Monday, January 08, 2007

Shweet shweet schwag

In a previous life I worked in the multi-media department of a very large, Massachusetts based, technology corporation. It was a good time to be in that line of work; it was 1999 and we partied in an appropriate manner befitting the pre-turn of the century technology boom, which may sound funny when referring to a work environment. Odd, that is, until you learned that our motto was "Have fun and get shit done".

(We were also oh-so-very politically correct.)

My co-workers and I worked hard but we played harder, usually on the company credit card. On Friday afternoons - sometimes starting as early as noon - our group, as well as members of the larger training department that we were a part of, would find reasons to have an "off-site" at the local Mexican bar, where we discussed "strategy" over margaritas. Many margaritas. Many, many, many margaritas. Our managers would quickly follow along and soon corporate credit cards were being tossed about like frisbees. Platinum American Express frisbees. Our summer outings were legendary for their Bacchus-like excess, where you were guaranteed to see someone's naked ass before the day was through.

(Like I said, very PC.)

These were the days before the rug was pulled out from under us. We were nearing the year 2000; it could be the end of the world as we knew it and we were feeling fine. Our managers and VPs thought of us as "artsy" and left us alone to circulate the latest Flash movies (oh come on, you know the ones, don't make me link to them) and download "free" music to our heart's content. Our outlandish requests for expensive DVD authoring systems, digital video and audio editing suites, and every new software package that came down the pike were granted, along with the trips to other parts of the country for the training necessary to work these new toys. Boondoggles. Yeah. I once convinced my manager that, even though there was a center much closer to home, I needed to go to New Orleans to learn the latest After Effects upgrades. And I won't even get into the trips to Las Vegas, Atlanta, and multiple trips to California. Good times, my friends. Good times.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband worked for the same company? Double the boondoggles! He wasn't my husband then, but he was one of the "perks" that kept me hanging on. Heh.

Which leads me to my next point.

For all our fun, we in the multi-media department were, by far, the lowest paid workers on the corporate totem pole. And because of that we became swag whores. Goody bags at a conference? Yes please, I'll take two. Free shirts, jackets, hats (which really benefited the men more than the women, corporate fashion being an oxymoron and all). Food pilfered from the nearby training classrooms became the equivalent of a cubicle big game hunt. We were poor, relatively speaking, and we had no shame. Most was utter crap, but occasionally we'd catch the scent of something really good and then it was all over but the weepin'. If the boss wanted to send me to RTP and back in less than 24 hours, carrying 20 gazillion pounds of video equipment, there had better be some damn good perks to make up for my paltry salary. Not to mention my bad back and sweaty, work mule hair-do.

Even though I don't work at that company any longer (Mr. C still does, however, and the perks just ain't what they used to be. The corporate gift perks, that is, not the huz.) I'm still all over the swag. The shweet, shweet, schwag. I'll take it where I can get it since I'm a SAHM and, um, have no income to call my own. (No, I still don't have any shame. Why do you ask?) So when I was contacted to be a part of The Parents Blogger Network I jumped all over that like men in bad ties jump all over free pastries and gourmet coffee at a boring conference.

Okay, not the right comparison.

Stuffy conference room and a sea of Dockers = Bad. The Parents Blogger Network = Faaaabulous.

Parent Bloggers Network

From time to time you will see some reviews of products on this blog. I'd like you to know that even though I am a swag whore (thankyouverymuch) I am a discerning swag whore and I'm not afraid to let everyone know that the bagels in conference room B suck. So I won't be afraid to tell you the truth about what I review. I figure that's what friends do, they tell you the truth about that product you're about to spend a bunch of your kid's college fund on.

So, to review - Shweet shweet shwag = Good. Boondoggles = Used to be good, now bad. Very bad. Reviews of products by your friends on the Parents Blogger Network = Faaaabulous. Shweet even.

Shweeeeet.


16 comments:

Waya said...

Can't wait to read the reviews!!

Mamma said...

I've hearted me some schwag in the day.

ECR said...

If only the Parent Bloggers network would incorporate a Margarita Friday. Swag is good, but tequila makes it better.

Heather Bea said...

I love Swag as well. At least I used to, what is it about audit that make all of the lunch meetings, and team building drinks disappear from the calendar?

ewe are here said...

My sister used to work in the music industry. She loved SWAG,too, calling it 'shit we all get'. So PC. ;-)

T. said...

When I worked in the movie biz we got a ton of shwag.

Ahh, thems were the days.

Good for you. Can't wait to read your reviews, and see if you got any taste...

Wink, wink.

Just ignore me, I'm miffed that I missed a perfectly good opportunity to tease you about your um, kitty post.

While you were blogging about the chicklet learning her new vocabulary I was celebrating an angel.

Still wish I had known though...


Sigh...Next time. I promise.

MotherBumper said...

Oh I used to be a swag gettin' corporate gal, I miss that stuff. But recently I one a t-shirt at the Movies for Mommies with the logo for
The Mom Show and it filled the void for a little while. Can't wait to read your reviews Mrs. Chicky.

gorillabuns said...

from an ex-swagaholic, i can now live vicariously through you. can't wait!

jen said...

nice. you go, sister. you go.

i kinda wish i was at those margarita happy years with you.

SUEB0B said...

I used to work in the wine industry. How I miss the swag.

Velma said...

From the list of bloggers that have been invited to participate, I'm looking forward to reading the reviews that will be coming out of this new enterprise. It seems like it could be pretty cool, and you know - shwag is shwag!

Kate said...

As an advertising vendor in a former youthful life - I was the person ordering and giving the shweet shwag. But of course, not until I had to "test" the shwag.

Lawyer Mama said...

Free stuff is always good! I'm so jealous. I'll have to come read your reviews and live vicariously through you!

Lawyer Mama said...

Free stuff is always good! I'm so jealous. I'll have to come read your reviews and live vicariously through you!

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual said...

Oh, when the free ammo ...
And we used to get lots of stuff for "T&E" - testing and evaluation. One of these days I'll post about my fun with night vision goggles ... purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

krista said...

I'm not a fan of product review websites generally (to be honest) though when I google a product and someones personal review on a blog (if it has no ads) comes up, I am thankful.

That is BY FAR, the best introduction to a website I have ever read. I think I'll go check it out. To honour you and your Swaggy heart.