Coffee Break – Candy Tri Zip Satchel

Rebecca Minkoff Candy Tri Zip SatchelI love the look of this Rebecca Minkoff leather satchel, even though I normally prefer nylon (for weight reasons) for satchels this large.  eBags has a nice sale going today, too, which brings the price from $525 to $420 with free shipping. It’s available in black and taupe. Rebecca Minkoff Candy Tri Zip Satchel

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Comments

  1. Shoe Destroyer :

    Warning: this is a first world problems post. And a TJ, right off the bat.

    I buy nice shoes (e.g., Manolos, Christian Louboutin, etc.). I’ve had some of these shoes for 5+ years, and have had two heels break. I drive to work, so I’m not walking long distances in the shoes. I have a smallish shoe collection, and tend to rotate through about 7-8 pairs of shoes for work. Am I walking wrong? Or do heels just break? Does this happen to anyone else?

    • I do NOT drive anymore since I moved into the CITY, but I had the same probelem when I drove my father’s SUV.

      It maybe b/c of the pedals and your heels hitting the floor wrong. I never drove wearing my good shoe’s and you should NOT either.

    • Do you wear the heels while driving? And, if so, did the heel break on your right shoe?

      • This is probably the culprit! My mom had the quilted heel on a pair of Chanel boots get absolutely destroyed after a few days of driving. The place she went to get them fixed said to avoid driving in heels whenever possible (particularly skinny heels!) since it puts a lot of pressure on them in different way than when you stand.

        A reason to get a fun pair of driving mocs!

    • I’ve never broken a heel driving, although I have broken a heel off on a Michael Kors shoe just walking at work. I have had the platform on my shoe get stuck under the gas pedal once. Scary! Since I drive a stick, I was able to put the car in neutral so no harm done.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      You are unwittingly damaging your heels by driving in them. That’s what driving mocs are for. My heels are my passenger :).

    • Shoe Destroyer no more :

      Thanks for the insight. I didn’t even think about driving as the culprit. I feel a little silly since even ELLEN knew what I was doing wrong! FOOEY!

  2. I was so good my first semester of law school about not stressing out over exams and keeping things in perspective and ended up rocking my exams. Now I’m feeling absolutely overwhelming pressure (only self-imposed) to do as well as I did last time and am not sure how to deal with the anxiety it’s producing. If anything, I should be able to relax a little more, since I have a little more wiggle room and can still probably end up at the top of my class with a few lower grades, but that’s not how I’m feeling! Any advice on how to deal with this?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Exercise, eat a nice meal, get away from the books for a few hours. Also, do not spend time with people who are anxious.

      Also, congrats on your first semester!

    • Agree with AnonInfinity.

      Definitely get away from other people who stress or only want to talk about classes in a stressful way. It’s one thing to debate what the Equal Protection Clause means with classmates (if that’s your thing), it another to compare how many hours you’re reading/studying/outlining for finals. Being around the stress crew will only make you feel worse.

    • Wine. Lots of wine!

      • goirishkj :

        And cupcakes! Seriously, stay away from other law students during finals. Also, try to avoid studying at the law school. I found the law library to be a giant stress bubble. Fresh air and exercise help too. You can do this!

    • Exercise. And remember to exhale.

    • WisconsinEtte :

      Try meditation. Most universities have a group you can join. This saved me from pulling my hair out over feeling anxious during law school.

    • think about the worse thing that could possibly happen. realize that chances are, this will probably not happen. and then realize that even if it does happen, it’s not the end of the world.

      (speaking as someone who has seen way, way, too many people get every gold star they could possibly imagine and wake up one day wondering what it was all for.)

      • Yes- and I will say, anecdote-ally, that you may actually get better grades this time around because you’ve been through the exam process before (and I assume from your post that you did well that time.) No reason to assume that you won’t do just as well or better this time! I agree w/ all the advice to stay away from school as much as possible, study with the people you trust, and just do your thing!

    • This isn’t advice, but my highest GPA of law school was my very first semester. There’s a curve. Some people are really good at law school right off the bat, but as time goes on everyone else figures it out too and they catch up to you. Don’t stress out or blame yourself.

  3. Career & Relationship :

    Semi-Regular poster, but going anon for this. Apologies in advance because this is long and slightly rambling, but it has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks.

    I am currently a 2L at a top 20 school and am late 20s. I have been thinking about my career trajectory recently and would like some input from you all. Right now, I am in the slow process of applying to be a foreign service officer, be a UN officer, or to work at USAID (in a more traditional attorney position). I’ve never loved law school and can’t really see myself doing what I have done in externships and in pro bono work forever. (I worked in law offices prior to law school, so I knew what I was getting into, but for some reason it just not working for me.) I have always had a strong interest in policy and development and think this would be a really good job for me for many reasons.

    One of my good friends from high school is in the foreign service, stationed in a SE Asian country for her second tour. She was in Latin America for her first. I have spoken with her a lot about what it is like to be in the foreign service and have visited her at one of her posts. I understand that if I go straight into the foreign service, or go 1-3 years after working stateside at a firm, or gov. agency, I am probably going to have a hard time reentering into a traditional law environment if I do decide to leave. However, I am less concerned with that right now. Obviously, I will still take the bar and have many many backup options if this does not work out. (Likely I would take 1 traditional law job before joining the government due to timing, so 1-3 years legal experience isn’t unlikely.)

    Right now, after one more engagement announcement on facebook, I am worried about the relationship aspect. Part of me feels really dumb for even thinking about letting this hold me back from something that I have wanted in different ways since I was 15. On the other hand, the conversations with my friend tell me dating is a real problem. Most women either go in in long term relationships or are married (to other foreign service officer’s or not) when they get to their first post. Apparently the joke goes that you can tell where a man’s first post was by talking to his wife. My friend is not dating anyone and hasn’t dated (seriously or casually) someone since she did her last round of training in the US almost 2 years ago. (This also may be a function of where she is/was posted—both were posts on the smaller side.)

    I am very happy being single and casually dating right now. I do know that I want to have a partner. I feel like I have a mental block when it comes to dating, though. If I leave, I know it would be unlikely that this guy would drop his career to be with me, which makes me scared to commit. I’ve never thought relationships or anything had to happen on a certain timeline, but knowing that I would likely be leaving a land of plentiful dating opportunities for a place with potentially none, is scary. I definitely don’t want to let my relationship desires dictate my work life and career path, but I also know that I definitely do want a family/husband in the future. I’m definitely not leaving before I leave—I’ve signed up for the foreign service exam for Dept. of State and am trying to figure out what to do when for the UN. USAID doesn’t require any sort of exam so it is a more straightforward government application. I won’t not do it because of this by any means I’m just having a moment characterized by an irrational fear of being alone.

    Honestly, a perfectly reasonable response is to tell me to stop being so type A and let everything sort itself out. I don’t have to plan everything. On the off chance that someone does have something to say I would love to hear it. At the very least, typing it out made me feel better and like it isn’t quite the situation I built it up to be in my head.

