“I can get another girl to take your job in five minutes … one who really wants it.”

andynigel

Andy Sachs: She hates me, Nigel.
Nigel: And that’s my problem because… Oh, wait. No, it’s not my problem.
Andy Sachs: I don’t know what else I can do because if I do something right, it’s unacknowledged. She doesn’t even say thank you. But if I do something wrong, she is vicious.
Nigel: So quit.
Andy Sachs: What?
Nigel: Quit.
Andy Sachs: Quit?
Nigel: I can get another girl to take your job in five minutes… one who really wants it.
Andy Sachs: No, I don’t want to quit. That’s not fair. But, I, you know, I’m just saying that I would just like a little credit… for the fact that I’m killing myself trying.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining. What is it that you want me to say to you, huh? Do you want me to say, “Poor you. Miranda’s picking on you. Poor you. Poor Andy”? Hmm? Wake up, six. She’s just doing her job. Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it. Well, not you, obviously, but some people. You think this is just a magazine, hmm? This is not just a magazine. This is a shining beacon of hope for… oh, I don’t know… let’s say a young boy growing up in Rhode Island with six brothers pretending to go to soccer practice when he was really going to sewing class and reading Runway under the covers at night with a flashlight. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.

This is probably one of my favorite scenes in “The Devil Wears Prada,” when Andy, the novel’s protagonist, goes to Nigel in tears because Miranda Priestly has yet again stepped on her with the heel of one of her custom Jimmy Choos, without any hestitation. Because Miranda keeps her magazine running.

And because after years of working her way to the top, Miranda Priestly has earned the right to do so.

Every intern or recent college graduate stepping into his or her first job out of college needs to watch this scene, and then needs to shed any sort of entitlement that they have when they join the work force.

Because your workplace does not owe you anything. Even if you decide that you hate your job, your boss, your coworker or coworkers, the town you live in, don’t share that publicly – with your competition or, God forbid, on your social media accounts – because it’s not a reflection of them. It’s a reflection of you. And it will be used against you in a court of public opinion.

It’s all temporary. Just keep in mind that you’re paying your dues and cutting your teeth. Your degree and your alma mater entitles you to nothing. When you take the next step, you’ll appreciate it that much more, knowing what you went through to earn that next opportunity.

But if you really hate it, go ahead and quit. Go back home to Mom and Dad and work at the Gap, or move back to your college town and serve coffee at the Starbucks across from campus.

Besides, the people who took a chance and hired you can probably find somebody to take your job in five minutes … someone who really wants it.

 

 

 

 

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Start making changes

“Maybe we need to hire a female NFL commissioner?”

That’s a great idea that my male friend brought up in the wake of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL, and the league’s botched handling of the case in which video surfaced of Rice punching his wife in a New Jersey hotel elevator … but let’s take it a step further. 

Change begins at the top of the food chain. Not necessarily with a new female commissioner, but NFL organizations (MLB, NHL, and NBA, too) need more female representation within their front offices.

Go into a pro sports facility or even a major college football or basketball facility and where are the women you see? They’re administrative assistants, or maybe a media relations representative, or an athletic trainer. Or maybe a reporter. Or a wife or a daughter of someone on staff. They’re not working in titled positions in front offices with responsibilities such as player personnel, team operations or scouts. And they certainly aren’t coaches.

Is there a Rooney Rule for women? If Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was smart – or if he might possibly have smart people around him (and we might be giving the Ravens too much credit by stating that) – he’d propose its institutionalization. And not just as an olive branch to the women the Ravens and the NFL will have alienated.

There’s still another area that needs to be addressed – consider how pop culture and the media portray women in sports:

Cameron Diaz was a Machiavellian team president in “Any Given Sunday,” – whose quarterback tried to ask her out on a date.

Jennifer Garner was a salary cap expert in “Draft Day” … who secretly carried the general manager’s child.

Annie Savoy. Enough said.

Even on broadcasts, there are few women *in the broadcast booth* – but chances are, they’re tertiary. We can recognize the women on the sidelines, but chances are, more people are interested in their Instagram account and their photo shoots than their knowledge of the post route.

The other day on a Detroit sports talk radio station, the afternoon radio guys wrapped up an interview with a female television personality and after she hung up, one of the first things they said was, “Man, she is hot.”

*This* is how men are identifying women in the industry? And marginalizing them? How do they view the female fan base? 

The botched handling of the Ray Rice saga reminds us that yet again, “le deuxieme sexe” isn’t a priority for the NFL. Unless it involves pink cleats and wristbands in the month of October.

Instead of devoting a month to breast cancer awareness, devote it to domestic violence awareness and sexual assault awareness. Ask a survivor of an abusive husband or a survivor of rape to address an NFL team.

The league has a chance to rectify itself after the Ray Rice situation – and has the chance to become an agent for change.

Sadly, it took a woman being punched in the face for the culture to realize change has to be made.