Tuesday’s TPS Report: Cap Sleeve Jersey Wrap Dress

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

Alex & Ava Cap Sleeve Jersey Wrap DressWow: I love this dress, and I never say that about beige items. It just looks so perfect, though — the little ruching at the top, the cap sleeves, the slight flare to the skirt. As one of the 5-star reviewers said on Nordstrom, it’s a “good dress for those days when you don’t want to stand out, but quietly want to look your best.” It’s $158, available in regulars and petites XS-XL. Alex & Ava Cap Sleeve Jersey Wrap Dress

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  1. Sydney Bristow :

    This is pretty, but beige is most definitely not my color. I always look completely washed out in it.

    @Karenpadi (or anyone else who interviews job candidates)- yesterday you had some great points about mistakes people make in their resumes and cover letters. I would find it incredibly helpful to hear what other advice you have for job seekers, either as a do not do this list or things that stood out about excellent candidates that we might learn from. Thanks for what you pointed out yesterday!

    • Ooh, can I piggy back off this and ask what should you do if you realized there was a mistake in one of your application materials? Beg for forgiveness or write off the opportunity completely?

      • To me, it depends on the mistake. If it’s something “material” (dates, names of companies, gpa, etc), you should definitely get in touch with the hiring person and correct it; if you misspelled a word or forgot to add in that you got an A in torts, best to let it go and hope that it doesn’t irk the person reading your resume. Although this is my first experience hiring, determining whether someone gets an interview is coming down to the substantive aspects of their submissions – is their resume relevant, how is their writing, do they know how to cite cases properly, etc.

      • I don’t think there’s ever any harm in sending an “updated” resume. The first evaluation of a resume is usually pretty quick–I’m looking for continuity, experience, and expertise, not typos. After that, I only look at the most recent version of the resume.

        OK, confession time. I’ve made many of these mistakes and my own resume is sadly out of date.

        Quick list of DOs:
        1. Complete contact information (including mailing address, phone number, and email address–a skype-name is extra credit as my firm uses skype).
        2. Bar admission information (including status if planning to take bar exam, waiting results, or actual reg no.)
        3. Clear timeline. Positions and dates in bold. “JD expected 2014″ is essential for law students to include–otherwise I don’t know if you are a 1L, 2L or 3L. Include GPA (otherwise, I’m just going to click over to a transcript or call you and ask). If the law school grades on a strict bell curve, include something like “in top 25% of class” after the GPA. If companies merged or were acquired and that affected your timeline, include that information (“Transition was a result of a merger of XYZ Tech and ABC Industries”).

        1. Typos.
        2. Unclear formatting/confusing timeline.
        3. Uninformative descriptions of past positions. What made each position unique? Start-up clients? Fortune 500 clients? Technology areas? Large team? Small team? Even as a patent lawyer, each position I’ve held was unique beyond just “Preparation of patent applications and prosecution of pending applications before the US Patent Office and International Patent Offices”. Communicate the differences–they are what makes you unique.

        Maybe NOTs:
        1. If you do include religious activities, be very careful. For example, we had a Mormon applicant who really thought it important to emphasize he was working with men in a particular position. The issue wasn’t that he was a Mormon, but this strange desire was a red flag about what is would be like to work with him. Not a good idea when I am the interviewer.
        2. Hobbies. People disagree but … if you include them, make them interesting.
        3. Long list of publications. Include 2 or 3 in a resume. If you have more than that, make a separate document.
        4. Going over 1 page. OK, 2 pages if you need it just to provide continuity. The type of people who have two page resumes are legends or just moved around a lot.
        5. The line: “references available on request.” It’s a waste of space. Have a separate document listing references ready at the interview.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Thank you Karenpadi! This is really helpful information.

          I have a question about timelines though. I held a position with a company in one location, was laid off, had a short term job in between, and then was rehired at the same company with a different job title and respinsibilities in a different location. Under the company name on my current resume I list the most recent position at that company with location and dates, then the previous position at that company with location and dates. I put the short-term position after that. It made sense to me to put the two jobs at one company together like that, but now I think it makes the timeline confusing. Would you suggest sticking to a chronological order and just listing the same company twice?

          • karenpadi :

            I would lay it out as you have. It emphasizes that it was an economic layoff and that the company thought highly enough of you to bring you back when they were able. I would see the gap between position 2 and 1, then see how you filled it just below.

            The recession has seriously messed with timelines so your situation is not unusual.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Great, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          I’d say 2 also, if you have been promoted and/or changed job responsibilities while at an organization, to flesh out how your role has changed, but only if within the last five-seven years

          ….stabbing myself in the eye reviewing a multi-page resume for someone who has their undergrad on campus job on their current resume, yet em’s been working for over 20 years….

    • Russia Repeat :

      Be careful what you say to the recruiting folks! I spent a day of OCI in my firm’s hospitality suite with our recruiters and if they think you’re not really interested, they’re not going to try as hard to get the committee to consider bringing you back.

      Specific things people said – “I don’t care” in response to any question. You may be trying to show you’re flexible, but there are more positive ways to say it, like “there are things I love about both those cities, so I’d be excited to work in either one”. Asking us to compare ourselves to other firms–we have opinions about where we fit into the market, but unless I worked in the other place, I don’t really know how working in one place or another compares. Making clear they view our firm as a short term stop on the way to a longer term goal – we want to work with someone who’s enthusiastic about the job, not putting in time to pay off loans. If that’s your plan, hide it better!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thank you. I don’t think I personally do any of those things, especially saying “I don’t care,” but this is a great reminder to be positive about the place you are interviewing.

      • karenpadi :

        All of this. The best way to get “comparison data” is to ask the recruiter about how she landed at the firm. If the recruiter is a lateral, they have war stories.

        Also, be honest when they ask you about who else you are interviewing with. They might use it as a prompt to give you some food for thought.

    • I can’t wear beige either, this would be amazing in a green or blue and tan.

    • Other thoughts. :

      Make sure your cover letter is addressed to the right firm.

      Make sure you address the requirements of the firm (i.e. if the firm is asking for x, address it in the cover letter or somewhere on your resume).

      Be precise and succinct. Far too often we see resumes that are hard to follow or wordy. I have hundreds to go through. If yours is crisp & precise, you move to the top of my pile and I am likely to read through your entire resume. It is also likely to tell me that if I hire you, you already have a technique I covet: the ability to synthesize vast amounts of information into a concise summary.

      Be interesting and interested in the interview. Sell but don’t oversell yourself. Don’t sell me party lines. I want to know why I want to hire you as an attorney but also as a human being. If you have zero personality, I am not going to hire you, I will hire the guy next in line. If you waver & can’t make a decision about anything, I will hire the next guy. Life’s too short for fence-sitters.

      Assuming you aren’t a law student, I don’t care if you got an A in Torts or a B. If you are a law student, don’t obsess over your grades during the interview. You’re at the interview– I already saw your grades and clearly approve of them or you wouldn’t be there.

      Speaking of which. If you are at the interview, I also already approve of your resume or you wouldn’t be there. Don’t sell your resume to me. Sell me YOU.

      With respect to mistakes on application materials… don’t point out to me what the mistake is, just re-send us the fixed materials if it’s far enough in advance. Otherwise, bring them to the interview. Generally, the materials don’t hit the interviewing attorneys’ desks until the day or so before. We don’t really care about the fact you are re-submitting. If we’ve already nixed you, it won’t hurt your chances. If you are already in the “to be interviewed” pile, we will just swap out the materials.

