Weekend Open Thread

Bottega Veneta Indigo SandalsSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Zappos has a lot of sandals on clearance right now, and while at first it looked to be a pretty ho-hum sale, I discovered a ton of steep designer markdowns. I love these sexy Bottega Veneta sandals in a gorgeous indigo — great mix of leather, suede, and synthetics. Hello, date night!  They were $680, but are now marked to $325 at Zappos. Bottega Veneta – 290310W832 4207 (Indigo/Indigo) – Footwear

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Comments

  1. Go ahead and blow we-told-you-so raspberries at me, but I bought a DvF wrap dress at the NAS!

    And I even used the acronym NAS just now.

    //ducks//

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Exciting! Which one?

    • Imma gonna go on TUMBLR and POST ALL ABOUT THIS. FOR SHAME.

      lololol

    • LOL. Did you buy it at the store or order it? Cuz if you ordered it, that doesn’t mean you’ll keep it!

    • eastbaybanker :

      Lucky you! The Reara Colorblock? It was the only one I saw on sale and WISH it would fit me. Too short for this tall lady…

      • It’s a Julian with a gray & white quasi-camo pattern, and it’s just barely long enough on me (plus 3/4 sleeves, which I appreciate, otherwise they’d be way too short).

        I don’t know why this is, but I’ve noticed that DvF dresses sized S-M-L tend to run longer than numbered sizes. I got a blue wool/cashmere Linda dress recently, and the sleeves and hem are significantly longer (viz., long enough for me at 5’10″) than the basic silk jersey staples. We’re talking inches. FWIW.

    • a passion for fashion :

      If it makes you feel any better, I swore I was not going to go to the sale becuase i just dont need anything and I have a bit of an issue with needlessly spending money on clothes and shoes (of course, they are generally wonderful, lovely clothes and shoes that often provide some form of instant gratification, but i digress . . . .)

      Well, I went. And of course, I bought stuff. I only went into the shoe dept and was able to limited myself to just 2 pair (which took all of the willpower left in my body on a Friday afternoon), though they are probably the only two pair of shoes not on sale. However, I must recommend both pairs, as they are insanely comfortable.

      (1) the Cole Hahn air monica ballet flat in tango red. I think others have recommended this shoe, but it is just fabulous.

      (2) the Ferragamo Flo wedge in black patent. its about 3 inches, closed toed black wedge with the classic ferragamo grosgrain bow in the front. also just beautiful and comfortable.

      (3) finally, i did not buy them becasue i got the ferragamo instead, but tods makes a black suede close-toed wedge that is about 2 inches. most comfortable shoe that is not a tennis shoe that i have ever tried on. i opted for the ferragamo only b/c i wanted something a little dressier, but seriously, i may need to go back for this shoe b/c it is a-maz-ing.

    • KE, I am judging you SO HARD right now … (see thread below) ;-)

  2. newjobanon :

    Does any one have any tips for getting more work? I’m new and I’ve asked a few of the higher ups for more projects and have come up with a few ideas for proactive projects, but I am spending most of my day on [this site]. I suppose I should count my lucky starts, but I hate feeling useless.

    • If you’re a lawyer, how new are you? I think often at firms it just takes a few months for partners to start giving you enough work to fill the time, since in the beginning they have to teach you everything.

      • newjobanon :

        I’m not in law, but I’m in the first month at my new job. I’ve got experience in my field, so I don’t need hand-holding. I’ve mentioned I like to be busy and now have point blank asked for more work. Several times. I’m not sure what else to do?

        • I wouldn’t worry just yet. You’re doing the right things and in your first month, nobody expects you to be slammed.

    • emcsquared :

      When I started at my new law job, I made it a point to meet as many people as I could – I went to department meetings for various departments, took people out to lunch and coffee. It took 3-4 months, but it did result in a significant amount of work and projects. Plus, now I know the firm so much better and can make cross-marketing suggestions.

      • That’s a great idea. Things have been slow at my new job. I try to attend extra meetings and go to lunch with people, just to learn more about the company. Thanks for the idea.

    • FOOEY! I have to much work all of a sudden and no more money from the Manageing partner.

      I want some equity partipaetion according to Dad.

      Monday I will ask the Manageing partner for 10% of the Billieng’s on my new cleint and if Jim keepes giveing me new Case’s I will be Abel to save a chunk of change in my 401k. YAY!

      I do not want to date him and I can’t rely on a man to suport me! FOOEY!

      • Please, Kat, can’t you filter the Ellen posts? They aren’t funny. Your blog deserves better than his/her/its stupid nonsense.

        • S&S Associate :

          Lighten up! No one is forcing you to read it.
          Personally, I look forward to finding Ellen’s posts and am disappointed if I miss them.
          As the Supreme Court said in Cohen v. California, you are always free to avert your eyes.
          Keep up the posts, Kat. We love them at S&S.

          • Me TO. I liek these POST’S.

          • Anonymous :

            Hurray for Kat and preserving the First Amendment and the ability to FOOEY!

            Say offensive words are printed on someone’s t-shirt and you feel your moral beliefs have been violated. Well, too bad — avert your eyes, the Supreme Court declared in Cohen v. California. Does pornography offend your moral sensibilities? That’s not a good enough reason to be able to ban it, the Seventh Circuit decided in American Booksellers Association v. Hudnut. These rulings make it clear that although minorities have a right to their views, private moral and religious beliefs cannot constrain others’ behavior.

    • Maine Associate :

      I’m not sure how large your office is, so this may not work. My office is me and 2 partners. When I need work and the “got work”? e-mail does not generate anything, I comb the calendars for deadlines and appearances and then ask about specific cases. For example, I’ll see that the Smith divorce has a witness and exhibit list deadline approaching in a week, so I will ask the partner if he needs helps preparing that. The answer is almost always yes.

  3. Two travel questions:
    1. What should I expect going through TSA with a sling and ace bandaged arm? The sling comes off, but the ace bandage too? I tried to google it this morning and found stories about TSA making people go through drug tests because they thought they had wrapped cocaine in their ace bandage. Thankfully my local airport seems to have it a little better together than this.
    2. I arrive at Midway tonight at 11:30. Is my only/best option a cab to get downtown?

    • Generally they just slide a piece of paper for an explosive powder test under your cast / bandage. Personally, never was clearing security easier for me than when I had a broken leg and all over leg cast. Good luck! And feel better!

    • Orange el (elevated train) goes from midway to downtown in about 30 minutes.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        But the last train is at 1am, so if you’re delayed or have to deal with baggage and it’s 12:30, give up and take a cab.

        • Thanks. This is the actual piece of important information. Hopefully we aren’t delayed-I’d rather just pay for the el than a cab!

          • I recommend cab — I’m usually a-OK taking the El as long as there are enough bystanders nearby, but that may not be the case so late at night. Good luck! Chicago is an awesome city.

          • Anonymous :

            I take the el at all hours of the night and never feel threatened. Just keep alert and don’t walk around with headphones on at 2am! And riding in the first car will keep you by the conductor – which is what most women do at night in Chicago.

  4. ChocCityB&R :

    I’ve noticed a few “how should I do my hair” type questions on the last few posts, so I thought I’d chime in with a unique hair styling question. I have shoulder length dredlocks. I have no idea what to do with my hair. I wear it in a low ponytail every.single.day. If anyone has hair similar, or has seen a stylish lady with dreads on the subway, or just feels like surfing through a bunch of ethnic hair care blogs, please help me find a work appropriate style for my semi-conservative office. I’ll follow-up with a link to a picture of someone with hair similar to my own and some styles I like, but wonder if they are work appropriate.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Ok so my hair is about the length and thickness of Whoppi in this photo: http://static.weddingcometrue.com/weddcometrue/2010/03/dreadlock-hairstyles-2.jpg

      I must keep my hair out of my face, so I like a style like this: http://www.hairweb.org/images/rasta-neu2.jpg

      I worry that it will look too juvenile.

      • Merabella :

        I don’t have dreds, so take this with a grain of salt, because I have not a clue on how to style them, but could you do a take on a french braid by adding dreds to the braid as you go?

        I’ve done my hair in this style:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOlmRc5Uk68

        I don’t know if this will work for you, but I just imagined it in my head and it seemed cute.

      • I’ve seen a girl here at work with similar hair, she uses a thin hair band to keep it out of her face. The rest of her outfit is always very spot-on, conservative, tailored, yet young which is part of the reason why she can pull that hair off in my opinion. I’ve also seen people who pull that length of dreads in a bun, though I imagine that can be quite difficult depending on the thickness and structure of yours.

        • This! We have a female attorney who has a nearly shaved head in my office. She is the most stylish woman here and looks extremely professional and poised because her clothes are just always sooooo meticulously tailored and put together. I want to be her sometimes!

      • ChocCityB&R :

        It does seem cute! But I think I distinctly remember a thread where people said french braids were “too young” for the office. As with a lot of things regarding hair styles, I wondered if it would apply to me, or if it was just for straight hair… Part of the problem is that my outfits are not always spot-on, unlike the lady boardroom belles described below. I’m a young professional so still building up my wardrobe.

    • a former co worker of mine had dreads, but they were slightly longer than shoulder length – probably to about where her bra strap would cross her back? She used to do a cute half up/half down pony thing, with the ponytail being really high up…looked super cute. i’m giving a terrible description,i know, but i’ll try to find a picture.

    • Okay, this is sort of outside my area of expertise, because my hair is in a pixie and when it was long I wore it in a low pony or with a hideous banana clip, but what about working in some scarves or ribbons as a way to tie up an undo? I assume traditional pinning isn’t strong enough to hold up a french twist?

      I’d kind of avoid looks where too much hair sticks out.

      This looks really cool if you could figure it out (lord knows I couldn’t) and there are some tutorials on how to do french braids and twists with dreads on the youtube.

      http://thirstyroots.com/hair-twist-locks.html/3009971446_35ede238e6

      :-) Sorry if that’s not much help.

    • I don’t have dreds because I have committment issues. But I do wear double-straded twists very often. I will try (and probaly fail) to describe what I do with them in professional settings:

      (1) I’ll pull the twists closest to my face back behind my head while twisting them towards the center of my head, then I secure with an attractice clasp or dark hair tie. Essentially, it looks like my hair is half-up half-down, but with visual interest in the back.

      (2) I wear a bun of twists that I devised while taking ballet classes in undergrad. I pull the top 3/4 of my hair back in a simple bun with one hair tie. Then I take the bottom right of the remaining twists, pull them up to the top of my bun, and secure with another hair tie. I do the same thing with the remaining hair on the bottom left with a third hair tie. If the hair ties are dark enough, they are pretty much invisible. The result is a very complicated looking bun that I get TONS of compliments on. It also stays on while completing fast turns in a leotard and tights.

