Tuesday, 17 May 2011

* The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (William Shakespeare, King Henry VI)

There are all kinds of morons in this world: estate agents, cheesy sales people, Piers Morgan, overconfident teenagers and people who like pop-punk but none of them quite reach the high levels of wankerness as lawyers do.

I work in the legal profession and the amount of idiots I have to deal with is staggering. There are five types of lawyers:

The trainee lawyer: One word - clueless. It’s slightly worrying when a lawyer asks me basic questions on basic procedures. Did you get your degree in a cereal box? If you were a racehorse they would have shot you by now.

The banterless lawyer: You know the old cliché that all lawyers are boring? Well it’s true. God knows how many of my precious comedy gems I’ve wasted on boring lawyers.  You will have better luck with beating a confession out of Jack Bauer than squeezing a witty repartee out of a lawyer.

The money-grabbing dickhead lawyer: Self-explanatory really. Die, die, die!

The confused lawyer: You’d assume the ability of being on top of things is a prerequisite for becoming a lawyer? Well you assumed wrong. It once took me a week to get something very straightforward organised and the lawyer in question later apologised for being dopey. If you’re a self-confessed half-wit at least be smart enough to hire an assistant who can think for you.

The occasional nice lawyer: Most of them are women to be honest. I guess being a woman in this profession has it’s cons. In order to survive you have to be twice as on the ball as men and therefore women are more socially aware.

*This blog post is meant to be a warning to people who have half a brain and are considering becoming an assistant/PA/secretary in the Legal world. My advice is: RUN! Before the bastards get you and completely kill your creativeness and spark. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Too lazy to look good

I’m quite lazy by nature. I have much more potential than I care to pursue. It normally doesn’t worry me but sometimes I get annoyed with myself and just say “ffs get a grip woman“. 

When I go to work I hardy ever make any effort to look my best. I wake up in the morning and my priority is to get that 10 minutes of extra sleep rather than doing my hair. I’m always struck blind by my lack of creativity when it comes to my weekday clothing: „Oh those jeans will do and that boring top too“ This situation wouldn’t be a problem if I lived and worked in Bermondsey but I live in the vicinity of Portobello Road and work in Mayfair.

By the time it’s 8.15am and I’m sat on the no. 23 bus, it’s always the same thing. Besides couple of obligatory chavs, most people who get on the bus are perfectly groomed women, with shiny hair and well thought out outfits. That’s the Westbourne Grove and Portobello effect. It makes me feel like a Susan Boyle in a room full of Cheryl Coles.

Warm and sunny days are the worst. Come lunch time, all the restaurants and cafes are filled with beautiful smiling women whilst I check out my reflection in the windows and curse myself for wearing this fucking top! So I quickly get my sandwich from Greggs and try to avoid eye-contact with people sitting outside Napket (what a bunch of posers!).

The worst thing to happen to anyone‘s self-esteem is to get lunch from Itsu in Hanover Square as it's right next to the Vogue House-the mother ship of fashion publishing.

When I approach the shop the inevitable happens. I can assure you that every single one of those perfect looking women secretly ridicule my generic fashion sense and the fact that I couldn’t be arsed to do a *fringe-wash that morning.

I do scrub up once in a while, but only when I have an actual event to go to. Putting in that effort really pays off and I feel great about myself but at the end of the night, when those false eye lashes and high heels come off, I know I won‘t be doing this any time soon again. Pheeeew!

* method of just washing your fringe and in result making rest of your hair look clean. Pure genius.  

Monday, 2 May 2011

Bank Holiday Weekend

I was having a blissful Saturday morning sleep when I was woken up by some weird noises. It turned out to be my boyfriend making every effort possible to wake me up at 8am. When I opened my eyes I saw him looking in the distance. He looked like a guy in some serious distress. The evil side of me wanted to go straight back to sleep but then I remembered the Support Clause in the girlfriend contract. Luckily I had read the small print.

Was his sadness caused by work problems?  Was he worried about the situation in Libya? Or perhaps it was a sudden panic about not emptying the dishwasher? 

I'm afraid not.

Apparently he had been worrying about the future of QPR, the football club he supports. He had been worrying about it for weeks. I'm not kidding.

Are women missing out? I mean we don't have a passion that unites us like men are united by football. I can't imagine a shopping trip to Westfield ending with hugging people you don't know in some grotty pub and singing ridiculous songs. Wait a minute. It all sounds a bit familiar...

Well I didn't have to worry about him for too long. It's now 8am on a Sunday and he is his walking around the flat singing "We are the champions" whilst balancing a QPR tea mug in his hand.

One of those days

There is nothing more depressing than being 27 and stuck in a job that doesn’t excite you creatively none what so ever. Well I guess I’m exaggerating. Sure there are more depressing things in life like cancer, famine, war and Keira Knightley’s acting skills. 