      On that note, however, do proof your materials. >2 errors and I tend to nix.

      Don’t send writing samples if they have other peoples’ names on them & were filed with the court, unless you send me an accompanying letter from the partner that states a.) the partner is ok with the document being externally released with the client information contained therein (yes, we believe it was publically filed with the court, but we don’t know if it was filed under seal or not and we don’t know if it’s the final draft that was actually filed); and b.) you substantively wrote the document with minor editing help from said partner. Otherwise, I have to guess and that makes me queasy. I will likely dump it and not consider it. Smacks of professionalism issues. Clear your documents, redact client info.

      • Double Hoo :

        Love the comment about not selling the resume but selling YOU. I’m job-seeking at the moment and it was a timely reminder. Thanks.

        • I neglected to sell myself at the FOURTH round interview about five years back for a job I really wanted – instead I asked, at least once, “I don’t have experience doing this – are you sure you’re OK with that?” Did not get the job. DUH.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thank you! This is all very helpful.

      • karenpadi :

        Second the writing samples queasiness. Pull writing samples from the public record. If you are a law student, I expect any writing sample to have been heavily edited. I am also evaluating how you’ve been trained and the standards you’ve been held to in the past.

    • Send a thank you email! It seems so basi . . . . I interviewed two people last week for an opening, and I haven’t heard anything from the candidate that I actually preferred. This position requires a lot of client “massaging” and follow-through on details, so she may be out.

      • That should have been “basic”. Tip # 2 – check your spelling before you hit send. Sigh.

    • anon for this :

      For interviews: Do not give one word answers. The worst types of interviews are the ones where I have to draw out every answer and do all the “work”. Don’t ramble, but have some pre-prepared stories to tell about your prior job etc.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Also, to be clear an objective statement is NOT the same thing as a summary of skills, particularly if you have been in the work force for any period of time. It is an effective tool to avoid long descriptors of every somewhat relevant job you’ve ever had….

  2. Lawyer3tt3s – Does anyone have any good tips on how to avoid verbal ticks at the beginning of questions when you are questioning a witness? I can hear my self starting every single question with “and” but it seems like I am powerless to stop it.

    • Take a break before asking the question. I think we all use “ands” and “ums” to fill in space.

      • Oops. I meant breath.

      • I agree. This is what I do when ever I am askeing a question in litiegation to a witness, even if the witness is NOT a hosteile witness.

        I was taught by the manageing partner that NO one can tell how slow it is going when just readeing the transcript’s.

        So if you pause to colect your thought’s or to NOT stammer or studder, NO one can tell when readeing the transcript.

        Even the judge’s seem to like this b/c most of the judge’s I have practeced in front of are very freindly, and smile whenever I examine witnesesses, or rise to make an OBJECTION.

        Grantied I am NOT a seasoned litiegator yet, but in a few year’s I should be. Then I can become a judge! Yay!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Try pausing before asking the question. I find I make more sense and have fewer verbal tics if I really formulate what I want to say before I say it.

      Also, being able to hear yourself do this is about half the battle. Once you realize what you’re doing, you can take steps to stop it.

      • Russia Repeat :

        Agreed. I know I say either “and” or “so” at the beginning of nearly every question and try to keep that to a minimum. Sometimes I think it’s ok though, if it keeps the witness in the flow of your questioning and gets them to let his/her guard down.

      • Agree that recognizing the problem is half the battle. Also know that no one ever lost a trial because they started questions with “And.” It’s mildly annoying, at worst.

    • Arg, and of course I meant “tics”. I’m not actually ticking.

    • “but, um,”… and then take a drink.

      Or is that just How I Met Your Mother?

      • My boyfriend will swig any drink near him if I say “But, um..” because I do it way too often. Sigh.

    • I (lightly) tap my foot under the table each time the witness has finished answering a question. It’s a physical reminder to not say “Okay,” which is my go-to verbal tic. Or, I take a breath before talking, like Bonnie suggested. But I do think realizing that you have a verbal tic and being aware is 75% of the battle.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I make the “ok” sign under the table after each answer for the same reason.

      • I am also an “okay” person at the start of every question. I hate getting the transcript and seeing the perfect line of “okay” down the column at the start of each question. Seeing the transcript was a big motivator for me, and helped me remember to pause after each answer to allow the “okay” to leave my head before starting to ask the next question.

    • Thanks so much for all the tips! I will try them out this morning and report back.

    • Little late to the party, but to correct this problem in (non-videoed) depositions, I tend to nod at the end of their answer. In court I just try to pause a beat, then start my question. Hope you had success!

  3. I’m a sucker for wrap dresses but this color would do nothing for me. I did see this one in the sidebar though which would be great for fall: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alex-ava-elbow-sleeve-true-wrap-jersey-dress/3294374?origin=PredictiveSearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Lipstick&resultback=884

  4. PSA: Kate Spade surprise sale today. I already ordered a new tote – polka dots!

  5. alternative internet :

    Does anyone have experience with using either satellite internet or a mobile hotspot as their only home internet connection?
    I know this is pretty random, but I could really use some help.

    My husband and I just moved into our new home in a rural area, and basically learned that we are in a 2-mile (total 6 homes) stretch where broadband internet is not available, and will not become available in the near future. So far as we know, our only options are dial-up (ack!), satellite internet, or a mobile hotspot (like the Verizon JetPack).

    We have to chose a plan based on how many GB we will use per month – 7GB, 15 GB, 25GB, or unlimited (which cannot be bundled with our phones). We currently have the Netflix DVD service, but were hoping to transition to streaming, which would be about 4 hours per week. We do not care about HD vs. SD videos, if we can have only SD movies/shows, that would be fine. In addition, my husband is taking graduate classes online that require about 3 hours per week of videos. Other than that, we basically only use the internet for email (lots of email) and basic information.

    We are the only people we know IRL that don’t have access to regular broadband internet. Does anyone else have experience with either using satellite internet (WildBlue) or a mobile hotspot, and approximately how many GB we would need per month?

    Thanks so much – I just have no idea and need to hear from someone who is not trying to sell me anything.

    • I don’t know about the plans, but my sister is in the same situation and ended up with a mobile hotspot from verizon. It was a better value than the satellite internet providers. Of course, its usefulness will depend on how the cell signal is in your neck of the woods. You can get a signal booster if the signal is there but weak.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t have this because I don’t like the idea of limited my home internet bandwidth, even though it is cheaper (however, Comcast and Verizon are available in my area). Even streaming only SD movies or shows, you could easily use a fair amount of bandwidth. Because of that, I’d consider looking into a prepaid plan so you don’t get hit with tons of charges in a month you do use a lot of internet, you can just “top up.”

      One thing I might be concerned about is if you are in an area that is poorly covered by broadband, will you get poor 3G or 4G signal? This could drastically reduce the quality of your internet connection and might be annoying if there were only certain parts of your house you could stand in to access the internet, because that’s where you can get signal.

      I would also look into Millenicom rather than one of the traditional Verizon/Sprint/AT&T, because it has some unlimited options, no contract, and much cheaper rates. Maybe it will work for you?

    • For about a year I didn’t have internet at home other than using my phone as a mobile hotspot. I had the verizon data plan that was 4GB per month, plus the mobile hotspot. 4GB was fine for my home and phone internet use combined during the summer, when I didn’t watch much streaming on my laptop. During the rest of the year though, when I wanted to watch maybe two hours a week of TV, that combined with my regular internet use made me go over the 4GB pretty regularly. I always used less than 6GB. If your husband has 3 hours per week of videos he needs to watch, plus your other use, I highly doubt 7GB would be enough. 15 GB might, though. Unlimited definitely sounds unnecessary to me. Hope this helps.

