Thursday, November 12, 2009

# 24 English Roses

English Roses

November 12th 2009

As I near my 6 year anniversary here and start reminiscing about my time in London, I find it quite funny and not just a little bit sad that most of my girlfriends are American. Now I am not one to have many real friends and my girlfriends are even fewer and far between. This is not because I am some kind of loner loser, it’s simply that I don’t usually like 95% of all the people that I meet. So aside from 2 English girls (H and C), and friends who I have worked with, I really only have 1 English girlfriend whom I have anything in common with and could sit and talk with for hours.

Why is this? Well I am pretty sure our friendship arises from the fact that she is a Super Jew. Her Super Jew status means that engrained into her psyche is drive, ambition, intelligence, graft and the desire to be incredibly successful at what she does. Now I have a number of American girlfriends who I could be describing. Out of my friends from school, I feel like a bit of a loser for not going onto to get an MBA. My American girlfriends at home are impressive to say the least, both from California and my friends from Brown. My Yank girlfriends in London, whom I would never have made it 6 years without, scream ambition and success. One practically runs Gap Europe and gets promoted every 6 months and the other is one of the top sales women in the City. Both make me look like the small fish in the big ocean that I am.

So living in a big city like London you would think that there would be just as many, if not more, formidable women. But there are not. Sophie the Super Jew, is one of the only ones that I have come across who would be able to rival the girls back home. For 6 years I have been trying to find out why this is and I still have no idea. Strangely enough, neither does Sophie. Most of the time I feel as though the girls I meet with over here are more interested in their other halves career than their own. I still can’t get over the fact that when polling 16 year old girls in the UK, an overwhelming percentage of them wish to follow in Jordan’s footsteps and be a ‘glamour model.’ For the Americans, a ‘glamour model’ is a topless model and this would be tantamount to young girls all over the country wanting to follow Pamela Anderson’s footsteps, who by the way now lives in a trailer and is doing reality TV with ex-Eastenders Z list actor. Hmmm... maybe not the best choice of a long term career.

But those are the facts. If they are not wishing to be glamour models then they want to bag a PA job in the City, so that they have a chance at marrying a banker. Now I am not saying that Newport Beach doesn’t have its fair share of gold-diggers, but they don’t breed them this young back home. Here they are bred practically from birth. I bring it up because it makes me think about how my career has turned out here, constantly being one of the only, if not the only girl in the office. One of the reasons that I think I have had so much success in London is because it’s about 50 years behind the US in terms of women in the business place. Being a foreigner and an American to boot, they simply didn’t know what to do with someone like me so I ended up getting my way 99% of the time. With such little female competition, climbing the corporate ladder was much easier to do over here than it would’ve been in the States. Again, I just don’t understand why. Why there are not more Sophie’s or Nadia’s?

Obviously this opinion is just that, an opinion and a sweeping generalisation. However, I have found this to be the case throughout numerous groups of friends that I know. Most of the girls that I have worked with and hired have tended to be foreigners as well, hailing from New Zealand, eastern Europe and China. They just seem to breed them tougher outside the UK. Most of the single guys I know are also looking for foreign girlfriends. Give them a Yank, Antipodean or Canadian any day over their English Roses. Why? Having your own career, opinions and also your own hair, boobs, nails, and skin tone go a long way in these guy’s eyes. In London, where so many of the girls are fake and phony in everything down to their fake eyelashes, the Sophie’s of this world certainly do stand out.

So while I will remain bewildered at why the girl’s world is behind over here (actually this is a discussion I have had numerous times with many people and I think it all stems from the lack of sports infrastructure available to young girls) I am grateful for the few girlfriends I have made and appreciate that unique opportunity that I have had in forging a career in what is most certainly still a man’s world.

So thank you Sterling, Megan, Clare B, Harriett, Clare E, Nadia and Sophie R. The exception proves the rule with you guys.


  1. Sports! Hit the nail on the head! Sports breeds teamwork, competition, discipline, hard work and WINNERS!

  2. sweet Jesus, are you seriously insinuating that English girls are typically either PAs or glamour models? The coutry that gave you Margaret Thatcher, Boudicca, Queen Elizabeth 1 & 2, Florence Nightingale, Queen Victoria the list is live in a isolated pocket of privilege in one of only two states in the entire rotten barrel of lunacy that still thinks Noah had a ark and Adam ate an apple. most of my girl friends would eat you and yours for breakfast and still shoot a stag at 800 yards. boll*cks to you....

