Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Weekender

Hello my darling girls,
Flora, glad to hear you're keeping cool in the city!  I, on the other hand, have become a weekender on the beautiful Ile de Ré.  I was there last weekend and the weekend before (and two weekends before that!).  I have fallen in love with the place and my friend Kurt has kindly opened his house to me for the summer!  It is like the Hamptons of France!  Three hours from Paris and I am on the beach... how can a girl say no?  And after last week, I needed to get away!  Mélanie, the intern from hell (no, she hasn't been fired yet!), was her typically difficult self every day last week.  I should start a column called  "Mélanie the Monster's Weekly Shenanigans":

Monday:  Melissa is 45 minutes late for work.  No explanation.

Tuesday:  My boss and I left for meeting and Mélanie took a two hour lunch (or so my colleagues report)

Wednesday:  I sent her out to buy lunch for the boss and she complained that it was too sunny and she had forgotten her sunglasses.

Thursday:  She was asked to send emails to five separate business associates, each email containing personal, sensitive information.  To "save time" the Monster cc'd them all in the same email.  You can only imagine how that went over with our associates.

Friday:  Mélanie arrives an hour late (It was her best friend's birthday the night before!); she has her head on the desk for most of the morning.  The boss send her to buy lunch and she loses the receipt.  She is generally rude and disagreeable.  She asks to leave early because she is not feeling well.

Now, you must be wondering WHY the girl hasn't been fired... because I am!  Well, it turns out my boss used to work with her uncle so the "family connection" is stopping him from showing her the door!  I don't care if she's his sister, the girl has to go!

Oh how I enjoyed two Mélanie-free days!  A gorgeous weekend relaxing on the beach, lunches on the terrace at Kurt's house, drinks at adorable local spots!  Another perfect weekend!  I think I need to buy my own house and move there full-time!

Bisous xx Ophelia

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hot Child in the City

Rose how inspiring!! That's so courageous and brave! Good for her!!

On a total tangent!! Girls! I’ve solved my air conditoning conundrum. I finally have cool air and I can finally sleep! Last week I never imagined I would ever complain about air conditioning…the sticky, humid, ny air was just too much…but…as with all luxuries we get used to… I have simply one complaint….

No, not about my air conditioning at home…but about that at work.

There is a veritable paradox in NYC regarding how one should dress during the two focal seasons of the city: winter and summer.

In the winter, heat rises profusely through the offices. In the summer, air conditioner is blasted on every level. This leads to a psyzophrenic wardrobe dilemna.

In the winter one must dress down. Sleeveless tops, light cardigans…offices get incredibly warm, employees are often unable to open windows, and thus one resorts to removing layers and layers of clothes.
In the summer, however, the opposite is apparent. The air conditionning is programmed at such a level that the most common accessory one can notice in our office, for instance, are cashmere pashminas!
I’m telling you, this is insane!

Just yesterday morning, H, my hilarious PR intern, came in the cutest Liliy Pulitzer dress. She sat at her desk…opened her drawer and pulled out this huge wool turtleneck that she slipped on! I turned my head and I noticed the department secretary with her pashmina around her neck, and then behind me, the same thing…
It’s hilarious, outside people are removing layer after layer of clothing to stay cool in the NY heat, and yet indoor the air is so cool we’re all covering up, catching colds and sipping hot tea!!

Speaking of tea, I drank 5 yesterday I was so cold ;)



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cheers To A New Intern

Hey ladies.

Flora, the weather in LA has been odd and inconsistent, but at the moment I am boiling!  I still can't get enough of the sunshine!  What a nice difference from the Toronto weather I grew up with for over 20 years!

Ophelia, I just met up with your friend Tara from NYC.  What an inspiration! We caught up over some divine Mexican cuisine in West Hollywood.  Nothing like a slow-cooked pork burrito!

Tara, at the age of 26, has decided to leave behind her cushy government job and pursue a career in public relations.  She is interning at one of the most  exciting firms in LA and she has never been happier.  She actually is motivated to get out of bed in the mornings!  No regrets!  Onwards to bigger and better for her.

The life of an intern is full of hope, dreams, and courage!

So here is to you, Tara, and all the other Eternal Interns out there!  Cheers!