    • OP of the internet :

      Thank you so much for your help!

      After having talked with my husband, I think we are going to actually have DIAL-UP until December. He doesn’t start classes until January, and we’ll stick with the 2-DVD-a-month on Netflix, and hopefully save a bundle of money while we take some time to figure out which contract we want to go with.

      In a way, having dial-up internet will be like living in a wild and foreign world…

      • I was going to say, don’t switch to Netflix streaming only. There are so many movies that are DVD only, you’ll miss a lot.

    • A good friend of mine lives out in the country and has satellite internet. She hates it. It is terrible and slow and they are always reducing her bandwidth. It’s basically impossible to stream video with satellite internet.

    • I live out in the country, too, and internet access (or lack there-of) is my one downside of living where I do. We get internet through our phones using a mobile hotspot – it’s ok, but by no means great (we have US Cellular). I work from home occassionally and the first couple times I did, I borrowed one of those USB plug-ins from my department for internet access. It was through Sprint and was so slow it was unuseable. I later checked the Sprint coverage map and sure enough, my house was in an area of poor coverage for them – so definitely look up your location before committing to a particular provider!

  6. Oh, I like this a lot! It looks like the wrap front is actually high enough at the neck–rare find in that style. I have three dresses with that V-neck wrap, and all three of them require a cami underneath for work. Good find, Kat.

    • I actually own this dress, and it’s the only wrap dress I have that doesn’t require a camisole underneath! (I’m a 34DDD, so this is quite a feat). The sleeves are also a bit longer than a traditional cap length, so it’s more covered up. GREAT for really hot weather.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Great to know. I’m a 32F but love wrap dresses.

        I adore this dress. Love the pleats. Beige is one of my go-to colors, as it does look good with my redheaded complexion. Thank, Kat. I found a use for the Nordstroms gift card burning a hole in my pocket.

  7. Pretty dress. I’d add something bright red to it to break up all that beige.

    I missed much of yesterday’s afternoon thread, but to Aria, if you’re reading:
    my advice for October weather in the Poland/Lithuania part of Europe is to just bring layers. It really can vary a lot from day to day and even day to night. I usually take sweaters, long tees, and wide scarves, along with a light-ish jacket (lined trench or something of similar weight) and adjust for the weather as needed. Obviously, you can check the forecast a bit closer to take off, too. Also, bring shoes that will survive rain and a good umbrella.

  8. Maya Culpa :

    Cute style, color wouldn’t work on me, though.
    Thread jack: a friend bought her five and eight year old daughters a tablet, but is having trouble finding age appropriate educational apps – I am looking to the hive for suggestions. The tablet is a Samsung Galaxy, but any app suggestion is appreciated.

    • Maybe that’s a sign that they’re too young to have their own tablets! :)

      • Or maybe it’s a sign that you should have bought an iPad!

      • Maya Culpa :

        Respectfully, I disagree: kids are so tech savvy now. The dad is an IT whiz who wanted to introduce the girls to a tablet as a learning tool, as well as for recreation, at an early age.

        • Maya Culpa :

          @ NancyD : I have one. Just trying to get suggestions from the always resourceful ladies on this site for my friend and her daughters.

    • I’m super late to this discussion, but I recommend any apps by PBS (we’ve had good luck with those in our house). Agree with you that kids are WAY tech-savvy these days and that tablets are indeed learning tools.

  9. Moving in DC :

    Gearing up to move at the end of the month and am looking for suggestions for 1) a cleaning service in DC that will also do a move-in clean…I know there were some recommendations earlier this month but I cannot for the life of me find the thread; and 2) a consignment store in the DC area that would take midrange clothes in great condition (e.g., Talbots/Ann Taylor/Banana Republic, etc)– I have a lot of brand new or almost new stuff that I’d like to try and recover some cash on. I thought of Secondi but they target more high end brands. Alternatively, I would also love recommendations for a place I could donate professional clothes in great shape that would not make me jump through too many hoops- would like this stuff to find a good home (I am seeing really limited donation times with appointments required and while I appreciate that charities have limited resources, I just don’t have the flexibility right now).


    • I always take my donations to Goodwill on South Dakota Ave. It takes about 2 seconds to drop stuff off and they are open every day. The downside is that it’s not metro-accessible, so I have to get a Zipcar to make the trip. It makes me happy to think of a woman stumbling upon my Talbots suit or Cole Haan shoes at the Goodwill store.

    • There’s a Dress for Success in DC that I remember being really easy to donate to. Somewhat limited donation hours, but I don’t believe you need an appointment.

      • Second Dress for Success. If their donation hours don’t work for you, you can always call and work out a time with them. Really nice people.

        I just called a bunch of maid services in DC and really liked MaidPro for the value. We decided to go with an individual, but they were running a special approximately 2 weeks ago and I got a number of endorsements from this site.

      • Yep, it’s at 1st and Q NE. You have to call to find out their donation hours, I think, but it is super easy. It took me maybe 3 minutes, plus the time to get to and from there. I walked, but if you’re driving, parking is not difficult in that area. They’re a great organization and your donations are tax deductible — highly recommend.

        For consignment shops, I haven’t personally tried to sell anywhere, but I know some of my friends get a lot of work clothes from the ones in Mt. Pleasant (Frugalista, and I think there is one other), so I’d imagine they might be interested in your work clothes too.

    • Secondi does sell a lot of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.

    • Clothes Encounters of a Second Kind on 7th St. SE at Eastern Market is a possibility for consignment. I only used it once, but as I recall they only take clothes for the current season and they were relatively picky. Check out their Yelp review- it’s mixed.

    • Don’t know if they do move in cleans (I suspect they do) but I LOVE Standard Cleaning. I can’t rave about them enough.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I think that Current Boutique (they have stores in Clarendon, Alexandria and Logan Circle) would be a good bet. Although I seem to remember having bought Theory there, but maybe those brands would work.

    • For consigning those brands, try Current Boutique (locations on 14th St, Arlington, and Old Town) or Mustard Seed in Bethesda. I’ve had luck with both places. A new Buffalo Exchange just opened on 14th Street that you might want to try, but I have no experience there.

    • MovinginDC :

      Thanks everyone!!

  10. Does anyone else use HSBC for their online savings?

    Am I reading this morning’s e-mail correctly that every time I transfer money into my savings account, I’ll be charged $12? I prefer to manually transfer the money each month instead of direct deposit (mostly because I don’t want to go deal with HR to change the paperwork) and this would be a seriously annoying fee that will make me change to ING (assuming ING doesn’t charge the same fee–can anyone confirm?)

    • ING does not charge any fees for transfers…I find the $12 fee hard to believe

    • We just got that email too–not sure what we’ll do, but I find that fee really hard to stomach as well.

    • Whoa! DTMFA!

      I’m a Fidelity fanboy — great online savings accounts that you can also use as brokerage accounts and no fees to transfer money around (including no fees to take money out of any ATM, regardless of the brand). Worth checking out if you’re also considering ING.

    • MissJackson :

      ING does not charge for transfers to or from savings. The only restriction is that there is a limit on the number of transfers out of savings you can make per month (it’s quite a lot, though — perhaps 6? — I’ve never even come close, even on months were I had a couple of unexpected expenses).

