Someone on the Interwebs recently posited that Jezebel’s popularity is likely due to the fact that “young women are underutilized at their jobs.” Well no shit. The entire blogging industry owes its life to the fact that millions of young people who work in offices–present company included– are bored shitless with their jobs. This blog owes it’s life to Coco and my boredom and career apathy. However I take issue with “underutilized” as I think it’s a bit generous. “Underutilized” implies that there isn’t enough for them to do, or the work they are given isn’t challenging or fulfilling enough to suck them in and minimize the desire for distraction. Blogs are the Solitaire of the Millennium (or the Aughts or whatever it is we’re calling the current decade now). I’m not underutilized, I’m just bored. The soul crushing dullness of each and every of my required tasks requires me to retreat into a world of Inter-web-sparked fantasy in which the people around me don’t feel the need to complement my skill with the copy-staple function. When reality is too boring, too dull and harsh to bear, that is when I feast on Jezebel and it’s ilk. Because I don’t want to be utilized. I want to be independently wealthy, or paid to do something, anything that requires thought.
However, if “underutilization” is your problem, I hear you. Sure it sucks to be at a job and want to do more and not be able to. But that frustration is good, it’s motivating and it keeps you striving. If striving is your bag, than you are probably one of those people who are just brimming full of ideas that your boss either refuses to listen to, or doesn’t see the brilliance of, cause she’s a page boy-cutted cunt who thinks you only exist to maker her dinner reservations and write down phone messages.
But what she doesn’t know is that all of those late nights when you’ve been kept late for no other reason than she can’t be bothered to turn the office light off by herself when she leaves, you’ve actually been working on something! Something big! Something great, something that your boss could never conceive of in the forest of mediocrity that are her wildest dreams! So you’ve been working away, despite the fact that your boss keeps you running your legs off with every silly, indulgent request, AND despite the fact that you have none of the actual experience, client background or business acumen required to conceive of something like this (otherwise wouldn’t you have just applied for a better position?), but it’s no matter.
You don’t have any real “launch date”in mind for this project that you’ve been toiling over, but the whole thing wil probably come to light on the day when your boss is supposed to be giving a presentation to the most important clients you guys have. Her own proposal is mediocre, and you can see the fear in her eyes as she looks over at Mr. Finley, her boss, who is angrily/disappointedly shaking his bald head and glaring at her over the rims of his expensive, expensive Italian-amde eyeglasses. Just when the shit is two inches from the fan you step into the room carrying a bunch of rolled up paper and some pie graphs:your secret project!!
Not only is the idea and project you have in mind brilliant, it’s just the thing to save the company’s big account which may make the difference between having a job next year and pouring coffee for a bunch of suits at the diner across the street.
Now here’s the part we women usually fuck up. Here’s the part where you are genetically programmed to make the stupid mistake that countless television and movie woman before you have made: the presentation-as-peace-offering. As you watch your boss begin to crash and burn, feelings of guilt enter your mind: she’s older than you and has worked so hard, and now she’s going to get fired? that doesn’t seem fair. She has a husband. Two kids. A Big House. How is she gonna pay for that if she loses the big account? She looks so nervous and helpless, doesn’t she? Almost childlike in that Ralph Lauren Purple Label suit, like a little girl playing “office” in mommy’s clothes. How can you, who she has trusted and relied on for so long, take advantage? Better to let her pass the presentation off as her own, saving her shame and the company’s best client. Your reward will be a tight lipped smile, no pay raise and a more pleasant work environment for approximately ten to fourteen business days.
Don’t do it.
Now, here’s the part where you stop being underutilized, and start skyrocketing to the top of your company like a business-casual bottle rocket. As your boss bites her lip and nervously shifts her weight from foot to foot looking like a virgin at Usher’s house,you step in front of her and bump her to the side with your hip causing her to spill the bottle of Saratoga Springs water all over herself. While she clumsily attempts to mop it off, grab the laser pointer out of her hand, address the biggest clients in perfect Japanese and begin the presentation that is gonna change your fucking life.
Afterward, when Mr. Finley hugs you and calls you the daughter he never had, and the Japanese clients have smiled and bowed more times than any politically correct media awareness group would be comfortable with, the office manager will take you downstairs where your boss, sobbing and broken is cleaning out her desk. The last thing you see before you run into the arms of the sexy, sexy guy in finance (who revealed only moments ago,that he has always had a thing for you) is the cheerful office handyman, spray-stencilling your name on your boss’s office door. As you catch his eye, he winks and gives you the thumbs up.