Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shady Ethics & How to Screw Up a Networking Event

I've been having a post in me that I've been dying to get out of me for over a week now. Since doing this full time temp job, it's been my conclusion that the conspiracy Michael Moore was talking about against young people & student loans in Capitalism: A Love Story isn't with the student loan debts. No, I believe that conspiracy is having people work full time & full time+ hours (40 hours a week & more). See I think this is a conspiracy b/c once you're putting in all those hours, you don't have a lot of time to just sit & relax, much less ponder the great questions of life or participate in protests. Case in point: I've not been able to write that blog post that's been sitting there b/c I like having a life away from the computer & have to do little mundane tasks like wash dishes, pick out my outfit for the next day, etc.

So, universe let's get one thing straight right now: I don't need any more signs that the emperor has no clothes on. At least, I don't need this with respect to the great & vaulted BigLaw attorneys (notice my dripping sarcasm here). Here's the story:

Last week, I go to a session of Monday Night Law. I'm volunteering for it at City Bar for my first year, largely because I identify with the demographic it targets. In fact, I come from that demographic. My family & childhood acquaintances aren't living in cardboard boxes & eating garbage out of trash cans but they couldn't afford the market rates for legal services either.

I learn 2 things in my last experience there:

1. A lot of legal aid organizations are utter assholes to lawyers who wish to volunteer unless they come from BigLaw & are seeking pro bono credits. Now, the head of Monday Night Law was saying that one reason these groups have that requirement is because it's easier in terms of malpractice insurance: those lawyers are covered by those firms while I'm sure coverage is less for solos & people from smaller firms.

Okay, good point. Not one I'd have thought of as someone who came from the background. But here's one I bet they haven't considered: psychological studies show that people develop more trust & confide more in those who are like them. This could mean same race, age, gender but most definitely can mean social class.

I'm pretty sure the heads of these groups have ignored the fact that the poor are just as classist & can be just as snobby as any rich person you want to accuse of it. We even saw this play out in Pretty in Pink.

Do you want living proof? My parents, ladies & gentlemen! I've discussed my background pretty heavily here as well as my experiences in college with people whose parents generally had fewer money problems than mine. My parents & certainly many other people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder think "more money = happiness & a problem free life." For them, their problems would vanish if you gave them a few million bucks after taxes. I know this from comments they have made about friends of mine whose parents had more money & I saw it firsthand when my former friend got the house my mother wanted b/c "her daddy bought it for her."

So, do you really think someone like my parents (especially my mother) is going to confide in, trust or take seriously some Harvard/Yale/T10 grad working at Skadden, Paul Weiss or any of those other large outfits? If you do, you're a fucking retard. Sorry but that's precisely what you are.

Now those who've read this blog know that I don't hate everyone who's got money. I also know for a fact there are some BigLaw folks who aren't morally corrupt assholes b/c I have met them. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt & judge them based on their own merits vs. stereotypes & assumptions about groups.

But you can be the nicest, sweetest, most empathetic person on the planet & so long as you're wearing a Rolex, work at one of these big firms or have a six figure salary, someone like my mother isn't going to take you seriously. They will dismiss you as a clueless person at best. At worst, you're going to be thought of a patronizing jerk who's only pretending you give a shit about them so you can get your gold star.

That sort of perception does not make for a relationship where a client will feel compelled to confide in you & certainly won't encourage honesty. I'm talking from real life experience. You don't take someone like me who understands this basic principle & just go for the BigLaw crowd? You're incredibly shitty at running your project & will have zero credibility with the very people you're trying to help. You're just creating an unnecessary boundary between the lawyers & the people you want to help while failing them both.

I didn't pipe up in this conversation but later on, I kind of wish I had. I'm sure if I hear one again, I certainly will & will have to make those points. When I made them with a rep of the National Lawyers Guild in law school, that rep agreed with me.

2. All that fawning you see most of the legal community doing over BigLaw & its ilk? Don't fall for it at all. I learned of a BigLaw cretin who's in the very same bar association who's probably defending the enemies of the Occupy movement who drink champagne while having hobo parties & dressing up like "the poor people" (if this scumbag isn't also participating in that). This guy is apparently violating the ethical obligations of our bar to a tremendous & appalling degree. In fact, this guy should thank his lucky stars I've not become a vigilante (and as long as great stuff keeps happening for me, I won't have to). If I were, I'd have to take him out for the good of humanity, the legal field & on good moral principle.

I would bet a trillion dollars that b/c of this guy's being in BigLaw, the ethics committee would look the other way if he were complained about while they'd go on kicking people out of the field or denying admission to the bar for far lesser things, including having the gall to want to be a lawyer without coming from a family that can provide you a trust fund. I've heard of various committees just looking the other way while people best described as "little shits" did all sorts of things that would make any functional person & maybe a few crazies say "Why would you let that person be a lawyer?" while I get harassed over credit card debt acquired for my basic survival b/c I didn't come from money, can't possibly repay it without getting admitted to the bar & have NOTHING else on my record to criticize.

If you ask me, there's most definitely a different law & standard if you're a lawyer from money vs. one who isn't. I think that's disgusting. I'd like to be proven wrong but this cynic won't be convinced until she stops hearing of lawyers being disbarred for defaulting on student loans & zero word about whether it was because they had no means to repay them (Hello, there's a massive unemployment rate right now in the legal field!) or they had a well paying job, assets, other ways to pay & were just ducking out on them.

