I Challenge You To a Duel! April 3, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Friendships, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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Around town, this town at least, there’s been a lot of discussion about conflicts. Not just those in the news; which politician angered who, which country is at war with their neighbor, and which celebrity is divorcing their 3 month hubby; but the conflicts that hit us everyday and how we handle them. The passive aggressive friend, the messy roommate, the over-bearing boss or unfaithful partner. Then there are conflicts that you can’t even predict, like your crazy classmate telling you they made a psychic connection with your dog and it told her that it wants to sleep on the bed more. How do you handle them and how do you know that handling them is what you should even be doing in the first place?
Conflicts aren’t just about time and place, but about personality so how you may handle something will differ from how Joe Shmoe Bob Smith will handle it, there is more than one right way to do something, but when it comes to resolving, there are definitely wrong ways to go about it. Many of these case-in-point situations are when a conflict doesn’t need resolution, for those of us who hate tension, this is the best kind of problem to have. Many conflicts, like crazy dog-talking classmate lady, simply need to be ignored rather than addressed. Don’t create a problem if there isn’t one. Many issues dissipate as quickly as they appear, don’t assume something is a mountain when it’s simply a molehill…and then, sqwwwwish it!
However, when things hit the next level, ignoring them will only make them worse. Having a cold means chicken soup and sleep, but having strep throat means getting antibiotics. Some solutions require a little help and a conversation. The best way to address a problem that’s not going away, for example, a messy roommate, is to talk about it. Communication is the number one way to alleviate the problem. Don’t blame or place fault, regardless of how much you may believe the moldy bread on the counter is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY worth blame, the only effect that will have is defense and unless you’re in the mood for a football game, I’d suggest steering clear of anything that can be written with a consonant and a picture of a gate.
Still…we’ve all been in that scenario where we sit down, calmly, express our concern over someone’s behavior and then instead of a warm reception we get attack and verbal battery, almost to the point were we’re convinced that we’re at fault until we remember, no, we’re not the ones who made a dating profile while still with their current significant other. Here, you have two choices, get the bat-mobile and head into battle or, take the higher route and walk away. The reality is that whether you’re good with tension or not, there are something things that can’t be resolved. Sometimes the solution is in your hands and it may not be a convenient one.
Rude friends and annoying co-workers are one thing, but neighbors who think 4am is an acceptable time to play the radio or a boss who won’t stop critiquing your every move aren’t exactly conversations you can have between dinner and a movie. Even if you try to resolve it, they’re called conflicts for a reason because they are conflicting. Some conflicts require change, decisions and tough love. However, they can also be signs, life’s little push in the right direction, moving to a new apartment or finding a new job can be cathartic and while it starts out as the most horrible experience of your life, it may be a blessing in disguise.
To sum all this crazy talk up, tension sucks! But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Find the right path to mending the problem and when the solution is no where in sight, do what all the greats before you have done…fix the problem yourself. Let your hell become your paradise and keep optimistic, because no matter how horrid the situation may present itself, the light is always at the end of the tunnel!
“…And then, it comes. Reality.” March 18, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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You ever have one of those days, or weeks, or months where everything you do, see and touch reminds you of something you’d rather not be reminded of? The lipgloss you just pulled out of your bag, a song on the radio, a specific cream cheese your co-worker is eating, a phrase you hear in the mall. The stupidest, most insignificant things manage to rip a hole in you, and let the contining sadness flow in, even when you thought you were over it. Maybe it’s my recent experience with watching the Bachelor season finale, or maybe this is all in light of current events, but it’s not a feeling that’s exclusive to me or you, or the guy down the street. We’ve all been there, that gut-wrenching, pit of your stomach, aching, sinking, intuitive feeling where you just knew, this was going to be bad.
About a week ago, I could feel it, maybe it was the stars, or the energy or the univserse, or just good old intuition, but I basically knew I was going to lose something important to me. Today, now that it’s all over, I can see the bright side and I know that it’s for the best and this is how things are meant to be, but when it’s all going down, no one thinks that way, no one really wants to think that way. Everyday, I waited for a phone call that meant “You’re important.”, “You’re valuable”, “You’re a top-notch member of our team”, “You’re suspicions are wrong.” but every day went by and every day, no call. My friends can attest to my anxiety that week, trying my best to keep my mind occupied and ignore that feeling of an invisible hand choking me. Everyone I knew told me to keep calm until I had something to be worked-up over, but…you know when you just know? and you can’t explain how you know, there are no logical reasons to be so sure, but it’s just this feeling, like the world is about to crash down on you and you can’t move? Whether it’s a break-up, a loss, being fired, saying goodbye, everyone’s been there; you’re 100% sure what’s about to happen isn’t going to be good.
