Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Crisscross Top

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Pleione Crisscross TopIf you’re the type who likes to wear t-shirts under suits, but you want something just a little bit dressier, look no further — this crisscross top from Pleione (with lots of rave reviews) is now on sale at Nordstrom. I always like a good v-neck, and I think the silky, stretchy knit looks comfortable. It’s also available in a striped version if you’re feeling a bit adventurous. It was $68, but is now marked to $39. Pleione Crisscross Top

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(L-4)

Comments

  1. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Happy Friday everyone! I will NOT be working 14 hours tomorrow!

    You guise, someone mentioned yesterday about people being [this site] pen pals. I suspect many of you are pen pals following various meet-ups, but in case someone wants a pen pal in London (since I am too far to attend the meet ups), do drop me a line on ellecommawoods at the google service.

    And yes, I know it’s the wrong way around but someone already had woodscommaelle! *sad face*.

    • Always a NYer :

      I’d love to be your penpal! Just a quick question, is it googlemail dot com or gmail dot com? I have family in England and they have it the former when I have the latter. =)

      And yay for not having to work 14 hours tomorrow, woo hoo!!!

    • I e-mailed you. I like pen pals, especially ones in cities I lust after to visit over and over and over.

    • Texas LawGal :

      Hey! I would like to be your pen pal! I have been reading this site for awhile and just started posting, too. I saw that mention yesterday of people being friends “off site” and was interested, too!

      As an aside, I LOVE London. I spent a summer working and living there during college and I fell in love with the city. I know someone already offered, but if you would like two pen pals, I’m game! Just let me know and I’ll email you.

      And yes, definitely yahoo for no work tomorrow!

    • I emailed you too.

    • Another Londoner :

      Perhaps we should organize a London meet-up? I suspect we are more than two here.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Yes, we totally should! I would be very much up for that!

        Thanks for everyone who e-mailed, I’m so excited to have pen pals!

    • I’m not a very good pen-pal, but I will be visiting London in November.

      I know there is a ton of things to do, but is there anything that I shouldn’t miss?

    • Great idea!

      And on a related note, I get to visit London again in a couple of weeks. WOO HOO!

    • I hope you don’t have too many pen pals yet, cos i will like to also be your pen pal!!!

  2. Serious question guys: Do you prefer your hashbrowns to be bland or flavorful? I found myself really upset with the hashbrowns I had this morning – they were spiced with salt, garlic and some herbs and I just really wanted bland potatoes. I mean, how dare.

  3. For all of you ladies out there who aspire to be managers, let me tell you a secret. I love my job and have a lot of great people who work for me who are smart and productive and hardworking. The ones who don’t fit that category can suck the life out of you. We are in a really supportive organization and we give people a lot of chances – sometimes it comes back to bite me when nothing is changing despite a lot of coaching and mentoring. My colleague and I met yesterday and we were so tired and saying we just didn’t know if we had it in us to deal with another conflict right now.

    I’m taking today off – driving up to Baton Rouge to do some shopping. I’m so looking forward to shopping and having some alone time.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      You’re coming to my neck of the woods? Where are you planning on going?

      • NOLA, I’m with you. This week I’ve felt like I’m refereeing conflicts between 8th graders. I’m proud of where I’ve gotten in my career, but there are a lot of days I wish I was only responsible for my own productivity. Also – huzzah for retail therapy!

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        Well if you get this while you’re in town and want some tips (or some lunch) just shoot me an email at binthebayou at the gmail. Hope you have a good time!

      • Hi Barrister! I’m just leaving Target on Siegen and heading to Marshall’s on Airline to look for sheets. I have a long list of errands. I’ll probably it anthro and DSW. I usually come up pretty regularly but work has kept me busy.

    • NOLA – thanks for sharing the secret. It’s amazing the synergy that can occur between people: a good manager can enable you to go farther than you ever thought you could and a bad manager can make you resent doing the barest minimum of work. I hadn’t really thought of the exhilaration/frustration going the other way….although my first steps at ‘managing’ someone is heading towards frustration. I’m relieved to know that it’s not just me. :)

      • Oh no, Mouse, it’s not just you. Like I said, it’s the outliers that get you. My colleague and I were discussing that yesterday – most of my folks are so high-performing that it stands out when one of them isn’t productive and isn’t reliable. Sadly, she’s someone who could take some things off of my plate when I’m so busy but she just can’t get work done and always has issues. I’ve mentored til I’m blue in the face.

  4. Very specific question TJ –

    Since becoming pregnant, my “glow” has come in the form of very strong acne. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had before, and I’m not being overly sensitive, it’s very bad – think literally more than a dozen large, inflamed spots at any time. Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried standard OTC treatments without success, so I’m back to my standard daily routine of cleaning. My entire life I’ve had only mild breakouts, so this is really new.
    I have a position that involves significant face client contact, and I’m using makeup as heavily as possible – but it still looks very bad.
    Obviously my first priority is keeping the pregnancy safe, and I’ll look like this the entire time if needed. I’ve got an appt with the derm in two weeks, but I’m trying to minimize doctor’s appts, since I’m taking enough time off work already.
    I’m wondering if anyone else has had positive results either with an OTC product, or if there is an unusual prescription out there that is pregnancy safe (I haven’t seen anything)?

    • Do you live anywhere near a Fresh store or could you have an over the phone consult with a Fresh consultant. They are the best (yes there products are expensive…but cheaper than rounds of prescription drug co-pays and dr appointments probably). They have lots of safe alternatives I bet…perhaps the soy system, its my favorite, but the consultant on the phone might be able to give you the best advice.

    • long time lurker :

      I am not pregnant and never have been, but I do have hormonal acne on my chin. Proactive works for me, but I cannot use the scrub every day as it is too drying. You should do some research to see if its OK to use while pregnant. Another thing I started doing is drying my face with paper towels after washing it instead of the hand towel – to avoid bacteria getting into my pores. I think it works.

      • Try the gentle formula. I still can’t use it every day, but It isn’t as drying as the regular formula. YMMV.

      • How long did it take for the Proactiv to start working?

        • probably like 2-3 weeks. There is a period where things kind of get worse because everything is coming to the surface. I have hormonal acne – it only flares up around my period. I have found that this really worked best for me.

        • I seem to recall that Proactiv is not safe for use during pregnancy. Check with your OB before buying it.

          • Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingred in Proactiv. It is fine during the pregnancy. Don’t use retinol or retin-a, (also called retinoids) but otherwise I think you’re fine. Read the labels. The reason so many users have good luck with Proactiv is that it’s a 2.5% bp cream, less strong and therefore better tolerated than most OTC bp formulations.

      • I second the paper towels rec. I feel a little bit wasteful using a towel every night, but I really do believe it makes a difference.

        • Anonymous :

          I buy cheap white washcloths by the dozen, use one each night and put it in a tiny trashcan under the sink used only for them, then reuse after washing the batch. I do think it’s made a difference, and I prefer it a bit over paper (though not sure it’s genuinely more enviro friendly).

    • I swear by proactive. Not pregnant, but a quick google search said that it was safe for pregnant women, I would check with your doctor to be sure. It has really helped with my skin issues, and my mother and sister who had terrible cystic acne also swear by it. There is also a gentle formula, which I use because I also have sensitive skin. Would be worth a try if you haven’t tried it yet.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Most doctors (including mine) say no to Proactiv during pregnancy. If there are no studies or research on something, the majority of physicians will say it is potentially unsafe during pregnancy.

        I had terrible cystic acne when pregnant and just suffered through it. Clay masks helped a little bit but I mostly just wore a ton of make-up. It was AWFUL.

    • A few general ideas (don’t know if they are all ok for pregnant women though)

      -taking in steam followed by lemon juice on the blemishes (or something similarly acidic) followed by moisturizer
      -Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash (the greatest facewash ever imo, available at health food stores)
      -Tea tree oil (might need to dilute) and/or products containing tee tree oil (the body shop has a line)

    • I saw a derm while pregnant. My Rx options were limited, but he did prescribe something that was safe. It was reasonably effective, and certainly much better than without treatment.

      • Diluted tea tree oil worked for me. My OB wanted me to limit products with salicylic acid so most of my go-to treatments were off the table.

    • The Paula’s Choice skin balancing line (not the Clear anti-acne line, strangely) has been a lifesaver for me. No more cystic acne and minimal hormonal breakouts. Obviously, ymmv, but Paula’s Choice offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I’m the other vocal Paula’s Choice fan on here. I love the skin balancing line and have used it the past two years. At the last facial I had (before my wedding, the second facial I have ever had), the facialist was like, “Gosh, there’s really not much for me to do here. Your skin is beautiful. What products are you using??” Paula’s Choice ftw!!!

