Ask A Woman
Early in 1997, the nation's largest organization of working women -- the AFL-CIO, with 5.5 million women members -- set out to learn about the issues that shape women's lives on and off the job..... (more)
Ask Her No Questions, She'll Tell You No Lies
I can feel their eyes looking up at me as I set their drinks down. I know what's coming.
"Are you a student?"
I used to make up a new answer with every table. School wasn't a part of my life at all when I first started waiting tables, but each day for a few hours, I suddenly became a UC student, a private-school student, never a community college student -- that was too lowly. Especially when an explanation to justify my existence meant getting hopelessly behind... (more)
At Last, Cards for Girls!
I've never paid much attention to collectable cards. Collecting and trading them seemed like something boys did, and the dark images on most of the cards I'd seen didn't attract me. But L. A. Leis' Fortune Teller Collectibles are a different story; would you believe cards for those of us with X chromosomes? ... (more)
Barkeep, Pour Me Another One!
BARTENDING TRICKS, just like those of a magician, tend to be sacred, but signing up for a bartending course can get just about anybody conversant with blue liqueurs, exotic aperitifs, fruit-flavored mixers and a variety of bar equipment -- enough to keep the party going.
Two out of three. Not bad...(more)
Bittersweet Reflections: A Life-time in the Military
I started out in Air Cadets at the young age of 13. Then from there I quit high school and joined the military at age 17. Being so young, the military became my surrogate family, as it did for many of the young recruits. Like all families, memories of the times we spent together were bittersweet, like all families there were good times and bad.... (more)
Why is it that all cable guys are so good looking? I wonder what their interviews are like. Do the cable execs take them in a room, have them hand over an 8 X 10 glossy, then last, but not least, have them bend over to look at their rear before hiring them? I was just wondering, because every cable guy that has ever come to my house has been a stud with a capital S!! (Okay, okay, I'm an old woman, but I can still appreciate!) It's so comforting to know that I can still count on a few things: Death, taxes, and a good looking CABLEMAN!...(more)
Capital Resources for Women
The SBA has just announced the funding of 25 new Women's Business Centers around the country. With the addition these newly funded centers, there are now 80 Women's Business Center around the country that provided women with the training they need to become business owners.... (more)
Caytalyst reports that women held only 3% of the "clout" positions in corporate America. Even those who are senior managers earn only 60% of what white women earn, and more than half of all black women who work full-time earn less than $25,000 a year. A mere 11% of the Fortune 500's corporate officers are female....(more)
Daring Women and Pregnant Bellies
The funkiest thing I have ever done didn't happen when I was a crazy teen or in my daring 20ss. It happened, oddly enough, after I became a mom. I was pregnant with my third child, in my early 30s and decided to create a permanent reminder of my final pregnancy. I made a belly cast.
A pregnancy belly cast or a belly mask is a sculpted replica of a pregnant torso. I first saw one on display at a feminist bookstore. I was shocked at the actual size of a pregnant belly and in awe at the daring woman who allowed her form to be captured in that fashion.... (more)
Day Job: A Work Place Reader for the Restless Age
It's 9:34 a.m. Do you know where your career is headed? Do you have one? More likely, you'd never call what you do from 9 to 5 a career. You'd call it your day job.
And what if you were given a single day to record it all, to ask the important questions about life and career, to air out you strongest and most private opinions and thoughts... (more)
Diary of a Stripper
7am. Bob kisses my ear. He strokes my bare shoulders then slides his hands across my back. I moan. This might be a massage, how wonderful. Actually it's foreplay. I keep my eyes closed and feign sleep. I'm not in the mood. I'm still tired. Bob goes downstairs. I stay in bed.
8am. I put on running shoes, shorts and two sports bras. I dig out the Crystal Method tape from the cassette drawer and pop it in my walkman. Then I head out to my favorite set of stairs and start running, 183 steps up, 183 steps down, for 40 breathless minutes.....(more)
Nancy Drew Grows Up
As a child I could think of several different jobs for which I was phenomonally qualified. I could be a detective, doctor, waitress, lawyer, teacher or gymnast. I could even be an actress in potato chip commercials, eat all the chips I wanted, grin about how great they are, and get paid to do it. I wasn't sure which vocation would bring me the most joy and sense of accomplishment, but I knew I'd be good at any one of those things. Even without any practical knowledge or natural talent. I had big dreams....(more)
Excerpt from The Girl With The Airforce Blues
When I was 18, the only career opportunities available to a high school graduate in Atascadero, California were at a fast food restaurant or the state hospital for the criminally insane. As soon as I got my diploma, I knew I had to get out of town.