    …Also, I can’t remember who, but someone yesterday said that their dad was an ambassador. Were you a kid when he was an ambassador or otherwise in the foreign service?

    • Career & Relationship :

      Holy cow. That was so much longer than I thought it would be. If anyone reads this, thank you!

    • Kontraktor :

      I think the ‘let it sort itself out’ advice is sound. Not to be a downer, but it can be really, really, really difficult to get a job at one of those organizations. I have a (very qualified) friend who has gotten about 85% of the way through the whole foreign service officer saga 3 or 4 times now, and has yet to be chosen. She keeps at it, but it’s a long hard road. There is a large possibility you could be worrying for nothing and end up doing something else.

      If you had solid offers into programs in one of these places, the answer might be different. But, if you’re just beginning/have not been hired yet, I would definitely say to just pursue your life as your would and keep working hard to be fulfilled in matters of love/career/whatnot as best you can in the present time because there is no telling how this might turn out.

      • Interesting–when I first read “Not to be a downer, but…” I thought this advice might say to just go for it, career-wise, because you may not end up with the relationship that would be worth compromising for anyway. Like, don’t worry about a dilemma due to a great guy before you actually have one. Sounds cynical, but this is what I’ve always thought for my own life.

        When I was in grad school, I assumed I’d still be unattached when it came time to make decisions about job and location. That turned out not to be the case, but making adjustments at the decision point, due to guy, was not wrenching. I just had a factor to consider that I had not expected would be there (I was 27-28). It worked out. I guess this suggests you should just do your best to pursue what you want in both a relationship and in a career, and then only worry about balancing the two if you’re ever presented with that challenge. You may not be. (Tentative thought here, inviting disagreement…)

      • This is good advice. The job market for this is always crazy crazy hard, and right now, it’s unbelievably impossible, so the chances of the poster ever even getting the opportunity to choose between a relationship and a foreign post is so incredibly small. I think C & R might be less comfortable being single/casually dating right now than maybe she thinks she is, and it’s driving her to create problems that probably won’t ever come up.

    • I don’t really have an answer, but I would say that, in a broad generalization, I think that the attitude that you should never let a relationship (or the potential of one) advise your career choices is more appropriate for younger people. Certainly, a high school student shouldn’t let a boyfriend dictate her college choices, and even a college student should probably not take relationships into consideration too much.

      But, at some point, in your mid to late 20’s, these things aren’t so easily separated. It’s not what kind of job you want, and what kind of relationship you want – it’s what kind of life, with all that that encompasses (family, career, hobbies, living situation), do you want? You have to balance all of those and make your choice, taking it all into account, what is important to you.

      In other words, I give you permission to back off on your career goals in order to fullfill your relationship goals. Or, to not, should you choose that.

      (Anyone else remember that Gilmore Girls episode where Paris dumped her boyfriend so she couldn’t let him impact her considerations about where to go to grad school? I loved that.)

      • This. There is nothing “dumb” about balancing the various things you want in life.

      • layered bob :

        yes, I remember that episode. I always was kinda sad that Rory left Logan for similar reasons though… I just feel like they could have made it work. But… I got married right out of college and moved to where my husband was working, so that’s obviously how I feel about that. (Turned out to be a great career move for me too though!)

      • Lyssa, this is such great advice that I should
        1)make an “all the cool and helpful things I’ve learned from c 0rporet te” file
        2)save this advice in that file

      • goirishkj :

        Agreed. And I’ve had to balance things at various points in life.

        Husband and I got married very young because we thought we would both go into the military and wanted to be stationed together. The military thing didn’t work out so the reason for marrying younger instead of a year or so later was gone, but the relationship has worked. But prior to that, when we were still dating, I refused to let the relationship keep me from studying abroad. And later in life, I gave up my top grad school choice (which probably changed my job prospects) because of where he was accepted to grad school. I still went, just to a lower ranked school. My point to all this is that I’ve been opposite side of career/relationship balancing all within the same relationship, just at different times in my life.

        Unfortunately, there’s no right answer, there’s just good enough for right now. And life is all about all sorts of tradeoffs and comprising and figuring out what YOU are willing to give up and what’s a dealbreaker. And what’s most important to you, whether that be your career or a relationship or something in the middle. My career isn’t what I imagined it would be 10 years ago, but I’m happy where I am right now, even though I may have given up some possible career prospects to do what was best for my marriage as a whole. And my husband has done similar tradeoffs over time. Things don’t always work out the way we plan, but eventually they do work out.

      • Thank you for this perspective. I moved out of financial desperation to an environment I never would have chosen otherwise. It has put dating with serious intent on hold, and I am seriously considering freezing my eggs, because I do not want to live here for the rest of my life. This balance is more serious for career-minded women, because the underlying assumption with straight relationships is that the husband’s job has higher priority, and his family will move with him if necessary.

        Don’t give up hope though! There are communities of people who can live anywhere as long as they have a working laptop, power, and an internet connection. So maybe an entrepreneurial global traveler would be a good fit.

    • Definitely had these moments before.
      Telling myself that “oh I can’t know what will happen in the future, maybe I’ll meet someone…” never worked because helllo type A! The panic inducing part WAS the unplanned for future! :)
      That said, don’t let your fears hold you back. Going for a huge life/career change is scary, and it sounds like you latched onto this aspect (there won’t be anyone to date!) as THE issue.
      Just remember that you WANT to do this, and the dating pool ANYWHERE is a huge cr*pshoot. (One of my friends is stationed in Kosovo and fell madly in love with a doctor.)

      • Career & Relationship :

        I probably have latched on to this as THE issue because it is something I feel like I have some control over (again, type a). I have so little control in all of this process that I have claimed this as the issue to concern myself with because there is something I can do about it. I can decide that I want to date someone seriously knowing that it might not work out or I can decide that I want to keep doing what I’m doing and not get in a relationship. Even though I feel like I have control over this, lord knows I don’t, because since when do we have complete control over starting relationships?

        • right!
          I didn’t mean to say that your fear was way off-base, but that relationship are really an aspect of life where you just can’t know, and that’s tough.

    • I’m afraid I don’t really have any groundbreaking advice, but I went through a similar thought process when I was considering going into the foreign service and it was a huge part of why I didn’t go down that road.

      I actually did an internship through the state dept at an embassy in a country in Africa while I was in school. While I absolutely loved the experience, it also helped me realize that the lifestyle can be very difficult from a personal perspective. I was single at the time and didn’t see how on earth I’d ever find anyone for the long term under those circumstances. I was concerned about friendships, too. As for relationships, though — The post where I was was small, there were basically only two non-military foreign service people, both male. One was in a long-distance relationship with a woman he had met at his previous post in India and she still lived there. I have no clue what their plan was, exactly, they couldn’t possibly have seen each other more than like twice a year. The other guy was married to a woman who had an MBA and some kind of career of her own pre-foreign service, but she was working as an admin at the embassy and her job was basically to escort maintenance people around when they had to do work to make sure they didn’t steal government secrets. The ambassador there was female and her husband had some kind of job he did from home, I believe he was a writer.

