life, miscellaneous, rant, thoughts, women

Against all odds

Sorry for all of you if I have been quite irregular on this blog lately, but right now,  my computer is letting me down, and so does my mood. I’m in the middle of a big questioning about my career, and I’m seriously thinking about leaving the wonderful world of journalism. Being told many times that I don’t fit in my job, because I’m just a pretty face with a pea sized brain isn’t helping my ego. And I don’t want to become like most of my colleagues who rely heavily on drugs (medicinal or weed) to bear a very demanding and not so grateful job. Lately, all the fights I had with B. and a recent lunch with another CEO made me realize either I had to study again just to get a stupid diploma that would bring me nothing more in my knowledge of the markets, but just gives the impression I’m not stupid or I have to stop following the topics I do the coverage. It’s unfair, but it’s like that in the marvelous world of finance. I don’t know if I want to get that diploma, just to have the privilege to rub shoulders with assholes like B. or other fucked up CEOs who have their nose stuffed with cocaine. The four years I spent in this profession taught me a lot of things, and I’m glad I could travel the world and discover a lot of interesting people asides B. during those trips. I’m also glad that I learned a lot about many things.

The recent testimonies of my fellow journalists like my friend who’s harassed by one of her powerful contacts, the other one who’s very attractive and considered like a prize to win by all of her male contacts, and a male journalist who just chose to drop his investigation on a big scandal because his career was in danger (and  his life too) isn’t helping raising my motivation. Reading the site angryjournalist either.

This industry really makes it hard to do quality anymore. My boss are only concerned about one thing: how the newspaper will get filled everyday. What’s in it, as long as there are scoops, they don’t care anymore. Worse, sometimes, we’re now condemned to write articles on command because of a special ordered by the advertisement department.

This is my rant against this profession which I love less and less everyday.  This is my final rant. It’s time to turn the page.

Don’t worry, I will continue to write on this blog. I just need to clear my mind.

If you had a big career reorientation in your life, feel free to leave a comment.

life, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Don’t stand so close to me

When I was a banker, I remember one female director who tried to score with one of her male employees. He was 5 years younger than her, and married. She, on the other hand, just got divorced. And the separation with her ex-husband didn’t go so smooth. As she was the boss, her employee didn’t have the guts to tell her to drop it. She pursued him with multiple attentions. She called him all the time, including when he was at home after work. All of his colleagues were jealous because they thought he was privileged. But for him, the situation became nightmarish. Since he had the opportunity to change for another company, he chose to ran away from it. When you are in such a situation, this option is probably the best one. He told me that she stopped pursuing him when he left for his new company. But he also told me he changed his phone number, “just in case”.

Unfortunately, this easy way out isn’t always possible when you’re involved in a case of sexual harassment. When you’re a student and promised to a brilliant destiny, you will hesitate to change your school establishment in the middle of the year if one of your professor developed a bit of an obsession with you. When I was in College, my essay promoter (he didn’t try anything with me) had his eyes on a fellow student, who was blonde and had an affection for mini-skirt. She was really attractive, and she was also brilliant. We used to spend our lunch time at the university cafeteria, and so was he. He often went to talk to her at her table. I didn’t hear what he told her. When we had the Journalism ball in the middle of the year, she came with her boyfriend. Our professors, including him, were invited and present there. At the end of the evening, he rushed toward her and her boyfriend, and told her to dump that piece of trash who didn’t deserve her for him. In front of all the students. After that, she became sad, she didn’t make any effort anymore to dress properly. She abandoned her mini-skirts. She told everyone she couldn’t handle the pressures of studying, and that if she had all those high scores, it was because she sacrificed every other aspect of her life. So, just before our sophomore year ended, she quit our College. I still remember some of the male students criticizing her for dressing like a bimbo and reaping only what she sowed. I know she took class to become a pupil teacher afterwards. She could have been a great journalist, but she decided otherwise, because of my professor. Her way out must have been really painful and heart breaking for her. She wanted to be a journalist since she was 8 year-old. It’s hard to assist to that: seeing someone’s dream lost, the one they never thought they would lose.

