Thursday’s TPS Report: Eggplant Stretch Ponte Knit Cap Sleeve Dress

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

Tahari ASL Eggplant Stretch Ponte Knit Cap Sleeve DressWhat’s not to like here? Nice scoopneck… nice capsleeves… nice starburst/seaming detail, and nice mid-weight stretch ponte knit. It’s even available in three nice colors: eggplant (pictured), “smoke,” and cobalt, all on sale at Bluefly for $62-$89. Tahari ASL Eggplant Stretch Ponte Knit Cap Sleeve Dress

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Comments

  1. Gym Memberships :

    Have any of you ever negotiated a gym membership? Is there any room to bring the price down or waive some of the sign up fees? Any advice is appreciated!

    • Sure. Gyms run specials all the time. You would love to join this particular gym, but the one down the street will waive the initiation or offers a lower cost. What can this gym do for you? Etc.

      • I love TAHARI! Very cute! As for negotieating a gym membership, you must be very LUCKY! I joined NYSC, and tried to get a discount b/c I told them I do not use it alot, they said NO. So I go with Myrna as much as I can, tho she like’s running outside and that is to cold for me (I walk anyway b/c of my dad and the fitbit, which he KEEP’s monitoring.)

        I stopped at the diner this morning for a swiss cheeze ommlet, and Matt Lawer reported about the YAHOO work at home thing. They took a pole, and the peeople said that working at home was GOOD b/c they were MORE productive then they would be at work. I have to go to the websight to get the full statistic’s, b/c I am tryeing to get the manageing partner to let me work from home. My rational is:
        1) my home internet ROOTER is much faster then the old DSL at work
        2) alot of times, I have to go DIRECTLY down to court, so I should NOT have to go into work first
        3) I have a deductbel HOME OFFICE where my MACBOOK AIR is located with the wireless rooter, and there is a desk where I do all my research and thinkeing for work, and
        4) I can use the bathroom quickly and be back at work without worryeing about the bathroom being unuseable b/c Frank sitting in there or worse, after he get’s out. FOOEY!

        The onley things that makes being at work easier are:

        1) that I can pop into the manageing partner’s office to ask him a question, as long as he is NOT napping and
        2) that I can get my FITBIT steps in for dad, who is watching my step’s like a hawk. He is still on my case b/c I am not able to fit into any of my size 2 clothe’s, and he does NOT want to have me buy new spring clothe’s b/c I have alot of clothe’s I can’t wear now. Dad keep’s telling me that Rosa has a smaller tuchus then me and she is pregnant. He does NOT give me credit for being an attorney, where we have to sit all daydoeing research, unless we are in court, where we sit until we stand to present our cases. I have to do some convinceing that my tuchus is not big compared to other lawyer’s. FOOEY!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, absolutely. Also ask for free stuff — t-shirts, water bottles, gym towels, basically anything you see that looks nice to sweeten the deal.

    • LilaFowler :

      Absolutely. When I was a management consultant, I would join small, local gyms for the duration of my projects (usually 3 months) and negotiate a deal for my brief stay. It’s tougher at larger national chains in my experience.

    • I negotiated away the enrollment fee at one of my gyms – it was sky-high, and the local gym sales person typically has the leeway to do that. I just told him that was more than I could really see paying, and he agreed to waive it.

    • I would add that it helps if when you first meet the person you mention that cost is a consideration for you, before you go on the tour and they start the sales pitch.

    • Cornellian :

      I’d also consider checking in to any discounts they may have for your employer, or any other membership you have.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Similar question, how about getting day passes instead of a membership? I’d love to do this but I’m not sure if its possible anywhere.

      By any chance does anyone know of a gym in Astoria, Queens that allows you to just buy day passes?

      • I think my gym does–Synergy. It’s on Broadway by Crescent. But I think the passes are like $10 a day and the gym is only $40 a month, so you’d probablybe better off just joining. It’s a pretty no-frills, basic gym, though they do have classes (I’ve never tried any)

    • I negotiated the monthly fee to $35 (down from $60) and negotiated away the $145 enrollment fee completely.

      During my discussion with the membership rep and her manager, it quickly became VERY clear that they wanted to sell personal training appoinments…that was clearly their priority. Each appointment was $70/hour, but the price went down significantly when you bought in a package. I finally just said that I would purchase three training sessions for $100 if they would give me the $35/month and waive the enrollment fee. And they said done deal. I have no idea why selling personal training was so important to them, but once I realized that, it put me in a really good negotiating position. Plus, I walked in knowing I wanted at least a couple of training sessions, and I ended up getting myself a really good deal on those too!! I was pretty darn pleased with myself.

      Also, ask for government rates, corporate rates, military rates, law enforcement rates, etc. Even if you don’t fall into those categories, they usually have the authority to give you one of those rates anyway.

  2. Someone recently asked about creating passwords. The following article has some good tips and a link to a password strength test.

    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/how-to-make-a-killer-password.html

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      To that end, I strongly recommend LastPass or another password manager. I have a lot of peace of mind nowadays that all my passwords are different, so unauthorized access to one account won’t mean unauthorized access to all my accounts. I also have double layered security for my lastpass account so it’s unlikely to be compromised.

      • Thanks, I just downloaded LastPass!

