Chris Keslar

If Chris Keslar has learned one thing working for Jeff Lewis it's: YOU CAN'T WIN.

on Jul 24, 2008

Finally, we have the occasion of my three-month review! I'll say upfront that in my professional life I've never had an employee/boss review where the whole company was present and weighing in on my job performance. It felt like I was on the firing range! Seeing this scene played back was bittersweet. I really appreciated the nice, positive things everyone had to say about my work ethic and my job performance. It really meant a lot to me that they all thought I was a hard worker. I always show up and try to give it my all. However, I can really see the toll that doing the job of House Manager and House Assistant was having on me. When I well up with tears in the scene, it is simply because I just feel misunderstood by Jeff. Plain and simple. And overwhelmed. And tired. And underappreciated. As I mentioned in last week's blog, before Chris left I had a day each week to go out in the field and shadow Jeff. That's what was exciting to me. That's when I was learning. That's what made the mundane aspects of the job palatable. But, after Chris left, my day out in the field to specifically shadow Jeff evaporated and without warning. And that was truly disappointing to me. Sporadically I would get to do things out in the field, but mostly my job was confined to taking care of the house. While I recognize that I was hired to do that job, I was also hired with the promise that I would be trained in the business of house flipping. I didn't feel like I was growing or advancing at a pace that was consistent with the work I was putting in. I felt like I was paying my dues and after my review it felt like Jeff didn't see it that way. I realized that I was long ways away from advancing up the ladder at Jeff Lewis and Co.

Here's the rub working for Jeff: if you don't stick up for yourself or question him, he'll walk all over you. If you do stand up for yourself or point out inconsistencies in his management style, then you have an attitude problem.

 It was around this time that I really started to learn the number one rule in working for Jeff:


And he would say that to me a lot in regards to any number of situations: "You know you can't win, Chris." There's nothing less inspiring than to work for someone when you know you can never win -- that no matter what you do, it's probably not going to be good enough. I hope that I have made it patently clear in my previous blog posts (and hopefully from what you have seen of me on the show) that I really do respect Jeff, the quality of his work, and the opportunity to work for him. Feeling like I can never please him, however, starts to become really disheartening and discouraging to me. And next week, you'll see how we both come to deal with the situation.

Until then my little chickadees ...

Love and light, Chris. PS!!! O

ne question that keeps popping up is whether Angela from Season 3 of Project Runway is my sister. YES! That kooky, rosette lovin' Angela is, in fact, my big sister! Which then means that my dear, darling mother is Darlene of the "Everyday Woman" challenge in Season 3. I was so proud of my cute, little mom for WORKIN' IT OUT ON THE RUNWAY! Mama Darlene rocks the hizzzouse! Angela's participation in Project Runway had no absolutely no bearing on me being hired by Jeff Lewis. Neither Bravo nor Authentic Entertainment had any role in hiring me to work for Jeff. In fact, I don't even think that Jeff knew my sister was on Project Runway until after I was hired. (Jenni might have known, but I don't think Jeff did). If you're curious to know the scoop on how I ended up working for Jeff, head on over to my first blog, "Being the New Guy," and you'll see how I landed my job with Jeff!