Major life updates

Whoa, whoa, whoa–it’s the end of MAY already?! Once again, I’ve been completely MIA with no good excuse at all. In my defense though, here is a rundown of the major life changes that have occurred since my last post!

Left my job of the past year for a new beginning, said goodbye to some really great and interesting people
Started my new job with an incredible company that is very “likeable!” (more details to come!)
Celebrated my two-year anniversary with my boyfriend (by far the longest relationship of my life for those who were wondering)
Found out said-boyfriend is moving (temporarily, hopefully) to pursue his passion of coaching and teaching and generally molding and influencing young minds (commendable)
I promise to write more (a promise I KEEP making), until then–thanks for sticking with me folks! 🙂



I had to post this here because I am still laughing about it a full day later. One of my best friends forwarded me an old IM convo she had saved from a few years ago. It took place I would guess within the first month of my first “real world” job at a PR firm in NY (Editor’s note: I spent the previous 3+ years waiting tables by the beach in Newport, RI). Big public thank you to my friend Jen for getting me through those first few rocky weeks. I think we can all appreciate when we first learned of the infamous “BCC”…

(And yes my AOL screename was, and embarasssingly still IS, smilesah)
SmilesAH: what does IT stand for
SmilesAH: like computer fixer for our office is called “IT” guy
jnylee22: IT?
jnylee22: usually Internet and Technology for dept type things at work
jnylee22: is that what you mean
SmilesAH: i dont know these terms, im not cut out for corporate world
SmilesAH: i should just be left to write free flowing poetry and mail it into someone else to publish, i dont like CCing, and did u know u can BCC? and the expression “going forward”?
jnylee22: yeah i never say “going forward”…but i BCC all the time
jnylee22: you know what people say at my work all the time that i hate…?
jnylee22: ‘please advise’
SmilesAH: yes, HATE IT…umm BCCing reminds me of that scene in mean girls with the 3 way calling
SmilesAH: i dont like it, its sneaky
jnylee22: yeah people at my work only do it when they’re trying to make someone see how stupid someone else is
jnylee22: ‘like hey i just bcc’d you on that email to mandy..what a dumbass hahahaha’
jnylee22: and then we all laugh
SmilesAH: can the BCCed see who else got it
jnylee22: yes
jnylee22: but not if someone another bccer
jnylee22: just either the tos or the CCs
jnylee22: the bcc can see everyone except another bccer
SmilesAH: but no one else can see the BCCed
jnylee22: right
SmilesAH: SHIT
SmilesAH: so peopleknow they were Bcc
jnylee22: right
SmilesAH: shitshitshit
SmilesAH: i so wrongly BCCed today!
jnylee22: hahahahahaha
jnylee22: why what happened?
SmilesAH: well i was sending what this reporter thought was an exclusive story idea to him, but I was sending it to another reporter too, so i BCCed one, figuring neither could see each, so The one who was BCCed knows it went to someone else but the one who was To doesnt know anyone else got it right?>
SmilesAH: I need to figure out whose gonna be pissed at me
jnylee22: yes thats exactly it
SmilesAH: so the TO is gonna be pissed
jnylee22: no the BCC is gonna be pissed
SmilesAH: so theres no way to send to multiple people blindly?
SmilesAH: ohh right, the BCC
SmilesAH: the TO didnt see the BCCed
SmilesAH: ahhhhh I hate corporate america, i thought screwing up somones drink order was bad
jnylee22: yeah you can…send it to yourself as the TO and BCC both seperated by commas
SmilesAH: ohhh the double BCC is that legal??
jnylee22: yes very
SmilesAH: u have to TO someone
jnylee22: you do
jnylee22: its just that sometimes with that it looks shady bc they know they got that email somehow and they prob know that trick
SmilesAH: this is very helpful Jen i must say, good thing I didnt also BCC my boss like were supposed to when we send important clients emails, because then shed know my error
SmilesAH: its all coming together, how come no one explained
jnylee22: i thought it was known
SmilesAH: ur like a fountain of knowledge right now
jnylee22: but then again i mustve just got it when i started at verisign
SmilesAH: ive spent the last 7 years of my life behind a frosted glass, how would i know these things
jnylee22: i dont know al, im just glad i was here to help

Crazy week!

You know how they say, when it rains, it pours? While it is, quite literally, pouring out right now. As I sit in Subtle Tea, the place that has been my home away from home for the past 4 months that I have been “offficeless,” I can look back on the last 5 days and appreciate all the things that have happened. For one, I was lucky enough to be covering Internet Week for Pepsico and have been basking in the glory of being involved in all the excitement of the week, whether its been the seminars, the parties or just the tweets, its been fun to be a part of it. Check out all my posts so far, here, and keep checking back for more details here on my blog!

The second bit of excitement of the week is that I have officially accepted an offer for a full-time job starting very soon. Expect the juicy details soon…but I am very excited about this new opportunity and can’t wait to continue my professional adventures at a new place.