Basically, I learned a long time ago not to exalt anyone & certainly not to consider any institution infallible. The emperor isn't just naked to me. To me, the emperor is naked & impotent.

To my husband, the emperor is naked, impotent & masturbating in a corner somewhere.

When I say there's fawning of these types, I don't simply mean special perks or flattery. I'm talking about flattery to the extent that other lawyers are made to feel like second class citizens.

This is how I feel when I deal with most bar associations. In fact, I'm pretty sure this could explain why I & other entertainment law attorneys who aren't part of that snobbery or BigLaw don't deal with bar associations. Let's face it, our jobs are also a hell of a lot cooler than theirs. Most of them also aren't happy if you ask them about it. Gee, would YOU want to go someplace where you were made to feel like a second class citizen? If I didn't personally know higher ups at the associations I belong to who directly told me they welcomed my presence & to be myself i.e. accepting me as my anti-lawyer self, I'd never show up.

On another note of ethics, I'd like to know why pharmacists & their employees are continuing to keep jobs & licenses while playing moral majority when it comes to contraceptives & Plan B. I read this recently about the misinformation pharmacies are spreading to 17 year olds & even their doctors about getting Plan B.

You know, if you have moral objections to Plan B or anything else that could be prescribed to someone it's called "Get another damn job!" If I represented a criminal that I had prejudice against like a rapist or a neglectful mother & then lied about the laws to the client, didn't do my duty & generally didn't "zealously" represent my client, I'd get punished by the state bar. In fact, a lawyer could get disbarred for doing that.

The grievance committee wouldn't let you get a pass based on your religious beliefs, either. They'd say "Tough shit. You are a LAWYER. Your ethical duties as a lawyer to a client trump your religious beliefs. Take on clients you don't have moral objections to if you want to be a lawyer & practice your faith. Otherwise, you're not going to harm these people with your unethical behavior."

I know for a fact pharmacists have to be licensed just like doctors & lawyers. Why haven't those governing boards stripped some people of their licenses for playing God with folks' lives? I don't care if it was a "tech" who did it, either. Lawyers can be punished for the acts of their paralegals & secretaries since they're responsible for those employees (they're considered being under the attorney's watch). Aren't techs also under the watch of the pharmacists they work for? Not being trained properly makes it even worse for the lawyer.

I think even grievance committees in the Bible Belt or other religious regions wouldn't tolerate lawyers doing what I mentioned with clients whose alleged conduct they found morally objectionable for any religious reason. Being a Christian wouldn't give you a pass down there (no attorney I know down there has ever said they could get away with violating that rule because of religious beliefs & I do believe it's incorporated into most of the states as part of the Model Rules) so why does it give you a pass to harm consumers if you're a pharmacist? Anyone want to explain this to me?

A warning to all pharmacists: if you ever refuse to fill a legal prescription for me for "religious reasons," I will be reporting you to your state licensing board & calling for you to get the Hell out of the field. If you do this to someone I know, I will be helping that person report you & they will be super prepared to face you and your moralizing. If I can help it, I'll make sure you are blacklisted from working in any pharmacy in that town & will likely be calling for your head on a platter. You will be famous for your intrusion into my affairs & I'll have to demand you to start paying a portion of my monthly expenses since you want to get involved in my private life so damn bad. How about you cover my Metrocard for starters?

If you want to proselytize, be a preacher. Be a missionary & travel to foreign lands. Don't go into a field where you have responsibilities & ethical obligations to the general public. Otherwise, it makes you far worse than any "sinner" you take issue with. In fact, it makes YOU a sinner; probably even on par with Bernie Madoff or Satan in the flesh.

Lastly, how do you screw up a networking event? Here's the answer:

1. Pick a venue rated "Grade Pending." That's a good way to weed out those wusses who care about their health & don't want to eat or use utensils that could have had vermin crawling on them.

2. Don't bother having anyone to greet your guests. Make them guess where your event is & have to bother the venue employees to find it. Those employees don't have jobs to do or tips to earn; they exist solely to direct YOUR guests.

3. Don't have any signage or indication of your event. No people standing & talking, no one wearing name tags, nothing.

4. Spend all your time just talking to people you know. Don't acknowledge your guests or ask if they are there for your event. Be so good at this, they only get acknowledgement from the server who talked to them before.

5. Don't have any food or drink tickets for the guests. No outside food or even complimentary bites from the venue. No free drinks.

6. Finally, continue doing this over 30 minutes after your event was slated to start. This a priceless way to confuse folks.

See why I went home? Most networking events don't do this stuff. I've been to some where I did make good contacts & met interesting people. But no effort to talk to or even acknowledge me after 10 minutes or so, especially when I'm carrying a laptop I need for my job? Goodbye. Plus, you're competing against my hubby & adorable feline at home. If you can't persuade me to stay someplace despise those two waiting for me, you're not doing a very good job. #5 is negotiable (it's just a nice perk) but violating most of the other stuff is a surefire way to get me & I hope most rational people to leave a networking event.

I think I'm ready to give up on networking events via Meetup. I either get propositioned, ignored or irritated at 90% of them. I've been to one that was really fun & part of that was because 2 of my friends were there (including one who makes these great vegan & gluten free cookies).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blame DC for My Disinterest in Comics

Yes, it was DC Comics that advertised a job my husband would have been fucking perfect for. Trust me, if you've met or even talked to him for about 5 minutes you'd agree.

