Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Office Survival Guide: Meetings Edition

Any office job will require at least the occasional meeting. They are easier once you know what to expect but being the new person and going to meetings can be scary and there are lots of opportunities to screw yourself over.

One on One meetings with your Boss

1. Preparation is key. Have everything you might be talking about printed out and organized. Make a list of all the things you have been working on. This way its easier to see where you are on certain projects and remember if you have any questions.

2. Bring a notebook and pen and write all your next steps down. Hopefully your a much more efficient employee then me and have lots of projects your working on...remembering when you get back to your desk all the things your boss told you to do is MUCH easier when you write it all down. Possibly beside the list you made after step one.

3. Get your questions ready. You have your boss alone for a scheduled time, this is your chance to pick their brain about everything you have been wondering about. sidebar: asking your boss random questions in the day is okay, it shows your working...but if you can wait to ask it during a scheduled meeting time its best.

4. When your new, use these meetings to figure out what kind of person your boss is. Neat? Messy? Married? Sporty? Other jobs they have had? This will help with conversation starters and creating a personal bond with them.

Group Meetings

1. Do not sit at the head of the table. Thats your bosses seat.

2. If you know ahead of time that it is a large meeting, DO NOT SIT AT ALL. For things such as department meetings or large team meetings, the important people sit around the table and you get to lean/stand/sit on something around the room. (we have these counter things that run around the perimeter of the room that everyone who isn't important can sit on, but if no one else is sitting don't just park your butt down on a table)

3. Offer up your seat to anyone with more responsibility then you -if they are standing and your sitting. they probably won't take it but at least they will know you are aware of your scum status in comparison to them.

4. Don't speak unless you are spoken too. At least at first. I know it sounds harsh but you don't know how these meetings are run and an outspoken new person is just annoying.

5. If you feel you have something to say and no one has thought to ask you your opinion, speak up when the topic is nearing a close. Most of the time people will ask, 'any more questions or comments?' this is your chance. don't fuck it up.

6. Sit up and at least appear like you are paying attention. its good to know what other people are working on (this translates to you knowing what skills they have so you can tap into them later if you need them for something)

7. take notes. there is a reason I am telling you to write everything down. when you don't write something down, and then try and remember it later you're going to realize why i am so anal about this.

8. If the meeting is catered, do not take any more food then someone has already taken. first of all you will probably look like a pig, second most meetings won't really start until everyone is finished eating and you don't want to be the person everyone is waiting for.

9. If your starving take the appropriate amount of food at the beginning of the meeting and then wait until the end to take a second run at the food. slowly pack up your stuff so you can grab a few things to eat at your desk. no one will mind and wasted food is a shame.

I think that's it. for now anyway. Have a sunny Wednesday!

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!

and it was lovely.

no more lies, no more bullshit, this is a new start.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Survival Guide: Office Job Edition

this is a list of many things I didn't know or understand before I started my job as a Summer Student in the Marketing Department of a major law firm in Toronto. I can't say what one, as they have crazy blog searching tools and by saying the name of the firm my entire department would 100% be reading this post by tomorrow morning. (and as much as i would love the publicity, this blog isn't the kind of thing I want my boss to read)

I have broken this post down into segments. This one being...


1. Go to the office before your first day. Learning where it is using mapquest is helpful, but at 8:30 Monday morning in the middle of rush hour knowing exactly where you are going is key. Plus this gives you time to scope the area out, see where you might be able to go for lunch ect.

2. Bring your own pens and paper. Unfortunately the first day is when every person decides to unload all of the info you will need for the duration of the job on you. and as great (or not great, in my case) as your memory is, you will be thankful you wrote as much down as possible.

3. Write down names. Just write them down. It will help you remember them.

4. Names are a key part of business. I don't care what business school says about getting an education, remembering someone's name right away will impress the hell out of them.

5. Wear a black/dark shirt. Your sweaty armpits will be less noticable.

6. Wear your most comfortable appropriate heels/shoes, your going to do a lot of walking around and meeting people. you don't want to be slouchy and limpy.

7. Don't EVER ever ever take that smile off your face. they have accepted you into thier office kingdom and you better bloody well be exstatic to be working there. After the first day this rule can slowly be less and less applicable.

8. Don't complain about anything. Just don't. No one cares that your desk isn't by a window, that you didn't get a lot of sleep last night, that the coffee isn't very good. In an office everyone has the shit end of the stick and they don't need the new person reminding them of it. Plus when they have been working there for 8 years and you walk in with a hundred things that suck about the job it doesn't make them feel very good about themselves. Do you really want to work with sad, depressed, unfufilled people? Keep your mouth shut. (bitch to your friends and family they love hearing about that kind of stuff)

Look forward to the Meetings edition, Kitchen/Common Room/Lunch Time Edition, as well as General Random Things that you should know Edition.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

reasons my life isn't as grand as i will lead you to believe it is.

yes this is going to be one of those posts. deal.

