Category Archives: my "career"

Love’s PhD Trilogy: Numbers

I told you about how and why I came to the conclusion that I needed to be a business professor in the Genesis part of the story. That thinking deep thoughts all day and having the esteem of millions would beat working for a living any day of the week.  So I did everything necessary to get into the PhD program at the University where I was getting my MBA. I switched into their full-time program, I quit my sales job, I started having interviews with current faculty to talk about the process and the career AND I got pregnant.  YUP. Yup.  That last part wasn’t really what most aspiring PhDs do right away, but hey! Why not make it that much more difficult? You know, so when there is a movie made about my life, I’ll have even more adversity  to overcome (maybe I’m the only one who considers motherhood adversity?) on my quest to solve all of the worlds deepest, most elusive marketing questions. (And P.S., I vote for one of Gwen Stefani’s sons to play mine in the movie).  It makes a lot of sense if you think about it that way. No.  I know – it actually it doesn’t.

Okay, so I have to beat out a lot of people to get into this program.  So I sat in front of all my MBA classes and I talked to all of my marketing professors about their jobs and they all told me it was really weird for an MBA to want to be a professor.  And that it was a lot of hard work and would take a lot of dedication and yada, yada, yada. I’m all about hard work and dedication, so what is the issue? I got the feeling that they thought the Type A, overachiever, know-it-all MBA assholes they taught most of time wouldn’t have the patience or temperament to make it as a grad student.  I couldn’t really figure out why. I mean, I was an MBA student and I really wanted to do it.  I was good at school and I loved it in a fairly unnatural way, so I didn’t understand why they all said stuff like that.

But what they were getting at (that I found out only much, much later) is that being a PhD candidate is really best suited for Type A, overachiever, know-it-all assholes who will put up with getting emotionally, intellectually and financially bitch slapped on a daily, if not hourly, basis.  It’s for people who revel in being told they are a constant disappointment and that they can barely read or write or theorize better than a retarded goat.  It’s really great for people who don’t require sunlight, like to read journal articles for 15 hours each day, act as their advisor’s bitch for another 5 (including cleaning their office) and be publicly chastised for their work by faculty during the other four.   There isn’t a whole lot of time left over for any sort of healthy, normal relationships outside the four cinderblock, windowless walls of the PhD room.  No, they can’t have that or you might come to your senses and tell them to go to hell instead of respectfully listening when they maniacally laugh as they tear apart your precious ego and illusions of future grandeur. Yes, you get all that, plus paid less than a deformed hooker at the Greyhound station. That’s why MBAs should not become PhD candidates.  Because they are used to giving and getting ass kisses for 10 to 12 hours a day, sleeping for 6 and fucking around for the rest. Oh, and making 6 figures while doing so. Trust me on this one – I know.  So the two entail fairly different lifestyles, you see?

Okay, but I wasn’t aware of any of this at the time.  So I made it very clear to several marketing faculty members that I wanted to be in the program, I filled out my applications, wrote my essays, crossed my fingers and prayed like hell.  Meanwhile, I got pregnanter and pregnanter.

May I just say that being pregnant in an MBA school like the one I went to is about the same level of offense as raising a nine iron over your head and slamming it down into a green, creating gaping three inch crater only a foot away from the hole, for absolutely no reason at all.  It’s one of those things that say a few things about you: a) you’re a jackass, b) you’ve just proved you shouldn’t even be there in the first place, and c) you’re ruining it for everyone else.  That’s kind of the way I think most of my peers felt about it, but I’m probably projecting because nobody actually said that to me. I came to the party late, and they had their friends already, so people didn’t talk to me unless they had to. They mostly just looked at me with either pity, wonder or disdain, reactions which hit points a, b and c rather nicely.  I did not win the Most Popular prize for sure.  I couldn’t go out and get wasted with them and/or talk about how many consulting firms or investment banks would be begging me to work for them in 9 months, which is what I gathered were the most common social activities. So I was a bit of an outcast. But that’s okay because I was a rebel on a mission to pure intellectual awesomeness.

Then one day I get a call from the chair of the marketing department (one who I actually feared and adored at the same time and with equal intensity – lets call him Professor Bourbon) saying they were letting me in. AWESOME! SERIOUSLY? AWESOME. Because I was so close to getting my big wooden office with floor to ceiling bookshelves and those little ladders I would have to climb to get all the books off the high shelves. Big pimpin’.  If they made maternity twill jackets with corduroy patches on it, I so would have bought one at that moment.  But the joy was short-lived.  Now I realized that I probably sort of had to tell them I was pregnant and I was pretty sure this wasn’t news that would be particularly well received.

I told myself that it should be fine, because my son was due the day I graduated from MBA school (indeed, his birthday and the date on my diploma match perfectly), and I’d have the summer off before the PhD program started.  So it didn’t really affect them at all. I didn’t need to ask for special treatment or anything, but still…when they found out I was pregnant, I could imagine them likening my pregnancy to slamming my nine iron into their little academic green.

When I’m about 8 months along, Professor Bourbon invites everybody who was accepted into the program for a little orientation day.  I figure it is at this moment when all of the professors and my future mentors are going to see me and be thinking, “The fuck?! I already hate her bitch ass. Is it too late to rescind the offer and give the spot to someone who is serious about being an academic?”  So rather than have my big reveal on orientation day and have it be the big surprise of the day, I decided to call up Professor Bourbon and schedule a meeting with him beforehand and tell him my dirty little secret.  It was my intention to have him as my advisor, so I thought I should just get it out on the table and give him the option to kick me out in private, rather than in front of the group that would be my cohort. You know, all the Aspergers kids from China.

So that day, I don all black to make my big belly less noticeable and because I may be going to my newest, shiniest dream’s funeral and I have what I think is going to be one of the most awkward and hard conversations ever.  Something along the lines of , “so I got knocked up, but please don’t change your mind because I’m a total geek and if I can’t be a professor then you are shattering my dreams forever and I might go postal.”

But what I actually said was:

“Thank you so much for letting me in the program and I’m so excited and I’m ready to work really hard and I’m definitely going to accept the offer but I feel like I have to tell you something that you should know but I don’t know whether or not you care or if it affects your decision or what you think of me or whatever and it wasn’t like I planned it or anything but really I think you should know before the orientation that I’m…I’m….um….I’m….kind of….um….pregnant. BUT! I’m due in June and I’ll totally be back in September and ready for school and I’ll have a daycare and everything worked out and I’m very serious and I really want to do this and….are you still okay with me being in the program and working with you?”

