Just Blogging Around

In between dealing with problems with our webservers and debugging some script files I've just been sort of blogging around, looking for who else lives and blogs in or around Memphis and then adding the more interesting ones to my Blogroll.



Along the way I discovered that author Patricia Pearson's blog seems to have disappeared. She's got 2 new books out, so that may have something to do with it. I used to email her and call her an animal abusing anarchist from time to time. Sometimes she'd email me back, calling me various highly creative names in return.



A really talented writer can come up with the most hillarious names anyone could ever think to call you. Not that I'm advising anyone to email an author and just start off with, "hey shithead" in hopes that they'll get a funny reply.



One time she referred me to her editor and advised me to submit some articles. She said I was funny in a way that she particularly liked. So I submitted, but was rejected. When I sent her a copy of the first rejected article she read it and said, "take the anger out." It was good advice, but the article never did fly.



Apparently articles about rednecks, mullets, and Camaros just don't click with Canadian papers.



It didn't fly when I sent it around to tiny Memphis-area papers, either. And of that I must say there are some really stupid articles being printed around here, articles that I wouldn't even bother to wipe my ass with. But anyway, I'll just keep practicing and maybe one of these days ... I'll start my own magazine again, like I did in college, and just print whatever the hell I want.



THAT'LL SHOW'EM!



Anyway, My Employer has recently blocked all access to internet email accounts, so out of shear desperation I emailed Patricia from my work account. I never, ever use my work email account to email people outside. I don't know why I just had to today. All I wanted to say was, "hey Chairman Mao, where is your blog?"



How urgent is this? Yet for some reason I couldn't wait until I got home.



I'm stressing over work. I can't figure out if My Boss is just busy or if he's setting me up for a surprise lay-off or some alternate screw-job in mid January or what. I've had a lot of bad things happen to me in January over the years, so when it gets close I start to worry.



I may take up smoking just to try and break into his clique.



I'm removing several of my work-related posts just to CMA. You never know when your boss my take an interest in reading your blog and then decide to get rid of you over it.



Well, I have to look back at the script files before I go home. My Coworker will be in tomorrow and I will be on vacation, so he won't have any idea what I've changed. I need to make sure it's working before I go. Or else make it all so confusing that he won't know what it means until after I get back.

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Who's a Jackass?
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Loonies on the Path - part V - the Roads Are Poop

I had to go back to work this morning, after being sent home in an ice storm Wednesday, frozen in on Thursday, and officially on vacation Friday and the following Monday. I hadn't even tried to drive my truck on the roads until today. I had hoped the roads would all be cleared by now. They weren't.

Every road I take to work is considered a 'back road.' And on all of these roads anywhere that there is shade there is also ice. And of course all the bridges are frozen, too. I did pretty well considering my truck is a one-wheel-wonder. But I did give a woman a heart-attack after she and three other people apparently slid off the road midway on a frozen hill. I was coming up the hill when I saw all 4 of their cars scattered on both sides of the road. A woman had gotten out of her car and was apparently intending to cross the road on foot when she looked at me coming up the hill. Just as I came close to her I hit ice and started to fishtail.

"Ah ha, this is probably how they all ended up in the ditch" I thought to myself ingeniously. The woman immediately leaped behind her car and appeared to squat and pee. But I managed to straighten it out and keep on going up the hill without joining them in the ditches or peeing myself.

Later, on the most dangerous part of my daily drive, a curvy hill that is slick even when dry, I got behind a woman in a black Nissan Maxima. Much like the woman in the gray minivan this woman did all the wrong things for icy roads. She stopped at the bottom of the icy-covered hill and then began trying to climb it at about 2 miles per hour. This, of course, forced all the rest of us to stop at the bottom of the hill, too. And unlike her, I do not have front-wheel-drive, so I cannot climb the hill at 2 mph. I had to wait for her to get mostly up and then begin the climb at my own, somewhat faster speed. I caught her at the top, at which point she began down the other side, entered an icy curve, and hit her brakes about midway through it. I did not hit my brakes, not wishing to slide across the oncoming lane or wind up in a ditch, so I began to gain on her. I nearly rear-ended her, which I would have done rather than choosing to skid out of control, but miraculously I was able to slow enough by using my clutch not to squash her any.

At this point I became aware of the fact that I was cursing her in an unusually polite manner under my breath. Everything I said to myself about her driving skills was far too nice, with nothing that might truly be considered obscene ever leaving my mouth. I then realized that she had a Christian fish on the back of her car, which I had apparently noticed before.

You might be thinking, "So what? Call her a fuckhead just like you would anyone else." But no, I was not going to do that, and I'll tell you why.