      So I guess the point of all of that is to say it seems tough to be in the foreign service and in a relationship at the same time unless the non-foreign service partner either has a career that allows for working from anywhere or isn’t too picky about a career/job. That can totally happen, I don’t mean to be a pessimist, it’s just that I do think your concerns are valid.

      The other thing to consider is that nothing has to be forever, so don’t worry too much about making the “right” decision. Also, it would be a long long long time between now and when you’d actually get posted somewhere far away (in the experience of some of my friends who are in the foreign service, their first posts didn’t come for at least six months after they finished school, often more), and who knows what your situation will be then …

      • Career & Relationship :

        Thanks for this! It is really helpful to know that other people have gone through this same thought process. I know that it will be hard and you are right. Nothing is forever and there’s a chance that I’ll fall in love with my job this summer and this is all for naught. Between the crazy long length I know my security check would be (3 family members with top secret clearance, foreign relatives) and the timing of the whole first part of the process (provided I get through each step) would put me starting classes in the 2014/2015 range. So, um, yeah 2-3 years. Can’t plan anything that far out. But I do feel better hearing all these things.

    • Anonymous :

      Hi – I am the one from yesterday with the ambassador for a father. He was a career diplomat, so the foreign service was part of my entire childhood – from birth until college. I understand your concerns about relationships/family. My parents were in an unusual situation because my mother wanted to have her own career. Therefore my father was always on assignment, meanwhile we were in suburbia growing up like other kids. Switching schools and trying to make new friends at each new post was not part of my life. However, the down side was that I saw him very rarely – maybe a month or two out of the year. That’s had lasting consequences on our relationship. I had decided early on that I did not want to be a diplomat because of the toll it takes on one’s family. The funny thing though is that I am in my 30s and still single. However, I don’t think my career decisions would have been different. I always thought of that life as too nomadic for me. Consider the fact that you may decide to forego this possible foreign service career, have a great hubby and family, and still regret that you did not pursue it. You could always try it out, and then if you think it is not for you, leave. There are other international policy jobs that do not require being posted overseas. Most are in D.C. You mentioned USAID. You could work for one of the non-profits or think tanks that focus on international issues. Other options are the IMF, World Bank and the International group in Treasury.

      • Anonymous :

        BTW – You are right about USAID not needing a special exam, but it is very hard to get into (at least recently). I had a friend trying to get in there about 2 or 3 years ago. He finally gave up after a year of basically banging his head against the door. He did well enough in law school and had made contacts, but just could not get any traction. They moved as slow as molasses.

    • I actually disagree with some of these comments, at least to a point. I think you just have to assess what’s best for you. If this opportunity is what you have been dreaming about forever and you’re not in a relationship so serious that you’ve got a ring on your finger or are near to having one (literally or figuratively), then it may be best for you to do it.

      I could have chosen not to take a circuit clerkship in a city different than my SO’s, and I probably would have been engaged by now. I took the clerkship because it was the absolutely correct choice for my life and my dreams, and I will never regret it–even though the choice may have contributed to the breakup of a (very) long term relationship. It might be Pollyanna of me to think this way, but the right person fits the person you are–and that means your professional choices, too, within reason (emphasis on the “within reason,” ladies–I’m not saying you should never, ever compromise).

      • Maybe I’m Pollyanna, too, but I wouldn’t have moved for my husband’s job if I didn’t think it was also a good move for me. But I also don’t think that he would have asked me to move to a place where I would have had no chance at the type of career I wanted. Even now, having made the move and with him loving his job, he’s constantly asking me if I’m similarly happy, and offering that if I’m ever ready to move on, it’s definitely on the table.

        But all that aside, I’m not sure that this is a case of the OP giving up a dream for someone else. Instead, it seems like the OP has needs or wants of her own that may not be compatible with one of the dreams she’s had for a while. I think it’s very different to give up on a dream for a guy or the idea of a guy, rather than letting a dream go because it would not allow you to have the kind of personal life you want. Of course, this all kind of navel-gazing of me. Having not ever desired a foreign service job, I can’t be of a lot of help to the OP. However, I have a friend who is currently in the foreign service, and while this is just her experience, she’s been rather lonely in her smaller post.

    • You Only Live Once :

      My personal advice would be to pursue your career aspirations. You can meet your husband anywhere, literally, but you have a specific professional trajectory (and a really cool one!), so you should pursue while you can.

      My suggestion would be to read “The Defining Decade” (see this morning’s post).

    • I was the one who brought up ambassadors yesterday. The visit went great! Afterward, I had dinner with two of the embassy employees that came along with the ambassador, and we talked a little about their career paths. One of them had been a Peace Corps volunteer and married a fellow volunteer. Since then, they went to grad school together, each have had various NGO jobs, and now he works for USAID and she got a job at the embassy as a “trailing spouse.” She has passed the foreign service exam and will begin classes in the fall while her husband goes to a different post. The other employee is already part of the Foreign Service, and he is married with small children. He and his wife met while each were working for NGOs in another country. I think both of these examples show that while the dating pool in these out-of-the-way corners of the world may be small, it’s also stacked pretty heavily with interesting, like-minded people who would be amenable to having a family and simultaneously pursuing these types of careers.

    • Thoughts for Career & Relationship :

      I have some experience and a perspective that may be helpful to your thought process in terms of public interest in the US and abroad. I graduated from a top law school (also a top college) with good grades and I did lots of pro bono and public interest stuff in law school and over my summers, thus I thought I would be set with my public interest career. I never got on the right trajectory for me despite some fairly prestigious positions along the way. However, I fell madly in love with a man who had lots of geographic options in his career. I had always wanted to live abroad post-study abroad (let me tell you, life abroad at 30 is far from study abroad!). We got married (I recommend being married before taking a geographic leap where you have any financial dependence on a man) and went abroad for a few years, which was amazing for us as a couple. Finding public interest work abroad was a little tough but I learned how to make it work, and I developed more of my nonprofit management portfolio than litigation (public interest law abroad is very limited). Here are my thoughts on your situation.
      1) Apply to everything that interests you and see what happens. I think the chances for anyone to get into the types of jobs you mentioned is really slim, and I know brilliant people who have been turned down or had an arduous path. If you get in on the first try that’s awesome, but also rare. Also apply to internationally-related jobs in US cities like San Fran, NYC, and DC. You never know what will happen. Also, on a side note, fluency in a foreign language is incredibly important for success in the international world. You may want to consider an intensive study course for a few months after the bar if you don’t already have this.
      2) If you do get an international opportunity abroad talk to lots of women in that role/location before you accept and be very open with them about your questions. It may be that a USAID posting in Mexico City is great for meeting people (friends and dating), but one in Jakarta might not work as well. You can meet someone anywhere, but it can be good to do your research. Each city really does have its own expat as well as local culture (e.g. one place I lived had oil expats from Texas, another had expat hipsters).
      3) Realize that meeting a guy is very, very hard in the public interest community and cities with a large public interest population (DC and SF) simply because the vast majority of people are women. Most of my absolutely amazing girlfriends in their early 30s in those locations are single.
      4) American men abroad often (but not always) behave badly. One reason is that in some places I have lived prostitution is legal or widely practiced, which changes the culture. I have seen many more pairings of successful American men with trophy wives abroad than in the US. You are absolutely right in your thinking that American woman abroad tend to be much lonelier than American men when it comes to dating. I have also known of quite a few men abroad who have cheated/left their wives, so meeting someone in the US and bringing him to another country isn’t necessarily a recipe for success.
      5) I totally thought I might be the super successful single career gal but in some ways I ended up being the opposite (for now, I’m working on getting my career in a better spot). Life can have a crazy turn of events personally and professionally. Be prepared for adventure and roll with each new development, being aware that vocation and meeting a great guy aren’t meritocracies. In the end, it is closeness with the people that you love and doing work (in any form) that helps the world that matters. That way of thinking has helped me weather quite a few vocational setbacks.