I had some help here & I, in my great sleuthing skills, managed to get the direct number of the relevant hiring person. After waiting the customary 2 weeks to follow up, I'm told that they already had someone they were going to hire. Basically it was a "this is out of my hands & it's the higher-ups" situation.

I'm not going to shoot the messenger. If he was being straight with me, wasn't patronizing me & actually LISTENED to what I had to say about my beloved, then he's all right with me. He told me that whole spin about how many people want to work at DC & that they got about 600 resumes for this job.

Well, you know what? Tons of people want to work in my industry as well. Even for my company, we could get a ton of applicants if we post a position & we're not nationally known (yet, anyway). I went through the resumes & cover letters from interns; I see it all & know just what people are saying to try to convince me to interview them.

Point is, people can SAY a lot of things. I can tell you I've got an IQ of 180, make a perfect souffle & know how to catch a football. Actually, I can chew 2 pieces of gum at the same time without mixing them together among my various talents but that's beside the point. Action is different from words.

My husband has ACTION to back up why he should be a librarian at a comic book company. He's contributed to web sites that write about particular series i.e. filled in blanks. He's made it a point to get quality comics into one of the largest library systems in the world. If you asked who the go to librarians are for comics in his system, his name would come up in the top 5 if not the top 2.

What pisses me off about DC is the fact that they didn't even give him a chance. I could accept & get over them not giving him a job after interviewing him. However, to give this guy ZERO chance AT ALL at a job he's so obviously qualified for it's ridiculous (in fact, he had more than double the years of experience they wanted as a librarian) is an insult. It's a grievous insult to him & it's an insult to me b/c this is the love of my life & these jerks are just piling on his general dislike of life & desire to do nothing if he didn't need the money from a job. They are no better than the incompetent management he has to work under who refuse to listen to his own supervisors & use rationality to assign promotions.

I'd bet a trillion dollars that either DC hired someone's kid/engaged in some form of nepotism or favoritism for the job or was trying to lowball the wage. He's obviously not going to sell his soul to work there or take a pay cut from a job he already has. What employer is stupid enough to think someone's going to leave a job they can tolerate to take peanuts? I certainly know better than to defy the basic rule of self-interest (it states that people are self-interested beings who are only going to do things that benefit them & that there are no truly altruistic acts); I personally think there's great truth to the idea of there being no such thing as an altruistic act. No employer I've met & spoken to strikes me as being that stupid or arrogant.

So, gee when you don't even bother giving my soulmate a chance at a job he could not only do but excel at to a ridiculous level how likely do you think I'm going to be to do squat for you? How much rage do you think I'm going to have about this? How likely do you think I'm going to be to support your product or put money in your pocket?

I'll answer this for you: we'll be ice skating in Hell first, a ton of rage + don't forget you're dealing with natural redhead rage (which is a LOT worse than regular old rage) & same as the first, plus Jesus will be ice skating with us while giving Satan sexual pleasure (not trying to be blasphemous here, I'm just illustrating the likelihood of my saying anything kind about DC the company).

Let me make clear that my gripe is not with the creators or rank & file workers at DC (unless of course, they were simply patronizing me & didn't care or bother to help me on this). If you haven't personally done something to upset me, you're not on the list.

It's with these higher management assholes who I'll bet didn't even bother reading his cover letter, resume or even considering my husband for this job. In turn, I'm not going to put money in those assholes' pockets.

My husband is not boycotting & claims he's not upset about it. No, that man just has no hope and zero ambition toward it. He's just been told it's impossible for him to do what he wants to do & will never get to work at a comic book company that could pay him a fair wage. Those fuckers have just helped kill his spirit & any professional motivation he might have had for that area. It would serve them right if he did boycott since he's probably contributed a small fortune to their product over the years but as long as he's buying their products used, I don't have any objection.

So if you want me to read comics, I'm not about to support Marvel the price gougers or DC the corrupt slimebags who apparently wouldn't know a deserving applicant if (s)he walked in with a bag of cash & started throwing money around. You'll have to go with something else. Nor will you ever convince me to give a dime to benefit DC (especially if we're talking about conventions they have a financial interest in) since I don't see them rectifying this situation in this century.

If you're reading this as a DC higher up & want to dismiss me or trash me, why don't you try listening to my basic points & letting them sink into your brain? How about proving your competence & showing you deserve to be in the position you're in (you earn respect; you don't get it with some fancy title or high salary)? How about you bother reading up on who I am considering I'm not exactly someone who knows nothing about nothing?

When you've done that, THEN we'll talk about whether I change my very low opinion of you or not (I'm going with a big fat "No" on this one, being the cynic that I am).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Concerts: If Only You Didn't Have to Deal With Those Pesky Fans

I went to a concert on Saturday with my husband. We went to "They Might Be Giants" for a standing room only show at Terminal 5 near CBS Studios. They're a great band & aren't assholes about people taking photographs. Plus, they're just darn talented & have some good songs. You have my husband to thank for my presence at this concert & knowing some of their songs. They also have the ultimate birthday song called "Older."

