Archive for October, 2010

It’s easy to make excuses for bad behavior

The Workshop is pleased to announce its representation of Dr. Leslie Seppinni, psychotherapist, creator of Excuse Free Living (TM) and public speaker, as her brand expands via the ongoing “Shrink on the Street” video series and a radio show.  Dr. Leslie combined distinguished degrees and certifications (Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist) with personal experience to create a life philosophy of Excuse Free(TM) Living.

During the stressful holiday season, it’s easy to make excuses for bad behavior — but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. The whole concept of the season is “family togetherness — whether we like it or not” — so wouldn’t it just be easier to face things head-on, without excuses?

As Dr. Leslie says, “I have discovered that it’s not the size of the problem; it is the size of the feeling. You do not have to have my unusual life experience to have feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness. Do you make excuses to hide from your fears?”

Sometimes, the holidays can feel like one long nervous breakdown — and luckily, there’s someone who can advise on holiday stresses.  If you’re working on any editorials where you may need guidance from a Dr. Leslie, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or a member of The Workshop: Jennifer Styles / 310.99.995.0942 / jen@workcreateinnovate.com

Again, Her unique brand of counsel can be seen via DrLeslieToday.com, and I’d love to introduce you to her as a potential psych advisor for holiday stresses — or anything else you might be working on in the near future!

Dr. Leslie has consulted for corporations such as Pepsi Co. (Tropicana, Quaker Oats), Intel and the Los Angeles Unified School System; she has held staff privileges as a crisis counselor at six hospitals, and appeared in the mass media market as an authority on psychological topics. Additionally, she leverages her skills as a mediator and counselor in support of charitable causes such as UCLA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, Ice Skating in Harlem, Bottomless Closet, and many other worthy organizations.

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on October 27, 2010|Category: Uncategorized No Comments »

‘Once a Millionaire Matchmaker’ Part 1

Approximately nine years ago, I needed an emotional break from my crisis intervention work. I continued my private practice, and added something that I thought would be fun to do and still draw on my expertise in relationships. Ten blocks from my office, the most “exclusive,” “expensive,” “private matchmaking” service in the heart of Beverly Hills, catered to the rich, the powerful, and the want-to-be rich. The company alleged that their clientele which consisted of both men and women consisted of millionaires, particularly the men.

Why not? I thought what could be more fun and fulfilling than working for a company that helps people find each other and fall in love. It represented a far cry from being in the streets and hospitals of Los Angeles County taking control of situations and people who wanted to, or were in the process of, harming themselves or others. In addition, spending my time working with people so significantly impaired that they could not take care of themselves; no one was ever really happy to see me in that line of work.

The owner interviewed me, and she seemed pretty cool. She advertised in upscale magazines and newspapers. Her office gave potential clients the impression that they were really going to participate in something privileged. No more answering personal ads, no more routinely checking out dating websites, going to bars, or paying for video dating.

The job meant working in an air-conditioned, large, bright office overlooking Beverly Hills, working with people who were happy to see me, and ending the frantic calls for help that came to me in the middle of the night.

A potential client phones for an appointment they are never told what the service cost. When they came in they are given a questionnaire to fill out, and they must fill out the entire form which includes occupation and income. Once they complete the form the receptionist gives it to the head of sales who is the managing partner, the person is told that he is on the phone and will be out shortly. He reviews their income then determines if the fee will be higher than the minimum fee of $7,500.00 asked of the average person.

Millionaire women on average paid $10,000.00. Women in the middle-class income range could get away with paying $5,000.00 – $3,500.00 this might be a schoolteacher or a manager spending her savings. Most often they’d be the average-looking middle-class female obtaining the service by paying the fee in installments. Because they were average looking they were not extended the bogus free membership. Most of them did not realize they could go less than $5,000.00 since they thought they were getting a big discount already. More importantly, these were women were ready to settle down and start a family. They were becoming concerned about their age and felt they were running out of time. The rest were lonely divorcee’s feeling passed over because they already had children. Either way the sincerity of them wanting to find love made them easy marks.