Little beads of sweat had formed on my forehead and on my big belly under the big gross panels they put to cover your belly on those damn maternity pants.  All I wanted to do was take that fucking thing off my stomach and let it just cool in the breeze, but I think that would have been very unwise under the circumstances.  I was about to hear whether or not my questionable family planning was going to take away my chance to be one of the smartest, well-known, famous fucking people in the universe, or at least among the 1000 or so marketing professors in the US.

I put it all on the table and I held my breath for my fate to be revealed. And this is what he said:

“Congratulations! Of course we still want you. Having children is one of the greatest gifts in the world! I have three of my own.  On top of that, I would argue that you’ll have even greater marketing insights as a parent.  Never apologize for bringing another life into this world. This is great news and you should enjoy it. Congratulations!”

Um, whaaaaaaat?? May I just say I love you more than Angelina and Milo put together, Professor Bourbon? Will you marry me? For real? For really real? Oh wait, that is what got me into this predicament in the first place.  For the record, I should tell you that this was one of those pivotal conversations that I will remember my entire life and why I will love Professor Bourbon like Take 5 bars and TiVo forever.

Whew. So I was in. And my advisor was going to be kind of kick ass. He thought I was even cooler for having a kid.  So now I just had to meet my new classmates. I was pretty sure they’d probably all be a lot fucking smarter and less cool than me. But that would be okay because maybe I’d learn something.  I just hoped they weren’t d-bags. And that they were US Weekly subscribers.  And that some of them were Americans or Canadians, because my Mandarin really sucks. Oh yeah, and maybe someone there would also count Oprah as their personal savior too.

I actually think I got a little of everything…

To be continued in Love’s PhD Trilogy: Judges

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Love’s PhD trilogy: Genesis (also, Why it’s just “Mrs.” instead of “Dr.”)

This is the story of how I was almost a doctor. Not the kind that actually helps people, but the kind that everybody listens to, because if you have PhD at the end of your name, people think you are an authority on any and all subjects.  Which is kind of my dream.  To have everybody listen to me and feel like I have some credibility, even if I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Do you know they give out PhD’s in marketing? They do.  I suppose a PhD in physics is probably higher on the totem pole than marketing, but I’m pretty sure you can’t have ADD and get a PhD in physics. I think you need to have Asperger’s for that.  So I’m S.O.L (does everybody learn that acronym from their dad at age 6?).  So marketing seemed like a reasonable alternative. Plus, after you get a PhD in anything, you’re a PhD. Nobody knows or cares after you get a PhD  what it is in, so I figured I could kind of be like Dr. Phil.  He has a PhD, albeit probably from an online university, but nobody questions his credentials any more. So what if it’s in marketing? I’d be Dr. Love and suddenly, the editors at O would be busting down my door begging me to write a monthly column. But instead, Oprah found Dr. Berman, PhD, a hot blond who loves to talk about sex and suddenly my dreams are shattered.

But I digress. Here is the story:

So I’m in this job that is kind of boring. And the people I work with are really nice, good people, but I had the suspicion that they weren’t as intellectually superior as I was.  So to stave off my boredom, I decided to go back to school part-time because my company would pay for it.  But it had to be something relevant to my job, which only gave me a single choice, which was MBA school.  So luckily I live in a city that has about 6 trillion universities/colleges that offer part-time MBAs.  But going to just any MBA school would have been too easy and wouldn’t have inflated my ego to the levels I crave.  I had to pick one that was prestigious and where I would meet a lot of intellectuals so I could have an intelligent conversation about the current events I read about in US Weekly.  And I am very lucky, because the top two MBA schools in the U.S. are right here in Chicago.

One has a reputation for being really fun and one has a reputation for being really not fun. So it was a really hard decision, but I eventually settled on fun.  I took the GMAT to prove to myself and the admissions group that I was as brilliant as I fancied myself.  I didn’t get a perfect score, but there is math on that test instead of celebrity trivia, so it doesn’t really test true genius. But I did alright. So I applied to the part-time program and they let me in and it lived up to its reputation. I was having a good time.  The people I was going to school with were very smart – maybe some were smarter than me — which then made me feel kind of average and inadequate, but that was probably good, because sometimes I need to be taken down a notch.

So while I’m in MBA school I decide that I need to get into health care sales, so I could do something that helps people and still make lots of money. (Please stop laughing — I was just very naive at that point. Who knew the health care industry is even shadier than the financial sector?).  So in order to network my way into the health care industry, I go to this health care conference being held by my business school.  And they have CEOs from some of the top pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers on this panel discussing sales strategy and management,  and the conversation is being led by this professor at my business school.  He keeps throwing out pretty good questions and the executives answer but they always finish up their answers by looking at the professor expectantly, like they needed his approval for what they just said.

And then it hits me.

OMG. I should be a professor. I want to get paid for thinking about whatever I want to think about!!  I want to facilitate discussions between people who work for a living and I’ll be the big PhD at the table who everybody listens to and respects even though all I do is teach a class here and there and maybe write some books and get quoted in the New York Times every other day. Yes! It is my calling. I’ve found my life’s work!! Elation!

I was a newlywed at the time. My husband asked me to marry him a couple of weeks before I started my MBA adventure. I have to assume he thought that I would pull my own weight in our marriage at least financially because I was going to a great school and that should guarantee me a solid place in the career world, right?  Maybe he could be a house husband if he felt like it because I would be making wads of cash as I scurried quickly up the corporate ladder. Because I was the very definition of a future baller and we’d be big pimpin’ (spending Gs).  So I run home from this conference and I announce to BD that I am going to be a business professor. Fuck sales. Fuck working for a living. It was so simple! Why hadn’t I thought of it before!! I’m going to be a professor. And now I could finally earn the right to wear cardigan sweaters with little patches on the elbows and start smoking a pipe. I already had the scholarly specs. All I had to do was get a PhD and how hard could that be, especially with me being such a genius and everything?

So that night I shattered BD’s illusion of having a responsible, rich, hard-working, baller wife.  I told him I was going to finish my MBA and apply to the PhD program.  I wasn’t really sure what PhD school was about, but it couldn’t be that different from MBA school, right? I mean, I knew what the 4 Ps of marketing were, so I was practically halfway there.  And in the PhD program, you don’t have to pay tuition and they even give you a stipend to live on while you think all your deep thoughts.  See?! They were already paying me to do what I loved doing anyway, which was being a geek and tricking people into thinking I wasn’t as clueless as I was and collecting degrees that I could hang in my future big office with leather chairs and floor to ceiling bookcases.