        • Chrisie Elise :

          Of course Last Pass was hacked because their security was extremely lacking. So good luck with that.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Yes, LastPass had a possible security breach in 2011 (a “possible hack” that was never confirmed as a hack, nor was it ever confirmed that user data was compromised). I was impressed with their response, and you can read the CEO’s interview here:

            http://www.pcworld.com/article/227268/lastpass_ceo_exclusive_interview.html

            Of course, if you use double layered security (I use Google Authenticator, they offer other options), even if your LP masterpassword was compromised, it’s unlikely your account passwords would be compromised as well. All encryption and de

            That said, no system is foolproof, of course. There are other password manager companies out there, some of which, for all I know, might be better than LastPass. I did a good amount of research when I first signed up and LP seemed to be the best for me and what I need.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Yes, LastPass had a possible security breach in 2011 (a “possible hack” that was never confirmed as a hack, nor was it ever confirmed that user data was compromised). I was impressed with their response, and you can read the CEO’s interview here:

            http://www.pcworld.com/article/227268/lastpass_ceo_exclusive_interview.html

            Of course, if you use double layered security (I use Google Authenticator, they offer other options), even if your LP masterpassword was compromised, it’s unlikely your account passwords would be compromised as well.

            That said, no system is foolproof, of course. There are other password manager companies out there, some of which, for all I know, might be better than LastPass. I did a good amount of research when I first signed up and LP seemed to be the best for me and what I need.

        • LastPass No! :

          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          Of course Last Pass was hacked because their security was extremely lacking. So good luck with that.

  3. Ooh – wants. But I already own dresses in all those three colours…

  4. Miss Behaved :

    Very nice dress.

    This morning while I was on the T, I went to grab my badge out of my purse. It wasn’t there. In its place was a pacifier. My adorable godson strikes again!

  5. Have we talked about the move by Mayer? I am really shocked that there is even an argument that people are just as productive working from home. I think employees should be able to work from home when an emergency comes up but not as a normal work perk. A lot of the outrage over the ban I am seeing seems to be that it is bad for families. (IE, they have to get daycare now instead of having that at home) which seems to just make my point that you are not as productive from home. (with the caveat that I’m sure some people are. But if you looked at everyone, I think the vast majority are not and are doing other things at home watching movies, the kids, working out, etc) Thoughts?

    • It’s been discussed at some length, on the morning thread yesterday or the day before. What I’d add is that I think it’s sexist how much additional attention this is getting in the media because the CEO is a woman. So much of the coverage has been “how could this woman CEO do this to all of her employees who are struggling with work/life balance issues”? She made the decision she thought was right to help save her company (and thus all these people’s jobs) — she may be right or she may be wrong in the end as to whether it was a good decision, but the fact that the decision was made by a woman really should be irrelevant.

    • Children and WFH :

      A major employer in my city requires you to have child care if you regularly work from home (many of their employees exclusively work from home and they often don’t have offices for them). I cannot imagine doing any real job without child care. I struggle mightily to work from home when I have a sick child and often nothing gets done (I’d have no problem just taking a vacation day and being done with the expectation of work, but many of my projects can’t be put off). People really were working exclusively from home with children there? I’d like to meet them and learn their secrets! This has got to be a red herring.

      • lucy stone :

        My mom works from home and requires this of the employees she manages. I think it only makes sense.

      • I worked from home for a while (for a big insurance company), and the rule was no children under 12 in the house unless there’s another adult present. Made perfect sense to me; I can’t imagine how a person could manage a young child’s needs while answering the phone and evaluating claims.

        I can’t believe so many people who don’t work for Yahoo seem so invested in this issue. (I agree with Gus that there seems to be a large element of sexism.)

      • Giraffe with curls :

        I don’t know anyone who works from home (and actually works during normal working hours, not talking about people who have a “side business” that happens after their kids are asleep) without childcare. It’s not that people who work from home will now have to put their kids in daycare – the kids already were in daycare or with a nanny. The issue is that now instead of having, say, 10 hours of productive work time because there’s no time wasted commuting, the former work-from-home employee will now have 8 hours or less because of adding a commute, chit chatting and being distracted by co-workers’ calls and interruptions, running out for lunch instead of being right by the fridge. I don’t think this was a move to save jobs; I think it was a move to get a lot of people to quit without having to lay people off.

        • The flip side of people getting more work done because they’re not distracted by “co-workers’ calls and interruptions,” is that they’re not doing the things that are invisible when they’re not in the office. I run into this all the time with a co-worker, who is more or less my peer, who often works from home. She thinks she’s getting way more done because she can just work steadily on her big projects. What she doesn’t see is that I am taking over day-to-day tasks (e.g., going over edits with paralegals and secretaries; getting together NDA signature pages; making sure the right document gets pulled from files, scanned, and sent off correctly). These are the things that make us feel less productive because they delay the projects that we tend to see as the core of the job, but actually do need to be done and can really only be done by someone physically there. And even co-worker chit chat I think has a real role in building a type of cohesion that comes in handy when the chips are down and things need to get done quickly and efficiently. But if you don’t have it you’re not likely to see that it’s missing.

          Okay, yeah, not all jobs have these things that come up. But I suspect more do than a lot of telecommuters realize.

    • Diana Barry :

      I believe that there was a study recently (can’t recall where I saw the link, but it was in one of the articles discussing Yahoo) that there is a PERCEPTION that people working from home are not as productive, and that PERCEPTION is in fact wrong. Will try to find it.

