#Hamildames, Managerial Incompetence, and Many, Many Tears

Your Dames are NON-STOP...

...with their on-going Hamilton obsession. At least, that is, until:

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAAAYY: #Hamildames! 
We predict a lot of tears, of course, but also a lot of fun during our listening-and-commenting party on Twitter. Join us if you can!

  • Act I: Sunday, 10/18, 8pm ET

  • Act II: Monday, 10/19, 8pm ET

The Hamilton OBCR is available to listen to for free via Spotify and Amazon Prime Music. Some of you may even have bought copies on iTunes or in the physical musical recording emporium of your choice.

Just hit PLAY at 8 PM ET on Sunday and/or Monday night and follow (or mute!) #Hamildames for live analysis, contextualization, laughs & the aforementioned tears.

We're looking for some Dames at WORK
 Ask Two Bossy Dames! Triumphantly Returns!!

Dear Dames,

I have no hard feelings towards my job, but many, many 😠😡😲 for the (mis)management team. As the sole provider for my family, I haven't the luxury of a spectacular resignation. So what do I do while waiting for an offer for a saner job to come through?

Well, this is a rite of passage with which your Dames are unquestionably familiar. The toxic work environment and/or dysfunctional management team is something we all must deal with at one point or another in our working lives.

We’re assuming that you’re either already in the process of searching for a healthier workplace, and/or you’ve made your peace with working for a bunch of jerks for the time being. Both of these are healthy responses to your environment. We hope you're not working for people who are actively abusive, but even the generally incompetent are a trial as managers. As a result, we're focusing our advice on strategies to simultaneously ameliorate the situation and make you into an even stronger candidate for the job(s) you want to move on to. All of these are professional development-as-self-care: fine-tune as needed!

  • Remind yourself that part of being good at your job is being the employee your manager wants (even if you think that's not being the employee they need). This advice may have limited applicability in your case if your management is toxic or abusive but, when it’s more a case of mismatched professional values than utter ineptitude, reminding yourself of this can be centering. There are going to be fights you need to have. There are going to be values upon which you cannot compromise. But sometimes, in small things, you lose nothing by just being what they ask for, even if it means not all you can be. Give yourself permission to die on only the really necessary hills.

  • Continuing education in (or even just tangential to) your field: anything you can learn that will help you move forward, learn. Attending national conferences is  a wonderful experience, but they can be mind-bogglingly pricey. Unconferences (such as THATCamp & EdCamp) in your field will be free-to-low-cost and are a great way to learn new things while making excellent connections. Other cheap ways to learn include instructional YouTube videos and building an Internet-based personal learning network (PLN) in spaces like Twitter (or LinkedIn, if that’s where people in your field gather).

  • Develop a side-hustle or passion project: We draw a bit of a distinction between this and a hobby (though we endorse hobbies, too). A passion project is something that might be something that helps move your career forward, but is grounded purely in your own, idiosyncratic interests. Like, say, a newsletter run with a like-minded and bossy-hearted friend. For just a random example.

  • Networking: ughhh the worst, right? Wrong! Chatting about fascinating issues with your friends & colleagues on Twitter or in that useful Facebook Group? Networking. Exchanging emails with someone you admire professionally? Networking! It’s an omni-directional exchange of skills & favors - just as much as requesting assistance, it’s knowing what you have to offer and making it available to people who will value it. Ashley Milne-Tyte did a solid episode about the ins & outs of networking on her show, The Broad Experience, which leads us to...

  • Podcasts: (Because, In the Dame-ish Empire, all roads lead to podcasts.) In addition to being super-entertaining, we think there’s real professional value in a lot of them. Some podcasts that have broadened our perspectives on the world, and have given us fresh ideas for our work and personal lives include: Longform (also this one, and this one, Dame S could recommend episodes of this show for days), Double XAnother Round, and 99% Invisible (againand again and again). (We’ve linked to specific episodes we think are germane). Specifically work-related podcasts include The Broad ExperienceHBR IdeaCast, and Manager Tools.

We hope this is helpful & wish you a healthier workplace ASAP!

Your Dames

Want us to answer your question next? Hit us up here!

Dame Margaret's Bossy Spotlight on Carey Lander and Camera Obscura

Carey Lander (left) with band mate Tracyanne Campbell,
photographed in Cincinnati by Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds.