      (3) For special events, I’ll have a stylist put them in a complicated updo. I don’t tell them what to do, they make something up. It usually takes less than 15 mintues because there is no actual hair styling involved. (I did this for a beauty pageant in high school and won. I know that’s absurd, but it shows how good it looks. I didn’t expect to win because it was a mainstream pageant, I was one of very few black contestants, and natural hairstyles usually don’t win that kind of event).

    • Check out pics of Lisa Nutter, wife of the Mayor of Philly, and head of a big educational non-profit in Philly. Her hair is a bit longer than yours but rocks the locks in all sorts of super formal settings.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Styling options:

      - Curl them on spiral sticks while still damp and let them dry or sit under the dryer
      - Bun
      - Pull top up off your face and let back hang down
      - hi/low pony (or double connected pony)
      - french roll/single french braid
      - You can play with color – try a temporary rinse – one that washes out after 6-8 washes – either a shade or two lighter or darker like a warm brown or a blue-black.

      And you don’t have to make rest of your look uber-conservative or restrained.

  5. Ellen alert: Ellen just posted on the skirt thread. At least I think it’s Ellen!

  6. What’s the consensus on judging? I know it’s wrong to do but I still judge. There’s an open thread over at CapHillStyle on cheating and I’m floored at how accepting the posters are on forgiving an indiscretion while wanting to work on the relationship, entering a long-term relationship even though they were “the other woman”, or simply being accepting of a cheating spouse and believing that just because he broke the vows they shouldn’t. WTF?! I’m judging hard and feel no shame in doing so. I also judge people in my everyday life that have done something similar. I look down on them (more internally than externally) and put no trust in them. I mean, why should I, if they can’t prove honorable to their SO, why would they ever be honorable with me?

    I also feel the same when it comes to all this talk on babies and maternity leave. If one more person tells me that I’ll want nothing more than to bond with my baby once I have one, they’ll meet my right hook. Men don’t get talked to like that, don’t talk to me like that just because I have the capability of housing a growing human.

    And please, Hilary will never be a fashion icon, but she kicks @$$ as the most powerful political figure in our country. Back off with the comments about her hair and pants suits.

    End of rant, feel free to judge me now.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I judge regularly and ruthlessly. However, with rare exceptions, I keep my judgments to myself (or anonymous on the internet). I think this has made it possible for me to have friends. I don’t judge myself for being judgey…it’s just how my mind works and always has. One day I’ll work on changing how my mind works in this respect, but I have other self-improvement goals that go before my judgmental nature.

      And speaking of judgment, how wrong is it to require your brother to submit a budget to you before loaning him any more money? Let me correct myself…these are not loans because loans are for things you expect to get back. How can someone in one breath ask you for hundreds of dollars, and in the next talk about a vacation they are planning in the next 6 months? ARRRRGGGHHHHHH family.

      • Oh hon, I feel for you.

        Not sure if you want to go down that route, though, the asking for a budget proposal. Your brother may end up resenting you for trying to “control” him. Maybe you can just cut him off (money-wise, not contact)?

        • ChocCityB&R :

          I know, I’m just going to give him the money because it’s for a legitimate use (paying a utility bill). I just hate that the reason they are in the mess in the first place is because they spend so much on things they don’t need. I think this may be my last “gift.” I recognize that I have to cut him off or else he will never learn. I just worry because he has kids and I don’t like the thought of them going without…

          • If he asks for things for the kids in the future, why not buy it for them yourself? At some point, knowing he can always turn to you is only going to cause more harm then good. I’ve seen it in my own family. I’m sorry, this really sucks.

          • eh – let him suffer the consequences of not paying the utility bill. Which are – 1) go without or 2) work it out with the utility company. Are the kids going to be in danger – i.e. heat stroke – or just inconvenienced? If they have to go without electricity for a few days, the kids will survive. You could offer to babysit the kids for a few of those inconvenienced days….

            The problem with the “last time” is they don’t believe you until the next time.

      • A loan comes with terms, so it’s not bad at all. You can say this is a loan and as such I’d like to see this. Or this is a one time gift. After this the bank of ChocCityB&R is closed. Your choice on what you [brother] pick (assuming you’re comfortable with either), but I say put it out there clearly.

      • A suggestion re your brother: I bought my sister a car many years ago, and it was more than the $10,000/year (then) gift allowance. So I wrote it as a loan and then, every year, wrote off $10,000 as a gift on my taxes. You could consider something like that.

        Also, I think it should be in writing no matter what. And what about non-monetary payback? Like, if he doesn’t make a payment, he has to do X for you instead?

        Also (last one), would you feel better paying the electric company directly so that you know the money goes there?

        Also (really last one), most electric companies have low-earner programs. Maybe he should sign up for that: lower rates, payment plans, etc.

      • Having gone through this with my own sibling, I feel you. After the most recent “gift”, sibling went out and adopted two cats. Gee, thanks.

      • I think it’s absolutely justified to work out some sort of terms with your brother particularly if he starting to develop a pattern. It only does him more disservice if he becomes comfortable in using your income to supplement his (or to finance vacations). I think communication is key. You need to have a serious conversation with your brother and be honest that, while you’re happy to help out in an emergency situation, you have noticed that he has not made any real efforts to avoid future “emergencies” and you’re starting to resent the behavior of relying on you for a bailout.

        That being said, my dad was in this same situation with his brother ages ago. He outlined a plan for his brother to pay him back, and the brother blew up and they haven’t had a relationship since. As a result, I don’t ever remember meeting that uncle… wouldn’t know him if I passed him on the street. Not saying that will happen in your family (I’m sure it was just a product of a couple really immature, stubborn men), but it’s always a possibility, so tread carefully…

    • There isn’t a consensus on judging, although in polite company, one isn’t supposed to do so or to acknowledge it. I find it akin to putting one’s head in the sand, though.

      I can only speak personally here– I won’t judge someone for dressing in a manner I don’t like. It tells me nothing about their character. I won’t judge someone for stuff they can’t control (e.g. demographics.)

      However, I will judge someone for dishonesty and unethical behavior. I refuse to get snookered by the “judgment jiu-jitsu” that dishonest people use- where they do something bad to somebody, notice they are being judged, and turn around and try to wrong-foot the judgers by trotting out, “oh, you’re so judgmental” crap.

      One thing I will say, as to the idea of people who are cheaters and whether they can be good coworkers/teammates/effective at their jobs. I’ve known cheaters who were fantastic teammates and great at their jobs. * Never underestimate the human ability to compartmentalize. *

      It doesn’t mean I’ll like this person and want to be his/her friend outside of work, but it also doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily backstab me. I’ve seen plenty of people who were excellent spouses to their husbands/wives be backstabby at work.

      Separately, I think that people have different tolerance levels for the amount of crap that people heap on them. Some people will tolerate cheating, disrespect, and all manner of bad treatment and keep seeking more. Others won’t.

      I do wonder if the folks in the first group are suffering from the sunk cost fallacy problem, you know, “I’ve sunk N years into this relationship, and even though s/he lies, drains my bank account, ruined my credit, has slept with all my coworkers, disrespects me in front of my friends, and says horrible things about my parents, I can’t be single again, etc. etc.”

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        “Separately, I think that people have different tolerance levels for the amount of crap that people heap on them. Some people will tolerate cheating, disrespect, and all manner of bad treatment and keep seeking more. Others won’t.”

        This times 100. My step-daughter accepts the most atrocious behavior from her mother (yelling, blaming, name calling, mind changing (“Daughter, do X.” Daughter does X. “Daughter, you are a bad person for doing X.”)

        When mom tries that on my husband and/or me, we refuse to play. We don’t attack back, but we don’t respond and we do/don’t do things based on what we think is best, not based on what mom says.

        My question: When will step-daughter realize that she holds the key to her own prison and if she stops taking the crap, she won’t have to take the crap? I keep hoping it will dawn on her what she is away at college…

        • Mother – daughter relationships are complicated. I respect what you’re saying, but I would submit that it’s a lot harder for a daughter to draw the kind of line that you’re describing with her mother than it is for you and your husband to draw that kind of line with his ex-wife. Particularly if your step-daughter is still in her teens.

          I’m not saying that you’re wrong that she holds the keys to her own prison, but I suspect that’s very hard for her to see right now, even if you’ve pointed it out to her. Try to be there for her with support. And despite the theme of this thread, try not to judge her if she’s not able to step back far enough to see or understand the dynamics between her and her mother right now.

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            Yeah, although I do judge her mom,** I am very careful never to do that when my SD is with us.

            Whenever I talk to her about her mom, which is rare, it is one of two approaches: (1) something positive (like, if we’re cooking and she asks me a question, I will answer and then say “but you should really ask your mom because your dad says she is a gourmet cook, so I’m sure she knows more about this than I”) or

            (2) to describe facts only, with no opinion (like, “we don’t have car insurance for you and your new car yet (a few days after she passed the test) because your mom said she wants particular documents from our insurance company before she sends us a check and the insurance company is still preparing them” rather than “even though we sent her those documents one year ago and again six months ago and both times she said she didn’t want to use our insurance company but refused to offer any other solution and she is not in a position to add you to her policy because she does not have a policy because her car and her car insurance are paid for by her employer aka her mother and she did not disclose any of that during the divorce or on her taxes, but she dragged out the discussion about insurance for one full year because while she is not interested in a solution, she is keenly interested in continued engagement with your father, in my opinion” — all of which is true but none of which I ever say to my SD).

            And frankly, I suspect that it is extra hard for the daughter of a mother with mental health challenges to fully accept that because then you have to deal with the risk that you may also have those genes.

            ** I actually try to temper my judgement when I can stand to because I am pretty sure that her (mis)behavior is caused by some mental health challenges, and it’s hard to blame people for that. Although I do not always have the zen-ness to be so forgiving.

          • This.

            What you are doing right now is probably the best thing you can do for her: showing her how to deal with a person like her mother in a grown-up and mature way. She’ll figure things out in her own time, and when she does, she’ll have your example to follow.

        • Your step-daughter is in her late teens or early twenties? Give her time– lots of time. She’s still figuring out who she is as a person and has lots of maturing to do. Kind of unfair to expect her to have this all figured out by now.

      • anon just in case :

        Interesting. I’m heading to a family get together this weekend. Sil was recently sentenced because of the thousands of dollars she stole from a local children’s organization. Money she stole to fund a gambling and drinking habit she has. Oh, and she’s cheated several times on bil. And he knows all this. I hope I don’t have to face her, but I’m sure I’ll see bil this weekend. Unfortunately. He wants to try and save their marriage, which I could understand if they were dealing with one of those 4 issues, but all 4 together? Makes me wonder if he’s suffering from the sunk cost fallacy problem you described. Oh, and she stole money from their teenaged children as well. Makes me angry just thinking about it. Dh is livid over the whole situation too as it’s his name that is being dragged through the mud (small town, uncommon last name, no question who she’s related to). Good thing we don’t live in the neighbourhood any more. Mil just wants everyone to get along and wants no conflict in her home, which I can understand, but dh feels like she’s got her head stuck in the sand, although I know she doesn’t, she just really really doesn’t like angry people in her home, which I believe is her right.

