modern hussy says: Manners and Etiquette are as important today as they were in 1904. It seems that there is higher risk of unclassy behaviour now more than ever, as we are exposed to so many people through such plentiful communication methods. Much thoughtlessness occurs everyday by sms, social networking, in person, or via the telephone. Let the Modern Hussy ensure that you act like a perfectly raised individual in whatever situation; from avoiding unpleasant potluck parties, properly matching shoes with an outfit, determining when panty shots are acceptable, to setting a friend up on a blind date. Read on, friend. You can learn something.

On being an Intern part 2: Once you get the gig

Congratulations! You’re hired!!!
You are on your way to becoming the creative director you dream of being one day. Now, there is still TONS of room to completely screw this up, so here are some tips on how to be an amazing intern

1, Your greatest asset is that you have time, which is what the regular employees are missing and the reason why you were hired- use it wisely!! You’re probably going to be crap at this to start with, so ask your supervisor how long you have for each task. Then focus and try to be as fast as possible. Fast interns are the ones who get the cool design projects.

2. Don’t be an entitled asshole. Your job title is intern, which means that you will probably have to sort files, clean up swatches that haven’t been cleaned in years, put away things, take things out of boxes, organize binders, etc. If you become really good at those tasks, you will be trusted with new tasks. You might be so lucky to get actual creative input, if you do,remember that although this is your moment to shine it still ain’t time to forget about all that filing and all those swatches. Remember to get all your tasks done. If in doubt , ask your supervisor to prioritize your to do list.  Don’t poo poo at tasks that you think are beneath you. Don’t forget that most interns have to fetch coffee for 6 months to prove themselves enough to handle one file. If you get to be around ANY actual design work or at least get to absorb it by filing while a meeting is going on you are lucky.

3. You hold one main superpower, and that is knowledge of new computer programs. If you are in the creative field, make sure you know Photoshop, illustrator, indesgin and any 3d (if applicable) and know it well. I’ll let you in on a little secret, a lot of your seniors just learned how to download the photos off their iPad into their computer. Be a little technical mastermind and you will become useful fast!

4. Use your questions wisely. Questioning authority and the methods under which things are done is a good thing and evolves the company. However you should always know WHEN is a good time to question the authority.  Most of the time we just want you to do as we say. If you can think of a magical way of revolutionizing processes you will have to show this to us, or prove that it will work. Whining about any task is a total no!

5. Start each day with asking for your daily tasks. End each day with asking if your supervisor needs anything before going home. Sneaking off early will only make you look stupid, and will ensure that your senior are rolling their eyes about you at lunch.

6. Ask for a touch point a few months into your internship to see how you’re doing and how you can improve. This shows that you are interested in your short and long term growth and shows that you can take constructive criticism.

7. Fact-You will fuck up. This is totally OK. As soon as you realize you did, tell someone so that he /she can help you sort it out. Apologize for your mistake and make sure you don’t do it again. Fucking up and then just saying ’ I know I know I know’ while walking away to hide does not spark confidence in your skills or in the fact that you can be a good team player. Take responsibility for your mistakes.

8. This is linked to # 7 but, when in doubt, ASK QUESTIONS. If you are even slightly unsure of what you are doing, ask to have it explained again. The last thing you want is to spend 2 hours on a project that is going straight to the garbage, followed by your superiors rolling their eyes about you over lunch.

9. Keep your personal life out of the office. We DO want you to regale us of stories of frosh week, and tell us about a really cool band you just found. Hell, if you’re in fashion you are probably a whole lot more with it than most of the staff over 35. However, there is a time and place for this- Lunch is one of those times, the morning coffee hang is one of those times. A super stressful day when everyone else is sweating to meet a deadline is a time for silence and quiet filing in the corner.

Have fun! And bring some baked goods once in a while (get your mom to bake them). Your seniors barely have time to do their laundry and will appreciate the delicious treats, thus elevating you to the status of an ‘awesome intern’.   

On being an Intern- part 1

School’s out, suckers.
Instead of lounging poolside all day, loads of students are going after the coveted internship. What better way to pave the road to your career success than to fetch coffees and make photocopies in a real true life company?
Being at the age where I sometimes hire people, I have been responsible for finding interns in MY corporation, and boy do I ever have inside scoop for you.
Just to be clear, my advice is geared at internships in fashion and design, but I am sure that some of these points can be applied across other categories.
So here it goes.

