Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Got a Published Blog Post!!!

If you read this blog, you're not going to be all that shocked with it & probably read about it before but I feel it's a topic that is sorely ignored & really shouldn't be.

I actually saw 2 posts on this blog about unemployment & thought they were very well written, cogent and made fine points. Especially this one on how to solve unemployment in 4 easy steps.

This blog author & I have a lot of commonalities when it comes to that viewpoint. If Craig's List ads are any indication, I think respect for employees is sorely lacking among far too many employers. It also doesn't help when you read HR blogs & career service experts constantly espousing the exact opposite viewpoint to #2 in this list.

Now I don't really call myself a liberal or a conservative; I'm more of a free thinker. I won't tell you I'm a political expert or know a ton about economics but I definitely know shady behavior & BS when I see it. It's probably why I don't really "play nice with others" or sit back and let injustice happen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

General Musings, Part 7

The past few days have been eventful for me. First off, I was helping at a fundrasing event for the TV company on Sunday in Harlem (meaning I was gone almost all day). Started going home after it was close to 8 p.m. since I had an hour train ride & a hubby waiting for me. Those of you thinking being married sucks, it doesn't if you married the right person. If you actually like your spouse, you want to see him/her. I couldn't see staying married to someone if you don't even like being around him/her; I can hang around people I dislike anytime. It's called going to a big law firm & seeking out lawyers. Plenty of infuriating people there.

Second, I was getting sick the same day. On Monday I felt awful but still went grocery shopping w/my husband since I'm better at picking out vegetables. I love green pepper (even ate them as a small child) & had a traumatic experience when others selected some for me a few weeks back. I cut one open that was black on the outside. You don't want to know what I saw...I'm pretty certain I saw a living white maggot looking thing inside but I saw some movement, freaked out & threw it away before lingering too long on whether I saw what I did. Not even the worst traumatic experience I had with food but it ranked right up here.

Third, I accidentally lock myself out of my apartment when I go to see if I can actually move my car today. No one was home so I asked someone across the street outside if I could borrow a cell phone to call my husband. I ended up having to drive through Queens to his job to get his house keys. To make this story better, I had on pajamas, a robe & slippers. No purse, no money, no cell phone. I also don't drive around Queens that much so I only half knew where I was going & was freaking out about going the wrong way. FINALLY, I get home. It made me not want to leave my house for a while.

I thought "Thank God I don't live alone or I'd be waiting all day for my landlord, who may or may not have a set of keys to the apartment."

Before you think I'm an idiot, this is the first time it's ever happened since I lived in NYC. This is also only maybe the second time it's happened in my adult life. I've lived in NYC for over 3 years so this is hardly an everyday thing. Everyone's been yukking it up over this whole thing but I do know where to get off to turn around if you go the wrong direction on the Grand Central Parkway.

So I'm thinking w/all the ridiculous Craig's List job ads I see in the jobs & gigs section, it's time to create a feature called "Let's Laugh at This Ridiculous Ad." Maybe I could get readers to send me the links or text to good ones & I'll credit them if I post it. How about it??? Anyone interested?

A few points: The ads MUST be in the Jobs or Gigs section. It's way too easy to rag on personals & missed connections ads. Some service ads might also fit this. If it's just too hilarious to ignore, however, we can discuss it.

The purpose of this exercise, when I'm doing it at least, is to point out the utter stupidity and absurd conduct employers think the average worker is supposed to put up with. Like we're all supposed to jump for joy to slave away as law firm associates for 30K a year in a private practice law firm. Or submit photographs to work as Executive Assistants or jump through ridiculous hoops for a job having nothing to do with the hoop you're being asked to jump through. I see plenty of those in my city that I'd be shocked to see on a or some other legit job hunting site.

Also, tell me why I should give special attention to the ad. I don't know the standards for all industries in the world so enlighten me if something is tantamount to asking for sweatshop labor. I'd like to limit this to the US unless you wish to enlighten me on working conditions in your country & can tell me why the foreign country ad is appalling. Heck, if your labor practices are better & your country has decent paying jobs + both I and my husband are likely to get them, you might get asked to help me & mine get citizenship.

So another ridiculous ad I saw today:

Date: 2010-09-28, 11:47PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

A paralegal intern needed for a busy Bronx law office. The intern should be enrolled in a paralegal program and able to obtain credit for this internship from their institution. If your most recent employment was working in Best Buy or a 7-11 you need not apply. I am looking for real office experience that means that you should be able to speak clearly, write well and legibly, follow instructions, use your own ingenuity, work individually and in group settings, multi-task, and have reasonable computer skills. The internship will be a non-paying internship until the end of your semester (April or May) with the possibility of full-time employment subsequent to the internship term. Intern applicants should be from The Bronx, Lower Westchester or Upper Manhattan. Applicants from Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Michigan need not apply. The reason for this is simple, I want someone who takes this position to live relatively close to the office without the need for a long commute.

So if this post interests you and you feel that you are qualified based upon the qualifications listed above then send me a resume and cover letter for my consideration. Any e-mails coming from cutsy e-mail addresses will be discarded as they are neither cute or professional. Any applicants with resumes with more than one page will be discarded as clearly you are too over-qualified for this position.

* Location: BRONX
* Compensation: Internship for credit at your institution with possibility for full-time employment
* 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: 1979209280

Oh, where do I begin?

First off, there's no need for a "paralegal intern." There are no special skills to learn in an internship to be a paralegal; there's no training to learn. This is simply an attempt to get free labor & violate labor laws.

Second, you want office experience for an internship. Chances are, the person will demand "law firm experience" & if you're supposed to be an intern that means NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NEEDED!!! You LEARN the job in the internship.

Third, it's discriminatory to demand your applicants to live in a particular location. Sounds like implicit classism to me since most of these areas are in more affluent areas of town + the commute is the intern's problem, not YOURS employer. If someone lives far away & can show up on time to work, what's it to you? Are you just trying to weasel your way into demanding the intern to work as many hours as the typical law firm associate or paralegal (50+ per week)??

Oh, yes and I don't see a word about travel reimbursement so not only are you not paying a wage you are demanding someone to PAY to work for you.

Fourth, you're going to tell someone you refuse to check mail from "cutsy e-mail addresses." Very, very vague b/c what's your definition? Anything hinting at a personality of any sort? Clearly, you are one of those douchebag lawyers I would like to see die in some gruesome way rather than one of our beloved comedians.

Finally, I have a hard time taking someone seriously w/respect to e-mail addresses and so forth when the ad writer fails to use proper grammar. Can't spell cutesy & "too overqualified" is redundant. There's only "overqualified." If a secretary or unpaid intern wrote this, it speaks to the lack of quality in this law firm. If you don't care enough to use proper grammar, why should I care about meeting your asinine requirements??

I'm still sorely tempted to answer this one directly but I'll never use a real e-mail address since it's no one's business who I am. They just deserve to know that someone's calling them on their douchebag behavior & that sooner or later, someone else will be taking action.

I also read this article while I was dealing with my life.

This author tries to diminish the importance of networking but by the end, I felt he merely highlighted how important it is in getting a job. Most of the people quoted claim that it is indeed effective. So I'd say the answer to that question is a qualified "Yes." In the entertainment world, it's "Hell, yes!"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Neighborhood Pride

There's been a rant building on this one. It just exploded yesterday, however. Since I don't like writing more than 1 post a day if I can help it, I decided today would be the day to talk about it.