        It’s a mess, and I fully admit to judging sil, bil, and mil to some extent as well. And I own it. Although I won’t get in any of their faces about it because I’m a conflict avoider and I don’t feel that it’s totally my business, kwim? Sil didn’t do anything specifically to me besides the stain on the family name (I took dh’s name when we married almost 18 years ago).

        And I feel really badly for my niece & nephew who must be in such a difficult position, although I doubt the know about the cheating, and possibly don’t know about the gambling either.

        Thanks for letting me get that out. It’s been bursting inside me all week!

        • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

          Perhaps your niece and nephew (or your BIL on their behalf) should sign up for a credit reporting/identity theft service. I mention this because I read an article about parents who, for whatever reason, steal their children’s identity and then wreck their credit by taking out loans and not repaying them and other shenanigans. If your SIL has addiction issues, she is apt to try this again. The kids won’t find out until they are applying for college loans or their first credit card or the like and it is too late

      • Agreed! We all make judgements (most of which I hope we keep to ourselves). However, unethical, flat-out rude or bad behavior is deserving of, and perhaps calls for, judgement. For example, if a coworkers neglects their duties and lies about it, how can a department function without making the “judgement” that he or she is perhaps irresponsible?

    • How do you define judging? I have opinions and they’re pretty well formed. And I’ll express them without much pressing (though I also know when to hold my d*mn tongue). But I also know that other people’s life experiences are different than mine and lead to different places and conclusions (like about their feelings about monogamy or cheating, for example) and that freaking out about that isn’t going to get me anywhere.

      And I try to remember that you catch more bees with honey than vinegar … so I guess I judge to the extent that I disagree with people and sometimes with their choices. But I try to always keep their humanity in mind while I do so, which I know is harder to do over the anonymity of the internet or the street. But I think if you give out good vibes, you get those back.

      I don’t know…its just how I try to be. Both here and out there IRL.

      • Always a NYer :

        Well said. I try to do the same but am often haunted by the saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” It might seem silly to some but I feel conflicted when I find myself wanting to condone the behavior of my friends and family that I myself would not do. My inner monologue attacks and is all, “What does this make you? You’re just as bad. How could you think like this yet act like that?” Usually I need to step back from that person to evaluate the situation and see how they handle themselves. Only then am I able to interact with them again.

        It really is all about walking that fine line. But once you blur it, all h*ll breaks loose.

      • You are awesomes, TCFKAG.

    • I judge myself for being horribly judgey… in my own head…. well, I try to keep it in my head… and usually succeed… except when I don’t…

    • anon-oh-no :

      i dont get your comment on maternity leave. are you jsut ranting that you dont like people giving you unsolicited advice?

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Okay, but do you judge Hillary for staying with Bill after he cheated?

      • I absolutely judge her for that. But given the current lineup we have in charge she’s the most qualified.

        • Anon in ATX :

          I used to judge Hillary for staying until I realized she was in the ultimate no-win situation. She would be judged for staying/she would be judged for leaving. Same goes for anyone else, no matter your choice, you will be judged for it, so you should do what’s best for you and your family in whatever situation it is. Not to say that it is not hard to judge others, of course I do it myself.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            This. If you are going to get shat on in either case, do what is best for you and your family. I was much harsher toward her…then I got married and had kids – and while that doesn’t excuse his behavior, it does give me insight I didn’t have then in to how she reached that conclusion.

      • I did initially. I was way harsher on her than on Bill. Not fair, but it’s true.

        Now, not so much. Being quite a bit older and with some more experience under my belt, I don’t judge her because every relationship is different, and couples frequently choose to try to rebuild a relationship after cheating rather than ending it. Would I make the same decision? I hope I don’t have to find out. But I can respect that that is what some people choose to do.

    • Your two paragraphs are kind of different but your first 1- yeah I judge people who cheat. That’s a huge character flaw, and there has never been a “good” reason, or morally just reason to cheat. I don’t think it means they are like, the WORST PERSON EVER. but I def think of it as a mark against their character. One of my friends cheated on her bf, or comes very close to that line, and I don’t let her talk about it, and I let her know I don’t think that’s good at all. Would also never ever stay with a guy that cheated.

      I guess I judge inappropriate outfits? I def do an internal eyeroll when I see too much skin. But its not like I interact with those people so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    • It’s ok to be judgy, but just be careful with it. Not suggesting you personally will ever do any of the things you are upset with others over, but the saying that “you never know” is there for a reason. Also, I’ve found that if are hard on others, you tend to be hard on yourself, which isn’t good.

    • I try not to judge too much because you never really know someone else’s circumstances. (Classic example: annoying person who takes the elevator one floor, but who has arthritis or painful shoes, or some other good reason for taking the elevator one floor other than laziness.) Also, I just find judginess to be corrosive to me and my moods. The more I judge others, even silently, the more I judge myself and my loved ones. The more I give others the benefit of the doubt, the kinder I am to myself and those around me, and the happier I feel in general. What is that quote, “Be kind to everyone you meet for they may be waging a mighty battle”? Something like that?

      That said, I am far, far from perfect. This is definitely a continual work in progress.

      • “Also, I just find judginess to be corrosive to me and my moods. The more I judge others, even silently, the more I judge myself and my loved ones. The more I give others the benefit of the doubt, the kinder I am to myself and those around me, and the happier I feel in general.”
        THISTHISTHIS

        • Ditto! My attempts not to judge are not totally altruistic.

        • YES YES oh my goodness yes. It’s hard not to be judgmental sometimes, but I really try and keep it to myself. When I let myself start down the judging (and complaining, but that’s not quite the same thing) road, I end up feeling worse about myself.

          And honestly, it’s impossible to ever know all of the factors that lead into someone making a decision you want to judge them for, whether that’s staying with a cheating SO, cheating on an SO, or wearing peep-toes in court. So it’s really better to just–not go there.

      • Anita (formerly S) :

        I like your thinking and I need to employ it more myself. As I get older, I find myself being more understanding of what I perceive to be mistakes that people make in their lives. I’ve made more than enough of my own. Not judging is not the same thing as condoning, by the way. You can make the decision not to accept certain behavior towards you or the people in your life without making a blanket judgment about the person(s) whose particular actions you don’t accept.

      • I like this a lot Jenny

      • Yes, exactly what you said, DC Jenny, and you said it so well!! This is exactly why I end up judging myself *for* judging more than I judged the original person….

        AND, this is so timely, dudes, because I am judging myself super hard for just now LITERALLY : Slipping. On. A. Banana. Peel. A Literal banana peel. No Joke. and falling on my face in the street… and why did I slip on a banana peel in the middle of the sidewalk you ask??? Because I was reading corpor e t t e on my phone while i was walking instead of watching where i was going…. {{{shameface}}}}

      • just Karen :

        DC Jenny, I just cut and pasted your words into a text document so that I could hold on to them – incredibly well put, and something I need to remind myself of frequently.

      • I completely agree with this. I will say that I am much less judgmental now at 28 than I was at 18, and I expect that trend to continue. Some of it is because my experience and worldview continue to expand. Some of it is a conscious choice because, as DC Jenny said, judginess is corrosive to my own life and moods.

      • I think you’re spot on about how judginess affects a person. I used to give up “thinking mean thoughts” for Lent each year. It was a-MAZ-ing how much making conscious decisions to give others the benefit of the doubt changed me and my whole attitude. People I never thought I could like on Ash Wednesday were decent, interesting people by Good Friday. I was a happier, less stressed person. It’s a wonderful, freeing approach to life. And I thought my new attitude usually had staying power throughout a few more months before, I would slowly slip back to being judgy and then cleanse again next Lent.

    • When it comes to CHS, judge away. She certainly never hesitates to judge.

    • My instincts are usually set on judge-y, but I try to have an internal dialogue with myself where I remind myself to cut other people some slack, recognize that I don’t know everything about them or why they might do something, and back off.

      I’m operating under the theory that if I work to be mentally kinder to others, I’ll also be mentally kinder to myself about my own (many) flaws and screw-ups.

    • I distinguish between “judging” and “recongnizing that I would likely make a different decsion.” Judging is generally reserved for behavior of one person that directly impacts someone else, e.g. a cheating spouse. The later is what I do for “victim-less crimes.” Here I would include spouse that choose to stay. I’m also in the camp that it is not the job of single people to police other people’s relationships, so I tend to file that more in the later category than the former.

      I generally feel like it is better to go through life assuming the best in people — that they make the best decisions they can with the information and experience they have at the time — until proven otherwise. Excessively “judging” I think runs counter to that, so I try to avoid it.

    • I only judge judgmental people. Seriously, you have no idea what goes on in anyone’s heart and mind. Life’s complicated.

      This is not to say that you can’t have beliefs or opinions, or a certain set of rules for yourself, but to actually judge someone? I mean what are you even doing there – thinking they’re a bad person? A fool? A trollop? I am not trying to be snarky, but really I just don’t even have time to go beyond, “I don’t think I would ever do that/put up with that, I wonder how s/he can….”

      • This. And I wonder if the people who judge the hardest will ever slip up, and find themselves with no friends or allies.

        I feel like I can be disappointed in a person’s behavior or choices, but I can’t ever fully understand what they’re going through, so I try to be accepting. This is especially true for isolated incidents. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt – on big things and on little things. I do think it makes me a happier person. Bitterness and judgement is, frankly, ugly. (I guess you could say I judge those who judge). It also seems like a waste of time and emotional resources to judge people for things that have zero actual impact on me. (I am not talking about an amorphous , “well, they cheated so they *might* someday, possibly, maybe do something dishonest to me.”)

    • Anonymous :

      Women are different than men. Biologically. And hormonally. We have different parts. But, if you don’t think that you will want to bond with your baby after you have him or her, then God bless that kid.

      • Eyeroll – of course she’ll bond with her kid. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that she’ll be so in love with her baby that she’ll never want for the intellectual and professional interaction of working with adults. You can love and bond with your kids without being completely ga-ga over the baby stage.

        And how patronizing (matronizing?) is it to have someone else tell you how you are going to experience the parent-child bond. That’s just rude, even if it might ultimately be true.

