July 2007


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Yesterday I read an article from MSNBC that talked about how gender influences salary discussions. “Salary, gender and the social cost of haggling” exposed different reasons as to why women earn less money. In the article several points were discussed but two caught my attention.

One of the points why women do not earn more money is because they do not ask. In the article, they have cited examples and group test whereby women asked for less or simply didn’t ask at all for a raise or more opportunities or more responsibility, etc. This made me think of the times I have been faced with salary negotiation issues. In a way, I feel I am improving. For my last job, I was a bit more comfortable and I felt I have more grounds to negotiate, yet with my previous jobs I just took whatever they offered. And even with that I felt bad taking it, even though I was a hard and diligent worker. Why do women feel so guilty when asking for money??? Is it something embedded in our brains from the ideals of the 1950s when women were solely dependent on their husbands??? What is it that makes us so scared???

The other point that caught my eye was that when entering negotiations and if the woman was direct and negotiated accordingly, she was in danger of being viewed as a “bitch”. Which in turn the woman will sense that and scale down the negotiations, resulting in less money. This made me think of that wonderful movie that I have quoted many times before “The Devil Wears Prada”. In it Miranda, the head editor of Runway magazine, is shrewd and conniving and gets what she wants. But if you have seen the movie, she is regarded as the biggest bitch of all. Yet, Andy, her assistant, explains (while having dinner in Paris) that if she were a man it would not be the same. And I would agree. How many men do all of us know who are powerful and wealthy? Now out of those men, who are fun loving and just extremely compassionate souls (especially in the work force)??? I would be so bold as to say very few…The truth is that in business if you want to get ahead you need to make cut throat choices. Those choices when made by men are accepted by society, but when made by women they are viewed in a negative manner.

So what is a damsel in distress supposed to do…well, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t…so make your choice…

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In years past, we have observed several wars between the East and West Coasts. I personally like both very much. I have lived in both coasts and I feel they both have their pros and cons, just like any other place. Lately though, I have been encountering and becoming very aware of some interesting behaviors.

I have lived now in Miami, Atlanta and currently I am in Providence, RI. I feel that in these cities I have lived in and in some that I have travelled to (including Boston and NYC) I have encountered a considerable amount of people that “hate” a lot of things. For example, my roommate I think hates almost every actress imaginable. My coworkers hate pretty much everything on the face of the earth. Miamians hate all cars other than their own. Atlantan’s hate everyone who is not in their own clique. Those are funny observations, but a lot of people just say or start sentences with “oh, I hate…” I find the expressions quite funny but lately I just hear the “word” all the time. And maybe I am not that used to it anymore since I was recently living in the West Coast. But it made me think…Is the glass half empty for the East Coasters???

Now, in the West Coast, most people were generally happy. I mean I met people that were dirt poor, with debt coming out of their ears but they still spent more money and laughed more. It was sort of annoying at the beginning, and I could remember getting upset at such people and calling them naïve and stupid, but they were just…“oh I love this or that…” People mainly focused on the things that they liked or they enjoyed and became willfully blind to all the things that were negative. Some will regard this behavior as naïve or “fake” but by one not acknowledging the hardships of everyday…could that make you happier in today’s world??? Is the glass half full in the West Coast???

Regardless of the glass being half empty or half full, it is the same glass with the same water. People will have problems regardless of location. But it is all about attitude and how you approach situations. I’m generally a happy person by nature. It is the thing that has me kept going for a long time. It is my life source and what fuels me. But I find that my way of being upsets most East Coasters, regardless if I am in sunny Miami or gloomy Boston. I find the same negative response. When I was in LA, I found most people thought I was funny or sort of fun to be around. Maybe they were faking their acceptance…but who cares…I felt better…

So I guess, for today…I want the glass to be half full. And even if it is not true and honest at the end of the day it is the same thing regardless of whatever coast. I just plainly like happy people more than bitter old complainers who just can’t see the bright side of anything!!!

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I’m sorry I haven’t posted so often lately, but I have been dealing with the roommate issue, planning a birthday and a trip, getting ready for a state audit, getting board reports ready, majorly studying for the GMAT, and exercising like a mad woman.

So, I have a love-hate relationship with this song from the latest album “Light Grenades” by Incubus. What the song is saying is true but at the same time it sucks to be the one that is hurt and on the receiving side. Sooo…read on…if you want listen please do and let me know what you think…

Love Hurts

Tonight we drink to youth
And holding fast to truth
(I don’t want to lose what I had as a boy.)
My heart still has a beat
But love is now a feat.
(As common as a cold day in LA.)
Sometimes when I’m alone, I wonder
Is there a spell that I am under
Keeping me from seeing the real thing?

Love hurts…
But sometimes it’s a good hurt
And it feels like I’m alive.
Love sings,
When it transcends the bad things.
Have a heart and try me,
’cause without love I won’t survive.

I’m fettered and abused,
I stand naked and accused
(Should I surface this one man submarine?)
I only want the truth
So tonight we drink to youth!
(I’ll never lose what I had as a boy.)
Sometimes when I’m alone I wonder
Is there a spell that I am under
Keeping me from seeing the real thing?

Love hurts…
But sometimes it’s a good hurt
And it feels like I’m alive.
Love sings,
When it transcends the bad things.
Have a heart and try me,
’cause without love I won’t survive.