When I was a freshman in college I was driving to physics lab in a rainstorm in my pristine 1971 Monte Carlo. I got stuck behind a man who must have been over 100 years old and drove accordingly. I had my radio on and was listening to it more than worrying about the slow old man or the driving rain. I finally decided to pass him, being careful because of the rain.

Just as I was moving around him in the right lane the DJ said something relating to the then-recent scandal involving Reverend Jimmy Swaggart and a hooker he had employed. Of course the DJs were making fun of him. I joined in without really thinking about it.

"Jimmy Swaggart is a jackass," I said aloud.

As soon as the words had left my mouth the backend of my Monte Carlo kicked out and I spun 3 times completely around, passing the old man while going backwards. Just as I was regaining control by using my gas pedal as a thruster the way we used to do in the old Asteroids game, a woman driving a stationwagon going the opposite way clipped my rear end, not even trying to avoid me, and ripped a huge hole in the rear of my car. This sent me back out of control and straight off the road at a giant tree. As I began to realize that I was definitely going to hit the tree I threw up my hands and said, "Oh come ON, God!"

This qualifies as a prayer. I am Baptist and I know these things.

The next thing I knew I was parked in an unhappy man's yard next to his tree. I had somehow not hit the tree even though I had no control at all and was absolutely, most definitely going to hit it. I couldn't possibly have avoided it. I have no idea how I missed it. As I said, I was on my way to physics and physically it was impossible for me to miss.

I studied engineering and computer science, and minored in math. The probability of winning the Powerball lottery is higher than of me missing that tree. Trust me.

By the way, if engineers bank a curve so that it slopes downward toward the outer edge instead of upward like it is supposed to the curve does not have 'negative velocity.' My dynamics professor was all too glad to inform me of this while the rest of the class laughed at me. The university, despite being an engineering school, mysteriously banked a sharp curve on campus the wrong way and naturally I asked about it. Now that I am older I realize that they did this not because they were illogical, but because they were cheap-assed bastards.

Anyway, getting back to my crash, my Monte Carlo was ripped open, stuck in this man's yard, and totalled. The man took the time to come out and tell me that I had better not have hurt his tree and had also better not trench his yard when I drove off his lawn. He was totally unconcerned about my state of health. The woman who had hit me didn't even get out of her car after she stopped. She just sat and looked at me. So needless to say I was late to physics lab and never called Jimmy Swaggart any names again.

And I also don't use the standard library of curse words when dealing with poor drivers who have a Christian fish on their car.

So there you have it.
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On the road from Memphis to Alabama - Christmas day

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Cold Frozen Memphis Street
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OK, I'm Cold Now. Open The Door!
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Even Cats Don't Like Being Farted On At Christmas

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Merry Christmas
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Frozen Christmas Eve

It's still colder than cold here and the ice has not melted much. My Wife and I walked the neighborhood again today, like we did yesterday. There were fewer 4-wheelers out skidding around on the icy roads than yesterday for some reason. But down at The Park there was an enormous number of kids sledding the only real hill in This Small Town.



It is the perfect weather for sledding, with several inches of solid ice covering everything and about one inch of snow on top of that. You could hear the kids' screaming before you even saw them on the hill. It looked as if the entire neighborhood had gathered there, with sleds of all sorts and a few hubcaps and carboard boxes to ride. The sled trains were my favorite to watch, with kids holding onto the sled behind them, intending to go straight down in an orderly line-up, but always getting spun around and ending up backwards and on top of each other by the time they reached the bottom. They always ended up laughing no matter how it turned out.



Despite the ACLU's fanatical hate-motivated attacks on Christmas all across the country, an apparently fearless man in my neighborhood has erected a very large sign reading, "Merry Christmas" on a small hill in his back yard, which can be clearly seen from the main road. We're all waiting for the ACLU's Gestapo agents to invade, but we're also waiting for the Justice Department to finally do its' job and charge the ACLU with racketeering for it's criminal harassment of Americans' First Amendment rights through endless malicious lawsuits. Maybe Hell will freeze over this year and the Justice Department will finally get off its' ass? That would be one hell of a Christmas miracle.



Can you say 'hell' and 'Christmas' in the same sentence or is that a sin? I'm not actually sure.



Anyway, I will confess to sledding the hill in this man's yard with nothing other than my denim-covered ass to ride on. Even though my butt was really cold for the rest of the walk it was still worth it. I had a blast and My Wife had a good laugh, watching me slide all the way across the street behind his yard and into The Park where all the kids were.



