They'd be just as likely to leave you in a ditch as anyone else. Same with ugly people or handicapped people. Don't think that stuff like that makes someone a saint or even a nice person; there are ugly people who are jerks & handicapped people who aren't bastions of courage, love and hope.

Class divide, gotta love it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Curse of the Tiny Fingers & Other Rants

Those of you who hate skinny people may get all bitchy & whiny about my conundrum. For them, I say that I have as much sympathy for your problems as you have for mine.

I have teeny, tiny fingers & wrists. Why is this is a problem, you ask?

It makes me keeping bracelets, watches & rings impossible. Try finding a ring in a smaller size than a 5: it almost never happens. I constantly get disappointed if I go to a street fair or any place with rings at an affordable price. Sometimes, I might find a 4 (the size I've worn since at least high school).

And now, a 4 doesn't even fit. Last night, I noticed my wedding ring was gone. I've been depressed and frantic about it since I noticed this. I don't even remember when I last had it on or if I lost it in my home or on the streets of Manhattan.

It's not the first piece of jewelry or ring I've ever lost. However, it's not replaceable. The cost really isn't the issue; it's more sentiment & the principle of the thing. My husband didn't buy it for me; it was a gift from my mom since she'd had the ring for a long time but could no longer wear it.

It's not even as though everyone I know has their original wedding ring. My parents haven't had any for ages. But I look at the relationship status of everyone I know with this little ring problem & it makes me feel it's a bad omen.

Here's a great symbolism story: I had this diamond chip ring in high school. I'd lost it for a couple years then found it when I was a senior. This guy I was dating at the time (who was completely eccentric) told me he liked it.

One weekend, I went to visit my undergrad in Atlanta on one of those college weekends. That weekend, I lost it God knows where.

Months later, after I graduated from high school, this boyfriend calls up & decides to dump me over the phone. He told me that the same weekend I was in Atlanta & lost that ring, he'd cheated on me. Honestly, I was more pissed that he'd cheated on me before my senior prom than that he cheated to start with. I was moving away for bigger & better things, after all.

My sister thought he was lying b/c he was NOT that attractive (if you saw him, you'd say "You could have done better.") but the symbolism of it all stuck with me.

Is my husband now going to cheat on me or just get tired of dealing with my BS? He says he won't & said he'd get me something new. But....

I just can't help but get depressed. I know we can't afford it & forget getting ME a diamond. I'll just lose it unless it's a necklace or earrings. At least I don't lose those so much. I'm told gold bands aren't much but I don't really care for that. I'm more of a white gold or silver person so I'd want a band with white gold as well or maybe a second ring like an onyx or something not too pricey or traditional that I like.

I'm not a materialistic whore & I think the whole ring thing is a needless expense but I don't want the world thinking I'm single either.

There was the suggestion that I get this wedding ring as a piercing on my bellybutton or my nipple so I'd not lose it. Nipple piercings hurt, though. I know someone who got that done. I wanted a bellybutton one years ago but not sure I'd be able to maintain it. Maybe I should just get a tattoo but then that brings up the problem of divorce.

Now, if you think that's bad try finding me a TOE RING. Unless that toe ring could be a gnat's hula hoop, it won't fit my miniature toes.

So the next time you think it's so fun being skinny, try shopping for jewelry. I have to get bracelets & watches altered to not fall off my tiny wrists + get this for rings. I just hope a 3 & 1/2 won't cut off my circulation; I like to take rings off if they're hurting my fingers or I wash my hands. I also don't want a green mark on my hand.

In other rants, I saw this article about tapping into your alumni network. I've tried it & it doesn't work in the legal field. That field's too "dog eat dog" & people either never respond or are total jerks like that one bitch from undergrad who tried to tell me to be miserable. I wait for the day to give her a freaking shock in not only making it to NYC but getting to work in a very hard to get into field.

I tried it with other law school alum and it doesn't work. I've had better luck directly talking to people in the entertainment field but that's not even guaranteed. These people may think I won't remember but they'll be in for a shock if I turn out to be the person who keeps them from working w/my company or for some friend of mine or even a friend of a friend who thinks their actions are stupid, distasteful or whatever.