      • Senior Attorney :

        Plus if you do a lot of transfers, you can just open more ING accounts. I have multiple accounts for multiple purposes and six transfers out per account per month is more than enough.

      • TurtleWexler :

        The six-withdrawal limit isn’t ING’s rule, it’s actually a federal regulation that applies to all savings accounts whether at banks or credit unions. I’ve had ING accounts for almost ten years now, and I’ve been generally happy with them — I was a little worried when the US operations got bought by Capital One, but I haven’t noticed any negative changes yet. Other than interest rates, which just generally stink regardless of where you go.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I have had an HSBC online savings account for about five or six years. Over the past couple years, I have considered switching (likely to ING) as the HSBC interest rate has plummeted, but I never did because: (1) rates are bad everywhere, and (2) it is a pain and time consuming to switch, especially when there is no benefit to doing so.

      I got the email overnight, too. And I agree with your reading: every time I deposit money into my HSBC account, which I do every month automatically (duh, it’s a savings account), I will be charged $12.

      Now it makes sense for me to spend a few hours switching to ING because it will save me $144/ year.

      Anybody else planning to switch?

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        I just did a search online and read some threads that were posted today on various personal finance websites. A couple people reported that they called HSBC and were told that the $12 fee will NOT apply to transfers out of your B&M bank account and into your HSBC online account, even though that is what the email said. Some reported that a clarification email is imminent.

        So if the only reason we are considering switching is the $12 fee, we might want to wait for the clarification email before deciding.

        • Interesting–thanks for sharing! I’m surprised they haven’t clarified yet, just a quick scan of Fat Wallet shows they’ve probably already lost some accounts.

          I’ll probably wait a few days since the fees won’t kick in for another month, but even if the fees don’t apply I might still switch to ING. I just noticed that their interest rate is 0.8%, and HSBC’s is down to .4%.

          • Former Partner, Now In-House :

            I was eyeing the ally savings or ally MMA, both of which I found at wwwDOTbankrateDOTcom. Which, interestingly, does not even list HSBC.

          • I switched from HSBC to Ally when HSBC sold some of their accounts off earlier this year. I love Ally – no problems at all and great customer service! They don’t have their own ATMs so they reimburse all ATM fees each month (no limit) and there is literally no wait when you call their 1-800 number.

    • Thanks for the replies. I’ll definitely be switching–I have a mental aversion to banking fees of any amount, and I don’t even make $12 in interest on this account per month. Even my regular bank paying .0001% interest or whatever would be a better deal.

      I wonder what their justification was for this move. The other banks I’ve seen that charge for transfers charge for moving money out, not in. And even those usually allow don’t charge a fee if you don’t need it “rush” speed.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I have ING and Tiaa-Creff. The Tiaa-Creff account is currently paying a higher interest rate (1.24% I think) but has a 6 transfer/month limit. I think there is a fee on that. I don’t think I have a transfer limit on my ING account, or if I do I’ve never hit it.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I’m pretty sure the 6-transfers-per-month is a federal regulation and applies to all banks. Something about if you’re transferring money out all the time, it’s not really a savings account.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I didn’t know that. I saw what you posted above about having multiple ING accounts. I do as well so that is probably why I never reach the limit.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I would call them and ask if they will waive the fee on your account to keep you as a customer. Lots of banks do that if you have a balance over a certain amount.

      • You could always switch to a regular HSBC savings account. I have a checking & savings there, not online, and so far, no fees on anything I’ve done – in or out.

  11. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Following a summer of over-indulgence and impending beach holiday in October, I’m trying really hard to eat healthily and exercise. This is day two and I have had a headache since yesterday afternoon. I never get headaches and a friend suggested it may be a by-product of the healthy eating. I don’t drink coffee anyway nor do I have much caffeine (tea, but I haven’t cut that out), so I’m thinking it might be sugar. I’m eating a lot of fruit so I’m getting plenty of natural sugars, it’s more likely going cold turkey on the fat, chocolate and alcohol I was consuming in excess during my vacation the last two weeks.

    Has anyone experienced this? I appreciate the answer may well be not to cut out things entirely, but bit by bit, but since I’m not 100% sure what is causing it, that might be hard to do.

    • Are you drinking enough water? I get a lot of headaches in the summer if I don’t drink enough water, especially if I’m also working out a lot. I’ve upped my water intake to 2 liters a day and it has really helped with the headaches.

    • Definitely sounds like sugar detox. I have been working on losing weight and fitness for about 18 months now, and in the beginning when I was detoxing off processed “white” foods and sugar, I had a killer headache for about 4 days. Hang in there.

    • I do better at this when, in addition to lots of fruit, I eat a lot of high fiber veggies (bell peppers, kale, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli) in their natural state and drink both a lot of water and a lot of decaffeinated green tea. That keeps things moving (euphemism) and makes the first few days easier.

    • I cut out all wheat and sugar from my diet a few months ago and had a killer headache for a couple of days. I tried to combat it with lots of water, more protein and some Advil. It eventually went away and I feel much better now (and have lost 16 pounds!)

    • I’ve been doing a low glycemic diet for the last week, and I have noticed this headache too. I never thought of it as a sugar detox headache. I feel so much better now knowing that this might be the culprit, because I never have headaches either. I will continue to drink more water and maybe pop an advil. Glad to know I’m not alone, but I’m down 2 lbs this week so Yay!

    • Double Hoo :

      Pretty much what everyone said about – it’s a detox from sugar. It might even be a good idea to cut back on your fruit a bit if you’re eating a lot, because the sugar hit from that probably isn’t helping. The only thing you can really do is tough it out and take Advil as needed, but it will pass.

      Make sure you’re getting enough protein, and don’t go too hard-core low-fat. I’d focus on eliminating white carbs and reducing total caloric intake to the appropriate level for your body, but don’t be scared of the odd piece of red meat, eggs, olive oil, avocado, etc. I actually find the sugar detox goes better with a bit extra fat in my diet to act as a buffer to the effects.

      Good luck!

  12. Divaliscious11 :

    Such cute selections lately….. alas, I just seem to be buying school clothes….. My dear son shot up several inches this summer and I fear its just the beginning….

  13. Does anyone else have to wear a brace / cast on a regular basis? I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which has progressed to the point of one of my thumbs being partially dislocated almost all the time–to keep it in place (both because that hurts and to keep it from getting worse) I wear a splint on that hand. I hate it. The splint is ugly and the liner covers up both my wedding and engagement rings and the pretty watch my husband just bought me, which bums me out. Has anyone tried Silver Ring Splints? They advertise on an EDS page and look pretty, though the thumb ones are not as nice as a the finger rings.

    More work-relevant is that I get asked about it constantly because of course most people with splints have an injury and I have to explain, no, I just have loose joints. It really shouldn’t be a big deal and everyone accepts that explanation, but for me it’s tied to worrying about what this condition has in store for me down the road. (My orthopedist wants to “re-pin” my thumbs surgically at some point down the road and has warned me about the high risk of arthritis in the joint no matter what we do. I’m only in my early 30s!)

    Anyway, I guess I’m mostly venting, but if anyone else is dealing with wearing visible markers of chronic conditions and has tips on how to get over it, I would appreciate any ideas.

    • Wish I could provide some insight, but just wanted to say that my husband also has Ehlers-Danlos (hypermobility type). He usually dislocates something and has surgery, so his braces are related to a specific injury. Not fun. Good luck!