  4. I am feeling uninspired for Mothers Day. For those of you that give gifts (or receive them as moms), what are you giving (or wanting)? I am looking for something < $50, and an item, not an experience (they don't seem to get used in my family).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Maybe buy a Groupon or LivingSocial for a Canvas Photo Print (they are *constantly* running them) and get a photo of the family printed on canvas? This would go over really well with my mom.

      • Along a similar line, what about one of those electronic photo frames that rotate through a set of pre-loaded photos?

        • I know those electronic photo things are popular, but can I make a plug for making prints the old fashioned way on paper? I fear that the electronic technology is going to change quickly & all those photos so lovingly stored in JPGs or TIFFs will be gone & you wont’ be able to recover them in time. Sort of like slides, which were the rage in the 70s. You can always copy & restore a print. Think of digital files as negatives (keep them) but make prints.

    • Edible arrangements, if your mom likes fruit dipped in chocolate especially. (bonus points if she works and you have it delivered there.)

      A copy of the movie Julie and Julia with a copy of Julia Child’s cookbook.

      A photo album with some nice photos of you together with her.

      A “mix cd” — but instead of a cd, more like a gift of a downloadable mix of some of her favorite songs or artists. Or a box set of her favorite show, maybe an oldy but goodie like Mash.

      Plus, in my family at least, jewelry is always welcome.

    • new york associate :

      What about flowers? Or a scarf or necklace? You might try looking through the sale section on Talbots or Coldwater Creek for accessories — I usually see great deals on pretty things that my mom won’t buy for herself, but will enjoy.

    • My mom loves edible gifts — just sent her some chocolate-covered dried cherries that I know she loves but doesn’t buy for herself.

    • My sibs and I are sending Birchbox to our mom for a few months with a “gift certificate” for her to choose a few of her favorite products after the monthly subscription ends. I haven’t personally used the service but have heard great things about it.

    • These are great suggestions so far, thanks! I was thinking about jewelry, maybe a fun bracelet. As for photos, my siblings are very into photo-gifts and tend to cover that area, but I did get married within the past year, so something with the wedding photos is a definite possibility. I was sort of thinking about the smallest Lo & Sons bag, which seems good for travel (I have the T.T., and my mom seems vaguely interested, and she travels a fair amount).

      • Apologies if this is a duplicate – I just got the “posting too fast” message – twice. How about a coffee mug with wedding pictures on it (one of you and DH, and another of you and Mom, or Mom & Dad)? One of my favorite gifts is a mug with a picture of my grown sons on it, so you can tell I’m a sucker for stuff like that. If you just got married this past year it’s an ideal time for a gift that relates back to the wedding.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Do you have a picture of you and your mom from the wedding? I did Christmas gifts with wedding photos for everyone in the family the year of my wedding and it was very well received. You could do one with your dad for fathers day. Or a picture of you and your siblings.

    • I’m hoping to get a ‘cup runneth over’ necklace from one of several etsy vendors this year. it’s a silver disk with the names of my boys stamped on it, as well as charms with their birthstones. The disk is slightly cupped so the charms sit in the disk when you wear it.

    • Landsend has some beautiful needlepoint kindle & ipad covers for $40. So pretty! :)
      http://www.landsend.com/pp/needlepoint-nook-kindle-case~238841_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::Z19&CM_MERCH=IDX_all-products-_-mothers-day-gifts&origin=index

  5. My DvF wrap dress doesn’t stay in place around the neck and can reveal too much when I slouch or bend over or what have you. Does anyone have a solution for this?

    • Take it to a tailor, put it on for them, and have them put a hook and eye on the inside top. I also have them put one lower on the skirt for any wrap dresses just for a little peace of mind that a breeze isnt going to blow my whole dress away.

    • Kontraktor :

      You could get a tailor to tack the v-neck pieces together or for a less permanent solution, hold the two pieces together with a safety pin. If you position the pin in the right way, it can be somewhat hidden from the front but hold the fabric together a little more.

    • You could have a snap sewn in – they’re small and it’s likely that nobody would notice it. Or you could wear a cami.

    • my faovrite solution for deep necklines is miss ooops’ boob tube. it is perfect for underneath slinky jersey fabric too.

    • These ideas are all fantastic! Will go the tailor route — didn’t occur to me. Thanks!

    • Body glue (available at dance stores) should help the dress stay in place.

      • Seattleite :

        Toupee tape! Sticks to skin and/or fabric amazingly well. I’ve personally used it on very low-cut evening gowns, button-up shirts (for gappage), and to hold scarves in place ‘just so.’

  6. Threadjack for the grammar police: the use of apostrophes has been driving me nuts lately, and it’s making me think that maybe I’m wrong. So, examples that drive me nuts, and please tell me if I’m correct:

    Headshots and Bio’s: “bio’s” is short for “biographies”, so it doesn’t need an apostrophe to make it plural. The apostrophe is for a possessive, but this phrase isn’t referring to a possessive situation, so no need for the apostrophe, correct?

    With love, the Smith’s: If the last name is “Smith” and it’s from the whole family, shouldn’t it just say, “Smiths”? Again, the apostrophe would indicate a possessive, but they’re just trying to pluralize their name!

    VP’s and CEO’s will attend: Once more, NOT POSSESSIVE, just plural for an abbreviation.

    Sigh, I keep seeing these things and I’m just wondering if I’m crazy. It’s (as in, the contraction for “it is”!) little things like this that just annoy you in the back of your mind, until one day, you have to ask if you’re nuts! (don’t get me started on your/you’re, they’re/their/there!)

    • Yes! You are completely correct! People will always do it wrong; just bask in the glory of knowing you are right. :)

      Another culprit is the 90’s. It’s just the 90s, dang it!

      • Last week, a partner changed my draft to say whom where I knew-for a fact-it was incorrect. He sent it to me to finalize, and I struggled and struggled with whether to change it back, but in the end, I didn’t. It just about killed me.

        • Yes, every time I reply to these emails, I always make a point to spell it correctly. We’ve gone back and forth on presentations with the apostrophe typo being corrected, then added, then removed, then added. Sometimes, I think I should just explain the proper usage, but then I would look like a hoity-toity intellect. I’m really not trying to “be better than” someone, but when it’s a client-facing document, I just can’t handle sending it out with obvious mistakes!