Nastiness to me has repercussions & more professionals should note that today's youngster is the future. Tomorrow, that person could be the CEO of the next big thing or a trusted adviser who can put the nail into the lid of your professional coffin. That's why you should be polite to everyone & at least give the courtesy of a response to someone who takes time to write you. I consider lack of a response as a rude brushoff that will be handled when the person least expects it.

Finally, an interesting Craig's List ad that makes a point:

Film makers and actors
Date: 2011-01-13, 10:00AM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

For all those postings looking for actors willing to work with out pay: ATLEAST give them a copy of their hard earned work!

It is not fair, unappreciative and extremely rude not to!

Actors spend a lot of money taking acting classes, headshots, sites, etc.

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

PostingID: 2158118991

I agree to a point but think deferred compensation is better. I also think you'd better be open to beginners if you want to offer no pay for anything. Otherwise, you're just violating the law of economics.

The people who act entitled to getting my expertise for free make me want to punch them in the face. They should be lucky I have honest prospects in life or I'd probably go ahead & do it. Perhaps get it filmed & start a business around it. Who wouldn't want to watch a jerk get beaten up?

The real adage here is "You get what you pay for."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Sure Whether I Should Laugh or Cry

Is Wal-Mart's marketing department totally stupid or completely arrogant??? I have to wonder since we got this today:

Okay, morons! My husband is... a union member. You forbid unions!

Anyone see the irony here? This is like sending a membership application for the Ku Klux Klan to a black person. I had to write a response to these idiots & their website propaganda claiming that 75% of the city favors having a Wal-Mart here. Ha!

I've been to many a Wal-Mart & I don't support a Wal-Mart in NYC. Crippling small businesses, their anti-union stance, disrespect to employees, carrying dead peasant's insurance & basically epitomizing the ultimate shitty employer. What is there to like??

Yes, things in the city are too expensive & yes, there's some crappy small businesses but that's why we have a little thing called Yelp. Nail these cretins on bad service & shady dealings, tell the public, don't continue to patronize them & they'll lose business. Funny the media & everyone I know says "hell, no" to Wal-Mart in NYC. Why don't we just tear down every piece of history & uniqueness in NYC then have people poop on the remains?? Bring a Wal-Mart here, the bastion of suburbia, and you may as well do that. Not to mention all the legions of trashy folk who hang around Wal-Mart & the stories of violence in the parking lots; gee, does NYC needs more violence or people on welfare???

I would rather be a hooker than work at a Wal-Mart, I have that little respect for it as a company. Yeah, like I had respect for most companies to begin with but that's beside the point.

Seriously, if a black person gets a membership application from the KKK, I'd like to hear about it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Listing the Blog on Kindle, Trying out IMDB Pro & Curious Censorship Issues

So one of my new Twitter followers, who maintains a blog that is apparently in the ABA's Top 100 Blog list did an entry about getting more traffic to your blog if you publish through Kindle. According to him, the rate is $1.99 per month. I may not have a ton of income but I can swing that (thanks for that, Nutmeg Lawyer).

Following that advice to see if I can get a higher profile for this blog (and it will remain a non-censorship space or I'll stop doing it), I decided to sign up. If it's approved & actually goes up, we'll be all set. If they reject mine for a swear word or two, I'll have to remind someone about the book content they've had that triggered mortal outrage like that book on how to be a pedophile. I hardly think my speech in this blog rises to the level of something like encouraging pedophilia. I'd rather just use an accelerated death penalty to handle that problem.

I also decided to upgrade to IMDB Pro, or at least do the free trial. What harm can it do? Apparently, it will increase one's public profile though it's not like I'm doing that much. I also don't really like people getting in my way, so to speak. I already have plans for myself & don't really want that to be changed, even if it's a positive change. You'd have to sell me on some kind of change to my plan, even if I'd get millions of dollars. I've always felt that if I was going to be successful at anything, it would have to be on my terms or not at all.

So in light of the whole Arizona shooting, it seems a lot of people want to go around censoring political speech & "toning down the rhetoric." I just read this article today on that very topic & I have to agree w/the author.