  3. Haha.. I have to say I'm slightly inclined to agree with anonymous, though there is a terrible trend towards craving fame and glamour modelling, it is true.
    But that's also true with American Idol, the Playboy Mansion, America's Next Top Model, (and all the other reality shows) plus finding Wall St bankers to move them to the suburbs..
    So come to Google or my old place of work and I'll introduce you to a lot of smart, ambitious English women! (I know it's an American company..) We're driven in a different way I think - and as you know I love the US for its own breed of drive and optimise that I find in my friends there.

  4. Corrie, it would be pertinent to state this is your own contact with the UK female populous as opposed to the real talented UK female populous that exists. A number of my clients are highly successful Brit business women, the City is full of them! It is a symptom of where you have worked and the type of people you have met (HydG?!)- where as the reality is very different..

  5. Bloody hell! Very judgemental this week, not to mention unkind and unsubstantiated.

    Why not bring your departure date forward and lessen the suffering for everyone?

    All the best, Elizabeth Clement

  6. Oh dear Corre, I had hoped that working with me for a time might have taught you what really marks out the character of a person. It would seem not. Persistence, tenacity, kindness, the desire to enhance the lives of others, those are the qualities that endure and add to the sum of the world. This is self aggrandising (look it up), unkind and a massive generalisation. I would say 'don't give up the day job'. Too late. Avril.

  7. Pretty cutting words and I would have to say that I agree with Avril. I do think that the circle you have moved in has not show British women in their true light. I would be honoured to introduce anyone to my female friends who have jobs ranging from lawyers, doctors, bankers, teachers to PAs. The measure of an individual is not by the size of their monthly paycheck, something I think you may disagree with. Would you say that someone who shoots up the ladder in a charity is any less of a respectable figure than someone who has succeeded in the corporate world?

    Saddens me that you think this way of British women, you clearly haven't met many.

  8. Everyone, I knew this week would be polarising and it has been. This topic and my opinion is a gross generalisation and I know that. I certainly don't include many talented people that I have worked with, into that. But it does include many people that I have come across, throughout various types of industry. I certainly don't expect many to agree with me, but it should make people think that after 6 years here, this is genuinely my opinion. For all the truly opposing comments here, I must say I have had as many that could not agree more.

    I can't always aim to please.

  9. A. I don't think anyone should tell you to look a word up when he/she spells it incorrectly. And don't tell me it's "the English spelling."
    B. And I am generalizing a bit, but this is based in large part on lots of personal experience: Jewish people are set up to succeed. Their families save, save, save, succeed, succeed, succeed, and continue that trend within the family. They are brilliant. I live in a pretty small city with very few Jews, and out of the ones I know here's what they do: One owns the building I live in as well as many other properties; one owns two bars; one owns Gold's Gym; another owns the oldest building in Bozeman which houses two restaurants and several residences. They will all tell you that their families set them up to succeed. It's bred in them and nurtured. So, it's no surprise that you know a very successful Super Jew.
    C. I'm not sure what to say about your comparison between American and English women. You've been raised around females who have every opportunity to succeed. Many of whom have the ability to take risks and seek opportunities because they have a safety net to fall back on. This is a great advantage. I'm not trying to be insulting, but think about it. How many of the girls at Brown were middle or lower class? How many from Newport Beach? I bet very few of them. Money provides opportunity and allows for risk taking. Further, I think you may need to take a step back and look at the culture of America a little more closely. Playboy, Maxim, FHM, etc, thrive because young girls still strive to be glam girls or models. If that isn't evidence enough look at the popularity of Girls Gone Wild. It's sickening! I would generalize and say everyone here craves fame! Watch a sporting event on TV and notice how many people whore for one second on national television. I think that in and of itself is indicative of our nature. Also, there are probably as many girls here looking for shortcuts to the "top" than there, but I haven't spent enough time in England. I do know that I live in small city Montana and know several females here just looking to be taken care of by a wealthy guy. There's a plethora of young females here who love the idea of being treated like a princess and not having to do much with their lives. I also have several female friends who simply love being moms and not "working" at all. Anyway, that's my eighty-six cents. Sorry. You know I'm opinionated!