    • I used to be judgier in my 20s. My 30s, not so much. Life happened and I now realize that while I do have an opinion, it’s usually only informed by what I know. I know there’s always another story and I’d rather spend time thinking about things that are in my control. Also, judgy behavior really brings me down and messes with my mojo. So yeah, I have an opinion on everything, but I try to realize that people have more to offer than just the bad and the only person I can control is me.

    • I used to be judgier in my 20s. My 30s, not so much. Life happened and I now realize that while I do have an opinion, it’s usually only informed by what I know. I know there’s always another story and I’d rather spend time thinking about things that are in my control. Also, judgy behavior really brings me down and messes with my mojo. So yeah, I have an opinion on everything, but I try to realize that people have more to offer than just the bad and the only person I can control is me.

      And generally I give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove that they just suck as a person. Then I JSFAMO and don’t waste time thinking about them.

    • anon for this :

      Agreed. Agreed. And agreed. I judge left and right. It’s not my fault I’m prettier, smarter, and have better taste and better common sense than most people I meet.

      Oh, yes I did.

    • You seem like a joyless person. Why the f— do you care if someone forgives their spouse? Or trusts their partner after they make a mistake.

      God, I really can’t stand people like the OP. Let she who is without sin cast the first stone.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      The judging is probably okay so long as you keep it to yourself and not hold it against a person in an unreasonable way. But people live their own lives and if they can sleep at night with the decisions they’ve made – more power to them.

  7. Building a new wardrobe :

    Hi Ladies.

    Now that the bar exam is finally over, it’s time for me to turn my attention to my BigLaw job starting in October. I have 2 great quality suits that I bought last year while I was an SA, and two average quality suits that I might replace later on. However, my firm is business casual and I need to buy a work wardrobe to match that. I am literally starting from scratch and need some help as to what pieces I should buy that are versatile but not boring. Nothing in my student wardrobe works and my last summer’s work wardrobe was borrowed!

    So far I’ve ordered nuetral pencil skirts in Navy, Camel, Black, and Charcoal. I also ordered two of the new skirt in blue and purple. And I’ve ordered two silk blouses in taupe and ivory, and two button down shirts from BB in white and blue. I’ve also ordered a black blazer and black cardigan.

    I know that I have a long ways to go still. I need to buy: pants, denim trousers, more blouses, cardigans, and some pumps. My question is what colors should I focus on to complete my wardrobe and how many of each item should I have before October? So far I’ve gathered some nuetrals but also two colorful skirts. I’m sure I can supplement it as time goes on, but I would like to not have to worry about it for the first few months.

    • LeChouette :

      I’d recommend (assuming you live in a cool climate, if not, ignore) buying lots of things that look good with black tights. In NYC anyway it gets too cold to go without tights pretty quickly–I had started in the fall with a bunch of navy outfits and wish I bought things that were more black-tight compatible.

    • Hey Building, I’ve been at my job a while now but back in the day I started out my conservative office job with almost the same building blocks. I’d be happy to make a few polyvore sets for you based on what you have and talk about this via e-mail. Let me know if you are interested.

    • Merabella :

      I would look into some print/bright colored tops (blouses/sweaters). That way you can do the print top/cardigan/skirt thing. I also suggest getting things that will go well with tights to help extend the time you can wear it into the winter (depending on climate).

      Also, don’t forget accessories – an assortment of belts and shoes go a long way in extending your wardrobe. Statement necklaces and other jewelry can help as well.

    • I’m horrible in that I love making lists of pretty much everything. So the way I handle my wardrobe is that, in spring and fall, I write out every item I own in categories like tops, bottoms, sweaters/jackets, dresses. Then I write out outfits like navy skirt, striped top, white jacket, nude heels, silver jewelry. If I can make ten outfits, I figure I have enough clothes for the season. I then go and try on each outfit (because sometimes they don’t work in real life) and re-work my list as needed. I usually idenify a few pieces I need to fill in the gaps (like a skirt and top that work but need a cardigan in certain color) and that becomes my shopping list. I fully accept that this is over the top OCD land, and I’m weird in that I really enjoy the process, but hey, whatever works.

      • My hyper-focus-ADHD brain loves your idea!
        An awesome addition would be to take a picture of the outfits and print it.
        Then you have few pictures of ready made outfits in your dresser for those days you hit the snooze too long and your brain just can’t function to put an outfit together!

        • I Basically do this with polyvore. I clipped all my workwear or something similar and spent several hours one weekend putting together outfits. It was incredibly helpful for finding holes in my wardrobe and now I just open my laptop to my polyvore to find something to wear (cross checking with my calendar that lists which outfit I’ve worn every day so I don’t repeat often)

          • MissJackson :

            You guys would love Go Chic Or Go Home. I don’t know exactly how to describe it — wardrobe catalog + Pinterest for clothing/accessories?

            Basically up upload pictures of everything you own (google image search does the trick for a lot of recently-purchased items), and then you can “create” outfits. You can also upload pictures of you wearing an outfit (haven’t done this myself), flag outfits of people that you “follow” as things you’d like to try, etc. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks and I kind of love it. I’ve been challenging myself to wear everything in my closet (ashamed to say I have too much stuff with the tags still on) — and it’s worked really well. Today I’m wearing something that I never would have thought of except that I spent 10 minutes playing with stuff online, and so many people have complimented me on my outfit.

            It’s gochicorgohome.com if this sounds appealing.

        • Building a new wardrobe :

          Both are excellent ideas. I’m going to start on the list today, and when I have purchased some completed outfits I’ll take some photos so I have some ready-to-go outfits. Thanks ladies!!

      • @TBK – I do the same thing – I also have an Excel list for every Trip I’ve ever taken, so I “pack” in Excel during my commute and then throw everything in a suitcase when I am home. To the tee outfit plans also help me minimize space. I once took a 3 week road trip and only needed a carry-on bag. I never repeated an outfit during those three weeks and only did laundry once.

    • Hey Kat –

      This would be a fantastic piece for a blog post – as we head into August, there are a LOT of us who are either (1) done with the bar and beginning a new job; (2) finishing a clerkship and beginning a job; or (3) coincidentally moving somewhere new – I’d love to have a blog post about the number and staples of the ‘business casual’ office.

      In the meantime, I’m happy to keep on reading this thread.

    • I have an informal rule for myself that if I am dressing business casual, 2 of the 3 pieces I am wearing must match. That way, even though it is casual, it looks polished and planned.

      This rule ends up with my wearing a LOT of sweater sets (sleeveless shell and cardigan), with either a skirt or pants.

      So I would say 3-5 sweater sets: definitely black, plus other colors that work for you. Mine are eggplant, deep red, slate blue, darkish watermelonish pink, deep teal.

      The shells also get worn under suits.

    • What colors do you like? Focus on those. Depending on your office, you can wear whatever suits your fancy. I have a lot of pink, for example, but that might not work for everyone

      Buy a few dresses. Easy those days when you don’t want do deal with putting together an outfit.

      • Cornellian :

        second the dresses. half a year in to biglaw, and it is so much easier to have one less thing to worry about: no need to worry about hems, or shoes, or the weather, or whether the fabrics work together.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Third re dresses. A good dress is a joy for a very, very long time. And I also agree re buying colors you like. I used to think I “should” buy pastels, etc. to have more variety in my wardrobe, but gave that up. Now I stick to what I love (jewel tones) and not only do I actually *want* to wear my clothes, but they all pretty much go together, so it makes outfit creation that much easier.

    • Even if your firm is business casual, presumably there are going to be plenty of occasions where you do need to wear a suit. If you’re just starting to build a professional wardrobe, I’d buy some more suits and then use the pieces individually as separates for business casual. For instance, you’re going to want a pairof black pants and a black blazer. Why not buy a black pant suit, and then use the pieces separately? That way you have the suit too for when you need it. Once you have some nice suits, then you mix in some more casual pieces to stretch your wardrobe out — some cardigans, a couple of interesting skirts, and lots of patterned tops (if you have an Ann Taylor Outlet near you, they have fabulous inexpensive tops that you can wear under a blazer or cardi, good inexpensive suits too).

      • sweetknee :

        I agree with GW, but want to caution you about using suits as separates. I did that too early in my career, and found that I wore the pants or skirt a lot more than the jacket to the suit. As a result, the “bottom” got dry cleaned more often than the jacket, and when I wore it as a “suit”, you could tell. It was probably because my suits were not incredibly high quality, but just something to watch out for.

        I usually only wear suits to Court and depositions, so a couple of days a week, I am pretty much business casual. I can’t say enough for cute printed tops and cardigans ! You can never have enough cardigans in my book.

        • that’s why in the old days, people would have a suit made with two trousers to one jacket…the trousers always wears out faster!

          • It also helps to get suits that have both a skirt and pants – that way, you’re doubling the use of the jacket.

        • I always take all of the suit to the cleaners at the same time to avoid one piece wearing out sooner.

          • That’s the real solution to this problem. Well, having 2 pairs of pants and getting all 3 cleaned at once is probably the best, but barring that..

    • I would build a wardrobe of neutrals and expand around it based on your preferred colors.
      When I first started in corporate life, my wardrobe was mainly black and gray.
      Eventually I realized I didn’t quite like this palette. So don’t feel obliged to go for black just because it is thought to be professional or easy to wear.
      For me, the color that makes me most comfortable is navy. I have a ton of navy pieces and then whenever I make new additions, they have to go well with the navy: beige, yellows, whites, etc.
      This way you have several possible combinations without breaking the bank.
      I see you didn’t expand on your shoes purchases so I4d say you need 2 pumps in black and brown, a pair of flat shoes, Boots and for the fun of it one pair of shoes that adds a pop of color (Red, yellow etc.)

    • I actually think you should stop shopping. You’ve got a lot to work with, so at this point I’d use what you have and observe around the office for a while, then take direction on what you want to add from what you think works for your office. Even if you were there for a summer, you could still benefit from some watching time as the seasons change and you get more comfortable in your specific practice group.

    • Hi–some great advice on here so far re (i) thinking about tights (ii) developing a palette and (iii) factoring in that accessories can extend your wardrobe. There was a just a post on this, so I’ll add one more huge thing–you have no idea yet whether your office will be freezing or hot. So don’t buy a lot of anything that is “one layer” (e.g. blouses) until you know whether you will always be bundled. I have spent money in advance of jobs and found that due to temp issues, I, for instance, always wear skirts or always wear pants or always wear a sweater over everything.

      Also, I would not try to build a whole wardrobe in one season–pants and skirt styles changed, colors go in and out…you might look “really 2012″ if you buy everything now. I am much more of the “buy some basics that can all be swapped in with one another” and then build with a few quality pieces per season. If you have too many prints or too many trendy things (ruffles, waterfall sweaters, etc.), then you will see, in a few years, that all of that stuff will have to go at once too!

