Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The power of presentation

Me: I asked him for his opinion and I was semi-offended at how flippant he was about it.
J: Did he know it was a serious discussion?
Me: I didn't explicitly state it was serious, but he should have the sense to know.

What followed was a rant on how I only ask a select number of people for their opinions, and if I don't feel that their input is (1) considerate, (2) valuable, and (3) based on the fact that they give a shit about me, then I move you from one circle to another. 

Because I work better when I have something to speak to, I drew up a few pages to explain myself.

Tolerance level
When I meet someone, it takes roughly 15 minutes for me to know whether or not I'll be friends with you (for at least a short amount of time). Sometimes I get stuck with you for reasons out of my control, and if I already know that interacting with you is going to make me want to stab myself in the eye, good luck getting out of a blog post.

Depth of conversation

My ability to have an energizing conversation with you really is your responsibility. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy a good discussion on how ice cream is the best shit ever or on the newest snowboards out there, but if I don't feel like you know how to go one step further into a thought process, I will most likely never talk to you again. Unless I get stuck with you for reasons out of my control. Same results as above.

Interactions with other people
Over the years, I've collected a very select group of friends whom I trust and keep very close to me. And I'll be the first to agree wholeheartedly that girls have the tendency to be "besties, omg, BFFF!" for a few months and then quickly switch to "yea, I know her, but she got too cool/married/weird". But once you make it into that core circle - tested through trial and tribulations - you've made it into a place where you have the power to actually hurt my feelings.

Anyway, my point is that I don't have a ton of friends nor do I have the intention to have a ton of friends. I know that people dislike me and think that I'm a pretentious bitch when it comes to categorizing you into a "useful" or "uesless" person. But I don't fake it, and I like to surround myself with people who care, who think that life is more than about material goods and work, and who actually have a functioning brain and heart. That's it. And truth be told, it's not easy to find.

That's why it's so disappointing when I thought you were one thing... and I was wrong.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You're lucky I'm too tired to slap you right now

L: I got your request last night for that trend analysis.
Me: Oh, great. When can I get that?
L: I don't really see how it fits into the story.
Me: I think it's a compelling way to start the conversation.
L: It'll take me some time to find.
Me: Okay, just let me know.
L: Oh, by the way, I baked a cake this morning. Help yourself.

Really, lady? You had time to bake a motherfucking cake this morning? You know what would've been really great? If you had used that time to pull the analysis that I had asked for instead of baking a stupid ass cake that no one is going to eat. Yea, how about doing your job? That'd be super.

Flight attendant: MISS! MISS! [shoves my arm aggressively]
Me: Sweet geesus, what?
FA: You need to move your bag an inch forward. It's federal regulation.
Me: Oh, well, if it's federal regulation...

Really, lady? It's a dangerous sport to wake a sleep-deprived consultant just as she barely drifts off after having edited a document she had nicknamed the Mothership U.S.S. Enterprise. Imagine poking a stick at a polar bear while he had just entered into hibernation. I'm sure he'd fuck you up. It's like that. But worse.

L: I think we need to see the document today.
Me: Why today?
L: So we can provide edits by Friday and you can work on it over the weekend.

Really, lady? Okay, sure, that sounds like a fantastic plan. I now have every incentive to do that for you so that I can spend my entire weekend deleting all your useless comments. My favorite activity ever! Ever heard of the carrot-stick approach? If you don't have a fucking carrot, people end up beating you with a stick. Yea, that's what that means.

Flight attendant: Excuse me, ma'am. You can't use that right now.
Me: Use what?
FA: Your wireless mouse.
Me: Why not?
FA: It sends signals that interfere with the plane.

Really, lady? My little wireless mouse sends transmission waves strong enough to threaten the safety of this gigantic plane? Well, if that's true, then I'm a powerful motherfucker right now, aren't I? Watch out, everyone! I have a wireless mouse! Don't come too close or I might move the cursor over your face and Minesweep your ass into oblivion!

I swear, if I weren't such a composed human being, there'd be a lot of bitch slapping happening today. Good thing I'm so nice and patient.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Writing emails for a living

A: You write the best emails.
Me: I do?
A: Yea, they're so weird.

To be honest, I sometimes forget that I'm writing to colleagues - but then again, who am I kidding? I rarely hide my true personality in any given setting. What you see is what you get - and if that means that my colleagues think I'm weird, well... I'm okay with that.

Here are some examples I've sent to my current team...

Hey P -

My main ask for tomorrow from the client is as follows:
1. Feedback on content, chewed, digested
2. Workshop agenda alignment from the peanut gallery

My main ask for P, Mentor of the Month (true story):
1. Review and comments on the workshop document - hint: it's awesome
2. I just wrote this because a list requires more than one line

Okay, thanks a ton!

