Thursday, September 25, 2008

Best Deal in NYC

Besides getting my teeth cleaned for free (well I mean I pay for dental insurance but there is no co-pay) I think I found the best NYC bargain…. Free (ish) haircuts!!! The hair modeling thing was fantastic, I couldn’t have been any happier with my sweet timid Japanese hair apprentice. I’m not sure if she understood what I was saying – there was a lot of head bowing and ‘yess-ing’ – but we had the same hair so I was pretty sure she wasn’t gonna hack me down to a crew cut. It did take a LONG time (over 2 hours) cause she and two other apprentices were being evaluated by the MASTER . It was very entertaining, sitting there between the other two models, one was a young teacher (ughhhh) with a hideous head of mousy frizzy hair, the other was the most beautiful being I have seen in years. She was so beautiful I was transfixed by her face – it was like I was trying to decided what about her was MOST beautiful – her perfect nose, her skin, her doe eyes – I was stupefied. Unfortunately she caught my scrutinizing gaze in the mirror and shot me a look of total disgust combined with a tad bit of terror. In short the girl looked like a 20 year old Bridget Bardot mixed with a bit of Barbarella Jane Fonda.

The frizzy mouse transformed into a curly bob that looked terrific – total makeover. I never did see the completion of Briget Fonda’s doo because the Master fell in love with her 10 minutes into the ‘lesson’ and never took his hands out of her glorious main of honey colored locks- they were still there when I left at 10pm.

Only about a day left in my temping career – fingers crossed. There is a very entertaining meeting currently happening next to me regarding guns in the work place at their other corporate location – FYI people in the south apparently LOVE guns. I would love to expand more on this thread because the conversation is HYSTERICAL – but I do kinda work here. The best part though was at the beginning of the ‘report’ when one of the NY executives was all, “Wow you guys talk about guns like how WE talk about pizza”.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I’m a Model!!!

Ok so I’m totally broke and my hair is SCREAMING at me cause I spent the whole summer in the surf and the sun. There is no way I can splurge on a haircut (and dare I even think about color) so I decided to throw caution to the wind and become a hair model . I am going in for my first cut tomorrow – how bad can it be right? I mean this is Manhattan, and I’m going to a real salon, ARTE so I’m hoping I won’t come out looking like my neighbor’s Salon Style Barbie after we took our 6 year old left handed round nosed scissors to it’s head.

If any of you reading this are thinking – hey I wanna be a hair model (bald guinea pig) too – how do I do that? Well friends here are the links to get you on your way to becoming a member of the experimental tonsorial arts:

Salon Apprentice -

and of course the ol’ craigs list

If all goes well tomorrow I may even try donating my head to color apprentice – cause like - come on how bad can you screw up black hair right….. right?

What are the odds?

Still temping at the place where I basically do nothing – yet on the rare occasion that I am asked to perform whatever slight menial task - I quickly realize that I am terribly ill equipped to fulfill anybody’s request.

This receptionist has really set herself up for job security. I was given 1 page of “instructions” however she left out all the important information… ah tricky! I have login information but no passwords, I have names of executive assistants who no longer work for the company, I have a large ring of keys yet none of them fit the lock on the desk drawer….. she is sooooo crafty! My favorite trick of hers was to email like 20 staff members on Friday notifying them that she was holding a package/ envelope/ check/ for them at reception and that they should pick it up this week. It’s kinda nice because I am getting lots of face time with the full time employees however I DON”T KNOW WHERE THEIR STUFF IS!!! Yep I got plenty of nothing. However on the upside because all these people are coming to reception I have been able to unload lots of mail that was never distributed yesterday (see blog below).

I’m onto my second cup of their chocolate nut coffee but I am trying to steer clear of the bathroom (see blog below – again). However this combo of extreme coffee ingestion and bathroom avoidance is not a really great plan– I may need to rethink my afternoon goal.

Mail mystery continues…. A dude just came by looking for a “big check” that should have been delivered 10 days ago. I tried to explain the mail process – but he was a bit confused – obviously he is not an office administrator professional. He wandered back to the unmarked mailboxes and found his long lost check – thank goodness. I took the opportunity to hand him the other 3 checks that were delivered yesterday – but he said, “Oh no these go to our accounts payable department”. I was all “I know but nobody has been able to tell me who/ where they are.” He looked at me and said, “Yeah…. Umm…. I’ll find out who they are and give you a call.”