A few weeks back, I went walking through Harlem with some colleagues from the TV company. People in the neighborhood knew them, they knew people. The camaraderie was great! It made me wish I could experience it for myself. Alas, I don't think it will ever happen.

Let me tell you a secret: I have no community or neighborhood I truly consider my own. NYC generally, sure but my own neighborhood? No. I'm not the person who'll proudly tell you where she hailed. I couldn't get out of my hometown fast enough and anyplace else I lived was a temporary way station. Even the area I live now is for me a temporary way station to someplace better. When I was in school, I never understood the concept of claiming a turf. I'd tell people point blank that they could have my neighborhood since I didn't care about it. Why would I?

I lived in a trailer park filled with peers who couldn't relate to me & who liked my sister better. The kids my age who lived there were troublemakers, the kind who'd never leave since they'd be future teen mothers and juvenile delinquents who'd fathered those babies. Hell, most of the town couldn't relate to me!

I was a smart kid who saw something better for herself--a life outside this trailer park and this claustrophobic town. I say "claustrophobic" because everywhere I went, I'd always see people I knew (not necessarily my friends either). I hated that w/a passion. I love major cities because this doesn't happen so much. You can go places and disappear.

I suppose in some ways, I still don't get the concept of turf. I know what it is intellectually but I don't understand the emotional component of it. I don't know what it feels like to have a community to call home, one you'd give your fortune to.

This story in the NY Daily News trying to guilt Jennifer Lopez into giving money to her Bronx neighborhood and the Catholic school she attended, Holy Family School, struck a nerve. Read for yourself.

First off, I strongly agree that no one should be told what to do with money that they earned on their own. I don't care how rich or how famous you are, you do have the right to spend your money as you see fit. Whether I agree or not is a different story.

Second, I'm not a Jennifer Lopez fan by any means. In fact, I could care less what famous people do unless it's going to directly affect me.

Third, who's to say Jennifer Lopez liked this school??

Maybe she feels the same way about it as I feel about my undergrad or my high school. Maybe people didn't appreciate her there; maybe she wasn't Little Miss Popular or felt like she didn't belong. Maybe they tried to sabotage her or treated her mother badly. Perhaps there are hidden things the press and the general public don't know about. Or maybe she has the same views on Catholicism as my husband, who was raised in that faith: that they are hypocrites who should take the gold in Vatican City to help the poor & act more like the true Christians they claim to be.

If one of my schools harassed me to give them money if I became rich and/or famous, here's what the response would be:

Law school - The $ goes to the legal clinic, where I worked since they help people who aren't eating out of trash cans but can't afford $300 an hour for a lawyer; in short, they help the rest of us & I feel the rest of us fall through the cracks way too often. There aren't enough aid programs there!

High school - Perhaps. I had a better experience than in middle school but I do feel like I didn't get as much recognition as I should have. The best part was having older friends but some of the teachers were jerks. After seeing one go into school one day, my mother famously said that we shouldn't have respect for any teacher who won't carry himself/herself in a manner worthy of that respect.

If they got rid of that sexist gym teacher who tried grading on ability & ruining my chances of getting into NHS, the consideration would definitely go up.

Middle school - Maybe. I was still tormented big time, especially in 7th grade. I remember having an English teacher that year who openly said she felt anyone not part of the AG program shouldn't be in her Honors class. I tested for AG in 6th grade & almost made it there. Other people took the test for it in 2nd grade, when I was in private school & AG didn't exist. Apparently she didn't realize that AG means nothing by the time you get to high school and means even less once you get into college. No one ever cared about it or asked again & I've never been pestered about it since.

Elementary school - My private religious school can suck it since I was tormented to no end there, had to deal with a day care teacher who was a total bitch & they had no black kids there since the principal at the time refused to let them attend. Apparently, Asians were fine since I had an Asian classmate.

The other school? Again, not much of a bond. The teacher who was my favorite of all time died when I was in middle school. She'd have been proud of me but I don't think anyone else would have cared. I wasn't tormented here & it was a more pleasant experience so points for that.

College (I'm saving the best for last) - Hell no to blanket contributions!! This place harassed me for not having money, tried to sabotage me multiple times (largely for not being born to money) & didn't give my sorority the resources and support it should have gotten as a new chapter. If it weren't for the Dean of Students at the time, I wouldn't have been able to initially apply to law schools. He even asked me about it from time to time once he helped me out. That guy was awesome to me & I haven't forgotten it.

Different things associated w/them? Maybe. If my old sorority chapter members treated me like a founding member & weren't jerks, they'd definitely get considered. Especially if they'd maintained the good things that were there when I was in undergrad. If they became the later day bitchy girl sorority who'd shun someone like me, then forget it.

The museum I worked at would get something in a second since it was a great job, I was appreciated & they had a lot of hassle to deal with. I also have a bias toward funding cultural institutions & like museums in general.

The psychology department would probably see something based on the professors I had who knew their stuff & were good people. My adviser in particular is a great person so I'd certainly have motivation to help this sector of the school.

If my undergrad wanted a blanket contribution, I'd have these demands:

* Get rid of your racist fraternity ASAP
* Stop preaching about diversity and caring about the needs of diverse students & actually DO something. Don't sit on your ass while Jewish students, LGBT students or anyone else feels too scared to walk on their own school's campus. Take real action. Plus, don't make black people feel unwelcome on the campus since they've got every right to feel that way based on what I saw as a student.
* If the founder of Insurection (an adult store in Atlanta) actually went to the school, take donations from him. Enough w/the puritanical nit-picking about where your donations come from!
* Don't be dicks to my sorority or nasty to the Greeks in general if they didn't deserve it
* Have some valid financial aid for ALL & don't assume that no white person is poor

Once that happens, then we'll talk.

Otherwise, don't dare speak to me about "obligation" or "giving back." I owe you nothing if you didn't help me or just hindered my progress.

I definitely don't feel pride in where I live since it seems 80% of the businesses around me are run by incompetents who lie & waste your time. Is it any wonder I just go to Manhattan to deal with most of my day to day tasks?

My experience yesterday just illuminates this: I had to wait over 15 minutes in my local bank in a long, sweaty line while a supervisor had to oversee every single thing the 3 tellers were doing. This was at 3 p.m. Before then, I'd gone to a local pharmacy that usually doesn't have all I need when I have to get a prescription (which is rare but happens when one gets sick & sees a doctor); they'd told me that they had both items before I walked down there from my house 10 minutes away.

After I get home from the nightmare bank experience, that pharmacy calls to say they don't have one of the prescriptions. I say "So you lied to me about having this when I called earlier to ask you." I relayed the whole bank experience & agreed to pick up my prescriptions the next day to avoid having to go back out in the humid weather.

I make it there this morning & head to a different pharmacy near a different train station. This place was a life saver, had a courteous pharmacist & filled the prescriptions quickly (the other place had told me it would be 3 hours). Even though it's a walk, I'm only going there from now on. The pharmacist I spoke to was even shocked that the other one didn't have the medicine I had to get!

A handful of restaurants and food places are good but some are God awful.

So, if I have to go into Manhattan to do things (don't get me started on the local post office) how do you expect me to have ANY sense of neighborhood pride??? I have very little.