        • Yes – I get compliments on my skin all the time, including from skincare professionals. It’s amazing. (Another favorite moment occurred when my hairstylist at a fancy schmancy salon said my hair was amazingly healthy and asked what products I use – $3 shampoo/conditioner from Trader Joe’s ftw!).

    • You should pick up a zeno at your local pharmacy. Its like $75 or so but totally worth it in my book. It basically a device with a tiny circle of heat that you apply to the zit to kill the bacteria causing it. I have found it to really help, particularly with cystic acne. The zit will not go away immediately but it will heal a lot faster.

      I also have found using the sulfur face mask from proactiv to be helpful as an overnight spot treatment for cystic acne. No idea if this is safe for pregnant ladies though.

      Good luck with the acne and congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m a little late to the thread, but I swear by LUSH. Between their Herbalism face scrub, Tea Tree Water, and Vanishing Cream (but only a tiny bit -it goes a really long way), I keep my systematic acne under control. For pregnancy, I’d suggest asking the sales clerks at the store to suggest a face mask -they all have different specific uses.

      Bonus -it’s all entirely natural! (Some things you even have to keep in your fridge!)

    • I just had my first Blu-light treatment (specific one is Blu-40) at my derm’s office. I signed up for a package of four. My face was moderately broken out and they said I might get a flare after the first treatment but should see results after the second. After the first one, I did have one huge pimple come out on my cheek, luckily it was not the pus-filled kind (more solid – sorry if that is TMI) so easier to cover. Since then my face has been pretty clear – I did get one more on my chin but of the same variety. Usually I do get painful cystic ones so even this is an improvement. I seem to have fewer bumps and clogged pores, too. Excited to see what happens after round 2. I have no idea if this is safe for pregnant women but since it is essentially really strong sunlight it might be worth asking your doc.

    • I started using a Clarisonic to wash my face during pregnancy. I am also on Clindamycin, an antibiotic topical treatment considered safe for pregnant women. I use a clay-based mask once every couple of weeks for a deep clean. I *think* you can still spot treat with benzoyl peroxide ointment, but you probably should not use it every day.

    • Cetaphil facial cleanser. I never had acne growing up, but went through a horrific year in law school where my face just exploded. My cheeks looked like the surface of the moon. I started using Cetaphil at night before bed and again in the morning while in the showered. It did wonders. It’s gentle not drying at all.

  5. Sorry for the threadjack right off of the bat. Maybe I just need to blow off steam, I don’t know. I feel like I’ve just been a failure. Up to when I entered law, I was always so successful at everything – jobs, school, life in general. I always saw myself as someone who would be wildly successful. I did great in law school, really well. But, well, we all know how the job market’s been, and I floundered for a while. I’m a third year now, and a year at my current firm, but I still feel like a beginner.

    I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I try to ask questions, read everything I can, but people always seem to just assume that I know things that I never knew to ask. I’m lost – I’ve made so many dumb mistakes in the past week, ones that everyone just seemed to expect everyone to know (and everyone else does seem to know). The people I work with are great at being willing to help and answer questions, but I never seem to know what questions that I need to ask.

    My husband likes nice things, a nice lifestyle. We were discussing retirement planning yesterday, and he named an amount that he wants us to retire on, that might have seemed possible a few years ago, but now, it just doesn’t. I’ve always thought that I would be wildly successful, but I’m not, and I don’t think that I’m going to be. So, when he says these things, it just gets me down, and then he gets upset at me and accuses me of “giving up.”

    I was given a very complicated case that has been around the firm for a while. I’ve work on it like crazy, but it doesn’t seem to go anywhere – I’ve failed far more than I’ve succeeded, and the client is now looking elsewhere for representation. I have another extremely emotional case that seems beyond outrageous, but I can’t get a result on it, although it seems so obvious and simplely worng. I don’t feel like I’m getting any good results for my clients. (I do work in a difficult area of law where bad results are common, but still.) I never saw myself as the person who gets bullied, but I feel bullied by opposing counsel regularly, and my fighting back just doesn’t work. Most of my clients owe me significant amounts of money, which means that I haven’t received a good check in a while.

    Yesterday, my assistant set up a divorce consult with the daughter of a friend of hers. I don’t know what I did wrong, but she suddenly clammed up and stormed out, saying that she had to think about it. She wrote my assistant a scathing email saying that I was the most rude, inconsiderate, and arrogant person that she had met, and described meeting with me as “tourture.” I thought that I was nice, I listened, let her speak, tried to smile and say that I was sorry that she was going through this, but I had to be realistic – she wanted it to be a completely uncontested irreconcilable differences divorce, but her husband didn’t want it, so I had to explain to her that we can’t just assume that it will be. I guess I didn’t explain it well enough. But I had no idea that I had offended her, and I really don’t know what I could have done differently.

    On the whole, I just don’t feel cut out for this. I did so well in school, I thought that I would do well in law, but I feel like a failure. I don’t know what else to do. I never wanted to work in this field, I always saw myself as a big law lawyer, working for important companies. But switching fields doesn’t seem like an option – I had enough trouble finding this job; the jobs just aren’t out there. But, still, I feel like a failure at this job, and I do not want to be a failure.

    Oh, and did I mention I’m pregnant? I never cry at work. Now I can’t stop.

    TL; DR version: I suck.

    • do NOT be so hard on yourselves. THERE are Many times that I think the same thing, but in the end, you HAVE to say to yourselves,like I do to reminde myself, that you have gradueated with a LAW degree, you are a member of the BAR in GOOD Standeing, and that you will peseveare no matter WHAT!

      I have issues from time that I have NO idea about, but I ask the manageing partner, and usueally he is helpful. Once in a while he sends me to one of the OTHER partners, but they are REALLY out of it, so I do NOT even try to ask them.

      The same goes for your personal life. While things could alway’s be smoother, they ALSO could be alot worse. I have learned many lessons the hard way, but I still forage forward, and I sugest you do to, b/c you are a wonderful person who is way to hard on yourselves.

      So think about it like me. YOU have a lot of good time a head of you, and make the most of it. Do not let your work or personal issues make you THINK you are NOT a sucess. You are, and if any one says OTHERWISE, then you just say FOOEY to them and FOOEY to that.

      Best wishes for a great holiday WEEKEND. I am spendeing mine in the CITY. There’s a 20% coupon I got for Lord and Taylor’s! YAY!!!!!

    • Not So Sunny :

      I am so sorry that you’re feeling down. As I don’t know how long you’ve felt this way and I’ve never been pregnant, I don’t know whether how you feel could be caused (at least in part) by your hormones and feeling overwhelmed with the idea of being a mom + working at a firm + planning for retirement–those are a lot of big things to juggle at one time. But if you were feeling like this before you got pregnant and before you started thinking about retirement, then….

      I could have written your post a year ago. Like you, I was really successful in life (undergrad, law school, personal life, etc.) until I started working at a firm. And then I felt totally incompetent, like an idiot, never knew what I was doing but flew around doing a lot or work that never felt like it went anywhere. Couple all that with no time for a social life and I went from feeling like a smart, put together chick to a total failure hag. It was when I was crying at both the office and at home that I finally decided to reassess (which included therapy and antidepressants).

      For me, I realized my entire personality was inconsistent with the type of law practice I was in. I’m an introvert who likes time to think about things before I act–and my life was full of emails, phone calls, meetings and immediate responses and really long hours (I never got to be a practicing lawyer who sat in my offices writing briefs–that would have been awesome!). I was never alone, I never go to think, and I didn’t get enough sleep. I finally decided I had to leave and pursue a different type of legal life (I’m now a career law clerk to a judge and love it). When I announced I was leaving, people were shocked because I was such a great associate–WTF?!? Excuse me? I had no idea what I was doing!

      So I don’t mean to talk a lot about myself–but what I’m trying to say (in a very long winded way) is you may have to look at yourself (your inborn characteristics, traits, strenghts, and weaknesses) and see whether you are inconsistent with the life you are leading. You may actually be good at your job, but feel like you’re not because you’re engaging in forced behavior all the time (which further stresses you out and exhausts you). If you’re an introvert who does an extrovert’s job, you’re going to struggle–and the same is true the other way (extroverts would hate my current position). Likewise, if your current position requires a lot of self-promotion and you’re not a promoter, maybe that’s bothering you. See if you can look at what you were good at before law, and what you liked about yourself–where did those characteristics go and how are they playing out in your life now (or how is your life inconsistent with those traits now)? What can you do to make those match better?