1. The application process.
Cover letter:
You want to be a unique snowflake, don’t you? Well, then for fuck’s sake don’t write ANYTHING in your cover letter that even remotely resembles the following:
‘Ever since I was a little girl, I expressed my interest in fashion by sewing all my own clothes’ / ‘When I was 4 my parents took me to see the Eifel tower (fill in another obvious yet important landmark here) and from that moment I knew I wanted to be an architect .’
Listen, I’m glad that your inner child is peeing itself at the idea of getting this internship, however, NO ONE in a real company cares about the crappy tunic you made when you were a tween. I get many applications, and about 80% of them include a story pretty much identical to the above. I know you want to write an application that stands out, so tell me why you’re amazing, and what makes you passionate for this.
Obviously include all the usual professional stuff, but its OK to show that you’re cool.

CV:
If you’re applying for any kind of creative position, don’t even bother to do this without a portfolio. Your CV at this stage of your life means very little, and the fact that you were ‘part of New York Fashion Week’ is really only mildly impressive, since we all know that you just let people into the tent.
Don’t lie. It only takes me about 45 seconds to know that you maybe opened illustrator once, yet included it as one of your ‘skills’. Don’t include a program unless you’re proficient in it.
Also, knowledge of Microsoft word or gmail is not a skill.

Super Special note: if you send me something with spelling errors I immediately delete it and never talk to you again. Bad spelling in a job application is like wearing dirty underwear inside out on the outside of your pants.

2. The Interview.
Arrive ten minutes early.
Give yourself time so that you are not sweaty or frazzled.
WEAR SHOES THAT FIT YOU!!! I can’t stress this enough, but when you arrive limping/ teetering like Bambi on ice, we notice, and we judge you.
We know you’re super nervous. It’s OK. We’ve all been there.
If you’re applying for any kind of creative position, BRING YOUR PORTFOLIO!!!!! Printed copy is best (I know it’s old school, but this IS proper interview etiquette), but at the very least load it on your iPad or laptop. Don’t rely on the interwebs. I am not going to load up your portfolio to a computer while we interview.
Ask a load of questions. Being inquisitive helps us determine your intelligence and shows whether or not you are ‘getting it’.

At the end thank the interviewer and politely say goodbye.
It is in definite good taste to send a thank you follow up email the next day, but do not say, ‘WHEN WILL YOU LET ME KNOW?????’.

Remember that often this stuff takes a while to process in a company and you might not hear back the next week. In that case, send a follow up email, but do NOT pressure me, telling me you gots other opportunities. Its OK to show me you’re hungry and desirable, bit don’t be ‘end of the night haven’t gotten a girl and will pounce on about anything still breathing’ hungry.

Don’t call me. I have enough crap to deal with.

this is the end of part 1, tune in next week for part 2- when you get the gig.

happy interviewing, M.H.

A Hussying Comeback

HI Friends!

I am back from an amazing relaxing vacation with the promise that I am going to blog regularly again. I have several half finished posts almost ready for you! 

I can’t wait to get back to it. Etiquette is required for Spring, N’est ce pas??

Love M.H.

On Shit No One Wants to Talk about in 2014

Actually this is a post about shit no one wants to talk about ever!

So listen up and erase the following topics from your pretty little heads.

Social networking has made us all feel so important. You feel like you scored so many Internet points when thirty-six of your closest friends comment on the fact that you ate a sandwich. This inevitably made you think that any verbal diarrhea that spews out of your mouth (or social media diarrhea that stains your keyboard) should be immediately hash tagged.

But it shouldn’t.

The following topics are one you all bore me with:

Your detox.

I am trying to ban the word kale at my office. Seriously, bitches say it about 16 times a day. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself, but no one needs to hear your menu for the entire week, or that you ‘already feel SO much better, are totally not hungry, and really have learned to appreciate food’. Bitch, it’s been 2 days since you’ve been on this detox and I totally see you sneaking forbidden ingredients.  If you want to be detoxing, amazing! It’s a great step towards a better life. However for some reason going on detox makes people feel the need to announce every step if their ‘journey’ to the world.

