Monday, November 22, 2010

It's the most frustrating time of the year...

I know, I know, it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But, you know and I know, it also means spending extended time with your extended family. SIGH! For many of you, this is the time of year that your dread the most as it means putting up with Aunt Phyllis asking you again when you are going to get married, dealing with your mom telling you that you need to lose weight or dealing with your older brother who can never seem to do anything wrong...OR insert your family drama here! So since all of you can't have a family as fabulous as mine (don't get me wrong, we still have drama). Thanksgiving is my favorite annual holiday, I mean who doesn't love a day dedicated ONLY to food, alcohol and football. Leave it to us Americans to create a holiday like that!

Here are JZZRGRL's advice for remaining sane and classy during the holidays (ALCOHOL and your IPAD...just kidding).

1. They are your family. Take it or leave it, when you are down and out they will still be there. So if your dad or your sister makes a snipey comment, just roll with it, have another glass of wine.
2. Choose your battles. If something gets said or done, and you feel compelled to retaliate or make a comment back. Take 5 seconds and think about this, if you do something, will it change the situation or just make it worse. Sometimes, we need to take the higher road and keep our mouths shut. 75 year Uncle Jerry isn't going to automatically change because you make a comment.
3. Enjoy the fact that you have a family (or friends or whomever you spend the holiday with)! Some of the less fortunate than you, don't have a home or a family to go to, so count your blessings, it is Thanksgiving anyway!
4. It is only a few days out of your what you have to go home for one day, two days? Your mom is happy that you are there, so you can manage it for a few days.
5. Really just need a break from it all? get your favorite nephew, find a TV and play a video game or watch a marathon of Star Wars, take a break, take a nap, run to the store, and by the time you get back, it will be better.

Ladies seriously, don't work yourself up, roll with the punches, be gracious and polite, say thank you, help with the dishes, ignore the snipey comments and oh yeah, tip back the wine. And your Thanksgiving will be just fine this year!

Ok, just a reminder from your friendly Jazzercise instructor, a typical Thanksgiving meal is 5500 calories, so enjoy yourself, but watch your intake and please work out over the holiday ;)

I am headed back to Nebraska tomorrow to hang with my family and enjoy the food and alcohol, (family tradition on Thanksgiving around 10:30 AM, my dad lines up the glasses and makes bloody marys from scratch...that is how we roll). And then I will be Lincoln cheering for my Huskers to beat Colorado for our last official conference game in the Big 12. Go Big Red!

Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers and CIAO BELLAS.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Where have all the ladies gone?

Hello ladies and gentlemen, once again, it has been too long since I have had a blog post to entertain you all. I have been traveling like a wild woman, first to Dallas for a trade show, see the previous blog post regarding fashion issues there! And then I was in Kansas City for a Jazzercise Center Owners meeting (where I crashed my sister's car, HMMM, not very lady like there) and then to Orlando for another trade show. And while I thought Orlando was going to be know, the heat, the kids, Disney...etc, etc. It actually turned out to be fabulous as I was entertained for several nights by a lovely gentlemen, NO, he does not live in Chicago. But thanks to him, I actually enjoyed Florida this time. Thanks kiddo!

On a side note, just to reiterate HOW RUDE some people are, I was walking down the street at Universal Studios (dear lord that place is huge, I think I walked to the Florida state border and back in my 5 inch Michael Kors heels). I passed a woman holding a beer and somehow our arms bumped and her diguisting beer dumped down my arm. Do you think she stopped, apologized or anything? NOPE, kept on walking! Really??? Ladies seriously, I don't care whose fault it is, stop and say something. MAN, PEOPLE SUCK.

Ok onto the story, so after we returned from Florida and my fabulous company was honored with a Chicago Innovation Award. It was like the Oscars at the Goodman Theater! We got to go on stage and accept the award. Only 10 companies in Chicago won this award out of 330 nominations. WAY TO GO!

SO after all of this travel and the trade shows, I am struck by the following...WHERE ARE ALL OF THE WOMEN?? At the Chicago Innovation Awards, there were 10 different companies accepting awards, each of those companies could bring 8 people on stage, so that's 80 right, I'll bet that there were fewer than 10 women that crossed that stage (and TWO were in my company). While at the trade show in Orlando (it was a police officer show), I worked in another company's booth, of the 50 people that worked the booth, I'll bet 10 of them were women.

So I did a little research and said to myself, well, maybe women are getting smart and not working for a company, but are going into business for themselves. Guess what...NOPE, they percentages of women that own their company has not increased in the past 10 years.

So where are they? Women still make 23% less than men overall in the workforce. So does that mean, as "progressive" as our country is that women are still not being put in top positions? This from USA Today, among fortune 500 companies, women only occupy 15% of the board positions and only 3% occupy the CEO position. Here is another statistic. Catalyst's "Bottom Line" studies have shown that Fortune 500 companies with more women in senior management, on average, financially outperform those with fewer women. The same is true for companies with more women board directors — even more so with three or more women board directors. Duh, this doesn't surprise me, sorry gentlemen, but you can't multi-task.

OK, SO ladies and gentlemen seriously! What is the deal? The great thing about being a female in this country is that you do have MANY more choices than men. It is just as socially acceptable for a woman to be a stay at home mom as it is for a woman to own her own business or be the top female executive at a company. So ladies, let's continue to assert ourselves. Take risks (hell, I quit my cushy $100K per year job to do my Jazzercise business!), get that degree, don't be afraid to speak out!

AND gentlemen seriously, you are running most of the companies out there...hire some women. And yes I know, the good candidates are bit hard to find. But take a note from the FAB company that I work for, don't just hire the most eager candidate for the job, hire the RIGHT ONE. My company was willing to let me go contract for the first 30 days while I decided what I wanted to do and THEN continues to be flexible with my hours so that I can continue to be flexible with my business. With all of the people out there looking for a job today, my company could have hired any one of them, but they hired me because they knew I was the right fit for the job and guess what it is a mututally beneficial relationship! So gentlemen seriously, take a note, many of those super qualified women are moms and care takers, they need your flexibility with their schedule. This doesn't mean that they aren't qualified or hard working. And for the hours that those ladies are at work, they will be more productive.

So from JZZRGRL, I say WAKE UP America!! It is 2010 and women need to be paid and treated equally (not to mention all of the minorities out there, don't get me started on that, that is a whole other blog post). Treating and PAYING people equally for equal work is classy!

Cheers and CIAO BELLAS.