Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Evie Silk Long Sleeve Top

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

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  1. Yay, a clothes post so I can ask about clothes!

    Background: I’m at the end of a 12-month contract and, foolishly, I have accumulated several sleeveless suit dresses without buying the matching jackets. My current work clothes consist of:


    3 patterned/colored cap sleeve: dark purple tartan, bright blue check, bright red
    1 muted dark green sleeveless
    1 charcoal sleeveless
    1 black sleeveless


    1 charcoal (not the same as the dress)
    1 light grey (need to get it tailored!)


    1 light grey (same suit as blazer)
    1 black

    And six work shirts, mostly patterned, one cream.

    My current office is OK with sleeveless outfits, obviously, but I know that interviewers won’t be. My question is, is there an interview ensemble in the above other than the light grey skirt suit? I’m getting the blazer tailored this week, but I’m worried about a second interview. I really don’t have enough money to buy a new interview outfit until payday (Oct 31), and I have an interview next Wednesday.

    • Depends on the industry/office – I wouldn’t wear anything above other than the light grey skirt suit to an interview (biglaw) but if you are in a different/more casual position, I would say the grey blazer over the black dress? I would not wear any of the patterned/bright colored dresses to an interview, even with a blazer. Unless it’s a creative industry?

      • It’s for a policy analyst position – so it’s not ‘creative’ per se, but I think there’s a little more leeway than with biglaw (hence my summer of sleevelessness!).

        • I work in policy – outfits range from business casual to suits. I think you’d be fine in any of the sleeveless dresses plus one of the blazers for an interview (not the brighter/patterned ones, although you can wear them for work once you land the job). Good luck!

        • If you are in DC, you definitely need a full suit for all parts of the interview process unless the organization is very informal. In other cities, I would say smart separates would work.

          I would also make sure that the light grey suit doesn’t read too “summer” since its starting to get chilly.

        • I have a similar job in DC and unfortunately I can’t recommend wearing anything except a full suit for an interview. The charcoal blazer over the black dress would be okay 9 times out of 10, but there would definitely be the one interviewer who grumped that you weren’t in a full suit. Can you buy a black blazer in a fabric that matches the black skirt? Otherwise, I have some decent suits from Macy’s and JC Penney that I got for around $100 and are totally appropriate for interviews.

    • Charcoal blazer over the black, green and maybe the dark purple dresses. Charcoal blazer with black skirt and a patterned or cream blouse.

      • Is charcoal and black really an OK combination? I really love the charcoal blazer (it fits great) but I’m worried they clash as they look too close together. I’d love it if I could wear the charcoal blazer over the black dress!

        • If it’s too close, I’d skip it. Maybe ask a friend if the colors are too close?

        • I think it depends on how dark the charcoal is. If it’s a super dark gray, then I’d agree that you probably run the risk of looking like you got dressed in the dark and meant to grab a black blazer. But if the gray isn’t all THAT dark, then I’d say it could work. It’s a matter of it looking intentional.

          • I accidentally packed this outfit for an out of town morning interview a few weeks ago. I don’t think anyone noticed except for me, but I’d avoid it, particularly if they are close as mine were.

            Grrrrr I haven’t posted all day and keep getting posting too fast. (Why is this happening again?)

    • Wear the skirt suit for the first interview. Start shopping now – but don’t buy yet – for something that would work for a second interview – like maybe a blazer that would work over the black or green dresses, or even a new suit if your industry requires that. If you get a second interview, buy the item just-in-time.

      Even if you have to buy it before the 31st, if you put it on a credit card, the bill won’t be due until after the 31st. I wouldn’t normally recommend spending money you don’t have but I am here because (1) it’s to get a job so you can make more money and (2) you know you’re going to have the money very shortly afterward, so you won’t have to pay interest on your CC.

      • Tragically our boiler crapped out two weeks ago and we had to put it all on the credit card – I literally have $65 credit and $100 in the bank until the end of the month. Otherwise I’d be buying a new suit on credit no problem, because I definitely need one!

        • In that case I agree with the people below about borrowing. If you have a friend who has a jacket that fits you that goes with one of your dresses, that would be ideal – they wouldn’t even need to be the same size as you all over, just the jacket.

        • Well, wear the light gray suit for any upcoming interviews. If you get a callback, it’s probably fine to wear the same suit again, but it’s unlikely you’d have a callback before the end of the month anyway so you could probably purchase a new suit before the callback.

      • Along these lines, is it possible to maybe get a cheaper black suit? When I was in my first year of law school, we received an assignment that required wearing a full suit–I didn’t have one, and was pretty broke, so I went to NY & Co and bought a black blazer for I think about 40 dollars.

        • Could you borrow, thrift or consign a suit?

          • Definitely ask around for a suit to borrow. I recently lent out my interview suit jacket to a friend who needed one in a pinch.

          • +1

          • I like this but to pricey for me. Jim called and said he was going to Saint Louis today and that I should be there by WENDSEDAY, b/c he has ticket’s for the Cardinal’s Baseball game. NOT a Yay!

            I told him I do NOT care for baseball b/c Alan used to be a MET’S fan and all he did was DRINK at the game and then throw up on my carpet.

            He said he would ONLEY drink 3 beer’s and have a few dogs. FOOEY on that. And he better NOT make me pay for the ticket’s! DOUBEL FOOEY!

            I am way to busy to spend alot of time in Saint Louis any way.

          • That’s a great idea! I do have a friend who’s around my size. Thank you for suggesting it – I would never have thought of that on my own!

    • I’d start with the skirt suit for the first interview. Then depending on the length of time between the first and second interview, I’d either wear the same suit styled differently (different top, different jewelry) or I’d wear the black dress with the light grey blazer once it’s tailored. I kind of think charcoal and black don’t work great together.

      Possible alternative option, do you have a friend of about the same size and shape? Almost everyone owns an interview suit — they’d probably lend it to you! Or at least a blazer in a coordinating color. :-). Also, Savers or other used clothing stores can be good sources for extremely discount blazers I you’re really worried. But honestly in my experience you either arent interviewing with the same people at the second interview or they are far enough apart that no one will care if you’re wearing the same suit.

      • I’d wear a different top, different jewelry, plus throw in different shoes and a scarf, wear a different jacket (meaning topcoat) to the building, wear your hair differently, and you stand a very good chance that nobody notices.

        If your 2nd interview is with a different group of people, so you might be OK. if the 2nd interview is with the same group as teh first, eh…..eh……if you’re junior enough and really well dressed and a good candidate, I’d totally notice but let it slide. And I am a really judge-y person. This, IMHO, is not anywhere near a dealbreaker (assuming you don’t show up in the exact same outfit and have clearly made an effort), unlike not sending a thank-you.

        Of course, if there is something funny about your suit– like if you forgot to take out the basting stitch, have a stain, it fits you poorly, etc. and you wear it twice, then I’d definitely judge you.

  2. I'm Just Me :

    Can you wear the charcoal blazer over the red dress with some understated accessories?

    • I'm Just Me :

      Sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to Meri.

    • I was thinking the charcoal blazer with either the green or black dress, you wanted to be more subdued – but the red dress would be good too!

      • I was thinking the green dress & charcoal blazer (which is my go-to power combination when I have a big meeting at currentjob) but I’ve had NO COLORS IN INTERVIEWS drilled into my head so much I feel like I might be offending the gods of job hunting. What do people who’ve interviewed before think – what would you think about an applicant with a smart dark green dress?

        • LadyEnginerd :

          If you feel comfortable and confident in that outfit to wear it to big meetings and feel powerful, wear it. If otherwise conservatively styled, the color might help you stand out from a sea of navy and charcoal suits.
          Note: see handle – this is a perspective from a fashion-challenged industry.

          • What she said. I wore maroon and black for all of my first interviews.

          • RookieRette :

            Agreed – if your I-need-to-be-a-rock-star-today outfit has color in it, then wear color. My interview standby has been a charcoal suit and amethyst shell.

        • If this is your go to power combination and it makes you feel fabulous & confident, definitely go with this combo. I recently hired a mid level accounting possition at my company. Only about 50% of the candidates I interviewed wore an actual suit. The others wore suiting separates, sports coats (men) and cardis (women). I wouldn’t hold the lack of a suit against a candidate.

  3. TO lawyer :

    Immediate TJ: So I’ve posted before about my long distance relationship, I think. My SO and I are really committed to each other and I’m sure that this is it for me, but we’re long distance for at least the next 12-18 months. We still see each other every 4-6 weeks and speak every day, but, increasingly, I’m having a harder time coping with the distance, especially as time goes on. I know lots of ladies around here are or have been in long distance relationships, so I guess I’m looking for advice on how to specifically cope with the distance myself. I don’t think there’s anything else that he can do – I just have to figure out how to be ok with this.