-my job keeps me inside all day. 
-i live in a polluted city
-my bank account is at an all time low 
-i need to find another job in a month
-new job=serving again
-i feel like there is nothing special about me
-my apartment still isn't finished being painted
-there is one only person in my life i have never and could never lie to
-i always burn bridges with people who deserve better then that
-i am replaceable
-in tough situations my gut reaction is always to lie
-i've been putting off contacting some people to make things right by telling them the truth
-i'm going to have to take out my first loan soon
-my bike is gone and i don't have the money to replace it
-i live alone and its not nearly as wonderful as i thought it would be
-but if you asked me in person how i like living alone i would probably say something along the lines of "i really like it a lot, i love having time to myself, not clean up after anyone". I'd rather lie then admit i'm wrong.
-living a life of lies is exhausting to maintain. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

I had another dream about you. but this time it was awesome, you were even playing baseball in it so I know it was definitely you.

I can't remember the details now, but you came and defended me against some guy who had started to massage my foot (random i know) instead of pitching so I'm pretty sure your back in my good books according to my subconscious.

any dream interpreters out there?
ps remember when you got mad because they kept talking about the Mexican baseball league? is this the for real logo? I don't really think it is..but it came up five times on the first page after googling 'mexican baseball league'...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Survey Complete

these are really old videos from the manning house. dc is going to come in his pants when he sees these on here. hahaha awesomeness.

No one could pull off a basket quite like you

A tribute to my beloved bicycle...

it was great while it lasted.

you fit me perfectly and even though you were ALWAYS broken i still loved you. maybe i loved you more because i thought i could fix you. show the world your real potential.

i reported you were missing to the police but the chances of me getting you back are pretty slim. why didn't i know you had a serial number? how could i have been so blind? i'm sorry bike.

i loved you bicycle. You were always there for me when it was late and i was drunk and needed a ride home. you never complained when i would load you up with groceries just so i didn't have to carry them. you didn't mind when i would slam on the brakes because i wasn't paying attention to the road and talking on my cell phone...while drinking. and playing the harmonica.

apart from the tantrum you threw after riding you home in the rain (resulting in the front brakes flying off, into traffic no less)(it probably hurt me more then you) i feel like our relationship was always filled with happiness and reckless adventures.

it saddens me that your gone, dear bicycle, but i'm happy for the time we got to spend together.


In HAPPIER news. Guess who is coming to visit this weekend? THIS GIRL!!!!!!!

ps dc you should really work on taking better pics, it took me like half an hour to find one that didn't look like this ..(sorry)...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good afternoon IP address

If you don't know what an IP address is there is a good chance your the person I am talking to.

coming across a really good blog takes a lot of trial and error.

So its a good thing I sit infront of a computer all day, mixed with an ADD inspired generation y internet browsing style.

the computer just isn't what it used to be. don't get me wrong, i think the internet has really started to blossom (12 year old girl reference noted) but its seriously lacking in some parts.

what happened to msn? the real conversations with people. the realest conversations the internet has ever known anyway. now with facebook we are just little mice in the night. scampering over to read about your life, write on your wall. leave a little message, a present for you to find later. hidden looking and untraceable footsteps.

i want the internet to go REAL TIME again. enough of this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

if you need me i'll be sleeping in the freezer tonight

i just noticed my computer is burning hot. like a small log fire on my desk. in case you care my apartment is 6 bagillion degrees right now. So hot I had to wipe cold water on my arms and neck and stand in front of the fan. showering twice a day hot. the thought of breathing cold sterile air when fresh air is soooo awesome keeps me from caving in but its getting tougher.

this is a picture of the sun rising yesterday because guess what? i was awake at 4 in the morning when the sun rises. two days in row now, this heat is making me crazy.

Took my bike out last night for a before bed for a 'please be cold outside because I can't go to sleep feeling this sweaty' stoner trip. it was peaceful. i got some good pictures and my ass got one hell of a workout going up a mountain aka hill. i almost quit halfway up but i figured i had nothing else to do, might as well enjoy the way down starting from the top. my brakes are shit so wish me luck out there.


my mom wants me to get a helmut. even the word is ugly. HELMUT. hel mut. helm ut. probably not going to ever happen.

holy shit my power just went out. thats happened a few times now in this apartment, in the middle of the night mostly. one day i won't wake up for work on account of my shittyshitty amazing internal clock and it will be the most glorious sleep in ever. i miss sleeping in. and naps. being a student plus working in a restaurant plus smoking bowls equals naps.

this shopping cart has been here for at least two or three weeks now. and i kid you not, two minutes after taking this picture this guy walks up and takes it. just throws his back pack into the top compartment and starts pushing it down the sidewalk. like he was just coming home from work and remembers oh shit i forgot to pick up a shopping cart today. fuck. oh look here....okay this joke is over as in never started.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Drive this little girl insane and fly away to someone new

I just woke up from the 'real-est.' dream I have had in a really long time. YOU were in it. yes you, you know who you are.