Monday, June 20, 2011

The Eternal Freelancer

Hi girls,
I hope you're both well.  I was away for the weekend (I went back to Ile de Ré!) but am now back to the grind.  Work work work!  I just stepped in the door following an early apéro with a girlfriend of mine and we ended up having a fascinating discussion about "the new kind of intern"!  It seems that my friend Robin has fallen into the "adult version" of interning:  She is an eternal freelancer!  The poor girl was in such a state, she feels like she has been freelancing forever and apparently this weekend she snapped!  She pointed out that sure, the freedom and flexibility is great, but freelancers are denied all the benefits afforded to full-time employees.  Robin has been freelancing for years and although she has a wonderful life, she was starting to feel the strain of her permanently temporary situation!

Freelancers must have been the topic du jour because at work today my colleague suggested we hire a "perma-lancer" for a project we are working on.  I didn't realize you could be permanent and freelance.. but then again what do I know?  She recommended using the same freelance person consistently but never actually bringing them on staff.  I guess the very definition of freelancing is that you are not on staff, but wouldn't that get frustrating after a while!?   As an intern I yearned to belong, to be a permanent member of the team but I guess some people really thrive in a "come in and save the day" capacity!  haha!

Well, I successfully talked my freelancing friend off the ledge and reminded her that the freedom and flexibilty of her job has allowed to the time to go to yoga retreats in India and trekking in South America.  What "lifer" can say that when he/she is chained to a desk?  There's nothing like a Ricard and a dose of rationality when you start to lose perspective!  I get what she's saying though, the grass is always greener on the other side!

Bisous xx Ophelia

NY Summer Heat!

Hola! How are you girls?

Rose, how is the heat over there in L.A.? NY is roasting!

Last year I survived with simply a fan…but this summer I have decided to change things up and not suffer…oh no…no more grueling nights up until 4 am trying to battle the NYC humid, hot and sticky summer heat!

I had literally tried everything in the book last summer…and again up to last week…

Home Depot purchased turbo fan – only inches away from bed: fail…and radically noisy.
Frozen water bottles placed under pillow and at feet: fail…almost caught hypothermia and got my toes stuck on the overly frozen bottle…ouch.
Cold showers to cool off at midnight…and 2 am…and 2:30am…and 3am…: fail…but I’ve never had so many showers in such a short period of time!

So this weekend I decided to invest…invest in a real air conditioner!

El novio helped me pick it out and then install it…and let me tell you, that was a feat in itself…

The thing almost fell out my window last night as we were putting it in…a lawsuit waiting to happen… Luckily, it didn’t fall. It also however, unluckily, didn’t work…

Yes, after all that pondering on purchasing one…research to find the best one on consumers’ reports and work getting the friggin machine home and affixed….the air conditioner doesn’t even work!

And get this: it will be another week before I can get a working one!!

Ahhhhh a week more of heat?? Luckily rain is in the forecast ;)

Flora xoxo

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Painting The Day Away

Ok so as I am writing you girls, I am starring over at the cubicle across from mine, currently occupied by a PR intern…

I am in utter awe at what she is doing: painting her nails!

Yes, you heard me right…H. has apparently taken a break from filling her news clippings and has decided to polish her nails instead…Un-friggin-believable!

It’s actually the singular and pungent smell of her OPI ruby red polish that attracted my attention…and then the colour…Oh my! Come on, you’re at work!

I’m actually stunned….I would have never had the gusts to “take a break” and “chill” when I was an intern…let alone take a break and paint my nails! In front of everyone!

When I was an intern, my sole focus was on hiding any type of semi-break or quick Facebook check….to ensure my bosses and those around me had the upmost opinion of me!

What the hell!!

Although you know what, this reminds me, I should head for a manicure soon…my nails need it!

Ok back to work!


Flora xoxo

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Drunken Intern

Hello dear girls,
The intern from hell is at it again!  Last night, my boss took us all out for a "Good work, team!" dinner to Les Ombres on the Quai Branly.  It was a gorgeous night of champagne, foie gras, langoustines until... 

Melanie, my little monster of an intern got a little too carried away!  And by "carried away" I mean belligerent!  I really do wonder if she is trying to get fired!  My boss found it entertaining in the beginning but luckily for her he left before the real mayhem began.  Here's what went down... We arrived at 8pm and Melanie knocked back her aperitif before most of us had even taken a sip of ours!  When we moved on to champagne she lapped us again!  And then the wine arrived and she mixed red, white and rosé, anything within reach!  I have never seen anything like it.  At around 11:30 my boss decided to call it a night but insisted we stay and have a digestif or more champage.  As tired as I was, I felt obligated to make sure that Melanie didn't buy drinks for the house on the boss' card and that she didn't get hit by a taxi stumbling out of the restaurant!  Oh how I wish I had left!  At midnight on the dot, Melanie decided it was time to lead the remaining diners in a rousing medley of Edith Piaf songs.  The only problem:  No one else felt like singing!  Halfway through "Padam, Padam!" the manager asked me to kindly remove the "musically-challenged, Mademoiselle" from the premises!  Oh la la, la honte

My boss is a regular customer at Les Ombres so I am sure word will get back to him that his employee was making a scene... I just hope they specify that it was the intern and not moi!  