    • Can you Skype or chat with Gmail videochat? My SO and I are apart a lot and being able to actually see each other on the screen makes a huge difference. When we can’t talk or chat for even a day I feel like things are wrong. It feels homier somehow when he can hear my kitty meowing and we can talk and see expressions.

    • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

      What specifically about the distance is bothering you? I did long-distance for three years and it was hard, but I honestly felt that it got easier with time. Is it possible for you to see each other more often? Would sharing an experience help? I had friends that would go see the same movie at the same time and then call each other to talk about it afterwards like it had been an in-person date.

    • We used to have “dates” where we’d get on gchat/skype and watch the same show together online. I also would send little packages–cards that reminded me of him, baked goods, etc.–which I think helped because I got to do something about the fact that I was missing him. Last, if you know already what weekends you will see each other, book the trips as soon as you can, so it’s something concrete to look forward to.

    • Do you work a lot of hours? If not, what do you do to occupy yourself to make the days go by? Do you have a hobby or something that interests you?

      My SO and I have been apart for a little over 2 years now (thanks, deployments) and we live on opposite coasts when he isn’t deployed. He will be coming back to me next year so I’m just working towards that. In the meantime, I just started a new job that has is keeping me very busy. We don’t get to see each other much because of schedules. I’ve seen him once since he got back in August and I’ll e lucky to see him before Christmas because he is in the field so much.

      What helps me is working so that I am dead tired at the end of each day. Keep busy, force myself to go to the gym minimum 4 times per week, do stuff around the house that I really don’t want to do, and just keep engaged with my life. Video chat helps; when he was deployed we’d watch movies together pretty much every day but now neither of us has that kind of time. Also, video chat is great for like NOLA says, seeing their face and picking up on those nonverbal cues. Good luck.

      PS – like lucy says above, if we knew what you were having problems with, maybe we could help a little more.

    • DH and I did long distance for about 18 months. I struggled a lot with the heightened expectations I felt for a phone conversation; like I needed to have “something to say” when the average day doesn’t produce any such monumental news. In person I feel like it’s more natural to just kind of rattle through the day – I just felt more pressure on the phone.

      So, we had phone dates where we would just watch our normal TV shows at the same time over the phone — it brought some normalcy and more prolonged contact. We also stayed in touch over gChat most of the day. I made a point to share news articles / blog posts that we could talk about later. Good luck – it’s not easy.

    • When I was long distance, we would go on virtual “dates.” We would both go to our favorite local bars and chat on a friday night. Our we would take walks in the park and talk on the cell phone.

      It made the whole thing less depressing and sad that just lots of phone calls from my couch.

    • Thanks ladies! We FaceTime occasionally, but he usually calls when he’s driving somewhere so videochat is not always an option. Besides, I don’t think he really sees the benefit in it (whereas I feel much more connected to him after a video chat) so it happens more rarely. He also probably wouldn’t be on board with the idea of a “virtual date”, so I think that’s out of the question.

      It is not really possible to see each other more – in fact, in the new year, it’s likely we’ll be seeing each other less. We live a 4-hour flight apart and so we’re lucky we see each other as often as we do. We do plan our weekends together in advance – I have the next 2 already marked in my calendar so that tends to help.

      I think the biggest thing for me is lately, I’ve been feeling a big void in my life. I do tend to work a lot, but weekends and evenings are sometimes quiet and I feel lonely. I never used to feel like this, even when I was single. I need to get myself out of this funk – I used to date a lot and go out with a lot of my guy friends. But as my relationship has gotten more serious, some of the friends I used to hang out with have dropped off (not because of me, but because I think they always wanted something more). I feel like I’m straddling two worlds… I have a single lifestyle in practice (in that I’m not with my SO often) but obviously I’m very committed to him so the types of things I used to do when I was single are now out of the question.

      I guess I need to work on keeping myself busier but I don’t know how to do that…

      • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

        This makes sense. If you aren’t used to being alone on the weekend, it feels lonelier to sit in your house and read the paper and watch bad TV by yourself than it does to do the same things with a SO there. Do you have any hobbies you’re interested in? I wish now that I would have spent more of my alone time developing some hobbies, but I’m an only child so I was content to sit in my apartment and read non-law books most weekends. Now I wish I would have learned to knit or taken up yoga or gone for more bike rides, etc.

      • been there :

        I think you need to start investing time in some friends who aren’t interested in dating you should your relationship fall apart. Those are not real friends. I’ve been in a long distance relationship for many years. Over the years different guys have come and gone that I thought were friends but they were just hoping to get an “in.” But I could always count on my girlfriends and guy-friends (gay ones- feels weird to write that but I don’t want to discredit the support of those friends of mine). If those type of friends are lacking in your life right now then start making that a project. Go to parties, dinners, events and keep an eye out for people you get along with and expand your circle.

      • I’ve never been in your situation which you sound like you are handling over all very well.

        However, it sounds to me like you need some platonic friends to spend time with. Or maybe you could take a class? Develop a new hobby? Join a club? Something that can give you the social activities you crave but without the romantic pressures that come with some social activities. kwim?

      • This may sound insanely stupid, but I feel like I don’t know how to make new friends or develop new hobbies. What do other people do for fun? I’m going to try to go to the gym more often – when I was working out really consistently in the summer, I felt great so I think that might help with my state of mind. But besides that, I’ve always found it more difficult to make new female friends. I have a close group of girlfriends and we’ve been friends for a while, but as our lives diverge, they’re not always available on the evenings and weekends and I’m not sure how to make new friends to expand my circle…

        • I realize this is novel length, now that I look over it, but this is basically How To Make Friends The Way “CPA to be” Does It 101:

          I moved to a new city about a year and a half ago and I now have a fairly large group of “new” friends here, plus a couple of old friends who also happen to live here. I consider myself to be a social person and I make friends pretty easily even though I am not the type of person to just start talking to strangers in a bar. This is what I have done:

          Start small. Is there one or two people you know in town? A work colleague you are particularly friendly with? Start there. Ask them to go to lunch. Or do an activity together– play pub trivia, or something else where there is something built in to talk about. Start to make it a regular thing.

          The “old” friends I knew when I got here are mostly people who went to the same college I did. I made it a point to hang out with them. Go to your college’s alumni association events (if you enjoyed going to school there, obviously). Any time I meet new people through old friends, I make an effort to add them to my friend circle. I friend them on facebook, any time they invite me to something I go. Every month or two I host big parties at my house and invite literally everyone I know in town, including people I am just starting to get to know. Not everyone comes, but usually enough people are there so that it is really fun.

          You never know who is going to end up being your friend, so keep an open mind. My best friend in town was a random hookup of my husband’s frat brother. We just happened to go to dinner at his house a night when she was there. Join groups– if you are religious, go to church, and don’t just leave after the service. Go to sunday school (or whatever your version is), or young adult stuff. I joined the choir and met 3 or 4 friends that way. Do volunteer work, and you’ll find like-minded people. Join a professional organization. There are opportunities for friendship everywhere. It might feel a little weird or awkward at first, but keep working at it, and it will be so worth it.

          Also, booze helps.

        • If you are interested in a hobby, one way is to take a class in it. Sign up at the yarn store for beginning knitting, for instance. You’ll meet a few people that way.

      • Just because he isn’t into some of the ideas that others have suggested, doesn’t mean you should back off entirely. Maybe he would be more willing if you told him you were having a hard time and video-chatting once in a while would really help you. Part of making this easier for both of you is his responsibility as well, even if if doesn’t like it.

        • Agreed. I’d also add that if he’s not interested in doing these things (even occasionally) after you tell him that they mean a lot to you/would help you feel more connected, I’d question the “I know he’s it for me” mentality. You want a partner who’s going to give as well as take, and be willing to make compromises when things are important to you.

        • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

          I think this is very true. My husband didn’t care whether we talked every day or not, but once I explained that it was important for me because it helped me feel connected to him, he understood and we missed maybe 10 days in 3 years.

      • I’m a new empty nester and my husband’ work involves evening hours and he travels a good bit for his second job. Although we live together, we joke that there are times of the year when we’re just not in the house and awake at the same time.

        I’ve made a big effort to look and see what’s out there in the community for me to get involved in.
        * The Food Bank has volunteering on Thursday nights and 2 shifts on Saturdays
        * The art museum offers classes in a wide variety of things, including basket weaving and glass blowing
        * Our church offers various small groups
        * The history museum has lectures and classes, including some that surprised me (lace making and spinning)

        I figure that these activities give me a chance to learn something new and potentially make new friends.

        I also look at who/what is coming to town and cultural events by local groups and I make plans to go alone if my husband is unavailable and I don’t know anyone else interested.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      As a long distance couple veteran (13 years, well 12, 1 full year we were in same place, around year 10) – what do you mean when you say your having difficulty coping?Are you lonely? Are you bored? Are you feeling insecure in him or the relationship? If you can drill down to what is really causing you angst, you can address it. If its loneliness or boredom – do something about it. Go out with friends. Take a class. Do the things in your town you never do – visit the museums etc… Volunteer. If you are feeling insecure, why? Address those issues. Keep the communication level high. My husband and I talk, text, share interesting articles of FB etc… every day. Find ways to stay connected….