      People work just as hard at home as in the office, or they slack just as much at home as in the office, just depending on what kind of a worker they are. G*d forbid that you judge employees by their productivity rather than their b*tt-in-seat time!

      • Cornellian :

        I’d be interested in seeing that article. My impression from talking to my BigLaw colleagues and classmates in various firms and government positions is that a normal 8 hour day in the office is more productive than 8 hours working at home (because tech support is there if something goes wrong, you have a full office set up you probably don’t have at home in a large city, there are fewer distractions), but that if you’re going to stretch out and work 10, 14, 18 hours, working part of them at home is more productive because going home can make you physically more comfortable and lessen external demands (sit in your suit at this desk, be pleasant to people, etc) by allowing you to focus exclusively on work.

        I’m slowly learning what work can be done at home, and what work I do much better at the office, which is probably a personal thing.

        I also think the employer’s tech set up matters a lot, especially for lawyers or maybe government workers who have to use the employer’s set up. Our is HORRIFIC and even more so at home, which is very unfortunate.

        • Diana Barry :

          I found it – it was an economist’s experiment that found people are more productive at home:
          http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/27/the-costs-and-benefits-of-telecommuting/telecommuters-are-more-productive

          • Cornellian :

            Thanks.

          • The one question I would have about that study is what kind of work were the employees doing? While I don’t disagree that working from home CAN be more/just as productive, I think most of us can agree that not all work types of work are as productive when done from home. I’m a litigator and I have some types of work that I can do perfectly well from home – responding to client emails, reviewing discovery. But some of the more collaborative types of work I do are easier done from the office (such as, I’m in the middle of trial prep and just came from my trial partner’s office where we were bouncing ideas off one another and reviewing potential exhibits).

          • OpposingCounsel :

            This. I am also a litigator, and while doc review is easily done at home in one’s pajamas, there are definitely things that need to be done in the office.

      • I think it depends on the job. I’m at a mid-size boutique firm that is reasonably flexible with telecommuting and it has become extremely clear that some things can be done just as (or more) efficiently at home and some can’t. So people who are writing a brief or taking a conference call that they’re the only one from the office on – no problem.

        However, anything that involves working with other people in the office just can’t be done as efficiently from home. Yeah, there are technological work-arounds. But those work-arounds can be cumbersome. Having someone out of the office means calling them every time you have a minor question instead of popping down the hall; or making sure you both have the same document up on your screen and are looking at the same portion of it at the same time; typing in every comment you have instead of making handwritten notes; having to take a picture of a diagram you’ve drawn on a white board during a meeting so that the phone-participator knows what’s going on; and not being able to mute the phone during a conference call so you can clarify things with your co-workers who are in the room. And honestly, phone calls are different than face-to-face communication: you lose a lot of information that you get through body language and visual cues. It’s a different working experience.

        I think it’s incredibly important that people have the flexibility to work from home (or stay home) when they need to. People should not feel compelled to come into work when they’re sick or their kid is sick or even when there’s a home repair emergency they need to deal with. But I don’t think we need to pretend that having your co-worker far away and phoning in occasionally is the same as having them in the next office, and that there’s not valid business reasons to encourage the latter. And culture reasons; honestly, one reason I like my job is because I get to work regularly with smart, creative people. If all those interactions are by phone because we’re all in our own separate spaces all day, I’ll be looking for a new job. And I don’t think it’s inherently wrong to choose one culture over another as long as people are also getting the flexibility they need when things go wrong.

        • Diana Barry :

          Interesting. I do very little collaborative work – mostly drafting and research. Almost no conference calls and few meetings. So about 90% of my work can be done from home.

          I see more tech companies these days moving toward a virtual office – the company has no office and everyone works from home. They use Google hangout, etc. to collaborate.

          • Yes; my biggest fear is that every employer will go that way and I’ll have to spend the rest of my life sitting at home being completely miserable and devoid of human contact during the workday.

          • I struggle with this, perhaps because I came from a scrappy nonprofit where brainstorming sessions were the norm? I’m in academia and people tend to seek out quiet little bubbles in which to write and think. I work in cafes, set up writing dates, and bemoan the lack of collaborative space (or really, a whiteboard). I’m working PT in tech support and find that the social interaction really helps me get through the day.

            Need to finish off a chapter and need to be able to stay in one place and finish of a piece of writing so I’m working at my boyfriend’s tomorrow (I live and work in halls so working from home is nearly impossible) and have the feeling I’ll be climbing the walls by the time he gets home from work. At least I’ll have the cat to talk to?

          • One of the points I’ve seen brought up in the discussion is that Google and Facebook both do NOT have pervasive tele-commuting cultures. They might allows it on as need basis, but it’s definitely not the norm. So if Mayer is coming from the background, maybe she’s trying to build a similar atmosphere.

          • I hope we continue having physical offices, where else would I get to dress up everyday, get ready in the morning and out the door. I think WFH would really disrupt my routine, not sure how motivated I would feel working in my PJs. I need to be at my desk, with the morning coffee to get into work mode. If I am home, a messy kitchen and piling dishes every morning would be a mood killer. Now I can just rush out and ignore them until the weekend. I am single and live a short 10-15 minute train ride away, so my views are obviously biased here.

