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CEO’s & Their McMansions

9 Oct

Do you live in a tiny one-room apartment while you sit at your desk imagining your boss in a huge house with several bathrooms and perhaps a sauna? Well, while your boss may live in a McMansion similar to this:

CEO’s of major food companies live in waterside castles like this: 


This spread belongs to Pizza Hut chairman Richard Freeland.  It’s a 30,000-square-foot mansion in Indiana that reportedly cost $35 million.

Next time you eat at Pizza Hut, imagine that. 

I like sharing ridiculously eyeball popping stuff like this. It’s my duty.

Wanna see more? It’s all in Business Insider


What People Do On Weekends

28 Sep

I wonder about people. I always have. And there are layers to my wonderment. For instance, I don’t just wonder stuff like “Hmm, I wonder if Weird Bob is weird.” I  already know that Weird Bob is weird. I already imagine some of the weird things he does when he’s alone, especially seeing the weird things he does when people are around.

So I wonder about more general things like what am I doing with my time off from work?!

For years I worked jobs I loathed disliked. I’m talking jobs where you couldn’t wait for Friday to show up, to have two consecutive days off.  Gosh, Fridays prior to three-day weekends were cause for whistles and balloons and uncontrollable giggling. Well, I’d get home on a Friday after work and sink into the couch and watch television while reading. Two of my favorite things to do simultaneously. Oh, sure, I’d eat, too. Of course I ate. Fridays usually meant something sinful like a slice of red velvet cake from Safeway. (I could spend six minutes eyeballing each individually packaged slice to determine which one had the most cream cheese frosting before purchasing.)  Throw in some other miscellaneous carbohydrates and the weekend would be set.

I was a barren spinster for many years so don’t wonder about a boyfriend. CAKE was my boyfriend.

So I’d settle in to the couch with the remote control and a book or stack of magazines and by Sunday  had nearly become one with the couch fabric. Oh, it was restful and lazy and lethargic and…boring? Not the act of it all, but was boring, it seemed.

All those weekends, for years and years, especially as my friends got married and there was less and less hanging out and fewer date nights I had this pervasive thought…


I would look out of the window and watch cars speeding up Route 50 in Arlington, Va and wonder where in the world were all these people headed to, especially in such a frenzy? (Yep, this is the same street I once saw President Clinton’s motorcade ride through on.) I would hear my neighbors through the walls and wonder what they were up to. I would see people coming and going in the apartment buildings I lived in with bags from the mall and from the grocery store, perhaps with their own cream cheese frosting loneliness demands.

All I cared about was relaxing and abolishing thoughts of work from my brain the very moment they appeared. As much as I wondered what others were doing, feeling as if I was missing out on some huge weekend movement, I finally gave up envying them and whatever they were doing. I told myself that surely they weren’t doing anything that special.  I mean, there’s only but so much pleasure to fit into a weekend.

Turns out I was right…

FROM NPR (National Public Radio):

10 Reasons to Rethink Your Cubicle Life

23 Aug

1.  This was you at your high school or college graduation:

No, not the slightly amused guy; either the napping one or the yawning one. This could mean you are right-brain or an innovator in the making.

2.  You watch the clock every single day. When it nears 5:00 p.m. you are the one packing up your desk and pressing your finger against the button that turns OFF your computer.

3.  Gabardine makes you itch. Really itch. 

4.  Your coworkers remind you of a herd of cows.

5.  You don’t “see yourself there in five years.” Nope, you see yourself anywhere but there in five years. 

6.  You remove your “work shoes” and slip on comfy shoes before pulling out of the company parking lot. 

7.  You have nightmares about office products. They appear to you in huge balls. Like this one:


8.  Whenever there’s a three-day weekend upon you, you salivate while marking the very days off on your wall calendar. Right there where everyone in your office, including your boss, can see. You use black Sharpies.

9.  You’re a hopeless dreamer. Your dreams are so big they astound everyone but you.

10. Your desk usually looks like this:


This has been yet another public service announcement from the Cubicle Rebel. 

Ideas That Made Millions

13 Aug
I keep seeing that big smile everywhere. She’s so incredibly bubbly. I’m talking about Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx. And every time I see her, her story revs up all kinds of creative and auspicious juices within me.
I have notebooks filled with ideas.
I’m an idea machine.
If When I can get people to pay for my ideas alone, I’ll be done with cubicle life forever. 
I’m a Jill of All Trades, Master of None…yet. 
Perhaps you’ve got business ideas and dreams inside of you.
Perhaps you actually love your cubicle stance, all 30+ years of it.
Perhaps you need some information to get your mind percolating.
Well, here are some inspirational stories to get us creative people back on track to filling notebooks and discovering new pathways to success and wealth:


One night, Sara Blakely cut off the bottom off her pantyhose, and the idea for Spanx was born. Blakely researched and wrote a patent for footless pantyhose, then drove around North Carolina visiting textile mills in search of one that would turn her design into a product. Most told her it would never sell, but one mill owner decided to take a chance and help turn her “crazy idea” into reality.

Within three months, Blakely sold more than 50,000 items from her apartment. She also started pitching her product to high-end department store buyers. Now that “crazy idea” has Blakely soaring. Spanx has grown to include a full range of body-slimming undergarments, bathing suits and activewear.  