Recently, one of my friends, who’s also a journalist, told me about her strange experience. She has the impression one of her contacts is constantly playing with her nerves. “It’s a matter of scoops. If I don’t do what he wants, he just chose whoever in another newspaper to give him the scoop, because he knows my chief editor will get mad after me. Example, in a press conference, if I don’t look at him, he will be pissed. If I declined one of his invitations to come with him in a seminar abroad, it’s the same. Recently, there was this big event organized by his company in London, and I refused to go there, simply because it didn’t concern my topic. Just before this, I had an interview with him, and he asked me to respect an embargo. During the event, he spilled all the informations to all the journalists present there, so basically, my interview was simply useless. And our newspaper was the only one not to get the information, because my colleague hadn’t had a clue about what he was talking during the event. It’s like that all of the time” she said. In my professional career, I know that a CEO should never ask you to come directly with him in a press conference or a trip abroad. This task is especially dedicated to the press officer. My friend is afraid of him, because he’s very powerful. I’ve never known my friend so angry all the time. She doesn’t sleep well, she has lost a lot of weight, I’m really worried for her. Maybe she should ask her chief editor to drop the coverage of her sector. When you’re trapped in a situation like that, I think taking your distance is the only way valid. But it’s not easy.

And it’s not because you yield to your harasser’s advance that you’re necessarily done with the harassment. Remember that you can fall under the influence of a narcissistic pervert, who needs you to feed his/her narcissism.

So, have you ever been a victim of sexual/mental harassment? And how did you get out of that situation?

celibacy, humor, life, love, men, relationships, sex, wacky, women

Is it any wonder?

One of my friends always says that the secret of a long lasting relationship relies on two important things: sex and humor. “The first, because it creates a special bond with your partner. But alone, it’s not enough. The second one, because it creates also a special bond with him, but also, it allows you to take the drama out of every situation” she said. So, in a partner, she will seek for sexual compatibility but also a great sense of humor in a potential partner. “That’s the key, I don’t care about anything else” she said.

When you think about it, those two elements combined together make it really hard to find your match. We’re not compatible with everybody sexually speaking, and laughing at someone’s jokes requires you to be on the same wavelength than the other. Have you ever tried to watch a foreign comic show? If it’s the case, did you laugh at all the jokes? Personally, I find it very hard. When I visit my family in the United States, we often watch with my cousins TV shows, and they laugh their ass off the whole time while I laugh from time to time at some of the jokes. There were things like play on words I didn’t catch, or reference to events I didn’t hear about. The reverse situation is also true. My cousin, who speaks French, didn’t laugh so much at the French comedies she saw when she came to visit us.

Of course, there are some universal jokes, that make everyone laugh. Thankfully. Yet, you will have a better chance to fully enjoy a potential partner’s jokes if both of you come from the same background, cultural and social. So, in a sense, this could be a great indicator for finding your match.

However, alone, this element isn’t enough. “I went several times on a date with a guy absolutely funny the whole time. Each time, I spent the whole evening laughing and laughing, I couldn’t help it. But when we got a little bit more intimate, I realized he was using the laughter to hide a huge depression” K., 34, said.

Sigmund Freud had a theory about this phenomenon, it’s called a coping mecanism.

So, do you agree with my friend’s theory?

broken heart, life, love, men, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, women

selfless, cold and composed (part 2)

Recently, one of my friends called me to get my advice on a peculiar situation she’s been experiencing. She’s in a relationship with a guy, but developed a strange friendship with another man, much older than her, and married of course. The friendship is a bit special, because she knows him through her job and he’s one of the external partners of her company. She met him a few months ago, when he arrived in his company. “We are often in contact with each other for work since then, and our conversations remain strictly professional all the time. Yet, I know that I can call him whenever I want if I have a problem and he’s never bothered if I call him in the middle of one of his meetings. I need him for my job, he’s a precious help and it’s mutual” she told me. “I really appreciate his company because he’s one of the few men that consider me for my professional skills and my intelligence, not for my body or my youth. I feel motivated in my job because of him, and he’s constantly congratulating me for my work. He boosts my confidence” she added.

This friendship has become a burden for my friend, though. “Because I spent a lot of time with him on the phone, my colleagues are now convinced we’re having an affair, and I hear whispers about he and I all the time. My boss uses me as an intermediary between him and my contact each time he needs something to be done by him. Everyone is constantly asking me questions about him. I can’t join any conversation with my colleagues without being questioned about him anymore. Some of my colleagues have even stopped talking to me, because they think I’m a homewrecker or a slut for flirting with a married man” she said.

I asked her if her professional contact acted the same way with her than with his collaborators in his company. And she said she noticed that everyone (with some exceptions) reckons the same thing about him: he’s motivating and dynamic.”I’ve know for years his secretary, who was an idiot with no opinion. But since he arrived in his company a few month ago, we started having interesting conversations and she seemed now aware of what’s going on in the company. It wasn’t the case before” she explained.

