Monday, June 27, 2011

Ask Jill: The 'Single White Female' Edition

Welcome to ASK JILL, an unapologetic rip-off of the ASK WENDY segment on The Wendy Williams Show.  I've got the solution to your friendship, dating and work problems, in one 15-second soundbite!  (And if you haven't seen the 1992 thriller Single White Female, Netflix it now! The theme of today's "Ask Jill" will make a whole lot more sense if you know the movie!  Otherwise, it sounds somewhat racist and sexist... and that's not cool.)

Doling out my two cents, with a smile.  Source: Hi-Def News Caps

Q: My assistant used to be great.  Then, one day I was suddenly called out of the office for a family emergency.  As a last resort, I asked my assistant to give a short presentation in my place.  Well, it seems I've created a monster.  She now acts as if she believes she's fully capable of doing my job.  When I recently asked a fellow manager to do a presentation, my assistant actually pouted and said, "You should've asked me first!"  How do I explain to her that she needs another decade of experience, and a better attitude, before she jumps straight into a managerial position?  -Single White Manager
A: I call this the "Ugly Betty" scenario.  I used to like that show, until I got an assistant with all the pluck of good ol' Betty Suarez.  Then, I found I couldn't watch the show, because Betty truly believed she was smarter, more driven and better qualified to keep the company running than her boss... just what my assistant thought.  Actually, in Betty's case, it may have been true.  But in most offices, the people at the top are there for a reason.  I'd sit your assistant down and explain that we all believe we deserve the fast track to success when we're, say, 22.  By 32 we realize we've learned a lot in the past decade, and that all that experience is essential for the top job.  Let her know that her past efforts were appreciated, but her current attitude is not productive and if she has a problem being an assistant, perhaps she should look for a new job... at another company.
The blonde waves, bronzy glow, deep V-neck
and prominent bone structure.. evidence of Style Theft?
Q. I just finished my first year at college.  My roommate and I are planning to share a dorm again next year.  We got along great this year, except for one thing.  I think she took me too literally, wayyyy too literally, when I told her, "Feel free to borrow anything."  All year long, I'd bump into her on campus wearing my new top with my favorite shoes, or my most expensive sweater with my only designer purse.  People always had trouble telling us apart, and I think it's because she stole my style so completely.  It drove me crazy, but I didn't know what to say.  After all, I did tell her to "borrow anything."  Help!  -Single White Roommate
A: Remember when Nicole Richie and her stylist Rachel Zoe were best friends?  And then they had a mysterious falling out?  Neither has really explained what happened, but some people wondered* if maybe the tension stemmed from that Rachel's signature look became famous as "the Nicole Richie look."  Suddenly, Rachel, the less famous of the two, looked like a Nicole Richie copycat... when really the boho-chic style had been her signature for years.  Style Theft can kill a friendship, dear Single White Roommate.  If you're looking for a diplomatic method, try this: Pick the items you like best.  If that's 75% of your wardrobe, so be it.  When you return to school in the fall, have all those items literally under wraps -- something as simple as dry cleaning bags over the clothes, shoe boxes for the shoes, and a Rubbermaid container for your favorite purses.  As you unpack, explain to your roommate that you have a lot of items you're saving for special occasions... including everything that's in any kind of container or wrapping.  Then point out the loose shoes in the bottom of your closet and the drawer full of old T-shirts.  Let her know she's free to borrow those items anytime.  If she violates the new rule, you've got to come down hard on her the very first time.  Make it clear that this time around, not everything in your closet is up for grabs.  You're not being selfish, you're doing what it takes to save the friendship.  And what could be more generous than that? (Well, probably tons of things, but for now, let's just agree that you're selfless and wonderful.)

*"Some people" = me.  I'm the person who wondered if that's what went down.  Yes, these are the kinds of things I spend weeks, months, sometimes years dissecting.  I really should learn Japanese or take up Sudoku or do something else to occupy my mind!
Do you have an "Ask Jill" question of your own?  Share it in the "comments" section below, or at: 


  1. My boyfriend is quite the flirt -- with waitresses, colleagues, every woman he encounters. Do I accept that that's just how he is... or do I explain that I need him to only have eyes for ME?

  2. How do I get motivated to do all those big things on my to-do list (work out, change careers, etc)?