First off, we have a 1st Amendment for a reason. I've never been a fan of so-called "incitement cases" since I think they completely drain personal responsibility from the "incited" party (or since it's usually been minors, the "incited" party's parents). Do people not have brains to think for themselves or parents to check their behavior? And if someone does not, when did it become the responsibility of politicians, movie stars, musicians or anyone else to be the wards of everyone else???

Second, the slippery slope. When you start curbing this type of speech, what next? Movies, music, TV shows? Any entertainment is sure to follow. Next think you know, the news will also be censored so as not to offend the little kiddies.

If I hear anything about some political measure to change speech in anyway, no terrorist will need to do anything about this country: they'll have already won the war. We won't need religious law; we'll no longer be free and soon slide into a totalitarian regime. Islamic terrorists will not have to worry about the US by that point; they'd probably want to consider martyring the shooter in this case if that happens.

I really hope the gunman is being kept someplace where he can't take the chicken's way out & kill himself like everyone else seems to. Make him be accountable & tell people why he did it!

It's bad enough that there's a website claiming even the most banal movie you can think of is objectionable because of "caffeine consumption." I can't find the link but my husband told me about the incongruent standards and ratings of movies today vs. the '80s and '90s + how this country's mainstream entertainment is becoming more sanitized and like a bad '50s sitcom. Enough is enough!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Assassination Attempts on Political Figures & Inflated Titles

So, after a trek to the grocery store & an adventure to get back home to finally see Little Darlings (a movie I'd heard a lot about but never seen), I go to check my other e-mail accounts and found this story.

I see a lot of hypocrisy in the responses to that whole assassination attempt. First off, I'm shocked it hasn't happened more often. Not so much because the Tea Party followers or Sarah Palin devotees are "insane" (I understand the frustration & agree w/some of their points). The reason I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often is because people of all views are pissed & have been since the economy went downhill. Furthermore, some of these political figures literally strut before the world & act like arrogant, cocky motherfuckers* who don't have to answer to anyone, even God.

Second, why is it that no one ever tries assassinating the true scumbags? Why hasn't anyone taken shots at Bloomberg or Charlie Rangel? You want to talk about people who act like they are above everyone else (especially their constituents), there's two right there! Why didn't anyone try assassinating Dick Cheney when he was in office?

I've never heard about this Arizona representative or the federal judge who died strutting before the media & implicitly proclaiming that the voters can suck it if they don't like some unpopular action they've taken like overriding voter approved term limits, violating ethics rules, voting in line with business interests at the expense of the common man, etc. For all the negative talk you hear about Nancy Pelosi, I haven't heard about anyone taking a shot at her either. I don't know enough about her to assess whether she has a superiority complex but if you believe her detractors, you'd think at least one person would have tried it by now.

Not that I'm going to assassinate anyone myself (not yet, anyway) or wish people dead but I wouldn't shed tears over any scumbag getting what's coming to him/her (political figure or otherwise). I'm not a friend of any politician unless I knew the person before (s)he took office; I'm probably the biggest cynic of all when it comes to that issue.

Third, why do you never hear about left-wing liberal groups doing these things? I find it hard to believe that no liberal or independent has considered it or would do it in any set of circumstances. I'm pretty sure that conservative, Republican voters aren't the only people who make it a habit to change unpleasant situations in their lives instead of sitting around whining about them. Heck, there are just as many whiners in that group as any other.

* If my use of this term offends you, tough cookies. This is an anti-censorship space & if you know what I'm talking about, you'll definitely agree w/my use of the word in this context. Otherwise, bitch about it in your own blog! *

Aside from all that, I found something utterly incredible in a Craig's List ad (where else?):

Director of First Impressions/Legal Assistant (Forest Hills, NY)
Date: 2011-01-07, 4:20PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Director of First Impressions / Legal Assistant

We are a growing estate planning and elder law firm located in Forest Hills (Queens) and have an opening for a Director of First Impressions (Receptionist) / Legal Assistant. Our entire staff is dedicated to servicing the needs of our clients.

