Easing Back In

July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm 34 comments

Stay-cation is over, Internet.


It was great, and I feel rested and refreshed and like we made the most of our days together. Still, it stings to be back to reality. Especially when reality involves another summer-cold-ish scratchy throat and an awesome little girl who whimpered and clung to us at the daycare drop-off this morning.

I miss you so much, Crazy Spaghetti Face.

(Also: Please note hairclip. That is a real, honest-to-goodness LITTLE GIRL up there.)


Looking forward, I’ve got some fun stuff ahead this month, including a gathering for artistically-inclined, card-holding vagina owners (theatre ladies, for short) that I’ve been asked to attend. It’s a sort of brainstorming session for a local theatre company, during which they hope to pick some ladybrains about…hell, I don’t know. Periods and whatever? I hope to bring some enlightened introspection to the group.

I was told there would be judging and name-calling…?

All my poorly-expressed sarcasm aside, I am really excited for the opportunity to be a part of this, since I’ll be in the company of some of the coolest local ladies I know. We’ve all been sent a list of questions that will be a springboard for the discussion, and because I am kind of cranky and unoriginal today, I thought I’d post them here as a sort of meme for you all to snag if you feel so inclined. I’d love to hear your answers. I’m weirdly nosy like that.

Let’s go:

Please finish this sentence: “My friends would be surprised to know that I…”

Here is where I will probably bring the whole room down by sharing that I hate, hate, hatehatehate working for female bosses. I have worked for my fair share of ladies in the past  (eleven of them, to be exact*), and with the exception of one supremely awesome Australian chick, they were all nit-picky, undermining micromanagers who never hesitated to scream at me in front of others and/or pass the blame to me whenever there was blame to be passed…and then would always conveniently forget they had ripped me a new asshole whenever they needed something else done (at the last minute, of course) (and, oh, you’ll have to stay late).

I feel free to pass judgment on LadyBosses mostly because I have worked for just as many (if not more) DudeBosses, and WOW, what a difference. Male bosses — by and large — do not micromanage. They mind their business. They always give Christmas gifts. They ask me how the baby is doing.

This is what I get from my male bosses:

“Here’s your work; I trust that you’ll do it. If you don’t do it, I’ll ask you why. If I have a problem with you, I’ll confront you, we’ll deal with it, case closed. If something goes wrong, I’ll assume it wasn’t your fault, because I know from past experience that you are a good worker. If it was your fault, no big. Just make it right, and we’re cool. Are you taking your vacation days? You should. Go do something fun. Don’t worry about work.”

Whereas from the ladies, I get:

“Here’s your work — have you started it yet? Now? Now? How about now? Can you email me progress reports of your work every two hours? Can you copy me on all your emails? Why didn’t you let me know about that meeting? You emailed me about it? Well, I DIDN’T SEE THE EMAIL, AND YOU SHOULD HAVE SENSED THAT AND FOLLOWED UP WITH A PHONE CALL AND A TEXT MESSAGE TO MY CELL.  There was a typo in that email. OMG THERE WAS A TYPO IN THAT EMAIL! END OF DAYS! APOCALYPSE! Why was there a typo? Well, if someone gave you the wrong information, you shouldn’t have assumed it was the right information. You need to catch these things. My computer isn’t working. CALL SOMEONE! And while we’re waiting on the IT department to get back to us, I’ll yell at you in front of the entire office because I NEED MY COMPUTER! Oh, wait — it was unplugged. Oops. But don’t expect an apology. I’m sure this was your fault somehow. And I really hope you’re not planning on taking any more than two days off in a row this summer. I really need you here.”

I’m not exaggerating very much. AT ALL. In fact, most of those things have actually been said to me. Even the computer thing. And yes, the problem was that the fucking thing was unplugged — a detail I did not bother to check because certainly a regional president of a major international marketing firm would know to PLUG HER FUCKING COMPUTER IN, right? Right.

(Oh, and that was also the woman who wept — openly– when I got downsized and kicked to the curb. She told me I had been the best assistant she’d ever had. Mindfuck, anyone?)

I’ve had people tell me that the shit I get from LadyBosses comes from some weird competitive thing about me being younger or some such, and I don’t buy it. For one thing, some of the women who have given me the most shit work in other locations and have never seen me face-to-face.  I could be hovering on the cusp of menopause and snacking on chocolate Viactiv chews at my desk for all they know.  And it’s not like I’m angling for their jobs (DEAR GOD, NO). Basically, I think they’re defensive and insecure because they think they have to prove themselves five times over as a woman in a high-level position, and when it comes to dealing with me, they have absolutely zero politeness and patience to spare. This does not mean I excuse their particular brand of shit, but I do understand.