Your dreams

'… And then there was zebras there, but I didn't care because the midget was chasing me through molasses and then we all had tea.'

Doesn’t sound fascinating?

Um, NO IT DOESN’T !!!

Your crazy land in your crazy brain is not relevant to anyone’s life or interests. No one cares about your dream, as it has zero impact on anything. No, it wasn’t a ‘sign’ that you should text your ex because he is totally thinking about you and decided to let you know telepathically via dream.

Your wedding planning

I don’t care that the vases you got match your colour scheme perfectly, and that the best man better get his shit together in time for the wedding, and that you just don’t know we’re aunt Mildred should sit, and that there aren’t enough single guys at the singles table, and that you are going to have moustaches on sticks for people to take the MOST hillarious and kooky photos. We all know that you are getting married. We’ve been hearing about it every step of the way since he proposed on New Year’s Eve, or Christmas Eve, whatever. We are all super glad and happy that you are entering marital union, but no one wants to hear about every minuscule detail of your planning, except maybe knowing if it will be open bar or not.

The meaning of your tattoo

Yes, your spiritual awakening of 2004, when you went to Thailand to get finger banged by Australians is really fascinating, but I struggle to keep a straight face when you let me know all about your power animal and how strongly you identified with Thai culture. Just admit that you got drunk and let one of those dudes on the beach tattoo you with a bamboo stick at 3 am.

All 20 ingredients you put in your quinoa

No one cares. And yes, I was aware that avocado goes SO WELL in this meal.

Look, once again, I am really glad that you are cooking for yourself like a standard human being, but unless someone specifically asks you ‘what’s in that dish?’ No one really cared for you to recite all the ingredients.

Every morning.

This person usually goes together with the one who only talks about their detox. They claim things such as ‘from now on, I will ONLY eat this’, and later you see them dipping their fingers into a jar of Nutella at their desk.

The sequence of your cold / flu

Yes, it started with a light sore throat, moved into your chest two days later, and now you are almost too snotty to tell me this disgusting story.  But you are not, because you are telling me, while inevitably spreading your germs into my life.

I KNOW HOW BEING SICK WORKS.

Now, before I get a ton of hate mail (the you-je), I will just finish off with a disclaimer: if you are my friend and I love you, then I love to discuss every single one of these topics with you.  This list is for acquaintances.

So, quit thinking that every thing you say is magical. 

Love , M.H.

On What to Get Her for Christmas

It’s that special time again, when everywhere you look you are reminded that you should be purchasing more crap for all the people you love, to prove to them just how much you love them. 

Ahhh, Christmas.

We all start getting a little nervous around November, hoping to outdo last year’s gift giving. However, most people inevitably run around shops on Dec. 24th, looking for that special something for that special someone. And to those who put a final bow on all their Christmas gifts on Dec. 6th, screw you. Some of us work better under pressure.

Isn’t that always the problem?  Finding that perfect present for your love?

Boys, this post is for you.

I know that it is harder for men to get really good and thoughtful gifts for their ladies. 

I wanted to give you a little checklist and a little help, to hopefully avoid disappointing her and thus, maximizing the amount of jiggy you are going to get over the holidays.

