Monday, May 15, 2006

Really? Do I have to?

On this joyous Monday morning, I arrived at the office sleepily and struggled to start the workweek. Alternating between sips of coffee and bites of an everything bagel (I was supposed to have oatmeal, but it’s Monday…) I logged on to my computer and started reading my email when I came upon this. I must admit that this is the second email with these questions, but I just ignored the first. A relatively new comer to the staff, O has called a two-day meeting tomorrow and Wednesday under the florescent lights of our magazine library. I’ve managed to get almost completely out of the meeting, but can I get away without responding to this email?

Just a reminder. Don’t forget to send me your answers.
Have a great weekend! –K (O’s assistant)

Below are three questions to which I need answers in preparation for our meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please submit your answers to me via email before 12 noon Monday, May 15. Do you know how many things I have to do before noon? Finish my breakfast… make a few personal calls… catch up with my coworkers… check my yahoo account… look at that dress again that I’ve been eyeing at Anthropologie…

1. Tell me something about yourself that no one else attending this meeting is likely to know (but will soon become known to everyone, because we're going to tell them!). This could be a secret hobby/passion (like "I love collecting ceramic frogs"), or superstition ("I always have to sit in row 24 when I fly"), or something from your past ("when I was in 5th grade I marched with my school band in the Rose Parade"), or celebrity sightings ("I was sitting at the same table with Ellen DeGeneris one night"), or anything... Yuck! Are you kidding? I don’t want to share my personal life with these people… urghh… ok… maybe kissing a guy whose claim to fame was a Frosted Flakes commercial…

2. Send me the name of a childhood pet AND the name of the street you lived on as a child. Are we auditioning now as strippers too?

3. Answer this question:
"If I didn't work at XXXXX, and I wasn't working in publishing or communications in any way, the perfect job for me would be..." This question seems a little dangerous… of course this is the only job I would EVER want to do… I would never want to be anything like a… pastry chef… or a painter… or an interior designer… or an architect… or own a boutique… or design shoes… or a clothing stylist… or design handbags… or a jeweler… or have a dog bakery… or a dog photographer (ooooh, those two are good, maybe they could even be combined)… or a children’s book author… a landscape photographer… really what can I say… all I want to be is a photo editor…

Come prepared to talk about (although you don't have to send answers in advance) the following:

1. What are your five favorite magazines and why? Ok, at least this one is easy… although it will probably make me look superficial and dumb… Lucky… InStyle… Domino… Glamour… US Weekly (oh, I can’t go there)

2. What is the funniest/dumbest cross-cultural or cross-linguistic misunderstanding you've ever been a part of or witnessed? (For example, there’s the time Bernard meant to ask for a spoon in a restaurant in Venice when he was first learning Italian, and asked the horrified waiter for cocaine instead...). Are you serious? I mean come on!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

So, the real question is what will happen if I don’t send responses? And what are they going to do with these answers? Are we all going to discuss them in a big group and giggle? I really don’t like sharing anything about my real self with these people… then I might actually be a good employee…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Yes, today is Tuesday and yes, I’m wearing jeans. About a month ago I decided to abandon traditional business attire and wear jeans on days other than Friday. Usually it’s no more than twice a week, typically Wednesday and Friday, but today I thought I’d change it up a bit. You see the thing is, I’m not really breaking any rules. Technically my company doesn’t have a dress code but “relies upon employees’ good judgment in determining dress appropriate to their individual roles and responsibilities.” I’m a creative person, so my dress should reflect that, hence jeans on Tuesday. And I’m not the only one who does it…

But, there is one woman at work (pretty high up) who looks you up and down and seems to scrutinize your outfit while smiling. Unfortunately for me, I just encountered her in the hallway.

“Hi Jessica! How are you?” She says with a giant smile clearly eyeing my outfit.

“Great! How about you?” I reply with the same bright tone.

“Good. Are you flying out to L.A. today?” She asks her eyes dropping to my jeans, clearly looking for a reason.

“No, tomorrow.” Why do you have a problem with my jeans?

“Oh, well I’m sure it will be great.”

“Yes, me too.” I say and copy her up and down glance. Boring (dated) suit, dowdy shoes.

She smiles once more at me and then we both go in opposite directions.

If you’ve got a problem, say something, otherwise keep your rude glances to yourself.

Update: Apparently she does this to everybody, not just me and it may not be a jeans' thing either. I think she is just checking everyone out. Somehow she missed the lessons of the oh-so subtle act of women checking-out other women. This is a highly evolved skill that takes years to master and for some strange reason no one ever taught her. At best, she is no better than a man.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I am the fool you see who walks down the street, absorbed in my own little world and trips. Not just a light stumble that you might not notice, but a completely knock yourself off your balance kind. Although this happens much more often when I’m wearing heels, it even occurs with flip-flops. I guess I just wasn’t graced with… well… grace.

I just came back from an afternoon coffee run and of course tripped on the way back. Thankfully, I didn’t spill any coffee. But how should I react? If I’m with friends or coworkers I usually just laugh it off, but what about when I’m amongst strangers on the street. Do I act like it didn’t happen? I didn’t just almost fall flat on my face? Look no one in the eyes and just start moving as fast as you can? It’s just so embarrassing. I guess the good news is that the same stranger probably won’t see me trip more than once, but then again, why do I care? Maybe I should enroll in finishing school…

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Short Pants

With the arrival of spring, my wool pants feel heavy and no longer appropriate and I start to hunt for last year’s spring/summer wardrobe. I dig out a couple pairs of cotton pants and cotton sweaters, but I can never really figure out what I actually wore everyday for four months. I only seem to have two short sleeve button-down shirts and I find myself wearing jeans to work because I just don’t have enough spring pants. I know I went shopping last year, but what did I wear? Hopefully the mystery can be solved with a through bureau and closet cleaning, but one problem still remains. All of my springtime pants (capris excluded) are too short. They are barely long enough for flats and I know I wore heels last year with these pants. Could I have been walking around all summer with too short pants and not know it? Gasp! And no one told me? Gasp! Has not having a full-length mirror in my house finally caught up with me? I think it has…

Joy to the... Sandal!