Since the PhD program wouldn’t cost anything and I would actually be bringing home some money, BD got on board and supported the decision.  So I quit my job and started going to school full-time so I could finish the MBA faster.  Of course, that blew up the whole plan where my employer pays for my education. I actually had to pay them back for everything so far and then shell out the money for the rest of the MBA, but no matter! I was on a mission. An intellectual journey. And what is money anyway? Bah! It is clearly only important to the bourgeois as a method to keep the peasants in their place (or something like that. All you need to remember is that I used the term “bourgeois” in a very dismissive and authoritative way, which is very academic of me, don’t you think?) As you can see, I was already starting to ask the deep questions required of a professor.

When you have a dream, you have to go for it, right? So now I just had to get into the PhD program. The odds were kind of bad. They accepted 8 people a year and there were probably close to a thousand applicants. And some of them were from China, where I think you need to know how to solve Rubik’s cubes in 14 moves, in 10 seconds or less just to pass 6th grade.  And they can do some fucking mad math, even without being Aspergers.  And all I have is ADD and a dream.

But when Love wants something, Love gets it.

That fall,  about six months after my epiphany at the healthcare conference,  I started MBA full-time and I started getting busy applying to the PhD program for the following fall.  Apparently that wasn’t the only thing I was getting busy at, because that’s also when I got preggers.  Awesome.

Another very well thought out plan by Love is put into motion…

Part II, Numbers is up next…

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I don’t know if I’ll get back before Christmas….so if I don’t, Merry Whatever-you-might-celebrate-at-the-end-of-December!

The search for my tribe

This January I found myself back in the place I have perpetually been throughout my life, which is wandering around aimlessly, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life and how I got to the place where I am and how that place where I am always feels like a place I’d like to leave – immediately.

You know why I love Oprah? Its not because of her fabulous hair or because everybody is afraid of her or because she gets to hang out with Obama all the time.  It’s because she doesn’t go two weeks on her show without doing a story about somebody who was nobody until they got inspired one day and then changed the world.  I live for those stories. Without believing in those stories I would have no hope that one day my life will abruptly and powerfully change and my angel will come to me and say “Love, lets do this.  3-6-34-51-52 and the Powerball is 22. I’ll let you know what God wants you to do with it, but in the meantime, why don’t you just go ahead and buy a beach house in Zihuatanejo, kay? You can run your new philanthropic foundation from there”. I mean, Oprah has me convinced that one day I’ll be minding my own business and ordering my Value Meal #2 at McDonalds and suddenly the heavens will open up and I’ll just “know” that the cook in the back is a genius orphan who is homeless and just needs a chance and I’ll adopt her and she’ll grow up to be the President and I’ll get to live in the White House and she’ll make me ambassador to Tahiti and life will be totally sweet because of my awesome inspiration to take her home with me on that fateful day I was quenching my insatiable hunger for a Quarter Pounder with cheese.  I could tell you about a million other scenarios I’ve feasted my mind on, but you get the point.  Nobody loves stories more than I do about ordinary people doing extraordinary things that make this world a cooler place to be because if I’m being honest, I really believe that one day I’ll get to be one of them.  When I hear those stories I don’t think, “Oh, thats really neat.” I think, “When is it going to be my turn?”

Which makes me really a different sort of person than the people I find myself surrounded by most of the time. I know this because I’ve taken every damn personality and motivation and self-discovery test this world has to offer in an attempt to find out why it seems like I can’t find anybody like me out there in the world.  And usually my results break the computer or they come back but it says something like, “ERROR- value unknown” or “Only 1% of the population is this type…” and when you read the description of a person that would get this score, it is usually brief because it commands a total loss for words to describe. I think the issue is two-fold: only three people have ever scored this combination and those three people are too strange to really describe. When you look at professions that are good for my personality type, you wind up with stuff like unicycle rider, psychic, manic-depressive and homeless.  What you don’t get is ‘efficient little cog in big corporate machine’, which is what I am, except for the efficient part.

On the other hand, the fact that there are a few people out there – that it is humanly possible to meet someone like me – gives me a lot of comfort.  There are so many days when I look around at the people I work with, or the parents at my kids’ school, or my neighbors, or whatever group and just think, “am I the only one thinking…(x,y,z)?” and I’m pretty sure I am.  And after awhile you start to feel weird and lonely because people look at you really funny when you tell them what you’re thinking. So I’ve learned to self-edit, especially when at work.  It is very unbecoming for a professional salesperson to say she could care less about the money and sometimes she tells her clients not to buy stuff from her, because she knows her competitor has a better widget.  These things are completely foreign concepts in the circles I travel in and they would likely get me fired or at least demoted. Some days I fantasize about getting fired. But then I cry inside knowing that if that happened, the bond between me and my favorite fabulous gay salesman Leonardo at Banana Republic might be broken forever.

So back in January I decided that I either had to go into therapy or get a life coach or I might go insane because I was born to change the world and so far all I’ve done is changed careers four times. And a lot of dirty diapers.

I thought if I went into therapy there was a good chance I might never get out, so I thought it was safest to try a life coach first. So I began the search for a life coach to tell me what I am supposed to do with my life and why I always feel like a fish out of water wherever I go.  You want to have a fun couple of weeks? Interview some life coaches.  Ones you find on the Internet and not through a referral because of course, you don’t associate with anybody who doesn’t double over laughing in amusement by the whole concept.

But it was awesome. Wow. Some life coaches have PhDs, or some sort of relevant training and some life coaches have an extra phone line and illusions of grandeur.  And honestly, a lot of the times you can’t tell which is which by talking to them.  Some are really great and some are train wrecks. But, to their credit, they are amusing train wrecks. Like the guy who I was interviewing that talked to me for a half hour about why he thinks his second wife left him. I had to interrupt him, “Hey, could I offer you some coaching? She just not that into you.”  After that moment of genius, it got me thinking that maybe I should be a life coach. I mean, if all you have to do to be a life coach is give people advice and help them solve their problems, then sign me up.  I clearly don’t have a great grasp of the world, but I know about people. I can read people. And like I said, my personality books tell me I’m well-suited to be a psychic as well. So who wouldn’t want a psychic life coach?  But, I’m an intellectual snob and as such, I can’t get behind waking up one day and calling myself a life coach.   So that is a whole other fun story, but the point is, I actually found a coaching situation in February and signed up for a year and it has, much to my delight and surprise, actually changed my life.

That said, the meaning of life hasn’t presented itself. And I’m still working for The Man. And a few months into it I was still feeling pretty alientated from the world.  My coach recommended that I do stuff that comes naturally to me, take inspired actions and go find my tribe.  She suggested that perhaps people in my tribe don’t hang out at my corporate entity.  Perhaps if I were really living the life I was born to live, it wouldn’t be as a corporate drone at a Fortune 100 company. It would be me, doing something else, surrounded by other people that teach and inspire and make me laugh everyday.

