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Showing posts from May, 2014

Top 10 Reasons I'm Not Sure I Can Ever Return to an Office

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As a teen, my dream job was to write David Letterman's Top 10 lists. In my early 20s, I was lucky enough to find a friend who shared the same sense of humor and for decades now we've been able to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions by exchanging these compilations filled with jokes probably only the two of us would find amusing.

So to pass the time as I wait to hear back from my last interview, I've put together a list of the Top
10 Reasons I'm Not Sure I Can Ever Return to an Office.

It goes a little something like this:

10. Inability to Curb Incessant Swearing

 9. Burgeoning Case of Adult-Onset ADD. (Like I couldn't even follow my son's simple Rainbow Loom instructions. Wait, what was I talking about ...)

 8. Can No Longer Write Unless Wearing Pajamas and Surrounded by Layer Cakes.

 7. Overhead Fluorescent Lighting Causes Severe Gary Busey Resemblance


 6. Superiors Young Enough to be My Children Seems Bad for Already-Subterranean Self-Esteem.

What's Not OK to Say About My 401(k)

You wouldn't think that retirement savings could be a touchy subject ... any yet ... someone said something to me last week that's got me hoppin' mad. (Think Clark-Grisworld-finally-reaching-Walley-World-only-to-discover-it's-closed crazy.)

Anyone who's been laid off and left behind a 401(k) knows he or she has several options:
Keep it where it is if the balance is more than a certain amount Transfer it to an IRARoll it into your new employer's 401(K) (Should you be lucky enough to get another job, especially one with a retirement plan)Cash out (but prepare to lose 20 percent right off the top in taxes and more in penalties) So far I've left behind two 401(k)s from two different employers. Now combined, I still don't have enough to buy a tricked-out Buick but that isn't stopping financial advisers from calling (read: stalking) me.

A little more than a month ago, a woman phoned from a company to which I'd just sent my husband's resume. I answe…

Is the Universe Speaking to Me? And If So, Does It Sound Like Kelly Clarkson?

What a strange morning! Just as I was about to leave for my annual gynecological check-up, which falls somewhere between dental cleaning and death on the "Things-I'm-Not-Looking-Forward-To" spectrum, I received a call about the job interview I had last week.

The recruiter said, from the feedback she'd gathered, things had gone very well. (This would be the first "shocker" I'd receive today.) She asked what my impressions were and if I'm still interested. I was honest and said I am but it sounded like they had a veritable militia of candidates coming through this week. She said, yes, the editors want to do their due diligence and screen all applicants before making any decisions. That's fair, I said. She closed by telling me she'd be in touch as soon as she had more information. So, barring a pack of Woodward and Bernsteins interviewing this week, and the editors finding this blog, I could be advancing to Round 2.

Driving to the doctor's…

I Enjoy Suspense as Much as the Next Guy, But...

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So... my interview...where to begin?

Things were off to a great start. I was able to walk to the train, buy my ticket, hustle two blocks to the correct subway, board it, navigate Manhattan's underground labyrinth and emerge in the correct location - which is the closest I'll ever come to feeling like Lolo Jones.

I met with the man who would be my supervisor and he seemed pleasant...initially. Then I was given a writing test, which, compared with the writing and editing test I took in February, was like adding 2+2 after sitting for the CPA exam. While I worked on it, two additional editors, who seemed very nice and helpful, came in to discuss their roles and my qualifications. Both said they really enjoyed their work. It felt like everything was going fine. Sure, my shoes were pinching like lobsters had attached themselves to my feet, but other than that things were moving along swimmingly.

Then the first guy returned and he was markedly less friendly. I'd like to think t…

Reality Check

Now that the excitement of my debut on "The Chew" has died down, it's time to get back to reality. (Plus, after buying an outfit I didn't get to wear, Mama's got bills to pay!)

On that note, I have an interview tomorrow in Manhattan and though I know I vowed never to cross the Hudson in the name of employment again, I feel like we're running out of options.

Last week, I went for a mani/pedi ahead of my "Chew" appearance. (God, that never gets old!) It was about 4 p.m. and the lady who was tasked with sloughing 5lbs of dead skin off the veritable horse hooves that are my feet asked who was watching my children.

"They're with my husband," I said.

"Oh, he came home early?" she asked.

"Well, actually..." I hit her with our saga, which, much like getting a genital piercing I imagine, never gets less uncomfortable.

At first, her face crumpled and she looked sad. "When did he lose his job?" she asked.

"He w…

And the Winner Is...

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If you'd like to watch me make coconut macaroons and a fool of myself on national television, tune in to "The Chew" Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC.

If you're wondering if I pulled off the dance move I had been preparing - a replica of my husband's patented bass kick which appears on dozens of wedding videos to the delight of grooms and the dismay of brides up and down the East Coast - sadly, despite my best efforts, it was more Elaine Benes than David Lee Roth. And if you watch until the very end, you'll even get to hear Carla Hall, the woman I was trying to win over with my baked goods and booty shaking, mock my not-so-infectious grooves.

I'd like to tell you who won but because I signed a waiver that I merely skimmed, I'll hold off on that for now. But I will share just about everything else. Let's begin.

I faced fierce competition in the form of two Southern gals who were whipping up clam dip and ribs. Now I know Carla, who hails from …

"The Chew" Outfit

So... after speaking with one of "The Chew" producers, who said I could wear black pants or jeans and a jewel-toned top, I sped off to the mall in search of the perfect ensemble.

Before leaving the house, I asked my husband if he had any suggestions.

"I think you can't go wrong with a nice, button-down Oxford shirt," he said.

I dropped my purse and barked, "Dude, I'm trying to win this thing and unless the judges are lesbians or Quakers, I don't think that's gonna do it! And what would I pair that with? A nice orthopedic shoe? And when they ask what I like to bake, should I say, 'treats for my 17 cats?!?!'"

He merely shrugged, so off to the mall I went. As I mentioned when I was shopping for an interview outfit, when you don't need anything, gorgeous fashions abound at sale prices, but when you must have the perfect creation in under 48 hours, you cannot find a thing. (Where is Kate Middleton's stylist when I need her?)

A…

You Can't Do This If You're Working...

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A few weeks ago, when I was positively giddy with failure, I tried to console myself by thinking about all the amazing things I now have time to pursue because I'm not working.

I've been taking long walks (mainly to counteract the "tiramisu-effect"), I've read four novels since January (my longest consecutive literary binge since college!), I've even volunteered for bake sales and book fairs, and yet I can't help but feel like I should be doing more in this unusual career purgatory.

I was chopping onions at the time and wearing my fabulous pink onion goggles. (Seriously, if you're a home cook, you need these goggles and not just because they're guaranteed to make your entire family wet their pants laughing when they see you wearing them (see photo below), but also because they work! This is the product that should have "No More Tears" as its tagline! To pick up a pair, click on the Onion Goggles link on the right!) Plus, they always ma…