Monday, November 26, 2007

Culture Shock

I had spent the past ten years working in a predominately male environment. At the first plant I worked in Lex., not counting the Admin staff, I was one of four females in a work force of 250+. I was surrounded by testosterone and it was good. Truck drivers, merchandisers, the service department, warehouse staff, key account staff, regional staff, divisional staff, and the Mother of all Mothers Big Wigs from Atlanta, sales staff and area management and plant management....all men. A very masculine manly business this beverage business.

I attended my first sales meeting the first day on the job. Imagine my surprise, my shock, my jaw dropping disbelief that the entire sales staff, save the Advertising Director are women!

And as I met them one by one only one of them made me start praying, "Please dear God, don't let her be the one whose territory I am taking over." And, as much as I love irony, I was throwing a fit inside my little old head that yes yes yes, she has been covering the territory since is was abandoned several weeks ago and she has no intentions of helping one one iota.

The Advertising Director gets me in his office. "She is loved in that territory."

Yea. Yes, I can see that, by every man who has a breath of life left in him. The woman is a ex-beautician with mile high hair and perfect make up and boobs that are screaming to tumble out of her skin tight clothes.

"She is very anxious to help you as much as she can."

Oh yea, I noticed that when I requested to ride with her immediately that day she slipped out the back door and resurfaced seconds before a 1pm appointment in my territory.

I notice that she is more concerned with what the customers are saying about her. I tell her nothing, I tell the Ad Dir nothing, after all he is under some delusion about her being a team player. She is "its all about me" player.

This morning I felt my face beginning to flush and keeping my cool under wraps was taking enormous control. She ordered me to follow up with a customer she had taken care of and I asked, "what's up? Where is the ticket, what is the deal? Why are they receiving a free ad tomorrow?"

Today was day five I have spent in this brand new business. I can barely make out the rate cards, special inserts, Christmas Holiday specials, first time ad rates, full page, half page, quarter page...little 2 inches in classified (that sound sexy in a very perverse way). I know nothing and I am not so full of myself that I can't admit it. I know that it is like anything else, you have to learn and it is like training for a marathon, step by step.

She is a bitch and I know I am not the only one in the office to realize this. I am just the new girl, the lowest one on the totem pole.

Man oh man. Please never let me ever treat someone with such a cavalier attitude that says, "I don't care about you."

And I hear a lot of trash about this vixen out there and I know she knows.

I'm certain she is wondering what I am going to do.

Hell woman, I've been working with men for 10 years and I have learned a lot from them.....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in the Saddle

("Not only will you be hiring a hard working, loyal, creative employee, you will also be getting a pretty fair amateur photographer". Note card sent to persuade him to hire me!)

I start a new job tomorrow and I am excited. After six months of farting around I am ready to get back to it! I was unable to resume my career with the Beverage company, as there are just no available positions I was willing to apply for. My husband kept asking me, "When are you going to get a J-O-B!??" And I would answer, "When I am good and ready!"

About two weeks ago my good Gal-Pal and I went out to an Antique Mall housed in a three story old High School in the Buechel area. It was as if I walked into store heaven where I wanted everything! I found the funkiest coffee table and two end tables with marble bottoms and golden cherubs holding the glass tops! I found a wooden table, the hand painted top protected by heavy glass, which was created at the St. James Court Art Fair. It was to die for! The best part of the Derby City Antique Mall is that their things are moderately priced!

It was a moment for me. I, who could care less about her surroundings as long as there is a garden out back, and a nice kitchen with a working stove, suddenly has been bitten by the bug.

I had to get a job to support my new habit.

I picked up the local newspaper, here-by renamed by me the Evening Star, flipped to the want ads and there it was.

I knew it was going to be there. "Advertising Executive needed for sales". I ripped off a resume, had to put it into a hand writen envelope because I can not figure out how to work my printer with addresses, mailed it immediately and then waited. He called, we set an appointment for Tuesday, I was offered the job on Wednesday and I start tomorrow.

At 8:30 am. I am doing the dance of joy. I believe I have died and gone to heaven!!! I am giddy with my luck. Since I have been forced to be at work by 7am(and sometimes earlier, like 6am!) for almost 10 years!! The next thing I will find out is that I am paid every other week. I might faint! I, who for almost 10 years was paid once a month!!

Anyway, I'm excited and looking forward to this new beginning and meeting a bunch of new people and face new challenges.

Oh yea, have a pay check again.

That beveled glass with delicate wood work china cabinet is calling to me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

No Flash in the Pan

It should come as no surprise that my husband loves the Movies. He can toss off the names of most B-Movie actors and the plots of obscure movies. He is amazing with his ability to quote dialog from movies, along with nuance and accent. He will sit in his seat in the dark movie theater and read all the credits, looking for the name of that actor that appeared in one brief scene just because....

So, it was no surprise to me when he calls me late Tuesday afternoon and asks me to meet him downtown to listen to a "talk" by the screen writer Robert Moresco (co-authored Crash) being hosted by Spalding University as part of their "Festival of Contemporary Writing".

I am so glad I went and I am so glad that I always carry around my Moleskine in my purse! I ended up taking three pages of notes.

Some of my scribblings.......

" Set up an "I need to protect my family"...need to test an idea with the character.

We are all driven by the things that own us....

Attempt to understand what demons the characters have propelling them..

Four ingredients for a story 1) story structure 2)plot 3)characters 4)theme

Writing is ability to ask the questions and come up with the answer...

Emotional price paid...."

Fascinating stuff.