  4. Fun TJ – If money weren’t an issue, would you buy and use a quilted Chanel bag? I ask because its so obvious what it is. Also, what visible fashion (Louboutins, Burberry print, LV epi leather) would you have in your wardrobe? Mine would be nude Louboutins and an epi LV handbag.

    • Burberry print on something a little more subtle but equally splurg-y –like a trenchcoat lining.

      • I agree with OH CFO, if lining counts, a Burberry trench coat would be my pick.

        If “iconic” pieces that don’t necessarily have logos/identifying prints count, I would like a YSL le smoking or a Chanel cropped jacket.

        Yay fantasy fashion!

      • Locomotive :

        With my new bonus I wanted something splurge-y but couldn’t imagine carrying around such an expensive purse at 23 (I know plenty of people can do it but I’m such a klutz and I spill things and leather doesn’t seem to be easily cleanable)… so instead I got myself the Burberry buckingham trench (on of the more classic, 100% garbadine cotton trenches) and ADORE it. The only ‘burberry’ part of it that is obvious is the print on the back of the trench collar if you flip it.

    • McQueen structured coat (like the white one that Kate has)
      Burberry Trench coat
      A hermes lady bag (not birkin etc. but more compact small bag)
      A plethora of Hermes scarves
      Louis Vuitton soft luggage travel set

    • I probably wouldn’t do the Chanel bag but mainly because it’s not really my style and because in NY there are so many fake (and real) ones everywhere, I wouldn’t feel particularly special.

      My two items of conspicuous consumption would be Hermes enamel bracelets and a Bottega Veneta bag. I also sercretly love the look of the Fendi zucca print but I don’t think I could do a whole bag or shoe covered in it. Maybe a discreet key pouch, wallet, or belt.

    • e_pontellier :

      I want a Burberry Trench so badly, but I don’t know that they make tall enough sizes for me.

      • They make bespoke trenches =)

      • They have a long styled one that I had to have cut after I got it on super sample sale! (Because I have the opposite problem; but it was still worth the $100 to have it cut at Burberry b/c I paid less than $500 total)

      • e_pontellier :

        Don’t tell me these things, ladies!! I can’t afford it!! :)

      • Locomotive :

        they do make tall sizes. go to a burberry boutique and try on some of the taller ones (note color and style) and you can probably get some of them from saks or bloomies with an additional discount. e.g. saks is doing f&F which is 20% off most things right now and i bought my trench from bloomies with their f&f sale (also 20% off) a few weeks ago. 20% off something >1k is pretty big!

    • Absolutely a red croc Hermes Kelly bag. My dream bag.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Ooh, definitely the Burberry trench, and yes, actually, I’d love a Birkin, despite the ridiculousness/ostentatiousness of it.

      Black Louboutins.

      Classic grey tweed Chanel suit (minimal piping).

    • phillygirlruns :

      not a chanel fan, personally – too structured for me.

      my label-heavy splurges would be louboutins, a burberry trench and a marc jacobs stam bag.

    • Overall, I don’t feel very comfortable wearing obvious luxury items at work at this point in my career. I would definitely love a Chanel quilted bag otherwise, and if I ever make partner, you can bet that I will have one.

      That said, I am currently pining over an Hermes clic clac bracelet. I want one in green, one in blue, one in orange, etc. Also, I really want a boatload of Hermes scarves. I have a vintage one picked out for when I pass the CPA exam. When I decided that I might want an Hermes scarf, I wondered if I would actually wear it. In the last year or two, I’ve bought a ton of tester scarves at goodwill that I wear heavily, so I’m going to start saving up for the Hermes. I don’t think that an Hermes scarf would be a really obvious status symbol on someone who wears a lot of scarves already… unless you know what to look for.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      None of the items posted are out of reach, with planning, although the red croc Kelly requires more planning. Currently saving for a birkin…. could go buy one with bonus money, but the reasonable me always says – pay kids tuition etc…. lol

      But next new gig, I’ll be negotiating a signing bonus and it may very well go to Hermes……

      • Anonymous :

        Can you update us on your journey to bringing a Birkin home? I’d love to hear a first hand account of how it happens.

      • Re none of the items being out of reach:

        I agree, though the tradeoff between a bag and saving for retirement/kids/etc. makes many people feel these items are out of the scope of “prudent financial decisions”, not just simply “financial possibilities”.

        So in a dream scenario where money is no longer an issue, it’s not just the price of the designer object that is deflated, but all other financial obligations as well. Thus, buying a designer bag is cause for no more deliberation than most of us would spend buying a cup of coffee (oh to dream!). :)

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Agreed, but, my point was that no one was posting anything, that with a little planning, they couldn’t achieve. An occasional, planned splurge isn’t going to cause anyone to miss a student loan payment, live out the later years in poverty or impede their ability to not only procreate, but fund their kids education. Sometimes the tone on this board can be one of required sacrifice until every possible obligation, existing and anticipated, has been funded. Can an argument be made for it? Certainly, but it really does seem overly restrictive at times. I didn’t go to school for 21 years to spend the next 25 depriving myself of any luxury, or heck, not even luxury, just things that I like because of it. Not for nothing but I could have stayed at my pre-law school job for that – and even then, when I wanted something nice, I planned for it. I love what I do, but I also love the fact that it generates a substantial income, one that allows me to meet all my obligations, give my kids amazing experiences, and permits me to buy nice things….

          And yes, I will post about ‘bringing home my birkin” but don’t hold me to a time frame…. ;-)

          • I definitely agree with you. There is nothing like a well-planned splurge! Just commenting on what I’ve observed with regards to people’s reaction to the price of luxury (which, like any other preference is highly individual and – despite what economists would like – not always perfectly rational).

            Keep saving for that Birkin though, sounds like you deserve it ;)

    • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

      Birkin bag for sure.

  5. Tights TJ: You’re wearing a below-the knee black pencil skirt and a sheer long-sleeved bow front blouse that is dark turquoise with a subtle print. It’s cold outside. What would you wear on your legs and your feet?

    The pre-Corporette me would have worn nude stockings and pumps (oxblood patent leather in this case). But I feel like I’ve read that many of you might wear opaque black tights. With pumps still?

    Gah! It was so much simpler when I didn’t realize that I could look professional aaaaaand stylish :)

    • Today I’m wearing black skirt, gray tights, and black pumps. I like this look better than all black from the waist down. I also might have worn red, dark purple, turquoise, or green tights with this outfit, because being colorful is fine in my office.

    • I like very subtly patterned black tights to break up all the black. Today I have on a black pencil skirt, patterned black tights (little zig zags) and black patent leather mary jane pumps.

  6. So I decided to cave in and buy boots for the first time in 4 years..
    I am looking at these though they are overpriced (270 USD).
    I thought I’d buy burgundy instead of black of brown.
    what do you ladies think? are they worth the splurge?

  7. Threadjack about pay/compensation:
    I’ve recently been asked to take on an additional/extra role within my firm, over and above my regular caseload. I’m excited to have been asked to do this as I think it will lead to opportunities/experiences that most attorneys who’ve been practicing for 18 months don’t get. My questions is – if/when/how do I address how this will affect my compensation? The discussion between myself and the partners on this topic has been pretty minimal thus far, but I know other associates who have taken on similar roles so I have an idea what’s involved in this and know it’s more work without a reduction in our regular caseload. (Also, I’m not actually sure if taking on this role will include any adjustment to compensation – I plan on asking one of the associates I’m closer with before I talk to the partners about it).

    • Diana Barry :

      I think I need more information – what exactly does “additional/extra role” mean? And how big is your firm? Is it non-billable work? If so, I can see it two ways – (1) as work to see if you’re partner material, or (2) as a cheap way for the partners to get more work done without having to pay for it, which may mean it consigns you to a service/associate role forever. But if you’ve only been practicing for 18 months, maybe it’s (2) but without the forever aspect.

    • What type of role is this? If it doesn’t involve bringing in money to the firm, I am not sure you can expect a bump in compensation.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If you can’t get more compensation for it, could you get billable hours credit? I’m presuming it is going take away from your other work somewhat.

    • Is the role temporary or permanent? If permanent and if it’s not billable, I think it’s totally appropriate to ask either for increased salary, but I think it is unlikely that a law firm associate will get increased salary because salaries are usually based on class year. If it’s not billable and you get an hours-based bonus, you can also ask if you can get credit toward your bonus even though the work isn’t billable. And if your bonus isn’t hours-based, you should bring up your extra work in your annual review and ask if it can be considered toward your bonus.

