Thursday, September 25, 2008

All Right, Already!

Friends, I love you all, and I'm a staunch non-fan of Sarah Palin (except, of course, for the endless humor opportunities), so quit, already, sending me that damn poll! I voted against her, okay? Thank you.

I worked today - and quite pleasantly, too. It was one of those seminars, which, admittedly, would have been nicer had I not been in the same room with it, on account of having to listen to all the nonsense. Usually we greeter/facilitator types are outside the actual seminar room. But the gal leading it was nice, and the subject matter not too dull (it was on how to communicate effectively in business) (and nobody objected to my tuning out and reading a book), so all in all, not bad.

However, I must pose a question here. When in the world did we start having to have all these damn fool seminars? There are literally hundreds of them per day in New York alone, and they are seem to be on subjects that I would have thought were complete no-brainers. How To Look Right For A Job Interview. How To Write A Resume. How To Communicate With Your Boss. How To This, How To That.

Back in 1902 or so, when I started working for a living, this was all a known quantity. You communicated with your boss by saying Yes, Sir (well, in the Dark Ages there we didn't have any Ma'ams to say Yes to). You looked good for an interview by putting on a decent suit and pumps. You wrote a resume by putting down your most recent jobs. I mean, everybody knew all this. When did it become so damn complicated?

But, of course, we now live in a world where MBAs have to be taught remedial punctuation - I know this because as a secretary, I've spent a LOT of time fulfilling this necessary function. (I once had a long, long fight with a boss about commas in dependent clauses because he kept taking one of them out, saying that commas 'cluttered up the page'. I got him straightened up, but it took quite some time.) That and teaching them that verbs and nouns are intended to agree. And we live in a world where a legal secretary I once worked with was absolutely covered in very visible tattoos - and where a new partner came in for her first day at the same firm in a pair of capri pants and promptly kicked off her flip-flops (of course flip-flops) and spent the day barefoot. Evidently I'm deeply out of touch with the modern world. Thank God.

Meanwhile I also noticed today that one of my most hated styles is still alive and kicking, that of the dress over pants. What is this? I think only one thing when I see this - this person has just done a midnight flit without paying her rent and has hastily put on every piece of clothing she owns so the landlord won't see her carrying a suitcase. If you want to put something over a pair of pants, how about wearing a TOP? You know, a blouse or sweater? The other thing this looks like is that you got dressed in the dark - not least because neither the dress or the pants in this assemblage ever seem to have any relation to each other whatsoever. Beige cord jeans with a flowered dress. Regular jeans with a lace dress. Plaid dresses with pinstriped pants. Just stop this, okay?

Tomorrow I am off to UN territory to stuff envelopes for Angola or whatever the hell the job is. And I have to start out an hour and a half before I need to be there, which is annoying. This is General Assembly Week, you see, and there is no practical method of getting over to the UN via subway without a hell of a long walk - and it's going to be raining. Ergo, since they want me there at 9 am, I'll have to leave at 7:30 because I'll bet anything that once I get near the UN the streets are going to be half shut down and the other half clogged up with various dignitaries arriving for breakfast meetings. (In case you want to know how to get to the UN from the far West Village where I am, you catch the crosstown #8 to 3rd Avenue and then take the 101 uptown. Are you deeply thrilled to know this?)

Ah, lovely. The rain has started, which makes wonderful sleeping music. Unfortunately, it's still going to be raining when I wake up. While bedtime rain is useful for soporific purposes, it is, of course, no good at all in the morning - due to those same soporific qualities. Skylights in the bedroom are a mixed blessing when one has to get up.

Love, Wendy

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