From outerspace,

Gang - 

Just thinking that for each section, we need to summarize the "how the hell did we come to this conclusion" and then follow w the detailed pages. I only pulled in the pages that are good enough to share - needless to say, we have much more than this but didn't want to put all the eggs on the table until they were ready to hatch. It can adapt, but just wanted to get the "yea, totally" before building out.


Okay team -

Here is the main deliverable aka Mothership aka USS Enterprise currently in all its glory. Still have a lot of floating input around - so don't judge on "hey, where's that page I thought I said to put in here" just quite yet.

Keep comments to yourself. Just kidding.


And that was just today. Oh, and I wrote that first one on my flight which is why I said "outerspace" - which is actually the flight I am on right now - so technically, I'm writing this blog from outerspace, too.

Friday, October 4, 2013

New investors in the Connie Fund

I decided to drive down to Torrance today and spend some time with my parents. They're newly retired and have become even more entertaining since they now rely on me for financial decisions. It's really something special.

Me: Okay, so this is how much I owe you guys.
Dad: What are you going to do with it?
Me: Pay off my school loans.
Dad: Why is that balance so high?
Me: Because Mom loaned me money a few months ago.
Dad: And you kept track of it?
Me: What do you think I am? A leech??
Dad: No. Just that you sometimes conveniently forget things.
Me: Like what??
Dad: I don't remember because you don't remind us.
Me: ...

Mom: How long do dried mangoes last?
Me: Normally, longer than you think.
 Mom: How about these?
Me: The ones you just put in front of me? 10... maybe 15 minutes before I inhale them all.

Me: Okay, I'll be right back. I'm gonna go to the dentist.
Dad: Wash your face before you go.
Me: What? Why?
Dad: He might be single.
Me: Eww, dad. That's gross. He's old.
Dad: Who says you're young!?
Me: Bye, dad.

Mom: Hey, they opened up a new burger place.
Me: Which?
Mom: It's called Four Guys.
Me: Five Guys?
Mom: Yea, Five guys. You wanna check it out?
Me: No, thanks. It's all over the Midwest.
Mom: Oh, you're right. We're from LA. We should stick to In n Out.
Me: Totally.

Me: I have to go renew my lease for my apartment.
Dad: I have an idea.
Me: No.
Dad: You should move back into the house.
Me: No.
Mom: Why not?
Me: Last time I did that, I almost killed both of you.
Dad: You'd save so much money.
Me: Okay, well, I'm going to have people over every weekend and we're going to drink and do drugs.
Dad: It's okay. Your mom and I will just leave when you have friends over.
Me: It'll be until 6am and sometimes they'll never leave.
Mom: Forget it, she's not joking.

That said, I love my parents. They lent me a whole pile of money today to pay off my school loans. All I have to do now is promise to give them money in a gradually increasing amount every month for the rest of their lives. In essence, they've invested in an annuity called the Connie Fund at an undisclosed interest rate. If I end up paying them more than I owed in the beginning, that means they've been healthy enough to stick around... in which case, I win. Because I love my parents.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Busyness bitchas be like...

H: How was your weekend?
Me: Fantastic.
H: Yea? What'd you do?
Me: Whatever the fuck I wanted.

Last week didn't end well. This is the last conversation I had on Thursday before I left work.

S: We need to schedule the meeting for tonight.
Me: Just do it on Monday.
S: No, we can't keep delaying.
Me: It has no effect on our analysis. Do it on Monday. I won't be here tonight.
S: If you have to stay Friday, if you have to stay the weekend, I don't fucking care. Just get that shit done.
Me: Oh, no you didn't.

The rest of the conversation is not internet-safe. Let's just say that I made it clear that NO ONE dictates when I stay, when I go, and when I get shit done. I earned the right to be trusted with my decision-making skills. Also, I'm a motherfucking adult. Don't treat me like I'm your bitch.

So on my flight back to the West Coast on Thursday night, I thought about what really means the most to me in life. To be completely honest, my job wasn't on the list. I was flying to San Francisco to take care of a few work errands, but also to spend time with some great friends - which was very high on my list.

Nick recently sent me a link to an article about busyness and how it consumes our lives. He sent me the article most likely to encourage better behavior when it comes to over-booking my free time with so much shit that inevitably leads to my constant complaining about being busy. Just to illustrate how much I complain to Nick, he thought I wouldn't read the article because I was too busy.

My retort to the article isn't necessarily because I'm defending my decision to be busy. I agree that it is indeed a decision. But that it shouldn't be considered complaining.

I don't want to wait till retirement to enjoy life. I don't want to wait till after my future kids are grown to go diving in the Galapagos or use the bathroom at Potala Palace (both of which I've done). I hate it when I catch myself saying "I've always wanted to..." because what the fuck was keeping me? Myself? That's stupid.

So now whenever I think "I've always wanted to..." I spend the next hour on the web looking it up, and finding a way to get it done. That's why I have no problem flying to San Francisco on a random weekend in September to see my friends and celebrate birthdays. And that's why I'm always busy.