      If it’s billable and it counts toward your hours requirement, I don’t think you can expect more compensation. Assuming you get some sort of hours-based bonus, you’ll come out ahead if it actually increases your workload.

  8. Does anyone really want another post between Friday and Monday? I feel like after a certain number of posts, the weekend open threads get unwieldy. And they tend to have reached 200 posts by Friday. That suggests there is space for another Friday post and then the Weekend Open Thread could auto post on Saturday morning.

    Am I crazy here?

  9. Tights TJ: You’re wearing a below-the knee black pencil skirt and a sheer long-sleeved bow front blouse that is dark turquoise with a subtle print. It’s cold outside. What would you wear on your legs and your feet?

    I would have worn nude stockings and pumps (oxblood patent leather in this case). But I feel like I’ve read here that many of you might wear opaque black tights. With pumps still?

    Gah! It was so much simpler when I didn’t realize that I could look professional aaaaaand stylish :)

  10. I love this blouse, but I feel like I always sweat all over silk tops. Like, even on a non-sweaty day, I seem to get a terrible sweat circle, which my dry cleaner is then unable to remove. Does this happen to anyone else or do I just have some kind of super-sweat?

  11. PharmaGirl :

    I love this top and almost clicked right over to buy it before realizing it’s Splurge Monday. Phooey.

  12. Costumes at work? :

    I’m a mid-level associate working at a small law firm. I am the only full time female attorney and I am 20+ years younger than all the other attorneys here. I also have naturally blonde hair. In my personal life, I am dressing as Elle Woods for Halloween. I found a great pink tweed skirt suit at a thrift store with matching pink shoes that I’m pairing with a pink scarf, pink headband with a flower and pink purse with a stuffed chihauhau inside, with a pink pom pom collar.

    The support staff were discussing Halloween plans one day and asked if I’m dressing up. I told them and now they really want me to wear the costume to work on real Halloween. Apparently, one of the partners loves Legally Blonde and they think it would be a hysterical surprise. I was originally on board because it is still a covered up suit, not like a revealing cat costume or something. However, I’m now worried that once people see me playing Elle Woods that image will stick with them. I’ve worked hard to not appear the young, ditzy blonde. For what it is worth, my husband thinks it is a terrible idea and thinks I should schedule a client meeting that day and use it as an excuse for why I can’t be in costume. He is in finance, not law, but the same issues apply there. Thoughts?

    • Diana Barry :

      I agree with your husband, don’t do it.

    • The outfit sounds adorable. I would err on the side of caution and skip it for work. It probably would be fine, but you don’t want to be worried about future impressions. Schedule a client meeting to get out of costume if the whole office is going to be dressing up.

      • If the whole office (other attorneys and not just support staff) were doing it, I could maybe see going full costume. But if you are the only one dressing up to that extent, I’d skip it. If the partner is a big Elle Woods fan, then be sure to take pictures and then bring the office appropriate ones in later for your desk.

    • As soon as you said 20+ years younger and blonde, warning bells went off.

      Unfortunately, while I think it’s a cute costume, you don’t want those associations made. It’s hard enough being a young associate, I really wouldn’t invite comparisons to Elle Woods at work.

      • Agree. I would wear an Elle Woods costume to work, and I don’t think it’s bad in the abstract. But if you’re the youngest, most junior, and only woman, don’t do it.

    • Nope nope nope, don’t do it. The suggestion came from support staff, not other associates or partners, and you are already dealing with being younger than the other attorneys plus being a woman. I think it’s a really cute Halloween costume and perfect for your weekend parties, but it runs the risk of replacing the professional, mature image you have worked so hard to cultivate. The partner might love Legally Blonde, but you don’t want them to think “Elle Woods!” every time they see you. Your husband is right on this one.

    • agree with your husband. esp if the other older attorneys are not dressing up.

      • This. If the other attorneys aren’t dressing up, then don’t do it. Or, if the attorneys are going to dress up, I would suggest a different costume (i.e. one that wouldn’t so easily create an image that the rest of the firm would associate with you).

    • e_pontellier :

      My husband would say the same thing, and I would be hugely bummed because like you, I am (almost) naturally blonde and I LOVE the costume idea you have!! It sounds adorable. However, I have to say, you’re better off not wearing the costume to work. : (

    • If you are a Legally Blonde fan, I’m sure you remember Elle’s own costume party experience. I would take that as a cautionary tale.

    • Costumes at work? :

      Thanks y’all. I have a feeling only those without “something important” going on will be in costume. I’d rather be seen as having “something important” going on. I bet that those in costume will likely only have a hat or horns or something, not a full ensemble. I was here last Halloween and don’t recall costumes but I may have been in trial then. I’ll stick with sharing a picture with the people that want to see the costume.

      • Agree with everyone else. But because I come from places where people don’t dress up at work for Halloween, I totally do not get.it.at.all. I understand it’s a know your culture/know your office thing, but it seems like one of these areas that creates opportunities to cross over into gray areas when it comes to dress code. I understand if you work in a school … anyway, just rambling.

    • Don’t do it. Be lame and wear mouse ears or something to show that you’re playing along in spirit.

    • MaggieLizer :

      No one is going to think of you as less professional because you dressed up as a fictional lawyer for Halloween. As far as inviting the comparison… everyone knows you’re young and blonde. Conducting yourself as a professional does not hide that. It does, however, mean that you dressing up as a parody would be super funny (whereas if you were actually ditzy it would be… not so much a costume). If you’re going to be uncomfortable and self conscious about it, though, then don’t do it.

    • I agree with the consensus that you shouldn’t wear the costume to work. But aren’t we all forgetting that Elle Woods was underestimated by everyone around her — well, okay, maybe because of the pink suits — and that she was practically the smartest person in the room? There are worse things than being Elle Woods, IMO.

    • I don’t plan to dress up for Halloween because I’m not much for costumes. I don’t have anything important on my calendar but I also don’t want to seem snobby for not wearing a costume to work. What’s a non-snarky way to say it’s not my thing?

      • Candy on your desk? Just for that day.

      • e_pontellier :

        You could be 3-hole-punch SJ, just like 3-hole-punch Jim from The Office. That was hardly a costume, but it would be amazing in an office — especially now that it’s been a couple of years.

      • Well, you don’t necessarily have to say it’s not your thing. What if ahead of time if people ask, you say you’re trying to think of something, just be really vague, and act like you intend to, but you’re not sure what yet. And then the day of when you don’t have a costume on, if people say ask why you don’t have a costume just say: “I know, I completely forgot/I couldn’t get mine together in time” and quickly transition to: “Your costume is so great! I love your devil horns/mouse ears! Have any plans for tonight?” – remember: people love talking about themselves.

      • 1. bowl of candy on desk
        2. headband with ears (fully removable after 5 minutes,). No capes, tails, etc. required.
        3. orange cardigan (“look! halloween colors!”)
        4. i will not lie, I wore halloween print knee high socks under my riding boots last year…then when someone called me on it was like “hey, look, at my socks!” Done and done.

        • I have a black long sleeve Tshirt with a metallic orange bat on it from Target that I wear, I also have a great witch hat. that’s my costume every year.

          • That is fully decked out in my book. I commute in street clothes and slap on something halloween-y once i get to the office.

    • I’m going to be the lone voice of a dissent: I really don’t think it’s a big deal. If you want to wear a costume, wear a costume! Honestly, if you’re professional in all other respects, why does it matter? It’s Halloween! It’s about fun.

      I know that a big theme of this blog is not only how to dress but also how to act professionally–but I just don’t buy into the idea that we have to over-analyze every single action we take, no matter how benign, in order to be seen as “professionals” by those around us. In fact, I think that all this over-analyzing HURTS women in the workplace, by contributing to this idea that we must be perfect and flawless and never take a wrong step (yet not toooooo feminine!) in order to succeed.

      Also–why we’re at it, can we please disabuse ourselves of the notion that it’s inherently unprofessional to be young or blonde–or god forbid, both? By putting so much effort into “minimizing” these attributes, I believe that we are, in fact, encouraging the notion that one cannot be simultaneously a young, blonde female and also a profefssional. Yes, I understand it’s about combating others’ unfortunate (mis)perceptions about women–but I think the only way to TRULY (sorry for the Ellen caps) overcome others’ prejudices is to embrace who we are. There is a fine line between professionalism and suppressing one’s identity.

      A man would never think twice about wearing a silly costume on Halloween–no matter how young and blond he is.

      P.S. I’d like to propose a new acronym: SFTEC = sorry for the Ellen caps.

      • I notice that commenters usually say “sorry for the Ellen caps” when they’ve used caps for emphasis. However, technically such usage is not Ellen caps. Her use of capital letters has almost no regularity, and no apparent function. “Ellen caps” is more LIKE this, when you can’t tell what the AUTHOR wanted to emphasize and instead it seem’s more or less random.

        In conclusion, fewer apologies are necessary than you might believe. Most caps on this websight are regular, real-person caps.