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So, you look at your life and you are cruising. You have a job, you have enough money, and your personal life is okay. You are not worried about making ends meet or anything of the sort. And then suddenly out of nowhere…the unexpected happens. Your roof caves in and ruins all of your furniture, a hurricane comes by and blows your house, or you get fired, or your roommate tells you she is leaving in a month. The latter happened to me yesterday. Not the end of the world, but still unexpected. I feel that in our 20s even when we are “cruising”, we don’t allow too much room for the unexpected.

I read yesterday an article about how you should invest for your future. Anyways, when I was done reading the article I looked at my bank account and I frowned. I have a lot of work to do in the savings area. I mean I have some savings, but if the roofed caved in let’s just say I’d be fu*c#ed!!!!

Some people live their lives cushioning for the unexpected and some don’t. Some just live in the moment. I have managed to live in the don’t have any cushion side of things and it’s not as glamorous. Planning for the unexpected, I feel is something that comes with age. Or with maturity better said. And unexpected things involve not only financial matters, but matters of the heart as well. We cannot rely on our partners, lovers, friends or family to be there for us always. It is nice that there are there for us, but when they aren’t will you be able to make it without them???

I guess the question is are we prepared for when the unexpected happens???

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Una mujer exquisita no es aquella que más hombres tiene a sus pies, si no aquella que tiene uno solo, al que hace, y la hace realmente feliz…

Una mujer hermosa no es la más joven, ni la más flaca, ni la que tiene el cutis más terso o el cabello más llamativo… es aquella que con tan solo una sonrisa y un buen consejo puede alegrarte la vida…

Una mujer valiosa no es aquella que tiene más títulos, ni más cargos académicos, es aquella que sacrifica su sueño por hacer felices a los suyos, si estos lo merecen….

Una mujer exquisita no es la más ardiente, sino la que vibra al hacer al amor solamente con el hombre que ama…

Una mujer interesante no es aquella que se siente halagada por ser admirada por su belleza y elegancia… es aquella mujer firme de carácter que puede decir NO.

Y un hombre, un hombre exquisito, es aquel que valor a una mujer así…

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Congratulations to my fellow Colombian Juan Mauricio Soler…for winning one of the hardest climbs (stage 9) of the Tour de France!!!

From Forbes:

“Juan Mauricio Soler became the latest Colombian to show climbing prowess at the Tour de France, attacking in the last of three major ascents and holding off a pack of chasers to win the ninth stage on Tuesday.

Soler, a 24-year-old Colombian competing in his first Tour for the newcomer Barloworld team, finished the 99.1-mile ride from Val d’Isere to Briancon in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 24 seconds.”

He Papa…Felicitaciones a Juan Mauricio Soler…por ganar una de las etapas más difíciles del Tour de Francia. Viva Colombia!!!

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(Bear with me a bit…I’ll ramble for a while…but I do have a point at the end)

I mentioned once before that I am a big fan of Madonna. In her last CD, Confessions of a Dance Floor, track number 8, Jump, starts out and I quote “the more time that you wait, the more time that you waste”…

Coincidentally, this past weekend I was bored out of my mind and I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” where they play the same song…

As I was growing up one of the points my dad kept on ingraining into my head was the following: “You need to have long term goals and you need to have short term goals”. That statement sort of baffled me. How can I define the time frames? How was I supposed to know what was short term? Was it a week? A month? A year? Where was there a break between long and short? I never was able to get it.

I moved to Providence, RI, about four months ago from Los Angeles. Needless to say, it has been a BIGGGG CHANGE. Going from one of the largest cities in the US to a very small one requires some significant lifestyle adjustments. And in the past four months, I have been questioning my choices. Was this the right move? Should I have stayed in LA longer? Was a year enough to experience the West Coast (previously I lived in Miami)? I just wasn’t sure. And I hate having to second guess myself. And then suddenly, one day, bored, driving aimlessly around RI, I listened to Madonna again.

It dawned on me that there are no set guidelines to define short or long. There are too many variables that go into that equation, such as the situation, the person who it is affecting and many other factors. What one needs to figure out is the variables according to you! How does a situation affect you and what you need to gain or lose from that circumstance? I was in LA for 11 months. To me it still feels like a short time, but in reality if I would have stayed, I would have wasted my time. I was comfortable though and it wasn’t easy to move. I had friends, I had a life and I liked it. It took me a while to get there and to just have to give it up again to start from scratch AGAIN, was not easy. But like I said before, if I was still in California, I would have just wasted my time. The same goes into so many other situations, we do not welcome the change or the challenge because we are so comfortable or we forget to push ourselves. In a way this post is related to one previous post I wrote about Passion Avenue.

If you want to look at example from “The Devil Wears Prada”, Andy stayed working at Runway for less than a year. She knew that she needed a year to get whatever other internship or job she wanted, but life threw her a curved ball and the “time” came up before she planned. She left the magazine, and ran a risk. Not to mention, she was questioned about her choices, but at the end, she was able to achieve what she wanted, and any more time serving Miranda as a glorified and well dressed secretary would have been a waste. This also applies to personal relationships. Sometimes we stay in a relationship because we think we could salvage it or because we think the other person could change. When we know deep inside those things will not change. So we stay and waste our time.

Another thing, my father said to me was “the time you waste, you will never regain”. And that my friends is very true. So, think about it…is it time to break???

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