Posted by Amanda Chapel Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Happy Holidays Amanda! Well, almost. I am writing you because I am totally freaking out. This will be my first Christmas Party at the Image Factory. I so don’t want to screw it up. I wanna make a good impression. Do you have any advice? Help!
An AE with Her Stomach All in Knots
Dear Miss Knots,
Fear not. Got you covered hun. I am going to give you a little advice that will surely help you make this year's office party a memorable one.
First things first, remember, you work for a “creative” communications company so having fun is rule #1. Besides, fun is what a holiday party is supposed to be about.
With that in mind, here are a few basic dos and don’ts:
1. Get your hands on a couple Xanax. Take them right before you start to primp for the event. That should gently take the edge off.
2. Dress to the nines. The look you want to capture is holiday couture. You want the look that men love and other women secretly admire, i.e. sensational with just the hint of slutty. An Armani black cocktail dress that’s about mid thigh would be perfect. It’s simple, understated, and hot as hell! You want it tight but not painted on, i.e. you want the fit that continually rises up and makes you want to shimmy and pull it down every so often. Men love that.
3. Make a bee-line to the bar! Stake out a spot where you feel comfortable. Location is everything. Order up and put that first one down.
4. Later at the cocktail reception when you’re in the “holiday groove,” try to corner your boss. Now is a perfect time to talk to her about work. Get honest. Get everything off your chest. Remember the holiday party is kinda a get-out-of-jail-free pass. All the office angst about performance, attention to detail, tardiness and the like is behind you. Think of this as a safe place where EVERYONE is not only a peer but your best friend. This is a time for new beginnings and bonding.
5. After that, go have a cigar with the boys. Don’t worry about all that talk about it being your first time and upsetting your tummy. That’s a myth. This is a perfect opportunity to show off that dress.
6. Be sure to put in a little face time flirting with the EVP. Keep in mind, if you can win the friendship of your boss’ boss, “The Ogre” won’t be able to push you around anymore. When you have his ear, tell him all about her problems and how you can help him run the company better. He’ll like that.
1. Don’t worry about cost of the dress. Simply plan on taking it back.
2. Whatever you do, don’t eat. That’ll surely kill the buzz.
3. Don’t do over 10 shots of Jagermeister. Set a goal but remember, this is NOT a time to set a new personal record.
4. Don’t worry about swapping spit in the back of the hall with Justin from Information Services. It’s late and kinda dark and you’re pretty much invisible by now. Just DON’T have sex in the bathroom. In other situations it might be a great idea but trust me, here you’ll regret it and you do NOT want that to get around. Besides, he’s got keys to the office. No one will ever find out. And doing the nasty on your boss’ desk will be a memory you will always cherish. It will totally change your attitude about work, too.
5. Don’t check your lipstick in the shine of the agency president’s bald head. It’s impulsive and very very funny and everyone is sure to laugh; but, it does not give a true reflection. Bring a compact.
6. DON’T’ TAKE ANY MORE SHIT FROM THAT BROWN-NOSER MARY BETH! Damit, she had your last nerve months ago. For once stand up for yourself and slug her one.
7. Don’t ruminate about having barfed all over the back seat of the EVP’s new Benz. What’s done is done. A crying jag is not going to help the situation. Be happy he’s insisted on giving you a ride home early.
Lastly, come Monday, bring a box to work. Trust me on this. You’re going need it to carry your stuff.
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
PS Seriously, show up to the party politely late. Make an appearance. Smile. Have dinner with you closest colleagues and trade small talk. Then, graciously thank your host and GO HOME EARLY. Come Monday, you won’t need the box.
Posted by Amanda Chapel Thursday, October 19, 2006
Here we bring you another installment of Ask Amanda, our weekly professional advice column.
This week we have a young turk in L.A. getting ready to take “the jump.” Amanda does her best to talk him down but apparently his mind is set. So she does the next best thing. Amanda helps him flap his wings some and pack a parachute.
Without further ado:
After 10 years working in various size agencies, I have recently made the decision to open a consultancy.
My colleagues have been totally supportive of my decision. And past clients have enthusiastically opened their doors for discussion. It's very promising.
But, as kind as their words are, I know that's not going to pay the bills. I am totally freaked out and nervous about the future.
What do you advise I do to grow my business and keep me away from agency life?
All the best,
- Ozzie in L.A.
Dear Ozzie in L.A.,
Jump Ozzie Jump!!
Reminds me a bit of a scene from a short story by Philip Roth, "The Conversion of the Jews.” Ozzie Freedman, a teenager gets into an argument with Rabbi Binder in Hebrew school. Ozzie can not longer accept all the hypocrisy and traditionalism. Their squabble escalates until the Rabbi slaps Ozzie giving him a bloody nose. Ozzie calls Binder a bastard and, and without thinking, runs up to the roof of the synagogue, threatening to jump. As the Rabbi tries gingerly to talk him down, Ozzie's classmates cheer “Jump Ozzie Jump!!”
As Roth describes, "Being on the roof, it turned out, was a serious thing. If he jumped would the singing become dancing? Would it? What would jumping stop? Yearningly, Ozzie wished he could rip open the sky, plunge his hands through, and pull out the sun; and on the sun, like a coin, would be stamped JUMP or DON’T JUMP."
For the record, here I am going to be both Rabbi and classmate. I want you to take the leap but I really don't want you to kill yourself in the process.
Ozzie, at one time or another we are all out on that ledge. Out of fear, most, 98 percent, come down. But others, and you may be one, have no choice. For some of us the questions that arise out of hypocrisy and traditionalism are just TOO overwhelming. Such is the genesis of the entrepreneur... as well as sadly, some of our ravaged and forgotten social outcasts. Mother Nature uses some of us to push the envelop. She pushes us out onto that ledge and out from the comfort of the nest.
If you are one of those chosen few, let me first say that I totally understand your decision. I empathize with the grief that led to it. I humbly honor your courage. That said, let's see if we can help you fly rather than fall flat on your face.
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