However, the millionaire men got slammed a minimum of $10,000. Once the managing partner knew what the man was worth, the number went up from there with no cap. When a millionaire man expressed an interest in model looking women or were looking for a “trophy wife” came in he’d be shown dozens of headshots of beautiful models and told that they were clients of the agency. If he’d signed he was taken to dinner to the best restaurant or night club wined and dined.

All regular potential clients which included both men and women, were read profiles and shown pictures of 5 or more of the opposite sex who matched their own profile. What they didn’t know is that the company showed the same 5 photos and read the same 5 biographies for each sex to everyone, and these 10 people total represented the best of the men and women clients actually in the system. The scheme for the women did not include model men of the business but the men shown were handsome, wanted marriage and children, rich, sweet and educated much of the profile was made up tailored to the women’s interest in the room remember the profiles were read not seen. The same sales tactic was used for the men.

Both male and female clients were told that the company had a database of at least 5,000 clients. No such database existed. Between their Beverly Hills office and their Orange County office, their clients totaled no more than 3 to 5 hundred including a portion of these numbers were clients that were no longer with the agency. They were told they were being matched with other clients from the database. Not so, the company set their clients up with random women and men referred by other free clients, picked from night clubs, stores, restaurants, pageants, modeling services and other sources.

The company paid bonus money for every useable free person you could bring in to match a client. Free memberships went 90% of the time to women. They would be asked, “Are you single?” if the answer was “Yes” they were handed a card and told they were getting a free membership to the service they were instructed to call and make an appointment. They were told to never tell a paying client that they were given a free membership “we don’t want them to feel bad”.

I actually called “NBC Dateline” and a few other magazine shows and suggested they go undercover and see how these people were being financially and emotionally abused but I didn’t know how to get the story to the right person. Even when there were numerous complaints by past and current clients to the better business bureau none of the magazine shows I contacted responded to my calls, and I quit. I made a copy of the clients with their phone numbers that I had worked with and called them and told them the loop hole in which they could get their a portion of their money back

Look out for Part 2:

‘Once a Millionaire Matchmaker now Watching a Millionaire Matchmaker’

Why I Love Patty Stanger!

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on October 21, 2010|Category: Uncategorized No Comments »

Top Chef Desserts Melt Down

Top pastry chef grow up!  Less excuses for bad behavior and a little more sugar.

I love dessert; Chocolate cake, Hot Chocolate Soy Milk, Chocolate Chip cookies, Chocolate Croissants, Chocolate, Coconut, Rasberry Sorbet, Apple and Cherry pie. Peach Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, Beignets and hot Fudge on anything.  Creme Brule, Lemon, Coffee, cheese and Marble cake and Cheese Danish.

Pumpkin pie, cup cakes and Deli cookies. I could go on and on.

Oh, if dessert is in the house I will have a bite before I have breakfast.

This means when a top Pastry Chef throws a tantrum on a show, and has a melt down that should be limited to ice cream I have a concern they may spit in the batter. Bakers you need to manage your emotions too.

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on October 12, 2010|Category: Uncategorized No Comments »

France Confirms Banning of the Burqa

This most definitely is a human rights issue.  One cannot assume that because a woman is wearing the Burqa they are being treated unequally.  However, there have also been many instances throughout Muslim history of women being stoned, divorced, made a social outcaste or brutally beaten for not wearing the Burqa.  Somewhere in the argument of banning the Burqa many seem to have forgotten the significance of it for Muslim Culture and Religion. Telling the women to not wear the Burqa is also telling them that the rules of their relationship to more orthodox male Muslims must change as well.  Regardless of what France say’s it is still a question of the right to honor your religion and culture.  I agree that hiding one’s face in an era of terrorism particularly in European countries is a definite safety issue.  But, I ask all of to join in the conversation of is this as a human rights issue or a way to democratize Muslim culture little by little?

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on October 11, 2010|Category: Uncategorized 11 Comments »