Bisous xx Ophelia

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No Voice

Hola! OMG can I take a second and just vent?

I just spent 2 hours in a meeting and was not able to say a word! Every time I would try to speak up, my boss kept cutting me off.
I was sitting there, leaning in a bit and opening my mouth every time I was on the point of making a point, and within a millisecond, there she would take the words right from under my breath and beat me to it!
Girls, you can't imagine how silly and small I felt...especially since many of the things she was saying I had mentioned to her right before the meeting!

Why this sudden change from her? Usually she is so open to hearing me out and letting others hear me out. I haven't done anything...I simply don't understand.

There was literally 15 of us around the table, speaking about an event I'm basically spearheading...and friggin every time I wanted to speak it basically only ended up as me gasping because Sofia got the fastest words in each time. Everyone noticed...but it made me look dumb! And the worst of it all, is that at one point I decided to simply speak despite the fact she had beat me to try and make a point...but she just kept speaking...and obviously I had to shut up... Major embarrassment...

Ahhhhh what is the reason for this frustrating harnessing and silencing of my voice...?

It's soooo frustrating, I feel like I'm back at step 1 of the newly-emplyed ladder... Even once you land the fabulous job, the impressive career, that full-time position, you still have to climb may steps before making it anywhere near the top...let alone the middle ;)

Ok gonna chill out now and try to speak to someone...and see if they listen to me!
I'll let you know if ever I find out what all this ruckus was about.... I'm still in shock.

Flora xoxo

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Interns Make The World Go Round


I know that each of us is currently in different stages of our careers, but there is a constant in all of this.  We are all Eternal Interns!   We have all been there and done that and therefore have an incredibly unique understanding and tolerance within each of our industries.

As you can tell, I am feeling mega inspired today :)


Well, on set today the director exclaimed, "Thank God For Interns!"

I acknowledge that what warranted his message was not particularly impressive (me brining him a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks... haha !  I wish I were kidding ... ), but it meant the world to him after an extremely stressful day.

To often I lose sight of the fact that although I may be at the bottom of the food chain, I totally accept the fact, the very same food chain wouldn't function without interns.

After the mood I have been in lately, I could have kissed the director for saying what he said today!

Hope you ladies are both well.



P.S. Ophelia, you should tell your intern that if she ever touches your desk or computer again you will cut her fingers off.  Blame it on your OCD and problem solved!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Intern Power Struggle

Hi girls!
Rose, my love, keep your head up!  Good things are surely heading your way.  But if you need lessons in being a dude, I hear Flora is a beer pong champion!  

I hate to complain but I have a problem and you are not going to believe what (who!) is getting me down... MY INTERN!  Yes, I have an intern and she is a pain in the ass!  Her name is Melanie and since she started this week (my boss hired her while I was away, more on that later!) she has not stopped making my life difficult.  I could really teach her a thing or two about interning because this girl is a nightmare!  She arrives late everyday (if at all!), she disappears early and the other day she told me I SHOULD WORK FOR HER!  Ummm no!  I paid my dues, girlfriend!  haha!  I am trying not to lose it because I, more than anyone at work, understands the plight of the intern - but man oh man, she is not making it easy on me!  

Anyway, Melanie was hired while I was away last weekend.  My boss gave me Monday off so I decided to head down to the Ile de Ré to visit a dear friend of mine, Kurt, who has a fab house on the beach!  He is a year-round resident so it was so nice to learn the ins and outs from a true local.  Kurt is actually American, from NYC, but made the Ile de Ré his home 7 years ago.  Quelle chance!  It did me a world of good to get away from my boss (aka my neighbor!) and the hustle and bustle of Paris.

After a restful long weekend you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at work on Tuesday morning to find an intern snooping through my stuff!  I think I'm going to have to put her in her place once and for all.  If I don't, I may end up interning for her!  haha!  

Bisous xx Ophelia 


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