I had intended to write my first Bossy Spotlight about something spooooooky, in honor of Halloween, but for now that will have to wait. Because earlier this week, Carey Lander, the keyboardist of Camera Obscura (which is, perhaps, my favorite band), died at age 33 from osteosarcoma. And I decided that, as I am really devastated about this, all of Dames Nation ought to mourn with me. So, who was Carey Lander? Here’s a devastating excerpt from her obituary in The Scotsman:

Lander oozed old-school glamour and “granny chic”, says Campbell. She wore Chanel No. 5 or Jean Francois Laporte’s Ambre Precieux with an arsenic-coloured cardigan. She drank cheap fizz or gin and tonic and ate second helpings of Sunday dinner and takeaways from Mother India. She enjoyed taking a bath with a candle, a book and a glass of wine to hand, and she loved to see snow falling. “She was a bright, beautiful and courageous bookworm,” remembers Campbell. “She was sharp, extremely witty, super-sarcastic and at all times dignified.”

Along with music and fashion, books were Lander’s other joy. “She was a massive book reader, never without a novel to hand,” says Camera Obscura’s bassist and co-founder with Campbell, Gavin Dunbar. “When we filmed the video for (the band’s 2013 single) Troublemaker, it was great to be able to give her a wee bookshop to be working in. She’d have been an amazing librarian if music hadn’t been her life.”

In short, she was a total Dame.

When her osteosarcoma returned this summer, with little hope of recovery, she started a Just Giving campaign to raise money for research, stating “it's a cancer that most commonly occurs in children and because of its rarity, receives scarce attention or funding... It's probably too late to help me, but it would be great if we could find something in the future that means children don't have to undergo such awful treatment and have a better chance of survival.” To date, that campaign has raised £67,440.43, the largest single amount that its beneficiary, Sarcoma UK, has ever received-- and it’s still open for further donations.

And, last but not least, here are a few Camera Obscura songs that can give you an idea of her as a musician. The song links will take you to YouTube, and then, if they grab you, click the album links to listen all the way through on Spotify. They are well worth your time.

Dame Sophie's Top 5

That's not NOT self-care...

  • Just being a person in this beautiful, heartbreaking world is hard work. This interactive self-care flow chart can help you face whatever life is hurling at you. 

  • Absolutely joining forces with Sadie Stein (who, until Dame M connected the dots for me, I’d been reading & admiring for years without realizing I was reading & admiring the same woman’s work, shame, shame!) to bring back the trade-last as an elegant way to share a compliment from a third party.

  • Hey, do you enjoy those synthy jams that are so popular on the airwaves once again? Let me introduce you to the delights of an earlier round of electro pop hits via the Electronic Renaissance playlist. There are two anachronistic songs on there because a) they are great and b) my playlist, my rules. Enjoy!

  • Let’s all take a moment to celebrate teen ingenuity. Four years ago, Raquel Redshirt created an effective, inexpensive & easy-to-build solar oven to help solve the problem of access to reliable stoves on the Navajo Reservation where she lives in New Mexico. Her design led her to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair finals. Kelly’s TEDxABQ Talk explains her scientific process & the environmental and community health benefits of her invention.

  • Related! Recently on Another Round, Heben Nigatu & Tracy Clayton interviewed Adrienne Keene, anthropologist and writer of the Native Appropriations blog. Their conversation about what cultural appropriation is and why it’s a problem for everyone is essential listening (this podcast is a thought-provoking delight every week. LOVE.).

Recently In Hamilton: THIS TIME, With Tear Ratings!

Ugh, Lin-Manuel. We feel you so hard.

How many tear-soaked facial tissues will you go through while perusing these links? We’ve helpfully ranked them from lowest to highest.

  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States (Zero Tears, Probably): Sarah Vowell has a new book coming out this fall, all about Lafayette’s return to the US years after the American Revolution. Yay!

  • BET Cypher (Tears of Joy): in which Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry & Daveed Diggs rap with Black Thought (while Questlove mans the decks), thrilling Hamilfans worldwide. Lyrics & annotations here

  • The Hamil-list (Tears of Appreciation): A master list of links, videos & resources. “I’ll rise above my station / organize your information / til we rise to the occasion of our new nation!” - A. Ham, honorary librarian (per Damespal Julie)

  • #HamBio (Tears of Mirth): Damespal Renata started live-tweeting her reading of Ron Chernow’s mammoth (803 pages!) biography of Hamilton, the basis of Miranda’s musical. Her podcast co-host Kait joined her and now there’s a whole bunch of us live-tweeting our reading. Lately, we’ve gotten into the notion that Hamilton & Laurens were vampire lovers. Grab your copy & dive in with us!

  • Dear Theodosia (Reprise) (Tear Flood. You thought you’d cried them all. You were wrong. We all were.): in which LMM reveals his true, life-ruining purpose.