For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, October 15, 2006

buzz

I have so much to talk about. Actually for the first time, I have the draft of a post (yes, the NY post -- finally!) already sitting in my dashboard or whatever, but I'm shooting past it to post this instead.

What a week. I can't possibly blog about everything that's gone through my mind this week, because 1) much of it is work-related and now that I understand what "dooce" means, I don't really want to risk it happening to me, and 2) my memory is just not that good. But it was one of those weeks in which something happens every day, and not just some random everyday somethings, but weird, good, catch-you-off-guard, blogworthy somethings. Mainly, I learned things. For example:

I am an executive. That's so weird. Dudes, I am only 31. I still use the word "dude" with relative frequency. I only wear suits a few times a month, and most of my shoes are anything but sensible. And yet ... I am an executive. How did I make this startling discovery, you might ask? Well. This week, we had a quarterly operations meeting at work. You know, the kind of meeting where all the bigwigs get together and make presentations and discuss the present state of the company and what its future looks like, and who has to do what to get to that future state. I wasn't invited to this meeting. I'm still relatively new to the company, and I imagine that's the reason why, since I was the only executive/officer not present. Still, I was a little dismayed to not be invited. But then I thought ... better to not have to go, as I have soooooooooo much work to do that I can't really spare a whole day for meetings. Also, I figured it would be boring. And more than likely, it was. But. Buuuuutttt. I was still working at the end of the day, when the meeting finally adjourned. And some coworkers (who were in the meeting) stopped by to ask me such and so. And my boss stopped in too, to discuss some other aspect of the meeting and how can I devise X to produce Y solution. And then, boys and girls, my boss asked me to join them for dinner. Like an idiot, I declined. Really. When your boss, who happens to be the CEO, asks you to join him and about 9 or 10 other executives for dinner, you DO NOT say no. But dumbass me... said no. Luckily, I said no in front of at least 3 of said executives, who proceeded to guilt me into joining them. So I did. I had a date at the gym with Chulo, but I decided maybe... just MAYBE... this was more important. And I went. And it was brilliant.

It't not like I spent my evening brainstorming, or learning the intricate details of the company, or dazzling my coworkers with wit and moxie. But I was there, folks. To my left was the CEO. To my right, the CFO. We were also joined by the HR Director, the VP of International Business, the head of Trading, and the Chairman, among others. I spend a lot of time these days thinking about my job and wondering if I'm really ready to take on the challenge that I've taken. Wondering if I'm going to do something unforgivably stupid and disappoint my boss, and possibly ruin my career. But you know... then I think, but these people believed in me. They chose ME. They come to me day in and day out, asking for my opinion. They expect a lot from me, and I try very hard to deliver. And then, I find myself sitting among these brilliant people and I realise that I'm not there by some accident of fate but because they want me there. And that is a really good feeling.

I also learned that you don't always get what you want, but your chances increase substantially if you ask for it. During said executive dinner, or rather immediately prior to it, I used the valet to park my car -- not because I'm an insufferable snob (even if I do work in Boca), but because it was starting to rain and I'd just blown my hair out. So five minutes later, the valet guy comes into the restaurant to tell me that I had a flat tire. Being the kind of girl who has absolutely NO idea how to change a flat tire or even what to do about a flat tire other than call my boyfriend or roadside assistance, I looked at the guy, smiled a big executive smile, and asked him if he would kindly change it for me. And he motherfucking DID IT. I'm still kind of in shock about that one. I'm not the kind of girl who can just bat her eyelashes or flash a little leg and get whatever she wants. I'm the kind that relies on ingenuity and personality rather than feminine wiles and physical attributes. And ingenuity and personality don't really go as far. And yet, it worked! I think it may have had something to do with the company I was keeping that night. Or maybe he likes big girls. Or maybe he was just being a nice guy. Anywhichway, I'm immensely pleased with myself for being so brazen as to ask for such a thing. And yes, I left him a large tip ...or at least as large as the cash amount in my wallet would allow, which was $25.

