Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Man's World, Shmans World

So I work in an industry which is about 85% male. If you exclude the staff/non-sales component, it's about 95% male, and if you then narrow it down to my specific product type, it's about 99.3% male (give or take a basis-point or two). I'm talking about commercial real estate, and industrial real estate as it relates to me.

I work in theee absolute hottest industrial submarket in the country, home to the largest distribution centers of the biggest companies in the world. Case in point, our market accounted for 52% of the nation's entire net absorption last year. That's right, half of the country's activity was here. Considering there are 350+ ports in the great U.S., that's downright obnoxious.

If you haven't fallen asleep yet, I only say this so you can understand how competitive it is. There are obviously huge barriers to entry, with only 6 teams dominating 90% of the prime market share. I, Summer, am the junior partner on one of the teams. Oh, and when I say junior, I mean peon, of course. My two senior partners are (shockingly) men, and I'm the only junior broker in the market without a penis (provided there are no secrets I'm not privy to), but I'm definitely not the most girly. For some reason I was born with an outrageous need to compete- professionally or in sports only, no attention issues here. Admittedly, I'm nutso when it comes to trying to keep up with the boys. "/

Additionally, part of being the peon is being razzed by the senior guys in the industry, so I try to avoid reasons to make my target bigger if you know what I'm sayin'. They just loooove to remind me that I'm "just a 25 year old girl."

But anyway, because I'm the peon, I get to go to each of these monster buildings when there is a tour, and open it up, turn on the lights, and open some (freakin' 22) of the dock-high doors. You know, the roll up ones with the chains? See for pic below...

Ok, that's taken care of, now fast forward to this afternoon. I arrive at the half mile long building, ready to close up, and I remember that I have ugg boots in my trunk. I look down at my 4" heels and decide it would be a good idea to just throw those on real quick despite the fact that I'm wearing a suit. While looking in my trunk, I see my snow jacket, and think "yesss, I won't get dirty if I put that on!" But there's absolutely no way I'm looking like that much of an ass; it's 80 degrees in southern California!

So I enter the building in the snow jacket, uggs, and slacks. Shoot I paid 70 bucks for that shirt, and I wasn't about to have it all industrialized 'n stuff. All goes well with the closing of the doors, with the exception of this ONE door. The door that satan created. It was the door that represented everything evil, like murderers, and robbers, and Paris Hilton. I opened the damn door this morning, what is wrong with it now! I yank the chain (in a literal sense) and the door will not budge. This thing is not coming back down. I see the jokes flash before my eyes. "hey Summer, you know, this business just isn't for girls sometimes," and many more to the same affect. I decide I will not be defeated.

So here I am, racking my brain for ideas as to how I can get this thing to close. You can understand my desperation, I mean, there's humiliation on the brink! I glance the 10 feet up to the top of the door, and have the harsh realization that I'm four and a half feet too short to reach anything. I come to the conclusion that I'm just not tugging hard enough, and decide to use ALL of my might. I wrap one boot in the chain, and hoist all one-hundred-twenty-three pounds of me on to it, so I'm dangling at this point. Here I am, swinging back and forth from a roll-up door chain in an industrial building, in 80 degree weather, while wearing a snow jacket, slacks, and ugg boots. One of my proudest moments, naturally.

Nothing happens. This thing is jammed. You know, at least in the movies there's some random, ultra-convenient chair lying around. but noooo. I have the worst luck.

I must admit, my crazed, competitive side got the best of me, and I lost touch with reality there for a second. While tapping into my inner Macgyver, I conceptualized in an instant how to make a slingshot using only my underwear and mascara tube. Realizing that I didn't want to add "commando" to the list of my already atrocious wardrobe choice, I gave up. I made the call to the general contractor, who immediately sent out a repairman.

Repair man arrives. "Hey honey, you need me to shut a door for ya?" I immediately tell him how beyond broken it is. After all, my ego's at stake. So he goes and does the whole "man thing" with the door, and I just wait around and pray that something is really wrong with it.

20 more wasted-minutes-of-my-life later, I'm on my way out of the building, and in my peripherals, I see a head poke out from behind one of the walls. I screamed. Pretty loud. It was the door repair guy. "oh, haha, sorry...I just didn't think you'd be in here," I said. I was really hoping he wouldn't ask me why the hell I wouldn't expect someone whom I let in, to be in there. He was kind. Just gave me the good news I had been waiting for and went on his way.

The door was completely bent and lodged! AND they had advised against repairing it before. *beaming*

What a sick, sick thing to be happy about, huh?

Oh, and a lot of people would've screamed, by the way. Doesn't mean just because I'm a girl, I screamed.

Conclusion: Man's world, schman's world. What was seemingly a horrible day, turned out to be juuuust fine. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays. a la "Office Space"

I overlslept...AGAIN. Normally I don't allow myself to believe my own excuses, but in this case...I genuinely was not at fault.