        • I think this is a good point. We don’t technically have a work from home program at my firm but one of the senior associates hasn’t been coming in very frequently and has been working from home. It’s been really frustrating for those of us left in the office because it’s not as easy to bounce ideas off of one another/get things done. Maybe the big stuff can be done from home (like research and writing) but I think a lot of the day-to-day stuff needs you to be here in person and it’s exceptionally frustrating when this stuff gets offloaded onto other lawyers because you don’t feel like coming to the office.

          That said, I’m sure that working from home can work occasionally, I don’t think it’s a long-term solution because the most successful drafting sessions, for instance, come after a team-based brainstorming session which happens in person.

          • Diana Barry :

            Hmm. Again, the kind of drafting I do involves no brainstorming.

            Can you tell that I’d work at home way more if my firm allowed it? ;)

          • ansley hayes :

            The question is why isnt it as easy? Because you dont want to pick up the phone and call someone at home? Becuase you have to dial the extra numbers instead of the 4 digits in office? You should not worry about “bothering” people at home if they ar working there. And it shouldnt get off loaded on others because someone didnt feel like coming in. Is the Sr associate more senior than you? If yes, maybe that is why stuff is trickling down — not because he/she has not been coming in.

            Most of us (meaning lawyers) can work jsut as well at home as at work and the amount of time team braininstorming happens at most law offices is not very often.

          • Ainsley Hayes – I think you’re underestimating the intangible things that can make a big difference in collaborative work. It’s not the extra digits – it’s that phone conversations don’t give you the same amount of information and interplay that in person conversations do (which is why almost everyone still does face-to-face interviews before hiring someone). And it’s that looking at two copies of the same document is more cumbersome than pouring over one copy at the same time, for instance.

            I think if you are in an office where brainstorming and discussion doesn’t happen much, no problem. But there are law offices where that’s not the case (and plenty of other types of offices where that’s not the case), and it’s important to be aware of the disadvantages of telecommuting in those situations.

          • He is more senior than me but that’s not the reason why things have been trickling down – they have been trickling down to me (on files I’ve never worked on before) because he is not in the office (This has been made explicitly clear to me).

            Also while I understand that a lot of legal work is very independent, in my office, when we’re in the midst of complex litigation and drafting (which is pretty much always), team brainstorming happens at least once a day.

            Maybe my initial response didn’t make this as clear because I do believe it’s a case-by-case situation, but in some cases, working from home can derail progress and productivity for others because a lot of work is interdependent. I don’t think I should have to make more effort to call someone at home or write out my thoughts over email instead of dropping by their office because they don’t feel like coming in.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          This.

        • I agree. It really depends on the job and on the individual employee. I don’t think most telecommuters (especially those who work from home every day of the week) are sitting around watching cat videos instead of working (and if they are, that’s a management problem, because their lack of work should have been obvious).

          However, I’ve also been in a situation where a coworker who worked from home a few days out of the week became almost totally unreachable on those days, or the quality of her emails declined (i.e. not supplying information that was clearly requested so the rest of us can do our jobs, writing snippy emails that made it sound like we were being intentionally annoying for emailing/calling her multiple times to get answers, etc.).

          I also suspect that the larger an organization is, the more likely it is that there are employees (both in office and telecommuters) who really aren’t doing much, but they’ve escaped notice because they’re not fulfilling a critical function, whereas in a smaller organization it’s probably harder to sit around watching cat videos all day because someone will notice.

      • Children and WFH :

        I don’t disagree with you. Perhaps it is task-based productivity? To use grade-school terms, seat work is easy to do from home (or while waiting for my car to be fixed, etc.). But there is also group work, which can lose something. Some people can do great group work remotely, but it is an art. The remote slacker, ugh, on both fronts.

      • My company has a very flexible work from home policy. A lot of people WFH at least 1 or 2 days during the week, including my boss.

        I’m in IT and even when I’m in the office, I’m at my desk on conference calls with people in different countries and time zones. I will be on a call that includes people that sit right next to me and ones that are across the country.

        The company culture is such that in person meetings are rare. Everyone communicates via email and IM. So at my company WFH isn’t that much different than being in the office. For me, I get in a couple of extra hours of work b/c I also cut out my commute.

      • Cornellian :

        Also, it seems like seniority really plays in to this discussion, at least in law firms. A benefit of being a partner is having the associates prepare work for you to take with you on the train when you leave at 6, and knowing there will be an associate there all night to field calls from clients and figure out what ones to route to you.

        I’ve been working on a big deal recently (as a lawyer who just finished a year of work) with a very senior lawyer in another time zone. As he doesn’t have time to worry about this deal until late his time (10 PM-2 AM) my time, I have to be available to talk to him then. When my dog was sick a few weeks ago, I simply went home and told him to contact me there, but that would not be accepted as the rule, and I can understand why.

        • Giraffe with curls :

          What did it matter to the partner who wasn’t in your office where you were when he called you? This is what I don’t get. I’m in litigation, and my firm regularly staffs large litigation matters across office and across time zones. I’ve written long, involved briefs with partners whom I’ve never met in person, and I don’t think the writing or teamwork suffered one bit. Talking on the phone works just fine for me and the people with whom I work, and I don’t think it makes any difference to them if I’m at home or in my office so long as I answer the phone, respond to emails, and do my work.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        For me, working from home can be extremely productive, but only for certain kind of work, ie… administrative, responding to email, reviewing documents that don’t require input or collaboration etc…. In any case, I need my kids in school or otherwise occupied…..