      Last, we talk about this a lot on corporette…unless you’ve interned in the same office, a lot of what you think is cute on the rack might not work in your office. You might get “comments.” “Oh, what high heels.” “Oh what a lovely dress” (snark, snark). So don’t do all of your shopping now. Get enough to get you few a week or two and then add as you go!

    • I agree with R in Boston – hold off shopping until you have a chance to take in your new environment and peers. The one thing I think you’re missing are white/ ivory knits to go under your jackets and cardi’s – no need for anything too expensive since you’ll replace often as they lose shape and discolour, just find something that fits nicely and is substantial enough so you have the option of taking off your top layer, and buy in multiples. These pieces are great because they keep your wardrobe going when you don’t have time to handwash and/ or iron silk or cotton shirts.

      • I agree with R in Boston, MJ and ss — with the exception that I think you should buy a great pair of black pants (and white camis or tees as ss said) and THEN stop. Check out Kat’s “The Hunt” post a week or so ago for recommendations. I love the Gap Perfect Trouser because they come in Long and X-Long lengths; many others love the Gap Modern Boot, the Express Editor pant or the Halogen Taylor pant. None are that expensive, and at least for those of us who prefer pants to skirts (or like them equally), the black trouser is the workhorse of a business casual wardrobe.

    • D Train South :

      Personally, I recommend adding some burgundy, including cordovan shoes if you can find a pair you like. It is a sharp, conservative color that goes with all of the colors you already have in your wardrobe, plus some other brighter colors you might add as you build — like teal and yellow. It is not for every skintone, though, so YMMV.
      I also agree that a couple of dresses are a great addition. One-piece dressing is a huge relief on those days when you were out too late the night before, wake up late, or are just disorganized for some reason.
      Finally, I strongly suggest investing in appropriate outerwear, including a great raincoat/trenchcoat, a short coat/jacket, and a long coat with a great scarf and gloves. I find myself interacting with higher-ups on my way in and out of the office more often than during the day, which means I’m usually wearing outerwear of some kind if it isn’t summer. These can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. They just need to be clean, stylish or conservative or both, and well-fitting over your clothes.

  8. references :

    OK …so I sent a list of references to a potential employer yesterday which included one person, A, who would not be my first choice from that organization simply because I didn’t work as closely with her as I did with others. Since sending the list of references, I have heard back from Person B (my first choice reference from that organization) so I know it’s ok to submit his name. Should I email the potential employer and suggest they talk to B instead of A? Or will this look weird?

    • SpaceMountain :

      Yes. “In updating the information for my references, I now have contact information for Person B, who is more familiar with my work at Organization X than Person A, the reference I previously sent you. If you wish to contact Person B, please reach him at xxxx, or e-mail to xxx.”

      • references :

        Thanks! I just feel a little silly about it since I rushed to get them the list as fast as possible; could have just waited until morning and then I would have had the correct info in place. But I promised at the interview that I would do it that night, so I did. Oh well!

  9. phillygirlruns :

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. just found out that my favorite olympian – weightlifter donny shankle – is at my gym RIGHT THIS SECOND. he just took a picture with two of my coaches and another member. i’m all starstruck and here i am, stuck at my desk, only 7ish blocks away. sigh.

    • I get ya, honey. I went out to lunch one day in the FQ and there, sitting just a few tables away from me, was Jessica Harris, the food historian who used to regularly appear on Cooking Live. I always thought she was so cool and there she was, just having lunch! I went back to my table and my girlfriend and I were totally goofy wanting to stop and talk to her. Of course, only a few people around would even know who she was, but we were starstruck.

  10. Thought about the hive and the subject of changing one’s name, or not, when getting married, when I was paging through last Sunday’s NY Times and came upon this wedding announcement. (Yes, I look at them. I like the how-they-met stories, and twice I saw someone I knew, including — seriously — a kid I used to babysit. And forgive me if someone mentioned this earlier this week, I was working long days and had to give up this site for the duration.) It announced the marriage of Lily Thom to James Lilly and stated “Ms. Thom is keeping her name.” Anyone think she seriously considered taking his?

    • You never know. Lauren Bush (some model/celebutante/whatever) married one of Ralph Lauren’s sons and she was talking about how she thought it was really romantic to take the husband’s name.

      Separately (not about the same ‘firstname lastname’ problem), but on name changes– when Heidi Klum decided several years into the marriage to take Seal’s surname, I thought they were doomed. It reeked of casting about desperately for sentimental symbols to try to bolster a weakening marriage. Yes, I read too many tabloids.

      • So…her name is now Lauren Lauren?

        • Senior Attorney :

          Are you kidding me? If I had the chance to make my name something like Lily Lilly or Lauren Lauren, I would totally jump at it!

          Especially the first one. Love. Seriously. Can you imagine the hours of fun, spelling it for people? “One L in the first name, two Ls in the last name.” Or actually, “A total of two Ls in the first name, total of three Ls in the last name.” Which would almost certainly, on occasion, result in “Lilly Lillly.”

          *hugely entertained*

        • remember the “Lauren” is pronounced differently than the “Lauren”!

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Nah, both are pronounced like a woman’s name. Though it’s common to hear “La-REN,” I’ve heard that’s incorrect.

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Oh, fondue. Just read further down. Sorry for the duplicate.

      • Wait – then Lauren Lauren?

        • Just saw her in a magazine. She goes by Lauren Bush Lauren. Really. As if being George W’s niece wasn’t difficult enough.

      • Jacqueline :

        It’s Lauren Bush Lauren, I believe.

      • Plus the emphasis on the last lauren is LauREN. But…yeah. That’s a lot of Laurens in one name.

        I did go to school with someone named Doctor Doctor though (it was not that abnormal for his culture). I thought his parents were trying to tell him something.

        • It’s only LauREN if you are trying to be (not very) funny, like Tar-jzhay for Target.
          It is absolutely not LauREN. Don’t be that person!

          • REALLY? That’s not how you say it?

            #mindblown. I really thought that was how you say it. Luckily I don’t buy much of his clothes or go into his store or have reason to say his name very frequently.

            (Red-faced)

          • Anonymous :

            The *only* reason I know this is from Friends – I figured if Ralph Lauren was giving them enough money to be Rachel’s place of employment, she would pronounce it correctly. Learning through re-runs, people.

          • I was going to say I’ve never heard that and I knew someone who worked at ralph lauren. They just said it like you’d say lauren

          • I always thought that was the correct way too, until Carson from Queer Eye said only “eeedjits” pronounce it that way. And I hung my head in shame. ;)

          • “Learning through re-runs, people.” <– {LIKE}

        • She could have been Lauren Bush Lipschitz.

          • I’m so glad you said this, because I kept hearing it on TV and radio (when everyone was mad bc R Lauren had the olympic opening ceremony outfits manufactured in China) and they all said “lauREN” and in my head I was screaming “I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S JUST SAID NORMALLY.” (I really was screaming in my head. I do that a lot).
            *relieved to know I really am always right* haha

      • Heidi and Seal :

        @ Susan:

        So did you think their annual re-weddings were schmaltzy? I thought it was so sweet, and now I feel snookered.

        • The first few times, I thought: goofy and fun and sweet.

          And then it got old. Although I’ll always love Heidi’s Halloween bash. It’s still awesome.

          Btw, my DH didn’t know who most celebs were and what was going on in their lives early on in our relationship. Now that we both share grocery-run duty, he knows who everybody is and he was the one who told me about the Heidi/Seal divorce. I *heart* my DH.

      • Wait, Seal has a surname?

    • She would but she obviously doesn’t love him. Poor guy.

    • I knew a woman named Gail who married a man whose last name was Gayle. She, being a baby boomer in a conservative/religious state, took his name, and is named Gail Gayle.

    • I grew up with someone whose mom’s name was Joan Jones. So some people do change it!

    • Haha, I read the same thing and thought the same thought! In my mind, he proposed and she said, “okay, but I am never going to take your last name, is that cool?”

      Also, as a confession, I often get slightly sad when someone (almost always a woman) gives up a really awesome sounding name for a crappy sounding one.

      Now that gay marriage is becoming more mainstream, I also really enjoying reading those announcements to see how same sex couples handle the situation. I’ve noticed a lovely trend of both people taking a hyphenated name. There was even a non-same sex couple that did this in last Sundays’ section. I was impressed.

      • ha, I’m the opposite. I always thought I wanted to keep my name, but then it turned out that my now-husband’s name was just way cooler than mine, and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

        • I used to joke with one of my best guy friends that we should get married for just a few days so that I could take his supremely awesome sounding last name (it would have sounded even awesomer with my first name). I totally get it.

        • Honey Pillows :

          A friend of mine married a guy whose last name is Steele. And she kept her name!!

      • my sister and her husband have hyphenated both of their names, and they live in suburban Virginia, and he is former Marine… only one example of how awesome he is…

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve known a couple of people with GIVEN names like that, including one person who’s parents gave him the exact same name for first, middle, and last. I won’t say the real name for obvious reasons, but it’s similar to Brian Brian Brian.

      • This kills me. My 5th grade teacher’s last name was Larsen, so she named her kid Lars. Sheesh.

        • Anon for this :

          I went to middle school with a kid like that. His last name was Arsenian. You can guess the first. It was not good.

        • I think these are understandable. Larsen means son of Lars, so perhaps Lars was a family name. Similarly, the Armenian -ian or -yan ending means son of.

          • Sure. But these particular people were about 8 generations removed from Scandinavia, so it’s not really tradition in their family, just weird.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, that is pretty standard in my experience. There are seriously about 8 scandinavian male names, and you add sen/son for “son of”…. so you get Lars Larson, Peter Peterson, Hans Hanson, etc.

      • That is so bizarre. But I know of someone like bvt mentioned, an arbitrator named Nels Nelson.
        If you’re Lauren Bush, you can’t plan in advance who you’ll marry — well, maybe she can, but not most of us — but the parents who give kids these kinds of names to begin with should be flogged.

      • I work with someone who has a name like this. He goes by his initials (so, e.g., instead of Robert J. Roberts, he goes by RJ Roberts) but our emails are all under our legal names so it always comes up there. Poor guy, but at least he’s got a sense of humor about it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I went to school with a Louis Louie. He very much preferred that you pronounce his first name like “Lewis.”

    • The guy who won American Idol was Phillip Phillips. Why’d his parents do that to him?

    • Honey Pillows :

      Any uber nerds seen the IT Crowd episode featuring Peter File? (Say it with a British accent.)

      I could see a name like that prompting a breakup. Or at least, stopping the relationship from progressing past the exchange of last names.

    • My step-daughter, with a perfectly fine Irish birth last name, took her husband’s name. I begged her not to. Her new name is “X” Blight. As in a blight upon the landscape, etc. She’s the artistic type, not a word-person. I showed her the dictionary definition, but, no matter, love prevailed.