Even the bar associations are better in Manhattan. They at least have committees for my area of practice & viable opportunities for me. I wasn't even contacted on creating a new committee in my local one despite saying I'd be interested & giving out my contact information months beforehand. I even had ideas and plans!! It's also a pain for me to get to the headquarters of the one in Queens vs. those I belong to in Manhattan. Gee, this dampens neighborhood pride for me!! Keep talking about how I should be in my local bar association when I don't even have representation or a voice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

This May Ramble on a Bit

Sorry about that. I just continue to get more and more disgusted by the idea of employees being slaves who should just bend over in the face of crazy hours, substandard work conditions, working off the clock, etc. and say "Thank you sir! May I have another?"

I was reading a Dear Prudence letter yesterday about some guy who was working 12 hour days in the technology field. I often read the comments after stories b/c the wackos or the sane folk come out of the woodwork. I recall reading one comment about someone whose spouse working in low paying service jobs such as in a fast food restaurant & was being called upon to work far beyond what had been initially agreed to.

Basically, this person was working overnight shifts & weekends + 50-60 hours a week all the time after being told initially it would be a once in a while thing.

Know what I think of such situations? You should just tell the person to go fuck themselves (gasp, I used the f-word!) if they expect you to not get overtime or work off the clock. If you're that hard up for a job & need money that badly, why not go rob a bank, sell drugs, or be a hooker? You might as well if you're letting someone screw you over like that. You're just an accomplice to the crime & suffering the harms of it.

It's one thing if you're in an industry or job title where working long hours is common knowledge (say doctor, lawyer, etc.). It's also different if you're building a business where you have ownership interest. Those aren't dead end jobs where someone else is pulling the strings or you're going to face the same type of abuses as you would working at the Wal-Mart.

Well, better if you're a solo lawyer but most would agree that the average BigLaw associate has an overall better job than the Wal-Mart cashier. In most of the "long hours are common" jobs, there are high salaries, great benefits or some other perk(s) to offset the long hours. Quality of life aside, I think most people would take the BigLaw salary.

The thing that really galls me is the attitude of career advice writers, many employers and the average person who think people should act like robots and accept all degradation to their quality of life.

This sums it up a bit.

I think you have a right to know the hours you're working & other roles if you're obviously overqualified for what you're interviewing for & had better speak up or you'll get taken advantage of. The scammer I worked w/apparently referred to me as an intern despite having me do some of the internal legal forms & dealing with investors.

Guess what? You don't get the benefits of my legal license if you're referring to me in all instances as an "intern". Just doesn't work. You get one or the other, not both.

Another commenter to this Dear Prudence column said that all the workers of the world should just rise up & say "no" so that crap stops. I'm all for that considering I believe in treating staff like people. Being the boss doesn't make you Lord and Master over the people you supervise. If you think you are, you need to be demoted. There was also an observation that only the US offers working hours that are akin to those in developing countries.

For a new low to bad employers, I saw this Craig's List ad a few days ago seeking new attorneys:

Newly Admitted Attorneys (Jamaica, NY)
Date: 2010-09-21, 2:41PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Lawyer needed to work in small queens based General Practice firm. Position is open for temporary employment, permanent employment and even part-time for all shifts. Must be licensed in New York and should be familiar with Immigration, Matrimonial and General Litigation work. Must be able to attend court. This environment is very intense. Lawyer must be able to work unsupervised. Resumes can be e-mailed or faxed to: 718-874-2049. No insurance available at this time!

* Location: Jamaica, NY
* Compensation: 30-36k Starting, but with room for Increases.
* 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: 1965977784

The bold is mine. Read it carefully.

Okay, one thing the non-lawyers may not be aware of. When you practice as an attorney, it's generally advisable to have malpractice insurance. The purpose of it is so if an attorney makes a mistake, an aggrieved client can get paid under the insurance policy. Malpractice insurance costs more the longer you practice, presumably b/c you have more clients. Yet the bigger mistakes usually happen when you're a new attorney just starting out.

The cost for my field is prohibitive & when I've asked people in my stage of experience about having it, they say they don't. I definitely don't since it was $2500 a year for entertainment law a couple years ago when I had less than a year of licensing.

To my knowledge, it's not like that in other areas of law. For the more common fields, it's apparently around a few hundred a year (maybe even less than $500 but I wouldn't swear to that being true today).

So basically, malpractice insurance can be a very big deal. There's one school of thought that says it's better not to have it since it fends off the sue happy folk & since most lawyers have the student loan lenders to pay first, sue happy ex-clients won't be able to collect on a malpractice judgment. Probably even more true now that the new lawyer job market is non-existent.

As I don't presume they mean health insurance (usually described as "benefits"). As I understand it, in legal land "insurance" usually means malpractice insurance. Aside from the pathetic salary for an "intense" environment, that is the very first time I have ever seen a job posting in a physical law firm that sought new attorneys but refused to offer malpractice insurance.

Even legal clinics & bar associations offering pro bono (volunteer) work provide the volunteer attorneys with malpractice insurance!!! Oh, and these groups really do need money since they're generally non-profit or get very little funding.

And you want the new attorney to work "unsupervised?!?!?!" If you're a sane person, never hire this firm. With that type of working atmosphere, you're better off representing yourself b/c that lawyer won't know anything or have any real guidance.

What next, will attorneys be demanded to pay for LexisNexis & Westlaw access at some place like this firm?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Censoring Video Games & the Pro-Baby Agenda

I just saw this today & it completely disgusts me that California is spending money appealing this to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Obviously, there are morons who never see those little ratings on the front. What do you think the "E", "E 10+", "T", "M" & so forth are on there for??? Cute little letters?

As someone in the industry, it doesn't take a genius to figure out where I stand on this. Even my own mother, a religious Republican, doesn't believe in censorship & thinks parents need to stop blaming everyone else for their children's misdeeds.

Do not cry to me about how many hours you work, how tired you are at the end of the day, etc. I know single parents who managed to raise kids who didn't become drug addicts, sleep with everyone in sight, shoot people, or whatever "parent nightmare" you can come up with. And do not let your ignorance of the Internet or text messaging be an excuse for YOUR child to create racy profiles & become a target for perverts. You won't find sympathy in this corner and I have a number of friends with children. They would never advocate mass censorship to protect their "little darlings." They'd simply change the channel, not buy the $50-60 video game, not put Internet access in their rooms.

In other words, they'd be a damn parent. It's not the industry's job to cater to your children or create wholesome programming. If a channel or company wants to create wholesome programming, more power to them. They should be able to get some fans. I myself have no problem with wholesome programming if it's not reinforcing all the bad stuff in society or a status quo that shouldn't be in place. For that matter, I don't like ANY programming reinforcing the bad stuff in society or preserving a terrible status quo.

Take a recent movie I keep seeing posters for: Life As We Know It. After seeing the trailer when I went to the movies a while back, the whole idea of that film still bothers me. What is it with all these films encouraging childfree people to breed or have children and never showing unhappiness in them? Why is it that all these films forecast some happy, shiny scene that rational people know wouldn't happen? The male and female lead don't even like each other, but are thrust together to care for a baby.