That's how I found myself standing with two dozen strangers on an endless slab of cement. We'd been lined up in four columns according to height, taller people in front. I stood in the left rear corner of the formation. Even as my breath formed clouds in the chilly November air, I felt beads of sweat running down the sides of my face.....(more)
Existentialism As A Career Choice
I frequently joke about being in my "fourth" career; however, I realize that it is only now that I am actually starting my vocation. My three previous professions have actually been a long form of occupational education.
Since junior high I've wanted to write and to be a writer.... (more)
Fight for Your Right to Waitress
In upscale European eateries along the East Coast, waiting tables can be a lucrative position. So lucrative, in fact, that in some restaurants women are barred from doing it. Bowing to the bizarre but firmly held belief that having one's order taken by a man is somehow more dignified, many of the finest restaurants continue to employ a male-only waitstaff, despite hiring women in other positions.... (more)
Finances for Newlyweds
Often the biggest difference between living together and getting married lies in sharing the finances. Making decisions about combining and spending the money you make can be more fraught with emotion than the decision to tie the knot! It's no secret that it's easier to decide how to save money than to figure out how what you have should be spent. Here's some advice culled from Strong Investments, Inc. about how to figure it all out.....(more)
Find A Job.com
A solid resume does you no good without an abundant source of job listings to which you can apply. Job Search Engines are a effective tool for research on what jobs and positions are available. Snagging your next job online is easy if you know how to point and click..... (more)
Freelance Writing from Home
My best friend suggested I treat myself to a lavish office holiday party this year. Even though I'm a one-woman business, I should still celebrate, she said.
I agreed, but decided to keep the bash small. For a change of scenery, the event will be held outside my office (which doubles as my dining room), but somewhere nearby (probably my living room). Employees (me) are encouraged to invite their significant others, and discouraged from talking shop at the event....(more)
From AV in NYC to MAC in LA
Once upon a time I was a young professional doing video/audio-visual production and photography in NYC. (I was, and always will be, into making the world a better place so I last worked at the United Jewish Appeal/Fed of Jewish Philanthropies.) At 26 I hit the road, backpacking around the world for a few years. (I did a bit of freelance writing but pretty much just lived and experienced.) Upon my return I didn't want to go backwards so I came to San Diego... but landed in LA. Letting the then-man-in-my-life influence me, I got into selling computers. That led to my discovery of two things: (1) with a Mac I could do video production and special effects (it was 1989 and the Mac was an SE) and (2) I hated sales.....(more)
Lynda Quirino admits that what she does in her spare time might not appeal to everyone. In fact, it might actually seem a little odd. But she doesn't mind. She loves what she does and gets to meet lots of really nice people. Really nice living people, although she meets a few dead ones too. It comes with the job.....(more)
Life in Corporate America
One day, while walking down the street, a highly successful executive woman was tragically hit by a bus and killed. Her soul arrived up in Heaven, where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself.
"Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in, though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had an executive make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you."
"No problem-just let me in," said the woman.
"Well, I'd like to, but I have higher orders. What we're going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven,... (more)
Making a Case For Black Women Business Owners
Forming, growing and maintaining a business is tough, but it is especially challenging for African-American women, according to studies sponsored by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.
"Many women quit jobs and go into business because of issues such as the glass ceiling, but African-American women in particular face special odds in trying to succeed," says Sharon Hadary, the foundation's executive director...(more)
Moxie Meets Amazon
Playful, lyrical, colorful and bold, their work sparks energy all around.
Sound like art? Classical music? Couture clothing? A gourmet meal?
In a way it's all those things.
It's AMAZON, a San Francisco ad agency that capitalizes on women's strengths. It's the lost art of business as self-expression..... (more)
My Life As A Pychotic, I Mean Psychic
Not long ago, my father, a scientifically-minded fellow, was asked by some of the fellows at work what his daughter was currently doing for a living. Was she still working as an actress, performing in all of those Shakespearean plays? Or was she teaching children's theater at schools across the state, as she had done a few years back?
