Today, I’m going to go where, if you’re a woman, you’re never supposed to go. And that forbidden zone is to talk about the perils of women at work—and specifically, about that most fearsome of office creatures, the bad female boss. “Gird your loins!” Stanley Tucci warns as his tyrannical female boss, played by Meryl Streep, approaches in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Having survived a veritable parade of bad female bosses, my loins are fully girded.
Aware that I’ll now probably have to enroll in the Witness Protection Program anyway, I’ll just come right out and say it: I’d rather work for a man.
Correction: I’d rather work for a man than a wine-guzzling, insecure, jealous woman who’s more focused on rivalry and one-upmanship, or should I say, one-upwomanship, than in getting any actual work done.Which is to say, almost every woman I’ve ever worked for.
Working my way up to director of PR for a major financial company, I had only one good female boss—an erudite woman who embodied grace and truth and principles. She actually wanted me to succeed and did everything within her power to help me. She left two years after hiring me to go get a master’s degree at Harvard.
Aside from that one lovely exception, I was far more experienced in working for glorious train wrecks. I had the incompetent-because-she-was-young female boss, the boss-who-avoided-direct-communication-like-it–was-Ebola female boss, and the really-just-a-lady–who-lunched-but-wanted-to-be-able-to-say-she-had-a-job female boss. Keep reading »
Not long ago, I was promoted to Associate Editor at the local Toronto magazine where I had been working as an Assistant Online Editor. Shortly after receiving the news, I cried at my desk. They were not tears of joy. No. These were snot-is-coming-out-of-my-nose-running-into-my-mouth tears. These were I-am-an-uglier-crier-than-James-Van-der-Beek tears.
My co-worker sent me an email, asking: “Is everything okay?”
It clearly wasn’t.
Amidst curious stares and GChat gossip, I dashed outside to the parking lot and called the one person who, much to my stubborn Capricorn chagrin, always had the best advice: Mom. Keep reading »
A few things are inevitable in life: death, taxes … and dealing with difficult people. From work to friendships to romantic relationships, difficult interactions can hit us from all angles and can take a heavy toll on us.
A few days ago, I was doing some much needed reorganizing and I found this packet from a class I think I took many moons ago. I can’t remember who taught it, but the packet was filled with amazing and hilarious “rules” for dealing with difficult people. Within these humorous insights are perils of wisdom that can help you keep your cool during an argument or any other trying exchange.
I really wish I could give you the source, but no names were written on the sheet so all I have is the information. I couldn’t keep it all to myself though, so here are some amazing (and I’d even say life-changing) rules for dealing with difficult people: Read more…
Back when I worked in a windowless cubicle, I dreamed of being my own boss — no anxiety over running late, no coworkers eating rank food and no shoddy office coffee. To me, a home office was a glistening oasis just out of reach.
Now here I am a year into “working remotely” and it’s poo-poo. I’d snort office Folgers during a dull meeting just to score one annoying coworker. Here are the biggest myths and misconceptions about being a home office drone from someone who knows:
MYTH: More time to hang with friends for lunch, coffee or your general frackin’ around.
FACT: You idiot. Your friends all have real jobs with bosses and things. Even if you did have plans with a bona fide human, you’d behave like a blubbering idiot due to your rapidly-deteriorating social skills. Read more…
My relationship with Anthropologie is love-hate. I love the company’s handpicked, one-of-a-kind eclectic look. I hate the fact that my loving this stuff only underscores the fact that I am in no way unique and that I have been corporate-brainwashed just like the rest of you ladies who just can’t get enough pencil skirts, ruffled tops and bird motifs. Of course I can’t afford to shop there until something goes on sale — at which point all its “whimsical charm” has worn off and the item somehow returns to looking like the junk it was modeled after.
After my latest visit, however, I think my love-hate has officially turned to hate-hate when I left even more offended than the time I saw an Ikea sticker on an item involved in a window display (proving that even Anthropologie is not stupid enough to shop at Anthropologie). There, next to the register, was a sign announcing that the retailer is currently hiring interns. Keep reading »
I have been working in the tech start-up and digital advertising agency worlds for the past six years. These two worlds overlap in a few places—namely social media and the uncertainty of being able to pay their staff in six months. But there is another area where I have seen a commonality so real it has grown from a stereotype to an expectation: the notion that working, all the time—as in 24 hours a day, Christmas Eve and at your kid’s dance recital—is not only normal, but encouraged. Keep reading »
I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time — by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice.
This is how writer Elizabeth Wurtzel begins a piece on TheAtlantic.com entitled titled “1 Percent Wives Are Helping To Kill Feminism And Make The War On Women Possible.”
You know, subtle.
And it goes downhill from there. Keep reading »
When Maeghan Smulders, a 24-year-old from Calgary, graduated from college last June, she had 29 job offers (yep, you read that right: twenty-nine). Did she choose the best one and start working her way up the corporate ladder? Of course not! She was convinced she could find something better, so she launched a “speed interning” campaign, working for free at 10 companies over the span of 112 days. “I really wanted to find an environment that I could really grow in,” she says, and wow, did she find it: after sorting through 18 more job offers (one from each company she interned at, and eight from companies who saw her story on the news), she took a job with Beyond The Rack, a fashion startup based in Montreal that created a new position just for her. “I really hope that this journey inspires other students to not limit themselves upon graduating,” says Smulders. “Be persistent and really search for what you want to do.” As much as I love her message, the internship blitz isn’t a realistic option for all the college students out there who are working multiple (paid) jobs and barely making it. What do you think of Smulders’ job hunting strategy? [The Star]
Modern American ladies are faced with a new phenomenon that has a real chuckle-worthy title coined by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “choosing briefcase over baby.” Us girls are receiving 57 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees and 60 percent of all Masters’ degrees and we’re apparently rewarded for our efforts with a scarcity of “suitable” men to marry. When the ratio of degree-holding women to men drastically changes, women delay baby-making and instead go paper-chasing. Keep reading »