        • Anonymous :

          I know this so well. If it is something I am sending out from me, I will always correct it because I want to be 100% happy with it.

          If the partner is sending it out then he or she can take responsibility for the (in)correct grammar.

      • You know why people do that with “90’s”? Because there should be an apostrophe in place of the 1900. For example, ’90, if you’re talking about 1990. But ’90s looks wrong to some people so they put it in the wrong place.

      • Two that drive me nuts and appear EVERYWHERE are not putting a comma after the state or year when used in the middle of a sentence and preceded by a comma:

        The firm in Atlanta, Georgia is where he works. On July 4th, 2005 is when he started.

        Georgia and 2005 are describing Atlanta and July 4th. Set them off w/ commas on both sides!!!!!!

      • agree drives me nuts too, it is everywhere

    • No, you’re not crazy. Drives me nuts, too. I always use CDs or DVDs but so many times I see it with the apostrophe. Also, the apostrophe added when something is just plural (and not an abbreviation). Sometimes it makes me feel like the grammar police but it bugs me when well-educated people make these mistakes. As one of the characters in the novel, The Bestseller, said, ” People use unique with a modifier. That doesn’t make it right.” Words to live by.

    • You are not nuts and its incorrect to add an apostrophe in those situations (CD’s is incorrect; CDs is correct — unless you are referring to the CD’s properties)

    • THANK YOU. While I’m still annoyed, at least I know I’m not going crazy! Maybe tomorrow I’ll ask about comma usage… :)

    • girl in the stix :

      Editing and proofing is part of my job, and these types of errors drive me nuts. I also hate the poor spelling that seems to be epidemic. Today on a newscast, a man was identified as a ‘Paster’ instead Pastor, and someone was ‘dread’ on the highway.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I had someone once try to explain that the apostrophe is for the missing letters like a contraction. I don’t think they were correct but if there is some grammar book out there with that kind of advice, maybe that is where these people are all getting it from. It works w/ the bio’s/biographies example.

      • It’s the missing letters when combining two words. So oughtn’t or hasn’t or should’ve (shall we talk about should’ve? short for should have—”should of” makes me nuts.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes. It’s not just you. It drives me nuts. The mosaic announcing the stop name in the subway station near my apartment has “Ave’s” in it. It has taken all my willpower not to write the MTA and inform them their sign is grammatically wrong (not to mention one of the roads isn’t even an avenue, it’s a boulevard). I think technically this is one of those modern things that’s become so used (CD’s, DVD’s, and similar abbreviations especially) that it’s become “right.” But I reject it, gosh darn it.

      Tomorrow, we can discuss the Oxford comma and why everyone should use it. Because I’m a grammar nerd.

    • OMG, this drives me crazy too. I just came across this at my work a min ago –
      All the ECM’s have been approved. It’s ECMs and NOT ECM’s, bozos!!!!

    • Every day I drive by a sign that says “If you’re office was here, you would already be at work.”

      It’s just a matter of time before I crack and attack the sign with a Sharpie…

    • I want to say that it drive’s me nut’s, but I get all itchy even typing it.

    • Also, I want to say, try being a grammar nut and an Oakland A’s fan at the same time. I can’t find any reason they should be using that apostrophe (a single Athletic owns the team, maybe?) except that Oakland As reads as oakland as, if that’s clear.

    • This thread just makes me happy in my soul, definitely going to start the comma wars tomorrow!

    • You are CORRECT and you are NOT CRAZY, unless I am also crazy, because this stuff makes my head explode…. (and makes me use Ellen caps)

      …only solution I’ve found: Laugh At It http://www.apostropheabuse.com/

    • Love. My soon-to-be-ex-boss has the worst grammar and spelling ever. As does my other teammate. I want to correct them all the time. My mother was an English teacher. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth and go for a walk.

    • sometimes it’s AutoCorrect. Whenever I type “ill” it changes it to “I’ll”, for example. Spell check be ignorant.

  7. new york associate :

    I like the zipper closure and the shape of this bag, but I hate the tassels! They just look sloppy to me (though I’m sure they’re on trend).

  8. Frivolous question for the hive- thanks to someone’s great suggestion last week, I bought a gift certificate to black halo to get the Jackie O dress I’ve been drooling over for weeks.

    And now that it’s almost mine, I’m paralyzed by choice! Which color? Ideally, I’d be able to wear it to work under a blazer, and maybe out for certain occasions- like an evening wedding in the city where it’s more of a big dinner party.

    I’ve narrowed it down to bing or aubergine or cobalt (don’t need another black dress). Which one would you get? Or if you have seen them in person, is the cobalt as bright as it looks? I would love a deep blue, but on my screen it looks closer to electric blue. Here’s the link: http://www.blackhalo.com/store/the-jackie-o/jackie-o-dress.

    Ooh, and one last thing- sizing?

    TIA!

    • Former MidLevel :

      No idea on sizing, but I *love* the Bing color!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would get aubergine. I think that the cobalt is completely beautiful, but it looks so bright that I don’t think I’d wear it that often for fear of becoming That Girl With The Bright Blue Dress.

    • I vote for bing. I like the cobalt color but it’s a very trendy color. The expression of the model wearing amethyst cracks me up.

    • MissJackson :

      Cobalt is bright, but I wouldn’t call it electric– they have it in-store at Nordies (at least at mine) if you want to see that color in person. It’s not too bright to wear to the office (imho – but I’m a big fan of color, and ymmv), but maybe it’s a close call.

      Size up one full size unless you are “between sizes” in which case you MIGHT be able to just order the larger of the two sizes. But for the office I would veer toward ordering a full size up. I also bought the Refinery29 thing, too, and went to try on for sizing — I tried my regular “designer” size (think: Elie Tahari, Nanette Lapore, etc.) and one size larger. My regular size “fit” (zipped, I could breathe, etc) but it was super va va va voom. Super. Like, maybe I wouldn’t even wear it to a wedding, and certainly not without foundation garments. The next size up still looked fantastic (the Jackie O is a miracle dress, or so says my middle) and much more office appropriate.

      I vote for the Bing color — that’s what I’m ordering, I think!

    • phillygirlruns :

      i JUST bought the jackie in cobalt with the refinery29 deal…and am wearing it now, at work, under a black blazer. at least on my screen, the color is pretty true to reality. it’s a very deep, intense cobalt blue. the marine blue is not as deep but also not as bright – would that be a better fit? bing and aubergine look pretty close to me – i like the aubergine juuuust a little more.

      sizing is on the slim side; i’m 32DD, 28.5 inch waist and very hourglassy, and the 8 fits well – a little roomy through the waist, but anything smaller would be too small. for comparison purposes, i wear a 4 in The Skirt, 4 or 6 in j.crew, and 6 most other places.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I really recommend the etsy shop heartmycloset. Her website is heartmycloset.com. She makes a knock-off of the Jackie Black Halo dress (you can see it on ebay) for less than 100. I have several of her dresses and I’ve been really happy with the color and fit.