      Since I left my firm, I’ve heard from many people (men and women) who feel the way I felt and you are feeling. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It just seems like you’re alone because so many people are faking it lest someone suspect how they really feel.

      And congratulations on your baby!!

      • Not So Sunny :

        And please ignore all those spelling problems. Off for more coffee…

      • Cornellian :

        I feel like this is great advice and something I’ve been struggling with this week. We had a thought-provoking panel a day or two after that atlantic article on having it all, and I think the idea that there’s one sort of “good” or one way in which to be successful is a faulty one. I think it’s a great idea to take a step back and see what your strengths and weaknesses are, and not shoe horn yourself in to something you’re not meant to be. Maybe it’s not the right time to step back and readjust for you, but I bet there will be a chance soon.

      • OP, I am in the same boat, but with about a year of experience in the law overall. That is to say, you are absolutely not alone.

        Not So Sunny, thank you for your post. I’m coming to the conclusion that maybe being a litigator (at least in my field) isn’t the way I should be spending my legal career. It’s good to know others have made successful transitions.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        OP: I think it is common to sometimes feel this way, especially with a pregnancy. I work in family law and I remind myself that its a court of EQUITY, no winner no loser. I remind my clients of this too- the court is a court of equity.

        (And I hate abusive opposing counsel .)

        Quick ThreadJack and Question:
        As someone literally in the middle of my law school grades wise, would it even be possible to do a switch to law clerk from a firm?

        I know it would fit my personality better, and I did do a semester long clerkship as an extern in lawschool, but my grades are not stellar and I did not do law review.

        • Not So Sunny :

          Honestly, I think family law practice + middle of the pack grades + no law review is going to make it difficult to make that switch. If you had a civil litigation or criminal practice, it might be easier. If you live in a state where trial courts have law clerks (I don’t even know those states exists, but perhaps they do–state trial courts where I live don’t have law clerks), perhaps you could become a law clerk to a family law judge.

          But, if you see a job posting for a clerk position and you’re interested, apply–you never know what may happen. The judge may have gone to your law school and likes to hire fellow alums, maybe the judge likes something else on your resume, maybe your personality just clicks with the judge’s during the interview. You have nothing to lose by trying.

          • Here in California, state court judges (trial level, appellate level and state supreme court level) have law clerks. They are usually career clerks rather than elbow clerks (the one-year or sometimes two-year positions right out of law school that are far more common for federal judges).

            There are also staff attorney positions at the Ninth Circuit that are closer to career clerk jobs than elbow clerk jobs.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Where did you go to school? If you went to a super-elite school, it *is* possible to clerk (even for a federal judge) with your record, especially if you are geographically flexible. If not, it will be difficult. But I agree that it doesn’t hurt to try. Also, expanding your search beyond Article III judges could help–have you considered magistrate or bankruptcy judges?

      • anonforthis :

        Any advice on looking into career clerking? I’ve been in litigation in private practice for almost 5 years in midlaw and small law (where I’m now basically a glorified paralegal) and I am miserable, but I have no previous clerkship experience. I would LOVE to sit in my office and research and write opinions all day. I always thought of myself as being an extrovert but I find that all the constant communication/need for immediate response at work leaves me wanting to go home and be by myself all night and just be quiet in order to recharge my batteries.

        • Not So Sunny :

          Sign up for Oscar to get postings about openings on the federal bench. Figure out which judges in your state get law clerks (trial court, appellate court, supreme court judges) and figure out where those job postings are. In my state, the job postings are on the websites for the courts and on the local bar association’s website. Additionally, if you know anyone who is a career clerk, let them know you’re interested–they may find out about openings before they are posted and may be able to say good things to the hiring judge about you.

          Also consider whether you’re willing to move. Getting a career position with a judge (federal or state) in a smaller town may be easier. Also, a lot of federal magistrates have career clerks–make sure you’re on the lookout for those positions too.

          I think that having 5 years of civil litigation experience will make you a more attractive candidate. I was at my firm doing civil litigation for about 5 years before becoming a career clerk.

          • anonforthis :

            Thank you!

          • Not So Sunny :

            Also make sure you have a good writing sample ready to go–most judges will require one to be submitted when you apply for the job.

        • You might also want to consider trying to switch into appellate litigation work — much more thinking/research/brief writing, as I understand it.

        • If you are not opposed to clerking for ALJs, Attorney-Advisor positions on usajobs.gov is the category for clerk positions. For some agencies, there is not tons of research, however.

    • Seattleite :

      I don’t think you suck. I do think you sound a little depressed. Please google “Beck Depression Inventory” and answer the questions honestly. Seek medical help if necessary. Even if you’re not depressed, it may be worthwhile to schedule a session or two with a therapist. That consultation yesterday may not be your fault. Maybe that client was just crazy…and one of the symptoms of depression is that we blame ourselves for things that are not our fault.

      Hugs to you. Can you take the rest of the day off and get a pedicure or something?

    • it's not you :

      Hugs to you! Listen, it is NOT you. First, if a case has been kicking around your firm and you just got it, it is because they are out of ideas, the case is a dog and has been written off and they just want to run it by a fresh pair of eyes. Second, the divorce client probably didnt even listen to one word you said once she realized that you were not going to tell her what she wanted to hear. That makes you a GOOD lawyer. Finally, if your hubs sees you as the cash cow who will fund his retirement, um, what can I say. Am sure he has good qualities…

      • Oh, pease don’t think bad things about my husband – he’s really great, he’s just very optimistic (and I will be mostly funding our retirement to a degree, as we chose years ago that I would focus on career more and outearn him – but it’s definitely a joint effort for the family). The optimism is usually charming, and I always get that he has great confidence in me, it’s just grated on me of late, when I’ve felt that he was being unrealistic.

        • My husband does exactly this and it makes me crazy. “You’ll make partner, no problem!” “Let’s not worry about ordering take-out, because you make plenty of money!” Guess what, honey: even if I were John Roberts himself reincarnated as a 35 year old woman, there’s STILL no guarantee that I’d make partner, and perhaps more importantly, I’m not even sure I WANT to be a partner.

          Take it from old, jaded, me: just because you agreed back in the day that you would focus more on career does NOT MEAN that you have to keep up that deal. Things change. You may have a baby and conclude that everything is different. To the extent you have a deal, I would think about renegotiating. There is NOTHING WORSE than feeling like you’re working in a terrible job so you can pay for a lifestyle that someone else wants. If he’s naming a figure for retirement that feels unattainable, you need to start speaking up.

          • My husband is like this too. I really do appreciate his faith in me, but when I’ve had a bad/frustrating day, and feel like I suck at my job, the worst thing to hear is “someday you’ll be CFO!”

    • Whenever I feel like this, I look at my CV to remind myself of all my accomplishments. Granted, this doesn’t always work, but I think about how stressed/overwhelmed I felt while doing everything on my CV and remind myself that I got through it and in the end I DID accomplish what I wanted to do. There’s a reason you were so successful in college and law school, and you’ll be successful in your career, too.

      If I really want to feel better I go on facebook and stalk all the girls from high school who didn’t graduate community college and still live at home. And I feel WAY better. (only half joking about that, I’m a judger).

      • I’m a judger too. About 8 months ago I was going through a tough breakup and was suffering from (unrelated) situational depression. I ended up taking a day off one day when I just couldn’t go to work and sitting on my couch watching horrible reality tv. Watching reruns of “Millionaire Matchmaker” was the best choice I made that day. I saw a girl I knew in high school who was a total witch. She was picked for both mini dates and chosen by neither man. I know they splice and edit to make drama, but they made her look like a complete idiot. On one mini date she talked about how it was the anniversary of her mom’s death and on the other she talked about how she was presently recovering from an eating disorder. Then at the end, in her exit interview, she said, “Well, its ok that neither of them picked me. I’m sure Patti has many more millionaires for me.” At that point, I felt slightly better about my life because at least I wasn’t 22 and doing that with my life.

        But on point: I’m sorry things are so hard for you. I, along with many many people here, would recommend talking to a therapist. It is a lot of change at once and just talking to an impartial person trained in this might be able to give you some coping mechanisms, help you figure out what you want in a potential new job, and make you see that you aren’t a failure. Hugs.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Family law is just plain freakin’ hard, hard, hard on every level. The law is complicated, the clients are in crisis and therefore difficult, and they never seem to have enough money. And even the judges are often new to family law and needing to be educated. If you have only been doing it for a year, you are a beginner and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a complicated area and it takes time to master it!