In real life, a kid thrust in that situation would catch on that (s)he wasn't wanted or the childfree parent resents him/her. Kids are not stupid. Oh, and here's a newsflash: most men don't want to raise other people's kids. Go ask single mothers what dating is like for them and how many men stick by them when they mention their kids.

It also makes anyone who doesn't want to have kids look like some potential convert to the Church of Baby. Guess what? You aren't and weren't childfree if you could be converted.

Oh, and let's not forget that this pisses me off as a feminist. It just reinforces the whole idea that women should just be barefoot and pregnant but can have a little goof off job that never leads anywhere or will be ditched to accommodate the "family." It diminishes any woman who is serious about her career and doesn't want to be thought of as some slacker who'll just leave to get pregnant.

Now what if I went around saying we should censor these films since they harm young girls? I'd be acting to "protect the little children" but wouldn't I just be infringing on the rights of anyone who DID want to see them? Though if you want to see utter pablum, I feel sorry for you. However, I can exercise my right not to watch it. I can choose not to participate in creating a film I find offensive to my feminist sensibilities. I can also create my own content that is realistic, features a good story and counteracts this garbage.

But... I won't try to get the garbage taken off the air since I'm not the world's Mommy and normal people accept that they will not like everything that comes out of the entertainment world. Thankfully, I don't know anyone that ballsy or stupid.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Watch Who You Ignore in School

I'm not a Katy Perry fan but I'd so do this!

Perhaps in my own way, I already do. It just reminded me of this one guy I had a crush on. I had a lot of crushes from middle school to college but this one in particular had an effect on my life. I think you can only have a crush on someone if there's no way in Hell you're going to get that person, at least in your own mind.

After I realized guys actually thought I was worthy to date, I never really had crushes anymore. That was lust.

But back to this crush: let's call him Fling Boy. Sadly, I didn't come up with this nickname. It's the creation of a friend of mine who dated him very briefly; she was a couple years older than him & I never really saw how those two got together. He was also the resident pervert in my class; when I'd bring my Seventeen magazines to school in 8th grade Fling Boy would borrow them from me, presumably to look at the models. That guy also embarrassed me in front of our entire English class by calling me a shortened version of my name after the teacher asked me to read some passage allowed.

My interactions w/Fling Boy were just bizarre. I think everyone was convinced this guy had a crush on me but he swore he didn't. In this poll among our classmates, we even got voted "Should Be a Couple"; I kept that from going in the newspaper b/c I worked on it at the time & the person who did that story was kind enough not to have me be humiliated even more. However, I did get voted "Shyest Girl" (no shocker if you'd known me in those days before Drama Club). Fling Boy had the gall to insinuate that I should get together w/the person voted "Shyest Boy," a guy I thought was repulsive & disgusting. No girl would have wanted to date this guy considering he was a bigger outcast than me (that's saying something) & constantly farted.

As I've said before, if guys tease you b/c they like you then almost every guy I ever met in school was head over heels in love with me. Despite all this public humiliation, Fling Boy was someone I considered a friend. He could keep a secret & he didn't treat me like I was garbage when the bitchy clique girls tried to claim that he liked me when I didn't even know who he was. He also told me about watching "Skinimax" when we were in middle school.

In high school, I started having older friends. One of them was close friends w/the girl who dated Fling Boy. They were also drama folk & encouraged me to get more involved in theater. You have them to thank for my becoming an actress & being confident enough to get on stage.

So in light of all this history I had with Fling Boy and my being a tad annoyed at him being in on my circle of friends even though his close friend was dating another girl in this circle whom I didn't know as well, his dating this one girl in particular still surprises me. I'm also shocked she considered HIM, the resident pervert. She didn't strike me as the sort who'd put up w/that.

I was a little upset, though not in a seething "I'm going to kill you" sense. I just felt I was more suited to this guy since he tormented me so much & there had to be some romantic overtone that obvious to everyone except us. Plus, I looked exactly the same as I do today & a random girl in my school once asked why I didn't have a boyfriend.

One more thing to know about me: I'd never admit to liking any guy in those days. Hell, I was so tormented and teased if I showed any real feelings that I would always deny things if I were asked about them. Do I like that guy? Noooo!!!

Despite this, I think people I knew were wise to it. I'm pretty sure I was freaking obvious since people usually got it right when they asked me if I liked particular guys. Even Fling Boy says to me right before high school "I like you as a friend but not a girlfriend." I'm still obvious today; you'll know if you've made me happy or pissed me off. My face is literally a mirror to my soul.

You know what else was interesting about my interactions with Fling Boy? If I had to be around him in a class or something, I'd want to be away from him but if I wasn't around him, then I had a crush on him. At that time, I wasn't really to sleep with anyone; I never even imagined kissing him.

This friendship changed my senior year. I decided to run for Homecoming. Not to win but because I loved (and still do) being on stage. I was getting positive attention & acclaim when I was on stage; being in the spotlight confirmed I was finally getting respect from my peers. No one taunted or booed me when I sang or acted; I'd get applause. So Fling Boy knows about my father's alcohol addiction & my not wanting to have my father as an escort. You needed that + a sponsoring organization. I got the sponsoring organization in a snap but when I ask this guy, my "friend", to be my escort he says no. Apparently he thinks I'm asking him to marry me or date me.

Uh, no!!! I point out that it's not about him, it's about me. That pissed me off.

Another friend got me a much better escort & a girl who was constantly nasty to me but was privy to the voting told me that I was getting a lot of votes. I didn't win but if it had only been white girls, I think I could have won or gotten second since I had more black friends in this black high school than the other white girls. In fact, it was one of these black friends who went on her own to ask my escort to be my escort. They both have my undying thanks for that. Knowing I got a lot of votes also helped in repairing the emotional damage from middle school.

Fling Boy made me feel like I wasn't good enough for him or couldn't attract guys to save my life. Just as Katy Perry told this guy off on stage, I'd love to do that today to Fling Boy. After all, he considered me too innocent & I think he'd be shocked if he knew about some of the things I've done in my private life. Oh, and he made a big production of saying he preferred Latina girls. Today, I'd tell him I prefer Italian guys. As far as I know, he's not or he'd have been much nicer to me.

My husband wants to ask all these guys who shunned me back then what's wrong with them. He thinks they're mentally defective to not have tried dating me; he figures if he'd known me then, he'd have been way too nervous to talk to me despite my personality. In fact, had we not met online first, he said he probably wouldn't have talked to me b/c I'd be too intimidating to approach. For the record, my husband is Italian.

Maybe when you write pieces of these experiences or create characters like people who had an effect on you in life, you're doing the same thing. There was a lot of unfinished business w/Fling Boy so writing can definitely be the way to resolve it.