So my work phone also serves as my alarm clock, and unfortunately, it was deader (is that seriously a word?) than a door nail this morning. It was more dead (that just sounds better) than Tupac...according to white people, of course. So I set the alarm on my other phone.

Fast forward to morning, and the freaking sun beating on my window is actually what woke me up. I immediately grabbed my personal, very much alive, phone to check the time. Much to my surprise, my personal "alarm" was still going off. I'm not that heavy of a sleeper, but I think I figured out why I didn't hear it.

This is my alarm, sound and all...

Did you hear it? Yeah, I didn't think so. That's because there's NO SOUND. I'm not kidding, that's why the word "alarm" is in quotes. All that's missing is another pair over the word "sounding."

Apparently I was supposed to leave it "running" in the background rather than closing the app. When you close the app it goes into "back-up" mode and only attempts to wake you up with the above gesture. Ummm....WTF kind of back up is that??? I mean why even have one?

Happy news. I charged my Blackberry. Tomorrow I'll be woken up like every other normal human being, with a series of loud, annoying, blissful beeps.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Unsolicited advice. And bad advice at that.

I was having a conversation recently with someone near and dear to me regarding some unsolicited advice she received. While doing so I realized that I too have had the same bit of knowledge bestowed upon me. Several times in fact. I began to wonder why some certain life choices just elicit advice, and why this is so universally true. Do share your experiences or additions, because I haven't figured out the answer.

1. Black cars. Black cars are freakin' sweet. There is something about a black car that just makes it look nicer than the same vehicle in any other color. But has anyone ever noticed that if you mention your intention of purchasing a black automobile, you will immediately be warned of its exaggerated, pretentious display of dirt? I mean, I think this goes without saying. We learned this through osmosis probably somewhere in the first grade. Along with that, we observed that white clothing- 9 times out of 10- gets dirty within the first hour of our day. And furthermore, the damage to that same white piece of clothing is often irreparable. Many times, it gets bleached, dried, and thrown into the pajama drawer after only being used once.

It seems to me that white clothing is so clearly the poorer investment. I haven't seen a pile of bird feces yet that rendered a black vehicle trash. If you're a 30 year old person, who has ruined 5 white shirts a year at $20 a pop, you've poorly invested $3,000 in the wrong color clothing. Conversely, if you drive a black vehicle and had to wash it twice a month as opposed to once a month for another color vehicle, you've invested a total of $600 in car washes (assuming each wash cost you $5 in supplies). This is only $300 more than you would have spent for buying the car in periwinkle. I would make the contention that you would have then spent that same $300 you thought you were saving on continuing dating website premiums, or therapy. No girl is going to date you if you show up in a baby blue car.

The truth is, you're more of a humanitarian for walking up to that prospective clothing buyer in your local Macy's and saying "oooh...umm...I hate to tell you, but you might not want to buy that shirt in white. You'd really be better off buying something that shows less dirt."

2. Two story houses. How many of us have been advised against buying a house with stairs? "You're going to hate walking up and down those stairs everyday, you know." Well yeah, but I also hate paying bills, paying taxes, going to work, and being woken up on a Sunday morning by evangelists knocking on my door. TRUST ME, I will hate the stairs less. Whether I have them or not, there will be something much bigger to complain about. At least I'll have my big/tall monster of a house to make me feel better about writing those checks, right? Or maybe I am being financially smarter, not having to purchase a pair of "Skechers Easy Tones" and all.

I've also heard "stairs are so inconvenient, you'll end up leaving things at the bottom of the stairs until you are ready to go up, and then you'll grab it all at once." Well then pat me on the back, because dammit that is efficient. May I streamline all processes in my life with that same innovation and focus on productivity. The fact that the body is designed to have to pee is higher on my inconvenient-things-we-humans-have-to-do list. Especially living in California where heavy traffic and coffee go hand-in-hand.

3. Breastfeeding. What is the deal with this??? I mean, with all of the bad parenting going on around the world, we chastise great mothers who for one reason or another do not breastfeed their children? You would be surprised at how vicious some of these breast milk vigilantes will get. They'll call names, slash tires, and even strap themselves to breast milk bombs that explode in public places.

With regard to the health implications of the breast milk vs. formula choice- aren't we Americans unhealthier than we've ever been? I'm no expert but I'm assuming that the formula (which was designed for infant nutrition) is much healthier for my baby than that big mac, Pepsi, and Marlboro Red you consumed before you organically fed yours. How do we put ourselves on pedestals when a great percentage of our babies are surviving on nicotine McFlurry's and liquid french fries?

[End rant]

I have no idea why we do these things, but I vow to never ever give anyone any of these pieces of advice...EVER...