Warning: Women in the corporate work place might eat you alive no matter what you taste like (even if its overacted daytime soaps)

Working in a corporate environment over the past three years has taught me, if anything, about how mean women can be to each other. It has also taught me that I ultimately don't want to work in this environment. To be sure, all work environments are not without their share of problems and I am sure there will be a huge share in the world of fashion that I am about to enter- where cattiness abounds. The thing with banking is that instead of everyone being ultra, uber bitchy and feminine as they are in fashion (even the men), the women are ultra uber bitchy but trying to act as they perceive men act. This results in an experience similar to that of watching an overacted, horrible, melodramatic daytime corporate soap opera. This particular soap however would not exist because it would SUCK so much that it would flop and be taken off the air in two weeks.

There is a woman at my banking job. She is my former supervisor and, up until this morning, a person who I would have also considered a close friend. We have worked together side by side, day after day, for about three years. One night several months ago I confided in her over drinks, when she was in tears about a work situation, that I had plans to return to school change careers, and hence leave work shortly. This confidence was under the strict understanding that it was only between us and not to leave the restaurant. Today, several months later this same colleague called me into her office and let me know that my boss knows that I am leaving and "she couldn't imagine how she found out," she tried to pin it on another close work friend of mine and said that "...anyways, xxxx(my boss' name) deserved to know earlier than two weeks because she had been a good boss to me and had a business to run." When I asked her if this was her decision to make, and pointed out that I had told her in confidence, she didn't say anything. She did however give me an angry, entitled, I am "doing this for the team" stare. She then more or less admitted that she had indeed let my secret leak when I revealed to her that she was the only one that knew so she could have been the only one to tell the boss (not true- but I knew saying this was the only way to get her to admit her offense). After all, our colleague who she had tried to pin it on has no relationship with my boss and would have no reason to tell her. Stupid error #1 : faulty, poorly thought out lie). Not only did this woman break my confidence, but she lied to get someone else in trouble for it (stupid error #2).

This is not the first time I've experienced similar underhanded maneuvers from women at work. It didn't really surprise me as much as disappoint; another reliable female colleague bites the dust. I did let my ex-friend, ex-supervisor know that I had caught her red handed (stupid error #3: I'd like to think that I am a good contact and good person to know, she is now permanently off my list for anything). I think she was surprised I figured it out so fast. All the color drained from her face and she had no words for the first time in her life. It is sometimes sickening how much women in their mid-thirties underestimate their younger, more attractive colleagues. Oops. Did I just say that? Yup. But really, I am unfortunately not the nitwit a lot of women would LOVE for me to be. This really pisses them off.

The story with my ex-supervisor is that she used to work under my boss and was recently demoted from the supervising position. She is now trying to get back in "good" with my boss by capitalizing on her knowledge of my leaving. This morning I caught her in a lie (stupid error #4: don't get caught, stupid). If she had been more savvy she would have just let my boss know, sworn her to secrecy to keep her name out of it, and I would never have known that she had said a word. Instead, she called me into her office and told on herself: stupid. My boss could have started looking for my replacement, had a jump start on preparing for my departure. All hunky dory. If you are going to try and play hard ball you at least better keep your bases covered. Thank God I am learning through other people's messy mistakes although hopefully I won't ever strive to capitalize on the abuse of others confidence to further my career.


NYC Apt Hunting: Installment I

I have been admittedly absent from this blog lately and - as my mother pointed out to me yesterday- my absence has been during a time when I should be writing the most! Life has been busy, crazy and in upheaval. But I guess what's been keeping me from it is that I've been going through a lot of different things and it is hard to decipher what is blog material and what should be left for my personal diary! I certainly don't want this blog to be a journal- I am a little too private for that and besides, my innermost personal musings are in actuality probably pretty boring . But surely I have many observations and anecdotes that are universally amusing and that I should share with you as I travel on this voyage of my mid 20s emancipation.

Here is installment one of a brief recap: A bit ago I went to NYC for a week to look for an apartment. I stayed with my lovely college friend Ed who always shows me a spectacular time and chats with me for hours about all the sort of musings that I love. I had a great time but unfortunately did not end up signing on anything. I found a beautiful, wonderful apartment in Parkslope, Brooklyn with a rad chick from Cali who writes screen plays and puts on Burlesque shows. Under Ed's wise guidance I decided that the commute would be too long to campus in Manhattan from Parkslope (a good 45min). No luck the first round in finding digs, however all was not lost. What made it all worth it was having some of the most spectacularly socially awkward, strange experiences in apartment hunting, going to roughly three different apartments a day for an entire week and meeting strangers who might let me live with them. My personal favorite apartment hunting experience was one loft I saw in the outer edge of Willamsburg, Brooklyn (ie the ghetto). There, two women, one an artsy Asian and the other an apparently mute French girl who gave me the "eye" and refused to shake my hand, greeted me at the door. A carefree artsy guy kind of joyfully saluted me as he hung from the rafters ADD style. The girls chastised me (only words out of the French chick- the rest was the up and down eye movemnt for the next 10 minutes) for being five minutes early and the Asian chick proceeded to skeptically ask me if I knew what living in a loft was like. I paused, confused, and deciding the right answer was "no" said so with a smile to appease her and she answered, "Well, to live in a loft you have to be VERY open minded". Obviously, I had been deemed as not open minded over the past 30 seconds. If by being open minded she meant being OK with the fact that the make shift second floor might cave in at any second, call me straight laced but I truly was a little scared. I climbed the "stairs" (ie slats of rotting material, could have been wood, maybe not) to see my prospective "room". The "door" to the "room", which was no more than a piece of wood stuck into a gap between a hole in dry wall, left a good window to the hallway overlooking 1st floor below. In the room I found a girl with tats from head to toe, dressed in all black. She gave me a sisterly heart-to-heart gaze and warned me that when the house mates smoked pot, which was normally as frequently as all day long, it seeped through the slats and filled her room with its skunky aroma. I asked her if their partying was a problem- and she answered with a firm "yes...that's why I'm leaving" and this girl didn't look like she was too shy herself of a drinking a Colt 45 and a taking a line or two. When I returned down"stairs" to the glaring French girl and pretty, but personality-challenged Asian girl, the later began an intense interrogation process. She asked me if I had any "habits" she should know about. At that moment I would have killed for some track marks that I could shove in her face or at the very least a crack pipe to pull out of my pocket. Once I offered my reason for moving to New York she informed me that she was ALSO a Parson's student "BUT in graphic design". She proceeded to "let me know" about the Parson's fashion design program, asking me if I was aware of how cut throat it was and what "type" of people attended.... Apparently she had some issues with my future department. She ended our conversation with, if you don't have any more questions for me "you can take off" and take off I did indeed. As I scurried out of the loft, I mused about what it had to offer- all that physical endangerment, tormented female drama (I kind of got the vibe they were both sleeping with Mr. ADD hipster weirdo and were a little threatened that I might want to become numero cuatro in their love fest: no worries there girls- one man has always been plenty enough for me to handle much less two bitchy chics thrown into the mix) and no sleep because the roommates party all the time: all for a sweet price tag of $1000 a month. Happy Day! My friend Stan, who had bravely accompanied me this fine day and had stood beside me, silently, like a rock withstanding the indignity that is NYC apartment hunting, whispered even as we were pretty far away from the building, "Those were caricatures of people". I laughed and agreed...or, I thought to myself, just mid-20-somethings living in NYC: a breed of their own I was beginning to think after this past week of meeting a large random sampling in their own habitats. Scary. I can't wait to get here. The scarier thing is I am not being sarcastic.