But you know what's worse about this story? Years later, my sister says she had a crush on Fling Boy. You believe it? I don't. Last I heard, Fling Boy was in St. Louis. If he starts being buddies w/people I know, then I'm definitely going to conclude that God, fate, karma or whatever force of nature you choose likes to remind me that the world is minuscule.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Arrogance of Some People

Now, I've ranted a lot about people seeking unpaid interns to do high skilled things such as attorney level legal work. But this ad is a brand new low:

Seeking A Pre-Law Undergrad Intern (TriBeCa)

Date: 2010-09-16, 2:39PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hi All,

So I am a full time second year law student at a very good law school in Manhattan. I am also the chairperson of many groups on campus, have a part time job, and a lot of administrative stuff that I always need to do. Lately I have been extremely busy and I have not had time to get all my school work done on top of all the other administrative things I need to do. I am looking to hire an undergraduate intern who is interested in going to law school or is pre-law to help me get some of this stuff done. Although I cannot pay you I promise I won't bore you to death, I won't give you a ton of bitch work, and working with me will be a great experience in learning the ins and outs of doing well in law school. I wouldn't ask you to do my school work either. I would need you to read and review certain cases and certain articles and summarize them for a few papers I will be writing throughout the year. I might also need you to send a few e-mails. In return you would get GREAT experience in the legal field as well as a GREAT networking connection to someone who will be an attorney in a year and half (as well as entrance into my web of legal connections). Surely the most important thing you learn in law school is that is not what you know its who you know. Please contact me if you have any interest. The hours would be extremely flexible and a lot of the work you could probably do from home.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Compensation: no pay

PostingID: 1957431179

God, I just had to respond to this. How come? Well, I'm at a higher level in the pecking order than this person & have managed to do some things that your average person in my situation would never get to do. Here's what I wrote:

You know, honey? Your arrogance just bothers me to no end.

First off, I'm a LICENSED attorney & work in a field that is a million times harder to break into than law. In fact, if I even mentioned the details of what I've been doing and where I'm going, you'd be jealous + impressed. I know since established, veteran lawyers have respect for me b/c of that & I've been admitted less than 3 years in 2 states.

Second, that being said, I am a busy person myself wearing a bunch of hats in the real world. You won't see me or my colleagues posting Craig's List ads presuming some underling like you should be excited and happy to work for us for FREE or rather, PAY to work for us since you'd probably have to travel & we can't afford travel reimbursement.

Third, if you have so many connections, why do you need to bother w/all that you do? Aren't Mommy or Daddy simply going to get you a job once you get admitted? Don't mega firms & other places hire based on nepotism, cronyism & simple good looks if you meet basic standards? In some cases, I understand meeting basic standards in GPA or activities may not even matter.

And if you think you're busy now, just wait until you become a lawyer. Law school is a cakewalk by comparison. The job market also SUCKS for new lawyers unless you've got nepotism or cronyism to fall back on. That, or maybe you're some great hustler. Regardless, you're not going to be able to hack it in the real world if you have to exploit someone b/c you're "too busy" while you're merely a student.

Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Would you want some attorney making YOU work for free & not covering travel once you got admitted? Plenty of firms do that; just look at Craig's List ads in the Legal jobs section.

For the record, this is all true. If you think it's easier to break into entertainment than into law, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I also don't know any new attorneys w/that level of balls or even people in the entertainment industry who wouldn't at least provide you w/travel reimbursement or legitimate opportunities. Even the scam artist I worked for eons ago paid for my travel costs!!!

Any attorney I'd bother speaking to wouldn't pull this crap or I'd have to ream the person out & remind him/her that "You are NOT Tom Cruise, Prince, Warner Bros., or some other famous person/company who might get away w/that nonsense".

For the record, hitching your wagon to a law student is absurd unless you already knew him/her. Law student doesn't = licensed attorney & a JD is no guarantee you'll get to be a lawyer. Hitch it to a newly licensed attorney who can actually appear in court & do legal work.

If you're going to work for free, do it for an employed professional who has some real world experience & can at least give you a reference that a 3rd party will care about.

Oh, and if you read lawyer blogs or comments on ABA stories, you'll learn those scenarios do indeed happen in law firm hiring.

I could have been even nastier but hopefully (s)he is getting enough similar responses that we don't see more of that on Craig's List in the Gigs or Jobs sections. It seems there's a lot more trash on there than there used to be. I've met legit, good people though that site; I owe my start to it.

However, it seems there's a lot more trash there than before & it stinks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Speech, Anyone???

So apparently you can get fired from your transit job for expressing your views. Just ask the mystery Koran burner Derek Fenton.

Now, while I don't agree with burning anyone's religious text (along with peeing on it, puking on it or otherwise disrespecting it) & think the people burning the Koran b/c of this debate are assholes that doesn't mean the NJ Transit department has a right to fire this guy b/c they disagree with his views.

A public statement saying you don't condone this man's actions or that he wasn't representing your company when he did it is fine. But situations like this are why we have a 1st Amendment. Firing someone for this is the same as firing someone for refusing to sign a loyalty oath or being in a Nazi organization. Plus, this isn't a federal employee or someone working in a political office where impartiality is needed. He's coordinating passenger trains, for God's sake!

Unless this man did something discriminatory to Muslims at work, these people don't have a leg to stand on in my mind. There's no law that says you must love ALL your customers & co-workers; could you imagine how life would be if there were, especially if you're a server, retail employee at Wal-Mart or work at some other place where the lowest of the low come out in full force?

Let's think about this being a global trend (and in many ways, it is already), especially in light of the anemic economy. Is freedom of speech in America now reserved solely for the rich? Should you be denied that right because you don't have the money to work for yourself or own a major media outlet? I sure as hell hope not.

I'm sure this man did think twice when it meant his family will probably now go hungry. Does anyone who actually has a conscience and a sense of right and wrong really think that this is acceptable? That is, if you aren't some greedy fat cat or if you have managed to become rich and lose your soul in the process.

What if someone was getting fired for not voting for the company CEO's favored political candidate or not being a Christian with 2.3 kids? This type of firing leads to situations like that. In legal land, we call this "the slippery slope argument". I'm interested to see if this guy files a lawsuit & what a judge will say. The judge will have to consider the slippery slope issue in making a decision & it could have a drastically chilling impact on free speech for the average person.

See why I don't like the whole using social networking to spy on people who work for you or want to work for you. I also don't like that Yahoo is announcing uses of social networks to people right here.

Must we be subjected to some anemic profile or total dishonesty in these things? If we're going all Big Brother on that, why waste time having profiles to begin with? You writers at Yahoo are also making it harder for investigators to do their jobs; don't encourage common sense!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You on 9/11?

I remember this quite well. However, my story isn't nearly that depressing since I wasn't living in NYC & didn't have any family or friends who died that day. Mine's actually a bit entertaining & unusual.

I also avoid any type of ceremony or events on 9/11 since I don't believe in dwelling on all that in lavish public displays, especially when no one gets to take the day off as a holiday; I had enough of the 24/7 coverage when it happened, okay? Maybe it's different if you were in NYC at the time but even my law school roommate didn't watch the media coverage or go to the site & she was a student at NYU at the time.

To set the scene, I have to mention a few things about my life at the time & what was happening that week:

1. I was a college student in Atlanta; if you want specifics, go read my bio. My school was located further away from the downtown area but still had a Marta stop nearby.

2. I was in a sorority. During this particular week, we were having sorority recruitment (rush for you old timers) & my sorority was hosting 2 national staff members who'd flown in to help us w/recruitment. I was living on the floor assigned to our chapter where our guests were staying along w/a few other members.

3. Classes: I had a morning & an afternoon class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The morning class started at 9:50, if I remember correctly. I had a policy of not taking any class before 10 unless it was a Psych class (which this was) & then trying to avoid anything before 9:30. The class was very small, about 6-8 people tops.