In closing I would like to know – In an office of 150 employees what are the odds that 44 people all have a Birthday in September? While I was pouring my second cup of joe in their kitchen I happened upon their “Happy September Birthday” list taped to the upper cabinet. There are FORTY FOUR people on the list FORTY FOUR!!!! Maybe there will be cake?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I swear I am not a mess!

It’s like the less I do while temping the more idiotic I am:

I began the day by aggressively tearing the privacy screen off the computer monitor thereby rendering it – useless. I was attempting to rid the screen of years of DNA samples that had been applied to both sides. It is currently propped up behind an acrylic ruler and a wooden “Hebra” ( half zebra - half hippo).

By midday I was harassing employees in the woman’s room. I mistakenly choose the stall with the broken lock and while pushing open the door – accidentally pinned a rather small (half naked) Asian lady between the stall door and the wall – whoops – sorry.

I attempted to distribute the mail but was stymied by the lack of names on the mailboxes. After inquiring about the mail distribution to several employees nobody could give me a clue about how they received mail. Oh well it is currently still sitting behind me in the mail bin.

After leaving the office for my 15 min. lunch break I was locked out. I forgot to bring the magnetic key thingy, and it is MY job to buzz people in. After I rang the bell twice (and was ignored by the entire staff of 150 people) I decided to chill out in the elevator bank and eat my subway sandwich until somebody either came out – or went it.

When the phone finally rang for the first time at 4pm – I had totally forgotten the name of the company and sat there dead on the line until the caller shouted “HELLO!!!!???” I giggled and was all – “Oh right… hello”. Now I have the company's name written on a Post-it - stuck to the phone receiver. Just in case the phone rings again over the next 4 days.

Highlight of the day – I discovered the Sinkers flavored coffee in their lounge!! I haven’t yet dared to try it, but I did partake in the Chocolate Nut coffee syrup.

What was up with the Emmy’s?

Seriously these people get paid? Did you see the opening .. it was like watching public masturbation!!! It kind of reminded me of a HS skit performed by the drama club dorks who sat around in their bedroom brainstorming, “No like we should just go out there and just be all – we didn’t plan anything… hahahah that would be soooo funny, no like really ironic and funny. Yeah…. That would totally blow their MINDS!!! Oh dude then we should like pull off a chick’s clothes…. LOL WTF (and any other txt like abbreviations)” – However it was neither funny nor ironic, it was just sophomoric and painful. And then to strip of Klum’s clothes – WTF? I wonder if there were ANY women on the writing staff? I know it isn’t high art – and it’s only TV – but really… really?

Talking about dorky kids and high art- I did catch one of the last performances of “Title of Show” yesterday. The place was overrun with fanatical Long Island/ Jersey HS-ers in LOVE with everything, and everyone. Oh those poor tragic HS kids – I mean I was a MESS when I was 15 but not a hot box of crazy. I didn’t think TOS would have such a YOUNG following…. It’s a bit bizarre. Basically the show is about hitting your head against the wall for YEARS working your ass off for what you love – so how can these kids see themselves in the characters? Whatever – if their ticket dollars keep the show running through Xmas I know at least one TOSer who would be VERY happy. Anyways the show was still great even after moving to the big time – BUT it did lose some heart. I felt that the pacing was a bit too fast for some of the intimate moments and stuff that was heart wrenching at the Vineyard was lost in the grandness of the B’way house.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crystal ball?

The interview process went well today – 4 out of 5 agents LOVED me! But of course I obsessed over the 1 who was under whelmed until Scooter shook me up over pizza and brought me back to reality. He always knows what to say and when to say it – unless he doesn’t then I have to tell him “It’s not the time for that now”.

I have already gotten a call from one of the new recruiters – he’s tossing my hat into the ring for a gig and just a second ago another agency called to set up an interview tomorrow. The wheels keep turning – but my bank account keeps dwindling – WTF!!?? I just wish I could look into the future to see what my life will be….. sigh…..

I tell you what is great for unemployment ennui – it’s a trip to customer service at Tiffany’s. That little minx Audrey Hepburn was right – you just can’t be gloomy there. I dropped more cash that I don’t have but living within my means is oh so boring – right? People keep telling me that I’ll have a job soon…. Should I NOT believe them?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last day of fancy

Friday – another day of work for Galleta and another day for me to be a lady of leisure. Room service arrived with our breakfast which I ate while Galleta entertained me with his signature dance moves (must ask him about the “salt and pepper”). All too soon Galleta had to leave for work, “Have a good day at work honey!” I called after him at the door (trying that sentence on for fit). Then I plopped back into bed and contemplated the remainder of my day. A few hours later I was up, checked out of the hotel, and off to explore the shopping on Walnut St. I walked down to Tiffany’s cause I needed (wanted) to get Galleta something to thank him for my amazing mini vacay and also cause the night before he had been so generous with a gift - I am not allowed to mention. I picked out the perfect the gift then went onto Kiehl’s and bought him some men’s travel supplies. I know I am broke and unemployed…. Fiddle de deee… sometimes I am so Scarlet.