  1. Pay attention!!!! Your girl has been telling you exactly what she wants you to get her for Christmas since mid August. Rack your brain and think of all the links that she has sent you in the last six months with the caption ‘SO CUTE’ to shopping sights you never opened. Think of all the times you were at the mall picking out birthday gifts for your mom or whatever, and your girl lingered around cashmere something or others, petting them with love in her eyes.  Think of all the times she said she ‘needed’ new earrings.  She wants ALL or ANY of those things. All you have to do is make a mental note when it happens and get it for her when the time is right.
  2. Gift certificates are banned!  You may think that you are helping yourself by letting her make the decision for her gift, but all you are doing by giving her a gift certificate is telling her that you could not bother to giver her present any thought. Additionally, putting a price on your gift makes you tacky and horrible.
  3. If you get a scarf, she will probably strangle you with it.  Getting her an obvious girlfriend gift makes you unimaginative.  Seriously, can’t you search for her gift any further than a Gap commercial?
  4. Don’t get her things she needs.  If my lover got me toothpaste and cotton balls, because he saw that I ran out, I would probably make him eat the whole package. Christmas is about spoiling each other. Make it fun, sexy and indulgent. My parents get one another socks, but they have been married for thirty-something years and share all their accounts. No secrets there.  Your girl is happy when she sees how thoughtful and fun you are via your gifts!
  5. Activity based gifts are well accepted.  Any girl will melt if your gift to her is a weekend getaway that you have planned all by yourself, researching a really great restaurant in a remote location, and arranging the whole thing.  Bonus points if you surprise tell her telling her to pack her bags (and bring something nice to wear)! Seriously, that is all I want. Ever.
  6. You can never go wrong with jewelry.  Here is the thing: not all jewelry is created equal.  Giving your woman jewelry that she actually likes is the ultimate test of how well you know her.  I have exes that used to give me silver encrusted with amber, with such a style that I knew their moms picked it out.  And if you think you know me at all, you should know that I do not rock ‘mom’ style jewels. Note that price is not a factor, brand is not a factor and your friend the jewelry designer who makes all those things shaped like leaves is not helpful.  Jewelry is truly about knowing your girl’s style.  There IS help. She will always have the one friend who’s style she loves (and I am sure she tells you about that all the time, see point 1). This is the girl you ask for jewelry advice.  

There you have it!

It is foolproof.

But I did give you extra challenge by posting this on Christmas Eve! Can’t make it too easy for you!

Good luck, May your presents and your holidays be Merry and Bright!!!

Happy Christmas from

The Modern Hussy!     

On the Christmas Hols

Here are all the things i PLAN to do over Xmas Hols:

1. read at least 3 books

2. Make my flat look like a well styled blog, with cozy blankets and casually strewn about tea cups

3. go to yoga like, everyday

4. work on my portfolio

5. go skating and snowboarding and tobogganing

6. Make art

7. Have friends over for scary movie night

(I really hope all this happens… instead of blinking right through the holidays and wondering where the heck the week went….)

What are YOUR plans?

Love, MH

On Anger (at work)

Dear Readers. It’s been a while. I was in a whirlwind of work madness, all while trying to ponder if I have anything worthwhile to say on this blog. On my phone there are 8 unfinished posts that are constantly on my ‘to do’ list. Life got in the way in a serious manner, but I have decided that the Modern Hussy lives on. So, let’s keep on Hussying, and you’ll be hearing from me soon!

You know those days when you feel like you’re going to burst into tears at any moment, when your computer won’t turn on, your favourite go to outfit has good stains on it, your coffee maker  will not co operate and people will ask you questions so absurd you wonder how they managed to tie their shoes in the morning?

Today started with me dropping eggs on the floor.

 It was very ‘I threw it on the ground!’ a la Andy Samberg, but I did not intentionally want to do it. It just kind of happened.

As I tried to mop up the egg mess off the floor, I realized that I am running late and then yelled at my lover, because there were broken eggs on the floor.

A series of events followed which I will not get into, but I have to embarrassingly admit that I yelled, and everyone was scared to talk to me for the rest of the day.

I felt on edge, and wanted to punch things and throw shoes.

I tried to distance myself from anyone alive by quietly spending time with the photocopier. Mundane tasks serve as meditation, don’t you think?

Not even five minutes into it the printer jammed in several places and would not copy my sketches no matter how many times I banged on it.

After a few ‘come ON, fucking work!’ statements I made to the printer (to no avail) tears welled up in my eyes.

All I could think was: ‘I hate this place, I hate my life, I want to leave and never come back again.’

No sooner than the thought passed my brain I realized how ridiculous it all sounded.

I was getting angry at the PRINTER???

An object that won’t even talk or fight back?

I hated my life because I broke an egg???

What a waste of time!

I took a deep breath in, collected my unphotocopied sketches and went back to my desk totally calm.

The storm was over.

Think about the last time you got angry, and I mean really angry.

Odds are, that it wasn’t for a totally good reason… Maybe you missed the bus, and someone left work you weren’t expecting on your desk. Or some broad butted in line in front of you at the supermarket.