      Be gentle with yourself!

      Oh, and that complicated case that’s been kicking around the firm for a while? It landed on your desk because it is an un-succeedable-at case and nobody wants to touch it. It’s not your fault!

      Finally, I don’t know if this is in your control, but if the client owes you a ton of money, stop work and move to withdraw as counsel. Seriously. You are not required to do involuntary pro bono. The sooner you can figure out how not to let the bills get too far out in front of you, the better you will sleep at night!

      TL; DR version: You don’t suck.

      • “You are not required to do involuntary pro bono.”

        This xInfinity. And consider only taking cases where the client pays a retainer fee, and replenishes it when you’ve billed the amount of money in the retainer.

      • You know, I keep saying that I’m going to do that, but, when it gets right down to it, I can never bring myself to stop work. The people are so upset, the cases move so fast, I ask for a retainer but then things explode and I’m in too deep. I guess that I really am going to have to go back and reevaluate all of the money owing cases. I just can never bring myself to have that conversation when they’re calling me crying because the ex suddenly decided to not let them talk to their kids or something. It’s a problem, I know it.

      • Family law almost drove me out of the practice of law entirely. I agree with the other posters who have talked about evaluating whether this is the best fit for you. I don’t think you are a failure, you just may not have found the right niche yet. And even if you ultimately decide the law isn’t for you, you still aren’t a failure. You’ve accomplished a great deal to even get where you are. Are there mentoring opportunities in your firm or community? Having someone in a mentor role that you can discuss things with may help. Best of luck to you.

    • Practicing law is hard. No one knows what they’re doing even after 30 years of practice because every case and every client is different. If you’re one year into your job at your firm, and you’re getting your own cases, your coworkers probably think you’re doing fine. Sh!t happens and clients act like nuts – the divorce consult lady wanted you to tell her what she wanted to hear. I had situations 100x worse where I had to tell a client he was going to prison and there was nothing I could do to keep him out. So at least that wasn’t your situation. As for the case that’s been kicking around your firm and the client is now looking for other representation, it’s obviously a stinker or it wouldn’t have been passed around so much. The client is looking for a lawyer who can work miracles, and clearly it isn’t you (or anyone else).

      As for retirement, this is the reality for everyone, not just for you and your husband. Try to focus on how much worse it could be, rather than how bad it feels. You have jobs, you have some retirement savings, you may not retire rich at 50 but no one else can, either.

      You need to be more proactive. If you feel lost, ask for a sit-down with your boss or with another senior lawyer you trust. Say you feel lost, you want to improve your practice skills and raise your confidence, and ask what books, CLE courses, and professional associations s/he recommends. Clearly, if you really were a failure, your boss would already have spoken to you. So you’re not a failure. You just need to work on your own professional development and confidence.

      Congratulations on your pregnancy. A healthy, beautiful son or daughter will bring you more joy than retirement ever could.

      TL;DR: You don’t suck. Not one bit.

    • This: “I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I try to ask questions, read everything I can, but people always seem to just assume that I know things that I never knew to ask. I’m lost – I’ve made so many dumb mistakes in the past week, ones that everyone just seemed to expect everyone to know (and everyone else does seem to know).” was my entire experience of law firm life. And it’s exhausting. I was always a very confident person and still am for the most part, but I have what my husband calls my PFSD (post-firm stress disorder). I’ll make a small mistake (or not even a mistake — just a fear of a mistake) and it will throw me into a funk where I’m sure I’m a terrible lawyer and what is wrong with me and why am I so useless. We’ve all been there. You’re not a bad lawyer. Just from what you’ve written here, you sound conscientious and careful. Law school doesn’t teach you even a quarter of what you need to know and the law is incredibly unforgiving. I bet everyone else in your firm has felt and still feels the way you do, even if they’ve been practicing for 20 years.

    • onehsancare :

      Do you have a completely trustworthy friend at the same stage in her career? I am incredibly lucky in that Mr. Onehsan is also a bankruptcy lawyer so I have always been able to pick up the phone and say, “Is this as stupid as I think it is?” or “OMG, I have no idea what to do!” and he’ll at least understand what I’m saying. But I also had a friend I could do that with in the early years, too, and she did it with me. Just being able to share my fears helped a lot, and sometimes the other person has just the right experience to point you to the right rule or change your thinking the right way. Don’t keep your worries to yourself.

  6. Need a favor.

    Can NY’ers suggets any place in Manhattan area for project management training for professionals? I’m specifically looking for a place where they train you on public speaking, prioritizing work, tips to appear well-informed and updated with all the projects. I’ve just started off project management at work, but over the last month, I’ve realized I’m sort of shy and nervous when it comes to public speaking unless I’m comfortable with the crowd.

    I probably need sessions where I’m critiqued and given tips for improvement and may be some series of public speaking practice sessions.

    TIA!

  7. First time commenter, frequent reader with a TJ question for the law ladies:
    I am doing some research on the FCPA for my company (I am not in the legal field nor is my company) and was hoping you could point me to some reputable firms for compliance training? Any recs would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you and have a great friday!

  8. Anon for this :

    I love a good t-shirt, but that neckline is a little low for me for work.

    I thought I’d share some (demonstrated) tips on how to appear older– or rather, more polished, as it turns out– at work. I was recently featured in the Washington Post on this subject, complete with photos (I’m the younger one).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/atwork-advice-the-baby-face-makeover/2012/06/26/gJQAW0as8V_gallery.html#photo=1

    Hope it helps!

    • you look great!

    • I love that coral dress. Who makes it?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Wow, you look amazing!

    • swag swag swag on you! you look fantastic.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      That is awesome! I love your haircut. I have long hair now and am thinking of going as short as I can go and still fit it in a ponytail. Can you still tie yours back? I have very thick hair and will need some type of layers or else it will just look like a mushroom.

      • Anon for this :

        I can, though it looks a little silly with a baby ponytail. I curl or pin it now; it’s really nice for summer.

      • I was just thinking about a way to describe my current fro.. mushroom it is!
        So I guess I’d have to go get layers in my hair to reduce volume.

    • I love the makeover! I am another one who looks much younger than I am – 6 years practicing but I can pass for under 25. Totally agree that looking more polished is the most important thing. Thanks for sharing the article and pics.

    • you look lovely, but I have to confess I like your before look better! The tight, low-ish cut dress and leopard print shoes look a little va-va-voom for a more conservative office. I think either the dress or the shoes could work separately paired with more conservative items (blazer and subdued heels for the dress, more modest and neutral color dress with the shoes) but together it seems over the top to me. Your before look is admittedly a bit boring, but seems completely professional and appropriate to me.

      But as someone who is 27 but regularly mistaken for 14, I totally relate to the struggles with looking older :)

  9. Blonde Lawyer :

    Dear Home Depot,

    I went to your store, picked out and ordered carpet. I gave you my name, my email address, my cell phone number, and my credit card. Yet, my invoice comes addressed to my husband, his cell phone, my email, my credit card. He is not involved in this project and can not help you. I have called you numerous times yet you still keep calling him. You also keep sending me stuff addressed to him no matter how many times I tell you otherwise. Home Depot, why is it so hard to believe that the wife is the one doing this project?

    Sincerely,

    One who rarely believes people are sexist but can’t think of any other explanation where I have fixed the situation 100 times yet it keeps reverting back to my husband despite the fact that the only thing on the entire order related to him is the mailing address. Grrrrr.

    • Cornellian :

      oh, god, the other week a parking attendant wouldn’t immediately give me my car because women don’t drive stick.

      I think things having to do with cars and construction are hte worst. I’m good friends with a lesbian couple, and the long-haired dress-wearing one is by far the handier, but the short-haired one in boots is the only one that gets attention at Home Depot. It’s sort of interesting that that bias is present even in same sex couples.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Ha! I had the same experience when buying carpet at Home Depot. They kept calling my husband and he had no idea what was going on since he pays no attention to anything home related.

    • Seattleite :

      Did he ever spearhead a project but used your card? This happened to us, not at HD but at another store. Apparently, once a customer record was created, in-store employees couldn’t alter names…apparently to prevent fraudulent use of the card?

    • Cancel all of the work with Home Depot and give your business to someone who is paying attention.

      This “name changing” is one of my very most deep-seated peeves. It usually rears its head in the form of credit card charitable contributions – I make them with my name on my jointly held credit card and the “thank you” acknowledgement comes back TO MY HUSBAND!!!!! I have been know to fire off very nasty letters and cancel all future support of these causes because they clearly aren’t paying attention to who their doors are. It absolutely infuriates me!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I would but it is actually for my tenant and she needs it done very fast so I’m just putting up with it. Normally, I would think it is just their default system being screwy but that has passed on to the measurement company and the installation company, etc. Also, you would think once I called and said “hey, he can’t help you, everything should be to this name and number” it would happen. Oh well.