  10. I always welcome your opinions Ed!

  11. guys think its a bit harsh to tell corre to leave the country! nothing wrong with having an opinion and even you find it insulting you can find a way to get your point accross without being so rude and therefore undermining your own argument.

  12. Here here Sophie. I had hoped that perhaps more people would take this topic up as a debate, rather than resorting to unkind comments themselves, but sadly that has not been the case. Although I do want to thank everyone for posting a comment and there have been some that have taken the time to put forward a balanced and coherent point of view rather than one tainted by anger or resentment. Regardless of your opinion of me, which in many cases I am sure has just plummeted, I hope that I at least provide something to think about each week. These are only my opinions after all, and believe me, I don't expect my opinions to hold much weight in the real world. But clearly this week's, more than other week's, has got people talking, which I don't think is ever a bad thing.

  13. I have been reading this for weeks now. Some of what is written is fairly relevant, if written somewhat over elaborately, despite the author quitting on her stool three weeks after writing a three-year plan. So much for ‘holding all the aces’ and ‘being left standing long after my opponents’. Hilarious. That having been said, what I have read today is some of the most insulting garbage I have ever read. I am not even a woman. Please ask Nicola Horlick or Clara Furse if they believe that the UK is 50 years behind the US in terms of females in the workplace. The friendship with ‘Sophie The Super Jew’ (and only someone as crass and insensitive would actually call their friend this) sounds thrilling, but to say that there are a lack of formidable women elsewhere in the UK is arrant nonsense. I would also say that there are many formidable women out there, but they wouldn’t want anything to do with someone who would write prejudiced drivel like this. And as for the ‘fake boobs, nails, teeth’, what sort of imbecile would claim that London has more of these than the Orange bloody County?

  14. All opinions are relevant, all discussions important. But if you are going to post a comment under 'Anonymous' your opinion is void and meaningless. If you have something to say, own it, don't hide under false monikers. Corre didn't.

  15. Wow, talk about stirring up a hornet's nest. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I was recommended by a mutual friend Talisa, who I think has a fantastic future ahead of her and she's a Kiwi by the way. I think what needs to be remembered here, as Corre says, it's her opinion based on her experiences here. Therefore it's neither right nor wrong, but purely opinion. Someone will always have an opinion that differs from yours, even if you have 99.9% of the population behind you. I have found things to be different with regards to women in business in my experience, but that's what forms my opinion. Continue to give yours Corre, those that don't agree or so viciously oppose it (anonymously), that they have to be so rude, can be free to read the poor excuse for media in this country instead. The same media that likes to print articles on the lifestyles of Jordan and footballers' wives, which is where young girls get the idea to follow in their Jimmy Choo footsteps in the first place.

  16. Couldn't agree more Megan. If you are not willing to stand by your comments and opinions then step aside and let the adults have a discussion. I think this is a good provocative article based on opinion and clearly some people can't handle that.

  17. The thing that the American and other women coming from abroad to work in the UK have in common is that they have to be extremely independant and single/career minded to make that move and I can imagine that this is what draws the success that you have noted.

    The major problem that we have in the UK and globally is that the media makes heroes of Katie Price, Cheryl Cole and other females whose career is based primarily on appearance. The type of person who reads tabloids, watches soaps and leads an unimaginative life in general definitely has got a lack of inspiring role models. I add the male population to my last comment as well as surely the male footballers, rock stars and tv celebrities that fill column inches are not truly great role models.

    There have always been more working class people than middle and upper class and there probably always will be. Whilst people are uneducated and feel as if they can not achieve the lifestyle that they dream of unless its by playing football or modeling this will always have a general appeal. I do not however believe that this applies to English Women any more than English men and it does not apply any more to English people than any others I have come accross in the western world.

    It would be nice if everyone was equally educated and had a chance to make the most of themselves in whatever field they chose but I think that a lot of the ambitious people who read this blog would lose there drive if the results of there labour left them with parity. After all, I think most of us work hard because we want the best not the same as the rest.

  18. All I want to say in response to this blog entry is this: "when you judge people, you have no time to love them"

    And another quote that springs to mind: "Don't compare your life to anyone elses, you have NO IDEA what their journey is about."

    Amen ;-)

    Charlotte Reed, an English peroxide blonde PA who is writing her first novel under the work desk. See, exteriors aren't always what they seem!