      Yep, and her husband has a first name that, when shortened, just adds to the comedy.

      So, carry on Blight Family. And, oh, his side of the family are major Aryan Nation people, and my son by my first husband, is mixed-race. I just have no words for this situation.

      • This is when you want to make sure to introduce her as your step-daughter, with emphasis on STEP. “I did not make her, I did not raise her, I’m merely working on improving her father” :-).
        Mama mia. Maybe it’s also good she’s no longer named like your husband.

  11. Can I just squee at how much I’m looking forward to the Olympic Opening ceremony in (roughly) an hour and half?

    Nobody at work is getting into the Olympics at all, and I’ve actually marked all the events I would like to see in my calendar, so I feel a bit geeky about it.

  12. Jenna Rink :

    Is there a version of “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” for jobs? I’ve been waffling back and forth about whether to stay in my current position or move on. I really love my work, but I have one boss who is a disorganized mess and another who takes out the stress of her personal life on me. In general, my organization is pretty dysfunctional. On the plus side, I work in higher education admin and the group of students I work with is amazing. Perhaps because of the problems within my organization, they are incredibly appreciative of the work that I do. I still have a lot of ideas about how to improve my department, but most of them require the cooperation of other people (see “dysfunctional organization”).

    I’ve been casually job searching for the last six months and am feeling exhausted and burned out with it. Every time I get close to a new job, I start realizing how sad I am at the idea of leaving my students. Also, my boss and her husband seem to have worked out some issues, so right now she’s being far less horrid to me than usual. It feels like there are an equal number of points in both the pro and the con columns, and I can’t decide what to do!

    • Good question.

    • Not the only one :

      “I have one boss who is a disorganized mess and another who takes out the stress of her personal life on me.”

      I also work in academe, and have both of these bosses. But in my case, it is the same person.

    • I’ve been struggling with this lately (well, my version of it). It took me taking a trip to Auschwitz this spring, and also a family member to really understand that I don’t have it so bad. Also, when I interview other places or hear stories and realize that every workplace is dysfunctional in its own special way, I feel a bit better. *Apologies for bad Tolstay paraphrase!

    • I don’t have anything insightful to say except to pass along one piece of amazing advice that was once given to me by someone very wise: “No job is better than your boss.” It’s always held true in my own life.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m right there with you, Jenna. I feel like if you have such affection for the students you work with now, you’ll feel the same about students at a new job. I find that the problems that bug you never seem to change, you just get used to them after a while. But if you’re even casually looking, maybe it’s a signal to yourself to go before you really, really can’t stand it anymore. You know yourself best though – you have to decide whether its fear holding you back or true affection for your job as it is. I’ve read that the most important factor in loving or hating your job is your boss.

      Good luck!

    • First, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Second, I’m in higher ed as well and I have taken a long-term optimistic approach to my work. Like, in a year or maybe two, things are going to be great (and they already are in some areas), but we might have to walk through fire to get there. I’m senior, so I have a lot of influence on how things happen, but I’ve been in your situation and I just tried to do a great job and move forward and my boss eventually left and I got her job. That said, if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, think about the fact that students change every year. But what makes these students special? Is it something about the type of student your university attracts? Something about the mission of the school? If that kind of thing is important, you’ll want to look carefully at new jobs to make sure you’re not losing that in a job change.

      Best of luck!

  13. MiddleEastMunchkin :

    Hi Ladies,

    As part of my current ‘life overhaul plan’, which includes everything from frequent exercise to setting right my culinary ineptitude, I am looking to read more. Could anyone offer any suggestions in relation to books to look at? Topics I enjoy include: contemporary politics (Middle East, South Asia, US); world history and armchair economics. I would also appreciate fiction recommendations. I’m not really into chick lit though, so nothing of that sort, please.

    Thank you!

    • Francie Nolan :

      If you have not read it The Quants is a good look at some aspects of the fincial crisis. A bit biassed in my estimation, but still a good read.

    • Just read Madeline Albright’s “Prague Winter” and loved it.

      Read Kai Bird’s “Crossing Mandelbaum Gate” a couple years ago and liked it a lot but thought it skewed too much pro-Arab.

      Loved Jung Chang’s “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China.”

      • My husband is currently reading to me (translating from the Hebrew into English) Yair Lapid’s “Memories After My Death.” It is available in English translation. It is phenomenally interesting and well written. The story of his father, Tony Lapid, who survived the Holocaust in Belgrade as a child, moved to Israel after the war, and became first a journalist and then a member of the Knesset. Written by his son Yair pretending to be the father, Tony, writing his memoirs after his death. Tony Lapid’s storing is captivating, but it is told against the back drop of a whole lot of European and Middle East history, politics and economics.

    • I like most anything by Michael Lewis (Moneyball is surprisingly engaging and The Big Short is downright infuriating.)

      • Anonymous :

        Second the Moneyball rec. I don’t care about sports, but it was still fascinating.

        I imagine you’ve already read Freakonomics, but I’m behind the times and just caught up. It was a fun, quick read.

    • I recently read Republic Lost by Lawrence Lessig and highly recommend it. Lessig has his biases just like everyone else, but I found him to be very self-aware and it was one of the more clear-eyed views of the American political system that I’ve read in a long time. No matter what your politics are, I think he raises several very interesting issues.

    • Rory Stewart’s _The Places In Between_. This dude is hardcore– he crosses Afghanistan *on foot* and lives to tell about it.

      He’s also written _Can Intervention Work?_, which is an interesting perspective on Western (military and other) intervention in the Middle East.

    • Economics: I really liked both of Stephen Landburg’s books, The Armchair Economist and More Sex is Safer Sex. Very useful and fun.

      Politics: The Post-American World, Release 2.0, by Fareed Zakaria — very engaging and relevant.

      History: I am not that into reading history books for fun, but I liked the Cleopatra biography quite a bit.

      Fiction: Now reading the Night Circus and very much enjoying it. I stayed up all night last week finishing Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Great book.

    • If you like politics and are open to fiction, I highly recommend anything by Christopher Buckley. He’s one of my absolute favorite authors. If you’re familiar with the movie “Thank You for Smoking”, it was based on one of his novels. He writes political satire and is ABSOLUTELY F&%*$ING HILARIOUS. One of my favorite things about him is that (despite what I understand to be his political leanings), he makes fun of everybody/all political leanings.
      My favorites are Supreme Courtship and No Way to Treat a First Lady.

    • Merabella :

      I love Disappearing Spoon. It is about the history of the periodic table, which sounds boring, but is really quite the opposite. It goes into all the drama behind the whole thing. Honestly, I’ve suggested it to several people and they always end up suggesting it to their friends.

    • Honey Pillows :

      50 Shades of Grey. You know you want to!

      *ducks*

      (for the record, I haven’t)

    • Fiction with some history thrown in (neither of which is new):

      Galileo’s Daughter

      People of the Book

      Nonfiction about contemporary politics (which I haven’t read but which is getting great reviews): Rachel Maddow’s new book. Can’t think of the name.

      And for both politics and economics, maybe Stiglitz, The Cost of Inequality (or something like that).

      • People of the Book is really good. I like most of the stuff Geradline Brooks writes, but the one about the plague is probably my favorite. It might be called Year of Wonders?

        • Yes, Year of Wonders. Gah, that book was so good.

          • She also wrote a book called March, which is the story of the father from Little Women, like what he was doing during the book. It was very good. I do have to say, though, that both March and Year of Wonders included some rather graphic gory scenes. Not gratuitous, but kind of creepy.

            Geraldine Brooks also wrote a book about women and Islam, Nine Parts of Desire. Her husband, Tony Horowitz, wrote a book called Baghdad Without a Map, about his travels in the Middle East in the 1980s (so it’s rather outdated, but still good), and also wrote Confederates in the Attic, which was about Southern attitudes toward the Civil War and very eye-opening to this Yankee.

            I have The Disappearing Spoon on my bookcase, not sure why I haven’t read it yet. I think the same guy wrote a book about genetics, he’s writing about it on Slate. It looks like it could be pretty good.

    • a have a couple recs about afghanistan, just cuz that’s an issue I read a lot about.

      A Woman Among Warlords, by Malalai Joya, the youngest person elected to the Afghan Parliament

      And my mother just read this one that I gave her and said it was an engaging and enlightening read: Forbidden Lesson in a Kabul Guesthouse by Suraya Sadeed, about her travels providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan during the 90s and 00s.

      The other things I’ve read lately were bor-ing and i wouldn’t wish them on anyone ;o)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        What were those boring things which I should not read?

        • Haha! Well, besides appropriations bills and GAO/CRS reports (ugh), nothing that’s a bestseller or anything, just books on nuclear weapons science/policy that i would not be reading if i didn’t have to. Also, ‘Backlash’ (about the rise of the teaparty) was kind of interesting, but not a great read. I wish i had the time to read stuff i actually *want* to read.

          Altho, some more i actually would recommend: Foreign Policy’s e-books are pretty good. I really liked their book on the Arab Spring, ‘Revolution in the Arab World’, it was a quick read, and they have been coming out with new ones.

          And fiction: it’s a couple years old, but Laila Lalami’s ‘Secret Son’ is a novel set in Morocco, but it’s a lot about contemporary politics, too.
          And if you haven’t read Marjane Satrapi’s books/graphic novels (Persepolis, Persepolis 2) you really should.

    • More suggestions :
      (1) the Economist website – much of the content is free and you can get a subscription if you find you like it
      (2) not quite Middle East but ‘Ottoman Centuries’ by Lord Kinross about Turkey from the 13th to 20th century is really superb history plus superb writing
      (3) for South Asia, ‘Maximum City’ by Suketu Mehta about Bombay is a great read about a mind-boggling complex and exotic city
      (4) Niall Ferguson is a highly readable pundit with serious credentials as a historian – try ‘Empire’ which is a well-argued thought-provoking case for the benefits of the British Empire in its day
      (5) for US, I find I keep going back to de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’ – still deeply inspiring about the ideals of the USA’s founding as a state and very thought-provoking about where the experiment fails and succeeds today. But this is a very very dense read, albeit in language of great elegance and clarity – suggest taking it in small bites.
      (5) for fiction and still in Bombay, ‘Sacred Games’ by Vikram Chandra is a lot of fun – it’s primarily a thriller about a terrorist bomb plot but is dense with characters and sub-plots. ‘Love and longing in Bombay’ by the same writer is short stories, also good, easier to read in digestible bites.

      Have fun and post again if you enjoyed – would love to hear if you had liked something.