And I asked her if she has fallen in love with him, and she replied no. “I really like him, but I don’t love him. I love my man. It may be love, but it’s not the same kind of love I feel for my man. I love him as a friend” she said. “Yet, I feel happy because of him. He really came into my life when I was feeling down and useless in my job” she said.

Her friendship has however reached another level recently. “Last week, he called me late in the evening while he was in New York. He just forgot about the time zone when he called, that’s why, and he apologized for that. But he asked me to call him when he would get back from the Big Apple, for business of course. I called him, and our conversation remained strictly professional. Yet, just before I hang up, he had those words toward me: I’m delighted to see you tomorrow. We had a meeting the day after” she said. “The D Day, I didn’t know what to expect from him, and I was very nervous to see him again. Our meeting was very strange: he didn’t look at me at all during it, focusing his attention to his collaborator. He was cold, composed and selfless with me. I’ve known him much more outgoing, and I must say I was a little bit hurt by that” she said.

Personally, I think she and him are in the middle of a situation that’s getting a little bit out of their hands, and they try their possible not to fall in love with each other. I told my friend I really can’t tell how things will evolve between them, maybe in a few months, the tension between them would ease, maybe it will grow into something else. I told my friend to try focusing on something else, and to try remain selfless and composed with him. And that she should remain mum about him at work, replying simply to all questions about him by a mere “I don’t know”. People will stop quickly being too curious.

What do you think?

life, love, men, miscellaneous, wacky, women

Meme pas peur*

* a play on the word meme associated with fear (absence of it, in fact)

Last Spartan asked me to post six random things about me. Très cher, I’ve already done my task a few months ago. But anyway, I will do this one, with a twist however. Here are the new rules:

  1. Describe your desk at the office or at home
  2. Put a picture of it if you can
  3. Explain why you sort it (or don’t)
  4. Tag other people

OK. I couldn’t take a picture of mine, because right now, we’re in the middle of a reorganization of the newsroom, and my desk looks like this.

Usually, it looks more like this.

No, it’s not true, it’s a little bit more tidy than that. But generally, I’m ashamed to let my contacts see it because it’s not tidy at all to my eyes. I feel a little bit like Christina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, when she let Dr. Burke see her apartment for the first time.

You can find on my desk: numerous newspapers, mainly the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Le Soir and mine plus piles of magazines like The Economist, many dictionaries (one for English, the other for Dutch, another one for synonyms, and one for grammar), tons of notebooks and printed documents, lots of ballpoint pens, some books about economics and various objects I received from my press trips. Among them, there are treasure of stupid and useless gifts, like this one:

A part of the four collectibles I received when those two companies merged last year. When we got it, a banker who was sitting next to me looked at it with horror and told me he thought the bear was fornicating with something (then he realized it was a bull).

And this other one:

This picture was given to me and the other journalists in the room when we visited Oulu in Finland. There are so many things happening there that when our plane touched down at the local airport, a journalist and a photographer from the local newspaper were waiting for our arrival. Thanks to them, I’m a celebrity now (there was an article about us with a picture showing my hair in that newspaper)… Each time I get visitors at my desk, people just can’t help asking who’s this guy on this picture, and I reply that he’s my Finnish lover.

So, why don’t I sort my desk? Well, because I don’t have time for that.

Even if I changed the rules, this is still a tag, so it has to be passed. Cricket, Last Spartan (retour d’ascenseur), WishBoNE, Raindreamer, E., WISGF and DDTD, it’s your turn.

PS: this article gave me the inspiration for this tag…

life, love, men, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, women

Space and time

Do you believe in fairy tales? And do you believe your love life can turn into a fairy tale? Personally, I don’t. DDTD wrote an excellent post on that topic, I invite you (urge you) to read it. Yet, I’ve met a lot of women who told me they wish to live such a romance, maybe they’ve been influenced heavily by the media, as DDTD wrote.

When you think about it, our human condition makes it simply impossible to live like in a fairy tale. If it’s the case, then you’re probably denying reality. Cinderella, Snow White,…never had any “technical” problem in their existence (except maybe dealing with mice and a pumpkin for the first, and with dwarves for the second).  Life has just funny ways on sneaking up on us. In real life, the not so charming prince might get lost in his way to our castle, or he could simply be already engaged to someone else. Or the prince charming might not be interested in the opposite sex.  Fairies don’t exist and if they do, well, they might be evil because have you noticed how events can turn against you when you’re having a bad day?