On one hand, you’re prepared. You’ve got your walls up before anyone can shoot them down, you’re the first to draw your sword. They can’t hurt you as bad if you’re ready for them. Still, there’s an entirely different part of you that is only setting yourself up for the worst case scenario so that when that’s not what you get, the only thing you can feel is better. In some weird, sick, twisted place in your head, you actually believe you’re just overreacting.
…And then, it comes. Reality. Now it’s not just the feeling of the world crashing down on you, but it’s actually happening, literally, as if everything you had been going through the last few days became shards of glass, broken by a large rock that went plummeting into everything you hoped wasn’t true. It seems like you’re allowed your shock and grief for a day, maybe a week and then people start clouding you with “the bright side”, “the silver lining” and you’re staring at them like “Yeah, I got it, I see it…I’m still upset. Stop talking.” People are only trying to help because they care about you….but somehow, there’s still a lingering feeling of what you had from the start. Why did you just know? Would it be better if you were totally caught off guard? Do you start bad mouthing the hell out of everyone who caused you pain or shrug it off like it’s no big deal?
What I can say I’ve learned, from past experiences, is this; Always trust your intuition, even if it’s not dead on, it is telling you something, so if your worst suspicions aren’t confirmed still be cautious, our minds are so much smarter than we give them credit for. Do things when you’re ready; make “the call” when you’re ready, ask the question when you’re ready, face the truth when you’re ready. You aren’t forcing things or putting them off, you’re just waiting to trust yourself, maybe just trust that you won’t fall apart if the news isn’t good. Bad mouth….a little. When someone does something to you that’s immoral, unjust or just frankly wrong let the world know. It’s like a harshly written Yelp review, don’t let others follow in your footsteps and get hurt too…but don’t make yourself out to be worse than the one who hurt you, even if you kind of want to…inside.
Seeing your empty Purell bottle, a commercial on TV, or a photograph from good times that are gone won’t feel good, and then after a while it won’t feel awful, and then in a while longer it’ll feel okay, and so on until your Purell bottle is just another thing to recycle. Healing isn’t easy, no matter how big or small other people may understand your hurt to be, but the good part is, you can recycle that pain just like, eventually, that empty bottle will be long gone.
“Yes”-itis Made Me Do It! March 11, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Tips and Tricks.
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I have this disease, it’s called “Yes”-itis. It causes me to always say yes, but not just to my friends or family, but to my job. It means I’m really good at having a career because I make the right moves at the right times, and it means I’m always available for what my boss wants, needs, and when I am to please, I also succeed. It’s not the worst problem to have, some might say it’s the best kind of problem to have. I don’t say yes because I have to, I say yes because I want to. Never complain, never say the words “I can’t”, when I fall down I do it gracefully and when I get up I have a smile on your face. Most of all, you always say yes. “I’m going to need you stand on your head and sing the alphabet backwards while blowing bubbles”, answer? “Sure! no problem”. “Would it be possible for you to grow three extra arms by tomorrow?”…”YES!, I don’t see why that wouldn’t be possible.” So, you’re with me? You get it? Being the Yes Girl means always being chosen for the good stuff because you put up with the gross stuff, it means people know you are reliable and responsible and it means you’ll get ahead when that dream job opens up. What else does it mean? Working 10am-10pm everyday, for two weeks, and trying not have a meltdown on a mall escalator over khaki pants…oh wait, that happened.
As many of our readers know, DLIH is a total priority for us. The problem is, as many of you have faced yourself, priority often lies where money lives…and while I hate to admit it, when getting home after 12 straight hours of work only means doing another 2 hours of homework, things like eating, showering, socializing, basically functioning and, unfortunately, DLIH fall to the wayside. Now, this isn’t a post about all the excuses we could make for being MIA, it’s about the Yes Girl.
It’s normal, when starting a new job, to always want to put your best foot forward and showcase that you’re a person people can rely on. Whether it’s your boss, your co-workers, supervisors or just your general reputation as being professional, sometimes some late hours or early mornings, even doing tasks that aren’t yours can pay off in the long run. However, doing it too long, too much or too often can backfire in several ways. Taking on responsibilities that aren’t yours might make you look like a push over, or they may just magically become yours because “you’re just so good at them!”; likewise, staying late too often or voluntarily coming in way before opening can give you a reputation that you have no life and your boss might think it’s okay to continuously ask you to work more hours than needed. Most of all, running yourself ragged can wear you out, affect your health and even make you sick.
This doesn’t just apply to work, always saying yes to car rides, yes to planning parties, yes to attending events, and being everyone’s go-to person for help can be just as much pressure. You want to be there for all your friends and family, but when spilled milk makes you burst into tears or you yell at someone for handing you a pencil instead of a pen, it’s probably a sign that you’ve taken on too much and spread yourself too thin. Are your friends and family giving as much as they’re getting? Remember that they’ll say no to you, it’s okay to just need a day for yourself and not need to offer up a great excuse, “I’m sorry, I just can’t that day.” is sufficient.
