Category Archives: Guest Bloggers

The Age-Old Dilemna

A bunch of super wicked awesome (enough adjectives for you?) bloggers got together and started a blog called Fire That Agency to deal with adverse advertisers, crappy commercials and morose marketers (I dunno what the fuck is wrong with me today, sorry).

Anyway check it out, and while you’re there check out my contribution (which you may have already read way back in June if you were with me then).

But before you do that, enjoy this age-old question from SaN:

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Hello Darlings, San here from Stilettos and Nostalgia filling in for Alice while she cavorts around….er…..where is she again?

Anyway, glad to be of service in this job-themed blog post week. My most recent job-related dilemma is one I’m currently facing: the trade-off between money and quality of life.

Observe: I, hardworking graduate student with a burning desire to move back to Europe, recently landed my dream job with a top 5 consulting firm across the pond. This is a position toward which I’ve geared my entire recruitment efforts, on which I spend way too many hours practice interviewing and combing job postings to see if there was a chance for me.

Then, in June, I had a breakthrough: the company with which I have only dreamed of working had an opening that matched my degrees and skills. Hooray! But then I saw the offer and had second thoughts.

Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself: this woman is insanely shallow – who cares about the money? Get over it! But when you have the joyous burden of tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt, you tend to look at the world a bit more…..um…..materialistically?

So now I am torn. The job comes with everything I want in terms of quality of life, including 30 paid vacation days and the chance (FINALLY!) to be living with Marco.

Yet I’m worried that my starting salary now will determine my earning potential in the future, and that if I do not start high enough I may never make up the difference – especially as a woman.

So I ask you now, dear faithful Alice followers, what do you think I should value?

When Your Boss is More…

This guest post brought to you by (Un)Popular at Back by (Un)popular Demand (If anyone has the new link, I can’t seem to find it?!)

I did what everyone tells you not to do, and I dipped my pen in the company ink. Translation: I banged my boss.

I dated my higher-up. As the relationship got serious, we decided to move in together. As we were looking at apartments, I realized that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t move in with him. I couldn’t even be with him any longer. All he did was whine about every place we looked at, every town we visited, every restaurant we ate at, every thing, all the time. The final straw was when he got drunk and accused me of sleeping with another co-worker! Geez, I’m not that big of a whore…

After I dumped his ass, I had to see him at work. Our offices were right across from each other, and to top it off we had window walls. Yes, we could see each other from our desks. Well, this mutherfucker put up a poster on his window. Not that I wanted to see him, but I guess I was just mad that I hadn’t thought of putting something up to block the view before he did.

It was kind of weird taking my assignments into him for review, but I sucked it up, walked into his office, and got the job done. Yet he refused to work with me like well; he didn’t make eye contact; he kept it very short, and I felt that it compromised the team work and communication of our staff.

My favorite example of his immaturity and unprofessionalism was when he started leaving post-it notes on my desk every time I was out of my office. This a-hole would wait until I left my office and then run in and put a post-it note with a task or assignment on it for me. These little notes were detailed too, so he obviously took the time to write everything down and wait for the few minutes that I would leave my desk to sneak in and tape it up to my monitor.

After our project was complete, we both moved onto other job sites within the company. I heard that the other men would ask him questions about how I was in bed.

Ri-cock-u-lous!

Questionable Work Practices

Tova Darling over at the self-titled Tova Darling sent me this fantastic anecdote

During my first few months of my first “real” post-college job (in other words, not flipping burgers), I was trying very hard to exhibit a good work ethic and go “above and beyond” in order to make a good impression. (That has changed a bit, as evidenced by the fact that I’m typing this while I’m at work.)

On a Thursday, I’d been given instructions that a very important person (a friend of the boss) was coming in to pick up a thousand or so pieces of paperwork that he absolutely, positively needed by Saturday. Naturally, he never showed up.