    • darjeeling :

      I agree that working from home and childcare are not really compatible, although I can usually get some work done in the evening while my preschooler draws or plays with the ipad. That said, on the occasional day I work from home I am able to spend at least some the 90 minutes that I would otherwise be throwing away on a round-trip commute with my family, and if I had that time everyday I would be loath to give it up.

      • new york associate :

        Bingo. I think that in the Bay Area, for most people, the Yahoo policy has two problems:
        1) the commute here is outrageous. Housing prices are sky-high, and so people live really far away from their jobs. Some (many?) people telecommute because they would rather spend 2.5 hours working or being with their families instead of commuting.
        2) Many people choose to come into the office on a regular basis, but highly value the ability to work from home on an as-needed basis (e.g., with a sick kid or if you have to take an elderly parent to the doctor.) I really don’t think that very many parents of kids under the age of 5 are working from home so they don’t have to pay for childcare. They’re working from home because childcare, no matter how expensive, doesn’t always come through. I count myself in this category and for me, the ability to work from home when my daughter is sick is absolutely essential to my life. The Yahoo policy seems to preclude this kind of working from home.
        3) Finally, I just want to point out that Marissa Mayer built a NURSERY IN HER OFFICE. If I had a nursery next to my office, I also wouldn’t ever need to work from home. I think it’s deeply hypocritical of her to deny work-life flexibility to others – she’s saying, “You can’t work from home,” at the same time that she’s saying, “I will make my work into my home.”

        • Giraffe with curls :

          Point 3 is why there’s focus on her being a woman and making this decision. The hypocrisy is what stings the most, imo.

          • hellskitchen :

            I don’t think it matters whether she is a man or a woman – if the CEO can build a nursery in his/her office to make work-life balance easier then either they need to extend the same benefit to other employees or come up with other ways to meet employees’ work-life balance needs. I do agree that much of the commentary about this is sexist – Marissa Mayer shouldn’t be judged differently for this decision because she is a woman – but I don’t think Anon’s point 3 is sexist.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Honestly, I’m not seeing the hypocrisy. Marissa Mayer is the CEO. She’s expected to be at work/on call 24/7/365. Presumably she was hired for the job because she has exceptional skills that make her exceptionally valuable to the company, and therefore she has the leverage to demand perks such as a nursery for her newborn in the office. The way I see it, she’s got that nursery there not for “work/life flexibility,” but because without it she’d go days on end without even seeing the baby.

            I don’t think it’s reasonable to compare the perks/salary/working conditions offered to a CEO to the perks/salary/working conditions offered to the rank-and-file.

        • I think #3 is allowed if you are the CEO (heck, if I were CEO and couldn’t do this, why be the CEO?). You can do a lot of things from home when a new baby sleeps, but I don’t think you can be a CEO from home. Especially if the company is tanking. When everyone else is CEO, they can do this, too (or whatever else they want — play golf, fly first class, etc.). And I’m sure she has child care with her. All of this was her call to make and I hope it works out.

        • Not in the Bay area, but ... :

          Your points nail it, for me. But more than that, this isn’t just a “parents of young children” issue. There are several employees in my office who share caregiving responsibilities for their elderly parents. For them, being able to work from home 2 days a week is a lifesaver. The key is THEY’RE STILL PRODUCTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE.

        • hellskitchen :

          SA – you are right. You can’t compare the perks of a CEO to that of a rank and file employee and Marissa has a lot more on the line than other Yahoo employees. But perhaps if the majority of employees’ complaints about taking away WFH are childcare-related, it might be easier for Yahoo to provide daycare options at their offices and tell these employees, here this should make it easier for you to give up WFH perks. And I may be wrong, perhaps Yahoo already has on-site daycare for employees in which case people shouldn’t complain about WFH being taken away – Yahoo has every right to create a culture where employees spend max time at work… it’s what Google and FB do

    • S in Chicago :

      I think it is all in how things are structured. My company requires no children at home without day care provided since, yes, you should’t be working and watching kids at the same time if you are truly working. Those on a work from home schedule (up to three days a week) also need to report in on what they are working on that day and what they got accomplished. And if things aren’t getting accomplished, then participation can be rescinded at any point. That said, better life balance is still attainable when you are not wasting time on a horrendous commute and able to schedule work-interrupting appointments (cable guy, etc.) without taking significant time away from your computer screen. My company gets far more out of me on days when I can let my dog out at 5 p.m. to relieve himself and keep working until 8 p.m. then when I have to leave at 5 and battle an hour and a half of traffic. I also work in an open office environment and can get far more done simply by having quiet space where I can write and take calls without a bunch of 9-5 clock punchers chatting it up around me. (I’m married without kids FWIW.) I also don’t see my situation as all that different from most others participating in the program. I think you’ve lobbed a lot of stereotypes in your thinking.

      • Exactly. I do have a child, but he is older, and leaves for school at 7am and gets home at about 5:30 (after school stuff he does). Which, interestingly, is about the amount of time I need for work. But if I wanted to spend that same amount of time in office, I’d have to leave here at 6 and wouldn’t get home till almost 7:30 because of the commute. My company would get no more time from me, and my family would lose time. Like some others, 90% of what I do is research and writing. We don’t collaborate. So…what would be the point of my having to go in? I can write a 35 page brief at home just as fast as I can at the office.