  14. Is that the girl who also models for B a n a n a Republic?

  15. Gen y and their piercings :

    Why does my intern think an upper ear cartilage piercibg and tragus (flap before ear canal) piercing are acceptable even in a business casual environment?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      For whatever it’s worth, I had an upper ear cartilage piercing in my business casual environment (mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to get it out for literally a year…). I know, I know, collective gasp of horror. But I can’t see that it limited me at all or honestly, that anyone noticed (I told a couple of coworkers that I was excited I had finally gotten it out and they responded with “What? You had a cartilage piercing? When?”)

      I was regularly promoted and praised for my worker and it was never really brought up (I do wear my hair down almost exclusively, so it’s possible no one ever noticed – I don’t know). I know a tragus piercing is more noticeable but I never really saw the big deal about multiple ear piercings.

      Now my tattoo, I have kept under wraps!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        *for my work. Apparently the coffee hasn’t kicked in.

      • Yeah, I have three cartilage piercings in one ear and two in the other (plus one in each lobe). But my hair is usually down, and I’ve definitely had coworkers who never noticed them–they’re small silver rings, and the only time I’ve taken them out in years is when I had Xrays and an MRI. A tragus piercing is a little more obvious, but really?

    • Why do you think they’re not? I’ve had a conch piercing for the past 15 years and never given it a second thought (except when my 90-year-old grandmother reminds me that I should swap my steel ring for something with gold and diamonds). It’s not like your intern has a face full of surface piercings.

    • I am in my mid-30s and never even notice piercings like that. I have worked with many women who have them. Then again visible tattoos are the norm in my workplace as well as long as they are not inappropriate designs.

    • I also don’t think these piercings are a big deal, particularly the cartilage piercing.

    • Because, with the proliferation of piercings in my generation, some of the more discreet non-traditional piercings have become acceptable?

      Signed, 2 piercings in each ear and occasionally considering getting a cartilage piercing

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I really want to get my nose pierced, but just haven’t done it yet.

        I personally don’t think it’s a big deal at all, but one of my older coworkers on a project has a big problem with piercings and tattoos. I think it will become less and less of an issue over time, but there is still a big split among people as to whether they are acceptable.

        Took my tongue piercing out for a post-college job only to find out it wasn’t necessary

    • K...in transition :

      I’ve never noticed such with an employee. To be honest, if that’s your biggest complaint about an intern, that’s a pretty awesome intern!

      • This. I rarely see piercings affect a work product unless the intern is client facing in an extremely conservative area.

    • Assuming relatively tasteful/discreet jewelry, I don’t think these are a big deal anymore. Sorry.

    • There was a post about this a while back. Other then some brief trepidation about having to google tragus and conch piercing, I think any piercing of the ear is probably fine, as long as the person is otherwise well presented. But then, I guess I’m probably also considered a member of Generation Y…maybe…at least an older member.

    • The tragus piercings totally gross me out but I admit I’m a prude and generally think the rule is that your appearance in a work environment should not be distracting. If it grosses people out, it’s distracting.

      But in defense of your intern, it’s possible she didn’t grow up knowing what an office environment was. My stepdaughter is 12 and her mom has already let her get multiple ear piercings without asking my husband first. She has 3 cartilage piercings already (outer ear) and would probably already have a tragus piercing if I hadn’t come along and starting spouting off about how you can’t get a job in an office with piercings and tattoos and made my husband be super explicit that there will be no more piercings and absolutely no tattoos without discussing it with us first. Based on where we live and what her parents do she is rarely exposed to professionals and has no concept of what is okay in a professional environment. I am the only person she knows who wears a suit to work.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        If it grosses people out, it’s distracting.

        I feel like this is a tough standard. There’s no way of controlling for what will “gross someone out.” I think wedges are hideous and they kind of ‘gross me out’ as a fashion statement, but I don’t think other people shouldn’t be allowed to wear them because they distract me and I sit around thinking they’re kind of ugly, you know?

        • I agree that it is a clearly subjective standard. I don’t mean to imply that if it grosses out the one easily offended person at your office, then it’s verboten. But in general, I think we can all agree there are probably a critical mass of bosses and/or clients who still don’t think certain piercings are okay. In that case, they are a no go or a know your office thing, just like wedge shoes or peep toes or tattoos. But while I can’t stand wedges, they also don’t make me feel slightly queasy when I see them like certain piercings do.

      • I feel like if someone really is grossed out by something on my body, that’s pretty much their problem. It’s a personal freedom to be able to do what you want with your body. Knowing your career goals and being sensitive to the endless amount of people who have personal prejudices against something that in no way damages their daily lives, totally different. In these times, I’d consider that similar to sexual preference (as in, it’s none of anyone’s business therefore it shouldn’t impact anything work-related).

        Also, the girl is 12, let her figure herself out. None of what she’s done is permanent or damaging as long as she’s being responsible and taking care of her piercings (she can’t get a tattoo for a long time anyway). And consider that by being so negative toward her decision to express herself with her body you might be making her feel…negative I guess is the word, toward you. Maybe she doesn’t want to work in an office and wear a suit everyday, but let her figure that out. Her parents are her example, and from what you’ve said, they’re not being bad parents, they’re being supportive parents.

        I didn’t mean for any of that to come off as offensive, but I’m 22 years old, the oldest of 5 kids (so I know a tad about how ridiculously kids can think sometimes), and I’ve been getting piercings/body mods since I was 16. None of it has negatively impacted my career or advancements, and I’ve done Republican campaigns and everything! I have 5 holes in each ear and two facial piercings.

    • Gen Y Member :

      Another vote for no big deal. I will never understand why some folks are perfectly fine with an earlobe piercing, but will hyperventilate at the sight of a similar earring placed just an inch or two up the ear. I understand it’s a slight aesthetic shift between generations, but does anyone honestly think it affects a worker’s professionalism? We’re not talking neon purple mohawks here.

      Professional with several cartilage-pierced coworkers

    • Piercings can be cultural too. Nose piercings are very common in my (Indian) culture…as are multiple lobe piercings.

      I work in a very conservative govt agncy and I have 2 lobe piercings on one ear and 3 on the other. I wear small diamond studs in the higher holes. I work with a very senior, very visible man who wears a small hoop in his ear. Given both of our positions, I don’t think anyone has ever questioned either of our competency b/c we have piercings…or at least it hasn’t held us back.

      Probably not standing out for your appearance is helpful in many professions, but at some point it’s worth asking at what cost? How much of your individuality should you suppress for your job?

    • Why wouldn’t they be acceptable? How are they unacceptable while an earlobe piercing is fine?

    • layered bob :

      why does she think it’s acceptable? Because it’s acceptable.

    • locomotive :

      another vote for she thinks it’s okay because IT’S OKAY as long as she isn’t wearing ginormous sparkler earrings or gauging her ears so large that you can see through them to the other side. I have 2 lobe piercings and wear earrings in both on and off. 2 of my co-workers (including a Director) have cartilage piercings and have had nary a problem.

    • I practiced law for 5 years at two different top firms with a tragus and a cartilage piercing. Only only took out my tragus when I was interviewing for an in house position, though I left the cartilage in and still have it (actually, I regret taking out the tragus since my current employer couldn’t care less). Before my first firm job, though, I did check the dress code to make sure there wasn’t anything about piercings (and asked HR). But I never had a single partner or client question my piercings.

