Here's a quick reminder of what's coming up next week!
Wednesday, June 6th from 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd St., between 5th and 6th Ave, where you will find...
JEN AND JEN, TOGETHER AGAIN!
Please join New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Weiner and me at this event! We'll be discussing our new books, chatting with one another, and taking questions from the audience before we autograph books. Having done an event together before, I can assure you that hilarity will ensue.
The event is outdoors, but in case of drizzle, there will be a tent. (I imagine it will be a large tent.)
In case it's raining toads/cats/dogs, the venue will change to The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen at 20 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues.)
No tickets/purchases are required and the space will accommodate a crowd. That being said, come early for prime viewing position or in case we need to move indoors.
See you then, I hope!
* * *
In the interim, I shall be busy obsessing about Mark Zuckerberg.
No, not about the Facebook IPO or any of the resulting fall-out. If you're an institutional investor and you lost your shirt here, I'm really sorry, but seriously, did you learn NOTHING from the Infospace.com debacle twelve years ago? Remember, this is back when their shares were listed at hundreds and hundreds of dollars each? And Fletch and I were all, "Isn't that basically an internet yellow pages and, thus, doomed to fail?" And all the arrogant little pricks I worked with tried to tell me that I was a dumbass for wasting my disposable income on a pair of Joan & David loafers instead of investments?
Um, boys? I wore those loafers long after Infospace's share price dropped to $2.67. Still have them now, in fact.
Ironically, when the dot com market crashed, all these junior masters of the universe scurried off to grad school before becoming i-bankers. (Which neatly explains the Wall Street mess.)
Regardless, that's not what's currently stuck in my craw.
I'm obsessed with the notion of Zuckerberg stiffing waiters while he's on his Italian honeymoon. Thus far, it's happened twice and the national media has been all over the story.
To backtrack, I understand that Italian serving professionals are reasonably compensated. They don't depend on tips to make their living. Tipping is not the social norm, at least not with Europeans. If the service is particularly attentive or the waiter goes out of his/her way to accommodate the diner, occasionally they will receive something extra.
I get all of that.
Zuckerberg wasn't required to leave a tip.
And yet I can't get past the notion of a man with a current net worth of FOURTEEN BILLION dollars not parting with, say, five of them, if for no reason other than to keep the press off his increasingly beleaguered ass. I realize the rich don't stay rich by throwing their money around, but seriously, FIVE DOLLARS IS NOT GOING TO BREAK THE BANK.
Maybe I'm bothered because it's my notion to tip everyone, to the point that I embarrass myself by doing stuff like trying to slip the dental hygienist a little something extra for keeping my teeth so white. But I've worked in tip-dependant jobs and that changed my entire worldview. I try to always err on the side of tipping if there's ever a question.
Plus? There's the whole karma factor. For example, when I'm on book tour, I'm very lucky to have my publisher cover expenses, including tips for the guys who drive me. Without fail, I give the guys something extra because, A) it's my nature to be generous because I've had the incredible good fortune to make a living doing what I love, B), I feel happy doing so, and, C) drivers gossip.
I know, because I gossip with them.
So I guess my problem is this - at a time when Zuckerberg's under so much scrutiny, I can't imagine why he wouldn't give the waiter a little something for the effort. I'm not saying he should have tipped him a Toyota Camry, but seriously? He couldn't part with five bucks?
What Zuckerberg fails to understand - and what I believe will be his eventual downfall - is that he's now part of a public company. He reports to a board who are reponsible to shareholders. Facebook isn't his personal fiefdom anymore. Regardless of how brilliant or talented he is, he's no longer Lord God Supreme of Farmville, Mafia Wars, hackathons, timeline, et al.
His actions have consequences now.
He's accountable in a way that he never was before.
And I guarantee the newly formed Facebook board of directors is none to happy with Zuckerberg creating additional bad press on top of the massive IPO clusterfuckery, which all started on a sour note with him not even bothering to show up in New York to ring the opening bell in person. Dude. Not cool.
Now, Facebook, Inc. is likely going to have to employ PR professionals to quash chatter on something that could have been entirely preventable if the man had simply been willing to part with five freaking dollars.
Even though he didn't have to.
Seriously. Five freaking dollars. Out of fourteen billion.
I hope that somewhere the Winklevoss brothers are sitting on the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn, enjoying the show.
And, perhaps if the Winklevosses are free on Wednesday, they'll come enjoy an afternoon with the Jens in Bryant Park.
I realize that was truly the worst segue ever, but it was all I had.
We two Jens hope to see you next week!