A lot of spots that yesterday were safely covered with a layer of snow have since smoothed out and only the ice is showing now. I fell on the sidewalk, landing flat on my back. Of course, I was kicking a block of ice along like a soccer ball when it happened, so I can't really claim total victimhood. Soccer and ice weren't really meant to go together. That's what hockey is for.



Somehow, walking on the ice along our usual route took us 2 hours. Perhaps because after the sun went down we found ourselves practically skating to get home? My Wife said her fingers were feeling really frostbitten and so I put an extra pair of gloves that I had in my pockets over the gloves she was already wearing. She said it wasn't enough. Her hands were hurting really badly. And somehow her hiking boots made a gash in the back of her ankle on one foot, leaving a bloody spot on her sock. Neither of us could figure that one out since nothing sharp was showing in the boot.



All the cold weather and hard sidewalk landings were quickly erased from her mind when we got home. We made hot chocolate and sat on the couch drinking it while watching Christmas movies on DVD. Ralphie got his Red Ryder BB gun again this year and My Wife got to curl up under a blanket with hot chocolate and our never-shy black cat on her lap.



Everything was perfect and tranquil until I farted on the cat. She usually doesn't react at all, but I guess this time it must have really burned her nose because her eyes went totally black and she jerked her head back as far as it would go. Then she flicked her tail and jumped down, hiding beneath the glass table in front of the couch as if she were mortally wounded. I tried to apologize, as best as you can to a cat, but My Wife's violent laughter made it seem somewhat insincere.



Cats know when you're laughing at them, in case you didn't know.



So anyway, all of us, except perhaps our cat, Eliza, had a great Christmas Eve. And now everyone is snug in their beds except me. Because I'm an idiot and I stay up all night typing on my Blog for no real reason. And it's really cold in the house right now. Although it's no colder than it was, so that just means I'm really tired and should go to bed.



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White Christmas Fun
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Memphis Ice Storm 2004
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Annual Ice Storm - Memphis' White Christmas

It's time for our annual Memphis ice storm, and as usual it's a good one. I skidded home at around 4:00 this afternoon in a steady falling sleet, after having driven for an hour behind a woman in a minivan who seemed to enjoy piling up cars behind her in the ice and snow so that she could hit her brakes in every turn and on every downhill. You know, the times in which hitting your brakes on ice is generally the worst possible thing to do and forces everyone behind you to either hit theirs, too, or hit you. I was all for the hitting her part, but unfortunately I was 2 cars back and flying along at 10 mph.



I did notice, as I finally got to pass her at that brief 4 lane section of Forest Hill Irene, that she sped up faster than she had driven the entire time, reaching perhaps 30 mph, in an effort to block out all the cars trying to get the hell away from her. Three of us escaped before the road returned to being only one lane each direction. Then she quickly slowed down again, using her brakes, I'm sure, and went back to tormenting the hundreds of freezing cold people piling up behind her in the slick ice.



I don't know where Ass Rider Boy went to, but I think this woman must be his mother. I know she is someone's mother. She reminds me of my own mother. She is a real mother, that's for sure.



Can you say 'passive aggressive?' I knew you could.



There is definitely something about a sudden freeze that makes people irritable and cranky. Even my cats were beating the hell out of each other when I got home.



Anyway, as I was driving in the slick ice and bad traffic My Boss called me on my cell phone. Yes, not just once but 3 times. I answered the first time, skidding around with only one hand on the wheel and now diverted concentration, but when he didn't actually have a reason for calling I decided that perhaps he wanted to see if he could hear a live car crash through his cell phone and just maybe I should let him call someone else instead of me. I let it ring from then on and kept my focus on the icy road.



I'd also like to mention the fabulous Memphis radio stations, not one of which was offering any sort of traffic report during this massive storm. Oh, there was plenty of talking, but nothing about the many, many accidents and blocked intersections that freezing travelers might want to avoid. Not a single, solitary one.



After I had been home awhile I called My Boss to ask him about The Culmination of My Project and the way he seemed to take every single bit of the credit and give none to me. He assured me that everyone up the chain was fully aware of what a great job I'd done and that there would be some sort of reward down the line.



Here's the dilemma: do I believe him and ignore my gut feeling that I'm getting screwed or do I try to take matters into my own hands as I've already tried unsuccessfully to do thus far? Or do I try to find someone I can trust at The Bank and consult with them about this?



Trust is a very hard thing to find in a large company, as I learned the hardest possible way after dealing with the Most Evil Living Being I've Ever Met In My Life when I worked at The Large Memphis Express Shipping Company. Yes, I got 'Robbied' there and I have no intention of ever allowing such a thing to happen to me again.