A girl I didn't know and I were in my house, I am assuming we were roommates or something. I think this girl and I were friends and I didn't feel threatened by her or anything. All I can remember is she had dirty blond hair. She was helping me make my bed when her cell rang. she answered it and you were on the other end. You and her talked for a while and when I asked who it was, she just ignored me.

a little while later, dream time, you came to the door with the supplies to make breakfast. All I remember is you had bacon -whatever that means. I answered the door knowing it was you and you looked right past me to her. All of the sudden she was out the door in her snowsuit. I forgot to mention there was like five feet of snow outside and once she made it outside she was throwing it up in the air and 'swimming' in it. I tried to talk to you but you had no interest in talking to me. I asked you for at least a kiss and instead of walking up one more step to reach me you just told me it would be too hard and just looked at me with no emotion. Snow girl had stopped what she was doing and was looking at you by this time and I got the feeling you didn't want to kiss me because she was there. She starting throwing the snow up in the air again and you turned around to leave. you started playing in the snow with her, laughing and enjoying yourself when two seconds ago you couldn't be bothered to walk up one more stair to kiss me. (in all fairness, I'm not sure why I couldn't go down and kiss you, but I never have full mobility in a dream and I couldn't move standing at the doorway). You and the girl left and I slammed the door shut and kicked it with my rubber boots. I then went running into the house in an angry, hurt, explosion. Once inside I saw a rat on the ground and started chasing it to get it to run away. it ran around in circles with me chasing it until its circle got so small that it was right beside me. I knew what was going to happen before it happened, and the rat bite into my boot with its big teeth.

Then I woke up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next time i'll just write a novel

When i opened my email this morning I had the most pleasant surprise. I was reminded of the existence of an awesome person, the one and only Richard Bingham. This prof is the one that you run into in the hall, buzzing past you to a class he is most likely late to. but thats okay because three punks from his first year class have already come out and found him. Richard Bingham always dresses in a pressed collar and oh yeah, he wears cuff links pretty much every day. the first time he taught our class in first year, it was the most made up class that it got cancelled right after we took it. that didn't mean that it wasn't crazy hard though. we all killed it on the midterm and he had to make up a (and i'm not completely convinced even he knew what he was doing) math formula to bell curve them. I think he got scared after that and made his wife take the exam before we did.

anyway. the point of the this is, that this man emailed me and had a lot to say. my program is creative advertising. do you see that first word there. yep its right there...creative. uh huh. so humber makes up this course creative advertising and pumps it full of marketing courses, stats, random one off courses like organizational behaviour, mass media in canada-bullshit like this. while i'm on a rant i should probably get it out of my system but humber has the WORST elective classes at our campus. just rediculous courses like beauty (i swear to god if i hear wendy o'brien ask what is beauty?kkfdskjdkjld) can't forget about city life with the teacher who grew up in the prairies. Those two courses were last year, I can hardly wait to see my options this year since they never add new courses and after three years you really narrow down your playing field.

Okay rant over. breath. this post is positive i swear. so richard bingham emails our class out of the blue about our portfolios.

"Blunt Assessments: first of two emails.

A note to everyone:
This is about what I see. And what I see is what you show me. It is possible that there are things I’ve got dead wrong here, but I’m working with the data available and subjecting it to my own analysis & interpretation. Your job over the next year is to fine tune what you show to potential employers in the very small window that is a portfolio interview. My job is to make sure that you show them the best possible picture.

It may seem as though I am focusing mainly on the negative. This is true. It’s the negative stuff that concerns me, and that’s what I want to address. And frankly, you are soon going to be facing people in the industry who will not hold back on criticism, so developing a thick skin now is a good idea. It’s not just interviews, either, but every day your work will be subjected to somebody who might just say it’s crap. Or totally love it. Or both.

But mainly what I don’t want is for you to go out unprepared and come back asking me why I didn’t say something sooner. Well -- this is me saying it now.

Finally, I’m sorry I didn’t get this to everybody earlier. (I thought it was important that they all go out at once.) It turned out to be a bigger project than I expected. Next time I’ll just write a novel.



and this is what he has to say about my portfolio and me...

"The good:
Well organized, dedicated, committed, hard-working, good attention to detail.
I think you understand strategy, though you sometimes forget to apply it.
I was very impressed by the work you did on your portfolio.

The bad
But the portfolio pointed up a bit of a problem (something that I think I alluded to when we went over it), which is that I didn’t expect it to be that good. In other words, I actually had no idea you were capable of something so inventive and well-executed. Which is stupid, because I’ve taught you for 3 years now. Part of the problem is that so much group work absorbs individual contributions; but partly because you do not make clear what it is you do well. Or take credit. My sense is you back down a little too easily in groups, and generally have not very much (or not enough) confidence in your own ideas and your own work. (Why, for example, did you not do the ihaveanidea portfolio show? You certainly could have. Should have.)