My father paused, considering how he could best answer their questions. He had worked with most of these men for years, sharing statistical and computing tasks as a group of acoustical engineers working with submarine technology. These were practical, left-brained, people. Should he tell them the truth about his daughter's work? He took a deep breath and decided to go for it. "She's a -- psychotic. I mean, a psychic."...(more)
Notices Of An Airwoman
I took up aviation at age 28, when I was working in a psychiatric hospital. I had a job counseling mentally ill adults there. Daily, I got glimpses of abuse, neglect and dysfunction, and unknowingly became immune to its effect. For a year I lived in denial, and became a depressed blob. It took the cumulative effect of time and experience to feel the full weight of what was pulling me down. The sink was subtle..... (more)
The Other Side of Saturday Night
At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night, most people are getting ready for a night on the town. Qorey Golob, on the other hand, is standing in the bathroom of E & O Trading Company, one of downtown San Francisco's chic eateries, pulling her waist length hair into a soft bun and trying to get dried, red paint out from underneath her fingernails. A painter and sculptor, who moonlights as a waitress to pay the bills, Saturday night is one of Qorey's best nights to make money.... (more)
Red Dust, Blue Sky
Renee was the only female on a construction site in New Mexico the summer she turned 25. She threw adobe and laid bricks for an apartment complex near Santa Fe. On that site, she learned to stand her ground -- and found the strength she needed to prevent something terrible from happening. This is her story.... (more)
Rock and Roll Nurse
I never did exactly see myself in a nurturing role. As a 22-year old writing student who drinks and smokes a little too much and stays out too late, objectively you might say I need a little looking after myself. I can't keep a plant alive, can't keep my bathroom clean, and my brief relationship with my house cat, Ginger, was terminated because I couldn't take the responsibility (she now lives in Queens with an older and more stable friend). When we had to grow alfalfa sprouts in little Styrofoam cups in second grade, I think mine died.... (more)
Sex Toy Store
It wasn't like I was a stranger to talking about sex. I mean, I did disclose all the gory details about my first sexual encounter with public radio listeners all over the country. I was pretty used to talking about sex with complete strangers. So when a friend and I were looking through the classifieds one night and he suggested that I respond to the "help wanted" ad for Toys in Babeland, I wasn't freaked about the sex part of the job.... (more)
Sex Workers in South Africa
Today, one of the only ways to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS is abstinence. It's easy to suggest that the general population should stay away from multiple sexual partners, but what if sex is your job?
The sex industry has been looked down upon by society for centuries, and is now seen as a big contributor to the high HIV/AIDS rate in South Africa.... (more)
Tips for Hiring Women
The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation. This was serious and written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II--a mere 54 years ago.... (more)
Two Wives' Tales
Eternal winter is
A woman veiled in spring.
I asked the winds,
Please caress our arms
Deep in our abayas;
Release our buried souls
From winter hibernation.....(more)
Must be willing to sit up late at night
and back rubs
Must be a good listener.
Must know when to......(more)
When The Wife Earns More
Women determined to make a success of their career in any field often decide to remain single. The reason is obvious marriage could bring complications when a wife brings in a five-figure income and the husband earns a four-figure one. With corporate salaries soaring, these problems are getting more common than, say, they were a decade ago. Marriage threatens not only the career prospects of the wife, but even the harmony and peace that is anticipated in an ideal marriage. Much more than money is at stake when financial roles are reversed. The "rules" of a marriage can change in unexpected ways....(more)
Winter Wailings of a Won Ton Waitress
On a stormy February eve,
She was serving a Pu Pu
He'd taken a liking to hers.
Those damn Snowmen
They all melted out of her life,
Leaving wet dirty puddles inside her
And on the sheets..... (more)
The Woman's Business Therapist
The 12 Most Valuable Lessons to Help Women Business Owners Succeed
Eight million women business owners generate over three trillion dollars annually, and they already employ nearly 30% of the work force. Women across the country are making a huge difference in the workplace and business arena. Their enormous economic and social impact is also being felt in their personal lives, in their communities and around the globe.....(more)
The Women Build Movement
On June 13, 1999, Habitat for Humanity San Francisco (HHSF) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the first home designed, funded, and built by women. The partner family HHSF selected for this home is an African American single mother, Priscilla Reynolds, and her three children (2 daughters and a son).... (more)
Work Virus Warning
There is a new virus going around, called "work." If you receive any sort of "work" at all, whether via email, internet or simply handed to you by a colleague...DO NOT OPEN IT.
This has been circulating around our building for months and those who have been tempted to open "work" or even look at "work" have found that their social life is deleted and their brain ceases to function properly..... (more)
Zanny's Coffee Bar
In the large picture window, two kids are seated on leopard print stools at the bar, playing chess and drinking smoothies. A grad student from Columbia University works on a laptop in a comfortable corner, and a teacher from across the street examines the art collection on the wall while waiting for his mocha. Behind the counter a young woman works the register, her brown hair tied back in a pony tail. In a society where suited older men have typically defined the business world, one would assume that she's just another Columbia kid, working the registers part time. But at age 27, Susannah Koteen is challenging that definition at her unique coffee bar called Zanny's. ....(more)