Point being is, normal life shit happens, builds up, and upsets us. However, getting angry over trivial crap is not worth it.

1- It makes you seem like a crazy person, and at work, you should aim to be level headed. You know those people at the office that spend their career being worked up over things. Those are the people who don’t get promoted and often get left out of things, because no one wants to work with attitudes like that.  They are trying to bully you into their dramz.

2- It takes up a lot of your time. Seriously. If you remove the time you waste on being angry, you could go to a movie every week, and do your job more effectively in a shorter amount of time, or a long yoga class, or out to the bar. Or for some people, all of the above.

3- It ages you. Everyone knows that stress is your biggest enemy. It promotes disease, gives you wrinkles, can result in hairloss,  weight  gain and weakens your immune system.  These are all the things we try to avoid at all times, friends!

So, how can you avoid anger and teach yourself how to let everything roll off your back?

1- Get enough sleep. We all become cranky pants when we are tired.

2- Do some kind of exercise. Endorphins make you happy. So do something that gets your heart pumping. Yes, getting jiggy counts- and gives you extra endorphins.

3- Master yoga breathing. It’s easy. Slow down your breathing while counting backwards from ten. You have no idea how many meetings I survived in this way.

4- Try and adopt a ‘fuck it’ attitude. I find that as soon as I relax, everything falls into place. The more you let things roll off your back, the more optimistic you get and the easier it is to get along with people. I’m not saying, become dead inside and do your job without any passion, but be realistic about the limitations of putting twenty egos into a room.

5- Learn diplomacy. Take a coffee break, run around the building, scream in your car, or cry in the bathroom instead of blowing up. On very occasional days skip out early and have a great evening thinking of anything other than work. Come back refreshed and happy.

Essentially, try to avoid getting visibly angry.  You can rant about how stupid everyone at your work is later, to your friends, over a drink.

But don’t be the angry guy at work- nobody likes him. 

On Faking it as an Adult

Two summers ago I volunteered with some kids at a summer camp. (Yeah, I’m good like that). One night, we were walking thru the camp, and heard sounds coming from the pitch Black forest.  Immediately, the kids gasped and surrounded the only ‘responsible, parent like adult’ around:  me.
It wasn’t until that very moment that I realized that I am the adult. I am the one children run to when they are scared, confident that I will make it all better and protect them from anything bad- anything emerging from the forest.
What the kids didn’t know is that I was simultaneously trying to not pee my pants in fear, while orchestrating the best way to get away in case the camp was getting attacked by a bear. (Throwing small children in its path should buy me some time, right?).
However, to avoid panic, I put on my best reassuring voice and stomped toward the noise in the forest hoping that I was merely chasing off a raccoon.
I was.
The whole incident made me think of my parents.  They had no idea what they were doing when they had me (for the record they almost killed me 4 times).
And this brings up an interesting concept- is everyone just faking it??
When I was a teenager I thought that one day I’d wake up and it will be as if a light bulb had gone off and I will have become an adult. By this time, I was going to be wildly successful, married, and dragging around a couple of perfect kids (all before 30 years of age, of course).
Into my mid thirties, I am still waiting for that lightbulb, and quickly realizing that it ain’t coming. (Needless to say I am also childless and unmarried, and live like I’m in college ).
I’m fairly certain that this is what being an adult feels like, but I am just as confused and unable to make a decision as I was when I was a teenager.
I also think that all those married  girls who say ‘oh when I met Mr.Right I just knew that I could relax, I finally found him!!’. Bitch please, you were drunk and he was rich (to paraphrase good ole Carrie Bradshaw), and there was no way for you to know that you were making the right decision just because shit hasn’t hit the fan….YET.
Because there is not such thing as things happening for a reason, or life finally falling into place. Things happened because you made a decision, and as 3 things fall into place 2 others fall out.
We are all just faking it.
Faking the behaviour that will get us a promotion, faking being sure about a person or a decision, faking the fact that our SO can satisfy all our needs, faking confidence at our job, faking the matter of fact result of one of our successes even tho we really just took a wild guess.
And you know what?
its totally normal and ok.
So keep on faking!

Eventually you will make it.

Let’s hope.

Love, MH

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