  16. Dogshaming tumblr: OMG I am practically hyperventilating in my office. Must share with you all. Link to follow.

    • dogshaming dot tumblr dot com. You’re welcome

    • Omg, hilarious. Now I have to think of one for my dog.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I don’t even have to think of them, my dog is that mischievous.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Made my day.

    • One of my guilty pleasures is watching youtube videos of “bad” boston terriers. Finnegan is my favorite.

    • I could try to make one for my pup that learned how to take a flying leap onto the couch this morning (he’s less than a foot tall but he’s got some serious hops), but he’d eat the paper before I could take the picture.

    • Aaaaaaaaaand I’m pretty sure this sums up why I have a cat.

      • Oh, don’t let cats off the hook that easily. I could catshame mine like nobody’s business.

        • +1. And she’s sneaky about it too.

        • I’m convinced my cat is becoming Sheldon Cooper. “That’s my spot. You’re in my spot. That’s one strike.”

        • Fair point. Mine has done her fair share of catshaming-worthy activities. But eating her own poo or other weird isht (which most the dogs on that site seem to be guilty of)? Nope… (knocks on wood)

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Is this the appropriate place to share that my cat decided to sleep on my pillow last night, and because I feel bad about the health problems he’s been having lately, I allowed him to do so (and thus slept with no pillow myself)?
        Oh, you say that should go in the owner shaming thread? Ok then. ;)

        • I see no shame-worthy activities here. Just buy yourself another pillow (lest you think the cat will steal that one too).

        • I think that makes you a good owner. Poor kitty.

    • No. Now my officemate will wonder (again) why I’m snickering at my screen when I’m supposedly looking at spreadsheets.

  17. Always a NYer :

    Gifts threadjack. I’m visiting family next week and don’t know what to get my little cousins (boys age 9 and 4, girls age 7 and 2) and am drawing blanks on what to get them. The tricky part is that they need to be small and light enough to fit in my carry on bag but also fun. As an only child, I always struggle with kid gifts and welcome all mom/sister/aunt/godmom wisdom. Thanks in advance! 

    • My sons (and nephews, and now grandnephews) always loved Legos. You can get small kits. Sorry I can’t help on the girls.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Girls like Legos, too. I did.

        • K...in transition :

          legos aren’t gender specific (nor are most toys actually) but websites like amazon have sections for assistance with gift giving. that said, the parents might be able to help by telling you what each is currently interested in or you might choose a toy with some educational properties too… a crayon maker (teaches colors and color mixing) or coloring books with a sentence about the animal at the bottom or the like,

        • Yep. We’re a whole pack of sisters and only one brother and we all universally loved/fought over Legos.

        • They actually make girly legos now. They are the Lego Friends line.

        • Omg, I saw a commercial the other day for what can only be described as “girl legos” – pink and pastel colored blocks and girl figurines. And I was so mad and yelling at the TV – what, girls can’t play with primary colored lego blocks, or want to build with the existing sets?!

          • No, clearly all girls only like pink and purple and those who do not are stealth boys.

          • Research, Not Law :

            I was a hardcore lego builder and did just fine with the primary colors, but I would have loved pink legos. Back off the pink legos! It’s about options.

          • And the “girl” legos have fewer pieces, less moving parts and are less complex to assemble for the same age range as similar “boy” legos. Cuz you know, girls is stupid and can’t do the maths.

          • I have no problem with the pink and purple, they are my favorite colors. I do have a problem with ‘dumbing down’ the mechanical and spatial challenges of the sets for same age girls vs. boys.

    • MadLibs? I would think they would be age-appropriate for the older two, but I could be wrong. You can buy little coloring books that have special paper so you can tear them out and use them as a suncatcher–get those with some crayons. An age-appropriate book for each child could also work. I like the Lego suggestion, if you can fit them (you could also do Playmobile).

    • I’ve gifted fun art supplies from the Crayola store before. I also find that older kids get really excited about more “adult” art supplies. Nicely bound paper, etc.

    • I like to go to science museum shops to get fun educational toys. The staff can usually tell you what is popular with certain age groups. It is a little bit pricier than a normal toy store, but I like supporting the museum and getting the kids something different.

    • Mousekeeper :

      Books! You can never go wrong with books, and yes, you can find books for 2 year olds. Two-year olds and 4-year olds love picture books. Ask the parents what they like or what they have already. If you go to B&N, ask the person in charge of the children’s section for ideas. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them breaking en route or taking up too much space in your carry-on.

    • I like to get my nephews things that they can all play with together. A recent big hit was super soaker squirt guns for all of them. Light sabers were also a big hit. Just make sure each kid, including the 2 year old, gets the same thing or they will fight over them. (Example: I got my nephews these nearly-identical Old West sheriff sets, but one set came with a holster and the other didn’t, and they fought over that holster like you wouldn’t believe).

    • My 2yo is way into crayons and markers right now. Easy to fit into carry-on. DVDs are also cool, if they don’t already own every Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks film known to mankind.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Books are great for kids of various ages, because they all get the ‘same’ thing but something age and interest appropriate. Plus, they pack well.

      Legos are technically too small for a 2 year old, but I doubt that’s an issue once we’re talking fourth child (assuming these are all siblings?). However, Duplos are age-appropriate and are still an ‘equivalent’ gift.

      The idea of mad libs for the older kids and coloring books for the younger is good, too.

  18. Threadjack! I know many ladies on this site have gone through childbirth, so looking for some recommendations of how to go through it smartly. Books to read, things to know, etc. Basically, the C-r3tt3 guide to giving birth. I’ll be giving birth in a hospital, but am open to any kind of suggestions.

    If you did not want to see this post, please accept my apology in advance.


    Oh! Also, has anyone had a baby in the first year of law school? Please share experiences!

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Congrats! When are you due? You should talk to the dean of students (or your school’s equivalent) as soon as possible to find out the school policy on rescheduling things due to your child’s arrival. I know my school was very lenient about letting people take exams early/late depending on when they gave birth. Don’t feel the need to “tough it out” and be a superwoman during your pregnancy. Activate your support network as much as possible.

      The childbirth experience varies so widely and there are so many opinions that I have found just taking a childbirth class with my hubby (one night a week for 6 weeks) plus reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and other similar books to be about all I needed. Some women swear by the “Bradley” or “Lamaze” methods of natural childbirth, others swear by epidurals. It just depends on the individual.

      Best of luck to you as you add to your family!

    • Diana Barry :

      My 2 cents – don’t go to the hospital too early. My friends who have gone early ended up with more “interventionist” deliveries, pitocin, c-sections, etc., so if that is something you want to avoid, stay at home as long as you can. Super hot showers helped me a lot with labor, and I also used a tub (with #1) and vacuumed, believe it or not (with #2) to move things along.

      I got to the hospital 2 hrs before birth, 1 hr before, and 1/2 hr before (that last one was a little close!) and that was great for me.

      I took the labor/delivery class with #1 and although it was somewhat interesting, it wasn’t all that helpful for recognizing when I was in labor – I thought I was just sick to my stomach and having intestinal cramps!! (#1 was early)

      Don’t travel after 35 weeks – my first was born at 36 weeks, out of state. Unusual but not that unusual.

    • It’s a bit like planning for a car crash — you don’t know when, how, how bad it will be, if the baby will be remotely cooperative (breech / sunny side up, etc.) and when you’ll need to schedule your last hair appointment for a while (and to get it styled before going to the hospital b/c you will want good hair for any pictures that will be taken).

