Sunday, June 21, 2009

Innovative way to support citizen journalism in Iran

From a friend on Facebook:

If you are on Twitter, set your location to Tehran and your time zone to GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut Iranians' access to the internet down. Cut & paste & pass it on.

I don't have a Twitter account and can't verify if this works or not but why not give it a try?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hm - Cambridge Who's Who

Given all my chatter about quitting jobs and failing out of law school, imagine my surprise when I received a letter today from "Cambridge Who's Who."

At first I thought, how lovely, it said:
"You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent Boston, MA in the 2009/2010 online Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women.

Having worked in marketing I've seen a zillion of these different listing companies. Many firms are very interested in having their professionals recognized - Martindale Hubbell, Interlaw and Chambers are just a few. I thought maybe because I've worked for some high profile people, that someone found my name from the website of one of my former companies.

But, then I skipped to the very fine print at the bottom of the letter:
"Cambridge Who's Who is proudly not associated or affiliated with any other Who's Who Publication or Organization."

Since when are people proudly not affiliated? That was a pretty major red flag.

I also noted that the letter was signed "M. Foster." Generally, I find that if someone sends you a letter it's because they want a response. If you send a letter to me stating you are "M" then you don't want me to find you and I'm more likely to think you are a Lord of the Rings character. Nice try.

Finally, a good old Google search once again proved itself to be every gals best friend. After reading this post, I knew I had to put my delusions of grandeur aside and call a scam a scam.


Ah well. Next time!

Monday, June 1, 2009


So, I resigned - or quit. Or was fired. Depends on your perspective. The deciding moment for me was when I stated to the European partner, I would like to stay, but only if there is support for me to continue to stay. Her response, "Well, I never had any faith in you from the beginning..."

Alright. That was all I needed to hear. Thank you. We picked my last day (Wednesday) and I've been alternating between excitement, disappointment, frustration and sadness since.

So, now "Survival".

I go back and forth between strategies for managing life, work, money etc. I used to believe you should set a goal then impose a structure on that which you are responsible for managing. I pretty much used this approach up until the last couple of years. I think it was moderately successful. Then, I met my husband. He did not have this approach. He was more of the revolving responsibility type. Like, the bill arrives, you pay it. An email comes, you answer it. People want something, you give it to them. And, frankly, we could make the argument he has been more successful:

Grad school - he finished, I didn't
Money - he makes more
Enemies - he has none
Jobs - he keeps them
Career - works for a respectable company that respects him

So, as you might imagine, I thought I was doing something wrong and decided to adopt his "take it as it comes" approach. To clarify, for awhile before adopting his philosophy, I thought he was wrong. Over the years though, his approach has seemed to consistently bring him success (see above). As a disclaimer, I do feel the need to point out it's not clear that I have all the relevant information needed to draw conclusions as to which approach is better. I might be oversimplifying.

But to summarize the results of me using his "take it as it comes" approach:

That shit didn't pan out for me either. (see above where I say that I resigned)

Interestingly, lately he seems to be shifting to the disciplined method and, in fact, since last week, has been telling me I need to be more structured. Hardly seems fair!

More interestingly though, I was watching one of these wilderness survival shows "Man vs Wild" this weekend. The host, a crazy, but quite handsome, Brit named Bear Grylls (I kid you not) found himself in a bit of a predicament. He had been dropped into the Great Plains with little more than a rucksack and a mess kit and was challenged to survive among the rapidly shifting elements and uncertain terrain.

As he stood there skinning a snake he just caught for dinner or assembling a torch from green sapling and birch bark, I can't remember which, he looked into the camera and plainly stated something like, "The key to survival is taking control of your environment."

Call it what you will - an Oprah-like "aha" moment; Eureka; BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious), etc etc - but at that moment, any doubt I had about how to move forward was removed. In doubt's place was the realization that to get on with things, I'd first have to put things into order.

No doubt, millions have realized this before me. Gandhi sought sanitary reform by Indians in South Africa for similar reasons. Voltaire's Candide famously states, "Il faut cultiver notre jardin." For me, I knew it, then doubted it, and now know it again.