We are looking for a dynamic “people person” with excellent communication skills, and a warm and caring personality. You must be energetic, display a professional attitude, appearance and attire, and be a team-oriented person. A person in the position who demonstrates a consistently solid performance will have the opportunity to grow within the company.

Working knowledge and proficiency in Word, Excel and Outlook applications and processes.
Strong organizational skills with an attention to detail and the ability to multi-task and prioritize work effectively.
Ability to maintain confidentiality when handing client documents.
A strong background in customer service is preferred.
Non-smoker preferred.

• Answer and direct all incoming calls in a professional manner.
• Distribute phone messages by e-mail to other team members, and distribute all incoming mail and other packages.
• Warmly greet all clients, vendors and prospects that visit the office. Announce their arrival immediately to the person who will be meeting them.
• Prepare and maintain reception area for the visitors. Offer and serve refreshments to visitors.
• Database entry and following tracking procedures established by the law firm.
• Schedule appointments, court dates, and deadlines for professionals in the office as directed and maintain law firm calendar.
• Provide back up assistance for other staff as requested.
• Open client files based on law firm procedures.
• Assemble client estate planning documents in portfolios based on law firm procedures.
• Participate in weekly staff meetings.
• Scan documents.
• Perform other duties as assigned by your supervisor.
• Maintain online database and update website based on law firm procedures.
• Assist attorneys at estate planning seminars, as needed.

Send an email to , with “Director of First Impressions/Legal Assistant” in the subject line. Please include the following information:

1. Your name, address, and contact information, including when you can be reached. We can call early in the morning or after hours if necessary.
2. Attach your cover letter and resume, including all relevant experience, in WORD format.
3. Your salary history and requirements.

If we feel you meet our requirements for this position, we will contact you to schedule an interview. No phone calls, please!

* Location: Forest Hills, NY
* Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience and includes medical and other benefits.($27,000 - $32,000)
* 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: 2148945158

Since when has the position of "Receptionist" been called "Director of First Impressions?" Did I fall asleep and wake up in some parallel universe? Why don't we just call the crack head in the group "Director of Controlled Substance [or the chemical term for crack] Consumption?" The term "domestic engineer" is certainly not part of everyday language. Should we call the head cheerleader of a team the "Director of Merriment?"

For Christ's sake, let's call a cat a cat. Stop with the whole inflation of titles to make people feel better. HR people & hiring folks aren't fooled: call yourself a "Director of First Impressions" and no one will say "Oooh, how impressive!" Nope, they'll just think you're some cocky little so & so trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

The garbage man doesn't need a self-esteem boost. Nor does the restaurant server or retail clerk. These people are well aware of what they do & unless they're getting great pay or promotions, probably won't do it forever (and I speak from knowing actual servers, janitorial folk & being a former retail clerk). I view inflated titles from employers as an attempt to patronize the worker.

It's not enough that they're going to pay you a pathetic wage & expect you to put in the same long hours as a company Vice President; now, they're going to patronize you by calling you the "Director of First Impressions."

And why is it not a shock to me that a law firm is doing this? Can anyone answer that?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rants & Some Redemption

Earlier this week, I saw the following Craig's List job ad:

This is not a job post. But it could be. (SoHo)
Date: 2011-01-03, 1:09PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

After I graduated NYU, I lived abroad for a number of years. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was 23, and I figured it made sense to have an adventure. By the time I turned 26, I knew it was time to come home to the States.

But I had no idea what I wanted to do.

I knew I was smart, but I also lacked any experience at anything. (Teaching English to Asian kindergartners doesn’t count for much, I learned.) I was competing with people younger than me and with people more qualified than me. Eventually I bit the bullet and went to a temp agency. They asked me what I wanted to do – I said I wanted to use my brain, and do a job where I felt like I was helping people.

I ended up at ZocDoc, a company I’d never heard of. They needed an office manager. Two weeks later, I was hired full time. It’s been 2 and a half years, and after having worked in office management, client services, operations, marketing, and public relations, I now run the recruiting team. We are aggressively hiring, and I’m looking for great people.