Friday afternoon at 4:58pm, when everyone but good old strong-work-ethic me had ducked out of the office, Very-Important-Friend-Of-The-Boss (VIFOTB) called and said that he really, really needed that paperwork, but he hadn’t had a chance to pick it up, and would anyone be in the office Saturday morning? (No.)

Well, VIFOTB quickly decided that it was MY responsibility to get him the paperwork that he hadn’t bothered to pick up, and after brain-storming for a few minutes, provided me with the name of a skeazy dive bar where he insisted that I should drop off the paperwork so he could come get it later.

After I made him promise that they’d be expecting me and the paperwork at said dive bar, I grabbed several pounds of paper and hit the road. I soon found myself standing at a dirty bar in my grown-up stiletto heels and a skirt, being leered at by drunken old men in stained overalls, while trying to convince a skeptical and very annoyed bartender that she needed to take this huge pile of paperwork, because VIFOTB would be in to pick it up.

Of course, she’d never heard of VIFOTB, nor had the bar owner or any of the patrons, and she (much like myself) didn’t get paid to act as a secretary to a creepy old guy who took delivery of important documents in a seedy bar. It took me a good 15 minutes to convince someone, anyone to take the paperwork off my hands, which they only did after I told them that I didn’t care what they did with it, that they could burn it for all I cared, I just wanted to get out of there minus several reams of paper and without being molested.

As soon as the papers left my hands, I practically ran out the door to the sounds of whistles and cat-calls.

No word on whether or not VIFOTB ever picked up the papers. It wasn’t long after this incident that I began habitually showing up ten minutes late for work to punish the boss for having such crappy friends.

Ask and You Shall Receive

This great advice given by Ashley from Encounters of the Human Kind

As a college senior living in Michigan, I was nervous about finding a job in a rocky economy. Luckily for me, I was willing to go anywhere. What was even more convenient is that I was highly connected through a student organization that led me to another highly connected individual in the public relations world.

Within days of meeting her I was inquiring about job opportunities within her firm. Being a global company and having dozens of offices around the world, I was hopeful that someone, somewhere was looking for an entry level employee. Contact information was exchanged and a phone call made where a second ask was thrown on the table:

“I will be in town during my spring break, will you interview me?”

Sure enough, an invitation to be interviewed was extended, followed shortly thereafter by a job offer to start after graduation.

Was it risky, flying across the country for an interview that may never pan out into full-time employment? Sure. Did it suck having to give up my last spring break ever to interview with a potential employer? Of course. But in the end – well worth it.

I had remembered the best piece of advice that anyone has ever given me: you don’t receive what you don’t ask for.

Truth.

And this is the one piece of advice I give everyone – it applies to all aspects of life – because what’s the worst that can happen? They say no. So you’re right back where you started. No harm done. And now you know.

You can’t be afraid to hear the word ‘no.’

Be personable, friendly, and honest – and make the ask. You never know what might happen.

In the Cube

Thanks to PJ from It is what it is, sometimes. for this reminder that having weekends off is great

I sit here in my cube.
My life sucking cube.
I love my cube.
I embrace my cube.

The most creativity I have had all day is the moment I decided to hit the return key after each line to start this post. Yep, that’s it. My biggest decision of the day. Paragraph or one liners….aaaaarrrgh….

What to do, what to do? It is a tough life of a cuber, and the lowest cuber of em all….. I almost can’t say it–i am, a Saturday morning cuber. Oh yeah, its out there. I cube on Saturdays! Hunched over at my desk typing away on my crackberry… Hitting my new addiction, blogging. Blogging from the cube on a sat am. BANG.

Actually, it is afternoon by now, I am just in my own little cuberfog* that sets in on Saturdays… It is thick and knocks your senses askew. I shake my head, and say ‘ come on pj get in the game ‘. The cuberfog has over taken me. I think it is sat?!?!

The fog is thick, and makes it hard to think. The phones ring constantly and I talk without really being involved in the conversation, on autopilot as they say. People ask questions and I answer them, yet have no idea what is really going on. I can only see heads popping up above the cubicals, no bodies, just little heads bumping up and down as they talk. It seems so busy in here, lots of hustle and bustle, yet it just doesn’t seem like much gets done.