The more I think about it, I care less and less about the fancy shit that I normally obsess over - needless to say, I still like it. I am, clearly, Korean. But I'd rather spend that energy on experiences now. Doing cool stuff, going to cool places, and spending time with my cool friends.

The one thing I learned from that Lorde song (Royals) is that kids who didn't come from money don't buy into all that materialistic shit because they rule their own lives in their own way. I thought - Seriously? This 16-year-old is more confident about her life than I am. I think it might be time to end my love affair with Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on my timepiece... and move onto something more real.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tales of a rookie babysitter

All the stars in the universe must have aligned to make this possible, but I was actually able to babysit my 4-year-old nephew today to provide marginal relief to my sister, who I should mention is Super Woman on steroids.

Mom: I heard you offered to watch Wesley the whole day.
Me: Yea, should be fine.
Mom: You sure you can do it?
Me: I can handle high maintenance C-level executives. 4-year-olds don't seem that far off.

I'm sure my sister was also skeptical - not because she doubts my abilities to manage upwards (yes, watching Wes counts as managing upwards), but because Wes is very particular about who he lets into the cool crowd. I just don't know his requirements. I think the list might include the ability to give him ice cream for lunch, which I'm only inclined to do if I get desperate.

Me: Okay, Wes, where would you like to go today?
Wes: How about the aquarium?
Me: I immediately regret opening this up for discussion.
Wes: To see the fishes and sharks.
Me: Uhm... only Mommy's and Daddy's can go to the aquarium.
Wes: Oh, okay. Let's wait for Mommy and Daddy.
Me: How about the post office? Want to go there?
[look of extreme disinterest]

My sister gave me specific instructions to leave the house while the cleaning lady came by so I rushed through some work to buy me some time to run some errands.

Wes: Hey, who are you? Why are you in my house?
Me: Wes, that's the maid. She's here to help your mom.
Wes: This is my house.
Me: Okay, then she's here to help you.

Me: Wes, we're going to run some errands. Put on your shoes.
Wes: We need Mommy's car.
Me: We're going to take Eemo's car today.
Wes: [stares at my car] I don't like this spaceship.

Sales clerk: How can I help you?
Wes: We're picking a bed for Grandma.
Sales clerk: Okay, what were you thinking?
Wes: I like this one.
Me: No, we're not getting a TempurPedic.
Wes: I'm going to fall asleep here.
Me: Let's try out those other ones over there.
Wes: Don't wake me up.

Then I figured I had to feed the kid, and given his original idea was to eat spaghetti with a chocolate milkshake, I thought McDonald's was fine. It also came attached with the world's most elaborate hamster cage made for children.

Me: Do you want to play in the playground some more?
Wes: No, it's too loud here.
Me: Eemo has to work some more, so whenever you're done with your food...
[shoves a fistful of fries into his mouth]
Wes: Let's go home then.

Me: Here, let's wash your hands.
Wes: Hey, you hurt my arm. I'm going to tell the teacher.
Me: Whoa, I did not.
Wes: Yea, you did.
Me: Wait, I'm not going to get into this argument with you. We're not even at your school.

Wes: Hey, Eemo, want to come to a picnic at the beach with me?
Me: Sure.
Wes: Here, eat this pineapple I cut for you. It's spicy.
Me: I don't think pineapples are spicy.
Wes: This one is. And here's some canned corn.
Me: Oh, yea, Koreans love canned corn.

Me: Wes, want to take a nap? You look tired.
Wes: No. I'm okay.
Me: Well, in an hour, we're going to go back out to run more errands so you better have the energy.
[10 minutes later]
Wes is knocked out on the couch with all his stuffed animals.

The fact that he's still alive with food in his stomach and a nap underway, I'm doing way better than I anticipated. Yes, even I was skeptical.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dinner with Mom and Dad

On some occasions, I have my parents pick me up from the airport on Thursday nights. It's rare because it's normally inconvenient for them. But the timing worked out, and I thought it'd be nice to spend some quality time and force them to leave the comforts of the South Bay - which, like most South Bay residents, they rarely do.

And like always, the very little time I spent with my parents led to a wealth of entertainment as our differences in generations, cultural beliefs, and personalities clashed like the Titans.

Dad: Where are we going to dinner?
Mom: She wants to take us to one of her favorite places.
Me: It's called Park's BBQ. It's good.
Mom: Oh, that place is popular.
Dad: Wow, because of our great daughter, we get to eat fancy dinners in the city!
Me: Man... I need to be nicer to you guys.

Me: Dad, what do you want for Father's Day?
Dad: Hmm...
Mom: He wants new shoes.
Me: Mom, I was asking Dad. I know you want him to get new shoes.
Dad: Hmm...
Mom: Get him new shoes.
Me: Mom, stop. Dad gets an opinion.
Dad: Just buy something for your mom instead.
Me: Dad, stop. You get your own present.
Dad: Making your mom happy is my present.
Me: What is happening? What is this?
Mom: Get him new shoes.