A concept I hadn’t thought of. One I wasn’t sure existed.

So what did I do after my third glass of wine one night? I started this blog.  People in real life laugh at my stories. And it turns out that when I’m at my best, I’m entertaining people with my stories, but they aren’t always of the ilk that are appreciated around the water cooler at work, or at dinner parties with parents from my kid’s school. So I decided to hell with it – what if I just wrote all my stories down and didn’t worry about what my coworkers or family or the world in general thought about it, and then maybe my tribe would find me. Maybe people who “get” me will enjoy what I write, and start reading it and I will have a community of people who I can entertain and who I “get” and who will teach and inspire and motivate me to be great.

And here you are.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting on it. Thank you for following me. Thank you for writing your own blogs that are real. That teach and inspire and make me snort Diet Coke out my nose laughing and unable to read the screen through eyes full of tears. I think the vast majority of you know exactly what it’s like to need to blog as an outlet and tell your stories and write down your thoughts and be validated by other people. So we’ve found one another. Our tribe.  Lets keep blogging, keep reading about each other, keep commenting and validating one another and maybe we can keep each other from going postal or owning too many cats. Maybe we can be great together.

Leadership school dropout

Over my 30-odd years on this planet, I have amassed a wondrous pile of stories that I love to retell over and over. And I have a whole arsenal that is waiting in the wings for me to spit out on to this blog.  However, the old stories will have to wait as I record for you a brand-spanking-new story delivered to me on a platter yesterday, courtesy of the HR geniuses at my esteemed company and the crazy-ass woman they hired to help mold me into the next top model corporate leader of the future.

GAH! That is the only logical place to start.

Okay, so I wouldn’t consider myself the best employee in the world. I’m kind of a smart ass and I checked out mentally months ago, but if I learned anything from Office Space, it is that as soon as you just don’t care anymore, your career will take off in ways you never knew possible.

So I get an email on Monday from my manager that says that the powers that be had identified me as a woman with high management potential and, as a reward, they wanted to send me to a “professional development seminar series for business women”.  I was kind of shocked and surprised by the distinction since I thought that I had pissed enough people off that they would not want to give me any kind of reward for what they would call my bad attitude and general disregard for the B.S. they hand out in large, inedible chunks each day.

However, on paper I am a wet dream for the The Man because I went to top schools, earned top grades and impressive degrees and I sell a lot of shit, which is my official job. Somehow I manage to help my clients spend millions on the company’s crap stuff — and not just because I’m their walking, talking “hot librarian” fantasy. (I’m actually not lying about this – you wouldn’t believe how much my glasses, coupled with a quick and dirty wit,  turn old dudes on. I mean, its enough to make them completely not notice I don’t have boobs).

But day-to-day, I’m the antithesis of a corporate citizen, since I generally make it my other job to counsel coworkers I like to leave the company. I send them job postings all the time.  Because I think they could do better. We all could.  This recession has brought out the worst in corporate America, or at least in my corporate ghetto, and most days I just want to puke that I’m part of it. They kind of treat their employees like beaten dogs, but I don’t quit because I like going to Banana Republic and having Leonardo, my gay BR sales associate, dress me up in today’s latest fashions. Because I can’t dress myself and if I were unemployed, I’d be a big hot mess. I make a pretty good living for someone who mostly just sarcastically mocks all of the corporate drone bullshit while protecting my customers from my company and making my coworkers laugh.

So anyway, I should have surmised that this “opportunity” to go to this “professional development” seminar for “high potential” women was a boondoggle when I got invited on a Monday and it took place on a Thursday. I mean, shouldn’t high potential leaders have stuff on their calendars a few days out that would stop them from spending the morning at this thing? Well, I didn’t. Not really, because I was able to use my powers of persuasion to extricate myself from yet another fruitless corporate exercise scheduled for that day so I was free to learn how to develop my leadership potential.

I’m not really sure how to explain what happened when I showed up to this thing.  It was SO. BAD. that it will be hard to convince anyone on the planet that this actually happened. I am physically wracked with convulsions as I recall this Thursday.  I can usually laugh at anything, but this one was so totally fucking unbelievable that the fetal position is really the only safe, appropriate response. But – I have a blog, and for my own sake — my own truth — I must tell the story of what happened to me and the other inmates high potential talent held captive in a room for four hours while some random woman gave us her take on what “leadership” is.  Please have patience as take off the straight jacket and collect my thoughts.

Okay, so the only information I had on this seminar was that we have to meet four times a year for four hours each time. We have to read books and network and do all kinds of stuff that corporate people value.  And we’re going to meet all these other beaten dogs women from other big corporate goliaths that we can get to know and just network the hell out of each other and steal away talent when necessary. I guess. I’m an introvert, so I’m not really into meeting random people and talking about meaningless subjects, and you already know I don’t like other women that much either, but for all I knew, one of Oprah’s producers may be at one of these things and then I could give her my “elevator pitch” – another darling of corporate training programs – about how Oprah and I are soul mates and she could hook me up.   And I don’t hate all women – I love the smart sarcastic ones, so I was thinking maybe some of them may have been included in this thing too? I would be able to figure out who they were because when they inevitably play those stupid “ice breaker” games, we would probably collide in our desperate dash for the door and we could hide in the bathroom together swapping 30 Rock quotes.

So I show up and find myself in a smallish conference room with a very big table, that apparently we’re all going to sit around.  There was seating for 15, but barely enough room to walk since the table filled the room. There was a woman at the head of the table that kind of looked like Cruella DeVille. Except she wasn’t wearing a Dalmatian stole, thank god. I think it was fox. And she wasn’t smoking a cigarette through one of those long plastic things either. Probably because it was a no smoking zone,  but I was sure she’d bust one out at break time.  I guessed she was our “facilitator” and the founder of this company that was going to be professionally developing me for the next year.  AWESOME.

Okay, so we were told to show up at 8am. It’s about 8:15 and most people seem to be there, because it STARTED AT 8, and then she says “the seminar actually starts at 8:30, but you can’t tell people who or else they’ll be late. So I always tell people to come a half hour earlier than they are needed – and look! It worked!” Oh! So I busted my ass to get there on time and didn’t feed my children that morning because I had to be somewhere so damn early when really, I wasn’t “needed” for an extra half hour. Thanks, bitch.  I started wondering if I could take her in a cage match (and I totally could). She proceeded to say that as leaders we have to anticipate that people can’t follow directions and work around it, just as she had just done. So in other words, we’re fucking idiots that can’t follow directions. Hmm.