      I would recommend that you take a natural childbirth class. Even if you’re inclined for every drug in the world. That epidural might not arrive in time, it might be patchy, or it might not work. Yeah, in poker, that would be a tell.

      Good luck!

      • Thank you. I’m hoping not to have an epidural – we tend to have a high pain tolerance in my family – but within reason, of course. FIL, though, is a former OBGYN, so he’s encouraging me to have one.

        One of my friend’s mothers (I’m the first to give birth in my circle) likened it to pushing a watermelon with the force of a truck through a hole the size of a pencil…

        Going to my first childbirth class tomorrow, wondering what I’m gonna hear.

        I’m due end of November, after classes end. Who knows, though.

    • The best advice I received is to be prepared for anything. Childbirth can have many twists and turns, so try to be open. I wanted to have a natural, drug free childbirth and ended up with a c-section. In the end, I came home with a healthy baby, which is what mattered most.

      To answer your questions, I read Ina May Gaskin’s book on natural childbirth. Ironically, I always skipped over every section in any reading materials regarding a c-section, thinking that there was almost no chance that I would have one. Also attended the birthing class at the hospital where I was delivering (basically explained the entire childbirth process), went on the hospital tour, and took a several classes at the hospital on natural childbirth. I also spoke extensively with my OB about wanting to have an unmedicated childbirth and made sure he was on the same page with me. We developed a birth plan together. But, alas, the best laid plans did not come to fruition. Ended up developing a rare form of preeclampsia during delivery with a rapid onset (my BP is ordinarily very low, I am in excellent shape, eat healthy, exercised throughout pregnancy, so this was a huge shock to me) – was put on magnesium to prevent possible seizure, was delirious from magnesium, needed pitocin to counteract magnesium, got epidural, did not progress and ended up with a c-section. I am lucky to be alive as I could have had permanent liver and kidney damage from my condition, and I thank my lucky stars that I delivered at a hospital with a great OB practice that caught this potentially life threatening situation. So, recognizing when I had to change my plan was really important, and it was hard to do in the moment when I was in labor, in pain, scared and trying to understand what the actual risks are versus doctors being “overly” conservative. I was traumatized and it took me months to “mourn” the delivery that I had planned and didn’t experience. I don’t want to scare you, just think it would’ve been helpful if I had known ahead of time that I should try to be prepared for any possibility. So, plan as much as possible, but know that you may need to change plans based on any number of circumstances that arise (e.g., induction, going into labor early, etc.). Ask your OB lots of questions to make sure you’re on the same page with how he/she would handle various situations.

      Also, I wanted to b r e a s t feed, so I took a b r e a s t feeding class and read the book that was distributed at the class. I think that class was by far the most valuable for me and resulted in a wonderful b-feeding experience for 16 months.

      Good luck!!

      • The b-feeding class I took was totally worthless so my advice in this regard is to hire a lactation consultant in advance. During a rough hospital stay, my husband hired a LC over the phone and she met me at home as soon as we arrived.

      • I never took a class or hired a lactation consultant or anything, and it all worked out okay. I did read a book on breastfeeding that a neighbor gave me, but didn’t find it all that vital. But some moms and babies have more challenges with it than others. I was blessed with a “motivated eater” and we kind of figured it out naturally.

    • Senior Attorney :


      I had a baby the first day of the third week of my second year of law school, and it was one of the best things I ever did. I dropped him off at the babysitter’s house when I went to school, but I got to spend way more time with him when he was very little than I would have been able to if I’d been working full time. By the time I graduated and went to work full time, he was almost 2.

      Good luck — I’m sure you will do great!

      And the best part? He’s up and out and I’m still relatively young! LOL

    • 1. Take the epidural if you need it but don’t leave it too late. There isn’t a gold medal for refusing it.
      2. Listen to your body. I went in for a planned c section and labour started unexpectedly. Nurses insisted it wasn’t labour. I yelled at them to check…and I was right.
      3. Take your I pod , water, book, face cream. Maybe some lipgloss for the photos.
      4. Pack some snacks. Even if they’re not that healthy.
      5. Relax. You will be in good hands at the hospital.
      6. Enjoy the fragrance of a new baby
      7. Try to get people to visit while you’re in hospital so you can talk to them peacefully, rather than when you’re home and have to play hostess
      8. Take flip flops to hospital
      9. Also fancy bath gel etc.
      10. Read “girlfriends guide to pregnancy” if you haven’t done so yet
      11. Read up on b-feeding

      Good luck!

    • Childbirth class will answer a lot of your questions. If you want to learn alternative methods of dealing with pain besides an epidural, you can find a class/books on those ( I had an epidural so I can’t really help there). I wouldn’t get too hung up on your perfect birth plan. Sure there are things that you may prefer, but life gets in the way of that and babies have their own ideas. The goal is to have a safe, healthy birth. You may want to have conversations about who you want in the room, will your partner go with the baby for tests, bath etc.

    • Seventh Sister :

      My recommendation would be to take a b r e a s t feeding class and the very shortest childbirth class you can find.

      I didn’t find the 6-week childbirth class very helpful – frankly, I felt like I was trapped in a bad sitcom. There was the couple who’d had way too much plastic surgery, the couple where the wife never talked and the husband smugly reminded everyone ad nauseum that, “we’re not having any medical interventions,”*, the two women who were in the same “industry” and never.shut.up.about.it, and of course me, who kept hoping that the class would be cancelled due a strategic meteor shower or an attack by alien robots or something.

      The teacher was nice enough, but an hour or two would have been sufficient.

      Having read the usual books, I didn’t feel like the info in the childbirth class was all that new, but my husband didn’t read half as much and I think the class was more helpful for him. But it could have been shorter.

      *Disclaimer – Yay natural birth, but this was a class at a hospital and he was a trollish, entitled little jerk whose moral superiority over matters big and small was breathtaking.

    • Don’t sweat it too much. Yes, it sounds scary, but in the end (1) your body somehow magically knows how to do this stuff automatically (crazy!), and (2) your doctor and nurses have done this like a million times and can tell you what to do.*

      I skimmed the WTE book and took a birthing class at the hospital, which calmed my nerves and curiosity some, but didn’t attempt to become an expert in OB. In the end, the best thing for me was to not listen to people. Everyone has an opinion (some very strong opinions) about natural childbirth, epidurals, etc. But they are not having your baby; you are. And it’s none of their business how you get little one from inside to outside with as little damage to little one and yourself as possible. Roll with the punches and do what works for you.

      *I do second the “listen to your body” comment, though. Those fancy machines aren’t omniscient, and if something feels wrong, speak up! Doc needs that info.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I really liked my hospital birth class. We also took some ‘natural birth’ seminars, but the material was actually better covered in the hospital class. A breastfeeding class was included, which I also recommend. I read a lot of books, but I liked the class. It told me what I ne

      Rely on your husband/partner. It sounds sappy, but his eyes were my focal point. When things got tough, I stared into his eyes and he would tell me I was doing a good job and that it would be fine. He reminded me to breath, etc. The staff will do the technical stuff, so your partner doesn’t need a crash course in obstetrics, they just need to be there for you.

      Go to the hospital as late as you can manage, particularly if you don’t want an epi. Call the L&D nurse if you’re trying to decide whether to go, but mainly just follow your gut.

