Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thinking of Celebrating Administrative Assistants Day? Not so fast.

Actually, for most "Administrative Assistants" this is "Oh my god you think I'm a secretary?!? I hate my life" Day.

I remember many years ago, my first job right out of college, I worked as an Editorial Assistant at a magazine. I shared an office with another college grad about the same age as me, and we were the two hardest working, lowest paid people on staff.  What made it worth it for me was holding onto the promise of bigger things to come: a promotion, job growth, the hope of moving up and actually making the most of my college education, which I knew I would spend the next 10 years paying off.

I will never forget the look on my co-worker's face when her boss walked in with a bright pink coffee mug filled with flowers, a garish mylar balloon attached to the handle. (Ironically, this was commonly marketed as a "Pick Me Up" bouquet.)

My co-worker had attended one of the top Journalism programs on the East Coast, graduating with honors and several writing credits under her belt.  Instead of feeling appreciated for a job well done, the well-intentioned flowers presented to her on "Administrative Assistants Day" made her realize just how low on the totem pole she was, and that her chances of staying on staff long-term and getting promoted were slim. Instead of an "up and coming" young colleague, she was seen as "support staff" for the rest of the editors.  She started updating her resume that very evening.

We both moved on not long after that, to higher paying jobs where we made it clear from the beginning that we were looking to move up the ladder. Yes, receptionists and secretaries and administrative assistants play an important supportive role in business, and deserve to be appreciated...but before you buy those flowers, think about whether or not your recipient truly sees themselves that way.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spotting a Fake PayPal Email -- Don't be fooled!

I received an email today that was structured to look as though it came from PayPal.

Here's a screen shot (click on the photo to see it larger):

Fortunately, I've heard enough warnings about "phishing" emails to be on the lookout for messages like this one,  that try to trick recipients into clicking on bogus links that will harm your computer and/or attempt to trick you into giving a 3rd party website your PayPal password and account info.

A few tip offs that this one was a fake:

-- It wasn't sent just to me, but to "undisclosed recipients"

-- They did not address me by my first and last name anywhere in the email

-- The return address appears to be from "", but if you click "Show More" for the Sender, the full email address is revealed as

-- If you hover over the links embedded in the email, you'll see that they won't take you to a secure page on the PayPal website. Instead, they direct you to another website entirely--one that will likely harm your computer the minute you click the link.

What really annoys me about this email is that they have the nerve to include "helpful" information on how to avoid fraud--and the link they provide to show you their Security Tips takes you right to the same bogus website as all of the other links.

If you receive an email like this, and you aren't sure whether or not it is from the real PayPal site, follow these simple steps:


2.  Forward the email to   Don't send the email as an attachment, and don't change the Subject line....just forward it to PayPal and they will contact you as to whether or not the email is legit or a spoof/scam.

3. Delete the email

You can read more about how to avoid Phishing scams at the real PayPal site HERE

Saturday, April 7, 2012

R.I.P. Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed "Painter of Light", died yesterday at the age of 54. His tranquil scenes of country cottages and quaint victorian homes evoked a feeling of warmth and peace. I loved his work. He was a very religious man, and although his death appears to have been unexpected, it seems almost apropos that he died on Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Luca Comrie

I couldn't resist blogging this photo of Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie's new baby boy, Luca. It seems like most celebrities these days either end up selling their "first photos" to the tabloids or hiding their baby under a massive blanket everywhere they go.   It's refreshing to see a proud new mom showing off her baby for no other reason than the little stinker is just too darn adorable to keep covered up. What a sweet face!  

Welcome baby Luca!