More fascinating was the battery of questions "Bobby" took (please call me Bobby, he requested after being addressed as Mr. Moresco) related to the movie "Crash". People really and truly wanted to know about the Matt Dillon character, his take on racism, dialog questions and "how do I get my script read??"! I must admit, after seeing the movie I understood why it won the Oscar that year (this year? how time flies)because it touched me and made me ask questions of myself. And this crowd of people, around 200 of us, had lots of questions for him.

I've been up since 3am because of a bad dream! The story line was this....I got caught with illegal drugs and had to flush them down a sink. I was not taken to jail, but I was so worried about being hunted down on the "grid" because my heart was racing and beating so fast.

Pancakes anyone?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I got the Netflix Blues

Netflix is the only way to go when it comes to renting DVD's. The idea of a genius! I joined several years ago and have not set foot in a Blockbuster since.

At first, I had Netflix all to myself! Oh the joy of having all those chick flicks arrive and watched at my leisure. I even found some of my favorites from years gone by that rarely appeared on television and were never to be found at the local rental store!

Then Joe began to criticize my selections! And if I did not watch them in some preconceived respectable amount of time, he shipped them back and replace them with , what he refers to, as Real Man Movies.

In other words, I have lost control!

My BEFORE SUNRISE has been replaced by SLOW BURN.

My AURORA BOREALIS was replaced with WHY WE FIGHT.

My BOYNTON BEACH CLUB was tossed aside and TENACIOUS D arrived in its place.

I have to admit, some of his He-Man movies have been quite good. LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA is one of the boldest anti-war films I have ever seen. THE GOOD GERMAN was surprisingly good. BLOOD word, wow. Djimon Hounsou deserved the Oscar and was robbed.

And, some of my movies have sucked. I was bitterly disappointed with EVENING. I did not find any of the characters engaging with the exception of Toni Collette's role as the daughter. And it was excoriating watching Vanessa Redgrave wane away. And one of the principals, the pivotal character, I found so unsympathetic I was actually disappointed when he was not killed (on his first attempt!).

And then there was THE TIGER AND THE SNOW.

Sometimes I am not aware that the movie is going to be in sub-titles. I am typically annoyed that I am going to have to concentrate on "reading" the movie rather than developing opinions about plot and character. And when The Tiger and the snow began with Tom Waits playing piano at a wedding I had no idea what was in store for me.

I have not been so wowed over by a movie since LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA...which incidentally was in subtitles also.

For anyone who has not watched this movie yet (I think I must be one of the last since it was released in 2005), I will not ruin it for y'all...but I am so grateful to European directors who refuse to dumb down to their audiences. In other words, I never saw it coming!

I never saw it coming!!

Me, (who loves that American movies are dumbed down), who lives to lean over and whisper to Joe, "The Butler did it......."

I never saw it coming!

Wonderful film and once again the fight is on for control of the Netflix Queue.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hodge Podge

It would appear the only posts I can get out these days are long here is another.

I made a trip to The Friends of the Library Book Cellar yesterday and spent a whopping $13.74. This is what I purchased after browsing for about an hour and a half and knew people were going to wonder if I had disappeared off the face of the earth.

My first find - The Foxfire Book - Anchor Books edition 1972.

I think this might be a first edition if a 1st edition is possible because most of the articles were published in the Foxfire Magazines. I do not think I owned this book back in the day, but I know many people who did and I think this is why I picked it out of the offerings in the US Travel section. Hmmmmmmm.....I think it may have been misfiled, but heck, this is the book Cellar! I sat in a large easy chair and began to thumb through the pages and was immediately absorbed reading about the people who contributed to this effort.

How can you pass over a book that walks you through treating a "rattlesnack" bite.

2) Daisy Bates in the Desert - A woman's life among the Aborigines by Julia Blackburn. I think I may already have this book in paperback. Sometimes I do that, going through my collection (which are housed in boxes for several years) I'll find multiple copies of stuff I did not realize I had purchased before! Continuing with my fascination with strong odd women who take a different path in life that is filled with challenge and adventure.

3) A Hilltop in Tuscany by Stephanie Grace Whitson. A novel about one of my favorite subjects, Italy. Prefer non-fiction, but what's a girl to do?

4) The memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards. Have wanted to read this for a long time and for $3.00, now is the time.

5) Best Friends by Martha Moody. I'm a sucker for anything written about the 1970's. Redbook calls it a "terrific read'. I am on page 21 and about ready to move on to another book. I mean, who in 1974 brings a microwave to a dorm room? We have already breezed through their freshman year in college and nothing of any interest happened. I wonder if it is the same 1970's I went to college? I'll give it some more time, as it was a national best seller. I always want the sex, drugs and rock and roll, anti-war sentiment. I ain't feeling it.

6) Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katherine S. White - 1979. A book that encompasses the essays by E.B. White's wife published in the New York Times during the 1950's and 60's. I love garden books. And essays are the best!

7) Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden. My SIL was reading this book several summers ago and was suppose to pass it on to me. I loved the movie and am a firm believer that the book is always better than the movie.

8) Younger than that Now - by Jeff Durstewitz and Ruth Williams. This is a torn up large paper back that is actually an uncorrected page proof. "He was a rabble-rousing NY high school senior. She was the fiercely proud daughter of the Deep South. In 1969 these two strangers exchanged angry letters, igniting a lifetime friendship and an extraordinary personal chronicle of our time." Any book that has a Bob Dylan lyric as a title gets my $1.00. I'm certain I will find the dawn of the 1970's as I remember it in this book.