      • I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and advice. I suppose I could’ve clarified that other than the men in the office and the couple of highly religious ladies who don’t celebrate (and everyone knows it so they don’t ask them anymore why they aren’t wearing costumes), I’m the other one who doesn’t dress up for Halloween. I don’t judge the people who do but I also don’t decorate my desk seasonally or really get into planning our holiday luncheon like some of the other ladies in the office. I’m not doing it to be a grinch or take a stand, I just really don’t care to participate. I also know that the women who looooove Halloween will ask me about my costume and I don’t want to wear one just to placate them or hurt anyone’s feelings when I tell them I don’t dress up for Halloween. Even as a kid, I was a black cat or a witch because I had a black leotard/tights combo for the cat costume and wore one of my mom’s old black dresses as a witch and had a cheapie hat. Halloween has never been my thing.

        But I think some Halloween candy and a piece or two of flair would make me feel better about not going all out.

    • A former male coworker of mine once wore a baby diaper and tights to work to dress as Cupid for Halloween. No one else dressed up for halloween. This was before I started here and I’ve been here for 12 years, people are still talking about it. He hasn’t worked here since 2004ish. I think dressing up at work is always a bad idea.

  13. TJ – Ladies, I need your input on my work situation because I do not know how to handle it. I am a young attorney. My boss has made it clear that he does not think young attorneys belong here because they don’t know the ropes yet. Even though I do everything I can to ensure I am doing my job correctly (reading guidance, reviewing samples, speaking to people), he sends emails saying I messed up and cc’s my colleagues. In addition, he will give me instructions (he is constantly emailing and checking in on me) and then reprimand me for following HIS instructions. He also has a habit of pulling me out of trainings, even though they are intended to educate new attorneys. There is another manager on his level that I could potentially work for, who understands that I am new and still learning, but he is frequently out of the office. I don’t know who else to go to since my boss’s bosses go way back with my boss. I also get the sense that talking to my boss will do more harm than good.

    Thoughts? How would you handle this situation?

    • Anon young lawyer :

      How annoying! Take the advice of the more experienced professionals who chime in later, but I’ll give my 2 cents anyway.

      I think it’s good that he keeps emailing because it creates a paper trail. If my boss emailed me and cc’d my colleagues, I would reply with a copy & paste of his instructions from a previous email. As in, if the public email said “I told you to do A!” I would reply “in your email dated ____, you stated: ‘You must do B!’ Let me know which path you would prefer on our next motion for summary judgment.”

      Also, are there more senior associates who have successfully worked with him before? If so I would start a conversation by saying, “Do you know about any of Partner X’s pet peeves? Any tips?” I wouldn’t accuse the partner of being mean, etc, because word gets around. There is a partner at my firm who can be very rough to work with, and thankfully the senior associates discreetly told me about his…er…roughness. Now I know that the issue isn’t really my work. If I actually make a mistake with him, I own it and fix it. But most of the time I haven’t actually made a mistake, so no threat to my ego.

    • Is this boss responsible for hiring an firing? If not, document, document, document the work you do for him so you can show exactly what you’ve done when he inevitably gives you a bad evaluation. If he is, start aggressively networking now (while still focusing on your current job) so if/when he gets his way you have an exit strategy.

      Otherwise, I’d talk to any mid-level associates there are at the office and just get a sense of what the best way to handle this guy is. You’re probably not the first person he’s done this to.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I might even copy your boss’s boss (if he/she is working on the same issues) on the conflicting instructions email above, eg “in your email dated X (attached), you said that I should do A; in your email dated Y (attached), you said that I should do B. Please let me know which you would prefer.”

        Also, I’m not clear whether you’re working at a law firm or another kind of organization; knowing that information might help.

    • Well, first of all, you got hired as a young attorney so clearly someone in the organization thinks that hiring young attorneys is a good idea. Is this a firm? Is there an associate liaison that you can speak to? That is one of their jobs is to advise associates on how to navigate the waters and make the firm aware of troublesome partners. I also think you can tactfully reach out to others who are more senior to learn how to deal with this partner. Keep all these emails and document it so if it comes up in a review that you missed x training then you can explain why. What happens when you stand up to him? If he critiques your writing, then remind him that you are working on improvement the next time he tries to pull you out of a writing training session.

    • It’s actually a government agency. I’m hesitant to involve my boss’s boss on these emails because I don’t think my boss would take it well – he gets upset when too many people are involved.

      • That’s a major sign of a bully, just FYI.

        I had a boss like this at my last job, and I would do exactly what is described above – I saved all emails, all documentation I could, and had ammunition when the boss decided to change (in this case her) tune about what was expected. If your boss is calling you out in front of colleagues via email, DO NOT hesitate to respond, copying all those people as well. And if it still continues, maybe go to boss’s boss and share several of these emails with him/her?

        A few questions: do you like the work you’re doing, aside from the unreasonable boss? Would work with Potential Boss be in the same vein? Do you think that Boss #2 would provide better feedback/work environment even if he’s not in much? (I found this to be the case in my last job)

        • I do like the work I’m doing, aside from my boss. Work with the potential boss would be in the same vein, and I think she would provide better feedback/work environment when she is in the office. I’m just not sure how her frequent travel would impact our working relationship.

        • Keep in mind, he’s new. I may be wrong, but I can’t imagine your agency would be thrilled about his message. They can’t correct what they don’t know about.

        • Another S :

          Definitely a bully. He’d probably bully you even if you weren’t a new attorney – in fact, it might be worse because he’d probably be threatened by you (maybe he already is)! If I were you I’d start exploring the option to be managed by the other manager…

        • Stepmom re Driving and ACT Preparing :


          Bullies want everything they do to stay in the dark. When you expose them, they say anything (they will make up any story, even ones that don’t make sense) to “explain” why you were wrong to tell anyone.

          I have learned this in my personal life — fiance’s former wife hates transparency and yells, blames, name calls, lies, offers explanations that contradict each other and make no sense whenever he includes other relevant players in her stories, thus exposing the fact that they are stories and not facts and she was bullying him and/or the kids — but I am sure it is the same in the professional world.

      • Definitely reply all to the emails where he criticizes you and copies your coworkers. I might even copy them when you reply to the initial emails he sends with instructions that he later contradicts, although he probably would not like that.

        Are you getting his permission to attend the trainings? That way you can say to him, “Boss, I am attending this training for which you gave me prior approval. If this is an emergency, I will step out, but we previously agreed that this training is important for me.” I would also try to get a read on this issue from your coworkers, even though they don’t know your boss that well; ask them what the general protocol is for training and how you should prioritize.

        As for the other manager, I would try to speak with others that work for that manager to see if you might like working for him. Is he totally impossible to track down when he’s out, or is he nearly always available by phone/email?

  14. e_pontellier :

    NYC Meet Up! Wednesday October 17 at 8PM. We’re meeting up at Grey Dog’s Coffee – on W 16th St between 7th and 8th Aves. Look forward to seeing everyone there!

    Feel free to email me – e.pontellier.r et te [at] gmail [dot] com – with questions / comments / concerns / suggestions for ice breaker games… if you’re so inclined.

  15. Health-related TJ: Can anyone recommend a really good multivitamin? I want to start taking one as I know it can help with my energy and tiredness levels (on top of nutrition and exercise, obviously). I’m not deficient in anything, although my iron is at the low end of normal, and I eat well. I’m just sort of looking for some guidance with the huge wall of vitamins in the pharmacy. Thanks!

    And for the people who were looking for fall brunch cocktails last week, here are some Serious Eats suggestions: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/10/fall-autumn-brunch-cocktails-entertaining-punch-drinks-recipes-bourbon-pumpkin-cider.html

    • I take the Whole Foods adult multivitamins. They have one for women, too, but it has soy in it (or at least it did last time I checked), which I am not interested in adding via supplement.

    • I take the generic version of Centrum for Women. It is fine; my B12 and D levels were low. It also has folic acid, which helps with hair thickness (at any rate, my doctor told me to add it b/c my hair was falling out due to stress/illness, and it seems to help).

    • No Problem :

      Cautionary tale: taking multivitamins on an empty stomach can make you puke. Make sure you’re near an appropriate location when taking a multivitamin for the first time.

      A few years ago I decided to start taking a daily multivitamin. Monday morning, I swallowed down my Women’s One-a-Day and went on my way getting ready for work. Within 5-10 minutes, I was crazy nauseous and had to go throw up. When I mentioned this to my doctor, she said that when the label says to take with food, they really mean it. I never had problems if I took the pill with a few bites of food or a meal.

      However, I used to take Centrum multivitamins back in college and I’m sure I took those on an empty stomach on a regular basis without trouble, so it probably depends on the brand and formulation.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Definitely take with food. If you are particularly sentitive to vitamins, take before bed so you sleep through the nausea.