So, on this rainy Friday, I am looking forward to my future and saying goodbye to Subtle Tea (at least Monday-Friday…). I’ll miss you yummy Chai Lattes!

The Boycott Ends…

It’s been over a month since my last post. Shame on me! Well I wrote that post at a hopeful time when I thought my next big thing was right around the corner. A month later here I am, still at a crossroads, still interviewing as if it’s actually my job and still offering up my well rehearsed spiel to anyone who will give me a chance. I must admit I think I am starting to sound pretty good! Practice makes perfect I guess…

Anyway, I was putting off writing until I could announce some colossally exciting new title or that someone offered me a book deal, a column, anything! No such luck…yet 🙂

I’m still interviewing, picking up odd gigs, pimping myself out as a social media whiz, pr maven, brilliant writer etc. and waiting for someone to bite. I’ve met A LOT of cool people on my search so far. Some have been amazingly helpful and inspirational and some have made me question whether human decency and common courtesy exist at all anymore…

The funniest thing about interviewing for me is the little sayings or situations that have continually occurred for me. For one thing, the standard procedures of “scheduled phone call” to deem you worthy of an in-person interview, followed by actual in-person interview, usually with an HR type, possibly if your special enough to be immediately (or not so immediately) followed by the coveted “second interview” with big wig, head honcho-decision maker, only to be followed by…silence. Yes, no response. No email. No phone call. Not even an old-fashioned rejection letter.

The kind-hearted souls that I have met in the business have explained to me the different reasons for this black hole of communication after a seemingly positive string of interviews. A) They aren’t ACTUALLY hiring at this time B) They chose someone else but want to keep you on the back burner in case new person doesn’t work out C) They REALLY didn’t like you (I highly doubt that is possible though) D) They are just TOO busy to even respond with a one-lined email (this excuse seems really lame to me!)

So there you have it, this is what I’ve had to deal with at my current freelancer/consultant status. (editor’s note, I’m totally getting one of those T-shirts that says, “I’m not unemployed, I’m a consultant!”)

One other funny little tidbit is the actual scheduling of the interview. People always ask, “what’s your availability? ” or say “Why don’t you check your calendar and get back to me?” It’s like Hello, what do you think I do all day? You’re right, let me check and see when I can squeeze you in between my leisurely breakfasts, people watching in the park, and watching Oprah. Obviously I am willing to come in anytime that is convenient for you because I am flexible, dedicated and a hard worker (really, I am, pick me, pick me!). I just find it funny when people ask me that, I mean I guess it’s courteous and sometimes I may have something to do but at this point there is almost nothing that I couldn’t reschedule for a great job opportunity.

I’m trying not to get discouraged but it’s just frustrating knowing that I have the talent and would be an amazing asset to many of these companies. I can write, I am creative, I am passionate and dedicated, and I know what I’m doing when it comes to social media, public relations or anything online. If I am doing or saying something wrong in my interviews, I really wish someone would just tell me so I can fix it! Anyone have any pointers for me?

Stuff to do to keep your sanity…

People are always telling me to enjoy my temporary unemployment and do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have time for. Unfortunately without a steady paycheck most of these things are not actually do-able (for example, my yet to be taken trip to Central America) but these people do have a point. I know I should be using my time wisely because I plan on working, at least in some form, for the next 50 years or so.

Some days I think sleeping late, watching Ellen and reading the newspaper is a wisely spent day, but lately I have been really trying to fill my time with meaningful activities or at least I plan to from today on! Hopefully my free days are limited as I have some hopeful opportunities brewing…(fingers AND toes crossed!)

In no particular order, here are some things I have been doing/plan on doing/recommend doing until your back among the employed:

1)Drink coffee–especially at random spots. Since I have been laid off, drinking coffee has become more of an activity than something I just do at my desk as a quick way to fuel up before a hard day’s work. I now have the time to leisurely sip coffee at relaxing/cool places such as coffee houses, parks, etc. Plus coffee is pretty cheap so it’s a great time-passer for the unemployed. Tea works too 🙂

2)Read a lot. I have always loved to read but was usually too tired/burnt out to read leisure books. One of the first things I did when I got laid off was head over to Border’s and pick up a few good books to get lost in.

3)Get organized. Make to-do lists, clean out your closets, organize photos, music, etc. It costs nothing, makes you feel motivated and is something you will NEVER have time for once you go back to work.

4)Visit museums, art galleries etc. I keep saying I am going to do this. I don’t really know why I haven’t yet, it seems like a lovely idea. I’ll let you know when I finally cross this one off my t0-do list!

5) Get in shape. Again, this is one that I have SAID I am going to do, but have only taken very small steps in actually doing. I bought a new arm band for my ipod, dug out my spandex and Nike’s and plotted all the scenic places I will run. I’ve only actually gone like 3 times but as the weather gets warmer I promise to go more!