    • Thanks all! A Bing size 8 us winging it’s way towards me as we speak (type?). And phillygirl, thanks for the sizing advice- sounds like we could be body doubles!

  9. Equity's Darling :

    My bank sent me a letter offering me an increase on my credit card limit. I’m wondering whether I should accept it or not? Whether it will positively or negatively affect my credit score? Why has my bank decided to do this?

    For reference, I only have one credit card, and I use it throughout the month and pay it in full when due. I’m in my early 20s, so this is the only card I’ve ever had, and really, I don’t know much about credit cards other than I’m supposed to pay them in full and they give me points (for flights, yay!).

    • Your bank is doing this because its hoping to lull you into spending more and then not paying it off in full, so you rack up interest.

      As far as hurting you, I think it probably can’t hurt you. Generally having more credit is a good thing when you do your credit score (as long as you’re utilizing that credit, I believe the bench mark is about 30% usage or so per month for maximum benefits). But, mind you, this is all US stuff — I have no idea if the rules are the same in Canada (where I think you live).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      It will positively affect your credit score as it will give you a more favorable used -> unused credit ratio. No reason not to accept it, IMO, and it sounds like you are practicing smart credit strategies already.

    • karenpadi :

      If you are confident that you won’t overspend, I’d accept it. Like momentsofabsurdity said, it’ll help you credit score by lowering your credit utilization.

      In my early twenties, I suddenly needed a lot more credit. My expenses shot up and I was traveling for work. I ended up going from a $500 credit limit at 21 to needing a $10k credit limit at 25 (even though I pay it off every month).

  10. I don’t work Fridays. I have a pretty full Thursday afternoon schedule. There are small children in my waiting room making loud noises and thumps. It is doing this weird mix of snow and rain, blowing sideways and I didn’t dress warmly enough for that plan.

    With all this info, do you think it would be appropriate for me to sleep in the comfortable leather club chair in the corner of my office rather than seeing patients this afternoon? Please advise.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I think your time would be better spent shopping online for a better napping chair for your office.

      I always find sleeping in chairs gives me a pain in my neck, and my hips end up hurting because I try to roll myself into a ball.

      Also depends on whether the children are actually sick, or whether they’re just getting vaccinations and unnecessary antibiotics for colds, if the latter then sleep away (though their parents will likely be very unimpressed), if the former….I think you have to see them.

      • The children are accompanying their parents for the adult appointment. I can sleep through thumps. I decided to be the better person and see patients rather than call in bored.

    • No, but maybe a 15min nap.
      ……….can you even sleep with the thumping?

    • Seattleite :

      You need a comfy pillow and a soft lovely blankie to optimize that nap.

      TCFKAG, you’re on this, right?

  11. TJ: Men’s fashion.
    My SO is finishing up grad school soon, and I figure this is a good time to help him find some personal style. His current closet is a handful of tee shirts, jeans, and a suit with two dress shirts, so we will be starting from scratch. He’s in a science/research field (hence the prior lack of clothes) so most of the companies he’s been interviewing for are business casual/casual. I’d rather get him interested in how he looks than play dress-up.
    Any recommendations for men’s fashion blogs that are affordable and pretty basic? Or a guy’s magazine?
    If there are any articles similar to the women’s basic “how to dress your body type” that would awesome!

    • I have built up my brothers’ wardrobes by spending all day at the mall/dept stores. For science-y guys, it’s pretty straight forward. They’ll need:
      -work appropriate jeans
      -khakis – these come in multiple colors, they don’t have to be tan
      -trousers
      -casual button-front shirts (plaid, windowpane, etc) in long and short sleeves
      -polo shirts in long and short sleeves
      -sweaters, maybe sweater vests if he needs/wants to dress up a button-front shirt
      -a suit that fits with appropriate dress shirts, ties, shoes
      -shoes: sneakers, loafers, whatever feels good to them
      -belts: at least one each in black and brown
      -while you’re at it, update the socks, too

      JCPenney and Macy’s are great for casual men’s attire. Also, Macy’s is running their Friends and Family sale now, so you can stock up and score great deals. I’ve noticed that being really straight-forward helps when shopping with men: Do you like this? No? The color is wrong? What about this color? You want this without the collar? They have very strong opinions on certain things, you just have to figure out what it is. And make sure both of you are fed and not cranky when shopping. Good luck!

    • MissJackson :

      ShortieK, take him to Nordstrom. The people in the mens department in Pittsburgh can work miracles in terms of getting men interested in looking good. Basically, my husband needed to try stuff on and be told (profusely) by both me and the Nordstrom employee that he looked OhEmmGee amazing in whatever-the-heck it was. The people at Nordstrom were infinitely better than I was with selecting styles to suit his shape AND convincing him that they actually fit (my husband is slender and a chronic too-big-clothing-wearer). After a couple rounds of this, he went from “I hate shopping, I hate fashion, just buy me the cheapest thing and let’s be done with it” to “I saw a sport coat in the catalog that I want to try, let me know next time you’re going to the mall.”

      Note that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to work with them — tell them your situation (starting from scratch) and your price range.

      • okay, that is definitely what we’ll do! The one at Ross Park?

        My SO has that exact problem! (lanky, and when I met him he wore mostly the free large/XL teeshirts handed out at college events…) I always feel a bit awkward saying hey, this is our budget and we need to stick to it, but even getting one or two items with enthusiastic help would be great before we hit up the rest of the mall.

        • Seattleite :

          The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale for Men starts June 15. It might be worth it to buy a few basics now but do a big stock-up at the sale.

        • MissJackson :

          Yep, the one at Ross Park. Do not feel bad about telling them the budget and sticking to it — they want to build a relationship with you so that you’ll come back and buy more there in the future!

        • Heh, I’m also in Pittsburgh and also need to help my sciencey SO adultify his wardrobe, so this is timely advice!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      This may be helpful depending on what your SO feels comfortable wearing, but my boyfriend is a scientist (PhD student) and he dresses so well his lab members thought he was gay. Somewhat unusual color combinations make the basic items snappy (e.g. green polos that match eyes, purple sweaters).

      His faves:
      J. Crew: button-downs (FYI short sleeve ones are a bit old man), polos/rugby shirts, khakis (grey, khaki)
      Banana Republic: the same, some jeans
      Lands End: Shorts, trousers
      Club Monaco: trench coat, sweaters
      Brooks Brothers: Suede jacket, ties
      Cole Haan: Shoes, Belts
      Fossil: Belts, Messenger Bags

      Best place for suits was Macy’s. I’m unsure if the Macy’s outside of NYC are as good.

      • My SO is also a scientist, and also dressed so snappy in grad school that he got teased about being gay, too.

        Unfortunately, his wardrobe hasn’t really been updated since about 1995. So I have slowly been buying him wardrobe upgrades. I just come home with stuff, and take it back if he doesn’t like it. I updated his light jeans to dark jeans. I also got him a new jacket to replace his leather 1980s bomber-style jacket. He has adopted to these new styles pretty well. But he still has dress shirts in ’90s colors with really spread wide lapels that he wears to work like every day. I’m not sure how to tackle that one.