But then again, some of them were just raging bitchfaces. So there’s that.

Who were your role models growing up? Who are they now?

I hate questions like this, because I feel like I have to answer with “Michael Jordan” or “Jesus” or “my great-aunt Hazel who gave birth to twins in an assembly line while building fighter jets during World War II” or something like that, and…I just don’t really feel that way. About anyone. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who inspire me in different ways — friends, relatives, teachers — but there’s not ONE person I can pinpoint as being someone I admired so much I’d like to wear them like a skin-suit a la Jamie Gumm. And I think we’re all better off that way.

Name 3 events that changed your life.

Easy! Performing for the first time (in 5th grade, and getting laughs and applause), meeting Brad, and birthing the best baby in the world.

What accomplishment are you proudest of thus far?

I would say “my family,” meaning Brad & Sadie, but I didn’t really accomplish that. They are awesome all on their own. But I am insanely proud that I have been a good mother to Sadie for these past 15 months. Up until she was born, I was a little afraid I’d be as maternal as a fucking tire iron. I am happy to report that this is not the case.

What are your words of wisdom for other women?

My words of wisdom for anyone are: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

My words of wisdom specifically for women? Never buy store-brand tampons.

Also, eat the fucking cookie and shut up about it. No one thinks you’re fat.

How easy/difficult is it to develop and maintain friendships with women as you get older?

I’d say it’s difficult, but that the Internet makes it infinitely easier — both when it comes to meeting new friends and maintaining relationships with old ones. As much as I fucking hate Facebook sometimes, it enables me to see my friend’s cute baby photos mere hours after the shorty joins the world. Awesome.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about women?

Damn, I just had a brilliant fucking idea, Internet. I’m going to open a maternity store and call it Miss Conception. GET IT? Fuck yes.

Anyhoo, I think one of the biggest misconceptions about women is that having babies makes us weaker and/or less valuable in terms of contributing professionally or otherwise. Just because a woman has a baby does not mean she will start sucking at her job. But it does mean that she likely has less patience for people who underestimate her. Mama only has room for one whiny baby in her life, yo.

What is your greatest strength?

I have an ass that won’t quit.

(Although it has taken the occasional long weekend since the baby was born.)

Also, I am a loving person, goddammit.

What is your greatest weakness?

My fears. And yellow cake with chocolate icing.

What is your greatest fear?

People I love getting hurt. Because then who will bring me yellow cake with chocolate icing?

What do you find most challenging about being an artist a blogger?

[OK, this survey was for “artists,” but hows about we change it to “blogger” so everyone can participate?]

Not being able to write about the juicy, real-life shit I want to write about sometimes.

What is most rewarding about being [a blogger]?

The sweet, sweet release of complaining to the untold anonymous masses. And when I can make you guys laugh.

What do you want to accomplish as a [blogger] in the next five years?

I want to compile all the PAY IT FORWARDs on another site.

Well, that’s about it. Sorry if I bored your ass off, but this Turkey was fresh outta ideas today. Back with more in a couple days, my pets.

*I know that sounds like an excessively large number, but I temped like a motherfucker in NYC and was a chronic job-hopper throughout most of my 20s. And most of that hopping was done to get THE FUCK away from one crazy bitch-ass boss or another.

“What do you MEAN you couldn’t get me an upgrade?!”

Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.


34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dana  |  July 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I have to say that I have a Manboss and he sounds just like some of your LadyBosses, however I question his manhood, so you may be on to something.

    I agree so much on the misconceptions about mommy being a sucky worker. It burns me to the core- FUCKERS! (again, this is my asshole boss…hmm…)

    I have no role models either, aside from your husband, I think most of my family is crazy.

    • 2. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      I would think that in your line of work, being a mother would make you even better at your job, you know? Your ManBoss can suck it.

  • 3. Amy  |  July 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Spot on about the male vs. female bosses. And I’d say you do a pretty damn fine job writing about the juicy, real-life shit.

    • 4. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you, but OH, there’s SOOOO MUUUUUCH MOOOOORE to share.

  • 5. Simon  |  July 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I’ll do this for real:

    Please finish this sentence: “My friends would be surprised to know that I…”
    …am not a racist, misogynist, or closeted homosexual.

    Who were your role models growing up? Who are they now?
    Growing up it was my dad and Magic Johnson. Now my role model is the imaginary me that I want to become. No one out there is much of a role model to me. Instead, I can name a lot of people who I want to NOT be like.

