Office kitchen wars, take three

20 03 2009


The vigilante crackdown on disgusting kitchen slobs continues. This is a bit hopey-er than my guillotine, but I feel like Barack’s expression is a bit menacing. As if he’s saying, ‘Don’t make me tell Michelle about this.’


Maybe this will get through to them

2 02 2009

I work in a pretty informal office. We don’t have cubicles, Thursday is bagel day, and if you wear anything other than jeans and a sweatshirt people assume you’re probably up to something. Even in this environment, though, I absolutely cannot understand how the sink continually fills up with dirty dishes that sit and fester for weeks at a time. Who do you think is going to come around and wash them for you? The magical dish fairy? God? Your mother?

I’m hoping my friendly new sign will help alleviate the situation:


Lilly Ledbetter and the tough girl’s guide to negotiation

29 01 2009

This morning Barack Obama signed into law the first legislation of his presidency, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, extending the statute of limitations on paycheck discrimination for men and women like Ms. Ledbetter, who earned less than her male colleagues while doing the same work.

The bill is a victory for women and other marginalized groups and is long overdue. That said, though, I seriously doubt it will make much of a dent in America’s 78-cents-for-every-dollar gender pay disparity because overt bias is much less of a problem than the inability or unwillingness to negotiate. Simply, the problem isn’t that American women aren’t getting raises; it’s that they aren’t asking for them.


It’s been well documented that in America, and probably around the world, boys are taught to argue while girls are raised to acquiesce, and from the sandbox to the boardroom, pushy women are seen in a very different light than pushy men. So it isn’t any wonder that more often than not, when Dick and Jane are each offered their proverbial 78 cents, Dick will negotiate his way up to a dollar, while Jane will politely accept what she’s offered, reasoning that the company, knowing the market and her qualifications, probably is offering a fair rate.

So now the company is paying Jane 22 percent less than Dick for doing the same job—but they probably would be willing to pay Jane what they’re paying Dick. Only Jane never asked.

The same is true when it comes to raises and bonuses—you usually aren’t going to get one unless you ask for it. The fact is that in business, unlike in college, no one is assigned to track your successes but you. Your failures, yes, but successes, not so much. Social scientists have long puzzled over why women succeed in huge numbers in academia then fall behind their male peers almost immediately after graduation, and the answer is simple. The problem isn’t women’s all-consuming (and highly overstated) desire to make babies; it’s that while her male colleague is in the boss’s office asking for a raise, she’s sitting patiently at her desk, waiting for somebody to notice all the great work she’s doing.

None of this is to say that women like Lilly Ledbetter who earn less than men for doing the same job aren’t victims of discrimination or that they don’t deserve the right to sue for damages. But regardless of the law, few women will ever have the opportunity to see these wrongs righted in court. Every woman, though, has both the ability and the responsibility to ask to be paid what she’s worth.

Come back next week for How to Negotiate Better Pay without Sounding Like a Bitch.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

I think my coworkers are planning to eat me.

27 10 2008

It started with the bagels. Then came the donuts, the cupcakes and the never-ending bowl of halloween candy. Now there’s a tupperwareful of homemade cookies sitting there, trying to MAKE ME EAT THEM.

Clearly they are trying to fatten me up. If anybody asks me to hold an apple in my mouth, I’m outta here.

Dear building management,

21 10 2008

I appreciate the shiny new tile and automatic soap dispensers in the bathroom, I do. But maybe now we can shift our focus to getting all three toilets working at the same time?