I already tried briefly consulting with The Very Important Female Executive Vice President about my desire to make the most of my recent success, but I got a definite impression that she had already made something of an alliance with My Boss and thus worried that I might be somehow maneuvering around him. So I took what advice I could get and moved on.



I later talked to My Executive Vice President about my desire to take my victory and spring to something more. He couldn't offer me much, he said. I later learned that he has been promoted to the number 3 spot in the company and thus has quite a lot on his mind which I'm sure is more important to him than my career concerns. He moved to Birmingham today, house, family and everything. I was lucky to have gotten in to see him at all. Perhaps he'll at least remember my name? Maybe one day he will remember what I'd said and give me a chance? Who knows?



Anyway, it's presently 21 degrees in Memphis and the ground is frozen and white. Snow is predicted to cover the ice tomorrow. The roads are probably not going to be passable. My Boss already said that I should not anticipate coming in to work. Nothing is predicted to thaw until after Christmas, which is probably about the time that the mother in the minivan will finally arrive home.



Oh by the way, unlike Ass Rider Boy I see this same woman in traffic every single day. She's always like this.

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Oh @#*&!!!!!
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The Wrong Damned File

For 3 days I've been modifying a script file, in between solving system problems and generally saving the day like the Lone Ranger while My Coworker takes his much needed vacation. Today I've discovered that the script file The Vendor copied over, at My Coworker's request, is the wrong file. I've been slaving away making changes to the wrong damned file. Now I have to find the right one and start over.



Oh @#*&!!!!!

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Cold Titties

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Colder Than A Witch's Titty

It is colder than a witch's titty here in Memphis today. And I say this knowing full well that I'm not even sure what that means.



I realize there are a disproportionate number of wiccan women attending Ivy League schools in the cold, cold NorthEast, but I don't know that their titties are any colder than the rest of the women's titties up around that area. And if they were I couldn't guess why, except that I know they often get together in the woods for nude romps around campfires on weekends and special 'solstice' occasions. This would certainly tend to make for some cold titties during the current arctic blast I should think.* But that isn't until tomorrow, you know, on the first official day of Winter.



This raises the question of how to classify today since it isn't Winter yet. What would you call it - one really bad-assed day of Fall?



Maybe the witches will start the naked dancing tonight? I'm not really sure how this works. I suppose I could go to my local library and ask, if I were really all that curious.



Anyway, I was thinking that perhaps this nude campfire thing is why they misunderstand the Boy Scouts so badly? The Boy Scouts don't generally romp naked around their campfires. And when they do the ScoutMaster is often checked for possible violations of Boy Scout behavioral standards and then removed, prompting the evangelical wiccan head of the ACLU to launch yet another round of attacks on this vulnerable male leadership organization, with the intent of causing bankruptcy and ruin, or at least rampant homosexuality and nude campfire romping. Either one would be considered a success, I suppose.



If only the Boy Scouts would just allow child molestation and devil worship then the ACLU would be ever so pleased and leave them alone. Why can't they just understand this and cave in like the Republicans so often do?



Sorry, I almost started a genuine rant there.



Back to the topic of this Freak Fall Freeze: Bloggers down in Florida are blogging up a storm about this freezing cold air moving down into the orange groves. It is putting serious nipple-dents in their bikinis and they don't like it much at all.



Meanwhile, out in Southern California, where witchcraft is only slightly less popular than in the NorthEast, it is 75 degrees and their witches' titties are toasty and warm.



Sons-of-bitches!





* Note to the Wiccan woman who posted a comment to my blog: This is a joke. This is only a joke. Were this meant to be an actual commentary about witchcraft it would include long rants about various things which eventually would include both Hillary Clinton and China. But as it is merely a joke it does not even mention Hillary Clinton and her questionable ties to both China and India, or her allegedly private religious practices of human sacrifice, devil worship, and cunnilingus.



Also, it hardly even matters if wicca and witchcraft aren't entirely the same thing and not necessarily related to devil worship. It's all a joke based entirely on personal opinion and lack of sleep. Mostly just lack of sleep.



Ever played Solitaire with Tarot cards? I didn't win, but I had great luck for several months aftwards. Then my dog died.

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Sweet Baboo

After watching "Charlie Brown Christmas" on TV I turned to My Wife and said, "You're my sweet baboo."



Without looking up she said to me, "They have funny butts."



There was a long, confused silence and then I said, "what?"



"They have funny butts."



Another long, confused silence.



"The Peanuts characters have funny butts?'"



"What?"



"You said 'they have funny butts' after I said you were my sweet baboo."