Their opening act was also surprisingly good & had music that related to the show we were going to be seeing (unlike the mostly crap we had to hear in between acts, which I'll save for the Yelp review). Suzanne Vega even made a special guest appearance for one of their songs!

My history with concerts is very, very recent. Before meeting my husband, I had been to one concert in my entire life. I went to an Eve 6 show in Atlanta in the early 2000s after their big heyday (I believe it was early 2002). I ended up going to that because it was a sorority/fraternity event with my sorority & the fraternity that I have to say I preferred.

For one, they had members who were openly gay (if you read about the racism & homophobia going on at my school + know a bit about frat culture, you know what a rarity that is). Second, they didn't take stuff like Greek Week seriously. They also generally behaved like gentlemen & didn't go around telling people they were gentlemen. One sorority sister I hung out with often was also a little sister there, plus they actually invited me to one of their parties. While I never felt unwelcome at any of the frats except maybe that one brandishing the Confederate Flag, I always felt this particular frat was the one where I'd be most welcome. One of their openly gay members actually told me once that I was weird, even for Oglethorpe. I considered that a compliment since being weird in a small town is easy while being known as weird at a liberal arts school in Atlanta takes effort. These were the kind of guys that would tell you something like that & mean it as a compliment vs. a put down.

Basically, this was the frat on my campus that defied the frat stereotypes much like my chapter was defying the sorority stereotypes. I never felt out of place there & they were a fun group to hang out with. They were also known for having good parties along with another frat who became an ally of ours later on.

Other than that concert, I didn't really go to any. I had a job for 75% of my time in high school (isn't that scary) & even if I'd had time, I had no way to get there since my parents would have had to drive.

Once, a black guy in my English class (this is important to the story) remarks in the middle of class that "All the white people are going to the Garth Brooks concert." I shoot right back "I'M not!" After this, he says "Okay, all the white people except [The Angry Redheaded Lawyer]." I think I said "That's better" or "Thank you."

Besides my general cheapskate tendencies of getting your money's worth (meaning no nosebleed seats for me), I also don't like standing in long lines or dealing with obnoxious behavior. These have been major factors in why I didn't & for the most part don't go to concerts.

Contrast this with my husband, who got to go to a great many concerts in his 20s and went to them in NYC & Long Island. He laments the days of affordable shows & hates the Ticketmaster monopoly. He has lots of stories of concerts he went to; sadly, he had an extra seat for a Pearl Jam show that if he'd known me at the time I'd have killed to use since I was sitting in NC & being miserable at that precise date and year in time. He's in the fan club so if Pearl Jam has a NYC show, we get good seats if we're able to beat the classist ticket buying system that favors whoever has the fastest Internet connection (what else is this but classist). It's truly pissed him off with how shitty that system is. That's more his rant than mine, though I do have some strong views about that.

Which brings me to a primary reason I'm not big on concerts: the fans. Boy, do I have stories about bad fans:

1. At the very first Pearl Jam show I went to, a drugged up guy comes to the end of our row to watch the show. Fine, people do that sort of thing to get a better view. I should mention that at a Pearl Jam show, everyone stands up for the whole thing. I'm no exception here.

This guy decides to sit in my seat. Okay, getting less cool but when I feel tired I can sit in hubby's seat since he's not close to needing a sit break.

Suddenly, I feel this guy's hand going up my leg. I jerk away & give him a look. He apologizes. A guy sitting to our left in the next set of rows chases him away. My husband acts all nonchalant about it while this guy feels my husband should be ready to kick this guy's ass.

I thought that gentleman had a point & immediately took it up with my husband after the show. My husband claimed he didn't want to get thrown out so he didn't make an issue of it. I asked how he'd react if someone tried raping me; would he just watch the show & not bother? I pointed out that if you're going to be married to me, there's a duty to actually stand up for me. Doesn't matter if I can take care of myself or not; it's a principle. Wives are different from girlfriends. When I dated Vampire Boy, he once told me when we were going to a house party that I would be on my own if any guy harassed me. Yes, he was the same height as me & yes, I don't take shit but at the same time, it sounds pretty cold right?

I told my husband that if he ever did that again, we wouldn't be together anymore. Later on, he apologized to me & told me that of course I was more important than his watching Pearl Jam in concert.

Men, if you think you don't have a duty to stand up for your woman if someone attacks her you don't deserve that woman & you sure as hell don't deserve one who is considered a catch by man.

Women, if a husband won't stand up for you, why the hell are you married to him? Even a boyfriend who doesn't do it should be Mr. Right Now. Plus, do you really want to sleep with a guy who probably also wants to cut off your access to contraceptives while wanting his right to pop Viagra by the mouthful when HE needs it?

2. We get to go to one of the Billy Joel "Last Play at Shea" shows since my in-laws didn't want to go & had gotten tickets as a gift. We got some pretty decent seats & could actually move while sitting there.

Unfortunately, we had to deal with some asshole drunk guys who were trying to drag us into a situation with some ladies they were bothering.

3. The Cure concert, located out in the sweaty heat, where we had assholes trying to cut in front of us. I had to elbow a bitch to keep her away from my line of sight. My husband was even more inventive with people trying to block his view.

A friend who went with us, though, ended up feeling overheated and had to get away from the prime viewing spot we got. We didn't get to catch up with her until after the show.