Specifically, I’m looking for bright people who might not know exactly what it is they want to do, but are confident that they are capable of much. I want people who have good grades, interesting experience, and a desire to be a part of something amazing. ZocDoc was just named the #1 Best Place to Work in NYC (that was a project I was working on), and if you’re interested in being a part of the team, email me. Tell me why you’re looking for a job, and what you want to do.

I know there are quality people out there who just don’t know where to start. I can teach you plenty (we have a lot of job openings in many different departments), but I can’t teach you personality or drive. Please have those, and I look forward to hearing from you!

* 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: 2141458675

I smelled a challenge since there's no way to transition a librarian's job into a non-library/librarian setting. Do you know how much competition there is for library work? Want to talk about a racket, this one's almost as big as law school except you'll find employers offering entry-level jobs at 30 hours a week where you have to do the same things as a typical full-time person but get undercut so they don't have to offer health benefits. In Canada, entry-level librarian jobs require about 5 years experience. I know this since my husband's Canadian co-worker told him that he had to immigrate to America to get this experience, though he wanted to work in his own country.

Man, I wish that weren't true or my husband & I would probably move there sooner or later. Might have to in order to save ourselves from the BS like editing classic literature & idiots opposing this recent law change.

For my part, I'm all for not sending people to jail for using curse words. I know that in the Northeast, you can say the f-word all you like. In the South, it's on a par with killing someone. Let's not push Southern mores on the whole country, all right? Better yet, let's not push the mores of the biggest wackjobs you can find on the entire country.

Furthermore, I didn't choose to birth children so I don't have to watch my language around a total stranger's child. Don't like it, leave. Lay a hand on me & you'll go to jail or get sued by someone. Better yet, I dare you to take on a group of big burly guys & tell them they're responsible for your child's foul language.

So I submitted that challenge to this ad poster & have yet to hear a word. I think I'll have to call BS on that tale soon since anyone who actually lived that stuff would empathize w/the situation & understand that professionals don't have time to answer lots of ads or deal with idiots who think someone who needs their current income to survive is going to take a pitiful wage to change jobs.

Are you surprised by this one? I'm not.

Finally, this makes me feel a lot better. I know people who automatically got rejected for jobs due to credit checks when they weren't applying to be bankers, handling cash or even managing a store til. Maybe if you got the explanation, it would answer concerns over someone planning to embezzle. Remember, plenty of embezzlers had spotless credit & criminal background checks before stealing from companies.

Now if they'd only attack attorney licensing committees for using credit checks as the sole basis to deny admission to the bar. If you think it doesn't happen, I can prove you dead wrong.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

America the Purtanical

And it is, too! If you don't believe me, consider this story. The new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will no longer contain the "n-word" in the text nor the word "injun."

Clearly, Alan Gribben the "Twain expert" is full of crap when he claims it's about race conversations in the 21st century. I call it revisionist history!!!

I believe I've written on this before but it deserves to be repeated: don't fucking revise history, numbskulls!!! Anyone who supports neutering classic works may as well join the Holocaust deniers & Disney, who have created an awesome new Wii game in "Epic Mickey" but are long time pros at changing the content of their classic films to appeal to modern, crybaby sensibilities.

Yes, I'm calling YOU a crybaby if you get whiny about the use of offensive terms. Generations before you saw these offensive terms in their literature, their cartoons, etc. and didn't turn to acid. The world didn't stop turning, Jesus didn't send down fiery lightening and no one collapsed from the trauma of it all. As long as there's a little something called HOME TRAINING to educate children on why particular terms or comments are offensive to particular ethnic groups, then no one has anything to say about it.

How's about we stop allowing shitheads like this to play brother's keeper and tell the crybabies that if they don't like reading the "n-word" in Huckleberry Finn to not read the book??? Go back to watching "Jersey Shore" and continue being ignorant! Now, we just need a little Darwinian intervention to wipe out the morons who refuse to instill home training or act their ages instead of their shoe sizes.

When I was taking Latin in high school, my teacher said we would NOT violate the masculine & feminine use of words. He said point blank that contrary to today's time, women were NOT equal to men back in the days of Latin so we could not bastardize the entire language to accommodate changed societal standards (I don't think he used the term "bastardize" but you get the idea). Doing so would be denying the past & engaging in revisionist history.