For people dealing with “Yes”-itis, all this is easier said than done. It’s in our nature to be a nurturer and be there for everyone. We genuinely WANT to be there for everyone, it’s not because we feel we have to, it’s because it makes us happy to make others happy. So here are the DLIH bullet points on how to survive being kind and generous without losing yourself:
- Pick a day or time, that no matter what, is yours. Whether it’s Sunday, before the start of the week, Friday, because it’s your day off, or Tuesday because you always have big papers due on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Whatever the reason, tell yourself you never schedule things that day – no work, no charity, no special events, it’s your day to get things done or even just relax.
- Don’t try to deal with everything. Many of us “yes people”, believe that we put burden on others by discussing our problems or explaining that we’re stressed out. Then when we freak out over no paper in the printer, people think we’re crazy. It’s good to rely on people when times are tough for you, tell them you’re having a hard week and why and if you need to have “a moment”, step away with a pal, and let it out.
- Tough it out. Some week, or days, or months, are just going to flat-out suck…because life happens. Everyday tell yourself you’re one step closer to the end, you’re getting there and you’re going to make it! Even the days you want to bang your head into the wall cause your so tired. Do things that make it easier like not being so hard on yourself, making sure you get to bed early, or put things off that aren’t absolutely, 100% urgent (coughDLIHpostscough), even if that means giving up some things you enjoy like hobbies, working out or seeing friends. Soon enough this rough patch will be over and you’ll be able to celebrate getting through it with a round.
Intro To…Your Annual Tax Returns February 15, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, How To, Intro To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Review.
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Five years ago, my employer handed me a W2. A what? When I found out that I had to do my own taxes, I started having heart palpitations. As a minor, or dependent, it never even occurred to me that this could, one day, be my responsibility. My dad went through all his bills, found his receipts and took a bunch of envelopes to some guy who he then paid for a service. Now, it was my turn to do it all…and I had no idea how. So, now that I’ve becomes a seasoned tax filer, I figured it was time to lend that helping hand.
The first thing you need to understand, are these basic questions:
How much do you need to make to file tax returns? Ever year the IRS releases a minimum amount, in different criteria, that you’ll need to report to the IRS. However, it’s very rare that at a job, even part-time, you’ll make less than the minimum. If you fill out a W9 or W4 or other tax form, you should be on the lookout for something in January. There is also a “no income” tax report that is generally recommended to file if you paid taxes in a different country or did not make an income. There are several reasons to file and not to file at no income, many recommend it just to keep a good record incase you’re ever audited. The IRS or your accountant can give you more information on “no income” or “self-employeed” forms.
When do I get my tax documents? All jobs, employers, schools and etc. need to have their tax papers out to you by January 31st. If you haven’t received everything by the first few days of February, start making phone calls and following up. Sometimes, they may just have your address wrong.
What documents do I get? If you filled out a W4 when you started a job, this means you were considered an employee and taxes were taken out of your paycheck. For this, you’ll receive a W2. If you were a contractor or did freelance work on the books, where taxes weren’t taken out, you probably filled out a W9, for this you’ll receive a 1099. Be aware! You’ll need to pay those taxes when you file so if you haven’t saved up money, or taken taxes out yourself, be prepared to owe. If you get a different type of form, consult a CPA or the IRS website. A W4 and W2 are the two most common tax information forms.
When will I get my refund? Every tax preparer is different and they’ll let you know when and how you can expect your refund. For e-file, which is the most preferred and fastest method, you can get your refund directly deposited into your bank account, in as little as two weeks, but it can take much longer as well.
Now that you’ve got some of the lingo down…there are a couple of hefty details that will help you determine what kind of method you use to file. If you can’t qualify as a dependent, you’re going to need to do this yourself, but that doesn’t mean people can’t help you. Ask friends for recommendations, help with things you might not understand, or even to just sit with you while you do it all, for moral support. Starting out, I did all three.
Using TurboTax, or other similar websites. If you work between one and four jobs, don’t have a lot of stock, assets, are single, didn’t make too many large charitable donations and basically are more or less an average 20ish something year old, this’ll probably work for you. They’ve dumbed it down so that a seven year old can do it but they also explain every step of the way, so that you are never confused. Many sites like TurboTax can actually upload your tax documents to help you eliminate typos or mistakes of finding the right box. TurboTax also lets you save your work, so if you don’t have a lot of time or if you want a friend or relative to look over everything before you submit, you can save and go back. It also saves your info and past returns from year to year if you need to refer to them.