    • Its just who ever is in the system first. they didn’t look up your husbands info and insert it in there. HD calls me instead of my bf for a project about 6 months ago

      • This. My husband just bought an appliance at Home Depot. He handled this one, but all of the information and phone calls are addressed to me, because I was put in the system first.

        • It doesn’t sound like her husband was ever involved in this order, though.

          • Right but he placed the first order with that address. Thats what we are saying. For me and anonymous, the woman was the first, so now it always comes addressed to us. Home Depot did not look at her info, realize it was a woman who placed the order, and go look her up in the phone book to find out if there was a man they should be talking to, and then start addressing stuff to him. Its annoying that they don’t do each order seperately, but really, to suggest she cancel the order because of a flaw in their customer system seems a tad overboard.

          • Anonymous :

            Exactly what CFM said. I was never involved with the purchase of this appliance. I was, however, the person who bought our first appliance at our current address. This means I’m the contact on everything we do with Home Depot now, no matter whether it is my husband or I who is the actual customer for a particular purchase.

    • This happened to me at the bank. They immediately handed my husband the forms to be the primary account holder. I balked. I’m shocked that they just hand things over to him right away without any questions.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I hate this, too. Despite the fact that it’s my name on the reservation, I order the wine, I order the shared appetizers, etc, and am clearly the head of the table, the check always gets brought to my husband. Even in “forward-thinking” San Francisco. It makes my head explode. The waiter that brings the check to ME always gets a really nice tip.

      • this would be an interesting post. I’m freshly 26 and get carded nonstop, so am trying to project power in situations where I’m not the most junior. I wonder how other people do it. Yesterday I took a male 6’1 intern out to lunch, and made sure I addressed the host and the waiter, and sat in the seat with my back to the wall. It worked, but it doesn’t always.

        Living in Russia, waiters wouldn’t always let me order, or would double check whatever I ordered with the closest man. for real.

        • Seattleite :

          Although, historically, ladies were to sit with their back to the wall, so they could see and be seen. Not a quibble…I just thought it was an interesting tension between ‘decorative’ and ‘power.’

          • cornellian :

            Yeah. I think date etiquette is the guy to sit with his back to the room so he can only see you, and you can be seen, right? But really I think having the view of the doors, the windows, the other tables, and the waitstaff is a powerful position to be in… you end up grabbing people’s eye contact, etc.

            I feel like I”m risking outing myself here, but when a non-Russian male platonic friend in Russia kept handing the wine bottle, then the taste, and then the first glass of wine that I ordered across the table to me, much to the waiter’s horror, I nearly kissed him.

        • No Problem :

          This would be an interesting post. I’m thinking of several lessons from “Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire.”

          General question: at what point does it become embarrassing that you still get carded? I’m 28 and still get carded sometimes, but I’ve sort of reached the point where I think it’s funny that someone actually thinks I look younger than 21. I can’t think of a recent situation where I’ve been carded in front of colleagues, though, so maybe I shouldn’t be too worried (other than a happy hour or something where everyone got carded at the door).

          • cornellian :

            I still find it sort of embarassing. I actually purchased something last year that you had to be 16 to buy, and got carded at 25. not okay. my neighborhood corner store won’t let me buy beer. It’s sort of problematic. Hopefully it will turn to funny soon….

          • Where i live the law requires you be carded if you look under 30, not under 21. So I’m a little sad on occasions when I don’t get carded.

          • mid-30s and still get carded.

          • SoCal Gal :

            I’m 42 and got carded the other day. Granted, it was a dimly-lit establishment.

            It’s only embarrassing to get carded if you proceed to make awkward jokes or protest. Just hand your ID over without comment. It’s not about you, it’s about the worker not wanting to get a huge fine for their establishment if they guess wrong.

          • SoCal Gal has a good point about potential fine. It may also relate to corporate policy, and an employee could be worried that their job is on the line if they fail to card you.

          • 36 and still get carded occasionally – even for cigarettes! Rule in my province is card if you look under 25, so I figure I’ve got another few years at least.

            If I am with Professor Bhaer, I do not get carded. Probably because of his beard, lol. And if I am in work clothes, I do not get carded. But put me in jeans and a hoodie, and apparently I still look like a teenager.

          • Also, the older I get, the more flattering it is.

      • I tip better when the waiter gives me the wine to look at smell, etc (not that I know anything better about wine, but I do usually pick). I HATE HATE HATE when they automatically give it to the man. Usually they just place the bill on the table now or my husband reaches for it, which is fine, we have a joint credit card, so it doesn’t matter.

      • When I go out with the family, the waiter ALWAYS hands me the check, because he/she just knows I’d RAWR otherwise. It helps that my family is clueless and I wind up ordering for everybody anyway. Being the monster of the house is tough work.

      • Really? I’ve noticed in DC they just put it in the middle of the table or on the edge, even when it’s fairly obvious who’s paying (i.e. when I’m having dinner with my father, when it’s my birthday and my dinner partner has mentioned this, etc).

      • I have the opposite problem. My husband is disabled and uses a wheelchair. It’s like he’s not even there to some people. I’m actually glad when the bill gets handed to him, or the hotel clerk talks to him, or the bank clerk hands him the papers. I know if he wasn’t disabled it would irk me if I was the one everybody ignored. I guess it would be nice if people treated us as equal and didn’t assume anything.

    • Slightly different, but I sent my roommate to Lowes with my credit card to pick up some mid-project painting supplies. As she is checking out, the cashier asks her for her ID. My roommate explains that it is not her credit card, but has a picture of my dog on her phone that matches the picture of my dog on the card. The cashier accepted this as sufficient photo ID and processed the transaction.

    • OMG, that kind of thing is so frustrating to me – and frankly infuriating if I’m not in a zen mood for any reason. Can you switch to another local HD outlet or a Lowe’s or similar?

      I was shopping for an electronics upgrade last weekend and ran into a couple of guys who were doing the standard push to sign people up for satellite TV service. One of them flagged me down and offered to design me a package with “better movies, daytime TV, Lifetime, Oxygen, anything you could ever want!”

      Once I managed to get past the “are you for real?” reaction, I looked him in the eye and said, “I’d rather have BBC TV, action films, and the deluxe sports package. Gender based assumptions aren’t smart.”

      Needless to say I didn’t purchase anything from them. Anyway, I guess my point is complete agreement on how frustrating it is, and encouragement to push back even in little ways. The more we all do that, the better things have to get, right?

      • Jules (the other one) :

        Great reply, and awesome that you had the presence of mind to give it to them right then. (I would think of it on the fuming car ride back home.)

    • That should go on their Facebook page!

    • I’d return everything and go with Loew’s or Menard’s instead. Seriously?

  10. So my Friday has started with me finding out that someone withdrew $500 from my bank account at an ATM in Queens yesterday. I didn’t lose my card so not sure how it was done. But it appears to be just that one transaction and luckily it was caught by my bank early and a hold was immediately placed on my account. Once they complete their investigation and confirm it wasn’t me, I should get the money back.

    Is there anything else I need to do? They shut down this card and are sending me a new one, I changed my pin code, and I will keep an eye out for any weird charges. Anything else I’m missing? Does this sort of thing mean I should change my other cards? Is this like a “stolen identity” thing or just someone had a skimmer on an ATM I used kind of deal (obviously, both bad, but one way worse). Any advice would be appreciated. I am kinda freaking out here. Thanks!

    • long time lurker :

      This has happened to me with credit cards. I.e. a bunch of random charges. In my case, Amex caught it before I noticed and called me. The card was at all times in my possession. It was likely a skimmer. If you use your atm card as a debit card it might have been anywhere, apparently restaurants/bars are likely culprits as the thief has access to the card and time to swipe through a skimming device, but they can also rig ATMs. I started googling after this happened and found news stories about the Brooklyn DA busting a ring of skimmers, so it happens.

      If you had the card at all times, its probably a skimming device. Order your credit reports and look for anything weird, just in case.

      • SugarMagnolia :

        You can get one copy of your report from each of the three bureaus once per year using the gov’t mandated site http://www.annualcreditreport.com

        I recommend getting one (say Experian) then waiting 3 months and getting the second (TransUnion) and waiting 3 months and getting the third (Equifax). That way, you are monitoring your own credit for free, and can make sure that there aren’t changes/errors throughout the year.