Foggy.

I hope someone tells me when it is time to leave.

Well, enjoy your day out there. I can see you running on the grass, having your picnics, eating ice cream, frolicking (sp), playing games and having fun– I see you. I am watching. I am not bitter by any means…. I laughed at myself as I wrote that – I AM BITTER REALLY REALLY BITTER.

Go cubers go!! Who cubes on Sat, I cube on Saturdays!! Put your hands in the air and raise em like you just don’t care… Currently, I am raising the roof in my cube- that is how I do it. I am going to start a cube wave in a half hour, it is going to be cuberriffic!

Maybe I will start a cubnoxious chain e-mail– those are always fun. If you don’t send this to 8,000 people you will have bad luck. As you can see spending too much time in your cube has a negative effect on your sanity.

* you know when you are physically at work, but mentally you just haven’t punched in yet.

The Job From Hell

This guest post was submitted by the lovely Melissa of It’s Just Easier That Way

My binder cover happened to land resting on keyboard but it wasn’t less than five minutes before I moved it. It reminded me of a time I wouldn’t mind forgetting… Lost in thought, stranded helplessly in a mind trip to the past…

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

It was my fourth day on the job (from hell) and I was overwhelmed with things to learn and under whelmed with assistance or, God forbid, anyone to train me. I was lost in a sea of paperwork trying to figure out how the hell the fool who worked in this position (before I did) survived.

I can’t lie… I guess *technically* I heard the beeping… In the background. Honestly, it wasn’t even an option, in my eyes, that I would be getting up from my desk to seek out who or what was creating this indefatigable noise.

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

My boss, Dick, comes tearing through the office in a mad rush. Papers fall to the floor as he passes; even they tremble in fear with the possibility of what he could do to their fate. Turbulence erupts as he started yelling and screaming at everyone in the office, despite many of them talking on phones to their clients.

He demands that someone must do something about this incessant noise… Now!

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

Practically everyone ducks their heads, dodging his fiery eyes, trying to bury their heads in their work deep enough that maybe he will have pity on them and torture someone else. Employees, with the exception of a few ogling eyes, continue working.

Dick stomps his foot down and slams his hand on his desk. When still no one comes to running to his rescue, he doesn’t throw things or pout like a five year old… he stands right where he is and yells through the office for the entire building to hear;

“MAAAAHHH-LIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSA!!! GET! IN! HERE! NOW!”

I scurried in to his office, my hands clammy and my throat dry, my stilettos click-clack click-clacking on the hardwood floors. I could hardly speak, for his stature as well as his arrogance intimidated me.

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“Yes… hi… Did you call me? I thought I heard my name” I lied, of course, because everyone in the building KNEW he called my name.

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“DON’T YOU HEAR THAT?!?” He barks. What am I stupid?

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“Yes, I do hear that. What is it, do you think? Can I help you?”

“YEAH, YOU CAN HELP ME BY GETTING IT TO STOP BEEPING.”Now, if you’ve kept up with my job history you will know that I am currently in the IT field, but at this time I had absolutely no IT experience. Not even the experience of answering the phones at an IT firm, so I knew nothing but what the average novice knows.

“Hmm… well, it sounds like it’s coming from your computer…Can I…?”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“I DON’T NEED YOU TO TELL ME WHERE IT’S COMING FROM. I NEED YOU TO GET IT TO STOP. AND IF YOU CAN’T GET IT TO STOP… FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN! I DON’T CARE HOW YOU DO IT… JUST DO IT!”

“beeeep!”

“beeeep!”

“Ok, well I’ll just the need the number for our IT company, then I will give them a call and have someone look into it right away for you, Mr. Dick, sir! Oh, wait… it appears that there is… a binder…”It stops.

Absolute silence breaks out across the entire office.

Dead air.

A sense of calmness comes over everybody as they realize the “new girl” has just solved Dick’s problem (and therefore, all of ours too).

“WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST DO?!?” He barks.

“I just removed that binder that was resting all of its weight on your keyboard spacebar. Can I do anything else for you, Dick? Ok, greeeaaat…. I’ll just get back to work then.”

And that was the day that I knew…

I lasted 33 more days.

Traveling: Good for the Soul. Good for the Career.

This post brought to you by the fabulous Essentially Me at Journey Like No Other

When I decided to become a teacher, I figured that this decision would be met by my entering a world where all things were fair in love and landing a job.

A world where the day was not only spent teaching math and language but also teaching how to say please and thank you and learning that we wait for our turns. In the line for the water-fountain and in the line for landing a job.

Little did I know, teaching wasn’t void of the harsh realities of the working world where it all had to do with the people you knew, not the skills you had. I learned about this fast though. Thank God because if I hadn’t, I’d still be waiting in the line for “permanent hire.”

I worked for two years covering for maternity leaves thinking that I should land a job no problem with my principal. What I didn’t know was that his friends daughter had just graduated and it was more important for her to get a permanent position in the school board before I did. Me … the person who had been working there for longer than she had.

Needless to say, this pissed me off in a big fucking way. I was so livid. The inner brat in me wanted to bang my fists on my desk and throw the mother of all temper tantrums. But instead, I learned how to play the game. I learned that I could be the most talented teacher out there who was loved by all her students and their parents … but that it wouldn’t mean shit if I didn’t have a personal connection with the man who held my professional fate in his hands. My principal.

So I did what any girl hungry for a secure job would do. I went on vacation with my boss. And wouldn’t you know? I got a permanent job just one month later!

Now it wasn’t that kind of vacation. There were no extra-marital ANYTHING involved. In fact, his wife and daughter came too. Along with about 10 other people. It was a tour in southern Italy which he planned and guided. It was a no brainer for me. It was like killing two birds with one stone: Me taking a much needed vacation and me landing a much needed permanent job.

Unfortunately, the land of the time-sheets is not a pleasant one. And it’s almost like a mirage … something you’re pretty sure you see but once you reach out to try and take hold of it, it disappears.

I knew what I had to do. And I went for it. As sad as it sounds (Hi, my name is EM and I got a job because I went on vacation with my boss!), I don’t care because I did what I had to do. And no sexual favours were needed.

The Coffee Club

Hey all, I’m the Imaginary Reviewer, guest posting for Alice today. Normally I only write reviews of things, but as Alice is currently seeking employment I thought I’d relate a cautionary tale that stems from the fact that I started a new job last month.

It was a split second decision on my part, really, and I had no idea of the consequences at the time. I must implore Alice (and anyone else about to embark upon a new career) to bear this in mind when sitting, as I was, in the office of the Human Resources Manager. She showed me a piece of paper with the headline “Coffee Club”, and offhandedly asked if I wished to pay a monthly amount for unlimited use of the canteen coffee machines. I figured that I could bring my own coffee from home, and declined.

This decision would have larger consequences than I could ever imagine.

In my office of around 100 people, the Coffee Club makes up about a fifth of the employees. On my second day working here I looked at the list posted in the canteen, saying which people can use the coffee machines, and saw them: the company bourgeoisie, the haves, the fat cats. All of them were managers, VPs and their assistants, the type of people who have their own names written on their office doors.

I picked up one of the packets of coffee to see what kind of blends the Club had access to, and one of the secretaries came in and batted it out of my hands. “Look with your eyes, not with your hands!” she shrieked, and I became aware of the vast gulf between those in the Club and those out of it.

As my time here went on, I became more and more aware of the mutual distrust. Members of the Coffee Club would eye me suspiciously as I filled my mug with water in the canteen, keeping an eye on me to make sure I didn’t surreptitiously steal a few illicit drops of Colombian Dark Roast. A bottle of salad dressing that I’d left in the staff refrigerator was unceremoniously smashed on the floor by a Club member after I’d put it in the space reserved for their cartons of milk. And then things started getting out of hand.

