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The 4-1-1 on Barbara Farmer

In each installment of The 4-1-1, we interview a different member of the House Party Team, asking the big questions that are on everyone's minds. This time we're hearing from Barbara. Barbara describes herself in these words: analytical, sarcastic and easy-going. All are adjectives that make her a great Program Manager here at House Party. Barbara's role plays an important part in the execution of some of the most popular events here at House Party. Recently, she's worked on Dyson, SodaStreamR and Cafe Escapes to name a few. Stephanie, our Senior Program Manager, sat down with her to talk a little House Party history and to take a look forward into 2013.

Stephanie: So we were talking the other day about nicknames and I have a new favorite nickname for you, which is Barbie. What other nicknames do you go by?

Barbara: No one actually calls me anything other than Barb or Barbara at the office. I have Barb, most of my college friends call me Babs. Some people call me B. Some people call me Barbs, with an s. My most funny nickname story is that someone calls me Maggie, because when she first met me she thought my name was Margaret.

Stephanie: You started out working in Customer Service for House Party, how long ago was that and how many roles have you had since?

Barbara: It'll be four years this July. And I was actually in school at the time getting a paralegal certificate after being laid off. I had my resume everywhere and a recruiter found me and told me about a position at House Party. I originally interviewed to be in Event Systems (which at the time was similar to the current Program Operations department). I first had a phone interview and then I was invited in to speak with a slew of others. I was later called and they said they thought I would be great in the Customer Service department. And originally our Customer Service (CS) was in Virginia so I was to be the first CS rep up here. I was in CS for a year or so and then interviewed to go into Event Systems. Since I have a marketing background, I was interested in getting back to being more marketing focused. And then the company reorganized and I became a PM. Long journey...

Stephanie: So 3 positions?

Barbara: Yeah, in like 3 and a half years.

Stephanie: Do you have any favorite stories from working here at House Party?

Barbara: The holidays are always a good time. It's very telling when you have a party at House Party, and you see people letting loose. I think because we do take our jobs very seriously, we put our best foot forward. It's nice to have time to relax with everyone, see them dancing around and having a drink and see them coming out of their shell. And the first time I saw that was at the holiday party.

Stephanie: Recently we got some new snacks in the House Party office thanks to you. What does your dream snack room look like for this office?

Barbara: I think we need a nice mix. I think that's the problem. I understand there are days when you want the M&Ms and the chocolate. But there are days when you need some healthiness. Throw in some Luna bars, granola bars, and I like fruity candy sometimes, mix in some Dum Dums. And some cut up fresh fruit. Hit every snack craving, salty to sweet. I love variety and having options.

Stephanie: I'm aware you work out a lot and do a lot of different classes, like Stiletto. What things are new and fun that you are trying now?

Barbara: Currently I'm taking Kettle bell class, which I've done in the past. And I actually worked with a fitness company on the side and it's there that I take the Kettle bell classes. I'm doing Zumba with them as well. And also, starting up next week, I'm going to be taking a small group training class, which helps with my strength training.

Stephanie: What are you passionate about? What really moves you?

Barbara: Music has always been my thing. I always said if I had the talent and the schooling, I'd be on Broadway. I love singing and dancing. I love Broadways shows. And my ideal body type is a dancer's body, strong but lean. For a hot second, I took vocal lessons. But I love to sing all the time. That's why I love karaoke.

Stephanie: You recently celebrated a birthday, what are you looking forward to this year? Any goals or personal things you are trying to accomplish?

Barbara: Finding a husband (laughs). That's my goal every year. I'm getting to the age, which is sort of a tangent from that, where I'm not originally from New York and I've lived here for 5 years now. I have a great life carved out for myself, but I want someone to share it with. Every year, I'm like maybe I should move...go where the guys are.

Stephanie: So you're contemplating some major life decisions.

Barbara: Possibly. It works out since my lease is up at the end of the year, so I have the whole year to see how things are going. But most of the time it's like I love New York and I'm crazy for thinking I'd leave. But I want my kids to go to a school with a name, none of this P.S. 83 nonsense, like; I don't know what that is. It's very Carrie Bradshaw, like, "Am I done with New York?" I don't know yet.


Stephanie is a Senior Program Manager at House Party. She lives in Jersey City, NJ, in the shadow of lower Manhattan. She loves going to the movies with her cinephile husband and letting him cook for her. Stephanie's party tip: Don't stress. I tell myself, "everything can be cleaned." So don't worry and enjoy this time with your friends!

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