ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Dear Friends: I Work From Home. (And Yes, It’s a Real Job.)

In: Business Pet Peeves

Dear Friends,

I work from home.

You know this, because you regularly:

  1. Ask me to get Little Billy off the bus. (Little Billy needs some god damn Ritalin.)
  2. Exclaim, “must be nice!” at least once a week.
  3. Roll your eyes when I tell you I'm tired. (How dare I have the right to be tired when all I do is stay home and watch TV and nap?)
  4. Ask me over and over what I do for a living, because you're either never listening, or you can't understand the internet. (Pro tip: Angrily pounding the keyboard does not make you type faster.)

Because somehow, you seem to think that “work from home” means “click things on Facebook while absentmindedly staring out window in an existential puddle of regret and disgust—and maybe even week-old urine.

Because even though I now make approximately 40 bazillion dollars more than I did as an employee (rough estimate), you still regularly suggest ways I could “pick up some extra work,” or tell me “you know some places that are hiring”—usually accompanied by a set of pity eyes and a there-there pat on the head—before going back to talking about yourself.

Maybe you haven't noticed, but while your rapidly declining derrière has been vacuum-sealed in between two black plastic armrests, I've been traveling to these things called countries, meeting these creatures called humans, having these things called experiences, making these miracles called memories, doing those things you gasped at in 50 Shades of Grey, and building these assets called companies—all of which take an incredible amount of money and energy. (Especially the 50 Shades of Grey thing). So no, I'm not actually interested in walking the neighborhood dogs, thanks, but I'll be sure to pass the riveting opportunity along to the next 14 year old I see.

Then again, I guess I don't see many 14 year olds these days, or anybody, for that matter, since I'm “all cooped up in there” and “really need to get out.” You know what I need? A pair of pliers. Then, every time you try to guilt me into leaving so you can use me as your drinking buddy, your wingwoman, your babysitter or your psychiatrist, I can slowly pry off my fingernails, one by one, just for fun.

Then again, you probably wouldn't notice, given that the last time I saw you, you looked at me mid-conversation and said,

“Wait, so I'm confused. You make websites, right? Like a web designer?”

You made that comment 6 years after I started my writing company, so I can only think that you were texting during every single conversation we've had over the last half-decade.

It's ironic, really, when you tell me I'm “in my own little world.”

While I certainly don't expect you to know which 3-D shapes I carve into my cha-cha, I would assume that, as my friend, you might want to know how I'm paying for your dinner tonight, since inevitably I'll end up offering.

What I want to know is this: When did you stop caring? Was it when smart phones replaced real conversations? When “friends” became anyone who sent you a request? Or when the neverending barrage of dings and pop-ups and streams slowly chipped away at your ability to pay attention to anything for more than a solid 3 seconds?

I know you don't get it, or any of “that online stuff I do,” but that doesn't give you the right to blatantly disrespect my hard work, or worse, act like I don't work at all.

I had the spine to go after the life I wanted, the career I wanted, and the experiences I wanted, and it's paid off. I didn't do it to spite you, or to make you angry with yourself, or to make you suffer as you realize your own life is slowly ticking on by like a time bomb, and you're still sitting there [extra title=”Except knitting. You're good at knitting.” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]doing nothing. [/extra]

I did it because this is who I am, and anything less would have been a pathetic imitation.

So maybe instead of trying to constantly bring me back to your level, you should consider stepping up to mine.

Because I do work from home. And unlike everything you're hoping?

It was the best decision I've ever made.

Aug 22

2014

36 Signs You’re an Internet Dick

Aug 22, 2014

1. You buy stuff online and then automatically file a chargeback with your credit card company. The internet is onto you, Kim Chow. 2. You play coy with the customer service rep you’re live chatting with. “Well I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me *your* email address?” 3. You send professional emails in all caps—and even throw in […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Dec 13

2017

“It’s Too Dangerous to Travel.” (And Other Hard Conversations I Had While Driving Through Rural America.)

Dec 13, 2017

“It’s too dangerous.” Three little words I kept hearing over and over again when I visited the United States this fall. At dinner tables from Boston to Philadelphia, and everywhere in between—specifically many rural towns, as I was in search of autumn—we would talk about where I live in Costa Rica. How I had spent […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Oct 9

2017

“You Think Some Other Man is Going to Want You?” A Note on Standing Up to Bullies, Causing a Scene & Never Being Afraid to Use Your VOICE

Oct 9, 2017

“You think some other man is going to want you?”  It was only one of the things I heard him say to her from across the mahogany that evening. He was fit and tall and tan—mid thirties, maybe—as if he’d stepped out of a look book from Charleston, and she, tiny and petite, with porcelain […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Aug 12

2015

A Meditation on Shit Talkers

Aug 12, 2015

I got mad yesterday—like ear steaming, red hot, high-pitched, erratic kind of yelling mad. And, you know, I don’t get mad often. I’m generally very level-headed, very calm. Unless, of course, I’m drinking wine, in which case, “level-headed” might not be the best choice of words. Just ask the guy who filed a bogus chargeback on his […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Jan 12

2017

Most of the People I Grew Up With Voted for Trump—AND I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO REACT [A Story Through the Eyes of a “Scrappy Kid From Scranton”]

Jan 12, 2017

  For many people the election was a shock—but for me, it was a betrayal. There were things I thought I knew. I thought I knew, for example, that the smartest kid in my high school class—the one with the lightning fast wit and the ability to crush a calculus equation, who even held the […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Mar 27

2013

5 Business Rules for Pushovers

Mar 27, 2013

Sometimes it’s too easy. Too easy to say yes when you want to say no. Too easy to end up spending all of your time–maybe a lifetime–pleasing everybody who asks you to. Too easy to let people cross, squash, tap dance on, and bulldoze right the fuck over your boundaries. And too easy to lose […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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Jun 20

2016

I was at Pulse Orlando.

Jun 20, 2016

“Wait,” the stranger said, running his fingers through my freshly cropped ‘do. He pulled a stray piece of hair from my face and carefully molded it back with his hands. “Now, girl, now, you’re ready to strut your stuff.” His name was Juan. He was only one of the incredible people I met at Pulse […]

In: Business Pet Peeves

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

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