    Name 3 events that changed your life.
    1. Having an affair.
    2. Getting a harmonica for Christmas when I was 15.
    3. When my dad died.

    What accomplishment are you proudest of thus far?
    It’s a tie: winning National History Day in 8th grade, and playing music on the main stage with the headlining band at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

    What are your words of wisdom for other women?
    Wear smaller dresses, and higher heels, and have more sex. Do this with confidence and grace, and not as a cheap way to get attention.

    How easy/difficult is it to develop and maintain friendships with women as you get older?
    It is more difficult in many ways, because I used to base my relationships with women on flirting. Now I don’t wish to put myself or others in that position (that’s what she said), and so I am leaning a new way of interacting with women. I still find it much easier to be friends with women than with men – it’s always been the case.

    What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about women?
    I don’t know – I probably am the one with the misconceptions.

    What is your greatest strength?
    My ability to really like and get along with most people, and to enjoy their company.

    What is your greatest weakness?
    Lack of thoroughness. I’m working on it, though.

    What is your greatest fear?
    Disappointing people.

    What do you find most challenging about being [a musician]?
    I want to write songs that are different in form from “everything else” out there, but have limited capabilities in terms of musicianship. I look at everything that has a four bar intro, and wonder why that has become the norm, and I try to do something different. In many cases, it flows easily. At other times, I struggle.

    What is most rewarding about being [a musician]?
    I love listening to something that I have recorded, and hearing something that I like in it, but that I don’t even remember how I did. It is a chance I have to be impressed with myself. My wife/fiancée/girlfriend/baby-mama knows that there is no end to my self pride when it comes to my songs, even though they are often very amateurish and simple.

    What do you want to accomplish as [a musician] in the next five years?
    I’d like to record (and this time produce) a second album with my band. I’d like to record an entire genre-specific album of my own music. I’d like to produce and record an album for a solo artist. I would like my band to play at the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, The Independent, and Café du Nord.

    • 6. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Awesome answers.

  • 7. Simon  |  July 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    PS. It’s Jame Gumb. We’ve been through this before. Don’t make me come out there and slap a bitch.

    • 8. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      DAMMIT! I hate it when I make mistakes like that. Now I feel Jame Dumb.

  • 9. kristin @ going country  |  July 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    You make me laugh with every single post, J.T. In this particular one, I’m very partial to the advice for other women. Seriously. Eat the fucking cookie. Or cake. Or whatever. And then give me some.

    • 10. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      Exactly. If you can’t love that cookie the right way, then allow me. You wouldn’t want your significant other to be all “Oh, I REALLY want to sleep with you but I SHOULDN’T,” right? Don’t partake in a dysfunctional relationship with your desserts, people.

  • 11. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Apparently I have been lucky with the LadyBosses I have had (about 10 of them, and only one really bad one…who got me fired from my favorite job ever, BTW). My DudeBoss odds have been much worse; about 3 or 4 total douchebags out of 6 or 7. I lose count. Douchebags.

    • 12. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      I neglected to mention that I did work for one male boss who was a COLOSSAL douchemonkey — so much so that he almost trumped all the other ladybosses, who, despite their mindfuckery always seemed to at least think I was a good worker. But I am trying to forget that he exists. It was kind of traumatic.

  • 13. -R-  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I’ve had two female bosses. They were both ok. I have known a lot of men and women who are bosses like you described though. I would say most lawyers are horrible bosses, male or female.

    Adding to the things that are rewarding about being a blogger (I agree with what you wrote), I would say getting comments from people who understand me is a definite reward.

    • 14. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm


  • 15. Alyce  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I love your Plato quote. I also love what you said about a woman’s value after she has a child. I don’t have children & don’t intend to, but I’m sick to death of seeing the women in my company who have kids get treated like sub-standard employees.

    • 16. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      That Plato quote is the absolute best. I say it to myself all the time.

  • 17. FoST  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    HA! I can just picture some old bitty snacking on Viactiv’s like they’re M&M’s or something.

    • 18. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      Confession: I’ve tasted them. They’re awesome. Like very expensive and nutritious candy.

  • 19. HoST  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Miss Conception. Awesome. Let’s do it.

    Though Zach Galifianakis offered up my favorite name for a maternity store: “We’re Fucked.”

  • 20. Maggie  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Have you been in my office listening to my woman boss? Seriously, I can only deal with her because i generally have to actually interact with her very little – there is a buffer middle manager type in between us (thank god). I keep wondering when older women in my profession will realize they don’t actually have to be five times as bitchy and micromanaging as men to succeed. Really, I think almost 40% of the people in my field now are women. Give it a rest insane woman boss. Sigh.

