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 @Mark_Harai It's not **servitude** -- that implies involuntary service (slavery, if you like) by someone treated as a lesser individual.  What you're talking about is SERVICE.  There's a world of difference in those two terms.  Good service is always important.  Unfortunately, some people -- and companies -- expect servitude from others when they're only entitled to good service.  That's the *other* side of the coin.

11 months ago on QOTW 2013: Week 31: I can’t help you. I just work here!

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Yes, it's an education in bad customer service, and they lost a customer -- not to mention that they also get bad word of mouth now. too.  And yes, you're supposed to read your bill -- but they're also not supposed to be so incompetent that they let an error on their part go on for 65 months.  After all, they wouldn't have let an error of underpayment on *your* part go one for more than 30 DAYS, now would they?  All of which gives you grounds for a complaint to your state attorney general's consumer fraud division.  They owe you that money, and not giving it to you is equal to stealing it.  It's fraud on their part.  Multiply thaat by who knows how many customers, and I'd bet your attorney general would be interested.And let *that * -- complaining to the right person at the right time, in the most effective (i.e., punitive) way -- be a lesson in consumer revenge against bad service and fraud.

11 months ago on QOTW 2013: Week 31: I can’t help you. I just work here!

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@photo chris  Don't bother with Lean IN -- it's nothing new and more than a little self-serving, not to mention written by a one-percenter.  Better to reread The Feminine Mystique (at least Friedan was original).  Then again, I'm older than Sandberg and have already overdiscussed all that over the years, so I'm not as easily impressed.

11 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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@ifdyperez   Smart choices are the ones that are right for you now but won't come back to bite you in the *** later ... and it's not always possible to know that, although some things are more likely than others to bite you later.  What IS certain is that it's always better to have not just plan B but also plan C **AND** your own money, preferably a decent nest egg, before you take a big risk.  And if you don't have that, either don't take the risk or be prepared for subsequent unpleasantness.  Informed choices and trade-offs, right?

11 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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@LauraPetrolino @ginidietrich  I have male friends (some for more than 35 years) and I have female friends, and I don't get drama from any of them.  Then again, maybe I'm more careful about whom I call friends.  I sure don't mean all those folks I know through Facebook and LinkedIn.  Those are contacts or colleagues, not friends.  I don't confuse the two.

11 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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@LauraPetrolino I agree on all points.  I'd also like to point out that not fitting into a mold also has its price.  I wouldn't want to be anything other than what and who I am; I know who I am and what I'm worth, and I'm happy with that.  I tend to come at issues differently than most men but also differently than a lot of women.  I'm also not a girly-girl, but I like being a woman.  It shows, and I have no problem with that.

Other people sometimes do have a problem with that, however.  Envy, resentment because they don't have as much nerve, you name it.  You'd be surprised how much individualism and intelligence in women bothers people, even today.  A woman not fitting expectations or a stereotype also intimidates a lot of people, mostly men but also some women.  Men are just less likely to say so openly these days.  Once upon a time, it infuriated complete strangers that I never changed my name when I married (I told them it was none of their business; you can imagine how many friends that got me; but at least I got to say the same thing to my ex's grandmother, too, when she asked when I was having kids and I informed her I wasn't).  Imagine my surprise when I read in Women's Health just the other day that a majority of men polled by Men's Health magazine (better than 60 percent) would resent it if their brides didn't take their husbands' surnames and an even bigger majority (in the 90 percent range) wouldn't consider taking their wives' surnames.  They felt unmanned by the suggestion and said a woman keeping her own name showed that she really didn't love him.  Really?!?  Narcissistic much???  Those boys need to be slapped silly -- and I say boys, because real men wouldn't think that way.

You know what I tell people when they give me some version of that old Japanese maxim 'the nail that sticks out gets the hammer'?  Answer:  you're mistaken -- I'm not the nail, I'm the steamroller that's gonna break that hammer;  then maybe the hammer will finally shut up and mind its own business.  Yeah, it's still intimidating, but it's sure effective in getting people to stop.  ;D


11 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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Well, now that we know Sheryl Sandberg is a twit who won't pay her interns despite making millions, we certainly shouldn't be listening to her, either -- she's just another one-percenter who Doesn't Get It, i.e., she's completely divorced from the reality that the rest of the world experiences.  One of the NYTimes commenters nailed it when she wrote that feminism was never about having it all: it was about having choices.  The corollary to having choices is making trade-offs.  There IS no having it all, no more so for women than for men.

My mama was an architect who worked while I was growing up (her mother lived with us and was home when we got back from school, but that also had its trade-offs as grandma couldn't stand my dad, which, it turned out was for good cause; but that's another conversation).  My mother told me when I was 12 that I must always have my own money (AND not get pregnant before marriage, AND not marry until after I had a degree and a good job, thus earning my own money) because the guy can always die or leave, and leave you stuck with no money, a kid, and no support -- and your life then changes irrevocably and never for the better.  Not having your own money severely limits your future.  Consequently, Mama was less than brave about asking for long-overdue raises because she didn't want to risk losing her job at a time when very few women worked, let alone in architecture.  In retrospect, I wish she'd spoken up for herself more; she didn't because she needed a second income to raise her daughters.

I saw what all her trade-offs were and made my own choices later:  two degrees, no kids, and for most of my life, no husband (hey, Mr. Right never showed up, but the bills still had to be paid).  I only worked under duress for bosses who insulted or mistreated me, and then only until I could extricate myself to another job, and I had that freedom because I had my own money and no dependents.  As a result, half my career has been freelance, never my first choice, but I learned to live with it.  It's still not my first choice -- but at least I don't have to make anyone else suffer for my choices.

Moreover, I have a life and choices because my mama told me, long before I understood what that strange thing called high school was, that I would be going to university and getting a degree in a profession.  Which profession was my choice, but I was going to be educated and a working woman; she wasn't paying her hard-earned money for me to stay at home the rest of my life or work for minimum wage.  I'm glad she's not around now to see what my profession (journalism, ironically) has become or how many of us are out of work or freelancing without choice because the media is undergoing a sea change.  But then, that's life:  you pay your money, you take your chances, and you can't anticipate everything.

Trade-offs.  I don't suppose Sandberg is familiar with the concept.  Then again, those women in the NYTimes article don't seem to be, either.  That's the one percent for you -- and there will always be a one percent.  What surprises me is that anyone looks to them for examples of anything useful.


11 months ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term

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