    • Meh, not sure that people working from home are watching movies instead of doing work. I teleworked for about nine months and I was in my seat doing pretty much the same stuff as I had been when I was in the office. I realize that’s just an anecdote, but I think it’s an unfortunate assumption to say at home = not working. Whether people are working is pretty easy to test anyway. Are they turning out the same volume of product as their in-office counterparts? If yes, then they’re working. (I won’t say quality because whether the quality is the same is the question here.) I agree with other commenters that it’s the flexibility and lack of commute that makes the arrangement family-friendly. (Not that I think the family-friendly arguments are valid. The company is failing. If she believes an on-site workforce is essential to the company’s continued existence, then that’s her decision to make as CEO. A job and a paycheck are more family-friendly than layoffs.)

      • And, yes, I realize that it’s widely believed that these are also stealth lay-offs. But there’d be a lot more lay-offs if the company went under.

    • It sounds to me like she’s using the wrong tool to fix the problem she has. NPR this morning reported that she had concerns about the parking lots at Yahoo filling up slowly and after 9:30, and people leaving a 4pm. Taking away WFH isn’t going to fix that problem (except optically) – that’s bad management or unclear expectations.

      • ETA: she did a lot of research apparently about inappropriate network usage, VPN usage, etc. Again pointing to a management problem. If people aren’t working, reprimand them. Cutting out WFH doesn’t address the “at work” problem and it also doesn’t endear your employees to you. Not to mention, people getting WFH privileges tend to be your better performers, so it may drive them away.

        • new york associate :

          Yeah – if this is really stealth layoffs, then Yahoo must be worse off than we realized, because this policy will just drive away top performers (who are able to move). The low performers won’t get other jobs and will just stay and complain.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          That’s my issue. If people aren’t getting their jobs done, coming in late, and leaving early, “working from home” but getting nothing done, spending all day goofing around online – well that’s easy, fire those people.

          If people are getting their jobs done, are efficient enough to do them between 10 and 3 (or whatever), actually working when they work from home (as shown in their work product) and are multitasking and goofing around online at the same time – well, good god, give those people more work! Promote them! They’ve already shown you they’re productive and efficient – this is exactly the kind of person you want to fill your whole business with! Those people aren’t going react well to being treated like they’re children.

          I also think in general, this whole decision is a bit rich of Mayer, considering she built a nursery next to her office. What’s good for the goose…

    • I think it very much depends on the person, although I don’t see how anyone could work from home and take care of small children at the same time, unless it was intended to be a part-time job. I know that I don’t have the discipline to work from home, even without any children at home. I need to go into an office. I’m sure some people can work very productively from home, I’m just not one of them.

    • I work with offices across the country and spend a good part of my day on the phone or on videoconferences. But I also work on a collaborative team here in the office where we are constantly checking in, addressing issues etc. Unless I have one big report or a bunch of number crunching on a budget to do – I am in the office and expect the same of others. I do have a few colleagues who have worked out WFH a few days a week (including admins which makes me CRAZY) and I find it really difficult to work with them. I have no recourse over this but am honestly hoping our new boss coming in next week will put an end to it.

    • hellskitchen :

      I work in an organization where a significant number of people work from home and where people on the same team are based in offices in different cities, often across the country. My employer is consistently ranked among one of the best places to work and also recognized as a leader in its field. I don’t think we have ever questioned anyone’s productivity simply because they worked from home and I think there are several factors behind why this arrangement works for us: 1) huge focus on organizational values and culture and most people feel “on the hook” for pulling more than their weight 2) Since we anyways have people spread out across the country, it really doesn’t matter as much whether they are in an office or a cafe or elsewhere. There’s a lot of emphasis on pre-planning, regular checkins and performance evaluations throughout the year so there’s a lot of accountability built into the system. I actually like not having people pop into my office all the time with one-off questions 3) the company prioritizes in-person meetings and spends money on making sure people build strong relationships with colleagues because that comes in handy when you have to work with each other remotely.
      We do have lots of field offices because most people prefer to work out of one but many people negotiate full-time or part-time work-from-home arrangements and if I didn’t know that already, I doubt I’d be able to guess it based on the quality and efficiency of their work

    • The people at my office have the option to work from home. Due to the personal information we manage daily, the work must be at home on a laptop with no internet connection, and printouts are forbidden. We also have clear productivity requirements, and those who are unable to meet those requirements will not be permitted to continue working at home.

      This work can be relatively rote and requires less innovation than Yahoo.

  6. Cornellian :

    A few people requested I keep them updated as I go through the process of potentially purchasing a place in NYC as a single 20-something BigLaw lawyer. I met briefly with my banker, found out they’d give me a mortgage for about 2.5x my salary at a relatively low fixed rate, and started running numbers on a down payment. Today I meet with a realtor to sort of get an idea about the market over coffee, and we’ll go from there.

    Are there any realtors out there? There is a building that I love (it has historical significance to my neighborhood, is very close to my dog park, etc) that has exclusive listings with ANOTHER realtor. This early in the process, is it taboo to talk to two of them? There are no contracts, I’ve seen no places, etc.