Okay, so 8:25 rolls around and she wants everyone to introduce themselves.  Say our name and who we work for and what our job is.  Easy enough. But then she tells us that many women have trouble with this.  We need to speak slowly and clearly and loudly enough so everyone can hear us.  Really? Because as top talent at our companies, this never would have occurred to us and we’ve never done such a unique and bizarre activity before, like introducing ourselves.

With that hurdle behind us, she starts to rattle off the “rules” about our seminar. We are expected to listen to others. To participate. We have to do our homework. We must conduct ourselves professionally. We have to go to these networking events her company does. No exceptions. She gave us a book, but we don’t have to read it.  She wants us to read another one she wants us to buy for the next class. She will hold phone calls every month from 8 to 8:30 where we will “talk about whatever is relevant”. They may last 5 minutes or 30. It just depends on what people want to share.  Whaaaat?! It kind of sounds like I just got brought to the orphanage with a locket around my neck from my company and Miss Hannigan was laying down the law. I did not see an impromptu performance of Hard-Knock Life coming, but I thought I would begin humming it, just to see if I had any comrades in the room.  Not so much.

Okay, so then she gets to the heart of the matter – women as leaders:

“As women, its very hard for us to be leaders in business because we are so much more emotional than men.  One thing you absolutely cannot do – that I do not recommend – is crying at work.  We’ve ALL been there. We’ve ALL cried at work before. Raise your hands if you’ve cried at work.” None of the ashen faces of women around the room raise their hands. “Well, I know its embarrassing to admit, but if you want to get ahead, you have to stop crying at work.” Ummmmm…. “Have any of you ever seen a MAN cry at work? If you have, raise your hand. Exactly.  His career would be over. But you can get away with it because you’re female, but people will stop taking you seriously.”  Ummm….Whaaaaat?!  Okay. There has been a mistake. This woman was supposed to be heading up the red table in my son’s kindergarten class. Yeah, I’m pretty sure there is a mix-up. But nobody gets up to leave. And neither do I. Maybe this will get better…?

“You know why we as women are disadvantaged? It was because as little girls we were raised to be in the home with our mothers — cooking, sewing, taking care of our siblings — while the boys were doing things outside the home like playing sports and making decisions on their own.  So when women get to work outside the home, it’s often hard for us to speak up and make our own decisions and realize that the corporate world is a game that we need to play because we just never learned that when we were little. Only the boys did, so they know more than we do and we have to work harder to learn that stuff.”  GAH! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I think Cruella may be a little two-thousand-and-late. 1572 called and they want their school marm back.

“Along these lines, you have to learn to stay neutral at all times at work. Don’t be one of those women who is always happy. And don’t be someone who is always crying. Don’t let your emotion show. Because you know what? People don’t care about all of your drama. They care about themselves. And if you’re always talking about yourself and your problems, nobody wants to hear it.  But the people who get ahead in this world –and as women, we’re good at this — are people who ask other people questions about themselves. If you do that, people will think you care about them. And nobody at work does this. You can really stand out if you do.  I mean, think about it. When is the last time someone at work asked you a question about yourself?”

One participant looks around baffled and says, “Yesterday…?” and everyone murmurs and nods. Cruella isn’t convinced. She says, “Well, that is very rare. You must have some very nice working conditions with companies that are ahead of the times. Most people don’t care about you and don’t want to know what is happening in your life.  But that’s really what people want, so you have to be the one person in your company who does that.  I know we have some sales people here. They are probably much farther along at doing this than the rest of you. But we’re going to practice now.  We’re going to go around in a circle and you’re going to turn to the person on your right, shake her hand, introduce yourself and ask her a question.  The other person isn’t going to answer, because the answer doesn’t really matter.  We’re just trying to get you used to knowing how to ask another person a question.”  Someone asks if we all have to come up with a different question and if the question has to be business related.  “No. You can use the same question as someone else. I just want to teach you how to ask a question about someone when you meet them.   After this, we’re going to go around again and then the person can answer with a short answer and then that person has to ask a question back.”  By golly! This kind of strenuous mental activity was really wearing me and the other ladies down. I mean, however could I think of a question so quickly to ask the person next to me? And then answer a question and ask one too? All together!?  Gee, was she asking us to start a conversation with another person? Isn’t this more Level 2 training? I mean, it’s only our first day of training.

Even though I was sweating bullets along with all of the other MBAs and lawyers and executives in the class, we all somehow managed to ask the person next to us a question without anyone bursting into tears. Amazingly. Cruella was delighted and so pleased. She sees why we were hand selected for her seminar and she decided we could move on to the next exercise.

She asked us to name leaders we admire and she was going to write them on the board. I was first. And you know who I said. Cruella:  “Oprah… Yes… Some think she is a leader.” Some, mother fucker?! I almost jumped across the table and strangled her wrinkly throat. SOME?! More like EVERYONE. Don’t talk smack about Oprah or you’re going to get jacked. So she writes Oprah on the board, correctly, and then says “Did I spell that right?”  Yes. “Oh, because it looks so funny written down like that.” For fuck’s sake.  “Anybody else?” Someone asks if they have to be famous. “No. They can be people at your company if you want”. So somebody is like, “Debbie Smith.” and then someone says “Eric Johnson” or whatever the hell and nobody else in the room knows these people, but I’m sure they are probably the people who hired this demented woman from 1572 to teach us about leadership.  So then somebody suggests the mayor of Chicago. (This took place the day before the IOC bitch slapped Chicago for the 2016 games). Cruella writes, “Mayer Daily” on the board. Ummm….

Okay, I need to just put this out there – I cannot tolerate when people misspell stuff. It’s a mammoth pet peeve. I’m a nerd and I expect that if you’re going to get up to a board in front of people and write something, it sure as hell better be spelled right.  I mean, maybe she is dyslexic or something, but then don’t fucking write on the board. Delegate, bitch. Seriously.  But I digress.

MAYER DAILY?

If this seminar took place in Alabama, I might be able to let this slide. But we live in fucking Chicago. He has been mayor for 21 years. He and his shenanigans are detailed in the paper every. single. day. I had to hold myself back from running up to the board, punching her in the teeth and spelling it right. I don’t know if she spelled all the other people’s names right since I don’t have any clue who the fuck they are, but I guess it was really a miracle she got Oprah right, so I just started my deep breathing exercises, so I didn’t lose my shit in front of my new band of brothers sisters.

So then she says, “now that we have our list of leaders, lets talk about the traits that we admire in them.” People suggested traits, and she recorded them on the white board. Here is a partial list of what she wrote:

  • influncial
  • motavated
  • intigrity
  • smart
  • compasion
  • power
  • love to what do

You get the gist. I feel a panic attack coming on. How did I get here? When is Ashton going to come in and tell me I’ve been Punk’d? Because if it isn’t soon, I’m going to have a fucking heart attack.  And if this thing has the power to kill our company’s burgeoning woman leaders, preventing us from becoming the future Commander and Chief, you can bet HR, OSHA  and the ACLU are going to hear about it from me. I take workplace safety and discrimination very seriously.