    • This happened to me twice over the past two years. In one case, somebody had managed to duplicate a copy of my card in Florida! The bank was very helpful, as it sounds like yours was, but when I asked them the “how could this happen” questions, they said it happens all the time in NY (more so than in most other states). They looked through my account and didn’t think I was engaging in any high risk behavior. I changed all my passwords and put a fraud alert on my credit, but beyond that, I believe that, sadly, it’s a fact of life. I would suggest asking your bank about preventative measures, and asking if they can look over your account to see if there were any risk factors.

      • MissJackson :

        Someone in Florida also duplicated my card about a year ago. Luckily, my bank caught it before things got too bad (2 purchases of about $100 each before they put a hold on my account).

        I agree that this is unfortunately just something that happens. Of course I was issued a new card and changed my pin, but otherwise it was business as usual. I didn’t experience any other fraudulent activity afterward. I also had to sign an affidavit, I think, but it was fairly obvious that I was not in Florida buying a couple hundred dollars worth of gas. (I discovered the hold on my account when I went to buy like $100 worth of stuff in my home state and my card was declined.)

    • I’ve had something similar happen where someone got my card #, created a fake card, and went crazy at Walmart in Texas. It did not impact any of my other cards and the bank fixed it fairly quickly. I think they made me sign an affidavit.

    • Something similar to me happened last fall, except that the person made multiple purchases at random places in North Carolina. The bank also shut down my card and sent me a new one. I think that someone probably got my card information using a skimmer; I checked my credit reports and then kept a close eye on all of my accounts for a little while, but no other strange charges showed up. I think that’s the most likely explanation for what happened to you as well, but if you are super concerned you can put a fraud alert on your credit report through the major credit bureaus and any new applications for credit will then have to verify your identification.

      • *Something similar happened to me. Apparently I need more coffee.

        • Thanks guys!
          I guess I need to order credit reports and just be an adult about all this. I am irrationally nervous about finding out my credit score for some reason. It’s like an STD test, even when you’ve been safe, you just never know…
          I also had a weird charge on my Amex a while back so it’s all making me doubly nervous even though this was a few months ago and I don’t think the two things are at all related. Man, wouldn’t it be nice if none of this stuff was an issue!

          • The free credit reports do not include your score. You pay for the score separately.

          • We had the same thing happen to us– random $1200 debit card charge at a Walmart in Louisiana, where we have never been. We also filed a police report because it made us feel better, but got the money back from the bank without needing the report. We also live in the ‘burbs, so the police had nothing better to do and were willing to take the report. It might be harder to get them to do so in NYC.

    • Yes–I would be really vigilant if your info has been skimmed or sold. You might even want to call the credit bureaus to put a “freeze” on your credit. That means that no one can apply for a new card/credit in your name. (This only works if you, for instance, are not car or loan shopping currently.) But it is a good safeguard.

      Last year, someone, somehow, made a duplicate Mileage Plus credit card in my name and went shopping in Eastern Michigan. (I’m in CA.) They went places like Kohl’s, TJMaxx, Wal-Mart, etc. I’m just sayin…if I were to engage in credit card fraud…I’d go upmarket! :)

      Everything was fine though….but do stay on your bank about getting your $$ back. Especially with ATM/Debit vs. Credit matters and fraud, they can be slower and more annoying about paying you back. I know that from another time when an ATM in Chicago ate my card and then, magically, someone went shopping with it. Despite Police reports and whatnot, WAMU never paid me back. So annoying.

      • My family banks at a smaller regional bank where my parents are really good friends with the CFO going very far back (he introduced my parents in college). We have really good customer service and each transaction is checked if it could possibly be fradulent. One day a few years ago, I got a call from the bank and they asked me if I had spent over $2000 at Home Depot, Loewes, and Wal-Mart in the span of like 5 minutes in AZ. I had actually bought something expensive at Home Depot, but a few days earlier and in CA. The woman on the other end goes, “Well, I’m glad I called. It was a lot for you to be spending on tools in such a short period of time. And Wal-Mart? Maybe if it were Nordstrom or Bloomingdales.” I was so offended at the comment that thinking about it like 4 or 5 years later still makes me mad.

        • If you don’t regularly shop at Wal-Mart or buy lots of tools, why is it offensive that they’re surprised when there are large charges there? (I’m assuming you do regularly shop at Nordstrom and Bloomie’s but not the other places.)

          • Just the way it was said rubbed me the wrong way, probably in the way that NOLA was annoyed at her neighbor for the shoe box thing. At the time I was also painting my apartment and in a design program, so I was spending a boat load of money at Home Depot and Loewes. Which, since she was clearly staring at my bank statements, she should have known I was spending money there. Coupled with the fact that she knew I was a poor college student who didn’t have the financial wherewithal to shop at Bloomies and Nordstrom, it was clearly an assumption she made based off knowing my parents. And again, since she was staring at all my bank statements she should have seen that they read pretty much exclusively Target, Home Depot, Loewes, and Safeway, and had for the past 5 months.

          • But you’re right. Now it would be a different story and I wouldn’t be so offended.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Given the controversy that story caused, I will step forward in front of the firing squad potentially aimed at NOLA and own that the shoe box story was mine. I’m still annoyed by that guy’s comments, and the responses here made it clear to me that there are a lot of places where complete strangers feel free to make comments to you, and that you’re not allowed to be offended at their presumptuousness nor their stereotyping because they are just “being friendly” or “being neighborly.” Those are not neighbors or “friends” I need. You don’t know me –> you have no business making uninformed comments about my presumed shopping habits or my ability to use power tools or who pays for my dinner. I guess that makes me a b!tch, which I am fine with.

          • That wasn’t me!

          • Oops, mea culpa. Sorry to add onto the NOLA pile on. I rememember reading that and thinking that I would be really annoyed as well if anyone made that comment to me. I completely agree with what you said today and earlier. I don’t know any of my neighbors and wouldn’t recognize any of them out of context. You don’t know me. Don’t assume you know anything about me, my preferences, or my abilities. If you’re a b!tch, so am I. I feel like I’m in good company with you, SFBA.

          • SF Bay, you’re not alone. I sometimes get irritated by people feeling like they’re entitled to make comments to/about you that appear to be aimed only at expressing their opinions without attempting to actually engage in conversation. I’m generally a pretty friendly person and happy to (operational words) make conversation. But conversation, in my book, is not you accosting me with a random opinion that implicitly puts me in the position having to justify something to you, total stranger.

            Okay: Hey, I’ve been wanting to try that; is it any good?

            Not okay: That’s a lot of eggs/spinach/marmots.

          • Oops, something didn’t show because I put it in tags. I meant–

            Okay: [pointing at my grocery cart] Hey, I’ve been wanting to try that; is it any good?

            Not okay: [pointing at my grocery cart] That’s a lot of eggs/spinach/marmots.

          • I hate it when people do that. Yesterday I was at a work breakfast and I had a vegetable hash with a ton of beets in it and this woman at another table leaned over across her table and stared at my food and said “Oh my. That is a lot of beets. You’ll be peeing red for a while.” Inappropriate on so many levels.

          • And you know what’s even more amazing is how much it unwittingly reveals about her. Apparently, most people don’t see red in their urine after eating beets (beeturia is the technical term, actually). Beeturia may (emphasis on may) be a sign of an iron deficiency disorder, like anemia.

            But that’s just what the Wikipedia tells me; I’m only a doctor of the law, after all.

          • But isn’t that basically why people eat beets? For the awesome pee?

            Anyway, with your explanation, I understand the outrage. If your regular charges were not at Nordstrom’s etc., it makes no sense for her to suggest that and puts it in the odd small talk category (and I think I posted about the shoe box that it would have annoyed me as unncessarily presumptious small talk).

        • Yeah, I think this was based on your past spending habits (which is how the bank knows to flag something) and not any offensive assumptions. You probably never shop at Walmart, but have occasionally had big expenses at department stores. And frankly, even if it was an assumption, I think it’s a compliment to your taste.

          • WHAT ARE YOU SAYING ABOUT WALMART AND THE PEOPLE SHOP THERE, BLUEJAY?! THIS IS LITERALLY THE MOST INSULTING THING I’VE EVER READ IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

            (I think I will start pearl clutching at completely innocuous comments.)

  11. If anyone is looking for cardigans that aren’t really long (reach the top of the hip bone instead of the bottom), try buying in the junior’s section. I was having trouble finding shorter cardigans and then I ordered some junior’s ones from Nordstrom. Presto!