We met up for lunch at
Alma de Cuba then through the driving rain I went off to the Philadelphia Museum of Art – you know the building in ROCKY where he runs up the steps. The collection was beautiful and the place was EMPTY! It was a fantastic afternoon and I found myself being especially sappy and almost moved to tears by some of the paintings.

I was back at the hotel bar at 4pm where I sat and sipped white wine while I waited for my man to return from a very boring day at the office. Galleta joined me at about 5pm and over cocktails we bemoaned our fate – me having to travel to NYC then directly to the Hamptons, he debating which clubs to reserve table service at during his several thousand dollar weekend trip to Vegas. Galleta mentioned that if anybody in the vicinity overheard us they would think we were two huge ass holes.

Back into a cab and off to the train station. We waited together for a few minutes then said our goodbyes as I had to ride with chicken in crates while Galleta was fed pealed grapes by super models on the Acela.

I could get used to this

This week has been a whirl wind, from The Hamptons to NYC to Philadelphia back to the Hamptons then home again to Queens – man I am bushed.

Thursday, after informing all of my agencies that I was unavailable for assignments, I began my foray into a short lived charmed life. For the next two days I was going to play the role of Trophy Wife companion to my (somewhat) imaginary fiancĂ©, Galleta. I left Queens at 4:30 am to begin my train journey to Philadelphia. Traveling through Penn Station is charming in the wee hours, oh so many 20 somethings sleeping peacefully on the tiled floors awaiting the next train home on the LIRR – extreme alcohol consumption and deciphering complicated train schedules is never a good mix.

Galleta and I met up in Philly at about 8:15 (he took the Acela, I traveled by steerage) and we were off to the swank
Sofitel . After we checked our bags Galleta informed the front desk that I would return at 3pm to check in – since he would be otherwise occupied at work. A quick walk down the street brought us to Galleta’s fancy office building where we bid adieu and I was off on my adventure to discover the city of brotherly love.

Philly is a beautiful city and the day was glorious. Deep blue skies, bright sunshine and pleasantly cool for early September. I walked about a mile East to
Independence Park
I saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s house and basically everything “historic”. Exploring on my own- singing in my head (and out loud) all the songs from the musical 1776 , enjoying the weather and just basically having a kick ass day until I hit the wall. It was noon and I was DEAD! I had slept about 3 hours the night before (since I had to get up at 3:15 am) so by now I was a walking zombie. I had nowhere to go – couldn’t check in until 3pm – and I was beginning to downward spiral into a complete melt down. I sat on a stone bench in front of the National Constitution Center and thought, “What if I just lay down and take a nap?” I knew it was federal park grounds but really how bad could it be – right? Maybe a little hobo-ish even vagrant-y but not unlawful. I pondered this for about a half hour then decided to slowly walk back to the hotel in hopes that I could at least get into the room at 2pm.

The travel gods were on my side for when I returned to the Sofitel I was greeted by our desk clerk asking me, “Checking in, Mrs. Santiago?” I didn’t care to correct him about the Mrs. S thing
– cause that’s my future anyways – I was just relieved to collapse into that crazy super soft cozy bed…yummmm.

My nap was cut short by my sudden urge to get my nails done – so off I went to the International Nail Salon where my fingers were gruffly manhandled by an ex-soviet Jew who decided that I didn’t know anything about choosing the proper nail color.

Back in room 1122 (my birthday date coincidentaly – oh that Galleta thinks of everything) Galleta returned from work and we began our evening game plan. Dinner at
Davios then out for drinks and stuff. Dinner was fantastic – lamb, wine, tiramisu…. Yummmm. Galleta however had his eye on a table of ladies who were celebrating an 85th Birthday. I had spied these party guests first and turned Galleta onto the scene – however it was the ass of one of the girls that truly captivated his imagination.