        I would love to get him a subscription to a magazine or something, but GQ seems like too much. What are dudes to do?

        • My SO is also a scientist, although more in administration now. He dresses quite well – considers it part of being an adult, knowing how to dress properly – and gets very annoyed when he sees a couple out for dinner or something and the woman is dressed in a nice dress or skirt and the guy is schlumping around in bad pleated khakis and an ill-fitting polo shirt. I should rent him out – Straight Guy for the Straight Guys?

          Anyway, for men’s mags, I like Esquire. It has lots of interesting articles along with some clothing advice. Some of the editorials feature pricey clothes, but that’s sort of true of all magazines. Once in a while Men’s Health will do a wardrobe feature. I think both of these magazines feature looks that are generally accessible for most men – maybe not the exact ($$$) items they show, but the concepts.

          Someone probably already mentioned Nordstroms. I know they have personal shopping service for women, I imagine they’d probably have it for men, too.

  12. Amelia Pond :

    I like the bag alot.
    TJ: I have a networking contact to call. I know there have been threads on the best day to email someone, but when is the best time to call someone? For reference I have her cell number because I am acquaintances with a friend of hers and I am calling because she offers resume classes and seminars and I am trying to get into a class or have her work with me one on one. (I am not trying to get this for free I completely respect her time and talents and will pay for them, but the classes are either full or invite only hence why I want/need to talk to her). I have worked myself into a tizzy coming up with reasons why every time is terrible. So ladies, if you were getting a cold call of this type when would you want to be called?

    • AnonInfinity :

      My thought is that since this is for a service that she provides as her business, any time in normal business hours would be fine.

    • MissJackson :

      You’re never going to be able to guess her schedule (because everyone is different and even if we were all the same, it changes from day-to-day), so don’t stress yourself out about this. Call during regular business hours, and the first thing you should say after introducing yourself is “is this a good time to chat for a few minutes? If not, when would be a good time to call back?”

    • You said that you received her phone number from a mutual acquaintance..why don’t you ask if that person would mind sending an introduction by email? I know people don’t usually like getting cold called so I would try to make a connection from the person you both know before hand. Or send an email to her directly saying you are “interested in your services and so-and-so (mutal friend’s name) suggested that I contact you” and ask if you can schedule a time to speak with her. I always have more luck with this approach. If you call and she doesn’t know who you are she may not be receptive, or you catch her at a bad time, or she doesn’t follow up on her voicemails, etc….

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Someone told me at a networking training event that Friday afternoon just after lunch is usually a good time as most people will be winding down for the weekend.

      The downside is, they may be superbusy trying to finish something for the weekend, but you always run this risk.

  13. PSA: there are quite a few DVF dresses marked down on the Bloomingdale’s website. They also sent out $25 off codes. You can probably order through the toll-free number to get the additional discount.

  14. Does anyone use the Tripit ap? I just downloaded it for my trip to New York this weekend. Any tips on how to get the most out of it?

    • I use the free version & love it — you just forward your flight/hotel/airline confirmations to their email (I think it’s plans at tripit dot com) & it organizes it all for you on the app in a few minutes. They’ll send you an email letting you know when it’s ready. Basically just keeps all your stuff in one place. Only issue I’ve had is with confirmations w/ a ton of graphics sometimes confuse them.

    • The Kayak app does this too. I love it!

  15. For those who like to shop for others... :

    I’m in need of a dress to wear to a Gala for clients of mine this weekend. The advertised dress code is “c*cktail.” The catch is that I’m wearing a huge leg brace (following knee surgery), so it needs to have a little fuller skirt to make room for the brace.

    I have access to all major stores here. I live in a Western city, so it may be a little less formal than East Coast (my client specifically told me he wouldn’t be wearing a jacket, although most men probably will).

    Price range around $200, more if it can double for a dress to a June wedding in Portland, a July wedding in Seattle, or an October wedding in Virginia.

    Also, taking recommendations for cute flats to wear with said dress, as heels are not option.

    Thanks!

  16. Dear Internet Friends,

    I will spare you the details, but suffice to say I am having one of those weeks that prove that when it rains, it pours. Please send some good vibes my way in hopes that it will stop the onslaught. Thanks in advance!

    – January

  17. Need advice from the more experienced ‘rettes

    I am currently assigned to work on a team 4, one being the manager of the group/department. I am the youngest and least experienced in the group. One of my coworkers on this team who is assigned similar job duites as me (albeit more senior within the company) has started to try to “manage” me and my workload. I thought I was the only one who noticed it but another coworker mentioned to me that he saw it happening too. He informed me that the person doing this to me is motivated by a potential promotion and wants to be seen as able to manage subordinates. I am not his subordinate and am getting frustrated by getting treated as such. I have noticed that this person is trying to keep me out of meetings saying he’ll “fill me in later”. He has also started emailing other coworkers in the group asking if it is necessary that I attend certain meetings. He is trying to cut me off from the group directly and is trying to position himself as the gatekeep of info between myself and the group. This just started happening the past 3 months. I have been on the team for a year.

    I am not sure how to handle this situation. I am extremely irritated by this as it makes me feel very “junior” and I need to have access to info to do my job. I also feel like he is trying to use me as a pawn for his own self interest. I’d like to say something but I don’t want it to come across as accusatory. The person doing this does NOT take criticism well so I don’t want an uncomfortable working relationship going forward if possible. But I do want this person to know that they can’t maneuver their way into power over me and that I won’t do anything about it.

    Ah the joys of corporate life…

  18. Need advice from the more experienced ‘r*ttes

    I am currently assigned to work on a team 4, one being the manager of the group/department. I am the youngest and least experienced in the group. One of my coworkers on this team who is assigned similar job duites as me (albeit more senior within the company) has started to try to “manage” me and my workload. I thought I was the only one who noticed it but another coworker mentioned to me that he saw it happening too. He informed me that the person doing this to me is motivated by a potential promotion and wants to be seen as able to manage subordinates. I am not his subordinate and am getting frustrated by getting treated as such. I have noticed that this person is trying to keep me out of meetings saying he’ll “fill me in later”. He has also started emailing other coworkers in the group asking if it is necessary that I attend certain meetings. He is trying to cut me off from the group directly and is trying to position himself as the gatekeep of info between myself and the group. This just started happening the past 3 months. I have been on the team for a year.

    I am not sure how to handle this situation. I am extremely irritated by this as it makes me feel very “junior” and I need to have access to info to do my job. I also feel like he is trying to use me as a pawn for his own self interest. I’d like to say something but I don’t want it to come across as accusatory. The person doing this does NOT take criticism well so I don’t want an uncomfortable working relationship going forward if possible. But I do want this person to know that they can’t maneuver their way into power over me and that I won’t do anything about it.

    Ah the joys of corporate life…

    • Anon – can you schedule a meeting with the manager of your group/department to express your concerns?