Dad: Let's pray for our food.
Me: Okay.
Dad: [Prays]... Amen.
Mom: Connie?
Me: Huh? Oh, Amen.
Dad: Could you not hear me?
Me: Sorry, I closed my eyes and fell asleep for a second.
Mom: Do you do that often??
Me: I hope not.

Mom: You need to drink alcohol when you eat BBQ.
Dad: You don't have to, it's just a cultural thing.
Mom: No, you have it. It's a digestive agent.
Dad: I don't think that's true.
Mom: It's true. It also makes the food taste better.
Dad: Why are you looking at us like that?
Me: I feel like I'm looking into the future at a conversation I could potentially have...
Mom: See? She agrees.

Mom: Look at all these nice cars.
Me: Koreans always have nice cars.
Mom: I'd rather have a big house than a nice car or fancy clothes.
Me: I'd rather have all of it.
Mom: What if you had to choose?
Me: Why would I have to choose?
Mom: Because you were poor.
Me: Why would I be poor?
Mom: Because you have poor parents.
Me: What does that have anything to do with my being poor?
Dad: We're not poor.
Mom: She doesn't think she has to choose.
Dad: Do you think she works hard because she wants to make choices?
Me: Thanks, Dad.
Dad: So what car are you gonna buy for us?
Me: If I had to make a choice, I'd choose my family's health.
Mom: She only makes choices when she wants to.

Mom: Let Connie drive to her place. She has a better sense of direction.
Dad: Fine.
Mom: Connie, which way is East?
Me: [pointing] That way.
Mom: Isn't that North?
Me: Mmm... I know that way is home and that way is Chicago.
Mom: Yea, so that's North.
Me: I just pointed at what I thought was Chicago.
Mom: Yea, North.

Mom: Oh, it's getting nicer in this neighborhood.
Me: We're in Downtown now.
Mom: Where were we before? It was terrible. So ugly. Dirty.
Me: That was Koreatown.
Mom: I don't like Koreatown.
Me: Whoa, whoa, whoa, don't jump to conclusions now.
Mom: What's so great about it?
Me: There's karaoke on every corner!
Mom: I've never been to karaoke.
Me: How... What? How... am I related to you... What? I'm so confused.
Dad: I haven't either.
Me: Guys. This is unacceptable.
Dad: How are you more Korean than we are? You're not even the first born.
Me: How have you never gone to karaoke?!?

Mom: Your place is so dusty.
Me: I haven't been here in a couple weeks.
Mom: You really need to clean.
Me: Mom, have you heard of outsourcing?
Dad: Oh, like getting Cindy to clean for you?
Me: That's terrible.
Dad: Didn't you say she folded your laundry and put it on your bed?
Me: Yea, but that's just because she's nice.
Mom: What's outsourcing?
Me: When you pay someone to do something for you.
Dad: How do you pay Cindy?
Me: I don't outsource to Cindy!
Mom: I think she buys her food sometimes.
Me: I'm gonna call a maid.
Dad: Don't call Cindy your maid.
Me: ...

Me: Cindy would move with me if I did buy a place.
Mom: You should be careful.
Me: Of what?
Mom: If you two get too dependent on each other, you might turn into lesbians.
Me: That's not how it works. And if it were, I would've made that decision a long time ago.
Dad: What's she saying?
Mom: I don't know.

Me: Do you know how to get home?
Dad: Yea, just turn right to the freeway.
Me: No, turn left. Then, right.
Dad: Got it. Right, left. Got it.
Mom: Wait, tell me. Your dad is terrible at directions.
Me: Turn left, then right
Mom: Okay, turn right.
Me: Call me when you guys get lost.

They never did call me, and I got so caught up looking for the right maid service to clean my apartment that I forget to check in on them. I'm 80% certain they made it home.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anger management Wednesdays

I'm like a leaf floating in the water, drifting calmly against the cool of the nascent waves. And as time passes, I'll be there, a speck in the vast ocean of your world. But as time goes on, without your knowing it, I'll fade into the peripheral... until one day, I'll be gone. And the ocean will be free from blemish yet once again.

Me: I'm time-boxing this shit. Five years. Max.
C: Why five years?
Me: Because anything can happen in five years.

Though lately, I've really solved for my own level of happiness, it seems a bit of a facade at times. I feel like maybe constantly saying yes to myself is actually turning me into a crazy, high-maintenance, insatiable, overly-demanding crazy person.

Me: This dumb bitch won't let me into the building. Five fucking minutes. She says I'm too early by five fucking minutes. So she won't even bother to call reception. She has too much power for her own good. Stupid, dumb, useless twat, stealing minutes from my life. If I could bill her, I would.
M: Shit. what time is it?
Me: Oh, sorry. Did I wake you? I was just so mad, I had to call someone.