The flashpoint came when a new employee, ignorant of the rules, had a cup of Brazilian Rich Blend in full view of several Club members. This poor, unfortunate recent graduate was locked in the janitor’s closet for three days with nothing to drink but the sweat from his own shirt. In retaliation, a group of non-Club revolutionaries found the leader of those responsible and killed him with a Swingline 405 Stapler. His repeatedly-punctured body was left by the coffee machines as a warning to others.

Thrilled by the prospect of adventure, and maddened by the inequities of the office, I joined these brave men and women, the network engineers, the finance assistants and risk analysts fighting against the oppressive Coffee Club regime. I engaged in guerrilla tactics, pouring laxatives in the water section of the coffee machines and pissing in the milk.

Our last sortie ended in tragedy two days ago, when three non-Club members were found substituting the regular coffee with decaf by the Finance Manager and his PA. Retribution was swift and brutal. Their lifeless bodies, drained of blood by countless paper cuts, were delivered to the leaders of the revolution by a weeping mail boy.

By yesterday morning a memorial in their honour had been erected in place of the broken photocopier in the marketing section. Their deaths will not be in vain.

I write this now from my cubicle, where I have barricaded myself for the last 24 hours as I make my preparations. I was selected to lead a suicide mission on the coffee machines, and I hope my death – and the destruction of the infernal beverage makers – will bring about a utopia, a new Eden and a new beginning for the staff of DPO Hughes Office Supplies.

And to anyone out there who, like Alice and myself several weeks ago, is about to start a new job, for the love of whatever God you pray to, pray that they don’t have a Coffee Club.

Buckle up, Alice

Bahaha. I’m so awesome. I plug an awesome blogger on the same day that I take over for her while she’s on vacation. I’m SHAMELESS.

Ahem.

Hi everyone. If you didn’t guess by the blatant guest-postery, it’s Ben from No Ordinary Rollercoaster, taking over yet another unsuspecting blog with my propaganda of wiener dogs, suburbs, common-law marriage and other genuinely un-20-something characteristics. Would it help to know that I’m listening to Girlicious as I write this?

By the way, who exactly is it that wants to be like them? I think that’s a crucial missing detail in their shiteous song. I think it would be more accurate if it was the Pussycat Dolls singing the song to Girlicious. And even then, I think I’d be embarrassed for everyone involved.

Back to business.

It just so happens that Alice is visiting my neck of the woods this week. For that reason, I think there’s no better time than the present to describe the dream date that I would have taken her on. Why aren’t we doing said date? Because the lure of the swimming pool has left me hungover with a taste of heatstroke. I suck. However, one day our paths will cross and at least we’ll have a plan. So without further ado…

10:30am – Meet for brunch. This is important because I don’t do meal-skipping. I needs my breakfast and Alice does too. I’ve decided that. We will eat many things covered in Hollandaise sauce.

12:00pm – What’s that? It’s now socially appropriate to drink? OKAY! We’ll grab a quick beer on a nice patio before strolling the shops. Spending is better when a little looped.

1:30pm – My credit card craves abuse because he has low self esteem and it makes him feel validated. Therefore, we will go and buy clothes that are part slutty and flashy, part old time class. During this activity, we will make blatant passes at each other by commenting on each other’s assets and maybe flashing some boob. Depends how the beer went down.

4:00pm – Beer makes us sleepy so we put on an awesome show like this and fall asleep for a bit. Growing drunks need their rest in order to make it through the sort of night that we deserve.

7:00pm – Time to run out and grab a light dinner and about 18 martinis each before heading home to get ready for the late shift.

9:00pm – Drink copious amounts of alcohol while showering and getting our hurr did. In Halifax, it’s not cool to get to the bars before midnight since they’re open until four. Must. Get. Soused. Beforehand.

12:30am – Stumble to a bar. Any bar. Or restaurant. Or video store. Whatever establishment that we can make it to without getting turned away.