    • Unless you’ve signed a buyer’s agency agreement, as a buyer you’re almost never obligated to stick with a certain person as your agent. I particularly would say if she hasn’t even shown you anything, I wouldn’t even feel icky about it. I don’t know anything about New York real estate, but generally whether the listing is exclusive with another realtor or not, you as the buyer has a right to have your own representation. I suppose, as an attorney, whether you feel like you need that or not is another question. I definitely wouldn’t feel obligated to have agent A involved if you’re comfortable handling your interests yourself.

      • This is the same anon from above, I meant to say, I am a real estate broker, licensed for 10 years, but nowhere near the east coast.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        My only caution though is that it can be very tricky to manage conflicts of interest if you don’t have your own broker/agent working on your behalf so be careful….

        • Cornellian :

          This is almost certainly a dumb question, but who might have conflicts of interest?

          • The broker representing the sellers. Their interest is to get the apartment sold for as much as possible because that increases their commission and is what their clients want. The buyer’s interest is to buy the apartment for as little as possible. Hence conflict. (There are many other conflicts that could also arise regarding disclosures, timing of the sale, etc., but this is the most obvious one.)

          • Anon broker from above. Person with the conflict is the broker. You have to understand, in most states (again, I know ZERO about NY real estate law, so if someone else does and this doesn’t apply here, don’t yell at me! LOL) the listing agent works for the seller. PERIOD.

            They have NO fiduciary duty to you as the buyer. You might FEEL like they do because they show you the house, and they write up the paperwork, and they might discuss offer price with you, etc. But they do not. They have a fiduciary duty to their seller and no duty whatsoever to you other than not to commit fraud or misrepresentation.
            You want the lowest price/best terms for you possible. The seller wants the highest price/best terms for them possible.
            At best, in some states they act as a dual agent and have the same duty to both parties, but then given the completely opposite goals of each, how could the ever properly represent EITHER of you? Conflict.

    • Not a realtor, but have some experience with this. Any agent you work with can work with an other agent (“co-broke”) so if you find someone you like, that person can always take you to exclusives by other brokers (inc. the ones in the building you love). Some people think it’s better to work with a listing broker directly because it will get you a better deal, on the theory that the broker will either a) favor your bid over another with a broker because he/she won’t have to share the commission or b) you’ll get a better price because maybe the broker has a deal with owner where their commission is less if it’s not a co-broke. BUT – the big downside is that the listing broker is not *your* broker, meaning they are not representing your best interests in this process, but the sellers. Esp. as a first time buyer, I think it’s important to have someone who is watching out for you and can help guide you through any pitfalls. Having only a listing agent is a bit like having only one attorney negotiate a pre-nup.

      But, that said, the process does tend to be a bit promiscuous and people work with multiple brokers all the time. While you are free to do so – there are not usually exclusivity contracts and you are never obligated to buy anything anyway – I think it’s generally more productive to work with one person you like because it is more productive and you can avoid seeing duplicates.

      • I definitely agree. There’s certainly no problem working with multiple brokers if you’re a buyer, but I don’t think it gives you access to more listings in this day and age. I’m a real estate junkie, and the last two times when I bought in NYC I set up a StreetEasy search to run daily with my criteria (price, size, neighborhoods). My broker and I would usually end up emailing each other simultaneously about the same listings that popped up. (I was using StreetEasy not because I didn’t trust her, but because I just LOOOOVE looking at real estate. In fact I just closed on my new apartment and I still have a StreetEasy search running because now I want to see how other similar apartments are being valued. Anyway . . . ) There were almost NO listings I saw that my broker didn’t also see — and StreetEasy pretty much finds EVERYTHING. I would think working with multiple brokers will just get you multiple emails with the same listings.

        Just because a building has exclusive listings with a realtor doesn’t mean you can’t use YOUR realtor to see them. Exclusive means s/he is the only one who sells in the building, not the only one who can also buy in the building. Like AIMS said, there can be real downsides to not having your own broker when it comes down to the nitty gritty of negotiations, contracts, and closing. I didn’t have my own broker the first time I bought, and everything worked out fine, but I think I was lucky in that the sellers’ broker and sellers themselves were very honest and ethical people, and the sale itself was fairly simple.

        Good luck! Have fun! I promise in the end it will all be worth it!

    • I didn’t use a broker when shopping for an NYC apartment a few years ago, and I suspect that that caused some listing brokers to favor our offer in competitive situations, knowing that they wouldn’t have to split the commission.

      Also, I have a vague memory that buyer’s brokers in NY are actually agents of the seller; can anyone confirm?

      • Broker from above. That’s actually usually the case, even when you have your own agent, unless you have a signed agency agreement with your buyer’s broker. The commission is paid from the seller in most cases, thus the “buyer’s” agent, legally, is technically a sub-agent of the listing broker and via the agency relationship, of the seller.

        In practice, most buyer’s agents act as the buyer’s agent regardless of how they get paid, but it is good to note the reality of how payment affects the legal obligations in most states.

        People don’t like signing buyer’s agency agreements, because it forces you to use that broker or owe them commission, just like a seller’s agent. However, without one, “your” agent is often legally a sub-agent of the seller, and not “yours” at all.

  7. I’m feeling sleepy this morning as it is, and my officemate, who’s 8 months pregnant, is audibly yawning every five minutes. I both feel like I shouldn’t be so sleepy when I’m not even pregnant, but also mildly annoyed because her yawning is making me just that much more aware of how sleepy I feel this morning!