Sandal season is here! I absolutely love when spring arrives bringing sunny afternoons, seventy-degree weather and bare toes. My personal sandal season started last week after I got a pedicure on Tuesday leaving my newly polished toes to dance about in open-toed shoes. Now my feet can no longer be confined in structured shoes or socks. It’s strappy wedges and flip-flops for the next four months and the chance to indulge in one of my favorite obsessions: shoe shopping! (Specifically, I'm looking for tasteful bronze or gold kitten heels with simple straps.)

Friday, April 21, 2006


All of my good ideas seem to come when I’m alone and in my own personal zone. The creativity starts to flow and I think I’m brilliant. Oh, that’s a great idea… I have to write that down later. Of course many of these thoughts come when I’m driving or walking or any where away from a computer or pad of paper. When I was younger my imagination would ramble (I used to call them “Anne of Green Gable” moments) when I went on a trail ride with my horse. Suddenly everything seemed so poetic and lyrical. Come to think of it, these periods of time seem to occur when I’m in transit. Strange, but that wasn’t my original point. My point was that I have these little life experiences filled with imagination and emotion and don’t have a way to capture them and my memory gives me no help. I suppose I could get one of those digital recorders, but it just seems so goofy and I don’t know how I could ever transcribe without cracking up. On second thought, maybe my ideas really aren’t that good, but just seem so perfect at the time. Environment can do so much for creativity…


I’m so bored. All week I’ve been so bored at work, actually maybe it’s been weeks. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. I try amusing myself with snacks and runs to the vending machine for diet cokes and even sneaking out for a pedicure, but my boredom is only displaced for a few minutes. I spend way too much time online and have nothing else to search and my intake of celebrity gossip is absurd. What can I do that’s amusing? Is there something fun to pass the time (instead of work)? I’ve got nothing and this post is boring. Why would anyone want to read about my boredom? That’s just boring… at least the weekend is only a few hours away.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My So-Called Life... again

Ahhhhh… I just love the way Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) leans… there’s just something about it. About a month ago, J surprised me with the complete DVD of “My So-Called Life.” Now I have the opportunity to see the wonderfully innocent, yet complicated teenage love between Angela and Jordan again. When MTV ran the series in 1994 it only lasted a season and I haven’t seen it since, so imagine my joy when I sat down to watch the first episode with a young Claire Danes and nineties fashion. It is just fabulous. What I really liked is that Angela isn’t the prettiest girl or the most popular, in fact she is a little weird, but someone I could identify with at fifteen or sixteen. Last night I watched the episode where Jordan decide to acknowledge Angela’s existence in public and actually holds her hand as they walk down the hallway. He’s so hot! I feel all giggly like teenager again… what’s next… an angst ridden romance?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I think I have adult ADD. I’ve thought this for a while, never really followed through with checking it out. In an effort to procrastinate at work today, I decided to look up the symptoms of Adult ADD and came across this very helpful test.


Responses: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Very Often

1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?

Very Often Always! I don’t remember the last project I finished… There was the pillow making business that I was sure would be a success and of course I can't forget my knitting obsession (I know one more!) and then there were the handbags...

2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?

Very Often I like to pretend I’m organized, but then when I actually need to do something I panic and can’t find anything. You should see me try to pack for a trip... 80% chance I forget something important like a photo id or underwear.

3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

Very Often Am I supposed to be somewhere else right now?

4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?

Very Often What am I doing right now? Maybe I should grab a diet coke and finish this post later... hmm... I am hungry.

5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or your feet when you have to sit down for a long time?

Rarely I have no problem sitting still… I’m really quite lazy. Maybe I don't have ADD?

6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?

Rarely Really, never… L-A-Z-Y

According to my “symptoms may be consistent with Adult ADD” and I should consult my healthcare professional. Now will I follow through? No, probably not. Also, does ADD really exist? Could I just be a procrastinator? If it really does exist and I really do have it, what kind of treatment is there? Drugs? Now that would just screw my chances of ever becoming a scientologist...

Oh, what to do...

Meetings, meetings, meetings...

I hate meetings. I hate scheduling, attending, participating or anything else that pertains to meetings. If they are necessary, which I must admit they are, then please be efficient with the time. There is just no need to ramble on about the theory of something no one else cares about. I don’t want to hear your anecdotes or receive twenty pages of handouts that don’t really apply.

From the moment my calendar bings to tell me I have fifteen minutes till a meeting, I dread the hour ahead. At first I question whether or not I really need to be there, knowing of course there is no way I can miss it. Then I begin to strategize about how to make the meeting more bearable. Would anyone really mind if I brought a snack with me? I know it would be against general business etiquette, but still… I’m hungry and bored. The real question is how do I look engaged without really paying attention; a furrowed brow and “you are so right” expression every few minutes while I secretly ponder whether my pants really are too short or just the right length? Maybe, I should spend the time writing lists of everything I need to do, disguising it as note taking with a perma grin? Or I can question what on earth I’m doing with my life stuck in the corporate world and just stare at everyone else at the table with a serious look. Many times all three occur within one meeting, although the last one is a little dangerous. I certainly don’t need to draw more attention to myself (unless of course I’m kissing ass, which is rare) and examining my role in business is never a good thing for the psyche.

“Jessica, what do you think?”

Oh shit… I wasn’t paying attention. One other thing to do during a meeting… write your blog.

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