    • 21. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      I KNOW.

  • 22. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    YES to eat the cookie. EAT. THE. COOKIE. We’ve got this one shot at doing life right. I say do it with yellow cake in one hand and a cookie in the other.

    • 23. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      And this is just one of the many reasons you are fucking awesome.

  • 24. Marcy  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Ok, my turn!

    Please finish this sentence: “My friends would be surprised to know that I…”
    I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little. I desperately wanted my parents to send me to Space Camp, like in that movie with Lea Thompson, but that was really far too expensive for my family’s budget. I gave up that dream when I realized that most astronauts where in the Air Force first and you needed to be really good in math. I hated math then and still do.

    Who were your role models growing up? Who are they now?
    Growing up my role models were Madonna (in her Like A Virgin phase) and Claire Huxtable. Now my role model is my Grandma. She was creative, imaginative, and resourceful. She was my favorite relative and I miss her every day.

    Name 3 events that changed your life.
    Three events that changed my life: 9/11, marrying my husband, and the birth of both of my daughters. That actually is 4 events but who is counting?

    What accomplishment are you proudest of thus far?
    My proudest accomplishment thus far is passing my CPS exam. (Certified Professional Secretary – lame, I know but I’ve got initials after my name y’all!) I only took a few, basic college courses a long time ago so my knowledge came pretty much from work experience. I did some studying beforehand but not much. I was a bit nervous and intimidated when I showed up to take the exam and all the other people there were reviewing their notes and going over their flash cards. I had none of that and I was seven months pregnant at the time to boot. I was the first person to finish each section of the test and turn it in to the proctor. This made me really wonder if I was flunking every section of the test and failing miserably. When the results came in the mail a couple months later, I almost fell off my chair when I read that I had passed.

    What are your words of wisdom for other women?
    My words of wisdom for other women are this: I would love to say, believe in yourself or all your dreams can come true, blah, blah, blah but I am a practical person. So my words of wisdom are this: always have a small, secret stash of chocolate. One or two Dove bites have always helped me out at 10 o’clock at night when I absolutely MUST have something sweet.

    How easy/difficult is it to develop and maintain friendships with women as you get older?
    It has always been difficult for me to develop and maintain friendships period. Until I feel really comfortable around you, I am shy and quiet as a mouse. I think some people see that as being snooty or standoffish. However, when I finally feel comfortable talking, I will ask you a million questions. I’m like the white Oprah. I want to know your whole life story. Not because I am nosey but I find most people’s stories fascinating.

    What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about women?
    We think all men are lazy, stupid bastards.
    We all love Twilight.

    What is your greatest strength?
    I have a strong work ethic. Even when I am terribly sick, I feel guilty for calling off work.
    I love to be organized.
    I am sensitive to others.

    What is your greatest weakness?
    I am afraid to take big chances.

    What is your greatest fear?
    My greatest fear is that one of my daughters would fall victim to a child predator. It creeps me out to even type that.

    What do you find most challenging about being an artist a blogger an administrative assistant motherhood?
    I don’t have a blog as of yet so since I make a living (barely) as an admin. assistant (yawn!), let’s go with motherhood… I find it most challenging to feel rested. I never can get enough sleep and on the rare chance I get 8 hours one night, the next night I’ll only get 4 with plenty of interruptions. Naps for me are out of the question because while the kids nap, I am catching up on everything I needed to catch up on from the morning or I am at work. My daughters share a bedroom and I think they are secretly conspiring against me and have worked out some sort of schedule where one will sleep while the other one wakes, etc.

    What is most rewarding about being a mother?
    The most rewarding thing about being a mother is happiness and love my daughters have brought to my life. I cannot imagine my life without them. They are the sunshine of my days.

    • 25. jiveturkey  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      Hey, my mom’s also a CPS! Holla!

      • 26. Marcy  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm


  • 27. Lawyerish  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Oh, man. I have SO MUCH to SAY.

    First of all, Jame Dumb made me DIE laughing.

    Second, I agree with R that most laywers are horrendous bosses, male or female. However, the worst interactions I have had in the legal profession, whether with adversaries or superiors, have been with women. OH, the stories I could tell (such as being told by a female opposing counsel that I might understand [some rule] when I “grow up and become a lawyer”).