      • Yes, I believe Centrum has recently changed their formulation. I decided to start taking a multivitamin a few months ago after a long hiatus, so started taking Centrum. I ended up with really awful abdominal pain, nausea and hives, and luckily had enough sense to realize it was the multivitamin so stopped taking it right away. Still don’t know what it was that disagreed with me because I don’t have any allergies that I know of. But this is just a long way of saying that my Centrum experience this time around was very different than when I was last taking it about 5 years ago.

      • Yes, this happened to me recently when I bought DR/Walgreens-brand calcium pills. Awful gagging in the shower (I brush my teeth, take my pills, then get in the shower) for several days in a row until I made the connection. Now I try to take them right after I’ve eaten, and not if I’ve only eaten something light (fruit/liquid).

    • I like Rainbow Light Women’s One and the Prenatal One (not at the same time, obv.) Prenatal vitamins have more iron and folic acid so you might want to look at those. I also take vitamins before bed to minimize stomach distress although this brand didn’t bother my stomach much.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just started taking the most delicious gummy vitamins. They are for adults and have natural dyes. They are Vitafusion Multivites Gummy Vitamins for adults. YUM. I eat two a day after dinner and could easily eat the whole bottle at once if that wasn’t bad and dangerous.

      • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

        Second. I gave them up for prenatal vitamins recently and it made me very sad. Stupid doctor suggesting I start prenatals before we start trying, depriving me of my gummy goodies.

  16. e_pontellier :

    OH. MY. GOSH.
    I love the new font.

  17. I’m thinking about getting a seasonal holiday job. I’m a 3L taking mostly pass/fail classes, I’m not traveling for the holidays, and could use some extra cash (and an employee discount).

    Have any of you ever had a seasonal retail job experience? If so, where? I’m curious about where to apply.

    • I was recently in Anthropologie and was talking to one of the cashiers who told me she was basically working there 2 days a week because of the incredible employee discount. Not sure if that’s your style, but if you like their aesthetic, I would consider applying there – it seems like a pleasant working environment.

    • I worked a few seasonal retail jobs in college – I worked at Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and a local YMCA childcare facility.

      In general – it was exhausting and crazy. I made some money but not that much. A lot of the best paying jobs were taken in Oct/Nov and I didn’t get out of school till late December and had to go back in early January. There was competition for these jobs (from other people home for the holidays) but I never didn’t find one if I wanted one. I think I made something like $9-10/hr, if that. I would say the max I made in the 3 week period I was home was like… $1k? After taxes, it was less.

      That said, I did it more than once because it was nice to have the extra spending money, especially around the holidays.

    • e_pontellier :

      I hear JCrew does 50% off for their employees.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Williams-Sonoma. My kitchen thanked me for that employee discount.

    • Back in 2001 when I got laid off, I worked as a seasonal at Tiffany’s. It was the hardest job I ever had, but I got a 30% discount. Every single member of my family got something from Tiffany’s that year for Christmas. And many of my friends also took advantage of my discount.

      But retail is hard and Tiffany’s has that shark tank setup where customers surround you. Also, Tiffany’s has a dress code.

    • I worked for a retail store throughout undergrad and we hired seasonal help every year. I have gone back and worked holidays for a few years here and there since then, though it’s harder to coordinate while working as an attorney than it was during school. If you want the discount, it’s a good thing to do. If you’re bored, it’s a good thing to do. If you’re trying to earn extra money… you probably shouldn’t get too excited about that aspect. If you don’t make a certain amount in wages while you are there, they won’t take out taxes and then you will have to pay all that in, which is an unpleasant surprise. Plus, if you are seasonal help and a store is overstaffed at certain times, you will get cut from the floor first so the full-time employees don’t have to leave. Also a warning: if you can’t work Black Friday or the day after Christmas, which is when they need the most help, you might not get hired. For all those reasons, I won’t be doing it again this year.

    • Don’t work anywhere that involves fitting rooms and hangers.

    • I worked at Gap and Old Navy (so, Gap Inc.) in HS and college. They hire a ton of seasonal employees and the discounts were good — benefits were GREAT for full-timers. However, in my old age I think there are discounts I’d enjoy more (i.e. Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, etc.). If you work at one Gap-owned store, though, you get a discount at all of them (including Banana Republic).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I worked year round at Gap and Banana for undergrad and law school. Yes, the discount is great, but the levels of stress and mess during Holiday were horrible. Holiday really brings out the absolute worst in customers, and theft goes through the roof. I second eek’s recommendation – nothing involving clothing. Anything in boxes or non-foldable are smart choices – Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Best Buy, Tiffany’s, shoe departments. I was never as physically and mentally exhausted as during Holiday. I still can’t go to the mall in December without twitching.

      • Turtle Wexler :

        Eh, I worked a second job at Pottery Barn in my younger years and it was also exhausting — some stuff is boxed already, but if you end up in the tabletop department, be prepared to wrap and box A LOT of cups, plates, wineglasses, etc. I always had paper cuts up and down my arms from the newsprint and cardboard boxes. Also, they usually try to sell from the stockroom rather than the floor, so if the stockroom people are busy you’ll end up running back and forth to get said cups, plates, wineglasses, etc. It’s a little easier in the bed/bath department, but decorative accessories is almost as bad as tabletop in terms of running around and boxing things. So I’d say these types of jobs are marginally better than ones involving clothing and hangers, but not much. Retail is what it is. However, I’ve never been as skinny as I was during those 18 months…

        Oh, and Williams-Sonoma owns Pottery Barn and West Elm, so when I worked there our discount was good at any of the stores. I basically put in my time so I could furnish my apartment nicely for less. In that way, it was worth it, but I never actually made any money because I spent it all there. So beware of that, you’d be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

      • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

        Don’t work a shoe department at a major department store during the holidays. They will make you clean other departments after you put your drags back.

    • I worked at a non-apparel retailer over the holidays for a couple of years. A couple of thoughts…first, it would be great to find somewhere that pays commission…this can really boost your hourly rate during the holidays and I think makes a retail job more fun. Second, not sure how long you can stay on after the holidays, but many places do inventory at the beginning of February which means overtime hours and could be enjoyable if you like “projects”. And lastly, I hope you like Christmas carols because you are going to here the some 20 on loop through Dec 31.

    • I’ve worked several retail jobs over the holiday season over the years. I wasn’t “seasonal,” though – I started in the summer and kept working after the holidays until I moved/graduated what have you.

      Retail can be really brutal, restaurant work is a little harder but generally pays much much better and for me at least is a little more fun, so I would look into that if I were you. However, FYI, Kohls is hiring seasonal people right now.

  18. For those of you who are coupled, do you communicate with your SO during the work day? In what medium–text, email, phone, in person? And how frequently?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I communicate via text or email usually. I’ll email about things like websites and text about very important matters like fantasy football.

      Probably 2-3 times per day for us.

    • e_pontellier :

      Usually less than once per day — so like 2 or 3 days of the week, I’ll contact him by email/txt during the work day. My husband has made it very clear that emails / txts / phone calls are interruptions that are not helpful.

      • Diana Barry :

        This makes me sad. :(

        • Ditto this. I feel like you’re missing out on a lot of life sometimes, e, and it makes me sad for current and future you. If it works, great, but I feel like you sacrifice a lot of yourself for husband.

          • e_pontellier :

            I just want it to work. I just love him to pieces and he adores me. Once the marathon is over, I plan to really push him to get to therapy / on anti depressants. He told me he hasn’t paid our cable bill in 3 months because he stopped opening the mail. I didn’t even know and I feel so irresponsible. (sorry to jack this thread…)

          • You have a lot on your plate, so don’t blame yourself for everything.

          • Diana Barry :

            I just think that from what you have posted here, your statement “he adores me” is fundamentally incompatible with the way he treats you, and it makes me sad. I hope you can get to a better place, whether with or without him. Hugs.

          • Why would you feel bad that he forgot? You seem to take on his pet peeves, annoyances, and failings as your personal failings. Nothing in your last few posts about him have seemed like he adores you. He is constantly putting you down and making you feel low. I understand wanting to work on it, but he doesn’t treat you like he adores you, and actions speak loudly.

          • what diana berry said.

          • Totally agree with Diana Barry :

            I don’t think you’ve described any action he’s taken that makes him sound like a worthwhile partner who actually loves and respects you and looks out for your interests. Obviously, people on this blog are more likely to post their complaints about SOs than all of the things that make their SOs so wonderful. But every time you post about him, I think, I really hope she leaves him sooner rather than later, because she will be so much happy, and free to find a guy who treats her as well as she deserves, and who doesn’t force her to suppress her emotions and reactions and big parts of her identity. I apologize if this sounds harsh and forward, but it makes me sad to read about your marriage, and especially to sense that your husband’s behavior doesn’t alarm you the way it seems to alarm so many other readers here.