Sometime around 1998, I turned into the most temperamental person alive. I used to call it teenage angst, but as it became more prevalent in my early 20s, I realized it might actually be an inherent trait that remained dormant pre-1998. Anyway, I got very good at keeping it locked down for a long time. But it appears that my volatile nature is back. And it's raging.

So as I sat here, storylining my work stream, I thought - Why am I getting so mad at text boxes without the formatted bullets? I shouldn't be this mad over something so stupid...

That's when I realized that I need to mellow the fuck out. The fact that I'm taking random shit in my life too seriously is making me angry. And you know what I'm really good at? Not taking shit too seriously.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stupidity, ignorance, or the like...

There are a few things I know about myself. 

1. I have a set level of tolerance for people. Depending on your level of stupidity, ignorance, or the like, this tolerance can dissipate rather quickly. 
2. I am not judgmental, unless you're stupid, ignorant, or the like, at which point I am extremely judgmental.
3. I don't like being dirty.

The list goes on, but let's stop there since those are the relevant ones for today's topic.

A week ago, I was traveling through Europe with a colleague. For purposes of my story, we'll call him Stove (because that's what my friends ended up calling him anyway). Let me be clear that the only reason I agreed to travel with him was the fact that I watched Taken. And I wanted someone to know rather quickly if I had been captured. Apparently, there is a set amount of time to ensure that I am not sold off to sex slavery. 

Let me add some color to this scenario to give you a sense of how it's a miracle that Stove is still alive. 

Me - an open-minded free spirit who finds great happiness in listening to music, reading, watching movies, looking at art, socializing with cool people, and eating good food
Stove - a boring piece of cardboard who doesn't know anything about music, books, movies, or art, who primarily socializes with others through the internet and has never gotten blackout drunk before

Yea. I know. 

After a week with Stove, I realized that the person I travel with has to have at least ONE of the following qualities. Without this, you are useless to me and if you are useless to me, most likely the aforementioned tolerance and judgement levels will become a problem. I will highlight on how each of these were lacking in my European experience.
1. Knowledge of good books, music, or movies

Me: Have you seen The Godfather?
Stove: No.
Me: No?? What about Good Fellas?
Stove: Never heard of it.
Me: What the fuck... 
Stove: I like movies that have complex story lines.
Me: Give me an example.
Stove: Like Blues Brothers.
Me: ...

2. Strong interest in delicious food

Stove: That looks like it's made out of ice cream.
Me: You don't know what a milkshake is?
Stove: I've never had one before.
Me: What the fuck...  my 3-year-old nephew knows what a milkshake is.
Stove: I don't like milk.
Me: I don't like broccoli but I still know what the fuck it is.

3. High level of competence

Me: Can you order pizza for us?
Stove: How many should I order, what do you want, and how should I order it?
Me: You want me to hold your hand through the entire process? Just order the fucking pizza.

4. A decent level of intelligence and/or cleverness

Me: At least you'll never be homeless.
Stove: Yea, probably.
Me: Probably? You think there's a chance you might be homeless one day?
Stove: Maybe.
Me: Maybe? Are you fucking stupid? 

5. Extremely high sense of hygiene and cleanliness

Me: Dude, your towel smells like shit. Why don't you use a clean towel?
Stove: I figured you guys would want to use the towels.
Me: Your towel smells like shit. Smell it.
Stove: I didn't notice.
Me: What the fuck... how can you not notice?!?

6. Ability to be fun and make friends

D: Look how awkwardly Stove is in this picture.
Me: Haha, that looks creepy.
D: I'm going to crop him out.
Me: Okay.

7. Physically agile and athletic

Me: I'm gonna go for a run. 
Stove: I've never ran more than 2 miles. My knee is messed up.
Me: Shouldn't you get that fixed?
Stove: It requires physical therapy.
Me: Shouldn't you get that fixed?

8. Extremely good looking

I just threw this one in there because I think that no matter how dumb, obnoxious, or whatever a person may be, I'll give him a pass if he's a stud. Just saying.

Anyway, I'd apologize to Stove right here (in case he reads this) for being insensitive to his off-the-charts immaturity across the spectrum of life, but I'm not really sorry. He kept using the excuse that he's young with a rough childhood to cast some blanket excuse for why he is such a fucking unknowing doormat. But this seems like bullshit to me because honestly, we can all sit here with our thumbs in our asses and make excuses for ourselves. 

But you know what'd that make us? Fucking stupid, ignorant, and the like...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I got it from my mama

Mom: I pray everyday that you find a good guy, so you can finally settle down.
Me: I don't look at it that way.
Mom: How do you look at it then?
Me: In my opinion, some guy out there is praying right now to meet the girl of his dreams. And maybe, if he prays hard enough, he'll find me. I'm not the one who's looking.

I was talking to my sister the other night, and she and I always come to a very hard realization that my mom is very confusing. My sister and I are what you might call "Spawns of Matriarchal Dominance."

