If it's a story about me, then I'll say so up front.

This is a blog about Truth, Justice and the American Way. The stories are true. No names have been changed to protect anyone's identity, including my own. If the story is about me, then I'll say so right up front. If I don't use a name to identify whom the story is about, then it's because it's not relevant. So please do not call me or e-mail me with your kind condolences or unwarranted congratulations about something that you believe is a cleverly disguised bio from my alter ego. These stories, like my photo, are unretouched.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Go Ahead -- Dare to Fail

My friend’s Broadway show is closing on Sunday after only 45 performances. He’s a big star and it was a major show, but it never sold more than 23% of the seats. It will probably lose money. Speaking of losing money, another friend of mine in New York City discovered last week that his new business partner has stolen $50,000 from the company. He’s filing a lawsuit this week.

We’ve all heard that old phrase, “Failure is not an option.” Horsefeathers! Failure is always a possibility. The only way to avoid failure is by never trying and if we never try, nothing will ever move forward.

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

Me, I’ve got experience up the wazoo. Horrific failures (my ex-husband comes right to mind). But it’s OK. Because I learn a little something every time I fail. And as we all know, going to school isn’t free. It costs something to go to school – money, time, self-esteem. But it’s a necessary process to avoid repeating something stupid, like marrying another scummy lawyer. (And, trust me on this, that’s a lesson that you want to avoid at all costs!)

The only guaranteed way to avoid failure is by never taking a chance. At the same time, the only guaranteed way to avoid success is by never taking a chance. The economy sucks (this is big news?) and the odds are against your success. People will disappoint you. They will break your heart. But what’s the option? To never experience the thrill of seeing your face on the cover of New York magazine? To never expand your company? To never find true love or the job of your dreams?

Roll the dice. Be willing to fail – it’s not the worst thing that can happen. After all, you could be married to a lawyer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

Being out of work has a number of down sides – the ability to pay the rent comes right to mind. But an additional disadvantage is the lack of opportunity for business travel. Since this is, first and foremost, a business blog, it behooves me to bring to your attention a new survey conducted by Hilton Hotels and printed in the March 9, 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine revealing that women love business travel more than men do, and why.

It turns out that women like to have someone clean up after them. This is not so important to a man, probably because he already has a maid at home that does that for him every day (it’s called a wife). For a woman, having someone make her breakfast is a huge treat. For a man, it’s just another Tuesday.

I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I do when I check into a hotel room is dump the entire contents of my purse on the bed (hopefully the second bed in the room). I never get the chance to clean out my purse at home, but in a hotel room, the night before the conference starts, I have time to do those things that I can't do at home.

For instance (and this may seem gross to some people, so just avert your eyes if you can't handle it) the second thing I do is cut my toenails. Yes! It isn't like I couldn't do it at home, but there is always something more pressing to do. But alone in a hotel room, I can do as I please. I can watch TV till 2:00 a.m. without anyone bitching at me about turning out the light. I can wander around naked without fear that my son will bump into me on the way out of the bathroom. I can order room service and I don't even have to wash the dishes afterwards.

I can "organize" my makeup, because in a good hotel there is always lots of room on the bathroom counter. My bathroom at home never has that much counter space. So I lay all of my makeup out for the next day, lining up my brushes and wiping the stray eyeliner shavings off the lipsticks with a Kleenex. I know that I am not alone in this ritual because it’s the exact same thing that George Clooney did when he checked into a new hotel in Up in the Air.

Another great thing about business travel is luggage. I have a confession: I am a luggage slut. I have stupid amounts of luggage. I like the “features.” The pop-up handle; the four wheels that spin in every direction; the multiple pockets with zippers…..ooooh, I love the zippers. I have a lot of black luggage, because then when you travel with multiple pieces, they all match….sort of. But lately my favorite is a bright red carry-on. I used to over-pack like crazy but no more. Now I can (and did) travel from my home in Hawaii to a mainland business conference and then directly on to a three-week vacation in Europe with nothing more than a carry-on. I’ve learned to co-ordinate everything around one color. Thus, when I travel I wear more black than a Muslim widow.

I’d like to say that I came upon this wonderful Hilton survey all by myself, but the truth is that I got turned on to it by a business contact, Carol Margolis, who writes about travel at Pearls of Travel Wisdom (you can find her link in “My Favorite Blogs” on the right side of this page). I like Carol partly because she always has good info but also because she is the only person I know with even more luggage than me. How can you not love any woman who actually features photos of her luggage collection on her website?

Anyway, you can read the whole article about the Hilton survey in Inc. online at
http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2010/03/survey-suggests-women-like-business-travel.html, but be prepared to be shocked when you discover the bizarre array of stuff that people steal from hotel rooms. We’re not just talking about the occasional robe (although Carol does admit that a particularly soft pair of Fairmont Hotel slippers “just fell into my bag …. seriously!”). According to this survey, 2% of the guests admitted to filching the iron, alarm clock, lamps, even artwork. Artwork???

In any case, I believe that the main reason women such as myself like business travel so much is that it allows us to pamper ourselves without feeling guilty. It’s the one time I don’t have to put someone else’s needs ahead of my own. For just a few days, I’m king of the castle and I’ll do as I please. Hey, maybe I'll take a big, long, undisturbed BATH! But you can be assured that I won't take the towels or the bathrobe. Hey, I have standards – they are low, to be sure – OK, real low, but still.......

All this talk about business travel is reminding me that I need to go out there and find a job – preferably one that requires occasional travel because my purse is getting out of control, my suitcase collection is lonely, and I have an extensive business wardrobe (I’m a bit of a clothes horse) that is currently gathering dust. Frankly, I’m all dressed up with no place to go. Bummer.