          • phillygirlruns :

            e_pontellier, i feel like i could have written a lot of your posts myself. i am not trying to be all doomsday, but i spent over two years trying incredibly hard to help my depressed husband. even when he stopped actively taking out his depression and unhappiness on me, he had still withdrawn from me – physically and emotionally. i could not count on him to do the things he said he would. i found out he was not paying his bills because he just wasn’t checking the mail, and he wasn’t submitting any of his work expenses for reimbursement. i spent all of my energy on trying to help him and bring us back together, which left very little for me and the rest of my life.

            a few months ago i realized that i could not expect things to change. maybe they would, maybe he’d get his s### together, maybe he’d consistently get the help he needed…but maybe they wouldn’t. and i couldn’t envision spending the next two or three or ten years the same way we spent the last two. that is when i realized i needed to leave. getting divorced is not easy but i am SO MUCH HAPPIER solo. i had not realized just how unhappy i was until i left. if you ever want to talk, you can email me at philly[the site that shall not be named]s at gmail.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I agree. If he really adores you, he wouldn’t be making you feel bad about yourself, or make you feel bad about trying to move forward in your career, let alone being irresponsible with your finances by not paying bills or opening the mail. While the hive can’t make you do anything from the ether of cyberspace, I really hope someone at the NYC meetup gives you the kick in the pants you need to realize that your posts about your husband are all giant red flags to a community of ladies who have, collectively, seen many healthy and unhealthy relationships.

            My SO and I chat a couple times a day on gchat and cheer each other on when we did something good (i.e. “my meeting went well!” “that’s awesome!”), and if we’re swamped, we’ll send each other a quick email over lunch. That is what I consider normal and healthy.

          • Anne Shirley :

            Marathon? Is he running it? So he can handle work, and a time consuming hobby, but cannot manage to either pay the bill or tell you- I’m really overwhelmed, can you tale care of the bills? He doesn’t like you to interrupt him, gives you the silent treatment, scolds you for having feelings- I’m just not seeing how he adores you, and I wish I did.

          • e_pontellier :

            I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. I keep posting because I do value everyone’s advice, but ladies – I can’t leave him. It’s really helpful to hear from everyone that *I* am not off-base with my expectations or feelings, but I’m simply not leaving him. I would say he’s a wonderful husband 65% of the time. So we’re working on the rest.

          • Anon for tough love :

            “I CAN’T leave him” is a VERY concerning statement. It’s black and white thinking. It traps you in a very unhealthy situation. You’re in therapy, right? If not, you should go, stat. Please consider printing out your posts on this website and bringing them along to discuss with a qualified therapist. We, collectively, are concerned about you and think your compass of what is healthy has been very very skewed.

            The truth is that you can leave him. The question is why you don’t want to, why all this self-sacrifice is worth it, whether you see it getting better, and whether you see him contributing to your partnership instead of making you care for him and absorb his cruelty when he lashes out at you. The other question is at what point you will decide that, despite how good it might have been at some point in the past, it isn’t getting any better. If it doesn’t get better, I think you will hit a point at which you must leave him or he will drag you down into depression with him. I suggest that if he does not go to therapy and get back on the meds within three months despite your best efforts to convince him, you re-evaluate and go stay with a friend for a couple weeks to clear your head.

            You’re willing to have a bad partner for a third of the time? When it’s a good day, do you actually feel free or are you walking on eggshells to try and put off the next inevitable bad day? If one of your friends described this to you, what would you say?

          • I agree with tough love. Wonderful 65% of the time is a seriously low number. I wouldn’t keep a friend that was only a friend 65% of the time. And it is scary to say you can’t leave him, as opposed to you don’t want to leave him, or you want to try more before you make that decision. The fact that you throw out the 65% number like its a good thing is seriously messed up. If my husband were under 90% we’d be in major crisis mode and therapy. Add to it all youve shared about his emotional manipulation, and I’m seriously concerned. Why the f*ck would you not even have it as an option?

          • Can’t because you’re in law school? Can’t because you feel some responsibility for him because of his depression/inability to get it together? Can’t because you are fundamentally opposed to divorce? Can’t because you’re working on it and you hope it will get better?

          • If “can’t” is because of religious or cultural reasons that take divorce off the table for you, I hope you have a therapist who can approach your marriage from this perspective. A friend of mine is a clinical psychologist who works with South Asian couples dealing with abuse for whom divorce is not an option. She’s Indian herself and understands and works with the cultural and religious norms the couples are dealing with. I would think that if divorce isn’t an option for you under any circumstances, then it would be crucial to find someone who was operating in the same framework you are.

      • Very regularly. We are also LD, but even when we saw each other every day we communicated a lot. and commuted together. He makes me laugh so much and he’s really sweet so I enjoy getting nice messages throughout the day. We also share a lot about our work days and he seeks my advice on a lot of management/leadership challenges he has with his Marines. Been together 3.5 yrs and it’s nice to keep some romance alive in this day and age. We do a combo of skype and phone calls (on his way to work, on his way to/from meetings, over lunch). I do a quick phone call to office to let him know I’m home in the evening.

      • e, your husband just sounds so awful and controlling. obviously a phone call is an interruption, but many people welcome that interruption from their spouse.

        • e, it probably seems like we are down on husband a lot and that’s because we are. We can only comment on what you share here, so while it may be hard to read, please know that no one is being snarky or mean. We write to you because we care and some of what you are saying is off to us. Collectively we have a variety of life experiences and the (sometimes unsolicited) opinions you’re getting here you might not be getting from your real-life friends or family. That may be because you don’t share these things with them, they are used to your situation, or they don’t have the type of personality to say “hey, that’s jacked up and I care about you.” Regardless, from what you post here, you deserve much better.

          • Agree> I posted before a lot of the other posts, and don’t want to appear to be piling on, but honestly when I see you posting for the NYC meetup, I have the exact same thoughts LadyEnginered has- that I hope meeting people in person will help you realize that he seems truly destructive to you. You are so sweet on this board and cheerful and helpful, and everytime I see a post with “my husband doesn’t let me, want me, or like me to do that” I see that flower drooping a little more. You deserve the sunshine and I hope you realize you can get that without him.

          • Same as cfm. As an (internt) friend, I don’t like seeing you so down. You deserve the best. I know people tend to vent about their SO’s in safe spaces, but please look at your posts from a more objective perspective and I hope you realize that you deserve so much more.

      • We probably have 2-3 text exchanges during the day. I work in a small office, and I hate to admit it but sometimes I get lonely! If he is in the office (rarely) we will get on gchat for a bit. We’ve been together for 15 years, and we’re kind of attached at the hip.

        My husband is a commercial electrician, so if I text and get no response I know he’s either got his hands in a live electrical panel or he is up on a 12 ft ladder or something.

        • ‘Attached at the hip’ – I love that! I feel it describes my dh & I as well. We had our 18th anniversary in August, and I’m so thankful for him & our relationship. I’m going on a business trip next week for 5 nights & I’m totally going to miss him!

    • We usually have a very short phone call once a day. That goes up if we have a household or scheduling issue that needs addressing during daytime hours. If he was on IM, I would probably talk to him more. Neither of us are prolific texters.

    • Texts. Couple of times a day on average.
      Calls only when something is really important, emails only if something needs to be referenced (e.g., reservations or news article) or third parties are involved.

    • Yes, both text and email – text when one of us is at home/not at work and email during the regular (well, his regular) 9-5 work day. He obviously works 9-5, I do not – more like 8-9/10 usually. Phone calls sometimes in the evening once he’s home if I am going to have a very late night (past midnight) or one of us had a very bad day or something. With email and text, usually short bursts every couple of hours. So he’ll send an article, bit of back and forth. Couple hours later, I’ll ask how his day is going, etc. Probably 20 emails total on a not busy day. 3 or 4 on a super crazy day.

    • Diana Barry :

      Call once a day, email if we have something to tell each other or are working on something together, or have a scheduling issue.

      I don’t text and often forget my phone, so no texting.

    • We aren’t big texters, so we either email or call, but not every day. We have an email convo 2-3 times per week, often when something has triggered it, like I remembered something that was on in the evening, or he got an email from one of our sons’ teachers. Sometimes it’s just a “You’re awesome” email, though. The phone call, unless something urgent, is normally at lunch and only 1 or 2 times a week and often when one of us is having a bad day. We also can usually get together for lunch once a week or so, which is nice.

    • We both have IM running in the background all day, so we’ll ping each other 2-4 times a day with either actual life information or links to articles/websites. We also call each other during lunch if we can.

      And we try to have lunch together once every two weeks or so, sometimes more often if we’re not busy. Our offices are only ten minutes apart on foot, so it’s not hard.

    • We text most days during the day. Sometimes just one or two, to ask how his/my day is going. Sometimes it’s a whole text conversation that goes on sporadically through out the day.