  19. Oh dear oh dear CM. You have some deep rooted issues that will only be solved by someone who charges a lot by the hour and sits opposite you on a comfy chair. I agree with Avril entirely. Perhaps the reason you dont have any English girlfriends is that rather than you not wanting to be their friend its the other way round? And so that you can sleep at night and justify this horrendous truth to yourself you choose to launch an empty attack on English women? Its a standard self preservation method people use to keep themsleves sane. Take care in the US....

  20. i'll own this comment......
    Philip Rees 07811 364281 - drop the 0 and add +44 from the US, but please keep it brief.

    A adjective
    1 boastful, braggart(a), bragging(a), braggy, big, cock-a-hoop, crowing, self-aggrandizing, self-aggrandising

    exhibiting self-importance; "big talk"

    2 self-aggrandizing, self-aggrandising

    of or relating to or characteristic of self-aggrandizement

    what on earth has being Jewish got to do with being successful...
    if Sophie finally saw sense and became an atheist do you think she'd be more or less successful? her success is based on her being white, middle class, well educated with an excellent family support network around her....(and a bloody brilliant boss in her first job). the fact that she has decided to follow a slightly different variety of 'Abrahamic' nonsense is neither here or there - i used to live above an unemployed Jewish crack addict when i first moved to London; it had no relevance to his religion. i too had an amazing family around me and i didn't go to oxford and i don't practically run GAP either - whatever that means - I’d sooner be convinced i had two a*seholes than there is a god....again no relevance. our reticular activating system convinces us that Jews are more successful because they are Jewish - they aren't, they just, in this country, tend to be white, middle class professionals....Corre, it is your unabashed ability to talk total rubbish and make it sound plausible that has always drawn me to you......i think it is a shame you chose to dive back into your safety net so early on in your life, i for one will miss your mad, misguided ramblings. good luck to you.

  21. i feel famous. and phil i wont be 'seing sense' -you love the jews you shmock. if you are going to eat honey cake; talk with your hands and want to come for friday night then no more of this "abrahmic nonsense". yes of course my success is down to my bloody brilliant first boss but also due to my obsession with stationary - an organised mind is a well operated mind (such a t wat arent i).

    coz bags il miss you too. ill always remember when we stole the payment machine at that awful american bar and when phil ripped off his boxer shorts at the bolthole that night (and the dfk episode). good times.

  22. Master's in English/Composition instructor here...I know what aggrandize means. In the United States we spell it with a Z. My tangent on Judaism (or being a Jew, a Super Jew, etc.) was merely to point out that 99% of the Jewish people I have met have been set up to succeed, and hence are more inclined to succeed themselves and so on and so on. I juxtaposed that with the notion that Corre has been around many people who have been brought up in the same manner; those who have been set up to succeed yet have had a safety net to fall back on. Of course they have to have the will and drive to take risks (as Corre has done), but it's without as much risk as say someone who has everything to lose. Or maybe not, what do I know? Oh yeah, everything.

  23. Oh Phil I have missed your musings and comments since those horrendous but hilarious days at CP. No one, not even I, delivers a comment or opinion like Uncle Reesy. I always thought it was our ability to either attract, or more often utterly offend, with our misguided views that made us friends. For me, the world will be a more boring place without you. Although I am sure you will be more than happy telling what an utter wanker I am here still, of which I look forward to.

  24. sigh. the point here is this: make awful sweeping statements and you upset people. english girls have no lesser or greater a propensity towards success or otherwise than anyone else. in my experience they tend to be more understated and calmer than those found in our west coast colonies. bless them. anyway - xfactor is on and my wife and I intend to cuddle up and laugh at it.

  25. It is probable you formed this prejudiced misconception some years ago and have since reinforced it through selective and blinkered interpretation of your surroundings. This is of course an excellent example of what conscious narrow-mindedness can lead to, which is egregious and trenchant ignorance. Likewise, although there is tremendous merit in a can-do/will-do attitude, when you pursue it for itself at the expense of other higher intrinsic human virtues so that you might fit in with your own limited ideas of human success, you naturally lose your inherent social appeal and it may be for this reason that English girls never found you a valuable or enriching source of friendship, and in fact probably only served to alienate anyone of decent character.

  26. bloody hell corre!
    come and work in the third sector and you'll see an overwhelming majority of females who are passionate, driven, motivated, tenacious and ambitious. It's just that their ambition is about changing people's lives for the better, rather than about increasing their salaries.

    sarah xxx