4. My relationship situation: I was single & had just gotten back to school after a summer relationship w/Vampire Boy, who'd had plans to move to NYC but didn't have the $ so had been stuck in NC when I'd met him. At the time, he was still saving $ to move from NC. The weekend before, I'd been to a frat party at GA Tech & gotten the phone number of a guy I spoke to for all of 10 minutes; a sorority sister who'd spoken to him much longer wondered how I did it & I don't even know to this day.

5. My television reception was nil & the only television I watched was VHS tapes of shows I'd taped back when I had cable a year or more before. I'm a huge proponent of getting to pick what you want to watch instead of relying on the networks to entertain you. Chances are, it won't happen.

All these things are mentioned for good reason since they shape what personally happened to me on that day.

For those thinking being outside of NYC means you didn't feel the effect of 9/11, boy are you wrong!!! I think major cities definitely felt it; I'll tell you why in a bit.

I go to my early morning Psych class. This is where I hear about the first airplane going through the World Trade Center. It seemed like a made up story until one girl in the class told us that her mother was a flight attendant for Delta & she was trying to find out if her mother had been on the plane that crashed. Our professor & the rest of us were trying to offer comfort, mentioning that she shouldn't assume something bad had happened until she knew for sure. Later, she learned her mother was okay.

It was a very weird class since my professor certainly couldn't do any teaching with all this.

When I go back to my dorm room, the reality of the situation hit me. I go down the hall to the room of 2 of my sisters, which was our common room since they had this large space in their room while the rest of us didn't. If you wanted to be social, this was the place to go. I see every single sister who lived on the floor, our guests & a few other members glued to the TV while the media is reporting the events. We also talk amongst ourselves about the gravity of it all.

It was extremely surreal. I remember the biggest question on my brain & that I even asked was "What's going to happen tomorrow?" We knew things were not going to be the same. To give you an idea of some of the paranoia in Atlanta, the media & people I knew were concerned that there would be an attack on the CDC or something catastrophic was going to happen to affect people in downtown Atlanta.

My own parents were paranoid about me being in Atlanta at the time but I remember my mother saying that even though they were worried, they felt better knowing I was w/my sorority sisters. Everyone was sure Atlanta was going to be next.

In fact, some of my sorority sisters went to GA Tech to go get some of the members of the frat where I'd been to the party out of this fear. I remember seeing one sister's boyfriend (both of whom I was particularly close with) as well as the guy I got the phone number from the weekend before. We get to talking and at one point, some of us went to the McDonalds down the road to get food.

When my sorority sisters returned from GA Tech, we learned that apparently they'd closed GA Tech completely (this was maybe around 11:30-12:30). No announcement was made about our classes until later in the afternoon, when the prayer meeting was held.

9/11 was not one of those days when you wanted to be alone. Not for me, my sorority sisters or anyone we were around, at least. The personality conflicts & issues you had with people vanished that day. Our RA even had a prayer meeting later in the day for students, which we stopped by at.

One thing I also remember doing is calling friends and family. In my case, I called my family as well as Vampire Boy. Vampire Boy didn't really care to talk to me & acted cold, in my book so I was also upset from that. I felt that my presence that summer may have prevented him from being in NYC at the time; he did spend some money to take me out, after all.

So in the context of all this, I end up talking to the guy I'd gotten that number from. He's officially known as 4 Day Guy. At one point, we end up in my room making out & later that night, he took me out for dinner at this sandwich place down the street I'd never been to. Before this happened, I said point blank I didn't do stuff like that w/anyone who wasn't dating me exclusively. So he agreed that we were boyfriend/girlfriend that day before all this happened.

Days after that (while our recruitment was continuing on a smaller scale), I went to his room at GA Tech almost nightly for more making out. Guess when we broke up, or rather when he dumped me??? 4 days later when his frat threw my chapter a Bid Day party for our new members. That made me even more pissed since here I am, introducing this guy as my boyfriend to people & as a member of the sorority their party is for when he decides to dump me in the middle of it. I'd have rather been dumped on the phone so he wouldn't get to see me cry. I did my best to make sure he didn't.

I didn't drive there so I'm frantically seeking money to get train fare so I can leave. Another sorority sister, who'll have my endless gratitude for this, intervenes & sits there while I'm crying. She also offers some comfort & makes me feel better enough to go back out to the party.

This night gets more interesting. I had a sex buddy at the time (who also went to Tech but didn't hang around this fraternity) who I'd not seen in ages & had no way to contact. He was one of those people who seemed to magically appear whenever my life was falling apart or hitting some kind of turmoil. Some of the members who weren't as close to the guys in this frat decide to go back to campus. Considering what had just happened to me, I was eager to get the hell out of there.

We end up going to another party. Guess who I magically see?? You got it, the sex buddy.

Like you'd expect from a sex buddy, this guy also comforted me in more ways than the obvious. We all like having someone around who makes us feel wanted, attractive, and that we didn't deserve to get played like that.

Life tip, though. Never sleep with a guy the night you get dumped, even if you're really hurting. It screws up the getting over the relationship process. A relationship I should have gotten over in 1 week took 2.

4 Day Guy later had the gall to blame 9/11 for dating me. When I pointed out he took my phone number the weekend before it happened, he tried to ignore reality. Later, another sorority sister decided to date this guy. By then, I was dating someone else but I wasn't crazy about having to potentially interact w/him at our holiday party. Even other sisters weren't happy about it. One even called him "4 Day Guy."

You know you've got a good wit when your nicknames for people start catching on w/others who know them. Later, I learned 4 Day Guy should have been called "Short Dick Man" & that I didn't miss much.

Because of the issue with airplanes & flying, our guests probably saw much more of our real selves than they bargained for since they had to stay until they could get flights out of Atlanta (maybe a week later). You can only wear a mask of politeness & discretion for so long. Eventually it falls away & the true person comes out. That's also a reason I think long road trips are a great way to get to know people. I think they sort of blended in with us eventually.

Now, yes I had a very eventful 9/11. It might sound like I was a slut or wild child in college. Not really. No same sex encounters (nearly all my sorority sisters were straight & none of them were exhibitionists--I'm also straight w/a capital STRAIGHT), no drinking (had a shot of Southern Comfort the night I got dumped & immediately threw it up--I hate throwing up) & no sex unless I was comfortable w/the person, there was protection, we were exclusive, etc. Didn't do that sharing shit & no one night stands until much later on. The guys involved in those were guys I'd have wanted to date but for whatever reason, it didn't happen.

However, I definitely took advantage of the fact that guys finally noticed me as an object of desire & I had no visions of long-term relationships or marriage then since I knew I wouldn't stay in Atlanta for life. My whole life at that time supported me not being in a serious relationship or getting tied down.

I followed my mother's guidance on this, which was basically to date enough so you'll know Mr. Right when you see him. Never said I was saintly but I also agree w/some other guidance passed on by a high school teacher of mine, which is to have adventures & do things so you won't look back when you're 60 & say "I didn't do anything." I did things sober most people would have to be drunk for.

I also never did anything I thought I'd regret later. I still don't regret stuff I did. I figure I got my wild oats/adventures out of me & by the time I met my husband, I was all set. That's not even to say I don't still have interesting things happening there; I still think sex is extremely important in a relationship & my husband agrees. You'd never see either of us in a sexless marriage.

The Vampire Boy saga continued later but that's another story.