    • G-chat through the day. Busy days may not get further than hello and slow days I’ll share articles or whatnot. On an average day we’ll have a quick conversation about dinner or reminders about something going on in the evening. Oh, and discussions about our dog’s morning bathroom routine are usually addressed…

      • So glad I’m not alone! Sometimes I worry that we spend far too much time discussing the dog’s digestive system.

        • Another S :

          Us too! I’d say at least 1/3 of our texts are about which of our dogs did what on the walk so the other one knows what to expect bathroom-wise from the dogs later in the day. I have a company phone and sometimes I wonder if IT reads my texts. If so, they’re either grossed out or bored – or both!

        • Ugh, never thought that I would talk as much about dog poop (including timing, consistency, color) as Mr. TBK and I do.

      • “So…did he poop for you? Cuz he didn’t poop for me.” ALL THE TIME!

    • Via email & text only. In terms of frequency, it depends how busy we are during the day – sometimes it’s not at all and sometimes we have back & forth text conversations if we’re both a little slower.

      Now that I think about it, we’ve developed this weird, unspoken system where we use email as “need to know” communication, like save this date for a social event/doctor’s appointment scheduling/after work events/basically anything that requires a response, whereas text messaging is where we’re more informal & silly & where we communicate just to communicate.

    • We usually have a couple emails and a call. The emails typically start with something sweet from me, but may grow to include scheduling info or other current events, an occasional article. He’ll usually call on his way back from court (once or twice a week), and always when he’s done with work for the day (he generally is done much before I am). I also will call randomly when I’m losing my little mind, for a pep talk or general calming influence.

    • A quick text once a day, and then maybe a call on the way home. I’ll only call if there’s something that has to be answered, or I’ll email if I have a thought or link I want to send over without interrupting (something that can wait for later). We try to be respectful of each other’s workdays, although it’s inevitable that sometimes he’ll call when I’m in a meeting or I have some question when he can’t pick up and then we both might get temporarily mildly annoyed. I love my husband and all, but I don’t think it’s super essential that we talk 20 times a day when we’ll see each other by 6 or 7 typically.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Texts daily and a phone call if I actually need to discuss something like scheduling. We also play some iphone games that let you go at your own pace. Currently, dice with friends is our thing. It is fun to take a quick 2 second break to roll my dice and play my round. He play back when he gets a break. Then we repeat. I feel connected doing something competitive with him throughout the day. It also feels a bit naughty b/c we are playing a game while working. In reality though, I’ll the moves combined probably take less than 20 minutes of my day.

    • I call when I leave work if I think he’s home already.

      I send him occasionally e-mails, which he sometimes responds to during the day and sometimes not until the next day.

      If there’s something urgent, he texts me.

    • gChat throughout the day – topics span “to-dos,” news articles, idle workplace gossip, etc.

    • Text. Gives me maximum privacy in a cubefarm, plus immediate gratification.

      Email sucks on my phone with its tiny, crippled keyboard. I don’t send private emails on my work computer.

      Phone – no privacy. I am not enough of an exhibitionist to do sappy love-talk to the husband in this cubefarm. YMMV, though. There was a guy who used to sit in my row who used to have regular arguments with his wife about stuff she wanted to buy or what was for dinner, or home repairs/improvements.

    • 1-2 phone calls and/or maybe an email per day. On busy days, none of the above. But when the schedule gods are smiling, he picks me up and we go home to have lunch together with the dog!

    • All the above. Depending on how busy we both are- usually 3 calls (around 3-5 minutes?), a few text conversations, and a couple emails. Just enough to say hello and how are things, or don’t forget to pick up M from after school activities, or I can’t wait for tonight-eyebrow wiggle wiggle, etc.

    • We do this a lot. I’ve got a flexible job, but work most business hours, and he’s a shift-worker who’s often working second shift. We usually text or have gChat open throughout the day. We rarely call each other, unless there’s something truly important going on that can’t be handled via text.

      If we didn’t do this, I’d rarely get to interact with my husband. He’s out at work during most of the weekend, and home in the evening at max only three times through the week (when I am usually doing work at home).

    • We text frequently. Usually just friendly hellos or occasionally something, umm, less appropriate if I make sure no one is standing behind me first. I like it when he later tells me I made him blush in the middle of a meeting. He also sends me emails sometimes with silly things. Technology is awesome.

    • We talk probably once or twice a day. I eat lunch at my desk and often call him then. We text a lot more during the day. He is also a stay-at-home dad and so we text about the kids, he sends pics of them, stuff like that.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Text mostly, phone call if something needs immediate attention or kid related. On and off all day…. We know we are at work so neither expects an immediate response. when he was in Europe, we kept a IM box open, or skype logged in, but now text is fine….

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Email or text 0-2x per day. We’re both attorneys.

    • This is a point of contention for us. I really don’t like to be interupted at work unless it’s about my husband needing to work late, needing me to stop for groceries on the way home or needing me to pick my stepdaughter somewhere on my way home-that type of thing. He would prefer we texted multiple times a day “just to say hi/i love you.” My feeling is that I don’t work long hours so I need to be focused when I am here so that I can be focused on us/family when I am at home. He feels like that means work is more important than he is. We’re still working out a compromise since I’m in a new position and we haven’t been married that long.

    • Research, Not Law :

      An “on my way” text at the end of the day. Otherwise only as necessary. Sometimes there are a few emails or calls, but most days nothing.

      We’re very lovey-dovey, but I guess it’s not something we find gratifying. Husband is SAH with the kids, though, so he’s not really available. And I’m a cube with lousy cell reception.

    • Praxidike :

      Email, phone, and/or text. Multiple times per day. There is at least one phone call at the end of the day where we engage in the time-honored “what are we having for dinner” discussion, and then the equally important “what time will you be home” interaction. Otherwise, usually it’s just fun links or political stuff that we discuss later.

    • Anastasia :

      All the time, but never text since neither of us can have personal cell phones at work. E-mail, gchat, very occasionally phone (cube farm = no privacy). Things that can be ignored and responded to during a lull are best for us… especially since half of our communication is totally non-substantive stuff like funny pictures of cats. We work in the same area, so we also meet for lunch most days.

      We both have very uneven workflows and lots of meetings, etc, so it largely depends on the day.

    • I guess I am in the minority here. We don’t normally communicate during the day unless it’s about something specific like scheduling an appointment or buying plane tickets. Maybe a couple of times a month we will email to say something like, “Co-worker X just did this ridiculous thing.” Also, we occasionally text to let the other person know “I’m on my way home” or something like that. I just don’t feel the need to communicate with him throughout the day. I know I will see him at home at night and can talk about things then.

      • big dipper :

        Nope, this is how I feel. I’m currently doing long distance with my SO too. We’ve been long distance for three years (grad school in separate cities across the country).

        We will send each other email links maybe 3-4 times per week of something we want to discuss on the phone. But we don’t text, gchat or email constantly during the day really. A text at night just to see when we are going to Sykpe, but that’s it.

        We do talk every day, without fail, for 30 minutes to an hour on Skype. And that’s enough and works great for us.

    • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

      We occasionally bump into each other at the courthouse (small county) but otherwise we talk for maybe 5 minutes during the workday. My husband is a solo and is almost always on the phone or in court and I’m in court 2-3 days a week. Every once in a while (maybe once a month) we get together for lunch. He absolutely hates texting so we don’t do that – I think if he texted we’d communicate more.

    • He always calls me at lunch because he likes to go for walks and constantly sees funny/weird things, today it was a woman dressed in a bee costume. My usual response is “this conversation is useless without pictures” but he doesn’t work in a good neighborhood and is afraid of being shot if he pulls out the camera. :)

      I email throughout the day if there is anything relevant and text if there’s anything urgent. He also calls on his way home to see if we need anything.

      Something we’ve figured out about keeping our marriage happy is that I need a little contact throughout the day and if he initiates it I’ll be happy and it will be on his time schedule.

  19. Threadjack for the hive: I’ve been on a low(ish) dose of Zoloft for about 1.5 years and have gained about 5-7 lbs. I’m pretty sure that it’s because of the medication. I’m tapering off it now (for many reasons, not just the weight) but am wondering how long I should expect it to take for the extra weight to come off. Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!

    • e_pontellier :

      I read that being on anti depressants can make you gain weight, because it messes with your hungry/full feelings. My husband was on anti depressants for a while, gained 25 lbs, and was able to lose it (working out and eating well) within about a year of coming off. Apparently, his doctor refused to acknowledge that anti depressants can make you gain weight, but they definitely can.

  20. SF Bay Meet-up!

    Sun Nov 4
    Rosamunde, 2832 Mission Street, SF
    Near 24th & Mission BART
    Beer and Sausages and Bad-Ass Chicks! (Vegetarian sausage options available)

    I’ll post more as we get closer to the date, but you can email karenpadi at hotmail dot com to get on the list for SF Bay meetups if you aren’t already.

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