It is at this point in the seminar that I blacked out. I really can’t remember anything except floating above my body and kind of watching the horror show unfold. I saw lips moving, but I couldn’t make out the words. I think I may have split into several different personalities at that point as a coping mechanism.  But the young 5 year old girl personality named Cassie that was born told me later that Cruella asked if anyone in the room ever read the New York Times because she thought it was a really “neat” paper because it had stories from all over the world in it!  She said we might want to look into it one day so we would have more to talk about with our male colleagues, because chances are that they read it, and it would make us sound very smart. Apparently you can read it even on the Internet.

At some point, I saw my body walk out of the room. And go into the bathroom and light myself on fire wet my face. And get in my car. And drive away. On auto-pilot. I woke up at McDonalds. Only an Extra Value Meal #2 could begin to bring me back into my own body again. And then I went back to my office and told my boss what took place, trying not to hyperventilate.  She thought I was shitting her. No. I am dead serious. Serious as cancer, something both she and I probably have and don’t even know it right now.  Louise Hay (one of Oprah’s esteemed guests, of course) says that if you get cancer it’s because you have some resentment you haven’t let go of, which is why I probably only have a few months to live.  But the bright side is that if I die next month then I wouldn’t have to go back there again. I told her I couldn’t live another minute if I have to complete the program and that I quit.  NO WAY I was going back there.  I was already recognizing the signs of PTSD.

And, God love my manager, she got me out of it. She made me tell HR about the whole ordeal. It was at that point they revealed that we got this leadership series “free” with our corporate sponsorship of Cruella’s company. So I was fucking Punk’d.

HR – 1. Love – 0.

I am a leadership school dropout.  But now I need a fifth of vodka and some major therapy.

Cruella has her own damn business and is the biggest fucking idiot on the planet. And I’m a “high potential” corporate drone working for The Man and getting Punk’d by HR. I’m the fucking idiot. FUCK.

When you’re too drunk to have sex, that may be a sign of a problem

I have no idea why, but I’ve been hung over for the majority of days this week.  The only thing I can think of to explain this is because I’ve been drunk the majority of nights.  I’m pretty sure by most standards I’m not an alcoholic, but I’m not really going to check the standards because if I am an alcoholic it would be best for me to be in denial about it. Because I don’t have time to go to AA meetings and even if I did I would have to get a sponsor and then chances are we would get all close and touchy feely and then I’d feel sicker than I do now, in my hungover state. I hate touchy feely people and topics and things. Public crying puts me on edge and I feel like in the movies all the AA people cry a lot.

In my defense, I’ve not been drunk for many moons – this was just a particularly alcoholic week.  I had my WINOS weekend and then yesterday my manager suggested a “meeting” that took place at a bar.  And I am a good employee, so of course I obliged, even though secretly I really wanted to update my sales forecast. Right. Anyway, we got to the bar and three (or four?) martinis later, I had the spins. And I have no fucking clue what I said, as usual.  But I do recall tears being shed — by her or me, I’m not sure.  It must have been bad though, because neither of us has a history of public crying in martini bars. I hope she didn’t fire me and I just don’t even remember. I have a bad feeling like maybe she told me something that was probably not good.  Or maybe she got fired? Or maybe I told her something that was not good, because I love her and would want her to know everything I was thinking. And I’m looking for another job and such. Shit. I probably told her that. But maybe she was happy because I just got fired. I have to figure this whole thing out, but I’m feeling awkward about calling her this morning.  I’m going to have to start recording my business meetings that take place at bars. That is why I never drink with clients. I might tell some of those guys what douches I think they are.

Anyway, the point is that I’m not off drinking alone somewhere and being the only person trashed. So that is my defense against any charges that might be levied against me for alcoholism.  This was a meeting with my boss and it started at three, so I thought I’d be home in time for dinner.  But instead I made the 9:30 train home.  Six hours worth of conversation is too much for someone to remember, even if sober.  Now that I really think about it, I think we have some drunken texts we sent on our respective trains, so I should go back and check if they give away what happened. (UPDATE: just checked. She said on her train the whole car was singing “I wanna touch you all over —til the night closes in…” except her. Does that mean we ended on a bad note? I would’ve totally chimed if such a fantastic thing had happened in my train car.)

Anyway, so I got home and BD was still up and I think I must be really super sexy when I’m trashed in my business casual kitten heels because I think I remember he wanted to get it on and I had the spins. And I’m sorry, but sex with the spins is the worst. So I had to tell him “Not now, honey. I’m too drunk to have sex. Will you make me a pizza?” I think he said no, so I went about making my own. We’re never without a frozen pizza. Sweet, sweet frozen pizza. Maybe if he would have thought ahead to have a pizza waiting for me when I got home, he would have had more luck getting me in bed.  I guess being home with the kids and giving them dinner and putting them to bed and stuff and waiting for his trashed wife to return home made him really tired and not thinking about what he could be doing to make my day better.  Maybe he’ll take this as a “teaching moment” (thanks, Oprah) and do better next time.

But I laugh I told him I’m too drunk to have sex. Not sure I’ve ever used that excuse. What is better my blog readers?  To say you don’t want to have sex because you have a headache, or because you’re too drunk? I thought the whole point of getting drunk in my 20s was in anticipation of having sex later. Now I must be old because drunk pizza eating seemed like such a better alternative than drunk sex last night. I figure it would be more awkward if I passed out or threw up during sex than if I did those things while making and eating a pizza. Right?!

I only have to wait one more hour before McDonalds starts serving lunch. I hope I can make it – its the only antidote for my hangovers.  For real – I’m not going to get drunk again for at least three days. Really.

Hook, line…but no sinker

So I decided that I hate am dissatisfied enough with my work situation that I need to go find a new job. The problem is that I never want to get another job like the one I just had. Here I am, over 10 years out of college, and I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  I can assure you that I never aspired to be a Cog in The Man’s Wheel, or corporate peon, which I am now. But I get paid okay and part of my job is to take people to lunch and ball games, and I have a J-O-B so I’ll stop my whining.