So that's my fun & exciting 9/11 story. I figured it would be interesting to share years later w/people who weren't alive for 9/11 since it's a bit more interesting that the typical "where were you" stories of major national events.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why Would Your Enemies Say They Dislike You?

That's a question I was pondering today while I was on the subway to 125th St. Yes, I was in Harlem. No, I'm not some elitist crybaby who fears minorities. In fact, some of the people who have been better to me than anyone else were people of color. Due to my circumstances & where I lived, this was mostly black people.

I've never been the sort to fit into any group or association, even among other outcasts. I dated a guy who fancied himself goth/punk but I was an outsider there. I was an outsider among other smart kids, I still think I'm an outsider among other lawyers & apparently, I'm an outsider among female nerds.

These sorts of things happen when you've got a pretty face, a brain and a twisted point of view.

I was talking to the head of this blog about "girly nerds" & this person committed a major faux pas that you don't commit w/me. She lied about her willingness to work w/me. Her initial e-mail claimed to like the writing sample I submitted & that she wanted to do a "getting to know you" phone call as opposed to a "job interview" situation. So, we have this phone call & I'm told I'll hear something back soon.

Weeks later, I hear nothing. Last week, I send a follow up e-mail. I mean to make a call earlier this week but Labor Day happened. So yesterday, it occurs to me that I need to follow up so I know for sure what's going on. After all, I'm starting a gig next Tuesday that's going to take up some time & pay me money while this opportunity might not.

She apologizes for not responding sooner & I have to point blank ask what's going on. I'm told a completely different story about my writing than I was told in this e-mail. When I point out the inconsistency, she tries to stick to her new view. I tell her that I could send her the e-mail she sent me & that I don't like wasting my time doing stuff if it won't be productive. She has the nerve to try arguing so I hang up. When you know someone's being an ass & you've said your piece, it's time to hang up before you tell them to fuck off. I also like getting the last word.

At least she didn't try telling me I'm a bad writer. There are some things I've done enough of & heard enough feedback from credible sources who know what they're talking about that you can't convince me that I can't do them. This would include anything creative that I do & you just look like an ass if you think I'm going to fall for it.

I think most people are pissed off when they can't shove you into a neat little box. I think it must drive tons of people crazy that I don't fall lock-step into one category or one camp. That I don't flash the common signs or go along w/the group if I disagree with something. If I have a problem with someone or something, you'd better believe I'll speak up.

To answer my own question, I think my enemies hate that I don't settle for bullshit along with the fact that I don't fit neatly into some prescribed little box. I think the same people also hate that I don't give a damn about that; I have too much self-respect to worry about the opinions of people who could care less if I live or die. Or at a minimum, people who don't care about my happiness.

Bad business etiquette is stupid to engage in. If I eventually snap & kill people, guess who's going on the list??? No, it wouldn't quite be a real life Serial Mom even though I'm picky about basic etiquette (and I'm not a mom). I'm from the "treat others as you'd want to be treated" camp. And you'd better believe that I have no hesitation in telling you off if you behave like a dick to me; people working w/me have already been warned & use me strategically b/c of this.

One plus to being a lawyer is you can get away with being tough & not taking crap off others since it's part of the persona.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dumping Someone Over Weight Gain

Today, I watched part of the Baggage marathon on Game Show Network. Finally managed to catch some of the new episodes I've not seen (because, after all, my life doesn't revolve around television & most shows are usually rerun again & again & again...). Other entries will give you the show's basic premise if you've never seen it.

One of the contestants had as his biggest baggage that he'd "dumped girlfriends for gaining weight." Oh, do I have some opinions on this one...

Now, let me make it clear that I have no objection to anyone wanting someone to not be a lazy slob. I think we have wide middle ground between sitting on your fat ass & shoveling in the Mickey D's by the fist full vs. spending your entire life at the gym & demanding everyone around you to become a vegan. I also consider myself, a person who can't gain weight for trying. I have no dietary regime & while I do like salad + other so called "healthy" food, I'm no vegetarian or calorie counting maniac either. Nor am I a total lazy ass; after all, living in NYC means you have to exercise from time to time just to get things done or do something fun.

You'd also get laughed out of the room if you told me to lose weight. I've yet to meet anyone in the industry who told me to lose weight. In fact, more people are telling me to gain it. I can't do a massive exercise regime for fear I'd lose more weight & I think moving to NYC already caused me to lose some.

So let's make it clear that I am not the person to talk to about weight matters, dieting or any of that. People have told me they hate me b/c of my metabolism; I'm used to all the BS skinny folk have to go through.

But I have two serious points to make:

1. There are guys with severe delusions about the type of women they can attract. They seem to think they can be bald, weight 500 pounds & look ghastly while models fawn all over them. If you aren't equally matched in the looks lottery, you aren't attracting some super hottie (unless, of course, you had $ but then you'll just get the gold-diggers & do you really want that???) Same guys will bitch & whine about a woman gaining weight while they develop beer guts, sit on their asses all day and generally let themselves go to pot.

2. If you're seeking a long term relationship, it's not going to happen if you're expecting your mate to look the same at 60 as she does at 20. NOBODY does unless they have extensive plastic surgery. Sooner or later, we all get older & we age. Ignore celebrities; they're in the business of looking good. Average people don't have the $ for surgery, personal trainers & so forth.

Some people are still in shock that I married my husband and still love him since I'm apparently too attractive for him. I've told them something valuable that I think also holds true here: when you find someone you have a mental connection with, looks aren't top priority. I'm also the sort who always liked guys that looked interesting. Not ugly & not super-hot (since you want to be valued, right?) but someone you'd look at and figure they have a story to tell.

Know how hard it is to find that mental connection? It took me ages. I actually met my man at a point when I was about to give up on dating. I even got a tattoo years ago to symbolize my belief that I had no soulmate & no one would ever love me in that way. When you spend so much time dating people who don't understand you, you appreciate it when someone comes along & doesn't need you to explain your own mindset all the time. My husband & I understand each other very, very well to the point that people say we're the male/female versions of each other, two peas in a pod, etc.

So you can see why I'd be offended at someone with that viewpoint who claims to want a long-term relationship. If you're casually dating, it's a different story. I think it's a different story on many things if you're just dating & not looking for a future w/someone. I put up w/far more in a boyfriend than I did in a potential husband.

But take it from someone who is as unromantic & cynical about love as it gets: if you find that mental connection w/someone, you better not screw things up.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Short Comments on 2 Articles w/a Serious Rant at the End

Not enough for general musings but I have a couple points on 2 articles then a big time rant.

Apparently, a 21 year old guy got away w/pretending to be a 13 year old & was so good at it he was playing football in a league team for that age group. This guy's apparently a professional con artist or something & now all these people are enraged.

I might feel differently if my child were on this team but I'm more bemused at hearing this story. I think some manager ought to hire him for acting. Casting for children can be hellish & if someone can look that young w/out having to have the special rules, I'd think lots of companies would go for it. Heck, if he's that good he ought to be nominated for an Oscar.

And more utter stupidity.

Now I have no personal hatred against Texas. Many of your residents read this blog & it can't be just the liberal portion since I'm not a liberal per se. Notwithstanding the fact that someone I violently dislike but have never met currently lives there (you wouldn't like this person either), I don't really have a personal beef here.