    I think a lot of older female lawyers had to do the shoulder-padded 80s suit-Working Woman white sneakers-ballbuster thing to get to where they are now, but they haven’t realized that times have changed and they can calm the eff down now. It is the WORST to deal with people like that. And many of them seem very bitter that us younger lawyers have had it so much easier, relatively speaking, and they take it out on us as if we’re naughty, spoiled, clueless children. AWESOME.

    I think I may steal this questionnaire. Just because.

    OH, and the HAIR CLIP. Knocked me on my kiester. SO CUTE. I am taking advantage of the warm, bald baby-head while I still can, although the endless hair bow possibilities do make the future seem very bright in this regard.

    AND, in closing, YES to “Eat the fucking cookie and shut up about it” — nothing makes me want to run around smashing things more than women ANNOUNCING something about what they’re eating or publicly hand-fluttering over whether to have dessert. God, shut UP and HAVE IT.

    Sorry. One more thing.

    I also thought I would be as nurturing/maternal as a tire iron, and now I am all AFIRE to be some kind of at-home mom/housewifey type. Who knew?

    • 28. jiveturkey  |  July 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

      “Publicly hand-fluttering…” YES. That is exactly what gets to me. I work with a woman who freaking IMs me whenever she eats something “bad,” (e.g. :”OMG, I just got a candy bar from the vending machine, I am SO BAD) and HOLYSHIT I want to set her hair on fire.

  • 29. Ri  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    EAT THE DAMN COOKIE & SHUT UP ABOUT IT – could not agree more. I hate it most when they come from wafer thin people who worry about it going to their hips WTF?! What hips?
    Now on a sorta similar line as your woman vs man boss thingy, I am someone who for one odd reason or another prefers a male doctor (apart from when it concerns the lady parts). Dunno why, I dont have great examples like you, apart from the ladies I’ve seen have all sucked arse. Including taking a phone call from their kid & telling them how to start dinner while I was sitting in the room waiting to be dealt with. Excuse me but I dont pay you my hard enarned money so you can make fucken phone calls in my appointment?!
    Also I completely enjoy your blog. Always very entertaining and I laugh out loud at every post you update, thank you.
    So be proud mrs blogger even if its a half arsed update & doesnt include all the juicy stuff you really wanna write.

    • 30. jiveturkey  |  July 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Why thank you!
      I also used to prefer male gynecologist because they seemed to just get the whole thing over and done with much more quickly. But then I found an awesome female nurse practitioner who — when I asked her for specific health advice when I was trying to get pregnant — said, “Well, eat right, take your prenatal vitamins, and now wouldn’t be a great time to start smoking crack or anything.”


  • 31. sweetbird  |  July 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

    1. I will seriously throw down as an investor for ‘Miss Conception.’

    2. I’ve had equal numbers of shitty male and female bosses – all of which managed to take levels of douchiness to a previously unheard-of level. That being said, my favorite boss was a man. I had a sex dream about him like 3 weeks after I started working there. It made me really uncomfortable so I avoided him like the plague. He eventually pulled me aside and asked if he had offended me and I had to fess up. He laughed it off and after that we had an awesome working relationship. He was one of those bosses that was comfortable giving you responsibility and in turn made you feel valued.

    3. I will admit that I turn down desserts. Not only because I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but because I recently lost over 30 lbs and am now trying to keep it all off. I hate it when someone offers me food of any kind and gets ticked off when I refuse it. It’s my body and I decide what goes in it. However those flighty bitches that seem to looooove making that “Oh I couldn’t possibly!” protest while obviously fishing for compliments makes me sick. I want to force feed them like they’re going to be foie gras someday.

    4. OMG HAIR CLIPS!1!

    • 32. jiveturkey  |  July 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Oh yes — refusing a dessert is much different than all the CONSTANT OVERWROUGHT FRETTING about whether or not to eat it. You get offered a dessert, you say “Yes, please,” or “No, thanks.” END SCENE. No badgering from the dessert-offerer (I have been in that situation too), no “Oh, this is SO GOOD but I’m being SO BAD” bullshit. Argh.

  • 33. Ms Lollygagger  |  July 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I so agree about the lady bosses! Also, not having a role model-FINALLY someone else that feels the same way!

  • 34. Sarahviz  |  July 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I love that you referenced Silence of the Lambs.

    I’ve had my share of Bitch Bosses too. I FINALLY have a good one now. It’s always made me feel like *less* of a feminist b/c I tend to HATE women in power positions (in the corporate realm). You nailed it with this: “I think they’re defensive and insecure because they think they have to prove themselves five times over as a woman in a high-level position.”



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