This is not to say all my concert experiences have been bad. We've been to Stephen Lynch, Mary Prankster (who also told me I was skinny) & went to see some random group at CBGB before it closed (so I could have the experience of actually getting to see a band there as my hubby saw Mary Prankster there years before we met).

After going to this concert, though some basic thoughts:

1. No more standing room only shows for us. My husband was in massive pain afterwards & I think it lingered into the next day. I was generally annoyed & we had decent spots but once I had my late dinner, I was fine.

2. If I can't get VIP or otherwise won't be in the cattle line, I'll pass. Sorry but I'm accustomed to & expect a better level of service in such settings, especially in the entertainment realm where I actually work/have contacts. Treat me like a peon & bad things could happen. For God's sake, I get all kinds of offers for special fancy stuff without anyone knowing about what I do for a living & have to deal with people trying to kiss my butt for various reasons.

There's also that whole motivation factor. I'm not motivated if I'm not getting good seats with an awesome deal.

3. Your show must be in a climate controlled area. No reason for me to get sunburned, overheated or die of frostbite.

Remember, I'm not a fan of anyone.

I feel like the setup of concerts is generally designed to play a game called "How Much Discomfort/General Unpleasantness/Annoyance/Total Shit Treatment Can I Subject You To Where You Will Still Come to My Show?" Hearing about my husband's one experience with an ABC concert (the show started at 8, they took the stage after midnight & were pricks about the whole thing) & stories about how Axl Rose didn't show up for Guns N' Roses concerts bolster this belief.

I wouldn't even go to a concert for God under the conditions most people are required to endure to go to the average rock concert. What happened to those legendary shows with great acts where tickets didn't cost hundreds of dollars each for decent seats?

In this current situation, you're just not going to motivate me to go to your concert. If I know you personally & you get me good seating + treatment for a price I consider reasonable without me having to deal with Ticketmaster, long lines or shitty seats, we'll be in business. Until then, I'm going to stick to indie bands that are recommended to me or where I know one of the members.

In other words, an act that isn't made up of pretentious douchebags who think my time is shit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What the Holy Fuck?!?!? Craig's List Ads, Part 3

Before I end up getting busier (meaning even less frequent updates), I've seriously seen some ads lately that make me scratch my head & wonder what drugs these people are on.

First off, some demands for full time internships:

Commercial Casting Internship (Midtown West)

Date: 2012-02-15, 5:27PM EST
Reply to: telseycommercialinternship@gmail.com [Errors when replying to ads?]

Telsey + Co. is seeking commercial interns for the winter/spring! PLEASE NOTE: we are currently only looking for interns to work exclusively with our commercial department.

Interns will be exposed to all aspects of commercial casting and will get a lot of experience in the audition room. Duties include organizing scripts/commercial copy, researching potential talent, helping set up and run sessions, putting out appointments and assisting with administrative tasks.

We are looking for interns who are good with technology and have a strong desire to learn and an interest in commercial/television/film casting. You must be comfortable using a Mac. Knowledge of QuickTime Pro, Toast and Microsoft Word are also a big plus. You should be a team player who is detail-oriented and displays strong communication skills. Directing skills also a big plus.

There is a very high level of responsibility in this internship program. We are looking for full-time, Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm, and a 3- or 4-month commitment, beginning between now and early March. This is full-time, unpaid internship.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to David Morris at telseycommercialinternship@gmail.com and put "Commercial Internship" in the subject line.

Compensation: Unpaid
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: 2853384582

Prop/Art Intern Needed (Greenwich Village)

Date: 2012-03-06, 3:37PM EST
Reply to: djwwm-2888052091@job.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am searching for a prop intern to help full time on a feature film shooting in the city. We're looking to fill this position immediately. Experience is desired but not necessary.
You will be assisting the props department on an independent feature film. The work will include both research/shop work as well as On-Set work. The position requires you to be independent, aggressive and patient. Common sense and problem solving under pressure are critical. The compensation will be credit for your work as well as all the contacts and experience that you'll make working on the project itself. The position is FULL TIME only (with weekends off) unfortunately. Please submit a resume and cover letter.
Thank you.
Compensation: Experience, credit, and contacts
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: 2888052091

And just today, I saw yet another ad seeking a full time intern for help on a feature film shoot. Telsey + Co. is supposed to be legit as I've actually heard of them. That ad just tells me not to deal with them since clearly, they're either into exploiting people or haven't bothered to consult with a lawyer before posting ads that violate state & federal labor laws (aside from being insulting to the 99% who have to pay bills). Neither possibility looks good. No sane business person should strive to be incompetent or a total asshole.

Seriously, folks. Think before you post. Do you want the public to read them & say "Hmmm, how would this company treat ME if they're expecting a total stranger to PAY for the privilege of working full time for them? I bet they'll screw me over as well."

I understand the good of the team and all that but civilized people realize that if someone isn't being given equity, they're just not going to be motivated to do all that much.

To the second company, which is in my turf so definitely something I'll take personally as someone in this business doing the same thing & not wanting my rep harmed by this shit I had this to say:

Are you brain dead? Read up on state & federal laws. FULL TIME internships, which is what you posted here, are illegal. Clearly you're trying to couch this as an "intern" position to weasel out of paying someone who has skills & a financial value in the marketplace.

Saying you want "experience" is further evidence of you trying to exploit people. We aren't stupid.