Many people resort to using (and paying for) an accountant. Accountants, or CPA’s rather, are much more expensive than using an online type service, which isn’t usually more than $40-$70, but have many advantages. People often use a CPA simply for peace of mind. One small typo or incorrect number and your taxes could turn into a dangerously drawn out adventure you don’t want to embark on. If you aren’t in need of a large return or aren’t worried about spending the cash, this is always a convenient option. People who own businesses, are married, have children or dependents or have special circumstances like assets or stocks may also opt to use an actual person to handle their taxes, as life goes on, taxes become more and more complicated and you’ll want an expert to look into all the nooks and crannies. Lastly, an accountant will work to find you the largest refund, give you the proper credits and probably be able to get you the most money back.
Now, you always have the option to do them yourself….but unless you’re a CPA, studied accounting and got your degree, or are living in a fantasy world, most people probably aren’t suited for this kind of challenge.
Credits and deductions; These can be your heaven and your hell, only credit what’s true and what you can prove. I.E. don’t claim an education credit if you’re not currently enrolled in school, “planning” to go to school doesn’t count. These can get you a lot of money back but they can also get you audited if you’re not careful. When it comes to personal or work credits, add in anything you can prove within reason; movie ticket stubs as “education” because you’re trying to be an actor may not fly if your return comes up under spotlight. Be smart, and if you don’t know, ask for help.
Tips or under the table wages are required to be claimed…do we do it?…no…so it’s your call, but a wise word of advice would be to claim some of it. You want to secure yourself and ensure your credibility incase your “under the table” boss suddenly gets audited and needs to prove where that $300 a month went. Most people who make tips, chose not to report them, because they can’t be tracked but if you simply made additional cash and there are e-mails, or other documents to prove it, I would suggest adding it in. Remember that checks don’t count, a check can easily be tracked, so you should report it.
Watch how your taxes are taken out. On a scary March evening in 2010, SK filed her tax return and owed over 1200 dollars. It turns out her job was not taking out enough taxes to cover government requirements and throughout twelve months, it adds up! Make sure your taxes are being taken out correctly when you fill out your W4 and W9 and withhold if necessary. There are calculators that can help you figure it all out.
It seems like a lot to take in, but it’s really not as complicated as it first appears. Luckily, you’ve got options! Here are some more helpful websites that can answer questions and help you find more information. The main rule about doing your taxes is this, keep calm..and of course, have them done before April 15th!
*Doing Laundry in Heels and it’s contributors are not tax experts or certified to make any recommendations regarding annual tax returns. Information in this post is based solely on research and experience. When doing your taxes, it’s advised to consult a professional.
It’s Okay to Take a Break – Part II February 7, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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To know where SK came from…and where she’s going, take a looksy at It’s Okay to Take a Break – Part I
Taking a break it like taking a deep breath…you breathe in, breathe out and then think “Yup…that didn’t help at all.” So you try it again, and again and again, and after a few minutes you ask yourself why you’re doing this, all it’s doing it making you lightheaded. De-stressing takes time and it’s not going to happen while you’re sitting their thinking about it. So, I took a few deep breaths and continued to do so until I could answer all the questions I had about myself…and that definitely took a while.
Taking a break means putting your foot down, it means stopping one thing to start another. During my time off I traveled, I allowed myself to go away for Thanksgiving and Christmas not feeling bad. I didn’t have to report to anyone, didn’t have to fill out a “Day-off request form”, didn’t have to make an “out of office reply”. Most of all, I didn’t have to feel guilty about anything. I felt in charge of my life again, I wanted to go to Chicago, I did. I wanted to live between two apartments, I did. I wanted to wake-up and go to dance class, done. I slept till noon or later, sure, why not? But you see, that’s not real life, that’s a really long vacation with some minor responsibilities…and I knew that. That’s the thing with taking a break, always remember it’s a break, it’s not a permanent way of living.
Taking a break meant answering dilemmas about who I wanted to be moving forward and how I wanted to act. Working so hard, so long, I had forgotten what was important to me or how important things were, I was managing my time around duties and not around living. I wanted to know if I was the kind of person that could be exhilarated from life or if I needed a job to create my purpose. I also wanted to know if I was facing my problems or running away from them, if I was happy with my choices or if I regretted them. Long story short, I needed revelation time…and, I know what you’re all thinking so, yes, I will now stop speaking in code
Here is what I DID learn! I learned that I had made all the right choices in life, and the emotions I felt now about possible regrets were just all part of my break, in a way, my break was also a breakdown. I learned that I really wanted to be the kind of person that flew by the seat of her pants, that could just be happy because life was awesome, but I’m not and I’m really happy with that, I’m okay with it. I’m the kind of individual that needs to run her own lifestyles website and inspire people to feel purpose, I need to be needed and most of all, I need a reason to wake-up in the morning and put on make-up and heels and get my butt out the door. We think sleeping till noon everyday is a gift from the heavens but once you’ve done it for three months…it’s not. Not only that but, I was running out of the money I had saved up for my life lesson discover session, so, it was time to make some adult decisions.
You all knew the road to getting back on track wasn’t easy, but after some finesse, hard work, venting conversations, support and belief in myself, I have a life I’m proud of.