      • Middle East Munchkin :

        I wrote my first ever politics essay at university on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and read it cover to cover. I loved it :D. I might consider rereading it actually as it’s been a few years since I first came across it. Maybe it would be a good companion to some books on modern day America.

        The Economist is great too and about the only vaguely intellectual thing I read regularly.

        I think I read some Ferguson when I was studying Indian history (again at university) and I have always found books that present counter cases to accepted understandings on a topic to be quite interesting so I think I would be super interested to give that a go.

        Thank you!!

    • It’s European but anything by Timothy Garton Ash is amazing. He’s a British journalist who spent time in Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

    • “The Battle for God” – It looks at the history of Islam, Chritianity, and Judiam and the rise of fundamentalism in each over the past centuries.

    • Seattleite :

      I hope you’re still checking this thread!

      PLEASE read Dorothy Dunnett. She has some light mysteries and I’m not talking about those. Specifically, I am recommending “The Lymond Chronicles” and “The House of Niccolo.” (Each is a 6 or 7 volume series.) They are historical fiction, but not light, romanticized historical fiction. The most well-researched, demanding historical fiction I’ve ever read. She covers internal politics, treaties, trade routes, banking, war theory, religion, and much more. The Niccolo series is especially fascinating for its look at mercenaries, the Italian city-states and banking families, and opening up at trade routes around the world.

    • I really liked “Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick. She follows several North Koreans who chose to defect and talks about their lives before and after leaving. It’s from 2009, so the politics are starting to get dated, but the stories are still great.

      • “Nothing to Envy” was so awesome. It blew my mind.

        I’m way late with the suggestions, but if you’re still reading I have recently enjoyed
        -Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline (thought-provoking)
        -The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (semi-fluffy journalist book about psychopaths)
        -Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl (terrifying and fascinating; rather long and dense)
        -Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. – How the Working Poor Became Big Business by Gary Rivlin (sort of bogs down in the second half but utterly fascinating)

        My Goodreads Read shelf is here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1253638?shelf=read. Would love to connect with ‘rettes on Goodreads, especially non-fiction readers.

  14. Diana Barry :

    ARGH, ladies:

    Vogue this month has a caption with one of their fashion photos reading, “Not sure if that dark, handsome district attorney invited you to a power lunch to discuss your client’s case – or because he has a crush? The tidy, gamine effect of this appealingly plain, blush-colored frame bag walks that delicate line.”

    I find this horrendous. Is it just me?

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m most appalled at the use of the phrase “power lunch.”

      but yes. the sentiment is pretty awful in general.

    • I saw that too. Vom.

    • OC Lawyer :

      Please, oh please, send that page to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the SF Glass Ceiling Initiative. Please!

    • I hope he has a crush, because then I can use my feminine wiles to kick his a$$ in court. Perhaps this is what Vogue was suggesting?

      Also, if he notices your “blush-colored frame bag” and you are a lady, I don’t think he has a crush on you. Just sayin’.

    • eeewwww.

      • Also, everyone in the WORLD needs to call a lawyer before the write sh*t like this. On Drop Dead Diva, the main character gets in big ethical trouble (and all the other lawyers act all snooty) when she reports that her client and a third party conspired and USED HER SERVICES to commit criminal fraud AND fraud on the court. And this article suggests that you should try to date opposing counsel on your client’s case, like that’s A-OKAY.

        Is there a job opening for ethics counsel to hollywood/magazines/stupid things everywhere. Because these sort of things are what gives lawyers bad reps. Grrrr.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Clearly the choice of appropriate purse is the most important consideration here because straight men always notice and appreciate accessories. Obviously Vogue didn’t do its homework here: watching Legally Blonde on cable (don’t you tap those last-season Prada shoes at me!)

    • I find it entertaining, in the way that some movies are just so bad, they’re entertaining (to laugh at.)

      Would love to have the MST3K “team” reading all the Vogue articles and captions together. :-)

  15. S in Chicago :

    I recently had a keratin smoothing treatment (Coppola). Although I love that I don’t have to worry about summer frizz, it has done a real number on my scalp.

    Are there any dandruff shampoos that are sulfate free that you can recommend? Much harder to find than I expected.

    • Neutrogena T-gel is my go to for any scalp issues.

      • S in Chicago :

        Thanks. I used to really like that, too, but second ingredient is a sulfate. I’m just shocked there aren’t more options given how many places are performing Brazilian blowouts these days.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I use JASON Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo. It says there is no lauryl/laureth sulfates. Bottle says “say goodbye to dry, flaky, itchy scalp.” I don’t know if it is totally fulfite free. I see “sodium sulfate” and “sodium lauryl sulfoacetate” on there.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m here late, but you could add tea tree oil to any sulfate-free shampoo.

  16. Have spent the day banging my head against the wall trying to get a room in the same town as Big Boss whom I’m supposed to accompany on a business trip next week – the hotel is completely booked, both my groups’ admins are out of the office – so I am calling almost on the hour looking for a cancellation. We’ve been trying to get this meeting to happen for ages and am so concerned that if something goes off the rails this will look really bad.

    Was just told by my acting director that she finds me super effective, but its hard to feel that way when being foiled by a small town sporting event taking every hotel room in the vicinity.

    • Might be worth trying Vacation Rentals By Owner — sometimes you can get a last-minute deal on a rental house or condo, and it’s not necessarily the first place folks will look who just want to be in town for a sporting event.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Is there only one hotel you can consider? Have you begged your case to the front desk manager? They have much more flexibility than the folks on the reservation number, if this is a major chain hotel.

      • There are a number of motels in town, all of which have been booked for months in anticipation of this event. We didn’t realize this when my big boss finally said he would go, but that next week is the only time he can go. He got a room via a cancellation so I’m just refreshing their website again and again, having called the front desk 5 times today already. Yay weekend project!

  17. Shopping help TJ!

    You all have talked before about lace dresses, so hopefully the wonderful c o r p o r e t t e s can help. I’d like lace dress, under $200, either a pencil skirt or full skirt style, knee length (I’m 5″4). Bonus points for sleeves.

  18. I’m in a new job and I’m happy with my position so far. Good, challenging work that I enjoy doing. It is a good step up. But I’m having trouble with the office culture / politics. I am confident in my quality of work. I’m also an introvert.

    I’ve been observing the successful people at work and they are mostly outgoing, and so INTENSE about ALL THE THINGS. I havent worked at a place like this before, where appearances matter so much. Its mostly males here, but Ive been observing the other female analysts and they all take the same approach. For example, at meetings they go full on bit*h face mode – apparently this conveys they are smarter? Capable? I don’t even know. Ive been trying to be more outgoing and speak up more, and be more stone faced in meetings, but it’s exhausting. On top of that I have to dress up interview style everyday, full hair, make up, nails, etc or I stick out a ton which has also been an adjustment. Do I just have to keep trying? Help!

    • Francie Nolan :

      Hi Friday,

      I can relate I was in the same boat when I took my first position at an Investment Bank. I too was very intimidated by all the type of people you describe at first (I still am at times) my best advice is this, you got the job, you earned your place at the table. It will take a little time to adjust to the culture, but if they did not think you would fit they would not hire you. And as far as full on interview attire, I have a few tricks – I am really bad about mani’s so I keep my nails short and buffed, still conservative and profession (YMMV) I bought a few suits, it makes dressing easy and I me them up as much as I can. My final secret is that underneath their cool exteriors they still put on their hose one leg and hop around at a time :)

    • I hope you get some good advice, but can I just say I really, really hate the term bit*chface? Particularly in a context like this— at a meeting, when appearing, and being, serious is completely appropriate. I mean maybe if the stone-face appeared at a toddler birthday party or a kitten-viewing, it would be remarkable, but at a meeting?!

      • Honey Pillows :

        I hear you, but “frowny-face that has a serious and foreboding aspect due to a naturally austere set of facial features which may or may not actually reflect the wearer’s actual emotions” is a bit of a mouthful.

        Suggestions for other terms?

        • I used to work in IB and I called that “Gameface.”

          Like when hockey players set their jaws and have picked out who they’re going to beat up in the course of the game.

          It’s sad that there’s so much insecurity that these people take themselves way too seriously.

          • Yes – this is what I’m talking about! I don’t feel the need to do this at all. I don’t see how it adds to my performance, but it seems to be working for them so now I don’t know if I should be doing this or not.

          • Honey Pillows :

            As I understand it, (that word)face describes a very particular kind of face. Specifically, when you look angry/miserable when your face is actually completely neutral. Women who have naturally pouty mouths and stress lines in their forehead, for example. http://blog.krisatomic.com/?p=1617

            But of course, I may be misinformed.

          • Yes – I take that term to mean that you’re one of those women whom total strangers constantly tell to smile. Which makes me scowl even more.

      • Point well taken. I’ve seen the term used before here, but I’m sorry if it offended anyone. Being serious is completely appropriate, what I’m describing goes a little beyond that.

    • I hear you. And I also worked in IB (first job outta college–holla!) and found how dressy and serious everyone was to be offputting. I think you need to distinguish between being crazy intense and being professional. You do not need to put “gameface” on every time you are in a meeting. However, you are probably noting that the culture as presented is not “you.” Key in to that instinct and realize that you can be an authentic leader/authentic team member, without wholly becoming like them. Sometimes you will need to “act like them” to fit in. But other times, once you become more confident in your seat at the table/abilities/knowledge, whatever, you can be more “youreself”, and be just as, if not more, powerful than the freaky-intense people. In fact, if you can project a cool demeanor and still know your stuff, I think you will come off as a lot more mature and authentic than the other folks who act all fakey-control-freaky–aggressive.

      All of this is really nuanced–I am not saying to stick your nose in the air or pooh-pooh them. It’s more of a realization that “Hey, I don’t have to be just like them!” sort of thing. It may be that you can get away with not being so intense, as long as you are professional, businesslike and capable. Women, in particular, can be really effective leaders, or even “calming influences” in situations that are really alpha and macho and intense. You can “diffuse” the room by not talking extra loud, like some of the intense guys. You can actually command authority for not acting like the rest of the lemmings. I hope this is heartening. I have seen it work!

      In my case, what I took from IB was (i) I am NOT like them and I DO NOT want to be like them in 5 years. So…FWIW, this may be a gut thing that something’s telling you that folks are a _leeeeetle too serious_ or it might be that you’re just not used to what “professional” or “gameface” means, at least at this organization. I can’t tell you which it is from afar.

    • The simple answer is yes, keep trying. I’ve seen many many generations of incoming analysts and year 1 is tough on everyone. There is a certain amount of rewiring which covers everything from the substantive to the trivial (your boss’s preferred excel format – 1 decimal place or 2?) to the behavioural (extreme attention to detail, never missing a deadline and yes, always looking the part). This is also the time in which you and your firm figure out whether or not banking is right for you.