I have my own entertainment company & when there's lots of work to be done & no $ to pay someone, we don't expect a stranger to work FULL TIME HOURS for us. The CEO doesn't even expect the partners to give up paying work for unpaid work. Most people aren't independently wealthy & have to pay their bills.

There are also plenty of opportunities to network in the entertainment field, get experience & credit for projects without having to work FULL TIME for NO PAY. In fact, I see nothing of travel reimbursement so not only are you insulting people by telling them they are worthless you are adding financial injury by making the person pay $104 a month for a MetroCard to travel for YOUR benefit. My company would never, in a million years, expect someone to PAY to work for us.

Maybe you should consider 2-3 people for 10-20 hours each instead of risking a well deserved crackdown on your business by state & federal labor authorities. There HAVE been crackdowns on this kind of thing.

Want to work with some trust fund baby who lives off their parents & can do this at their expense? Good luck. Even that person would resent you & not care. You may also want to start shelling out for a lawyer since you're going to need one if you think the labor laws don't apply to Craig's List ads.

Oh, and would YOU pay to work full time for a business you didn't own as an INTERN? Would you even work for free FULL TIME for that business (getting your travel costs reimbursed)? If you wouldn't, why should anyone else?

Signed, A Professional Who Knows the Law & How This Industry Actually Works

Yes, ad posters! If you would get mad at me for asking you to work for free or spend money to do something mostly benefiting me, then don't expect others to do it.

Oh, and here's an example of a moron in the legal field with the same attitude:

Assistant to help with paperwork (Midtown)

Date: 2012-02-29, 2:23PM EST
Reply to: rpxkp-2877459060@gigs.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

I'm a young lawyer with a small practice. I need help with tasks such as going to the post office, filing papers in court, retrieving papers from court, making photocopies, drafting letters, etc. In exchange I will train you as a proper paralegal and give you excellent references. The time commitment is 5-10 hours a week.

This is a great opportunity for someone who wants first-hand legal experience without a huge time commitment. The right candidate may evolve the position into something more permanent. In the meantime, all I can offer is training focused on the technical aspects of private law practice.

If you are considering law school, this is a great way to see what you are in for as a lawyer in the "new legal economy."

You must have your own laptop and Metrocard.
Location: Midtown
it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2877459060

Sorry but my altruism has long since evaporated. I definitely responded to this one.

Clearly, you are a younger lawyer than I am or just incredibly naive. I've been an attorney for over 4 years & I'm not arrogant enough to think someone wants to be my assistant FOR FREE. My field is probably also far more exciting than yours & more likely to compel someone to use their personal resources to work for me.

However, the difference b/t you & me is I have integrity. I would not demand someone use their PERSONAL laptop or demand them to have a monthly Metrocard to work for me since that's them PAYING to work for ME; in fact, no one has any business getting an assistant (who's not volunteered to do it) unless they can pay him/her. Those cards cost over $100 a MONTH & only people who already have full time jobs can typically afford them. Think for a second: if someone's got a full time job paying a salary, then why would they work for YOU for FREE?

This is not even an internship in the strict sense of the word: this is just asking for free labor. Even in college, I earned money at my part time jobs & applied for legal jobs offering to PAY for these tasks. This doesn't even sound like something a student could get course credit for.

Maybe I'm horribly jaded since I've dealt with scammers first hand & read some tales about attorneys behaving no better but I would never advise someone do this. If you can't even provide a computer/phone & travel reimbursement, you need to grow up & get used to how life in business actually works.

You're better off asking a friend or family member that gives a damn about you instead of expecting total strangers to fall all over themselves to spend their money to work for YOU. Do YOU like working for free (no CLE credit & not even a travel reimbursement or deduction in taxes)? Would you work for minimum wage for clients? If not, read your ad again & tell me why anyone would want to pay to do this for you when they could do it for free at a legitimate law firm (through a temp agency or applying directly to law firms). Oh, and people DO read these ads & make judgments on you based on how you're treating prospective employees. Expecting them to pay says to me that you're probably shitty to your clients.

Yeah, the Angry Redheaded Lawyer may be many things but an exploiter I am not. I have to wonder who has the balls to post this type of ad; I noticed it was gone very quickly from Craig's List. Hopefully, some other attorneys felt the same way.

Oh, and if I didn't already have motivation not to work in a law firm after reading about the guy who died at 35 due to working constant 20 hour days at a mid-sized firm this ad symbolizes even more why most firms are messed up in their hiring practices:

Stellar-Credentialed Litigation Associate (NYC)

Date: 2012-01-13, 7:18PM EST
Reply to: job-e6hwp-2798757567@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Top litigation firm has a need for a Midlevel Litigation Associate with 3-4 years of litigation experience. You will have the opportunity diversity of matters and a lot of responsibility as the matters are staffed leanly. The firm's attorneys work hard but are very collegial with each other. The candidate who is hired for this position will have top academic credentials (see below) and will also be the right personality fit (though a good personality, alone, will, unfortunately, not make up for less-than-stellar credentials). Please have a JD from a Top 25 law school and a 3.5+ GPA. Please submit resume/law school transcript to be considered.
Location: NYC
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: 2798757567

At least in the entertainment field, your personality matters more than if you were on law review or went to Yale. This sounds like you could be a total fuck up as a litigator practicing law in real life but if you were a law school superstar, it's a-okay. Way to live up to the negative stereotypes, folks!

