Tag Archives: #workinggirl

Running off

My mouth has a tendency to run away with me. Case in point? Person from the French-speaking part of the African continent, representative of a big client, visited the firm today. Why the hell they put me in charge of greeting and dealing with him after the whole Sheikh debacle (a story for another post) I’ll never know. Anyway, this guy was strutting around all “mine are the biggest”-like, and I was gritting my teeth and dealing with lingering hands with the utmost politeness (IMO) and my best French (like every language I learned on my own, I learned the gutter-variety).

Then we came to the deal part of the day. I was chomping at the bit to finally present my contract draft and be done with the guy, so I pulled out my nicely done black folder.

“I want a man to do business with.” The client.

“And I want a client that isn’t a chauvinist macho asshole.” Me.

Guess who got escorted out of the room?

Still feel good for speaking my mind, though. I put up with that… person for three hours. Called it an early night thereafter, went for a quick 5k and called my TKD master asking to join a Tai Chi workout (as a point, we never do any kicking when any of us aren’t in a centered mood. As one of his most advanced students, I also earned the right to call him if I wanted to train) to center myself, which sorta worked. I went home, sat on my sofa and started  reading blogs.

Hot chocolate time! Roomie’s still in South Africa. LONE hot chocolate time!

… I wish someone would teach those guys what Western women think like. Or just not ask me to deal with them time after time after time. I know not all males from that particular sociocultural environment are the same, but most in a higher position in a traditionally oriented workplace are. I’m also a “permanent rebel” who will not defer to social customs I see as demeaning. I’m the worst possible choice to deal with a traditionally-minded male from that culture. Let me be, boss?


I’m… *hic*… OK

Alcohol. The main staple food of a herd of lawyers gathered together in a small space (or not-so-small).

Tonight, we had a celebration for a job well done- it was finicky and difficult, so I came fully prepared to savor the fruits of my labor.

If only there had been fruits. The fruit platter (a single, sad affair on a forgotten table by the door) was empty twenty seconds after the ravenous hordes arrived. From then on out, it was alcohol only.

There is nothing nastier than a bunch of overworked, underfed, dead-drunk people in close proximity. I don’t like being touched by most people. I don’t like off-key singing. I have sensitive hearing. I have a sensitive sense of smell and am easily offended if the person I’m talking to smells of beer and vomit.

Sooo… I refused any and all drinks. I don’t drink in public, period. One exception: a single cocktail when out for a night with the girls, at a bar we choose, with reason and thought. I was promptly labeled the party-pooper and avoided by the increasingly infantile congregation of drunkenness.

Here we are asking our teenagers to please not be stupid and drink, and as adults we can’t “have fun” unless we are drunk? Name one celebration among adults (who are not AA) that doesn’t include alcohol? I’m so sick of it all. Get a grip! If I didn’t know better, I’d say nearly all my colleagues are borderline alcoholics.

The hours are brutal in our job. It’s a rare day that I’m home before 10pm. You do need some form of escapism.

I chose my own kind of entertainment- ditching the drunk party and going for a nice midnight run along the canal. It’s started getting cold again, but I’m building up some nice speed right now so I don’t feel it all that much after the first 2k.

There’s been a change in runners, too- we now have a lot more students running where I do. Plus I’ve extended my route so I’m now up to a 10k three times a week, which is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I’m not a very good endurance runner… *sigh*

Anyway, back to the workplace tomorrow. Gonna be fun seeing all the bigshots nursing their hangovers 😛

TKD’s picking up once more, too. Going to be on the tournament circle this winter after all. At first I didn’t want to due to my weight, but I was convinced otherwise. Chubby person in the ring? That’s me!

Goodnight all!

I’d rather…

How often have I heard this phrase this week? Too often, that’s it!

“I’d rather be outside now!” “I’d rather live in the Caribbean!” “I’d rather my boyfriend weren’t there tonight.” “I’d rather…”

Many of those I’d-rather’s were the usual unattainable dreams, but there are a few instances where I’m furious people don’t just do something instead of complaining all the time.

“I’d rather not be freezing all the time,” is what I was thinking today. So I stepped up my exercise program which will help even if it won’t eliminate the problem.

“I’d rather be reading right now.” While sitting on the train to work. Guess what? Today I brought a book. I actually think I’m going to get into the habit of carrying around a book on my person at all times again.

“I’d rather my boss would stop making these sexist, annoying comments,” upon making the mistake of wearing a skirt suit (costume? Sounds wrong!) to work today. I talked to him telling him that I don’t believe that our attire should influence his attitude toward us as long as we kept to the business dress code.

“I’d rather be anywhere but here!” Researching in the library. So I left for an internet cafe and am perfectly happy right now.

By the way: I’ve always been skeptical of step aerobics as a sport due to the rather uninspiring classes I visited until now, which were a gossip club but not exercising. Colleague talked me into going to one yesterday. (“I’d rather be doing some real exercising,” I grumbled) TOTALLY different from anything before. I was out of breath one minute into the third power-sprint of the class. Hopping up and down a foot-high step makes the difference!

