Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Three weeks before Christmas in 1992 my boss came into my office and asked "Do you have a valid passport? They want you to go to Mexico City to lead the Hasbro pitch." Well of course I had the passport, but my retention of high school Spanish amounted to "Mas cerveza por favor." An intensive Berlitz program for relocating executives and eleven months of working in a bi-lingual office fixed that. Buy the time I returned to New York the following October, my Spanish language skills resembled those of a precocious Mexican three- year-old. I had begun to stop translating in my head. I just sort of felt the words wash over me. I'd understand the jist of what was being said and would respond without knowing exactly what I was saying either. But it worked.

I've been in beauty school now for eleven months. About the same amount of time that I had been living in Mexico when I stopped translating in my head. I can now end a sentence in a preposition, truncate my sentences, and use ghetto slang with aplomb. I still struggle with the double negative. No sure I'll ever be able to adopt that one. Whenever I use these new language skills I'm surprised when no one calls me out on it. Some times I find myself actually thinking in this new (to me) colloquial grammar. Kind of like when I was immersed in the Spanish language.

I have an octogenarian client who use to be a Dean at UC. I gave her Newsweek to read under the dryer and told her I thought she'd enjoy the article on Mark Twain, "the release of his memoir, 100 years after his death was the impetus for the article." I thought to myself "I just said 'impetus!' then I looked around to see if anyone heard me.

I need to spend some more time with my own demographic.

Tips again

I just have to share this picture -- of a little old lady who lined up the change, that was my tip, on my station. Really? Really!

Kind of reminds me of the (first) year we got crappy bonuses at Grey. Of course in advertising the bonuses where never more than a few thousand dollars; nothing like banking or law. But back in the day it had been enough to cover the Christmas bills and pay for Summer camp. Then came the year when that afternoon as I was leaving the building I passed my copywriter who said "did you get your bonus?" I said "yes, I'm going right now to spend the whole thing on a pair of leather gloves at Saks." She replied "I just spent my on a haircut."

I shopped at Saks. We got our haircut at Bumble + Bumble. I honestly don't miss it at all. But $1.50 laid out out in change on my station. Are you kidding me Lady?! Next time I'm gonna jack her hair up good.

Time Sheets Again

It's time-sheet time again. All one has to do is add up the numbers straight across and down the columns, then record hours by "management," "course," "clinic," and "non-clinic" for this and the previous month. There are only a handful of students that can do this. The last day of the month, and the first couple of days of the new month are chaotic and stressful as everyone tries to get their time-sheet filled out properly. The few students who are "good at time-sheets" help those that are not. Of course I belong to the former category. But I have lost the patience to help anyone other than my clique from "up the hill." Sara and Jules, however, are running a little time-sheet business. Not sure how much they get paid per time-sheet. The price use to be lunch, but I think it's gone up to something like $10 cash.