Then there's the blatant sexual harassment ads:


Date: 2012-01-06, 10:02PM EST
Reply to: gigs-uvvzz-2787302933@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Professional Executive CEO seeking model assistant for everyday needs.

Must Be Open Minded, Young & Fun. Must be able to mix "business and pleasure"

Please send your recent photos, available start date & what are you ready to offer.

Serious Inquires Only
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $1000

PostingID: 2787302933

Please God, let this guy end up with a wicked STD or a woman who'll bite off his dick as soon as look at it (because how many women have you seen posting such ads)! Creeps like that totally deserve such things. As long as we have the Village Voice personal ads & prostitutes, there's no excuse for using secretary & assistant jobs to harass women who need money & don't want to become strippers or prostitutes. I'd like to see a return to the adult section for this smut instead of Talent Gigs. "Professional Executive?" Ha! Maybe "Professional Predator."

It also makes me wonder if we'd see less of this crap if prostitution were legal. Personally, I'm in favor of legalized prostitution with some regulation like mandatory testing for STDs, access to contraceptives (since you don't want your prostitutes getting pregnant & having to take maternity leave), no minors, no kidnapping or forcing women into it & fair splits. You can't deny that people have always & will always have sex + it could be a money maker. Done right, maybe it would make politics more honest if we got over this puritanical mindset & ethos that's threatening to ruin the U.S. as we know it. Even the pimps could be like franchisees & have their own offices.

Finally, we come to people who just have no freaking clue. Consider this budding genius:

Need idea for a new project? ~~Stock Trading Documentary (Financial District)

Date: 2012-03-06, 2:44AM EST
Reply to: rsfpr-2887088642@job.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am 20 years old and coming to New York City for the first time this summer to be an intern at two different currency trading firms.

I have been a day trader with real money since high school. I have been dealing mostly in currencies and stocks however i have also traded bonds and commodities.
I will be living in an apartment and commuting to 7 World Trade Center to intern at one firm, while working for another firm all while continuing to day trade in my free time.

This is a very high paced industry and a documentary following my time in the city this summer could make for a great project if you are up for the task. No compensation is provided.
Compensation: None
This is a part-time 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: 2887088642

This utterly clueless tone compelled me to respond. Here goes:

You need some lessons in how the entertainment industry works:

Lesson 1 - Filmmaking costs money. There's expensive equipment involved, permits, editing, etc. Saying "I'm not offering any pay" isn't going to cut it. Professional company = professional pay. Get the funding if you want this to happen.

Lesson 2 - Offering no money means you will not get interest from a quality film company & this little project won't go anywhere. Hope you've got a friend with a camera. Better yet, you should probably just do a video diary on You Tube since unless you can get permission from these employers to document your exploits, no one's going to care. I find it unlikely that these trading firms are going to let an intern bring in a filmmaker to tape him/her & the insides of their business.

Lesson 3 - If you have no skin in the game, you get no say & no ownership. Everyone has "an idea"; you'll also be signing a release & have no control over the final product unless you are a producer (meaning YOU have to get financing, fund it yourself & otherwise make sure it all comes together). People submit ideas ALL THE TIME. If you have no funds, a stranger's not going to care & if they do work with you, the final product might not be as you'd want it.

If you want this little documentary, go find a friend to do it. They might not mind buying film, renting equipment, doing editing, etc. on your behalf but the rest of us sure would. We have bills to pay & PAYING clients to concern ourselves with.

Signed, Someone Who ACTUALLY Works in the Entertainment Industry

If any professional filmmakers disagree, please let me know. Maybe YOU'D like to pay to work for this guy.

Then there's this person who thinks men are going to get naked for free:

Natural Redheads

Date: 2012-03-06, 8:19PM EST
Reply to: hsx8r-2888569775@gigs.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

I want natural Redheads for a photography project. Men only.

There is NUDITY involved. 21+

This is a non-paying gig. TFP (trade for photos).

Send headshot and brief note if interested and want more information.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 2888569775

I think even men would want money to disrobe. Here's my response:

You expect strangers to do a TFP with NUDITY for NO PAY & you want natural redheads? Why not just ask for unicorns that can sing the score to Avenue Q? That's how realistic your ad is. Nudity is a special event & requires at least travel reimbursement.

Every ad here asking for nudity offers a few hundred dollars for it & that's not necessarily for a group that makes up around 1% of the world's total population.

Yeah, if you want natural redheads (male or female) to get naked for you you'd better be offering at least double the standard rate. Perhaps quadruple. Give the doubles & triples to other minority groups that are less rare but not as common as white folks.

If that redhead isn't Caucasian, the rate goes even higher. Same for natural redheads who qualify as little people. That's basic economics. Rare things cost more.

If you manage to find mentally competent strangers willing to be photographed or videotaped naked for free & never demanding limits on public exhibition of the photos or video, then you're either a genius or have a talent for finding extremely apathetic people (you have to have done this while they were sober). Everyone will clamor for your secret & probably want to be your business partner since you'd likely make a fortune.