For those not clear on this, revisionist history is a fairy tale. The Bible is more accurate & you know how many people claim that is a work of fiction.

So, if Americans can't handle reading the "n-word" or "injun" in print, how can they watch television shows about teenagers taking drugs, sleeping with most of their circle, harassing mobsters & other scary types or experiencing culture clashes? How can it handle evolved gay characters who don't fit a stereotype & casts that aren't all one color?

My firm belief is that the Americanized version of most British TV SUCKS!!!!!! My mother has been a long time fan of British television. I grew up watching shows like Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, even Absolutely Fabulous. My mom usually found the British shows & introduced us to them. She also watched Keeping Up Apperances, Eastenders, Are You Being Served, etc.

When I first saw Skins, I was impressed by a number of things. Nudity, well developed story lines, a racially + culturally diverse cast, 3-D characters (including a gay character), and a feeling that nothing was taboo or forbidden. The 2nd season of the 1st series even featured an offensive musical about 9/11!!

More recently, I saw Being Human and Pulling. Both great shows though about entirely different things. They went places I could never see American TV going, including a desire not to glamorize the world around them. Americans do nothing BUT glamorize particular things (hello, parenthood & lawyers). If you aren't watching shows on HBO/Showtime or with some kind of indie backing, you're going to see a lot of fluff (Breaking Bad notwithstanding). Funny part is, I know industry insiders who think network television is badly written, badly conceived, etc.

My husband told me of the depressing news that all these shows are getting Americanized. What do I think?

Well, since Pulling is an anti-Friends/Sex & the City/any show glamorizing the single life it will be ruined. If you watch the British version, you're not going to see the fun side of being single.

MTV has also pissed me off by Americanizing Skins. I know the American version will suck since this country is never going to tolerate the things that are commonplace on the British version. However, I'm not shocked by this since I've come to expect this kind of thing from MTV. Seems I'm not the only one who thinks this will crash & burn.

The Americanization of Being Human takes the cake for me, though. The Sci-Fi network (I'm not engaging in their cruddy revisionist spelling) decided to do this one & the casting downright STINKS. First, no diversity at ALL. Second, they couldn't even bother to costume their ghost character differently than the one in the British version. Third, the guy who is supposed to be nerdy is too cute & the guy who's supposed to be brooding looks like anything but.

What really ticks me off is the channel has the nerve to act like THEIR concept is original. It's not!!!

If they Americanize The IT Crowd or Black Books, I may have to write some nasty letters. Heck, I probably won't be nice to you if you tell me you're responsible for the American travesties of these other shows.

Do yourself a favor: check out the BRITISH versions of these shows. Ideally, catch it uncensored. If you have a brain in your head, you'll thank me. Otherwise, be prepared for a vigorous debate justifying your position.

Major networks: get your own damn concepts!!! Leave British shows alone & try looking for new writers/producers/people capable of putting out a great product instead of showing the same old crap that thinking people hate.

Monday, January 3, 2011

And Now...Some More Ranting

Seems no one had a rant so no one gets the prize or a published rant.

Anyhow, time for a few more rants. First up, a naive person seeking a service on Craig's List:

Need a paralegal/writer to help me draft a strong letter (Midtown East)
Date: 2011-01-02, 7:35PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am filing a pro-se grievance against an attorney with the NYS Bar.

I'd like a paralegal/writer to draft it for me.

Written with the aim to suspend/disbar. If this makes you uncomfortable, do not reply.

I am available to do a quick in person interview near Grand Central.
Do you have any experience/success in this type of writing? Tell me your compensation request and how quickly can you turn this around? Locals only.

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: tell me your compensation request-

PostingID: 2140424065

Good luck with that one, slick. First off, how would a writer or paralegal compete with a licensed attorney responding to the complaint? Would the person even know the attorney ethics rules to assess whether this individual even has a complaint to start with?

Second, non-lawyers make lots of complaints about lawyers to the state grievance committee (the proper place for an attorney complaint). In fact, the grievance committee says that the majority of the complaints they get (about 70%+, I believe) aren't even actionable since the attorney in question never violated an ethics rule.