After dinner we visited a few of the area’s lounges and bars – all DEAD! We had some cocktails in various posh locations however they were all empty. The last place we tried out was the g lounge - cause well how could we pass up a club named in my honor? We returned back to our room, tucked ourselves into the most decadent bead ever created, and drifted off to dreamland

Change is a comin’ (I hope)

Last Wed. I had 2 interviews with staffing agencies that hopefully will yield some fruit. The first interview was conducted by posh sorority sisters who oddly took a shine to me. My usual demographic of FOGs (fans of Gail) consists of Gays and Married men, but somehow I was able to cross over into UES skinny blond chick realm to win over these recruiters – must have been my black patent leather pumps with matching bag. The second interview was headed by a complete tool. A ‘dude’ of at least 40 sporting an un- tucked short sleeved button down shirt and pooka beads. After briefly glancing at my resume Tooly informed me that perspective employers will look poorly on me because I left my last job to earn my Masters – he was just “keeping it real”.

I have gotten a few calls from “the girls” – looks like they are shopping out my resume for full time gigs. Additionally I have an interview on Monday with another agency – fingers crossed I will be employed….soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jesus Christ….. Word 2003!!!???

As I sit here at my current temp gig in midtown I am typing this posting in Word 2003. The jesus loving full time employee that I am temping for (her computer password is HeisFaithfulPraiseHim#1) has been utilizing office 97 since .. well I guess since 97. I couldn’t take it anymore so I updated her system with office 2003 applications (easy as a push of a button). I am sure there will be a HUGE learning curve upon her return from Deuchland – but from the looks of it she has PLENTY of time here at reception to investigate all the fancy new ‘right click’ options… oooo thesaurus. If only I could get a trackball mouse and find where they keep ANY office supplies I could rule this place!

I had 2 requests today from partners that I couldn’t fulfill, one wanted an envelope the other wanted to know where the fax machine was located – both of these tasks were outside of my skill set – sorry. The peeps are sorry to see me go – probably cause I don’t bless them as they enter and leave the office (Good Night – God Bless You!). I asked one partner if I could stay. I told him that I noticed that the table lamp in front of me in the lobby/ lounge has been broken the entire time I have been here and if he kept me I could do some electrical work and even re-wire the lamp. Not sure if I scared him or charmed him…. Oh just like all the men I meet.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A scraped knee and a shattered cell phone

Had my first non teaching interview yesterday with TDF (Theater Development Fund) and even though they can’t afford me – They Liked Me – They REALLY Liked me! I had forgotten that I actually have marketable skills and that my past 15 years of professional employment is rather impressive. And I had forgotten what it was like to have a perspective employer actually engage me in conversation, respect me and my time, and have (an appearance) of genuine curiosity about what I have to offer. I really needed this boost to my ego since my recent melt down. I have some other balls in the air so turning down TDF (and another 2 jobs this afternoon) is not the end of the line.

Proof that the Education system is screwed up:

  • Only 3 graduates from my cohort have full time teaching jobs in NYC public schools.
  • A handful of graduates who have secured Teaching Assistant jobs (with a 2 year commitment) are working at a rate of $11.50 an hour with no benefits or Union.
  • One graduate who could only secure a substitute position on L.I. was told by her superintendent that he had 5,000 applicants for 2 available jobs and 90% of those applicants had 2 Masters.
In regards to the title of this posting…. After leaving my TDF interview on a HIGH I stepped into a pothole on 7th Ave (directly across from that GIANT button and needle). I went crashing down onto my left knee – no doubt because I’m off kilter on the left side because I still have an egg sized lump on my knee from falling off the school bus this past winter while on a field trip to the Queens Theater. So as not to kill my other front tooth (even though my Dentist did advise that I whack the other root so at least BOTH of my front teeth would match – gray) I threw my $500+ coach bag away from me and came crashing down onto my left palm. Unfortunately my crappy ass phone when flying from my bag then shattered into 3 pieces – making a lovely twinkling sound as it landed in the crosswalk. Amazingly I didn’t trash my white trousers – but I did loose my left shoe momentarily. I was like an urban Cinderella.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First for everything

First blog.. first post. Not sure how to start this journey into the cyber world? I don’t want to be totally self centered and all “Dear Diary”, but what can I comment on? Or do I even need to comment on stuff. Wow as a first posting this is fantastic so far. Instead of becoming too metta about this process within my first 5 seconds of contemplating the gravity of this enterprise I think I shall begin by posting a sampling of a lyric that best represents my current state of mind:
What will this day be like? I wonder.

What will my future be? I wonder.
All I trust I give my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides Which you see I have confidence In me!!!!!!!!!!!!