But I want to get a job that I really love and that pays me even more than I’m making now. I’m pretty sure this job doesn’t exist, but I went to TheLadders.com anyway because it seemed like a good place to search for a job that pays over $100K.  That’s the promise. So I do my little search and they tell me all I have to do is upload a resume and I can see the jobs. So I go do that, and then they’re like, oh no, actually you have to pay us to see jobs. What? But I mean, whats $30 if they are going to open the doors to my sparkly new $100K+ job? I had been on the site approximately 8 minutes and my ADD kicked in, so I decided not to decide and just left the site, leaving my job search squarely in God’s hands.

But then TheLadders began to stalk me.

It began innocently enough with a “Welcome to TheLadders” email minutes after my ill-fated trip there. And then I got an email that said they found jobs for me, so I clicked to see what they came up with and oh look! I have to pay my $30 to see them. Whatevs. So I ignore them. But then they started sending an obscene amount of emails – probably as many as I’ve sent to Oprah over the span of 15 years — and I couldn’t get them off my mind and then they told me they would give me 25% off, so I couldn’t resist.  I should have been like Oprah when she gets my emails and just hit delete.  Instead, I reasoned that perhaps if I just gave them the money, they’ll leave me alone.  So I needed a distraction from my soul-sucking, dreams-crushing work and paid my money and signed up.

For signing up, they say they’ll hook me up with a free, personalized resume critique from a professional resume writer! Score! If I would’ve known that, I would have signed up the first day, instead of waiting for the 18,000 follow up emails they sent.  I went to a top MBA school. I know my resume is solid, but they might suggest a few word changes here and there, and I’d be open to that. So sign me up! They tell me its going to take some time for them to go over it, which is fine, since I know I’ll be so busy wading through all the exclusive jobs they hand selected for someone with my fancy skills and experience.  I’m actually thinking they are going to look at it and ask me if they can show others all its finery and then offer me a $200K + job as a professional resume reviewer. So as I wait for them to reveal to the world my resume writing prowess, I go look for the lucky employers that are about to fight over me.

Um…..there were like two “exclusive” jobs and the rest they found out on Google somewhere and have no idea whether they pay over $100K. Plus, they had all of these listings for jobs that had been filled. If you took out all of the fillers and fluff, you might find 3 jobs that aren’t bogus.  Okay fine. So I’ll go back to indeed.com and wade through all the real and fake jobs, but at least I’m getting a personalized resume critique. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. My critique was ready just hours later. This is what it said in its entirety (you can skip to the parts in bold for the net net):

Dear Love,

Thank you for sending me your resume! My name is Alyssa Ballard, and I will be providing your resume critique. I have been extensively trained by TheLadders.com in the analysis of executive level resumes. As I’m sure you can imagine, a 100K + resume has certain components that will differ from those of a candidate seeking a lower level position and we have spent countless hours mastering the complexities of these documents.

It was a pleasure to read about your qualifications and experience and I wish you the best of success in your job search. In this critique I will outline my thoughts, explain the process, and give you some guidance at the end of my review to get you closer to your goal.

Please note that I am NOT critiquing your background, experience, or potential for success. I am commenting on how you are marketing those assets to potential employers and how you are competing against others with similar goals. Your resume needs to be assertive in showing prospective employers how you would be of value to them, because no matter how good you are at your job, the resume is what really lands the interview.

Love, plain and simple: you are missing MANY of key strategies on your resume, and it doesn’t fully reflect your career level. There is not enough excitement to your document, nor any burning desire to pick up the phone and call you. With all your experience, you deserve a better resume!

Please keep in mind I would love to go over this with you once you’ve had a chance to give my comments some thought. Feel free to message me in the message center or call me at (646) 454-2316 if you have something that you would like to discuss.

Now, here are the major issues I see on your resume:

SUMMARY

You are missing the biggest SELLER on your resume – The Summary! A great summary is absolutely essential for having a strong, hard-hitting resume that makes an impact on employers. A summary should communicate your record of achievement, your experience level, your value, your industry, and intimate what your immediate career goal is! Of all the sections of the resume, the summary is the most important because it gets read the most and sets the tone/focus for the rest of the document.

I recommend including a “Core Competencies” section within the summary to get the reader’s attention right from the start. Remember a “Core Competencies” section is not a listing of soft-skills, but rather an area to highlight your own personal areas of expertise.

Love, this upper section is becoming increasingly important as the job market becomes more competitive. This is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and you haven’t taken full advantage of it. We NEED to fix this before you send it out again.

CONTENT

The content of the experience section is quite thin. You haven’t included enough information to give the reader a clear, complete picture of your abilities or accomplishments. It’s like you have the outline completed but you haven’t filled in enough details. The reader isn’t able to grasp the context of your work, the value of your candidacy, or how your background meets their needs because you haven’t created a complete picture. Honestly, for your level and salary goals, I would expect two FULL pages of information and you have only one – less if you were to have utilized the full width of the page. Poor job descriptions fail to create a good frame of reference for your achievements.

Another problem that I see here has to do with your use of bullet points. You have bulleted every statement, which is a very ineffective formatting tool—not to mention indicative of a lower-level career. Bullets are used to draw attention, but when you put your entire job description into bullets, you’ve negated their purpose.

You’ve done a good job getting your accomplishments down but you’ve failed to put them in a frame of reference. Employers need to see description of your role first – what your duties were – in order to properly grasp the significance of your accomplishments. Without that frame of reference, the accomplishments are more window dressing than substance and employers will discount them as “fluff”. You need to do a much better job showing how you have gotten things done in the past so the reader can be assured you can get things done in the future.

For example, you have:

§         Drove 132% YTY growth, exceeding revenue and profit plans

§         Analyzed and alleviated customer financial constraints through devising creative configurations with customized financing and payment plans, increasing order sizes by 15% – 100%.

§         Coordinated efforts between testing and development teams, improving average issue resolution time by 50%.

These are excellent! Too bad their effects get entirely lost in translation! HOW did you achieve them? What challenges did you face? How did this impact the bottom line? It’s obvious you have the data, but including high-impact background information to support the data is what will set you apart from the crowd.

Love, it’s obvious to me that you have some wonderful experience here but that is also because I read between the lines. Potential employers with hundreds of resumes to read through are not going to do that. We need to make you stand out at first glance!

MECHANICS

Moving on, we really need to work on elevating the language throughout the document! The document’s verbiage doesn’t support your goals. It’s “average” – not what you want when you are trying to sell your abilities and position yourself above the competition. Step up the language by using stronger action verbs to create excitement and keep your reader engaged!

Communication is the #1 skill that has the most impact on your promotion, your retention, and your performance. A resume is a crucial communication tool in your career. If you aren’t communicating well in your resume, hiring managers will assume you are not a good communicator in person.