Every morning, four days a week, I wake-up and go to a job that makes me happy.It’s the perfect amount of responsibility to stress and my collection of business heels have missed me! At night, I do my schoolwork, see my friends, cook or spend them inspiring all sorts of sports fans, and the weekends are mine to schedule as I please. Before, when someone asked me where I worked, I dreaded the question – my position was “made-up” in a way, I did real work, for a real end result, but it was hard to explain exactly what I did. I also resented it for not being part of my career path. Talking about work made me unhappy, but I always talked about it because it stressed me out. Before, going to work was a chore, someone was always checking up on me, I had all this authoritative power, but at the same time my decisions were always wrong. I got out of a negative situation and I now that I feel like I’m in a positive environment, I want people to ask me where I work and I want to tell people about my projects. When you get wrapped up in how your life is, you forget about how it could be.
A while back, a friend and co-worker gave me a piece of advice I now bestow upon you, “The things you want from this job, are not abnormal; a normal salary, normal benefits, for HR things to be taken care of because they’re someone else’s responsibility, not yours, and most of all, for your boss to trust you. You’re not asking for weird things, you’re asking for things that every other job just has.” I always remembered that, and I always knew it, so I put my foot down and let myself find it. What do you want?
This isn’t about finding a perfect job, guys. This is about controlling your own life, making choices that are right for you, and not letting anyone make you miserable…or at least, acknowledging that you are miserable. It’s about making a decision to just hit pause, reevaluate, and actually doing it. DO IT! If these posts have taught you nothing at all, they should teach you that a situation that’s not making you grow as a person is not a situation worth your time. Yeah, yeah, I made every excuse in the book too, but the one I’ll never make is “I just don’t have the time or money to be happy.”
Female; Mid-twenties; Seeking Job January 19, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Finances, Humor, Jobs and Work, Real World.
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In 2012, Pascal wrote an article about finding the right job. At DLIH, we take careers very seriously but often times, the path to getting anywhere is filled with humor and experiences you love to tell years down the road. At the time, you may not find them all so funny, but for the sake of dirty clothes and high heels, we’re going to delve into the not-so fun funny times of job hunting.
As many of our readers know, SK has been back on the job hunt. The next few paragraphs are an in-depth analysis of the up’s and down’s of interviews…and every last word is true!
Meeting #1 – RSVP
When shopping for jobs on Craigslist, it’s hard to know what’s up from down but after a while, you find a reputable gem. Or not. We never want to go to an interview that’s going to waste our time, but be ready that every now and then, your time is going to get wasted. The hip and up and coming DryBar was hosting open receptionist “auditions”. After reading the description, I knew I was perfect for the job and went ahead and RSVPd, according to the ad’s directions. I received my confirmation email and the day of the interview was beaming with excitement. I showed up, on time, minus a Google maps navigation snafu (i.e. my inability to go the correct way, aka simply follow the blue arrow) and gave my name to the lovely girl registering us through security (Yes…security, welcome to New York). Turns out that, not only was my name not on the list, but about 7 of us girls who had gotten RSVP’s just weren’t put on of no reason what-so-ever. The phone on the email wasn’t answered, no voicemail set up and the email I wrote to the girl hiring received no reply. DryBar, you’re a bad establishment! Organize yourself or be prepared to be trashed for wasting my, and 20 other people’s time. Reputable? I think not. Lesson learned, no matter what, people are going to waste your time and better they waste it during an interview than waste it when they’ve already hired you.
Meeting #2 – The Hidden Contract
Some ads seem perfect for you and want to meet you right away, don’t always take that as a bad sign, sometimes you’re exactly what they’re looking for!…but are they what you’re looking for? Don’t forget that job hunting is a two way street. Interview number 2 lasted about 5 minutes, and here’s why: Shortly after arriving at the day spa, I realized something very interesting about the establishment, which wouldn’t have been mentioned in the ad…not only was I the only european person there, but I was also the only person that did not speak Chinese. Now, many of you may be comfortable with that, the location itself was quite nice, and an easy commute, but I knew right away it just wouldn’t be a fit. As the interview began, two things became very apparent, they really wanted to hire me…and they really wanted me to sign a 6 month contract. Well then, seeing as this wasn’t my dream job and I wasn’t even sure I’d be there in 2 months, I said thanks, but no thanks and went to Starbucks instead. Cheers caffeine lovers.
