Trending over at Vogue House last week: K.I.N.D.N.E.S.S.
Why ‘spoilt bitch’ syndrome will only ever earn you a place in the dole queue
One week and three days down freelancing at Vogue House, noble home to premier publishing company Condenast, producer of some of the world’s most iconic titles in media: Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, GQ to name but a few and luckily for me (perhaps boringly for you) I didn’t have to take any of the boss’s dogs for a walk and return covered in poo, I wasn’t required to collect 20 different coffees with one pair of trembling hands or have my head used as a coat rack. I didn’t even have to work 36 hour days during fashion month. Nope, nothing of the kind, did somebody say kind? Yes, kind, everyone was really, really kind.
Although my working for free rite of passage into the publishing industry ended somewhat eight years ago and I can’t speak for every department, from where I was sitting 'spoilt bitch’ syndrome seemed to have been firmly crushed into the recycling bin along with Diesel jeans and kale wrappers, replaced by something, new, nice and powerful. Phrases such as “Don’t worry if you make mistakes” from the Photo Director, reassurance such as “I’ve been here two years and I still can’t work the system out Kat” from the Fashion Editor and instructions to never stay late were like music to my ears. Rather than feeling constantly judged and nervous I was relaxed and inspirited to exert myself.
The only evidence of bad behaviour I noted was a quick discussion about a comatose intern who was caught napping in the fashion cupboard entangled in various designer garments, and when graciously asked to leave, yet offered full pay for her time lying down on the job, responded with “I don’t need paying, I’m rich.” Well pass me the silly stick now, even just reading those words makes you cringe with compunction and want to knock some sense into the rascal. On another occasion when I was ordering morning coffee in neighbouring cafe Benugo, I overheard a pompous assistant trying her best to enforce her imagined fashion status, “God, what is so difficult about my order!!” she exclaimed as the endearing staff simply asked if she would prefer ketchup or brown sauce. Everyone in the shop noted the girls vulgarity and I would assume her chances of promotion were categorically minimised if overheard by any senior members of staff at Condenast.
Talent and tantrums don’t earn you a place at the top and as buzz words such as mindfulness and meditation become more mainstream every minute a hopeful mix of capitalism and compassion are what wise employees dig. At the heart of David Gelles’ new intriguing and timely book “"Mindful Work, How Meditation Is Changing Business From the Inside Out” is a interesting account of how incorporating ancient disciplines into the corporate world can increase efficiency, reduce stress and boost performance.
Think of it like this, if you’re maliciously gossiping about another member of staff when you should be hard at it you’re not only wasting you’re time and energy but that of your employee’s too, if you’re constantly stressed out and snappy it’s impossible to perform at your best and if you’re selfish and dishonest, well who knows what detrimental acts you could whip out of your fedora. Businesses that want to boom need calm heads and compassionate hearts in order to create positivity, productivity and peace.
In the hilarious 2006 movie 'A Devil Wears Prada’ it was editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly’s most disappointing assistant, the kind and caring Andrea that became the most employable journalist in New York due to her smart, sensible and sweet attitude, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNlBL3Pxzdc proof that being a bitch is boring but being kind is totally in Vogue.