DESIGN AND FORMAT

Your resume has an outdated appearance and nothing jumps out to grab the reader’s attention. I would recommend a more attractive or reader-friendly design to the document to provide a better first impression and better readability. Good formatting and design is especially important for candidates targeting higher salaries (such as you are) because employers expect you to have a more pulled-together, slick presentation of yourself as they expect you to give a professional presentation to customers, vendors, and others with whom you would be dealing at your target level. Visual impression is the first impression so make it good.

Although many people don’t think that the design of their resume should be a big deal, it really is. Think about it. If your resume is more pleasing to the eye then people will want to spend more time looking at it!

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Love, I would suggest that you go back and reread your resume, and you will see that this document is selling you short. The bottom line: Your resume simply does not reflect your professional caliber as best it could. You have an excellent background…you have the qualifications…but you are just not making that first impression count.

Only the BEST RESUMES—NOT CANDIDATES—get the most attention and eventually an interview. Love, you are clearly a very strong candidate but that is simply not enough to get an interview!

You need to remember the purpose of a resume—to take an AGGRESSIVE approach in selling yourself to a potential employer. Why does that employer want to interview YOU?

Remember, unless you can convince them of your VALUE, they will not contact you.

**GETTING THE INTERVIEW**


Love, there are two things to consider here:

• You are a premium member of TheLadders.com BECAUSE you’ve got the valuable experience, the superior skills, the unique qualifications and most importantly the DRIVE to get that next 100k+ job (yes, we redirect people who don’t fit our profile; it is in our best interest to do so).

• On paper, your wording and presentation leave much to be desired. Your resume does not generate excitement and professionalism.

These two elements combine to make you the ideal candidate for a resume rewrite. We are here to make your job search QUICK and SUCCESSFUL! To this end, it is crucial that your document look as impressive as you do, and that you do not LOSE interviews in the process.

Most people are like you—they struggle to put themselves down on paper effectively—but that’s where we come in, because we are experts at knowing the best way to present you. Most competing professionals employ the services of professional resume writers, creating a disadvantage for those that make the attempt alone.

* FOOD FOR THOUGHT *

Get noticed more and faster. Members who had their resumes professional rewritten are 38% more likely to be contact by recruiters

Get hired! A resume rewritten by our team will increase your chances of landing a job by 40%.

**OUR PROCEDURES (simple but highly effective)**


Our team is an elite group of skilled professionals, hand-selected, trained, monitored and mentored by TheLadders.com. Each of them is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and an expert in resumes for at least one of the ladders. We provide customized critiques, resumes, and career search tools for you based on YOUR specific professional needs. Our resume writing team has prepared more than 15,000 powerful executive resumes with an unparalleled level of success.

If you decide to take advantage of our resume writing service:

1. Your assigned resume writer (not me) will send you a set of questions that will ask you things you haven’t even thought to include on your resume. Alternatively, they may call you if they think that will be more effective.

2. After completing and returning the information, the writer reviews the data and if necessary contacts you to “pick your brain” about certain answers.

3. The writer then completes the first draft of your rewritten resume and submits it to you for review, usually within five-seven business days.

4. From here you work closely alongside your writer to tweak and adjust your resume to make sure it is absolutely perfect.

5. Once you’re completely happy with your new resume, the writer finalizes the document for you and sends it to you in Word format.

We strive to complete the process as quickly as possible. We know how important every day is when job searching, so we don’t want to keep you waiting.

You will be in excellent hands working directly with our team. TheLadders.com Resume Team works with the best executive resume writers in the world, some of whose credentials include:


• Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
• Internationally Certified Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC)
• Featured in: TheCareerJournal, Executive Registry
• Career Expert cited in The Wall Street Journal‘s publications
• More than 200 resumes/cover letters published in 20 career books
• VIP Contributor to High-Level Resumes (Career Press)

**PRICING AND FREE COVER LETTER OFFER**


The investment to create your resume is 695.00. This may seem like a lot at first, but if you stop and think about it for a moment, it’s really a modest investment. A resume that gets you a job is PRICELESS. If it shortens your job search by two days, or results even in a 1% increase in salary, it pays for itself. An ineffective resume can cost thousands of dollars in lost time, income, and opportunity.

Limited-Time Bonuses: To further help you in your job search, we’re offering a major bonus if you purchase the resume service within 7 days:

We’ll write the cover letter for free (a $135 value)!

Okay, so that wasn’t the ringing endorsement I was expecting.  They stopped just a little short of asking me to be the model for everyone else.  I mean, WTF? If I wanted to be flogged and humiliated, I would have called one of the soccer moms down the street or one of the popular girls from junior high.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I have the biggest piece of shit resume ever written and that I am probably bipolar with illusions of grandeur.  Yeah, me too.  The professionals at TheLadders have just verified every insecurity I have ever had in my life. I SUCK.  Not a little bit. A lot. And they are sure that I will never get a job so long as I live unless I fork over my $695 (but at least I get a cover letter too, at a $135 value!!).

So I did what every mature professional would do in this situation and curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb under my desk for a few minutes, or hours, I’m not even sure because I was so delirious from the pain.  But then all of a sudden a calm came over me and soft white light shone on my crumpled body and I realized that my two year old found the flashlight I’d been missing (and that this could be fixed)!! This shameful piece of shit that I call a resume can be rewritten!! For just $695, I can buy my dignity back in the form of a resume that (apparently) will have a summary! It will be 2 FULL pages. It will have real big words in it. I will land the job of my dreams. I am on my way to becoming fucking Oprah.

The only problem is that I don’t have the kind of money laying around and if I asked BD about it, he would probably laugh hysterically.  When he found out I wasn’t kidding, he might file for divorce. I’m told that divorce only costs $300 to file online.  Of course, after seeing my resume review, he may want to cut his losses now and skip town anyway.  He now has proof from certified resume writers that his wife is a complete loser, and it may even be grounds for him to take the kids away.  Or at least make sure I get no alimony.  AWEsome.

So I’m ready to sell my two year old to raise the money for my sparkly new resume, which will make my life worth living again, when I decide that everything about this site has been fishy.  The way they make you download a resume and then let you see no jobs. The way you have to pay to see jobs you could find for free.  The way they tell you that your resume makes you appear to potential employers as an illiterate cave person who might not be qualified to wash dishes at Dennys.  My resume might suck, but not that bad.

So I Googled “Ladders Scam” and I got me an education. Apparently everybody who pays TheLadders gets told they suck. Cue Michael Jackson. I am not alone.

I hope these douchebags go down. But how could they not, if this is how they treat people? Maybe I should go down too, though. I can’t believe I wasn’t tipped off by all the shadiness before I even plunked down the money.  I’m definitely not that smart.

Still, that doesn’t change the fact that I need to go find a new job.  More to come on that…