      • I have a meeting with the actual manager next week but I am not sure how to addess the topic. I am trying to prepare to handle this on my own because based on history I would guess that my manager won’t say anything to this person directly. He always tries to avoid conflict within the group. My guess is that the actual manager of the group will tell me just to work around this guy.

        Just to vent: Who does this? I think the part that upsets me most is that he is trying to use me as a tool to advance his own career when from the outside it will look like I don’t have my act together. I haven’t needed “managing” from him the past year – why now? FWIW he is a super competitive type and is resentful of the young, new talent in the company.

        • sorry for the typos! Darn iPhone!

          • DC Kolchitongi :

            Oh wow that’s bad. I think you should write in to Ask a Manager with that question, it should be handled by a professional. In the meantime here are my scattered thoughts:

            -If you aren’t already, start documenting everything he does. It will help you be able to say “this person regularly does A, B, C and it impedes my ability to effectively get my work done for X,Y,Z reasons” and then have plenty of evidence to back it up if asked.
            -As for how to frame it to your manager, I would keep the focus strictly on your ability to effectively get your work done. Be neutral, be calm, ask what you can do differently to avoid problems going forward. (Obviously the correct answer is “Nothing! it’s not my fault this guy is a total f***ing a*****e” but sadly taking that angle will get you nowhere with the authorities.)
            -Also maybe say something like “there appears to be some confusion about everyone’s roles on the team. can we get some guidance from you on this?” with the hope that he’ll communicate unequivocally that *all* team members are expected to attend *all* the meetings, and everyone reports directly to *him* [the manager] not other team members. or something along those lines.
            -Go above and beyond to maintain connections with the other members of your team. You need them to like you.
            -Do not take orders from the a*****e. Don’t be confrontational, but do be assertive. ex “I appreciate your offer to fill me in later, but as per the guidance from [manager], all team members are expected to attend every meeting. See you there.” Repeat as necessary (which will probably be often).
            -Do you have a mentor or friendly authority figure you could discuss this with? You really need to talk to someone that understands the office political situation.
            -Will you have the opportunity to contribute to a*****e’s annual performance evaluation? How about the manager’s?
            -Dust off the resume and start sending it out, cause the combination of f***ing a*****e coworker and spineless manager who won’t rein him in makes for a terrible, toxic, demoralizing work environment.

        • OP – if this person isn’t your direct supervisor, then I think it’s just ok to really nicely tell him “Bob, thank you so much for your concern but I’d like to handle my own schedule/affairs/responsibilities” or something like that. You don’t have to be rude or snappy with him, but definitely be upfront. This dude sounds like he will try to walk all over you if he can and if you let him.

          When he emails people to ask if you should attend a meeting, are you also cc’d on the email or did you just find out what he was saying through the recipients of the email?

          • I found out about the emails from the same coworker who pulled me aside and said he noticed the situation. Thankfully he responded to the email saying, yes, I need to be present at all meetings.

        • One of my co-workers is currently doing this to me. We are at the same level (if anything, I am senior to him) and he has decided to undermine me with my boss for his own competitive advantage. To make matters worse, he is succeeding. So, no advice, but I TOTALLY feel your pain.

      • This is what I would suggest too.

    • Can you go b****face on him?

      “Please do not even think about giving me instructions on this. I am not your direct report. Get out of my face now, please.”

    • I’d hand his a$$ to him. I’ve done this before to someone in the exact same situation as you. “This is not your decision to make. This is my decision.” etc.

      Alternatively, you could reply to his suggestion that you don’t attend meetings with “If (position level) staff aren’t attending, I guess you won’t be there either. I will ask (manager) to fill us both in.”

      • i would manage him right back however you can. don’t whine to management. play ball. put him in a box or two, challenge him, assert yourself with others and in meeting venues. cut him out. you both can’t get promoted to the same role. show that you are equal, better and can handle the pressure.

        • ps someone tried this on me recently- i went around him and withheld info to make clear i was in charge of my stuff. it worked. have hurt wrist or would write more.

    • Be direct. Bob, actually I need to attend meeting x, but thanks for offering to assist me’ if he persists after that ‘Bob, we’ve discussed this before, I’ll let you know if I need cover’.

      And don’t be afraid to call him on it, ‘Bob, we’ve discussed this issue twice now and I find your behaviour very odd (or baffling or perplexing) – is there some reason you don’t want me attending meetings that are part of my job, and management chain need me to attend?’ don’t be mean, but confident and not overly friendly here in tone.

      • Thanks all for your advice! I have tried to hint that I have noticed what is going on by saying things like, “I haven’t been in the loop as much lately and I need to know whats going on to do my job” etc. This was before I understood the full picture of what was happening. He is always friendly to my face but behind my back he asks the other co worker if I need to be at the meetings. He has never said this to me directly. He has also muscled his way onto my projects. Not sure what to do since this is all happening behind my back. I definitely want to put him in his place though.

        • Not sure if you’re still reading but have a think about logging the the issue with your boss when you meet next week. You can raise it by stating you are confused because X seems to have assumed responsibility for supervising you and asking your boss to clarify. When she confirms there is no change in anyone’s role, you can say ‘ok, that’s what I thought, if it continues to happen, I’ll mention to X to stop’.

          This stops short of making it your boss’s problem but gives her an opportunity to provide input and creates some buffer if X continues to undermine without your knowledge. There’s already plenty of good advice on how to call X out on his aggressive behaviour.

          Good luck !

    • Hard To Do :

      This is counter to my nature, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and “tell” him very clearly that (1) you know what he is doing and that (2) you are not going to put up with it and that (3) you can do it right back to him. He will most likely back down. If not, then you can go to the leader of the 4 person team.

      I think there have been several suggestions here about how to telegraph points 1 and 2 to him. Point 3 is harder. Try to think of something that he is sensitive about and hit there, even if you don’t care about it.

      Example: I made a mistake and told my supervisor about (described error, apologized profusely, displayed knowledge of how bad it was, set forth remediation plan for her approval). In the middle of the hallway (in front of “staff”) she kept yelling at me “you did X.” I kept repeating my points. After the third or fourth go around, she yelled “Don’t you dare talk to me like that” and walked away. A colleague who has known her many many years suggested that I not focus on the inanity of her repeating “you did X” instead of talking about remediation but instead say “it upset me that you yelled at me in the hallway in front of staff” even though *I* couldn’t care less about that because *she* is very sensitive about that topic and would feel badly for having done it. Worked beautifully. Can you see if you can find a soft spot like that on him?

  19. Merabella :

    TCFKAG another shout out to you. I need hose for this weekend, and I know you love the hanes, but I couldn’t remember which kind, and I can’t find the post with it in there.

    On a side note, I wanted to thank you for your help with the lavender dress! Your options were perfect and I’m going to go try them out soon!

  20. Do any of you find yourself using c’ret t e lingo outside of this environment? The word d*uche wasn’t ever really in my vocabulary, unless I was actually talking about Massengil (or maybe Matthey McConaughey.)

    But DOOSH? I use DOOSH all the time now. Always (mentally) in caps, and it’s pronounced differently than the original, with an extended OO sound.

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