Have you ever dressed up as a gift box, with a Santa hat, a bell in hand and passed out flyers to scowling New Yorkers? I have. Yep, I've been that person we all pity, avoid and at times, hate.
I never thought I would be one of those people. Whenever I feel frustrated about my life, I walk down the buzzing streets of New York and am instantly grateful that I'm not one of those people that has to stand outside in the cold, pass out flyers and face a whole lot of rejection.
Alas, a few weeks ago I stood out in the cold, passed out flyers and faced a whole lot of rejection. When my supervisor told me I was going to spread the word for a local business by dressing up as a gift box (thank God there was a red bow that matched my lipstick). I reacted like most of us would - I didn't really want to do it. I wanted to whine and delegate it to another colleague. But I had to get in the box and spread cheer to perhaps the most least cheerful city in the world.
I found myself a little corner in SoHo with my partner in crime, Santa of course, and began to ring my bell for all of New York to hear.
The reaction from the crowd, to my surprise, was warm. We passed out our flyers quickly and even posed for photos with overly joyous holiday crazed folks. My favorite moment was when I held my last flyer and despite all my efforts which included singing "All I Want for Christmas is You" Mimi style, no one was helping me out. Suddenly, an older man snatched the lonely flyer out of my hand and told me he appreciated the hustle.
That's when I learned that the hustle is all that matters. When you work hard, whether you're dressed as a gift box passing out flyers or crunching numbers behind a desk - it's hard work that gets noticed. As a PR lady, I actually enjoyed being crazy with the people on the streets - because it's the people that matter. We are the people. We speak with the people, directly. We tell them what they need to know, and we tell them in a fun way. You can't get the word out behind your phone with tweets and Facebook posts - you get the word out by actually connecting with people. Our crazy antics drew people to the local business and kept them there. That's what it's all about, and it took a day with Santa for me to remember that.
I also learned that New Yorkers aren't that tough - they will take your flyer if you hustle just right - and match your lipstick to your bow.
This September I started my first real job as a graduate of the proud, and slightly obnoxious selfie-loving Class of 2014. I learned quickly to always wear heels to meetings (and pack flats for the NYC Subway), check my email constantly and the power of a good lunch. A good lunch can make any terrible, embarrassing, almost-got-the-boot work day instantly better.
When my alarm clock so kindly greets me every morning at 7 a.m., and I begin to get ready to be a Wonder Woman at work, I think of all the wonderful things I have to look forward to. No matter what is on my list of positive thoughts, lunch is always at the top. The key to making your lunch so fantastic that it motivates you even at 7 a.m. on a Monday morning, is that it must be home made. That my lunch mates, is a Bridgit’s Lunch Box commandment. It’s as essential as doing 60 squats a day so you can one day grace the cover of Paper Magazine sans Kim Kardashian.
Here is how to start packing lunches that are healthy, easy and will make your whole office jealous (but no too jealous, not everyone loves a Martha Stewart).
1. Plan Ahead. On my Sunday nights, I am committed to preparing lunches that will last me all week. Since fall is fading rapidly into winter, I am obsessed with soups that are packed with veggies. My favorite recipe calls for V8 juice, a can of condensed mushroom soup, two bags of frozen veggies and ground turkey. It’s so good that my boss, Brittney Levine, leans over her computer just to get a whiff!
2. Pack Cuteness. Packing a lunch does not mean you’re geeky (but it does mean you’re broke) so make your lunch bag cute! There are so many bags and boxes that will make your lunch something to look forward to – even if there’s nothing too delicious in there! It will also keep your food delightfully fresh! Bringing your lunch to work has a reputation of not being hip, but honestly, it is the hippest and smartest thing to do. More food, more money, more shoes.
3. Snacks Count. Why just pack a lunch, when you can also include yummy treats to keep you fierce all day at work?! It’s like only bringing Matt Damon to a party, you gotta have Ben Affleck there too. I like to pack carrots and hummus since it keeps me more alert when BHL Productions gets slammed with urgent deadlines. I also seriously recommend high tea – a cup of green tea will leave you feeling quite queenly.
4. Strive for Five. As a Rochester local, the hometown of Wegmans, basically the Beyonce of food markets, it has been ingrained in me to strive for five in every area of my life. Strive to lose five pounds. Strive to do five more sit-ups. Strive for five stars in class. Strive for five! Therefore, I bring my lunch equipped with five costars. One entrée (the headliner of the Lunch Box Tour), two sides (fruit and vegetable/salad), one dessert and one (or three) snacks. Every good group has five members, like the Backstreet Boys.
5. Sharing is Caring. Since your lunch is going to be simply divine after joining the Bridgit’s Lunch Box crew, make sure to give your envious colleagues a bite or two. However, they don’t have to sit with us… yet.
This is the real me: what I love, what makes me happy and what makes me buzz.