Also? I can totally pull off costume jewelry. I never thought I could... I have always worn exactly the same gold necklace, bracelet and earrings, every day. Bo-ring. I sleep, shower, exercise, clean, and just generally live with them on. Wearing other stuff always felt weird. But while I was in NY, I went shopping with Debbie, who is a costume jewelry maven. And there were just sooooooooo many cute things. Mind you, I have always loved shopping for costume jewelry, because I can usually find someone that I think a particular piece would be just lovely on, and so I live vicariously through those gift purchases. But Debbie helped me shop for my own lovely little baubles, and I started wearing them shortly after I returned to Florida. Now I find myself looking at the stuff EVERYWHERE. And I'm really good at putting the pieces together with different outfits ... like the smoky amethyst crystal tri-strand with my sheer mauve blouse over a black shell and trousers. Or the long silver chain with the large round glossy black pendant with my black pinstripe pants and white blouse. Granted, all this glamour takes an extra 3-5 minutes each morning, which I really cannot spare, but I've been having a good time with the stuff anyway. Oh and? Wearing costume jewelry -- not the junky stuff that we wore as kids in the 80s but the real quality stuff that won't discolour even though it's not made of precious metals? Makes me feel VERY executiveish! -s-

So many other things happened this week ... little things, annoying things, revelations, disappointments. But I'm too tired to blog about them just now. So I'm going to gently wake my slumbering boyfriend (who I think gets some of his best sleeps lying on the couch while I'm at the computer), and cuddle up with him in bed, and get a good night's sleep. I have some work that I brought home with me that I shouuld really do tomorrow, plus I want to go shopping for Christmas preparations (I know, it's still so early but we've already started our shopping!) and maybe buy another necklace or two!

9 Comments:

Blogger Natalia said...

*snooydance of firstness*

Weird...I always thought of you as an executive. So I think you are the one late to THAT party.

But yes asking for what you need or want sometimes is all you need to actually get it.

I have not been wearing anything lately. I think I get up in the AM and don't feel like putting on make-up or doing my hair or putting on a necklace...I might if I go out. But I just am lazy about it. I think if I get up early enough to exercixe then I might have the time and strength to pretty up.

-N

10/15/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger terry said...

funny, i always have trouble remembering that i'm a manager now, too...!

but it sounds like everyone around you already understands how important you are.

yaay, costume jewelry! i love it too.

10/15/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Butt -- have you really? Hm. I never have (obviously)... I mean, I've always thought of myself as a professional, but that's not the same as being an executive.

You do have a great collection of costume pieces. I've just been too self-conscious about it before now (not sure why). But yeah it does take time!

Terry -- I've been managing for a while but I guess it's just different for me now because I'm not just a line manager... I'm the end of the line. Well, except for my boss. But I mean as far as my department goes, the buck stops with me. It's weird. And a little unsettling. But I guess I'd better settle in soon!

10/15/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cressida said...

that's so cool!! you ROCK!

I am a big dumbass when it come to work and business sense and all that. Huge. I am trying though. And hopefully one day I can be in your shoes. ;)

Costume jewlrey just plain rocks. :) wear it well, wear it often. :)

ps. I might be going back to Florida for Thanksgiving! My friend lives in Coconut Creek. We should get dinner. :)

10/15/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Queen of Cheese said...

Christmas shopping?

No wonder you're an executive!! you're so ... so ... ORGANIZED!

:o)!!

Next step: crafting your own costume jewelry!

10/16/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Cress -- You know what ... I think that if you enjoy what you do (and you can pay bills and eat), then business sense is a distant second. I wouldn't want to be an executive if I hated what I was doing.

And Coconut Creek is about 10 minutes away from me! You let me know and I'll buy the tequila shots.

QOC -- To tell you the truth, it's Chulo that's started us on the Christmas shopping circuit. I much prefer Christmas shopping at Christmastime... it just puts me in the mood. shopping now seems so ... pragmatic and icky. But I did get some super cute Christmas gift tags/labels and coloured tissue paper. I love wrapping almost as much as I love the shopping and the looks on people's faces when they get a great gift! (I think I'm a pretty good gift-giver)

I would love to make my own costume jewelry! How fun! I never get to be creative at work.

10/16/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger DZER said...

congrats, you hot executive! and at least you didn't ORDER the valet to change it ... and kudos for the generous tip ... use your power wisely!

"With great power comes great responsibility."

-- Peter Parker's Uncle Ben

heh

10/17/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

Dzer -- great, my professional life is summed up in a quote spoken by a ficticious character named after commercial rice.

It's all downhill from here, I guess -s-

10/18/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

what's funny is that i like this post and find it much more interseting than new york... because i totally know what you mean. it's like when i used to visit toronto before i moved back here...

even though i loved it and i was glad to be here i didn't really CARE.

now, regarding the executive hting? i'm glad you're starting to believe in yourself as much as everyone else does

(and yes, when the ceo invites you to dinner you should probably go *grin*)

10/19/2006 12:32:00 PM  

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