1:00am – 4:00am – This time slot is appropriately foggy. We will do what we please, we will make poor choices and we will pay for them in the morning

9:00am – Wake up. Realize we are still drunk. Realize that we (hopefully) did not sleep together. Vomit. Never want to see each other again.

10:00am – Blog about it.

Canadian From The Waist Down. What?

Hey everyone it’s me Alice. Look I’m back, right here. Alice, right here. Writing to you guys.

Not.

This is RS27 from the world’s country’s state’s Los Angeles’ my house’s favourite blog, Your Beard is Good ,where we discuss such things as the crisis in Darfur, Miley Cyrus’ new haircut, What the Hell is wrong with Bono, and my campaign for the 2016 Presidential Election. My running mate? One of the Jonas Brothers. Anyways, since this is my first guest blog on a Canadian blog I should tell everyone how much I love Canada. In honour of this being a Canadian based blog I should do my best to make this post as Canadian as can be. See above for how I spelled, “favorite.”

EH?!?!

I’ve always had a fondness for Canada. I love Canadian rock bands. Even Nickelback. Sure they’re annoying and whiny sometimes, but if you’re from Canada you are ok by me. Bryan Adams, you too. You are a cool cat.

You guys have a kick ass national anthem (True Patriot Love in all they Son’s Commmand!) which I know every word to. Is it weird that I know all the words to another country’s anthem? I say hell no. What’s the motto for the Olympics this year? One World, One Dream? (Aside: That barely beat out China’s other motto: Say anything bad about us and we’ll blow your ass up. Close second, I know. Oh, Olympic humour (Canadian spelling! more parenthesis!), you slay me.) My dream is that one day we will all know the national anthems to every country and sing them loudly!

Sorry Dr. Martin Luther King. I plagiarized your speech.

I’ve visited Canada about 5 times and love the place. The people are so nice, the girls are pretty and Molson is everywhere. The first time I went was for my friend’s 19th birthday. Drinking is legal at 19 in Canada? Screw the free health care, give me the legal drinking. My first run in with Canadian women was walking down the streets in Toronto to a club when we ran into a group of 4 pretty girls. They stopped us right away due to my effervescent good looks and the fact that I was picking my nose. It itched.

Girl #1 – Hey.
Me- Hey
Friend #1 – Hey
Friend #2 – Hey
Girl #2 – Hey
Girl #3 – Hey
Girl #4 – *shrugs*

Damn, we are so smooth with the ladies. Pass the courvasier indeed.

Girl #1 – Where are you guys going?

What? This is great. Girls just come up to you in the middle of the street and want to go out with you? It’s aboot time. I have found my utopia. I shall call it Canada.

RUN WITH ME TO FREEDOM!

Friend #1 – We’re just headed over to that bar over there. *points to an empty store*
Girl #2- That’s not a bar. It’s a store
Friend #2- We’re going to make it a bar
Girl #2- You guys are so funny. We should all hang out.

Sweet love of god, we are so going to do it tonight. I love Canada. Ok, if we do it who gets the extra girl? That would be great because I’ve never….

Friend #1 – Definitely you guys should come with us. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Me- And awesome. Don’t forget awesome
Friend #2 – *nudges me* (whispers) dude don’t be stupid.
Me- Stupid awesome. Got it.
Girl #3 – I don’t think we are going to go out drinking though
Friend #2 – Why not?
Girl #2 – We’re going to the coffee shop, you guys should come.
Friend #1 – We’re going out for our friend’s birthday, why don’t you come?
Girl #1 – We’re 16.

GOD DAMMIT!

WHY MUST YOU TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING FROM ME THAT IS SO EASY!

Needless to say, not knowing the rules of relations in a foreign country we left our 16 year old friends to go sip on a latte at the local Black Brew Crew Coffee Shop or whatever. We headed on our way to a club where I had 32 Long Island Iced Teas and ended up ska dancing to the house band.

Canada, you’re such a tease.

But the sexy tease that I can’t get enough of.

From Far and Wide, O Canada, We Stand On Guard For Thee!

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