Monday, 3 May 2010

Not a great start to the week

I got completely soaked coming into the office this morning. I pondered taking a cab, but then I thought about the $1,200 I owe on my credit card and decided that spending money on taxis was way too frivolous, besides the rain honestly wasn’t that bad when I walked to the subway station at 86th street, it was when I got out at Times Square 20minutes later that it became a problem. Gushing is probably the best word I can think of to describe it. The early bird tourists were all pressed like sardines into a Starbucks off Broadway peering through steamed up windows as they sheltered from the downpour.

It was so bad, like someone had turned a tap on and the gutters were already over flowing meaning I had to jump a good 2 feet of accumulated rain water at the east and west side of every avenue I crossed. Thank heavens for waterproof sneakers. Gore-Tex is the best, however I am thinking that maybe I should invest in some Hunter Wellies like every other woman in NYC since a good foot of my jeans, from the ankle to about 3inches below the knee, was drenched by the time I got into the office, not to mention dusted with puddle dirt. Lovely!! I literally had to wring them out before I could change into the heels I wear around the office.

As for the hair, well it's a disaster and I shall be avoiding mirrors and reflective surfaces for the day.
When I went into the bathroom to wash my hands of subway pole germs I took one look at my hair and knew it was a lost cause. It looks a complete bugger; so much for spending twenty minutes carefully drying it this morning. Sigh!!

I really should have got that taxi this morning, it would have been a good investment, and at the very least would have prevented me from getting the cold I will surely catch as the office air conditioning freeze dries my sodden jeans to my legs.

Note: Photo of NYC in the rain by Aidan

Sunday, 2 May 2010

How fast the weekend goes

Good Lord is it almost time to go back to work again? I am so so so jealous of it being a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, not that they have the weather to enjoy it according to my mother when I called her today.

Not much going on with me anyway, things are much the same. There was a bit of excitement last week when I had a run in with a Diva from the research department at the other end of the floor from where we sit. It bothered me at the time as conflict never sits well with me as I have a hard time letting these kind of incidents go, but I've got over it now since I've discovered that the person in question really is the most unpleasant person, but at the time I was niggled by it. I'm just way too sensitive when it comes to conflict and for this reason I think I should have known better than to say anything to this particular person since while I don't really know her I've definitely had the sense that she is not the most pleasant person from the way she carries herself. She has a very aggressive way about her. Generally I am a friendly sort at work and I smile and say hello to people I know on sight if I pass them in the hallway, but all I've ever received in return from this particular person is a disdainful look, so definitely not the friendliest sort, but hey I don't like to judge on initial impressions since I could well have been wrong!!

I wasn't as it turned out!!

It sounds so petty to relate the story now as it sounds like I am making mountains out of molehills, but last week Diva came over to our side of the floor and squatted in one of the group rooms by my team - group rooms, may I just add, that are intended for ad-hoc team meetings and not to be hogged by people using them as temporary office space for the day. Whatever anyway, that didn't bother me too much, it was more that she spent the day coughing noisily every 10seconds. So loudly and consistently in fact that the noise permeated through both the glass walls of the group room AND the noise reduction headphones I was wearing to listen to music and drown her out.

After about 6hours of this she began to wear on me and I just couldn't concentrate on the deck I was trying to pull together for my client.

Now admittedly I'm not the most patient of people, but hey I did suffer it for 6hours before saying something, and when my team member Stephanie - most mellow person ever - complained about the noise and Andrew chimed in that it was disrupting his concentration I knew it wasn't just a case of my being overly sensitive. Around 6pm I saw her gather up her stuff to leave the room so I walked over to politely ask if she wouldn't mind inquiring about booking a conference room - placed in the centre of the office space and away from everyone's desks - if she needed space to work in future.

Apparently this was the rudest thing ever, because from the way she reacted you'd have thought I'd suggested she regularly shagged goats or something. "I'm ill," she glared "and you are not being very sympathetic to my situation."

WTF!!! Damn straight I'm not sympathetic to your situation since not only are you disrupting my team from doing their client work, but you are selfishly spreading your germs throughout the office.

"This is not an ideal situation for me to work in the group room", she continued "but I didn't want to disturb the rest of the people in my department, by working at my desk."

Oh she knew full well her coughing was disruptive to her own team, but thought she'd come sit by us and disturb our department and then call me rude for politely asking her to book a conference room? Seriously some people!!

I couldn't believe it to be honest with you, but nevertheless I did my best pretense at diplomacy and heard myself insincerely spouting the pat phrases I have heard so often on episodes of The Real Housewives Of New York City - there's always dramaz on that show. I was all "oh I am sorry you feel that way" and "I apologise if I offended you" when internally I was thinking "What the f*** is going on here I asked you if you would look into booking a conference room for chrissakes you mentaller."

Ugh, I hate dealing with people like that and it upset me sufficiently for the next couple of hours, so much so that I made no further progress on my client deliverable which was due the next day and I finally gave up when I found myself rewriting the same sentences several times, and cabbed it home and broke my resolution to not drink alone at home* by stopping at the offie for a bottle of Cabernet in order to get sufficiently trollied so as not to give a shit when I inevitably and repeatedly relived the encounter and thus preventing myself from dropping off to sleep.

It's times like these that I can't help but wish I was a more laid back type who could shrug off these incidents, but I'm not, I'm wayyyyyy more sensitive. You can bet your bottom dollar that new laid back eye candy Tom wouldn't let some be-atch from research harsh his mellow!! Tom is also twenty seven - what is it with me and boys of late. "You're making quite a habit of lusting after young men these days" said Nigel at brunch today. The cheek of him pointing out the truth like that!!

Actually it's hard not to appreciate Tom and in the two weeks he's been at the agency he's already acquired quite the fan club among the ladies of the office. Well, with the exception of Debs who declared that he's "too much of an all American jock type for my tastes." Claire, his manager, was telling me last week that she has a really hard time if she takes him to meetings and the team is mostly female since they are all far too busy staring at
Tom to actually accomplish anything ha ha!! She said it is equally hilarious and exasperating to experience, and she worries that "Tom will have a hard time being taken seriously, because of his looks."

Personally I think he'll do just fine. He seems oblivious of the attention to date. Let's face it, he's probably used to it, it's probably the story of his life. Personally I'm thinking Claire should take advantage of the female adoration he inspires because if he turns out to be as good at his job as he is attractive then she may well find it useful to send him in to sell in some of the larger projects they are considering for some of their clients since from what she tells me it sounds like some of the female clients may well be too busy making goo goo eyes at him to turn down the funding.

I have to say I am quite flattered to note that I catch Tom staring at me whenever I chat to my team, however I know that's just the accent working it's magic. Sometimes it has that effect on people, although in the 10years I've lived here it's never been especially useful in getting me dates. It seems to work like a dream for some English women, but it's an asset I don't wield well. In fact I'm treated more like a performing monkey in the office at times, like last week when they were having me say 'cheeseburger', because apparently it sounds "much more sophisticated" in my flattened Northern it does!!

Americans...I love them, but they can definitely be weird at times!! :-)

*Sadly I just have to come to terms with that I am not very French when it comes to alcohol. I don't have one glass of wine, savour the flavour of it and put the cork back in for the next day, I'm more of a open the bottle, savour the flavour, pour myself a second glass type of person. What can I say I'm just one of life's quaffers and I think the best offense to that is to not have a bottle in the house at all.