Let me back up. There's definitely a trend.

My grandma, bless her 95-year-old heart, was trained to be the epitome of ideal housewife. She can cook, clean, sew, and raise babies like it's nobody's business. But because of the war, homegirl had to man the fuck up. She single-handedly supported the family and even managed to send my mom to college. As strong of a family cornerstone as she was (and still is today), she still dyed her hair until the day my grandfather passed away - because she knew that despite it all, she was still a lady. A vain one at that.

My mom wasn't too far off. During the '70s, not knowing a lick of English and with a few dollars in her pocket, she flew to Chicago to realize the American dream. She worked the night shift knowing full well the discrimination being thrown against her, grit-and-bore-it, and built the foundation to which she faced her biggest challenge - having children. By the way, there is not one single picture of my mom when she was pregnant. There are, however, dozens of her in skinny jeans and halter tops.

My sister and I were raised in a dichotomy of sorts.

On one side, my mom told us that we were smart, capable women who should never rely on anyone to do anything for us. If we want it, go and get it. This led to us being painfully opposed to asking others for help (and hating it when we had to), and also being extremely aggressive in our careers. Truth be told, sometimes it actually defined us as people.

On the other side, my mom told us that we were beautiful, feminine girls who should never leave the house without our hair brushed. We were women, and should be very aware of this power. This led to our being extremely particular about the way we looked and the clothes we wore. Not surprisingly, we focus much of our spare time on keeping ourselves well-groomed.

As the two sides collided in our genome, what yielded was a very difficult-to-impress, extremely judgmental cynic who endearingly hopes for the best but almost always expects the worst. In other words, you're not good enough so your best bet is to come close.

My sister is now married with two precocious children, but still manages to hold an executive position in Corporate America. What others don't see is that her tendency to be a perfectionist does not fend well with our aforementioned double-edged sword. It's hard to be badass in both worlds. And not being a perfect badass in both worlds is driving her fucking crazy.

As the younger, I can learn from seeing the path my sister took, and build on it. I am now unmarried with no children, and I am also not a perfectionist. Things fall off my plate all the time. When I babysit for my sister, those kids cry all day because I really don't think crying is a weapon. Shit, I invented that strategy so I will not be fooled. But this flexibility allows me to focus on my career when needed, and fill the gaps with everything else under the sun to maintain my happiness: friends, family, travel, Chanel. You name it.

So at the prime of my life (I say this every year because every year is my prime), I think there is a shift in the type of guy that I may need and want. He doesn't have to be the super-successful "look at me now" asshole who likes to trade business cards over a fancy dinner. In fact, I'd hate that. What is rare, I think, is the guy who is extremely intelligent (but doesn't flaunt it), super clever (because he's so fucking intelligent), and is shamelessly aware of how there are only two people like me on this planet (and since the other one is married with two kids, I am now the greatest win of his life). Oh, and he has to be hot. This wasn't a requirement before, but it's a requirement now. Fit and hot. Because I like to work out and if I'm not motivated to keep up, I'm afraid I might get fat.

Which brings me to my main point. I might be hard to convince in terms of getting married, etc. but I can be because my mama taught me right.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Determining the Relationship" at work

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone. Please note that I only apologized to avoid conflict.

I've been staffed with my team for about six weeks now. In consulting, this is the point in the relationship where you think, 'Okay, are we going to stay friends after we break up, or is she such a masochistic nightmare that I won't want to ever see the crazy bitch again?"

The breakup is inevitable. (I wanted to write a disclaimer as to how this is different from my real social life, but I couldn't think of anything that made sense.)

These are the three types of teams you may come across... (I'm going to refer to "teams" as "girls" because it's more applicable to non-consultants.)

1. Girl is fun, chill, smart, and most importantly, doesn't take work all that seriously.

This is a girl you try to keep around as much as possible. You actually find yourself wanting to hang out with her outside of the office, and ... dare I say... add her on Facebook. You see eye-to-eye on getting work done in the most efficient way possible, talking about the real lives we have, and using the F-word at least 50 times a day in a positive way. Girl is fan-fucking-tastic.

2. Gets her shit done, but chick is boring.

You try to start a conversation about sports, music, art, books, movies, animals, cookies, anything... and get no sign of life. You try to avoid a conversation about pivot tables, PPTX shortcuts, benchmarks... and can't get her to shut the fuck up. In the team room and in front of the client, you're extremely grateful for having her around. But once your foot feels the fresh concrete outside the office, you think of every excuse to not have to have dinner with her. Girl is as exciting as cardboard.

3. Bitch is cray.

This little twat takes the simplest tasks and somehow turns them into painstaking processes that make you want to strangle kittens. She promises shit to the client when, hello, it's not on the fucking proposal so shut your trap. She forces you to skip meals, workouts, weekends, and life in general. You don't agree on anything, find yourself plotting ways to kill her, and use the F-word at least 500 times a day in a negative way. Girl is a fucking psychopath.