I spend 8,5 hours from Mon-Fri sitting here looking out of the window praying for a better job. I'm waiting for the day the perfect job is brought to me on a silver platter. Surely, I'm talented enough to get that kind of service? I know I should be working harder on finding a new job. But you see the problem is that I don’t know what I would like to do when I grow up.

The prospect of getting another PA role to provide support to some overweight middle-aged guy who is completely devoid of personality just depresses me. I’d rather stay where I am till I get the perfect opportunity. I know, I know this is not how life works but I’m way too lazy and old to change my ways. Now that’s a scientific fact.

So I spend my days doing research on  Google, finding answers to all important questions like: What face shape do I have? How many calories in a large glass of wine? How do they get the fortune inside the cookie?  Or send pictures of cute bulldog puppies to my boyfriend, who comes back with equally as lame emails.

If our ancient forefathers had had all this free time in their hands they would have invented the wheel much earlier and teleportation and hoverboards would be part of our daily lives by now. 

There are days when I think, “fuck this”, I’m going to leave this stupid job and join a  hippie commune somewhere in Thailand. Who cares about the perfect career and CV? Who cares about having loads of money? Who cares about all these superficial things that are suppose to make me happy? But then five minutes later I get distracted by an amazing dress on asos.com and all my fuck yous go out of the window.

So I crawl back to my cave of self-pity, bow to the Gods of online shopping and continue with being unsatisfied.

Normal service is resumed.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Two reasons why Eastern Europeans fail to succeed in the UK

*Before I start, I wish to clarify that whereas Estonia is considered an Eastern European country, our culture and mentality are different. We have much more in common with the Scandinavians. However, some traits of an average Estonian are similar to those of Eastern Europeans.

I was sitting on the bus the other day and overheard a conversation between two suitably tacky looking Eastern European girls. They were discussing the trials and tribulations of getting a well-paid job in London. They were blaming the society for being xenophobic and the main reason for them not succeeding.  

Let’s admit, Eastern Europeans do not have the best reputation in the UK. I agree that the British can be very xenophobic and often misinformed about “those pesky Eastern Europeans”. However, it really depends on the type of folk you socialise with. I had the pleasure of living in Bermondsey some years ago. Those traditionally white and poorly educated communities are very narrow-minded and they really struggle to accept you as one of them (to be honest why would anyone want to succeed in that?). They’ve been living in their bubble all their lives and it has clearly altered their outlook on the bigger picture. It was cringeworthy to witness inbred tracksuit-wearing men blanantly making racist jokes when a black guy walked into a pub. Or people who think anyone with a peculiar accent must be from either Russia or Poland. They clearly have no idea that there are more that two countries in Eastern Europe.

I blame the ignorance of the British but I mostly blame the foreigners themselves. You move here, make no effort to be integrate, act exactly the way you would back home, live with a mentality that the only job an Eastern European can get is something that the locals don’t want to do.

I believe there are two key factors why Eastern Europeans don’t seem to really succeed here:

Well the first flaw in the plan is that when they move here they mostly socialise with people of the same nationality. For example the average Estonian does not like to talk with people they don’t know. Crazy, right? Most of them are completely unable to do any small talk. Estonians love to say: pfft, I don't care for pointless chatter, it’s fake and I’d rather spend time with someone i actually know. How on earth are you ever suppose to meet new people when you’re completely unable to carry a conversation? Estonians like living in their comfort zone and meeting new people is clearly a scary prospect. That way it’s impossible for them to make friends with British people and therefore they never fully manage to integrate into the society.  I don’t know how many times I have witnessed my British friends trying to have a chat with my Estonian friends. It’s a very painful process. Obviously after some drinking Estonians manage to put a sentence together that doesn’t solely consist of one syllable words.

Second problem is that Eastern Europeans are not well known for their smiley and friendly nature. One thing that the British say about Eastern Europeans is that they always look so serious and have no sense of humour. Nobody will even attempt to strike a conversation with them because they come across very cold and unapproachable. To be honest no wonder they look so serious all the time. If I had to wear that much blusher and have a fashion sense from hell, I’d be pretty pissed off too.

Now banter is another thing. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it. Nothing you can do about it. I personally think Estonians have a wicked sense of humour. Very dry and sarcastic, best kind of humour there is. However, it seems that some countries were completely skipped by the Gods of Banter.  The sour face and borderline cretinous jokes are hardly a heart-winning combo.

Thankfully I grew up on classic BBC comedy programs such as Blackadder and I consider myself as an experienced sarcasm aficionado. I mean if the British tell you that you‘re more sarcastic than them, you know you’ve gained some serious street cred. You will be known as someone who is quick witted and funny and not "that (seriously hot) blond Eastern European chick".

If you move to a foreign country, it is essential that you are open to new acquaintances and new experiences, respect the people who have been living there all their lives, immerse yourself in their culture and always accept the fact that you are in their country. Only with that kind of attitude a foreigner can really integrate into the society and live a financially and emotionally satisfying life.