Meeting #3- Hipster Status: Under Qualified
You know how, by law, we can not discriminate people based on race, gender, religion, age etc? Well, apparently, that doesn’t apply to the types of clothes you wear, and how bubbly/not-bubbly you are. Now, I understand when someone interviews and they just don’t fit in to the flow of the company, but it’s an entirely different situation when you interview for a job that requires little qualification and you never hear back…because you know you were too preppy. As a human, I don’t consider myself preppy and neither do my friends, but when I’m around hipsters, you might as well slap an Ivy League sorority sticker on my forehead and tie an argil sweater around my neck. The job was for a super cute doggy day care and grooming place in Williamsburg. An opportunity to do reception while seeing doggies all day, and getting paid! DEAL! So when I finally got the interview I thought it could be a great opportunity. When I arrived, the woman interviewing me looked like she had just finished building a house…or skateboarding. I get it, you’re walking dogs, but come on. She asked if we could sit outside…she also didn’t remember my name…it was cold outside, and it started raining. Nice. “So, tell me about yourself” she began – for those of you who don’t know, at my previous position I was heavily in charge of hiring, never begin with generics. Our “interview” lasted no more than 5 minutes, I’ve been doing reception since I was 16 and I have 15 years experience with dogs. Never got a call. Never got an e-mail. and honestly…Thank God for small favors. I’ll roll around with pups any day, but grunge and hipster just aren’t my style.
Meeting #4 – My Dream Office
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of working in SoHo, so when I got an interview with a very reputable company I was excited to see what it was all about. The office was open floor plan, white columns, hardwood floors, floor to ceiling, old New York windows…screw the job, when can I move in?! I knew I fit in here, it was a jeans and heels kinda place, and what’s an SK without her heels?! Everyone was super nice and these weren’t even the people interviewing me. The meetings were swift but I didn’t mind, it was like chatting with someone at a coffee shop rather than a future boss and the work I’d be doing sparked my creative fire…sounded like the perfect match. I really wanted the job, and they really liked me, and I had pretty much run out of money, so it was all just such perfect timing! Ever walk down the street and you think it’s raining, and then you’re like “oh, no, it’s just diamonds falling from the sky?”…yeah, me neither…but it seemed like a nice metaphor. So, how did this job work out? You’ll have to keep reading DLIH for that. The moral of the post-y isn’t about how I got a great job, it was that every interview is different, and sometimes when you’re expecting amazement, you get dirt…other times you apply on a whim and get the best job ever.
Bottom line – interviews are like dating. We love to brag, boast and be completely mortified with all our dating dilemmas & crazy encounters. Finding a job really isn’t any different, sometimes one shot is all it takes..but sometimes, it’s going to take an entire bar tab to get you through it! Don’t fret, keep at it…and when you’re feeling down in the dumps about not finding your perfect, dream job, come back to this article and think to yourself “oh, right, my interview wasn’t that bad.”
Intro To…Your Work Holiday Party December 16, 2012Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Holidays, Intro To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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It’s that time of year again, and while you’re getting your ugliest holiday sweater out of the attic, remember that not every party you attend this holiday season, is the one of drunken Santas. The most important thing you must remember about your work holiday party is that, while this might be, in theory, your party, that’s still your boss standing in the corner. I was talking to a buddy the other day, and he was recounting a story from a holiday party a couple years ago; He was working for a large corporation that had a lot of recent grads in its ranks. One guy decided that, it being the holiday party and all, he would not worry about how much he drank. At the end of the night…well, his night at least, he was seen body-surfing down the escalator face first…not on purpose. I’ve never met you before, but I’ll make a bet you don’t want to be that guy.
So yes, this party is your party. The office holiday party is supposed to be a celebration to reward employees for their hard work. Have fun, this may be the only gift your company gives you. Chat with your co-workers, get to know their partners, in general, socialize. This is a great opportunity to get to know the people you work with, outside of work hours. Your days are so filled with your normal routine, you might not get time to ask about who they really are. This is your chance.
Depending on your boss, you might also be celebrating with some of your company’s closer clients. A holiday party is a great chance for your boss to make deeper connections with clients. You can schmooze too, but this is a party. If you’re going to talk business all night, everyone’s going to think you’re super boring and they won’t want to invite you out next time. Clients, who are using this as a nice chance to relax, will resent you for wasting their night. Don’t use this time to rail on your bosses, word will get back and you’ll lose your job.
Don’t be afraid to chat, but remember that you have been drinking, most likely, so don’t get too personal. Alcohol does amazing things to your decision making ability and getting to know your co-workers and clients more intimately is a great opportunity to say something off-color or insulting. Depending on who you say it to, this could also be a great opportunity to lose your job. To thine own self be true, Polonius says. I say you also have to know yourself. Know what your drink limit is, and stay well away from that. Since drinking can make you do things out of character, and this is an event where all your bosses are absorbing every move you make, just don’t over-do it and make yourself look like someone they’d probably rather not have at the next company function. This also goes into another side effect of alcohol: flirtiness. No matter what level you are in the company, you don’t want to be seen as the creepy guy from HR, or the slut from accounting. For guys, sexual indiscretions can be a quick trip to unemployment, or even a court room. For girls, they often end in sullied reputations and a diminishing trust of decision making abilities. Either way, just remember that this is a work event (no, I can’t say it enough times), not a night club. The decisions you make are being seen by everyone.