I suggest:
• You gotta pipe up a bit more, show more assertiveness & push-back.

• I think you need to loosen up creatively. I don’t quite want to use the word “repressed” because it’s a bit loaded, but I have a sense that you self-censor your ideas and pre-reject anything you suspect is too out there. Or maybe it’s the group work thing, because I would say almost the identical thing (and will) to Leah and Julia -- it’s almost like none of you wants to embarrass the others by coming up work that might be uncomfortably daring. (And by that I don’t mean risqué.) Unlike what you did on your portfolio when -- surprise -- you were doing it just to please yourself.

• You need to clarify what you want to do in the business: set some specific goals and be not afraid to pursue them.

• Continue to work on your stuff through the summer. Make up ads on anything that appeals to you. Don’t worry about going to finished artwork, just sketch out lots of roughs of ideas, headlines, copy, concepts. Try for one a day, without worrying whether they are any good. Go for volume!"

I think that last comment was a copy paste add in but overall this pumps me up. its honest and really good to see written down. and hes absolutely right about everything. i'm just a fuzz in class, i'm there but i'm not that active in discussions or initiative.

so i've been thinking. why can't i be more loud, more in your face. i never really thought of myself as a shy person. and i'm not. except for when it comes to sharing my opinions, thoughts, showing something off that i invested a lot of time in. and lets not beat around the bush at it any more..its a fear of rejection. which in this business is 99% of the game.

so i've got some thinking to do. figure out what it is that i am so god damn afraid of. 'fear of rejection' is a band aid. a label. i have to figure out what it really is that scares the shit out of me so much and face it. because i want to do this with my life...i just have to battle myself first, and everything after that will be sprinkles.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

All my friends say that of course its going to get better, gunna get better better, better, better, better, better, better, better

Sunday night of the most beautiful weekend of the summer. spent the days sunning my pasty body at the cottage. drinking fucking sugar syrup aka smirnoff ice. its weekends like this that I remember why I wanted to work a the daily 9-5 grind.

google "how much time to learn swimming" and the first hit is this blog. try it. i swear to god. unfortunately there is no relevant material here about learning to swim. maybe learning to grow up without sinking. whoa, deep. get it? i am fucking on fire here.

someone needs to tell me how to do strike outs when I type.

Heres something I have noticed that grown up people do. they remember shit that happened by the year it happened. "Oh right that was right after I bough my first car, that was in 1967" "Well I was transferred there in 1998". uhhhh I can hardly remember what the CURRENT year is. Do you know the year you finished high school without having to count back? the year you learned to ride your bike? like when all of the sudden does everything become associated to a year? Why is remembering the year important? I just don't understand it. and people do it a lot.

I am going to learn how to solemn ski this summer.

I am going to Cure my apartment this summer. I have been re-re-re-re-reading Apartment Therapy the book to inspire myself into completely shaking up my apartment and its contents to function properly. the first area of business is the closet.

Also I am going to try to blog more consistently. i have a million moments everyday that i think of something witty or intelligent to write about and ...well....we all know this blog is a mumble jumble of random shit, nothing close to the glory it could be if I spent some actual time thinking about posts.

can a 21 year old girl go to a bar by herself and drink? i haven't decided the answer yet. i feel like it is an open invitation for something like date rape or the like. its not that i want to go drinking by myself but going out to eat by yourself is just as bad and more expensive. and then you get into a weird relationship with the server. they are wondering if your a big enough loser to go out and eat by yourself or if they should wait to take your drink order because someone is coming to save your dignity. and then when you politly take a stab at starting a conversation, as you would likely do with someone sitting across the table from you, they peg you as the 'lonely desperate girl, tipping someone in order to have convo's with someone other then her six cats' type.'

and then there is the issue of what to do when your sitting by your lonely self. Book? ipod? magazine? newspaper? people watching? sudoku? I usually opt for the book. BUT always regret it when it comes to eating and reading at the same time. one hand holding the book open. one for your fork. better not have ordered anything that requires cutting or eating with two hands you fool. uh oh time to flip the page. fuck this blog just hit a new low.

so the moral of the story, its socially acceptable to go out and eat by yourself but its a pain in the ass. Drinking at a bar alone...I don't know if i'm ready for that yet. maybe I should try getting a few cats first and then see how it goes.

alright so i know i haven't been holding my weight on the whole blogging consistently thing but there are a few people who KNOW WHO THEY ARE who haven't been doing dick shit on their blogs for quite some time. so this is a call out to get your asses in gear and give me a reason to sign in to blogger and be inspired to write. please.

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