      Appreciate that an epi, etc, is available to you, even if you prefer to not use one. Millions of women in the world don’t have the option. Do know that you can do a mix, to some degree. I was in labor with my first for ~24 hrs and my second for ~12 hrs. I had an epi toward the end with both for a little rest and relief, which paid off when it came time to push because I had energy. (First came out no problem, second was sunny-side up and NOT easy. I would have needed a c/s if I hadn’t rested with the epi). The epis were off for pushing both times (intentionally the first time, not for the second).

      Walk, particularly through the early contractions. If your water hasn’t broken, get in the tub!

      Listen to your labor nurse/doctor/midwife about when to push and when to rest!!! It’s not easy to be patient. I was anxious to be done with my first and tore terribly. I was patient the second time and walked away in one piece.

      Agree that you shouldn’t stress over it. That sounds silly, since it’s such a big deal. But (a) you can’t control the outcome, and (b) the staff will take care of you. You don’t need to know what stage you’re in, etc. You just need to breathe and push – the rest will happen for you.

      I do suggest that you read the post-partum section of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. It’s a crazy time. This book covers it best.

      • Research, Not Law :

        For book recs specifically in regards to labor and delivery, I rec Ina May and Birthing from Within. I also read Thinking Woman’s Guide (cr*p, says this epidemiologist) and Bradley (okay, but nothing not already better presented in Ina May and Birthing from Within).

      • One minor caveat on the get to the hospital late advice: If I took that advice, I would probably have had my son in a taxi. I did not know what a contraction felt like and did not feel *anything* until I was in transition stage. Fortunately I had a regular checkup that afternoon and the doctor informed me that I was in labor and would not let me go home. Yay for those annoying frequent checkups toward the end of term!

        *This is a pretty rare story, I think. Don’t worry–your doctor will catch it if you’re in labor and too ridiculous to know what a contraction feels like!

    • Thank you all for your excellent, informative replies! Birthing class starts tmorrow…and now I have a reading list too. I’d heard of the Thinking Woman’s Guide but wasn’t impressed with the reviews on Amazon.
      I spoke to Academic Services about taking exams and they’re being very helpful – thank you for the suggestion!

      As an aside – law school is COOL!

  19. Ladies, I interviewed with a major university and they want to make me an offer, but they’re requiring references from 2 supervisors. My current boss is one reference, but I’m having trouble finding another. Obviously, I can’t use my previous boss – the bully.

    I’m not really in contact with any of the others. I sent an email to one, but she responded that all reference requests have to go through the HR department. I’m not sure what to do.

    • Suggest they post on [this site] and we can all reply about how cool you are?

      Congrats on the almost-job offer. I don’t have real suggestions for your issue.

    • Is there a mentor type you can use?

    • Provide the one and HR contact information for the other. You can say the company policy is HR provides the references, but they could also talk to person X (colleague, etc) from while you were in that role from outside of the organization or maybe another person from your current job?

      • Yes, I agree. HR contact plus you can mention a co-worker or someone in another division that you worked with and that was impressed by you.

        Congratulations Bunkster!

    • anon in tejas :

      I would use the HR reference as your second. It’s likely just a checking boxes thing at this point for your potential new employer. Congrats!

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      What about someone you know professionally but haven’t worked with at the same company? I know you are not a lawyer, but I’m thinking about someone I worked with through the local bar association, even though s/he and I never worked at the same law firm. is there something similar for you?

  20. Hi all,

    Thought I would turn to the hive for advice. Husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for 6. Got married at 24, and I’m now having doubts about whether I want to stay. We don’t fight and he’s been nothing but supportive to me, but I’m starting to realize now what I want in a spouse. Sadly, he lacks a lot of those characteristics and I don’t know if I would want him to change if he could (ignoring for the moment that it’s impossible to get someone to change). Aside from dealing with my marriage, I also want to work on me. I’m realizing that I need help accepting people for who they are while also working on becoming my own person. I’ve decided to schedule a consultation with a therapist, but would love any book recommendations you might have.

    • K...in transition :

      It sounds like you might be going about this backwards? Before upsetting the relationship, see the therapist and work on yourself. It will become clear whether the problem comes from things within you (fix them, fix the marriage) or if the problems are within the marriage and the answer is to leave it to better yourself.

      Also, if you change with therapy, your husband will either also change or the dissonance will become more apparent.

      Good for you for seeking help, keep us posted as you feel comfortable sharing!

      • K in transition: Thank you for your insight. You’re right — I don’t want to upset the marriage and have been keeping my feelings to myself for the moment until I can figure out just why I’m feeling the way I am.

      • I second K. If you’re just flailing feeling like you want *something* but don’t know if it’s this, or something else, or what, now is the time to figure out what that is. You might find that it’s not a new husband you want after all. From my own experience (so take this with a grain of salt) I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to have this amazing soul-affirming relationship with your spouse. And for those people who get that, great for them. For the rest of us, someone who loves us and knows us and is there for us when we need it is often all we really need. My husband is not the Man of My Dreams. But he’s a good guy and we have fun together and I love him. He makes me totally insane sometimes (and I make him totally insane sometimes) and we’re lightyears apart on some things, but it’s still a perfectly good marriage.

      • Second what K in Transition and TBK said.

        As for working on things in your relationship, I really liked the Five Love Languages. The book is about how different people need different things to feel loved and how to speak the “love language” of your SO. Its written for romantic couples but it could really apply to all sorts of relationships.

    • Calling in the One is a book designed for single people looking for relationships, but I think it’s helpful in examining any kind of relationship and it’s probably the best book on personal development I’ve ever read.

    • Gen Y Member :

      I definitely wouldn’t bail at this point. Why not try to figure out what’s wrong and work on the relationship first, before giving up, especially if you are fortunate enough to have a supportive husband? Trust me, that’s such a relative rarity that I would be seriously cautious before throwing it away.

      Just remember that every relationship goes through rough patches. No guy is ever going to be perfect, or anywhere near it. And neither are you. The whole point of a relationship is that you love each other regardless and work together to fix problems like this. Remember to talk to him about what you’re feeling. Good luck!

    • I second what everyone has said above.

      I don’t see any need for you to leave your husband. I do see a need for you to learn more about yourself. You say that you wish your husband lacks unspecified characteristics, but you’re also not sure if you even want him to change. If I were you, I would try to figure out what I really want and whether what I want could even come from my marriage.

      I personally learned how to accept feeling content. There will be time when I am neither Very Happy nor Very Unhappy, and that’s okay. In a way, that’s beautiful.

      • I agree with what everyone else has said.

        I think too often, we are convinced that a marriage should be like a storybook, where the other person ‘completes you’ and you feel like there are birds chirping and puffy white clouds floating across the sky whenever they are near you.

        That’s B. S.

        I read a book a long time ago which I now cannot remember the name of, but it was about all the stages and changes that long-term relationships go through, and it talked about the chemicals your brain releases at different stages (ie, the ‘rush’ of infatuation vs. the ‘comfort’ of a long term marriage).

        More important, there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect person. I have no idea what your husband is ‘lacking’, but whomever else you found in the future might have those qualities but he’d be lacking something else, because that’s how people are. They are human beings, not constructs you make in your mind and create whole cloth to match your needs. It doesn’t work like that.

        I definitely think you work on yourself FIRST. Then you can look at where your marriage fits.

        • Thank you all for your thoughtful advice. I’m not disclosing everything, but there is certainly nothing wrong with him beyond the fact that I would like him to mature a bit more. But I realize that I would be trading one set of problems for another if I do leave.

          Will certainly be talking this out with a therapist.

    • Seattleite :

      “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix.

      I cannot emphasize this recommendation enough.