So my 6-week evaluation of my "girl" puts her at a solid 2 who teeters between a 1 (when I'm challenged to a night of blackout debauchery) and a 3 (when I start to write a blog at 2:00AM waiting for comments). Where will we end up? This is what I call the "probation period" - which will be saved for another blog post entirely.

A few insights into my interactions
N: Can I take a minute to vent my frustrations?
A: I don't think this is the time for us to vent right now.
C: No, she wants to vent her frustrations. She doesn't give a shit about yours.

A: You don't look so happy.
C: It's 4-fucking-AM.
A: It's 7:00AM.
C: It's 4-fucking-AM in LA, where things really matter.

A: We'll leave in 15 minutes.
C: So you mean an hour.
A: Hey S, I have to go soon. I have an angry Korean girl who will kill me if I don't feed her.
C: At least you acknowledged that you know what I'm thinking.

C: You want me to go to the meeting?
A: Yea, the client seems nicer when you're around.
C: That's because she likes me and she hates you.
A: Yea... I don't know how that happened.
C: It's because she watched me binge eat a pint of ice cream.

On an unrelated note, Pegasus & Condor attack Chicago this weekend. BEAST.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Must love chameleons

During the first day of orientation at the Firm (yes, that's what we call it and yes, I guzzle the Kool-aid daily), we were given a glossary of all the acronyms that we should get familiar with - and clearly, the need for an organized list of definitions amused the shit out of me. So I read it.

MBTI (Myers-Briggs): a personality categorization used frequently at the Firm based on four distinct drivers of one's ability to work and interact within teams; often used as an excuse for not being able to deal well with others - please, do not do this.

It actually said "please, do not do this" to which I thought, "I do that all the time."

J: I told my manager to stop using the F-word with me.
Me: I hate it when they do that.
J: Seriously. How many times is he going to ask me how I feel?

And since I'm receptive to receiving (and applying) feedback, here's an explanation of MBTI:

The four metrics are as follows, defined Connie-style (i.e., terse and accurate)
1A. Extrovert (E): absorbs energy from other people
1B. Introvert (I): hates other people
2A. iNtuitive (N): big picture thinking
2B. Sensing (S): detail and task oriented
3A. Thinking (T): communicates directly, results-oriented
3B. Feeling (F): communicates through happy and sad faces
4A. Judging (J): pragmatic and organized
4B. Perceptive (P): spontaneous and flexible

For today's purposes, I want to focus on the T/F breakdown... mostly because I think people adapt to their environments - like an overly complicated chameleon who has feelings but still wants her fucking data.

Honestly, it simply comes down to work versus personal life. And people, this is a new thing. I used to treat my friends and family in an almost grossly transactional way. I guess it took Oz a bit longer than anticipated to give this tin girl a heart. But at least the one I got has an on/off switch.

Example of T-ness 
A: Do you want to go to this meeting?
Me: No.
A: It might be good from an optics perspective.
Me: It has nothing to do with my workstream and frankly, is a waste of my time.

Example of F-ness
S: Thank you for your purchase of dried coconut and mango snacks. We're a small business run by just me and my husband, and we sincerely appreciate your business!
Me: I truly enjoy supporting small businesses, so I am happy to hear that - and your product mix is particularly diverse.
S: A year ago, we lost our jobs with the failing economy and had to make ends meet by selling all different types of products. We're hoping to focus more on snacks and groceries now that we have a storefront going.
Me: I'm going to buy all of my snacks from you going forward. All... of... them...

Example of how sometimes it merges...

Me: Can you please sanity check it to make sure the numbers seem right? I did myself, obviously, but your keen sense on these baseline metrics make me warm and fuzzy.
S: Warm and fuzzy? Nice.
Me: Better than "less of a bitch"...

... which in all sincerity, was probably more accurate.

Which brings me to my final point in that sometimes, we actually believe we're one over the other... and then try to convey that when we meet people.

Me: I'm an ENTJ. I like people but only hang out with them if they make plans with me and don't get mad about stupid shit.
C: Well, what did you want to do tonight?
Me: Whatever's fine.

A few years ago, I read a book called On Bullshit and I was reminded of it recently. The premise is that the difference between a lie and bullshit is that you know when you're lying. But bullshit is even more potent because people actually believe it could (or is) true.

Me: I'm like a lamb. Soft, shy, meek, and all that.
R: That is a lie. You're a lot of things, but you're definitely not a lamb.

E: Buy Ethos water. They give money back to poor people.
Me: I don't believe that bullshit for one second.

And sadly, the longer people stay at the Firm, which side of the coin will win becomes increasingly questionable...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chronicles of a Single Girl (Part 3)

I like learning new things. It's kind of my daily goal and this weekend was actually full of nothing but achieving goals.