Yet, I believe it’s possible to live moments of fairy tales, but they’re characterized by their ephemeral appearances. I’ve asked around me about those fairy tales moment, and this is what I got:

It’s when he comes and pick me at work, without telling me before, or just invites me to the restaurant when I’m tired and done with my job, or just takes me away abroad during a week-end. Everything that makes me forget about reality, for a moment”I., 34, said.

A day without arguing with him” O., 35, said.

Moments that we spend together, and that end up without any incident. It’s something exceptional in my family life”L., 40, said.

Everything that breaks our routine. It’s not usual, unfortunately, but that’ s what make it special”P., 36, said.

If he tells me: today, you’re gonna buy the pair of shoes/ dress/ handbag you like and with my credit card. It happened only once…”M., 30, said.

So, what are your fairy tales moment(s)?



life, men, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

Open you eyes

Among my colleagues, there’s a male journalist I don’t particularly get along with, and who’s referred to all of us as the sperm donor. We gave him that nickname because once, one of my former colleagues who’s 40, complained she was getting too old to get pregnant and that she didn’t have anyone in her life to impregnate her. So, naturally, my  twisted colleague, in his big leniency, offered her to have his semen (he wasn’t more  specific about the method he would use to give her that liquid). He’s also known to all of us as a ladykiller, at least, a wannabe. He had tried with every female journalist in the newsroom, including me, even if they were married or in a relationship.  On top of that, he’s stubborn, and talking with him rapidly turns into a real nightmare because he’s convinced he’s right all the time. So, everyone in the newsroom carefully avoids him.

Yet, this man has helped me to open my eyes on some aspects of my life. Last year, as I was battling with D., he made me realize before thing turned sour with D. that he was only a self-center douchebag. When D. arrived in our newsroom, he encountered problems with his boss (a true moron) and he was a little depressed by that. As I hated his boss, I offered him my help by cheering him up. And I got thanked a lot for that. Our sperm donor didn’t warn me directly D. was just a douche, but once, he made me realize that D. didn’t care at all about me with just a little box of chocolate. One of our national companies sent us boxes of chocolate and roses, and I was a little annoyed by the fact I couldn’t take the roses back to home, as I had to leave for a seminar abroad in the next three hours. So, our sperm donor came to my desk and offered me to exchange my flowers for a box of chocolate, and had those words toward me: “I know you like chocolate”.

I barely talk to him, but he knows some important facts about me. D., on the contrary, spent a lot of time with me, but was unable to tell that about me, because he was constantly focusing on his own person.

More recently, our sperm donor (SD) stroke back. One of my professional contacts is constantly calling me to congratulate me for the articles I write about his company. He’s acting like a kitten with me, very mellow and flattering. Since he endorsed his function (it’s been 7 months now), I’ve written  an article for each of his (numerous) achievements in the company. I have to, these are important. Besides, this is the main subject I cover for my newspaper. But just before I was leaving for my holidays, our sperm donor had to interview him on another topic, and my contact sent him before the interview the questions he wanted SD to ask him. SD came to see me with the list, because he had a problem with it: not only, it was completely out of his topic, but it also covered every article I wrote about my contact. SD eventually made his interview without mentioning any of the questions asked by my contact.  SD told me that I did enough coverage of his company, and that we shouldn’t give him much publicity. He also wrote a small biography of him in our newspaper, and it made my contact appear like a wacko and a boot licker.

So, have you ever been helped/ guided in the good direction by a person you don’t necessarily like?

life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

Lipstick jungle

One of my colleagues recently told me about a strange thing he noticed with a press officer we both know. Since we meet her for the first time, she has always left us with the impression she doesn’t give a damn about her look. Once, I went to a press conference she organized, and I noticed she put her shirt on the wrong side. She has always dressed the same: a twin set and a skirt under the knee or a trouser. Nothing sexy nor thrilling.

But all of a sudden, she changed everything. My colleague noticed, the last time he saw her, she wore make up and had chosen clothes that complimented her body. There’s one explanation for this transformation: her boss. He has endorsed his function since November last year, and since he arrived in his company, I notice that not only his press officer started to change her look, but also all his female collaborators. I guess they all fight for the privilege of becoming his mistress, because he’s married (and honestly, I pity a lot his wife).

