No Problem Loans – Just Give Them Your Soul

devilThis is actually a genious of an idea.

A small loan company in Latvia is offering no-problem loans to their clients. No paperwork needed, just sign a piece of paper saying that you are using your soul as collateral – i.e. – you don’t repay, you have no soul.

I know that I’d think twice before skipping that payment.

Read Full Story at Reuters:

Would you pledge your soul as loan collateral?

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Suzie Homemaker or Ms. Powersuit?


Whether we like it or not, the single biggest obstacle between women and career success, is the overwhelming responsibility that most of them have on their shoulders.  Women look after their families, their households, and many are facing the reality of looking after their elderly parents (1.2 million in the U.K. alone).  Women don’t have time to shower, never mind finish payroll, put together sales proposals or travel extensively for business. 

It is amazing that after 40 years of independence, women are still being overwhelmed by their daily lives.  The question of course is why?

Our spouses, partners and families are perfectly capable of helping, so why is it still on our shoulders?  Are they shirking their duties or are we still living with a superwoman dream?  Do we still want to be Suzie Homemaker at home and Ms. Powersuit at the office?

It’s probably a combination of the two.  Our families our more then happy to be waited on, while we want to be looked upon as nothing less than the most organized and resourceful woman in the world.  This is completely unhealthy though and is destroying us on physical, mental, emotional and professional levels.  It’s time to start taking real steps to gain real control of our lives. 

Step 1:  Realize that you can’t do everything yourself. 

I realize that this is probably the hardest step to take, but it’s o.k., that’s why there’s more people on the earth besides you, so they can help out.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and it wasn’t built by one Empress.  It’s time for a family meeting, where you can tell everyone exactly what you need, to make your life easier.  This is going to be a big change for all involved, but it’s time to make it clear that things are going to change, why they’re going to change, and what everyone is going to do about it. 

Step 2: You’ll Actually Need to Verbalize the Requests

I know that we often expect the men in our lives to read out minds, but science has shown that they do not have telepathic abilities yet.  You will actually have to say: “Can you pick the kids up from soccer, I’m busy.”  Surprisingly, if you put a note in their palm pilot, they’ll usually show up at the field on time, and everyone will make it home safe, without you. 

Step 3: Realize that nobody’s house looks like Martha Stewart’s, except Martha Stewart

The world is not going to end if you leave the house and there are dishes in the sink.  Your children are not going to die of malnutrition if they eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches for supper.  Stop feeling so guilty.  

I realize that our mothers and grandmothers had floors that you could eat off of – but is that really necessary?  Are you ever going to eat off the floor?  Why’d you spend $2 grand on that dining room table?   And let’s not forget the five second rule, you’re always covered by the five second rule.

Your family should be more worried as to whether or not you’ve had 15 minutes to rest in a day, then if there are clean socks for the morning.  It’s not illegal for a 12 year old boy to wear the same pair of socks for two days; in fact, he’s probably doing it anyways. 

Step 4: Realize that your children have hands. 

Did you know that children who are raised on farms, get up at 5:00 a.m. to do chores, before they go to school?  And do you know what – they actually survive!  I haven’t heard of a rush of farm children, running to the psychiatrist’s office, because they had to do some manual labour. 

I’m not saying to hire your children out as farm labourers, but I am reminding you that they are perfectly capable of folding some laundry and washing the dishes.  Realistically, helping around the house will turn them into adults who can actually look after themselves.  Their future partners will thank you.   

Do You Have to Be a Bitch to be Successful?

martha.jpgTHE QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you have to be a bitch to be successful? It seems that every woman who breaks through the ceiling is called a bitch.  Do you have to be a bitch to be successful?  Or, is society still draping assertive, strong women with negative stereotypes? To explore these questions we first need to distinguish between a real bitch and a strong businessperson who just happens to have breasts.  We have to acknowledge that there are “real bitches” in the business world, women who are absolutely vicious.  They don’t just step on a few heads on their way up; they ground their stilettos through the skulls.  They view everyone as expendable and do absolutely nothing to support the growth of women based industry.  Everyone has come across her.  She can make a grown woman cry and takes every opportunity to belittle her co-workers.  These women are really out there and they are creating real, identifiable havoc. 

Laura Tanenbaum, author of “Catfight”, found that: Many professional women confess they prefer male rather than female supervisors. They complain that women at work refuse to share power, or withhold information, or are too concerned about receiving credit for every little thing they accomplish, or are cold toward underlings (male and female alike). In such complaints they use the word ‘bitch’ a lot,”      

 On top of that, the U.K.National Workplace Bullying Hotline reported that half of its 3000 calls were regarding a female serial bully.  That’s more then four people every day, who are so exasperated with the treatment they receive from a female co-worker ,that they seek expert advice in dealing with the situation.   

This now begs the question – why do these women behave this way?  Many experts fall back on the old excuse that women who behave in an overly aggressive manner are doing so to duplicate the behavior they see in men.  It’s as if everyone really believed the old “sugar and spice and everything nice” story.  No one seems able to admit that the women who behave like tyrants do so simply because they were born that way.   

 If you’re working for someone who fits the description of the real bitch, you have my sympathies.  Waiting for her to show her softer side probably is a waste of time.  The best advice may be to send her a link to this article and see if she can take a hint.  You should probably be prepared for a short period of unemployment immediately following your giving her this book but nonetheless, the stress just isn’t worth staying in the situation.   

