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September 02, 2008

The three basic needs: food, sunlight, and asking

September 2. Day 64.

Yesterday, I asked a reporter for the New Yorker if he'd meet with me. He wrote back today!

sure, yes. Roughly when do you got in mind? I'm just back from a week of vacation in Massachusetts, and about to settle back into the kinds of routines that involve, among other things, trying to keep track of a schedule.

Gained I: An opportunity to talk with a writer whose work I admire. (Though, not counting any eggs. I hope he'll have time when I'm in town and doesn't change his mind...)

Today, I asked for a better piece of pie.

I was in Trader Joe's with my Mama, and I spotted the free sample lady from across the dairy aisle. She was offering organic apple juice and a pear tart. I took a slice and summoned my mother with a wave.

She walked over, and meanwhile the woman had slid a slice of tart forward, but there was one problem: it was just dough, no pears. Now, when you buy the whole tart, which prides itself on being "rustic," that's no problem. The dough is actually yummy. But I could see my mom looking at it, hesitating to pick up a hunk of dough, and glancing at the fruity piece farther back. She finally started reaching for the doughy one when I stopped her.

"Can she have this?" I asked, and the woman didn't answer, so I reached into the counter for the other piece. It wasn't a huge reach, I didn't assault her or anything. Simply, took something that was meant to be distributed.

Rude? Crude? How about: the sample giver was so busy chatting with a Spanish wine supplier that she didn't even notice.

Gained II: a complete slice of mediocre pear tart for the woman who gave birth to me.

Posted this morning:

Today I'll be squirreled away at my white desk, writing. I'm heading to Boston and New York in a week, and I need to have a well-formed chapter by then to show my committee. I plan to emerge for: food, sunlight, and asking. Until then, I give you three examples of women and negotiation, in the news-o-sphere.

FemaleScienceProfessor blogs about how she and her cousin asked for raises, after finding out their male colleagues earned more. Excerpt:
My cousin talked to her boss to ask him why the new guy was being paid so much more than women who were his equals in experience and credentials. She assumed there was a good reason, but wanted to know what it was. It turned out there was no good reason, and my cousin and the other women were given "extraordinary" raises so that they were making the same (or more) than the new guy.
In the NYT, Hannah Seligson describes how confident young women often get a rude awakening on the job:
I have also seen young women — myself included — getting in the way of their own success. I have found that we need to build a new arsenal of skills to mitigate some of our more “feminine” tendencies. Having lived in a cocoon of equality in college, we may have neglected these vital, real-world skills.
And Linda Babcock, author of "Women Don't Ask," discussed salary negotiations and her latest book, "Ask For It," on NPR's Marketplace.

A presto.
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