Take advantage of your holiday party, it should be a fun time you share with your co-workers to celebrate all the hard work you’ve put in over the last 12 months. It’s a time to strengthen your bond with them and their families. This is an opportunity for your bosses to see you in a new light, and you might even make a good impression on some of your higher-ups and clients. Just remember that this is still a work event so conduct yourself as such. Have fun, just not too much fun, and have a happy holiday.
It’s Okay to Take a Break – Part I December 4, 2012Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Education, Finances, Health and Fitness, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Medical, Real World.
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As many DLIH readers may know, in late September, SK did one of those “crazy person” things…I quit my full-time job, with benefits, in order to take a break.
I’m the ultimate multi-tasker, I color code my schedule, I make lists, I carefully coordinate meetings and appointments back-to-back with just enough time to get from one to the other and have a light snack, in essence, I am your ideal personal assistant to myself. While this is an exceptional speech for a job interview, it’s a psychologist’s worst nightmare, and I knew that. I’d wake up in the morning and quickly drink a coffee while getting dressed before whisking myself off to job that required me to be between in multiple locations, several times a day ,and report to a bunch of different bosses while managing an entire department I had little control in, because my hands were generally tied. Some days, I could barely handle the workloads while others, I had almost nothing to do. Nights and weekends were spent doing hours of schoolwork or running between internships or game nights. If that wasn’t enough, I found time for friends, boyfriend, birthday parties, planning my own parties, dance classes and miraculously even laundry. But, there were so many important things I wasn’t finding time for, because I didn’t have it. Things like sleep, normal grocery shopping, cleaning the apartment, or doing favors for my parents. I’d work 12 or even 16 hour days sometimes, and would generally sleep from about 2am to 7am or 8am, not enough for my 5’6″, 120 pound body. When you push yourself that hard, that often, and find a way to post approximately 12 articles a month on your self run website, you’re bound to hit a wall. I used to love being the Girl Friday…every day of the week, but slowly I began hate it. So with the support of my friends and family, I put in my notice.
It’s always comfortable to have a full-time job, that pays you regularly and gives you insurance but when I sat down and thought about where my life was going, it was clear that my job had nothing to do with my life path or my career. I was putting schoolwork second…or fifth..or eighth on my priority list when it should have been first. I was putting my health somewhere around there too, when it should have been way up top. I couldn’t give up my internships and I couldn’t very well stop school, so I told myself I needed to stop the craziness and reevaluate.
It’s okay to take a break. It’s really hard to, but it’s okay. The first week I didn’t work was great, but the second week I was antsy, anxious and felt like I was wasting my time, there were a few moments I even thought I’d made a mistake. I immediately started going on job interviews before I sat myself down and reminded myself how tired I had been the last six months. After a few weeks, it got easier. I had more time to see friends, which is part of being healthy whether you want to admit it or not. I was sleeping more and cooking at home. I had time to actually read my textbooks instead of just find the answers, like a 7th grader, and I finally had time to clean more than once every two months. I got back to working out regularly and, as a whole, felt better about my body.
Another great thing that happens when you give yourself a break is that you begin to find yourself again.Taking a walk, listening to music, doing something you used to enjoy in the past can help you collect the pieces of yourself you lost, while running around the city with five bags in tow. I rediscovered myself, the things I used to love and I refocused on my life. Before, I felt like I had to give up certain parts of me to achieve others, but now I know that’s not true…being all of you will always be better than being just a part of who you are.
Now…I’ll answer the tough stuff. I don’t have a job, or at least one that pays enough for my life, and I live in New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world. So, how? Well, number one, remember that leaving your job DOES have consequences. The first thing you have to do it decide how you’re going to tackle them. I had to get my own health insurance, to many this seems impossible but most states or providers have some kind of low-fee plan. Do your research, call your doctor’s office and inquire with different insurance companies. Next, save up…a lot! If you need to work an extra two or three months to stash some money away for your break, then do it. There is no worse feeling than having no money and no way to get some, quick. So make sure you budget out your expenses, pay off your credit cards, and put an enormous chunk of money away before you leave your financial support system.
Also…stop being proud. This is the hardest part for me. Stop feeling like you’ve done anything wrong, you aren’t weak and you aren’t stupid. You’ve simply made an adult choice. When people want to help you out, buy you lunch or loan you some money, learn how to accept it. One day, they might need to take a break and you’ll be there to buy them a drink or a target shopping spree.
It’s okay to take a break. It’s not easy. It’s hard to admit you need one. Even I don’t have all the kinks worked out yet, but I stand by the fact that I couldn’t have made a better decision.