Let me start by saying... there's a motherfucking Earl of Sandwich at Newark Airport. How come no one has ever mentioned this on Facebook? I thought people shared important information that benefited general society on our crowd sourcing center of the universe. What the fuck, people. Thanks for nothing.

Anyway, I just wrapped up my NYC weekend getaway with my one and only Pegasus. I owe her apologies for a long, long, long time. But I'm hoping she forgives me because she really is one of my closest friends. 

Let's share a few of my continued learnings as a single girl... 

0. Don't be selfish around your good friends. 

There's no real explanation to this that I care to share. Just that I was selfish, and I feel terrible about it.

1. You're never too old to be excited about Friday nights. 

P: We have brunch w Candice in 20 minutes. How do you feel?
Me: I think I'm still drunk.
P: Not hungover?
Me: Maybe a little.
P: I don't remember the second place we went to last night.
Me: We went to a second place??
P: Oh, we went to No Fun. I can see the stamp on your hand.

2. There's no rule against treating yourself to Chanel. 

C: My old wallet was so worn, it needed a haircut. It takes me forever to buy new shit. I circle things that I want like a vulture for months. But look who I'm talking to, you guys just impulsed shopped at Chanel.
Me: It wasn't on impulse. I gave myself a budget in January.
P: She bought two Chanel bags.
Me: But it was all within my set budget.

3. Doesn't matter how old they get... some boys will always be gross. 

J: I have some lemonade.
R: Nice. Wait, what's this? Dude, there's mold in your lemonade. That shit is nasty.
J: Oh, I knew it was kinda old...
P: How could you offer something that has mold in it?

4. Doesn't matter how old they get... some boys will always be ridiculous. 

J: Your emails don't make any sense.
R: Read one back to me.
J: "I love red jackets, that's my fucking problem. Beast."
R: How does that not make sense? 

5. Doesn't matter how painful work gets... it enables the shit out of me. 

A: Your study got extended 5 more weeks.
Me: Okay.
A: But afterwards, there's a training you should go to.
Me: Okay.
A: It's in Germany.
Me: Sick....

And now, perhaps out of punishment... or equilibrium... or whatever... I feel ill. I love bad bitches, that's my fucking problem.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chronicles of a Single Girl (Part 2)

I'm through feeling guilty.

Without going into too much detail, a little over a year ago I make the biggest mistake of my life. And at the time, I wondered how I could ever equalize my karma to save myself from the flames of an inevitable hell.

I didn't have to wonder for long because my punishment came in the form of hell on Earth. And the rest of 2012 was a great learning experience on how despite my best intentions, the only person who can save me is myself.

At this point, I think I've come to a place where I can honestly say that I've leveled the playing field - finally found neutral ground. The people who hate me can continue to hate me. The people who forgave me will be appreciated. And the people who never judged me during that entire time are my true friends.

And that's it.

Now, after all this time, I have this uncanny ability to identify the mistakes that I've made - but also to refuse to take the blame for mistakes I did not make. Other people taking my actions or words as something it is clearly not, is hardly my fault. I will not apologize.

What the fuck.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chronicles of a Single Girl (Part 1)

I don't think I've been able to call myself single since 2007... and some people may argue since high school. As scary as it may seem, I decided to give it a try for a bit. Get my bearings. Figure shit out. And take the ten seconds it took to realize how much I fucking love my life.

Me: What's great about my job is that if I hate my client, or even if I hate my team, it doesn't matter. After the project is over, I never have to work with them again. But if I do like them, I have the opportunity to continue to work with them. But if you hate your co-workers, you're stuck with them for life.
T: It makes sense that you like that. It's exactly how you treat your relationships. That's probably why you refuse to get married.
Me: Shit... you're right.

The thing is, I know exactly how much it took to get to where I am now. The effort, time, sacrifice... the everything. A lot of it was luck, a lot of it was timing, but most of it was a well-fucking-orchestrated plan that despite a few obstacles ended up pretty kickass. And I'll be damned if someone tries to rain on my parade - and in the most extreme cases, make me feel guilty about it. Hate to break it to you, but I'm called the Ball Buster at work for interviewing candidates. And I love myself way more than I love my Firm.

K: You need to take time for yourself. Figure out what makes you happy. 

So now, I've built out a decision strategy that's been working really well for me. 
1. Get what I want: 
-- I want, I get, I conquer
2. See who I want
-- Consider yourself on a very short list if I actually spend time with you
3. Go where I want
-- Plans for 2013 so far: Vegas, Palm Springs, Miami, Europe... then maybe Asia
4. Be what I want:
-- Run 3x a week with a race at least once every quarter

And at the heart of me is a hopeless romantic who does believe that someone out there does exist who has a similar mindset to my own... who can hang with my crass sense of humor, read a leisure book and actually have an opinion about it, and love to try new things with an open mind... and also thinks I'm the shit and reminds me of it all the fucking time. 

Is that so much to ask? I think not.