  12. Yesterday I posted about dry brushing… I’m posting the brush I use below for whoever asked for it.

  13. Does anyone else find that their desire to order from Nordstroms (or really any online retailer) triples when they are super stressed and not liking their job? Must . . . resist . . .

  14. Kanye East, I know in the past you’ve offered discounts for readers – do you have one now? I’m want to purchase one of your necklaces as a gift and thought I’d ask before buying. This will be my first purchase from you, but I love all your jewelry!

  15. I have a weird question about earrings. I must have special snowflake earlobes or something, because I have the hardest time wearing anything dangly or with the slightest bit of weight at all. Even large studs are problematic. My lobes start looking extended from the weight almost immediately and it’s very uncomfortable. Is there something I can do to prevent this? A special kind of earring back, maybe? I’m tired of wearing teeny-tiny studs.

  16. Ladies – Looking for some advice on how to respond when a jerk boss apologizes for something jerky. Do you just say “thanks” or find someone to acknowledge he was a jerk or play it off like no big deal?

    • Totes McGotes :

      I’d probably say, “Thanks; it means a lot to me/I really appreciate that you said that.”

    • I appreciate that you recognize that was ____(unprofessional, uncalled for, not my responsibility, upsetting) insert your own adjective. It might be a little much to call your boss unprofessional so tailor appropriately

    • new york associate :

      “Thanks. I appreciate it.” [If you need to preserve a relationship, add in "It was a rough deal and I'm glad we got through it" or something face-saving along those lines.]

  17. So, to be actually on topic for a moment, the striped version of this would be SO CUTE for the weekend with white shorts and boat shoes on a yacht. Or just you know, bumming around town (since I clearly don’t have a yacht.)

  18. Any tips on how to deal when waiting to hear back about a job? I feel like I’m losing my mind and chances are good I won’t hear for sure until next week!

    • Former MidLevel :

      Distraction. It’s the only thing that worked for me. If you can, spend the weekend doing something fun. And good luck on the job!

    • Jenna Rink :

      I clean like a madwoman. You can eat off my floor when I’m waiting for a job offer. Yay for nervous energy!

    • I agree with distraction. I’ve been job searching for 16 months and today I got notice that I was found qualified for a position. I know not to get my hopes up because I was previously found qualified but not selected for an almost identical position with the same employer but it’s SOOOO hard not to. Good luck!

  19. Kontraktor :

    Hi friends, advice needed. I have (finally) accepted a new job offer. Weirdly I won’t be a kontraktor anymore and I am completely switching industries into finance and wealth management. Who knew that it would turn out that way… I guess I’ll keep my name still though (“Financer” seems weird) ;-)

    Anyway my question is when I should give my notice to my current job. I have already signed/returned my new offer letter. I did my drug test yesterday (results in 1-3 days). Background investigation into me has been instigated as of Tuesday or so but won’t be done for at least 1.5 weeks (more like 2). I have zero in my background (well I also have a TS clearance, but that’s a different irony), so it’s not like they will find anything. The only thing left after the background check is for me to bring a million different papers with me on my first day.

    I am targeting 20 July as my last day at current job. Was planning on giving notice either Monday or Tuesday. Does this make sense? I have no reason to be paranoid and try to wait longer right?

    • I think this makes sense. It is a know your office kind of thing, sometimes they want you to leave right away. I’d make sure I had all my ducks in a row before giving notice just in case, but I think that this timeline sounds great.

    • OH MY GOD!!!! Congratulations!!! Can you give provisional notice? I mean, obviously you’re a contractor so they know you’re looking for another job — can you tell them “Hey, I found this job and I don’t want to leave you hanging, we’re doing the final paperwork and assuming nothing horrible happens I’m leaving x date.” Something like that?

      Perhaps people with more experience will counter me, but at my current contract position, where I get good luck hugs before all my interviews, I think that’d fly.

      • Kontraktor :

        Well, when I say contractor, I mean I am a permanent employee at a (defense) contracting company. Granted, my current project is ending soon (although the exact date is apparently in flux and some of my team members have been told a different date than me- I was actually under the impression the last months that my last project day would be July 20 anyway unless we got an extention, which we have not yet as far as I know), but my supervision seems a bit clueless and I feel this might come as a shock to them that I am leaving (again, not sure why, but… it’s complicated).

        So, anyway, as a regular full time employee of a company, as I understand, it’s prudent to give at least 2 weeks notice as general rule of thumb/practice. I am also not sure I could leave immediately since there is a degree of paperwork that must be submitted regarding turning in all my badges/exit interviews/things like that. But, I guess it’s possible they would want me to leave sooner rather than later.

        I like the idea of using your wording, TCFKAG. That sounds good. I mean, I feel at this point literally it would be something bizarre and horrible impeding the offer (like, they confused my drug results with somebody else’s kind of horrible), so I feel I can only hold out so much.

        Thanks for the congrats too. I am happy about the job, but it’s just… such a random turn in my trajectory and never anywhere I thought I could or would possibly end up. But I think it’s the best I’m going to do at this point (and I even managed to negotiate my raise up from 10% to 15%), so… can’t complain too much. There are lots of good things. I’m just a bit scared of a whole new industry!!

        • Wednesday :

          Can I ask how you were able to make the switch? I’m really curious about wealth management – but it would be a big transition for me too!

          • Kontraktor :

            Pure luck, honestly. I have applied to so many different types of jobs, it’s unreal. Mostly I have targeted jobs where my skill set/previous taskings meet the job description. So that has meant I have been applying for work in a variety of industries (my current industry doesn’t really exist where I am now). I have been on enough interviews though to know that so much of a job hunting result seems to be based on chance and the elusive “fit.” Some companies seemed willing to take my explanations and answers at face value. Others didn’t. I have largely set answers for things, am pretty good during interviews in terms of speech fluidity and ‘confidence,’ and have not received any feedback on glaring issues I present, so I don’t believe that my answers or performance necessarilymade or broke any of my interviews. I largely believe the result to be because I happened to be at the right place in the right time (they had already rejected some candidates previously because of a certain skill they were looking for that I had), that the team felt I had a good rapport with them, that the hiring manager for some reason found my odd background curious and worthy of further review. So, all fluffy things I couldn’t really control. I think it was honestly just a wide variety of chance factors settling into place for this one.

            If I had to suggest one concrete thing though, I would say make sure you have examples to substantiate quantitative skills, especially if you haven’t done a lot of that in your current job. I always made it a point to have on hand a quant research example I’ve done, and I always mention all the quant classes I took in college. I explicitly say how I am comfortable with programs/data, it’s just a matter of needing to be given the chance to work on those sorts of projects. I talk about how I like to learn by doing, ask a lot of questions, and like to find answers and self teach. Some people believe that. Others don’t. But it’s the truth. I’m not afraid of math or numbers. I just need to be given the chance to work with them. This new company clearly bought into that. Others haven’t. But I’ve always explained it as such nonetheless and I think it was helpful here.

          • Wednesday :

            That’s awesome – and it gives me hope. And congrats!!! Happy for you – hope you’re celebrating this weekend.

          • Kontraktor :

            Well, I guess I’ll celebrate once I give my formal notice. I’m just scared now something is going to go wrong and I am somehow going to be classified as a drug addicted criminal and have it all come crashing down. :(

    • Yay, Kontraktor!!! That is so awesome, congrats!

    • As for your timing, I think makes sense. But I would make sure that you have everything lined up on the off-chance the employer wants you leave that day. They would have the right to escort you out, so make sure all your personal belongings are compiled and easily grabbed. Not saying that will happen (or that it’s likely to happen), but it’s the employer’s right.

      • Kontraktor :

        Hm, not sure if this could happen because there is paper work to fill out on my company’s part. Like, there needs to be certain documents submitted to HR. I know this because I already went on a leave of absense once and it is the same procedure as resigning. And the LOA paperwork took about 1.5 weeks to wrap up.

        But I guess I can prepare myself for them wanting me to leave sooner rather than later.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I just gave notice on the day I sent back the signed offer letter, once they confirmed receipt. There’s nothing in my pee and nothing to be found on a background check so I’m confident that there will be no hinderance to me starting the job on time.

      Did you set a start date for the new job? If it is already determined, that could guide your deadline to give notice.

      • Kontraktor :

        I feel this way too. Barring something truly bizarre happening, there is nothing impeding my new employment re pee/background.

        I did set a new start date for job. If I leave here on 20 July, I will have the time off I want between old and new job. If I give notice here at the beginning of next week, it will be about 3 weeks notice. I understand them wanting me to leave sooner, but the last time I tried to deal with admin stuff like this, it took way longer than expected and I just don’t want my team here to feel blind sided.