Spread Your Wings, Call Out Sick November 10, 2012Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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I get up, walk to the kitchen, walk back to my room. Lie down on my bed, think about it, get excited, get nervous. Get up, walk back to the kitchen, stand at the sink and tap my fingers on the stainless steel edge as I lean into the valley of unwashed dishes in front of me. Yup, it’s decided. I’ve decided. I’m doing it. I’m calling out sick.
When I was in high school, my parents and I had a deal; if I needed a mental health day, I would just tell them and they’d let me stay home, but if I faked sick, they’d send me on my way, to school, with nothing more than a warning and a stern stare down. I took maybe three days off in my entire high school career. It was that trust that taught me about responsibility, my decisions and actions were on me and the consequences were my own to handle. Then…I hit adulthood.
Everything became about responsibility, even when you didn’t want it. It’s like selling your soul to everyone on the planet; your boss, your landlord, your stomach, your cable company, the evil people who sell Apple products that you continue to purchase with no self restraint, and it seems that when you’re not paying your life off with cash, you’re paying it off with your time. It’s not that life is bad, it’s just that every now and then you want to hit pause and excuse yourself for a moment.
My parents trusted me, so I was never afraid of playing hooky but when life is about bills, loans and lovers, it seems like no one trusts your judgment, so taking a break leaves you feeling guilty instead of relaxed. It makes you feel like the paranoid kid in the back of the classroom who thinks “everyone is looking, everyone knows!”, when in reality, no one knows and they’re only staring at you because you’re resembling a baby bird who was just told he’s supposed to know how to fly.
So, the moral of the story? I did it! I spread my little, responsible, reliable, reputable wings and called in sick…while being healthy as a damn horse. The bottom line is that is doesn’t matter if you feel guilty, it doesn’t count that “they might” figure out you’re faking, and even if they assume you’re just at home watching soaps or at a waterpark having a blast, they can’t prove it unless you give them something to prove it with. (i.e. stay off FB, don’t post photos, and don’t text 12 people about your “illness”)
Work careers, reputations, and trust are some of the hardest things to maintain but taking your health, mental and emotional, for granted is just as stubborn to mess with. Don’t think of it as playing hooky, think of it as an advance on the day you’ll inevitability be taking off if you do let yourself get sick. DLIH is not preaching that every other month you should go out to a concert and then call in hungover, no, this is a website of hard workers, but we are saying that no one owns you, as much as you think they do. One day may cost you a little bit of extra work when you return, but what you’ll gain from some extra sleep, relaxation, and giving your boss the proverbial middle finger, will be well worth the larger than normal pile of papers you might come back to.
The Sandy Times: Getting You Through the Storm October 29, 2012Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Finances, GoodGuys File, H-Blog, How To, Humor, Intro To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Real World, Relationships, Tips and Tricks, Women.
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So, you’re hunkering down and wondering how long you’ll last watching Ellen DeGeneres and One Life to Live reruns while eating chips and dip and waiting for this impending storm to start banging at your windows? Let us present to you, The Sandy Times! You’re one stop shop for the latest in DLIH entertainment (cough…reading) to get you through the storm and the cabin fever.
We’ve got something for everyone, use our categories on the side panel to read what speaks to you! For those seeking thrills, adventures, and just some hard, cold advice on life, check out our Intro To articles. The step by step, how to’s of life feature skiing, being the new kid, getting into business school and much more!
If dating is your topic of choice, our hit series, The Good Guys File, is ready to meet your needs. We’ve got over 2 years of articles of dating DLIH style!
Maybe current events are more your thing? What better to do when stuck in doors then start working on that Halloween costume for post-storm barhopping this Wednesday? Check out SK’s, own personal, costumer tips and tricks in this nifty post about DIY Halloween costumes.
But if today’s the day you’ve been waiting for, the long overdue day off from work, maybe it’s a time of reflection. Are you wondering where you’re going next in your career? Life? We’ve got a whole section of posts that will tickle your brain when it comes to jobs and work; Check out Fall in Love..With Your Job and Getting Over Boogeyman.
If it’s not your job that’s creating the itch, maybe it’s just life that’s got you down? We’ve got articles for that too, so cheer up! Your’e never alone at DLIH, look for No Cosigner, Stop the Personal Punishment and Vacation via Sample Platters for some uplifting, you-can-do-it pep! Take a breather…even after the storm is long gone. Give yourself a break.
Check out some of our most popular and most read articles, if everyone else is gaga over them, you probably will be too! Our number, most read article of all time Diamonds at a Bar. Some dating favorites including The Intimidation Factor, It’s Not You…it’s That That, and the first ever GoodGuys File He’s Out There..I Promise. Also check out Take a Comma, First Rule of Preschool: No Pushing, and “Do You Ever Feel Lonely?”
Given the circumstances…maybe you’re thinking that you’ve had enough of sand bags and piers and just want to live in a magical place of high rises and broadway stars? Well, we can’t say that New York is disaster free, but if you’ve been playing with the idea, check out our guest post by Jessica Downey, all about moving to New York.