I've had & heard of many experiences with unreasonable clients who can be best described as "nutjobs." Some would file a grievance on you because you refused to lie to the court, pay for the client's filing fees or any number of actions that would violate different ethics rules. Some want to push you to break the law, have improper communications with the judge or micromanage your conduct when you are liable if you go along with it.

Finally, let's consider career suicide. A writer/paralegal who wants to become an attorney someday is not going to win points with other lawyers and firms for writing grievance letters against attorneys, many of which will contain non-actionable claims according to statistics. It would be okay if you worked at a law firm that did it but under the direction of some random non-attorney, who might be a complete & total nutjob?!?!?!? I think not.

If this person were smart, (s)he would talk to a law firm or attorney that handles these matters. A young person who could do this can probably find less difficult & toxic ways to make extra cash.

Today, I read some rather interesting MSN articles. One is about these creationist nuts who want to get tax breaks for their Noah's Ark theme park.

Yes, I think there is a serious problem in giving these people tax breaks. Claiming the park will be non-religious or not require employees to be believers is ludicrous when the same people run a Creationist museum & require such a pledge there.

I say "nuts" because I know plenty of religious people who would not go around creating religious theme parks & try to get tax breaks for it. They also don't foam at the mouth if you talk about evolution or the discovery of fossils. To me, you can simply say God created the process of evolution (you know, started the wheels spinning) & then shut up about it. None of them have ever forced school children to learn creationism or even intelligent design in school by harassing their local school board.

Know what? If you want YOUR child to be ignorant in the ways of evolution or sexual intercourse, then use a religious private school or home school. That's why we have these & I think choice is wonderful. Use it! Don't push your beliefs on other people's kids.

Finally, there's apparently ways you can network on Facebook.

Does anyone else equate the phrase "professional profile" with "bland, vanilla content just like all the other robots?"

I really do. Facebook is boring & lame (along with everything else that's supposed to be a "personal" social network) if you have to put some corporate sheen over your real personality. I say the wheelers & dealers of my field can come find me.

Furthermore, some company pages are bland, boring, vanilla content that don't tell me squat. You give me no insight as to your goals or why I should give a damn about you. I'm not speaking of entertainment companies. Sports, TV, film, many other entertainment folk: overall, we're the masters of originality & making our projects connect to people. That connection can mean the difference between opportunity and being stuck in a car with a dead battery. The same could be said for other forward thinking industries that must satisfy a tech savvy demographic. You have to distinguish yourself from Company #2, Company #3, etc.

However, strict corporate atmospheres or law firms that don't work with the tech savvy or younger people? I'm talking to you. Some of you just join the herd & really take no time to distinguish yourselves from your competitors. It's far more than writing a mission statement & listing your profit record or case wins. Tell me WHY I should care about YOU? What makes YOU different or special from everyone else?

It's no wonder so many seminars & forums have taken place about how to improve bland law firm websites.

I'm also very, VERY selective about who I follow or who I deal with. If I approve a friend request or follow you on Twitter, you should feel proud. It's not an automatic thing with me.

Case in point: I don't follow the bar associations I belong to. I also don't follow things concerning my college & won't friend everyone I knew back in the day. How come?

First off, the bar associations have a ways to go in making me feel like my presence there matters. I won't fan an entity that I'm not so sure values me. Forget any "young lawyers" stuff; if you don't bother to listen to what I have to say or consider my wisdom, then quite frankly you don't deserve my words.

Second, I don't like dealing with all the people I know in real life. Knowing someone doesn't mean I like or even tolerate him/her.

So since I don't have to do a bland, boring, vanilla profile & not doing one actually HELPS me in my career, why start now? The very idea that people are being encouraged to do that bothers me on many levels since it's a form of deception & when everyone's doing the same thing, how do YOU stand out? When do YOU get to have a personality or value something besides some employer? Let me see a personality, let me distinguish you from Pencil Pusher #89,265,794.