      If it is, the best advice I’d have for a sustained career is to figure out as early as possible how to perform the job’s functions in a way that is consistent with your personality and values. For example, I don’t play golf, am not white, not male and glad-handling clients doesn’t come naturally to me. But I do come from a culture which prizes personal connections, hospitality and regard for elders. These things do come naturally to me and so they’ve become part of my natural style for initiating and then maintaining client relationships over many years and many banking jobs.

      Likewise pounding on tables and being a b***h don’t come naturally to me either, so I don’t do these things. However, negotiating in private and being strategic about how to address competing priorities do come naturally, and these are how I get things done instead.

      And in the event that banking isn’t right for you – and it is important that you are honest with yourself after your analyst programme is done – cheer up ! It will still have provided you with something which looks credible on your resume and much of your ‘rewiring’ will make for excellent life-time habits for any corporate job – I’ve seen that a lot too.

    • Thank you so much to everyone who chimed in and gave advice. It was a really good reminder for me that it’s ok to still be figuring out whether IB is a good fit for me or not. I’m going to focus on the tips everyone gave and on trying to perform while still being myself.

  19. Random question that i don’t know where else to ask.

    In December our nanny will switch from taking care of one 3 year old to one 4 year old and a newborn. By what percentage would you increase her pay, assuming we are paying her appopriately at this point. The four year old will be in preschool 2 days a week (830 to 1430) but she will be driving him back and forth. Any ideas? If you have a resource that would be great too.

    Thanks!

    • Praxidike :

      I don’t think there’s an excellent way to answer this without knowing what she’s making and whether she’s live in or live out. For example, if you’re paying her $30k/year before taxes, and someone says 10% – well, now she’ll make $33k. Fine. If you’re paying her $30k/year and someone says 50% (after all, her charges are going up by 50%!), then it’s $45k/year, which is too high. Assuming that you’re paying somewhere between $20-30k/year before taxes and that you pay for her healthcare, then I think 10-15% is fair, given the fact that she’ll have to cart the four y/o to and from school and care for a newborn/infant.

    • Working Girl :

      I live in San Francisco, and here the market pay is 16-18 per hour post-tax for one kid and 20-24 for two. Almost everyone I know pays in this range. We pay 18 for one kid and 24 for two kids. If I were in your boat, I would increase the hourly pay by about a third for those hours when she is watching two kids, keep it the same for the hours when she is with one kid.

      • So the pre-tax salary for a full-time nanny with two charges in SF can be as high as $60-70K? That seems really high.

        • um, that is a reasonable living-wage salary for the high-cost of living San Francisco.

          • Interesting…I just moved from the Bay Area. Most people I know with PhDs don’t even earn that mech (I’m a scientist). Glad I dont have kids, I guess.

        • Yes, that’s the going rate here in Boston too.

        • Working Girl :

          Yes. It’s a lot of money, but most nannies have no health insurance. Also, it’s a really exhausting job with little down time. My nNny works harder than most of my friends with Ph.Ds.

          • Fair enough…though most scientists I know (incl. myself and DH) work 50-60 hrs/week. Even without health insurance, and even in the Bay Area, $60-70K is a lot of money. If that’s the going rate for a nanny, it basically means that if you don’t have an income in at least the low mid-six figures (e.g. $200-300K pre-tax) you shouldn’t think about having a kids and a job that can’t fit with standard day care hours.

            With my highly competitive job that helps keep the country safe and required 10 years of schooling after HS, I would be better off financially quitting than having a nanny. Like I said, not a concern for me (and I’m no longer in the Bay Area though in a place with similar cost-of-living), but it’s worth noting.

    • Thanks everyone; especially Working Girl — this is in line with what I was thinking so I really appreciate the confirmation. Our nanny earns every penny we pay her — I always walk in to a house that is cleaner than when I left, and she really takes fabulous care of the little guy. A brand new baby added to the mix (I’m not taking an extended maternity leave, so she’s going to be independent with two at least part time from an early age) certainly will change her routine.

  20. So I’ve sort of given up on the Gap lately b/c their quality has been more miss than hit lately, but found myself on their website and kinda really obsessed with this dress, http://tinyurl.com/czfkwlb

    Its 40% off in-store so am thinking of popping by after work but it’s not that on-my-way, so am wondering if anyone’s seen it and can comment on how it looks/feels in person. Also, do you guys think it could work for the office on a more informal day?
    TIA!

  21. Just had to make my first call to a client who hadn’t paid our bill. Scary! I had been putting it off all week, but I think it went well. Hopefully we will get the money… Things like this are the hardest part of the job!

  22. Blonde Lawyer :

    So along the lines of the Target marketing article that was on here once. I am not pregnant but received a pamphlet from my health insurance company that said “spring in your step?” On the inside it read – Having a bay? answers, support and rewards a just a phone call away. Join the Future Moms program at no extra charge by calling — along with a ton of other info.

    I asked a friend in the same exact health insurance plan if she received and she didn’t so it was specifically targeted at me for some reason. I tried to think, marketing wise, what I could have done that would make them think I was pregnant.

    Then I realized – I stopped running my birth control prescription through my insurance because it is cheaper out of pocket with a local “saver” plan at a local grocery store. I also just had a gyno appointment about three months after changing how I paid for my bc.

    So, insurer probably flagged that a long term birth control user of child bearing age, married, b/c she is on her husband’s plan, stopped taking bc for three months and now saw a gyno – must be pregnant!

    That is a dangerous campaign b/c if I was someone having fertility problems and seeing my gyno over ttc problems, I’d be devastated by an ad suggesting that by now I should be pregnant and having a spring in my step. Lucky for them I’m just cheap!

    • I find that really creepy.

    • karenpadi :

      Maybe it’s the B* in me but I’d call the health insurance company. I’d explain what you explained here and voice the concerns about their methods. If no one speaks up, this campaign won’t change. It might be the next woman who gets this pamphlet who is TTC and heartbroken by the callous nature of the way they do business.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Good call KP. I’m a constant thorn in my insurance company’s side and this gives me just another excuse to call and complain to them :)

      Also, I apologize for all the typos. I wrote this very fast and hit send w/o proof-reading. Glad you were able to figure it out. Bay obviously meant baby.

  23. Have you guys seen the new Boden fall collection? I’m usually excited to see their dresses, especially in the fall, but every single dress this season looks like it belongs on Little House on the Prairie! Is this what fall is going to look like this year? Yuck!

  24. Jobs and Applications and Temping Oh My :

    Ladies,

    I’m applying for a job in a field I have 1.5 years of experience in, for an organization whose mission I’m incredibly passionate about.

    That said, I was fired from my last position and am currently doing a long-term temp assignment for a company with barely a shred of connection to my previous positions/goals.

    How do I address that on my resume? I should list it, obviously, but should I just keep it to a bare minimum of the description to allow my previous applicable experience to shine?

    That being said, assuming I do get an interview and they ask me about the short stay at my last position, how can I spin that? (You may remember my story from before -I was fired after my supervisor -who liked me- left and wasn’t replaced, and I made mistakes while being expected to fill her position without training.)

    • I would save that explanation for the interview and then stick pretty close to the truth. If I were hiring you, just by looking at your resume I’d assume you were fired from that position so there is no point in dancing around or even attempt to hide that. I would make sure however, that you are pointing out that after your supervisor left, your job was not the same job that you started in and moreover you were expected to fill more than one position without additional training. You thus were inundated with work that was not in your original job description and that situation left you with little room and time for further growth and not enough time to perfect the base skills for your job, which is why you made some mistakes. Say that you learned from this situation by developing XYZ skills on the side of your temp job and taking your time to find the right position so that will not happen again. Which is why you are now applying for a position that is perfectly suited to ur needs (aka job that you are applying to now) – a situation where you feel you can add value with your existing skill set but that will also allow you to grow personally.

    • Yes, I would keep the temp assignment description to a minimum if it is unrelated to what you plan to do next.

      With respect to the firing, I would explain that your supervisor left and without additional training, you were expected to do your job and hers. You did not have the necessary experience, and therefore were no longer a good fit for the role. Provided you realized it wasn’t working out, definitely paint it as such – though do acknowledge initially that you were asked to leave.

    • I’d just put on your resume like this:

      Employer, Position (Temporary Employee) Date — Present

      Temporary employee kind of explains it all.

  25. Advice time. I’m making a career change (humanities academia to finance). I have a graduate degree from a very good school in a field unrelated to the one I work in now. Currently, I temp. as an Exec. Asst. at a well-known investment management firm. I want to make a splash and do very well in the hopes of moving to another role in this company on a permanent basis.

    Thoughts or advice on how to best prove myself? How can I ask my current bosses for support in my permanent job search? How can I say, and show, that I want to do something other than be an asst. without belittling the hard work assistants do? I’d love to hear peoples’ thoughts and comments.

    • Great question. In one of my jobs we had an assistant who always helped us out when we were in a pinch. After doing so well at database entry, which is something our analysts usually did, she was incorporated in that role regularly. Now granted, she had no designs on improving her position because she wanted part time and short hours (which is not possible for analysts) due to her kids, but she would have been in a perfect position to make the move and EVERYONE would have backed her up. So I would try it this way: ask for projects that are more related to the position you want to move in to and jump at every opp to help out that team that you want to be a part of. Be social and make friends with an analyst in the position/team you wish to move into and in exchange for doing her some favors, have her talk you up to upper management or teach you some skills or teach you how one of the programs works that they use daily, but you don’t. After you have done that for a while, I would bring up your desire to move to a different position with your supervisors or better, the relevant (!) supervisors – those who have the ability to pull you on their team. But even if that doesn’t work out, by doing tasks related to the job you want and learning skills for it, you improve your craft and resume and can apply elsewhere as well as make friends for references.

    • Watch to make sure your firm is open to this kind of transition. How are assistants treated? Have others made the leap? My experience in finance (>10 years) is that it can be difficult to have others see support staff in other roles. Be ready to branch out to other firms where you might make that transition. Take classes to broaden your knowledge.

      • I also work at a major investment management firm, and I’ve observed zero mobility from an admin role to other roles. The vast majority of admins have resumes we would never consider for other roles (excluding other support roles like mail room). We also have no mobility from our operations staff to our investment teams – though I’ve seen several people attempt this unsucessfully.

        I don’t see much harm in being open with the executive(s) you’re assisting about your goals – they could be a great resource. And I wouldn’t worry about “belittling” assistant work as long as you’re not doing it in front of other assistants – people in other roles won’t wonder why you wouldn’t want to stay an assistant forever if that’s what you say. But it’s very unlikely there is a clear track for you, so don’t be too disappointed if the people you reach out to at your office have no specific advice in making that leap (or advise you to do something you were hoping to avoid, like going to business school).

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