She’s a total rockstar.
Think junk is just junk?
Inspiration struck Brian Scudamore as he was waiting in line at a McDonald’s drive-through and the pickup truck of a local hauling company caught his eye. Scudamore went out and bought his own pickup for $700 and started the Rubbish Boys. He began by picking up junk between classes at the University of British Columbia, but what started as a way to pay for college soon turned into something bigger.

In 1993, he dropped out of school to focus on the company. In 1998, he changed the name to 1-800-GOT-JUNK? A year later, the first franchise opened in Canada. Now there are locations all over North America and Australia.

Pillow Pets


The idea for Pillow Pets dawned on Jennifer Telfer as she watched her young sons smash down their stuffed animals in order to sleep on them. So she set about creating stuffed animals that unfolded into plush pillows.
Telfer and her husband decided to wholesale the products themselves through their company, CJ Products. She began by hawking them at a mall kiosk during the holiday season, and then at a home show two weeks after Christmas.

When the products nearly sold out, Telfer realized she was onto something. The cuddly toy has since exploded into the marketplace, bringing in $300 million in sales in 2010. 


To read the full report, including other popular business stories, click here.

Now go get ’em!

I expect to read good things about your success in five years. Or less.


Inspiration Nation

16 Jul

I want you to be inspired.

As you sit at your desk, perhaps with zero natural light, wondering where you’ll be in five years, you could be planning your future with help from here.

Do it.

Click on it.

Read through the small business stories that will give you absolute goose bumps.

I do it all the time.

TV Commercial Work

19 Jun
There are a handful of things that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m talking since birth. Since being a fetus. Since being a mere sperm. Always. I was just cut out/destined to do certain things. Like I’ve always seen myself in television commercials. As a kid I would watch Saturday Night Live! and dream of being in commercials; but not just being in them; writing and directing them. There was a “cereal” commercial on SNL in the late ’70′s where they ate breakfast cereal made of rocks. It was the funniest thing I’d seen at that time. I would laugh and laugh and laugh.  TOO FUNNY to a kid.
Those very SNL commercials sparked a dream in me.
While in college I created a whole new concept of skit players where we performed during the huge annual talent show between acts, actual commercial segments with voice overs. It was a HIT. In fact, it was such a hit that the crowd started chanting during lulls in the program “We want the commercials!” or something like that. I was gushing. GUSHING, I tell you.
So one of the skit players, a buddy of mine that I’d known throughout the campus and who was from back home in D.C., got bitten by the acting/comedy bug and now when I turn on my television I see him in Progressive insurance and Maxwell House commercials. Eeesh. The dude went for his dreams and look at him now.
I’ve had several friends/acquaintances in the acting business–most in the peripherals only–but the word on the Television Commercial Acting street is that a typical national TV commercial yields around$250K. Yep. So whenever I see an actor in a television commercial, particularly a recurring/popular one, I think they’ve probably made three times the aforementioned amount. Of course the magical number is not $250K, no, it varies. But the point is, over the years as I fretfully languished in cubicles shuffling papers from one desk to another, or whenever I’d turn on the TV and see my college buddy on yet another Home Depot commercial, I would do the math:
I figured if I worked on television commercials for ten years versus working in a cubicle for the same ten years I’d come out on the flowery end with commercial work.
But then I’d languish and languish and procrastinate and bite my fingernails and ponder and wonder and sigh heavily and wrinkle my forehead and fret and continue typing and shuffling papers and pressing SEND on the fax machine and glaring at my boss’s backside and sending out resumes and cover letters and sulking and writing another draft to a manuscript or a screenplay and then I’d find myself still in a cubicle five years later watching my college buddy on television sipping coffee or smiling while holding a wrench or selling car insurance.
The thing that excites me as I age is this. IS THIS…Hollywood (nor any dream) is not closed. I can still talk and walk and make contorted facial expressions and dance and stare into space and chew and laugh and shout.
(You know, things people generally do in television commercials.)
Now if I can only capture fear in a bottle and bury it.
What IS IT with resident procrastinators? I’d like to have a private session with Dr. Phil.
Working on My Next Project in Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Reasons I Run From Cubicle Life

11 Jun

1.  There are no couches there. There should be couches there. Nap time is underestimated.

2.  Lunchtime is too short. Even an hour-long lunch break, you figure you spend 15 minutes fetching lunch (corner deli, microwave blues, etc.) and 15 minutes returning to your cubicle walls. While I certainly don’t expect an employer to increase a lunch HOUR, I’m just sayin’.

3.  Paper cuts.

4.  Loud talkers in nearby cubicles.

5.  There’s no grass under my feet.

6.  I have to get up from my swivel chair and FIND a window to even see daylight.

7.  I feel trapped, tethered, stuck. I dunno, I just like freedom five days a week.

8.  There are other people there. Annoying people.

9.  I can’t read my favorite book on company time without getting written up. Have you ever been caught with an open novel tucked inconspicuously under company files? I HAVE.

10. Low pay. Need I say more?

Ok, 11 reasons:

11.  Protocol attire.  I really like jeans and comfy clothing, something with an elastic waist so I can let out my spill-over after gluttonously woofing down lunch. This is the part where the aforementioned couch would come in handy, too.

The least boring job I’ve ever had was when I worked at a closed captions house.  There were televisions everywhere and Breaking News! at every turn. And we got to wear jeans and shorts and t-shirts and tennis shoes and flip-flops and…well, you get the picture. The pay was low but the entertainment was high.

I watched Oprah and corny soap operas all day long while editing television scripts for on-air captions. I had a cool boss, too.

What was your favorite (office) job?