Do something about your I’d-rather’s! It’s a lot more fun than persistently complaining 😉

One more word and I’ll scream

Someone at the office let the results of the stupid IQ test I took in college slip. I make no secret of my hatred (yes, real hatred. Not dislike, not displeasure, not anger, true hatred) of the word “gifted child” (it was the bane of my existence as a kid), or my contempt for IQ tests (which are really nothing but a measure of how good someone’s rote learning skills are).

Anyone repeat that phrase in my presence again (or the German equivalent which is “hochbegabt”, yes, I can learn dammit!) and I’ll scream. For real. Loudly.

And then I’ll launch into a tirade on how normal everybody who’s been “diagnosed” (like we’re actually ill) with “being gifted” is. Over the office intercom system.

You brought it unto yourselves, people!

Sunday night recap

This week has been rather exhausting both bodily and mentally. I’ve had some new tough cases assigned (including one where I don’t even have an inkling about where to start researching- anybody know anything about getting to know stuff about Taiwanese air freight laws?), I was dragged to sporty activities I had no idea of what I was getting into, and I was dragged to watch sports I had no idea about.

Soccer. Oh, sorry, football. The King (capitals intended). Fussball. The one thing that makes everybody stop doing whatever they are doing here to celebrate the fact that the Bayern don’t necessarily stay in first place (whatever that means, I haven’t yet gathered enough interest to follow league standings in this sport). I have made no secret of the fact that I believe watching 22 people standing on a large green meadow (occasionally sprinting a few yards and falling over for fear of having seen a bug on a blade of grass) for 90 minutes is not the most rewarding activity on Planet Earth.

My friends here took it upon themselves to convince me otherwise. Continue reading

Hair and the office

I have rioting red curly hair. Seriously, this stuff on my head starts a revolution every morning before I even wake up and isn’t done going on strike in the evenings. All through high school I maintained it at waist-length, complete with half-hour combing (or trying to comb) sessions every morning and evening. It took me two hours to wash and blow-dry my hair.

I cut it all off to two inches once I went to college and donated to Locks of Love. My family was horrified. I felt three pounds lighter (in reality, I was about three pounds lighter). My friends hated me for cutting my hair radically like that. Apparently, the red hair they had made fun of was a source of envy- ha, ha.

I’ve been growing it out again since uni, went through the required triangle-haired period and am comfortably maintaining a mid-back length now since I discovered the miracle that is cutting out layers of hair. I’m even down to one hour for hair-care!

Today, at the office, I left my hair open for the first time ever. Now, I have big green eyes (Irish heritage), and with the red hair there’s more “Call 911! There’s a fire in the office!” jokes than hair on my head. My co-workers seemed vaguely horrified that I was looking so un-businesslike (never mind that most female lawyers leave their hair open two days of the week). Maybe it’s the curls- my hair curls in every direction and won’t lie flat even if you threaten it with a straightening iron. I’ve heard more comments about my age, presumed incompetence, weird attitude, ability to deal with clients, source of my success, doubts about my exam results and plain insults to my face than I can deal with. Just now, during lunch break, I fled to the ladies’ room and put my hair in a bun. It seems the source of vexation is back.

I don’t know what it is that makes people hate red hair- it’s like there’s an automatic “pick on this person!” attached to it.

I just know that I don’t feel like being a punching bag all day long, or leered at by those “middle-aged” partners of ours. I’ll just wear a disguise during the day and leave the open hair for the evenings when roomie and I are all alone in the apartment (though she’s told me more than once to “control that menace on your head!” whenever I’m shedding as much as a hair).

Can you ever be yourself as a curly red-head? Apparently not.

Here’s to better days.

I feel like such a loser right now. The cold is sapping my strength, my willpower and my feel-good tactics aren’t working. I can’t even breathe without feeling as though someone punched me in the solarplexus outside. People at the office think they’re doing each other some good by opening the windows and letting in double-digit minus degrees (in Celsius, I don’t have my calc handy atm to give you Fahrenheit numbers) air. I have to go “enjoy” some “really great food” at this chic Michelin-starred restaurant in a moment (I absolutely don’t like not being able to tell what the stuff on my plate is supposed to be. Recently, they mashed up a really nice halibut fillet. Before that, it was beef and chocolate sauce. Or an amazing wolf-fish that’s been drowned in Christmas spices. YUCK!).

The woman who runs this restaurant is famous for putting truffle oil on the mass market- another thing the world didn’t need. Tastes nasty and doesn’t really do justice to any of the ingredients. If you want truffles, grate some over your meal, fresh, or use the dried stuff. Truffles in oil taste like they died in there, and they make the olive oil turn nasty, too.

<– gets off of soapbox, AGAIN.

Anyway, I’m cold, uncomfortable, miserable, all the bones I’ve ever broken hurt with a vengeance (that is not aching anymore. That is “I’m this close to having a Tylenol breakfast” pain), I really don’t see the beauty in ice and snow as it’s keeping me from things I love (plus I have to run a gauntlet to get to work- about seven major icy sections on the sidewalk), I have always worked better when it’s warm and I’m starting to make stupid mistakes just so I can avoid leaving my place beside the heater.


But it’s freaking cold!!!