The levels of anxiety and depression that arise from being in a virtual war zone can have devastating effects on your emotional, physical and mental health.  Have some faith in yourself and take the time to find what makes you truly happy in life and then find a way to make a living doing that. You will eventually find your niche, be it with a company that appreciates you, or be it out on your own. 

Then you can sit back and watch your nemesis die miserable and lonely and then you win. We mustn’t however, confuse being what has been described as a “sociopath in a skirt” with being an assertive, or even aggressive, businesswoman.  Just because a women deals openly and honestly with her business partners does not make her a bitch.  Just because she stands her ground when she knows she’s right doesn’t make her impossible to deal with.  Just because she asks for details and does her own investigation, doesn’t make her a control freak.  It makes her smart.

So no, I don’t believe that you have to be a bitch to be successful, but I don’t think it hurts once in a while either. 


How Far Would You Go?

There’s a chef around town who is the epitome of urban legend.  If anyone knows a chef, or has worked in the hospitality industry, then you understand that Chefs can be just a tad temperamental at times. Everyone agreed that this particular chef was absolutely phenomenal at creating food but no one could work with him.  In fact, he was hired and fired by one restaurant 5 times.

As with virtually all Chefs, his real dream was to own his own restaurant, but bank financing was just not an option.  His less then stellar employment history added up to no money and no credit.    

So what did he do? Walking despondently down the street, the only solution he could come up with was to throw himself in front of a car…………………  .  

One week later, full leg cast on and still in a wheelchair, he rolled down one of the trendiest streets in the city, insurance check in hand, and leased his first restaurant.

Totally true tale – unemployed, accident, crash, cast, check, restaurant –  he now has two restaurants and a published cookbook (probably could have had a chain of restaurants by now – but he’s still notoriously difficult to work with). 

Realistically, no one knows how accidental the accident was. It was most likely just one of those bumps in life’s road that ended up being incredibly fortunate for him. But the real point is that this man never, ever gave up on his dream.  When no one else believed in him, he still had the biggest supporter that any of us can have, he had himself. 

And when you have that unquenchable fire in your belly, you have to take that leap of faith and follow it where fate leads you……. Just not in front of a car please.

It’s A Beautiful Morning

 It’s 6:00 a.m, the alarm is buzzing in your ear and it’s time for the games to begin.   You run down to the kitchen, throw the coffee on and start running around the house waking everyone up.  Back to the kitchen to put the bread in the toaster and pour the milk over the cereal.  The shower starts in the bathroom and the fight is on – “ HURRY UP – it’s my turn!” bang bang bang. “I need to get in there too!”  bang bang bang. 

Up the stairs you go, break up the fight and start the bathroom line moving.  You promise faithfully that some day soon you will build another bathroom in the house, but for today, everyone needs to get along. Damn – is that the toast burning? 

Back downstairs to the kitchen, scrape the black off the toast and onto the table it goes.  It’s now 6:30 a.m., you have a splitting headache and you just want to go back to bed.  Unfortunately, you have a meeting at 8:00 a.m. with your biggest client and you know that the pile of paper on your desk could kill someone if it ever collapsed.  Deep sigh. 

It’s your turn in the bathroom and you now have 20 minutes to get ready and out the door, if you dry shave your legs and let your bangs hang down to cover your unplucked eyebrows, you should be able to make it.  There’s not a minute to waste. You run out the door, screaming good-bye to everyone as you throw on your shoes.  Out the driveway you fly just in time to hit the traffic jam that will allow you to crawl all the way to work. 

It’s only 7:15 a.m. Imagine what 2:30 is going to be like

Men Vs. Women – A Very Old Joke

At a hospital the relatives gathered in the waiting room, where a family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and serious.Surveying the worried faces, the doctor said, “I’m afraid I’m the bearer of bad news. The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It’s an experimental procedure, very risky, you will have to pay for the brain yourselves.”

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, “Well, how much does a brain cost?”

The doctor quickly responded, “$5,000 for a male brain, and $200 for a female brain.”

The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile; avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. One man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, “Why is the male brain so much more expensive?”

The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and said to the entire group, “It’s just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they’ve been used.”


Some days it’s better to stay in bed

I woke up a little late last Wednesday, threw on my clothes and ran out the door.   The shirt was one of those silly designer ones with the tag showing at the back, so when someone at the office asked me if I was wearing my shirt inside out, I laughed and said “No, that’s the way it was supposed to be!”

At around 10:00 a.m., I went to the bathroom and as I was washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and saw the seams running up and down the arms and neck.

Oh my god-my shirt was inside out! 

I didn’t know what to do.  If I turned it right side out, then everyone would realize that not only was I wearing my shirt like a three year old, I was too stupid to look down when it was pointed out to me!

So there I sat for the rest of the day, with my shirt inside out, as if nothing was wrong.   I stared everyone directly in the eye when I spoke to them and pretended I was Jennifer Lopez making a fashion statement.   
When I walked through the door that night, Kevin said : Hey, your shirt’s on inside out!”   I thanked him for his quick observations and went on to tell him the entire story.  

His response?

Why don’t you go in tomorrow with your pants on your head and say you saw it in the latest Vogue magazine! ” 

I just love the support I get around my house.
Needless to say, I can never wear that shirt again.