If I am still unemployed in the summer, I will add a number 6, spend every free moment at the beach, but here’s hoping that I’ll be blissfully trapped in an office this summer dreaming of my weekends on Fire Island 🙂

Anyone have anything else to add to my list?


Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve been tangled up in the web that is “the job search.” I have been lucky enough to go on several interviews for several different jobs, but so far, nothing has been “the perfect fit.” Am I absolutely nuts for wanting perfection, especially in “these economic times??” Sorry for all the quotes, but I am getting so frustrated!!!

Major gripe numero uno of my job search thus far…PEOPLE NOT GETTING BACK TO YOU!! Lately I have noticed the striking similarities between the interview process and the dating process. You go on that first interview (first date) and feel each other out. You may think it went really well and they may think otherwise or vice versa. Either way, it usually ends with those three little words…”I’ll call you.” Why, oh why do people say they are going to call and then make me sleep with my phone under my pillow waiting for said call?? Thank you to all those people who did get back to me, whether it was good news or bad…but for those of you that simply never called, never responded to my follow-up emails, etc…shame on you! One extremely well-known PR firm in particular whose name I won’t mention but who really should know better promised to call me “either way”…I’m still waiting…

My other issue is that maybe I am living in a dream world, and not factoring in the whole economic meltdown, but I think there is a certain amount that is needed to live and work in Manhattan. How some positions can expect their employees to live off what they are offering is unreal to me…I mean, I totally get that times are tough, but rent is still rent and bills are still bills. Not all of us have a trust fund or some big savings account to fall back on. I think you get what you pay for and if someone is not willing to pay for talent and experience than they are not are not being realistic about what they can expect from a potential employee.

Am I being crazy for not refusing to settle?? I definitely want a job that I will love and be excited to go to everyday…I am totally willing to prove my worth, and I have always been willing to pay my dues. Life usually throws me opportunities at the randomest times, and most of the choices I have made and chances I have taken have proved worth it in the end. I’m sure whatever I end up doing next will be no exception. Until then, I’ll keep on writing, keep on truckin’ and keep on dreamin’!

For Love or Money?

Lately, in my quest for my dream job, I have been struggling with the familiar internal conflict of a job I love, or a job that will make me rich. Which is more important – money or happiness?

I have always been a firm believer that happiness is more important than money. I have further been a believer that doing something I love will eventually bring the money. Call me a dreamer, call me ignorant or just call me plain crazy, but ever since I was young, I always thought I’d be rich and famous for something. When I was really young, I wanted to be a marine biologist, mostly because I thought dolphins, sea lions and whales were really cute. That dream died when I found out that being a “marine biologist” wasn’t just swimming with dolphins every day, and oh yeah, I was really bad at science…

When I got a little older I realized that I was a born writer. I started writing a Nancy Drew type novel when I was in elementary school called “The Adventures of Jillian Rhonda.” The yet to be published mystery was tragically accidently erased from our old computer and was never recovered…

When I was in high school I decided that I would be an investigative reporter or a war correspondent. It was then that the alias “Allie Waters” was born. I was sure I would be on CNN with bombs exploding behind my head or writing for the NY Times.

When I got to college I found my niche to be more of a feature writer. I wrote for our college newspaper for a couple semesters as a news editor but longed for more interesting assignments beyond campus construction and the played out “dry campus” controversy. It was then that I developed an interest in public relations and marketing. I had a great professor, Gail Alofsin, who runs the Newport Yachting Center in Newport, RI who taught me about the wonderful world of PR and event planning. I even interned there in the summer and helped promote music festivals, food festivals and boat shows. It was a learning experience and sparked a new interest for me beyond journalism.

After college I took some time to find myself, taking various jobs from marketing at a hotel, to waitressing at a slew of hot spots on the water in RI. In my spare time I was a freelance writer for The Newport Mercury which was the closest thing to my dream job I’ve had to date. Only problem was that it paid barely a 100 dollars a week. It was more of a hobby than a career but brought me more inspiration and pride than I had felt in years. Having people read and praise my quirky articles about bars and restaurants in town was an amazing feeling.

So flash forward to the present. I had a good run working at a boutique PR firm, excelling at the creativity and social media aspects of the job. I found a new love for blogging, social networking and technology.

So now, as I try to determine what the perfect job for me will be, the job that will make me rich AND famous (and by famous, I mean well-known and respected in my field and invited to fun events and parties, not like “Paris Hilton famous”) I continue to wonder, If I stick to what I love and what I know I’m good at, will success inevitably follow? Is it really that simple, or will I have to at some point, give up on my dreams to make the big bucks? For now, however naive it may sound, I am sticking to my guns and holding out for a job that will allow me to do what I love…and from there…I know the money will come! Until then, you can find me tucked away in a coffee shop writing on my laptop by day, and maybe waiting tables at a local hot spot near you by night…