    • I personally would wait until my background check came back clean. Like you, I have nothing in my background that would squelch a job offer; however sometimes these background checks start with only first/last names and if your name isn’t ultra rare and someone else with the same name has been naughty, it can really slow things down for you.

      This happened to my husband. Someone else in the country has the same first/last name and does have a record. His background check required more time to clear him.

      • Kontraktor :

        I am paranoid in the theoretical sense about this, but I couldn’t wait to give notice until this was done. It might take up to 2 weeks, and if I waited a full 2 weeks before telling my current job, I wouldn’t be able to give enough notice to get to new job in time. Also, my project might end on 20 July (it is unclear) so I might not actually have a project to come to after that date anyway.

        I don’t know. :( I don’t have a really common name and presumably they search by SSN (I’d hope at least), so… ugh, I guess I will just give notice maybe on Tuesday and hope for the best.

    • I would not resign until you clear all background checks and have an official offer. If this means you have to delay your start date in order to give adequate notice at your current job, so be it. It’s much better than finding yourself f-ed over if something goes wrong with the new job.

      • Kontraktor :

        Since I’ve gotten this a few times now, I guess maybe it’s something I’ll have to consider. I guess though I’m not sure what could go wrong and the job has already delayed my start date due to a day off I needed to take. They wanted me to start on the 23rd but I had a commitment on the 26th, so they already extended to the 30th for me. I guess I could maybe try to follow up with the background people on Tuesday of next week and see where it’s at. Then, if it seems it’s almost done, give notice on Thursday or Friday (I would still be giving current job a full 2 weeks).

        • Also, I hate to be a downer here, but I have heard of someone whose drug test got mixed up. If they don’t know you at all, why should they believe you when you say that’s what happened? Whatever it is might be out of your system if they retested to confirm your story. Sucks and unfair, but you never know. Another vote for waiting.

          • Kontraktor :

            I mean, I have a Top Secret government clearance which I would lose in an instance if I had a drug record, so I feel it’s a leg to stand on in a horrible extenuating circumstance such as the one you mention, but it does seem like maybe I should be a little more paranoid just in case.

            I suppose I can follow up with background/HR people next week and get an update, and perhaps target giving notice late next week (like Friday) if all goes well. It’s just weird because they are treating this all as final (I have signed all final/official paperwork) so it’s hard to know how paranoid to be, but probably better safe than sorry.

        • I’ve just had things like this come back to bite me in the @ss before. There shouldn’t be a problem, but sometimes something as silly as having eaten a poppyseed bagel can cause you to have to be retested for drugs and also delay your clearance. Or they can be slow with the background check and you won’t be able to start because they haven’t finished the check yet. So I’d wait on resigning.

          • Or that horror story at Ask a Manager recently – the offer was all finalized but the job itself disappeared, and suddenly she was out of work with no unemployment and no prospects.

    • karenpadi :

      Yay! Congrats!

      I’d give a standard two weeks notice (depending on your employment agreement at the current place) if there’s nothing in your background or drug test. Before that, I just start quietly wrapping things up and delegating tasks.

      • Kontraktor :

        Thanks. :-) Although the comments here have now made me sufficiently paranoid that my test results are going to get mixed up or that the smell of ‘grasses’ that wafted into my apartment a few days ago (promptly closed windows) are going to ruin my drug test and they are going to mistype my SSN and come up with the fact that I am a bank robber or something. So, I am going to wait until mid next week, hope for things to be done by then, and give notice (hopefully) by Friday (that would be about 2 weeks exactly). Sigh. Fingers crossed nothing terrible happens to me like I am now afraid of.

    • Congrats!!!!! A new industry sounds exciting!!!!

  20. DCettes:

    My next trial pled out so I have my life back for a couple weeks. Anybody interested in a get together? Email me at dccorporette at yahoo dot com and I’ll send something out later tonight.

  21. I'm Just Me :

    I just ordered this shirt in the green stripe. I’m trying to break out of my boring solid tops, and I have been curious if broken stripes will work on me. If the neck line is too low for work, I can always return.

  22. I was planning to get this top in the green striped version but concerned about the neckline….must go back and read reviews!

  23. Nordstrom question :

    Anyone know if Nordstrom has free watch repairs/alterations for watches purchased on Nordstrom.com?

    I purchased a Kate Spade watch at Nordstrom.com. It arrived today, it is awesome, but I have very small wrists and need to get many links removed. Is this something I could have done at Nordstrom?

    • Definitely– I’ve had links removed from watches I’ve purchased at Nordstrom before. Just bring in the packing slip (or some other proof of purchase) and you should be good to go.

    • Do you have a Nordies card, then I think they’d definitely do it. But most watch repair stores will do this for free, so I bet Nordies would too.

    • Yes. Had this done to remove links, then decided I had too many links removed so I went back and had them put a link back in. They did it right at the watch counter.

  24. emcsquared :

    Blech – I have one project to do this week, it’s been in my “too hard” pile since April (eek), and I really really really don’t want to get started (it’s pro bono legal work coding Quickbook entries, yuck). BUT it’s Friday, and I would love to kick it off to the client this afternoon so I could go home tonight and stop thinking about it.

    *sigh*

    Advice, kind words, hugs, envelopes full of Skittles, etc would all be appreciated.

    • Ugg – as an accountant I know how painful that type of work can be. Reward yourself for milestones (at 25% done, 50% done, or after you finish each month, or whatever makes sense based on the work). I’m big on rewarding myself. And then have a big reward when you’re all done.

      Also, that type of work for me is usually somewhat mindless (which is why I dislike it so much) so listen to music while you’re doing it. Not something enough to distract you from the task, but enough to help make the time go by faster.

      Good luck! I hope you get it finished.

  25. TJ – first time bar taker. I have felt good about my study up until today, where suddenly it seems like I have a lot of little things that I haven’t covered and I just feel like there’s no end in sight. I’ve been really motivated up until today, where I just can’t seem to concentrate and my mind is totally elsewhere. I’m afraid I’m burning out already, when it’s not even July.

    I’m not taking a bar class – I’m using a composite of old books from various sources. I feel OK about the MBE, I do about 70 practice questions (in 36-question sections) a day and hit between 65% and 75%, but I just feel like I’m losing it on the state portion. I haven’t done any practice essays yet-my goal is to start Monday, since by that point I’ll have been through every topic at least once (and some more than once).

    I feel completely exhausted, even though I tend to start at around 8:30-9 AM and finish up around 7:30-8 most nights. Is it normal to feel like I haven’t retained anything? Am I completely off track with my study right now?

    • You are burning out. You are doing way more than I was at this point. Take today off! Also I know people who didn’t take a class (and they all passed) but I think there is extra stress when you aren’t taking a class. Your susceptible to am I doing enough freakouts more than someone with a class I think. Its friday before a new month, today is a great day to take off. Clean, get organized, get a mani pedi and some chocolate or (…and :) wine and start fresh this weekend. you will be ok!

    • 1. Breathe.
      2. Take the weekend off. You’ve got almost a full month left and it sounds like you have a good start, but you are in crazy-making mode and that won’t do you any good. If not studying at all is going to freak you out, pick one thing that you will do for 1-2 hours each day of the weekend, and then have that be it.

    • I think you will feel a lot better once you start doing the practice essays. I did them as I learned topics, and the only way I felt like I was retaining anything was to have to think about it in the context of the questions. I would suggest doing lots of practice essays–even if you just outline the answers and don’t write them all out. Keep drilling your MBE questions.

      Take time off this weekend. If you’ll feel bad about not studying at all, take your books outside, relax and read. Definitely take some chunks of time to do something nice for yourself, though.

      If it makes you feel better to hear it, I did a self-study program (it was a course, though, so a little different from you), and I am 2 for 2 in terms of passing bar exams.

    • Anonymous :

      Make this weekend a low work weekend. Carve out 3-4 hours a day for studying (preferably first thing in the morning) and then spend the rest of the day doing something you enjoy.

      Retention on the state section comes after you start doing practice essays. It’s hard to retain in a vacuum. Don’t look at the practice essays as proof that you have or haven’t learned the material, but rather part of the process of learning.

      Also, unless you have time management issues in writing, I wouldn’t write out very many essays in full. Rather, I would outline answers, and check your issue spotting/law. The more you can get through, the more familiar the actual bar questions will be (the bar examiners don’t tend to be very creative). Make sure you pull your state’s model answers too — there can be weird quirks.

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