"Oh, I thought you said something else! Ah ha ha ha!"



And she laughed and laughed.



What?

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WSJ, Rutgers University, and Microinequities - Part II: Response

Ms. Lublin responds, "No one at the conference talked about this disparity. I am going to forward your letter to ms. Moynahan, who led the workshop, for her reactions."



I appreciate the time and the effort. I genuinely do. I hope Ms. Monynahan responds. Perhaps this will lead somewhere, if not today then maybe sometime in the future?



Sometimes when confronting blatant discrimination against males I find that the only people willing to do anything about it are women. The men often sit silent, afraid to even breathe. This might seem odd, but I know many of the reasons, or at least I think I do.



I once emailed the Department of Women's Health asking about the existence of a Department of Men's Health, which I know good and well does not exist. To my surprise they responded that they feel there should be a corresponding department for males and encouraged me to lobby my representatives in Congress about this ridiculous disparity.



You never know who your friends might be until you engage.



Anyway, for now I'll just have to wait and see if anything more comes of this.

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Congratulations!
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The Culmination of My Project - Part III

The project is done. We are a success. My presumed rival has had her delivery date slipped 3 months.



A torrent of emails have come pouring in from the highest levels of upper management,



CONGRATULATIONS!



Thank you. Thank you all very much. It was nothing, really. As long as I have your attention let's talk about you giving me my own team to lead on a permanent basis and some stock options.



More on this, I guarantee.

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Ditched Again

Once again, just like the other day, My Boss and My Coworker waited until I went to the bathroom before racing downstairs to smoke and do lunch without me. I feel like I'm in elementary school again with this shit.

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Chopped Liver When She's Around

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I'm Chopped Liver

I went to work sick today. I had a very important meeting that I couldn't afford to miss.



After the meeting My Boss and I went downstairs to work on a problem with a Super Secure Vital Application. Then he mentioned an important lunch meeting he had and we both went back upstairs. I quickly got the impression that he was trying to ditch me.



After I went back to my cubical I heard My Attractive Female Coworker asking My Coworker, who sits in the cube next to me, where My Boss was. She was his 'very important lunch meeting.' She half-heartedly invited My Coworker to come along to lunch with them. He hemmed and hawed and very wisely declined, clearly knowing that My Boss did not want any other company for this particular lunch date.



By this time I was standing right behind her. She did not ask me if I wanted to go. I suspect Rutger's Women's Leadership Institute might consider this to be one of their 'microinequities' that feminist leaders are encouraged to get upset about, but of course only when it happens to women. Anyway, it was just as well that she was snubbing me, as I was preparing to send out an email informing My Team that I was going home sick.



If I hadn't felt crummy enough before I certainly did by then.



And it reenforces what I already knew. The first time I went to lunch with My Attractive Female Coworker she made a point of inviting My Former Boss to come, too. All the women love him and aren't shy about making it known (One girl tried to climb him in the elevator.) I could easily tell she really only wanted him to come, not me at all even though I was the one needing to talk to her about work. I had only asked her to lunch for that specific purpose and never asked again.



Each time I've had lunch with her it has only been because My Boss, former or current, was along. She'll only come for them.



Add to all this the fact that My Boss has formed a tight clique with my two coworkers who smoke with him, growing more and more distant from me and My Bitter Female Coworker who also doesn't smoke, and I'm just chopped liver in a cubical, shit on a stick, gum on his shoe, an updated resume on Monster.com.



Several times since becoming My Boss, he and My Coworker have begun playing a game where at lunchtime they'll wait for me to leave for the bathroom or the printer or most any reason, just for a moment, and then they'll race to lunch without me. If I go downstairs and see them there My Boss will make this stupid face at me, as if I'm the one who ditched him.



Kiss my ass!



Too bad there are no good IT jobs in the United States anymore. I'd like to find something more worthwhile, preferably far away from Memphis.

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WSJ, Rutgers University, and Microinequities

A woman writing for the Wall Street Journal recently did a piece about something she learned at a Women's Leadership Conference sponsored by Rutgers University's Women's Leadership Institute. She learned that women who want to be leaders should be constantly on the lookout for microinequities. It seems that anything at all that causes a woman to feel less than ideal should be considered a slight and dealt with immediately. This, apparently, is what true femine leadership should be all about.



I emailed the author, Joann Lublin, and asked her if anyone at the conference thought it an inequity that Rutgers University even has a Women's Leadership Institute while maintaining no corresponding Men's Leadership Institute or that it paid for a female-only conference lasting 6 days while having never held anything even remotely similar for males?



So far she has not responded.

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