But...just because you don't like gay marriage or find it immoral doesn't mean you should not allow gay couples to get divorced. It causes a million more problems to make a marriage impossible to get out of if you don't allow divorce to happen. In fact, the right to gay divorce is probably even more important than the right to marriage. Look at how many straight people get divorced. You have to have both or people start using serial killers as an excuse to "accidentally" kill a spouse they no longer want to be married to. Plus, like it or not, gay marriage being legal under government law is inevitable. Many states already allow it.

Even if you don't allow it in your state, Judge, you don't need to create legal nightmares that lawyers will strangle you on sight for causing. Don't you have enough problems w/crazy heterosexual ex-spouses in your courtroom? I would think judges wouldn't go creating more problems in the legal system than we already have. Are you now demanding gay couples to move to some state that allows it for months before they can get divorced b/c that is the result of such an immature & short-sighted ruling.

Finally, this just pissed me off.

Having worked someplace where sexual harassment took place, I have a real problem w/using the term "flirting" when we're talking about the workplace. This woman is telling people that it's perfectly acceptable for women to flirt to get ahead in work: the freaking article is called Flirting Your Way to the Corner Office.

So what are my fundamental beefs w/this idea. Where to begin?

1. I'm married. Now I'm a nice person & I appreciate compliments from time to time. You don't have to worry about me filing a lawsuit because you complimented my hair or my outfit. I'm also quite the humor fiend & can dish out the clever retorts when needed. It's difficult to make me truly uncomfortable.

However...I'm not going to lie to you about being married & how important my spouse is to me. You can have a conversation with me, I can give you advice, we can have a friendship at work & be on good terms. If you think my agreeing with something you say or helping you with a problem means I'm interested in you sexually, think again. We all need friends and allies in the world.

2. The whole concept of "flirting": in my mind, flirting is when you pretend to be sexually attracted to someone when you aren't. I don't think calling someone attractive or saying you'd date them if you were single is really flirting if you mean it. I never say something if I don't mean it. So I'm not a fan of the concept to begin with.

I think you start crossing the line when you write checks your butt can't cover. I was never what we'd call a tease when I dated.

For instance, I'd never give a guy a blow job if I had no intention of sleeping w/him. Now maybe we'd worked it out ahead of time but you'd never see me initiate that & then say "Oh, no I won't have intercourse with you!" I always told guys ahead of time what my intentions were & what I was comfortable with.

I also think flirting is a form of lying. I'm not about to let someone think they're eligible for something that's not on the table. One of my exes actually told me once that I couldn't flirt if my life depended on it. He said I tried but failed. This is probably true. Flirting is one of those things I'm probably too honest to do.

3. The feminist point: earn your own damn way. It would make me feel sleazy to use sex of any type to get ahead. I wouldn't take someone seriously for doing that & I know I'd judge harshly on it. Any common person can rub up on someone; it takes real skill to prove your worth honestly. You won't get my respect or a lot of people's if you try to earn it with sex.

4. Don't attractive people have enough problems already? Must you encourage further stereotypes to make it harder for people like me who don't do these things? I don't want to walk in someplace to have people think I didn't earn it honestly or that I'm going to sleep with them. I'm not Karrine Stephans, thank you very much. Like there isn't enough sleaze in certain fields already. How about we not encourage that shit???

If this was about being friendly, that's one thing. You can find common ground if you look for it. Don't lie about stuff & you won't have to worry about someone misinterpreting you. That clear enough? I'd also be pissed about someone in the workplace doing that & it would make me want to demote the person. Grown ups don't have to flirt.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Reasons to Keep Me Out of the Mainstream Corporate World--My Hair

I saw this article on MSN today called "10 Ways to Be Taken Seriously at Work." Read it for yourself here.

One of these tips is for women w/long hair to pull it up or putting it up.

You know how I look w/my hair put up in a business suit? If I put it in a ponytail, I look like I'm going jogging or to a gym to work out. Headband or clip? My hair's too long for most of them & it doesn't make me look any older. Elaborate updo? I'm white so I can't do that unless I'm going to a formal event & wear it differently the next day. If you don't, you hear rumblings about how you didn't wash your hair. This is where black women have an advantage; my black friends in high school could do that & no one gave them grief. Plus, I don't have the $ for weekly salon visits or a trusted, local salon that won't charge too much or screw up my hair.

Cutting my hair isn't a solution since A) my spouse would kill me as well as anyone working w/me creatively since my long hair is part of my creative persona & B) I'd just look like Molly Ringwald in some '80's movie. I had collar length hair before & I didn't look any older; I just had shorter hair.

Glasses don't even make me look older: they just make me look my nerdy cousin or maybe like I'm trying to imitate Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.

I also refuse to give myself premature baldness by pulling my hair in a ponytail all the time for the Man. Screw him!! This is very true; read about it.

Another tip might as well be called "Be a robot." Good news for me, then. Having a personality is essential in the creative field. All things being equal, I think most people would get rid of a drudge before someone who makes them laugh or feel better about life. Any business owner dealing with clients might wish to have the person who can bring levity to the proceedings & passion as opposed to some button pushing robot. How many stories do you hear about someone in a job who's personable & able to generate more business b/c of it?

Finally, I also believe that none of these writers have ever worked for the government in any capacity or in a union job. Their last little gem of knowledge is completely worthless in the experience of one person I know (Going the extra mile). You don't get praise or recognition for such things in that atmosphere so why the hell do it?

Yes, I admit that I'm very much self-interested & feel any employer will need to impress ME first but based on my personal experiences + stories I hear from others about how going the extra mile only led to ridicule from co-workers & not so much as a simple "thank you" from the higher-ups, I stand by my views. You have to look out for yourself & that means not allowing others to disrespect you. Save those efforts for people who appreciate them, not the clods who could care less.

Other evidence none of these people ever worked for the government? This gem!

There's nothing to do but complain when no one will change anything that's a problem for you & you're being discriminated against in moving upward in my spouse's situation. It's get out or put up with it. Plus, it ignores what happens when the management is nothing but self-interested, greedy assholes who blame unions for workers getting laid off & attempt to blacklist people who aren't butt-kissing cheerleaders. No real solution there unless you know a professional hypnotist who can make someone act like a human being.

Doing a job badly: goes back to the whole "lack of morale/appreciation/respect point." Obviously, this author never had a job like the one in "Office Space" or with any local government.

Avoiding company functions: see a pattern? Unless you can tell the heads of particular departments where to go (and my husband + his co-workers have been warned that I will freely tell these higher-ups some choice things if I ever see them so unless they want me to do that, they'll prevent it from happening), no point. They listen to no one & being another fawning angel is a waste of time. Quite frankly, from what I hear about the HR folks at my spouse's job, I wouldn't trust them to manage a child's lemonade stand.

You're also not making friends when you exclude spouses from things. People's spouses are important to them & if you truly gave a damn about your workers, you'd be wanting to meet and talk to them. They can be great advocates & might encourage someone to do better. How many powerful politicians had spouses who helped them along the way?? I wouldn't want to go anyplace where my spouse was seen as an interloper or unwelcome in anyway. Trashing him is trashing me & vice versa.

So I think there should be some new advocates on things & the old guard in some places needs to pack it up. If someone would invite me someplace where they intended to tell off a truly horrible CEO or management person, I'd love to watch. Please???