In every company, each time a new collaborator comes to work, either male or female, his/her new status gives him/her an incredible power of seduction. And this is where you start to see rivalry between colleagues just to get the new one’s affection. I remember when D. was hired in my newspaper, three female journalists immediately put an option on him. I haven’t told them yet D.’s not into women… They hated each other, and they hated me because I spent a lot of time with him arguing about many things. With the press officer I know, it’s the same. Since her boss came along, she started to treat me differently (and did a little sabotage with my articles). I find this a little bit funny (not for the sabotage part) because I only talked once to her boss, and our verbal exchange was very cold. I write a lot of negative articles about his company right now, and this explains the heavy tension between us. So, I would understand if his press officer treats me the same way, because she wants to defend him. But here, she doesn’t act exactly that way with me. She acts as if she was jealous.

She is exasperated each time I call her for informations about her company, not because she knows I will not be nice in my articles, but because each time I write an article, she gets to hear my name pronounced by her boss a lot. This is an information my chief editor, who’s a friend of him, told me about.

I just pity her for having such a state of mind.

One of my male colleagues is often appalled at how bitches/jealous women can be with each other. I don’t agree, I’m not jealous at all of the other women. If a woman is beautiful or well dressed/ clever, I won’t envy her, I just admire her. I’m only jealous if she comes and tries to flirt with the light of my life. Jealousy is a flaw, and some of us are affected by that, but not everyone. It’s easy to generalize that to all the women.

So, have you ever changed your habits because of a new colleague? And are you jealous of other women?

life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Nothing else matters

Recently, as I was interviewing one of my professional contacts, he mentioned how old he was. He’s 47, and honestly, I don’t think he’s that old. He’s far from being athletic, but he’s not fat nor thin as a stick, and from the distance where I interview him, I can’t tell if his face is really marked with the sign of times. One of my colleagues told me that if I want to verify this, I can sit on his lap (he’s sure he wouldn’t mind at all- I would mind a lot). Maybe the problem is more intern, I don’t know. But I’m not gonna ask him about his health, it would be really inappropriate.

The truth is, when we talk together, I may reflect to him an old image of him. Once, I mentioned a few things like the authors I read and the bands I listen to (not mentioning even Tool) and he looked like if he hadn’t had a clue about what I was talking about. I guess he feels a little bit outdated.

Maybe getting old isn’t pleasing him, but I do find that getting old has its advantages. For instance, I do feel better now that I’m 30, I know more or less how to dress to compliment my shape, I know what I want, I know more and how not to get screwed by the others thanks to my past experiences. Everything seems easier for me now compared to when I was 20. Back then, my fashion sense was still a bit experimental, I was a little bit hesitant all the time, I could change my mind easily and was never satisfied by the decision I took, I was nobody. And I’m sure that when I will be 40, I would appreciate it even more.

Besides, some people do get hotter when they grow old. George Clooney is a good example of that.

My little Maynard, who’s 44, isn’t old at all to my eyes.

One of my friends always says that age doesn’t matter that much, what’s important is how old you are in your head. In her case, it’s 4. In mine, I would say 12. I agree totally with her. Besides, young men don’t attract me that much…

So, do you dislike getting old?

life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The butterfly effect

Edward Lorenz recently passed away and left us with his theory of chaos: a butterfly’s wings can create a tornado in a certain location. It can be translated in other words: everything happens for a reason. In the book, again, the unbearable lightness of being, six coincidences pushed Tomas and Tereza to get together. Hadn’t they happened, they probably would have stayed strangers to each other.

When you think about it, every relationship happens because of certain coincidences. One of my friends told me about how she realized her man was the man of her life, a long time ago, simply after a drunken night spent together. “We were sitting and talking with a group of friends, when for no reason, I just draw an elephant with wings on my napkin. When I finished, I noticed he was also drawing something on his napkin, on the other side of the table where I sat, and when I reached his place, I realized he draw the same drawings like I did. It was a shock to me: we were on the same wavelength. We started dating shortly after, and then we got married. I really believe I would spend the rest of my life with him” she said.

Another friend of mine has also a similar story. “Because of the bad weather, my plane was canceled, and I had to take another flight the next day. I got a seat near an absolutely charming man, who was single, and we realized we chose the same book to read. When we arrived at our destination, I just put on my earrings because I hate traveling by plane with these, and he told me that he offered the same pair to his sister not so long ago. I thought I was never gonna see him again when we touched down, but three days after, in the city where we arrived, we bumped into each other in a little bar. After so many coincidences, we decided we should give it a try, and we’re still together now” she said.

Strange things happen all the time, including in our love life. Sometimes, we chose not to take that much attention to the events that surround us. And this is how we can miss important things in our life. Sometimes, we chose to be too much aware of those, and we end up still missing important things. Those coincidence can be subjective, but they can be obvious too. So, have you ever started something because of coincidences? And were these coincidences founded or made up by your mind?