I strongly believe that if major corporate interests had their way, we'd have altars & churches to them as well as real life human sacrifices. There'd also be mandatory butt tattoos of the company name on all employees with painful removal if the employee got fired or laid off. If you think I'm wrong, prove it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Getting Back to Normal, Utter Irony & Freebies

Well, seems I'm getting closer to a new day job. Hopefully, it will finally be the elusive day job that will pay me a fair wage, allow me to do new things & not demand me to give up my entertainment work. In fact, I think my entertainment work is actually an asset to this one! Guess it helps when you can talk to people about their business; not to mention how many people are eager to talk to you in my industry if you're an attorney.

So now it seems I've gotten new Twitter followers (one of whom is apparently one of those "evil" private law firm partners) & someone I actually respect got a law firm partnership.

Now, again my utter incredulity at those events takes over. Nearly everything I read & hear about concerning private law firms is that there's no humanity among partners + to become one, you'd better be ready to scrawl the word "Slave" on your cheek while acting precisely like one. Not to mention that if you put in 110%, you'll only be rewarded by getting laid off. It seems my spouse's employer acts in much the same way but you have to deal with even scuzzier people on a daily basis (they're better known as the general public).

I completely wonder how I, an anti-lawyer who is so strong willed, could possibly engage or influence anyone who follows a point of view that might as well be Chinese to me. I know for a fact no law firm would ever hire me unless it was as some insignificant, since nothing I could bring to the table would be valued in that environment.

Can anyone else figure that out?

So I did decide to finally listen to a friend who said I could create a stand up routine w/all my ex stories. Actually, I'm going in the direction of a "one woman show" since I have a venue planned & can definitely talk within the time limit.

The reason I chose to do this is because I didn't want to just be part of the chorus in a bar association performance this year. It's not worth my time to do that since I'm not getting anything else to do where I'm noticeable on stage, I'd have to pay to participate b/c of travel costs & I could do PAYING extra work in that time.

Not to mention that I'll likely be busy attending night events for my day job so I may not even be able to go in the first place.

This open mic attempt will at least be something I can do by myself & if I've paid for travel, I'll at least get to be onstage by myself, create my own act & call my own shots (you'll probably learn things about me & my life that aren't covered in this blog). Considering I have other performance opportunities and actually work in the industry, it's a regression for me to do that when last year I DID have some acting time by myself & proved I could do it well. I don't think I'm being a diva when I want to do more than just be in the chorus. I just see no net gain to me doing the stage equivalent of extra work + paying for the privilege to do so.

One major downside to working as a professional performer is that you view stage performance gigs in a business lens before you ever view them as "fun." If you think about this, a professional can't just perform "for fun."

First off, your resume is dependent on what you do. If you spend all your time doing free work, the world will expect you to do it forever. You're not going to get professional, paying opportunities if you're doing it for free.

Second, things like the bar association or groups that aren't made up of professional filmmakers or other industry types aren't usually going to help you. Industry pros could give you future work or help you later on. Unless some powerful patrons who scout for industry work attend events run by non-industry pros (which only seems to happen on TV), you're not going to get future, professional work. You can be a bar association star but that doesn't mean you'll ever get to Hollywood.

Consider a classmate of mine who was a high school star but is now an actor cliche. I had to cut this person out of my life b/c of the whining about not being famous with no tangible action on this person's part to improve the situation. Yeah, working w/non-professionals was REAL helpful there.

Third, if you are in this business long enough you'll reach a point where it's not worth your time or beneficial to take certain types of roles. I saw one ad looking for a role that would fit me perfectly but there's no way I'd do it for NO PAY when I'd get at least deferred pay elsewhere.

I was very respectful about the fact that I don't offer legal services or acting services for free unless it's for friends & the person who responded was very gracious about it. She acknowledged that everyone gets to a point in his/her career when non-paid work is no longer acceptable & I had no reason to feel bad about laying down those terms.

After that, I thought about it & believe she was probably right. I've done a lot of free performances & it's not like I've lost my touch. Unless there's going to be some meaningful contribution unique to my personally doing something, only industry friends will get freebies. Otherwise, I'm only doing free work that I get full control over.

Oh, and the Your Turn to Rant contest expires Monday. Feel free to send in those rants; go to the entry entitled "Your Turn to Rant" for details.