Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time Management Skillz

Having successfully survived a few years in cubeville, I feel I have some valuable knowledge to share. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by annoying requests, I suggest you print out the following and pin it to your faux wall.
  • Wait: Flag the e-mail and ignore it for at least an hour. This allows for the sender to change his/her mind or send updated drafts, request forms, etc. — and prevents you from doing needless work!
  • Stall: This tactic is especially helpful when dealing with crazy people or nonsensical projects. Send a quick e-mail back with a request of your own! Ask for background information, examples or “strategic guidance.” This will usually take the sender a while to gather. WARNING: This tactic may backfire, i.e. lead to the dreaded conference call.
  • Forget: Not that I ever forget about anything … but I understand some things inevitably slip through the cracks. If you find yourself scrolling through e-mails one day and notice a flagged request that is more than two weeks old, consider ignoring. Chances are the sender has forgotten about it too! (Otherwise he/she would be hounding you about it, no?) Rather than draw attention to your tardiness by following up, simply delete from your inbox and conscience.

*Key takeaway* Never act right away. This will only lead to more work, more requests, more suicidal thoughts.

Isn’t it wonderful how every problem can be solved with a simple PowerPoint graphic and a few bullet points? I think so too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unlaid Plans

I figured out why it’s so irritating that (some) men have an aversion to planning. It’s not because it can be construed as inconsiderate, or because it might be a sign of commitment issues, or even because it makes dressing oneself appropriately more difficult … No, it’s because it stunts conversation.

Think about an average exchange between a couple who has been together for a while:

“Have I ever told you the story about that one party in college -”


“Oh, but did I tell you the part where I fell -”


“Oh, and then that other time I drank too much -”

“I was there.”

“Oh yeah ... So, um, what should we do for New Year’s?”

“I don’t know what’s going on yet. We’ll figure it out later.”


There comes a time when there are no stories left to tell, and at that time, wouldn’t it be great if you could fill the void by making plans that might produce new stories? Apparently not.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Return of the puffy coat

Remember when Holly Hunter was horrified to have to wear her mother's "hideously out-of-date coat" after she lost her "fashionable" one on her way Home for the Holidays?

Flash forward almost 15 years and I'm actually contemplating purchasing one of these puffers. When my boyfriend asked me last winter why so many girls were walking around in sleeping bags, I resisted the urge to make fun of the North Face brigade - for two very important reasons. Number one: They looked warm; and number two: They looked trendy.

I had a sinking feeling ... like tiny armpit purses ... and then giant backbreaking purses, I would probably cave to the swell of this trend like I do every other - when they become normalized, i.e. reasonably priced, i.e. not really that cool anymore. But then again, maybe if I'm willing to look a little clueless, or manage to pull off "retro," I could save some money AND be a trendsetter every decade or so.

(Quotes and photo courtesy of

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Real Jailbirds of D.C.

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Watching the White House crashers on the Today Show this morning gave me a little case of déjàvu. The defensive, social-climbing, inexplicably arrogant couple evoked the same variety of icks as Alex and Simon of the Real Housewives of New York City: Season 1 (they kinda won me over on Season 2, probably because Kelly soaked up the majority of my irrational hatred).

And what do you know! It turns out the crashers were up for Real Housewives of D.C. parts even before this latest humiliation. Although Bravo currently claims to be distancing itself, I’m sure they’ll get on the show, even if their confessionals have to be filmed behind bars.

Now if only they would outlaw banana slings – I'd argue European swimwear is also a threat to national security.

Photography note: If you clicked on that last link, feel free to blame/thank(?) Zip.
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