Between this & the lunatic fringe lately, it's probably a good thing I've got activities to occupy my time and incentives to use my brain for good vs. evil.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

TV Shows With Profanity In the Title & Back Off the Celebs Who Don't Carry Family Members

While I was taking the subway, I kept seeing those ads for "GCB" which feature a blond woman in what looks like a wannabe nun's habit complete with a cross but no head piece. I said "GCB" ought to stand for "Good Christian Bitch" since I've known a TON of women who claim to be "good Christians" but are actually nothing but total bitches. Some are so bad, they'd put Snooki & all the Kardashians to shame. I'll give them one thing: they have never pretended to be religious. Morally bankrupt, sure but at least they're not telling us they praise Jesus & supporting Rush Limbaugh's recent tirades against Sandra Fluke in the same breath.

Needless to say, I have some deep cynicism when it comes to the Christians.

So imagine my surprise on Friday evening when I find out that "CGB" actually does stand for "Good Christian Bitch!" Either someone's got the same cynicism I have about Christianity born from years of living in a religious household in the South or I'm just that good.

This brings me to another point, though. If you can't even say the full title of a show, why the hell would you include profanity in it? I would be pissed if I were calling my show "God Damn Motherfucking Bitch," for example & you decided to refer to it as "GDMB." That's just stupid. We all know what it says & last I checked, the FCC standards aren't so high that everything MUST be suitable for the sandbox or it's obscene (to paraphrase a quote from a famous U.S. Supreme Court case "FCC vs. Pacifica" which dealt with the airing of George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" monologue during a radio broadcast). From "Sh[symbols] My Dad Says" to "Dance Your A.. Off," it's pathetic.

Here's some ideas:

1. Tell the moralistic puritanical crybabies to shut up. After all, they're causing enough problems right now with trying to rid the world of contraceptives in an effort to stop even married people from having sex. If they're worried about their little children, I suggest they block their access to the Internet, music playing on the radio & home school them.

Finally, last I checked little babies can't read & don't know what "shit" or "bitch" means. Some of these words are even in Bible scriptures, for Christ's sake! What do these idiots do in Bible study, censor the Bible? Personally, I don't want such superstitious demographics watching my show or consuming my work anyway since they're too simple to get it.

2. Change the name to something that's still subversive & snarky without making the religious crybabies get their panties in a knot. You could still call this show for example "The Worst Christians Ever" or "Hypocrites" and still tick them off if they actually know what some of these words mean.

3. Play your show on HBO, IFC or some other network that doesn't cater to little kids or breeder mentalities & that those groups have no business watching in the first place.

The whole Rush Limbaugh controversy is a perfect illustration of why certain people should be fixed & taken to their own island to create their own theocracy. I don't like paying taxes for your little children's school or your Viagra, you know? Nor do I like paying for deadbeats who won't take care of the kids they bring into the world with fewer resources for my family, more danger to my health & well being, etc. Sandra Fluke could have been any fertile woman walking around here: your daughter, cousin, friend, sibling, etc. Even my own niece, who was attending the very same law school as Ms. Fluke.

I was at least lucky to get a tubal but what about childfree women who haven't been? You think it's peachy keen to tell those women what to do when YOU won't be paying for the upkeep, carrying a baby, etc.?!?! Telling people to be lifelong virgins while you'd laugh your ass off at someone who was a 30 year old virgin & laugh even harder as that person got older and kept their virginity. Popular media is certainly not the only group that would get yuks from this.

Funny, but it's not my fault or anyone else's that you're too ugly for anyone to think impure thoughts about. Go work on yourself & stop blaming the rest of the world for your spiritual failings. I know God wouldn't approve.

Speaking of other things God wouldn't approve of, what is it with all these tabloids & people speaking out when some celebrity doesn't let a family member leech off him/her? If it's not Brad Pitt's grandmother, it's Madonna's brother or Jennifer Lopez's alma matter.

Here's a thought: consider your own family. Do you have relatives who've been jerks to you? People who told you they loved you less than other family members? People who were total dream killers & told you "you will never make it" or "you will fail?" Even simply a family member who plays martyr all the time & gets pissy if you don't properly prostrate yourself after (s)he does something you never asked him/her to do?

Aside from the issue of addiction (another very big thing that if you've not lived it, you don't know shit about it or where letting that person go might be the only way), how do you know Brad Pitt's grandmother was some great relative who supported him? How do you know she wasn't some mega-bitch to him who tried sabotaging his career? Not every grandparent is some shining example of loveliness & kindness.

If my own would indeed react the way my mother predicted she would concerning my sister, do you really think I'd bother giving a second thought to such a person's needs? I have a number of family members I don't get along with; me becoming a public figure in any scope isn't going to change that & it won't make me become charitable to them. Nor should I have to. You reap what you sow in this life & guess what? These people don't owe the public an explanation or public apology for not letting someone they share a blood tie with leech off of them. I have some compassion for this as someone from a dysfunctional family & with an alcoholic father. No actor or anyone we ever work with will owe me those explanations & I certainly won't base my opinions on someone as a person or contact on family stuff I've got no knowledge of.

To crystallize this a little more for those of you outside this field, I was at a networking event a few days ago & met someone there who told me about having a degree from an Ivy League school to then go into this business. It made me be happy I didn't have something like that to be hassled over. We were talking about how people outside this business don't get it & are too content doing the easy thing instead of what they'd really want to do. It's sad, really. Do you really think those of us who put ourselves on the line & succeed are going to do a damn thing for you lazy, fearful jerks who want to shove us down? What drugs are you taking? I think there may be some people who'd like to get some.