  8. At what point do you bring your spouse/friend/other with you to doctor appointments? I had an MRI done and an abnormality was detected. We are discussing treatment tomorrow, which may be surgery, chemo/radiation, or other medication. Hubby has never accompanied me, but offered to go. He’s awful at serious situations and I feel like I’m over-dramatizing this by bringing someone with me, but maybe I should have someone. Thoughts?

    • Cornellian :

      That is a rough situation. Would it be possible to bring him with you to the appointment, but have him wait at a cafe down the street? That way you can ask all of the questions you need without worrying about the effect on him or how he’s appearing to the doctor, but still have him on hand if you want to bounce ideas off someone before committing to a next step, or just have someone around for support/to drive you home.

      • Cornellian :

        I’m reading other peoples’ responses and realizing they may be right. When I had a cancer scare last year I went alone and ended up freaking out and calling my ex-boyfriend while walking 3 miles back to work and crying, which was obviously very upsetting to him, and not productive for me. Keep someone close on hand, I think. I wonder if another family member might be a better choice, though, if you worry about his ability to handle serious situations. THe last thing you want is to have another burden in the room. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably try to get a certain aunt of mine to come up to NYC with me.

    • I have brought my spouse in exactly that situation, and it was great because he could take notes while I asked questions – and he had some other questions I hadn’t thought of.

    • I would bring someone, if all else so that somebody else is hearing about the treatment options and can help me think about what I want to do. I’m also awful at making decisions, so that probably plays into how I would act.
      I hope everything goes smoothly with your treatment though!

    • I used to bring my dad with me (in early 20s) for any serious conversation that had decision points b/c he was really helpful and asked the right questions. Now that I’m older and married I’m actually sad that I can’t still bring my dad b/c it’s not my husband’s jam. This sounds like one where it would be nice to have your husband there, but I don’t think you have to if you’d rather not.

      • Senior Attorney :

        If it’s not your husband’s jam and your dad is good at it, I think you should still bring your dad. Just sayin’.

    • I would bring my dh, but he does OK in serious situations. I don’t see anything at all with bringing someone along for moral support, and to also either take notes, come up with questions you may not have thought of, and general hand holding, if it’s necessary. Don’t worry about over dramatizing it if you really do want someone there. However, if you will be worried about your dh’s reaction to the point that you’ll be distracted at your appt, bring someone other than your dh.

    • I think you should bring someone if nothing else so you have someone to drive you home after. Scary medical discussions followed by driving are not usually a good combo (at least in my experience). If Hubs isn’t good at this sort of stuff, bring a friend? Or have him wait in the waiting room? Get all your questions out and then have them bring him back and explain the plan moving forward.

      I hope you get good news.

    • Sorry to hear about this and hope the options are encouraging. You are not over-dramatizing to want someone around – I’d be thinking emotional support but help with questions and decision-making applies too.

    • Bring someone with you. You have to decide whether it’s your husband or someone else. But if you’re getting bad news there’s a good chance that you will be so stressed that you will fail to absorb what the doctor is saying. If you really don’t want someone else there, or if you think your husband will be too stressed to provide more than moral support, bring some kind of recorder (there must be an app for that). Doctors who have to discuss serious medical treatments should be used to having their conversations recorded.
      Good luck.

    • I had some intestinal issues a while back that led to me being referred to a specialist. As it was my first time going to a specialist, I WebMDed and Googled myself into a complete panic. I asked my then-boyfriend (now husband) to go with me. It turned out not to be anything serious but having him there in the waiting room and in the exam room helped me from over-analyzing, which I’m wont to do. If you think he will afford you some comfort, bring him and be explicit about what his role is. Hopefully telling him you want him to hold your hand or whatever you want from him will help him be less awful in this situation.

    • VeryAnonForThis :

      I’m sorry for you and wish you lots of luck with your medical issue! I was in a serious medical situation about 10 years ago, before I was married, and refused my mother’s frequent offers of support at any dr’s appointment because I didn’t want to “make a big deal” out of it or be construed as a wimp by my drs. In retrospect, I was in no condition to fully absorb what they were telling me and to make the best, most informed decisions completely alone. I still wish I had had her there, even if it was just for a hug and some company for lunch afterward. Please bring someone with you, you deserve the support!

    • Kontraktor :

      I think you should bring your husband. He is your partner in life, is he not? Whether he is there at the appointment, he will be living through this with you, so from that perspective, it’s probably good he at least knows what is going on and what to expect. He also cares for you and might be feeling scared or worried himself- perhaps hearing the details from the doctor might help *him* to also feel more at ease. Also, this will probably be important in case it involves family decisions/life changes like having to take a lot of time off, him having to be available to drive you to appointments, etc. And it just might be logistically easier to have him there, hearing what the doctor has to say with you, vs. you trying to relay everything back in what might ultimately be a stressful/scary/etc. state for yourself. Also, I agree with the comments of others in that you may not know how you will react. These sorts of things *are* very scary and stressful and it may be comforting to have somebody there for support who loves you and wants to help you through, even if the first steps do just end up being a tight hug and lunch. You have a partner in life whose job it is to help you through these times so you don’t have to go at it alone.

    • TxDoctorette :

      Speaking as a physician, please follow everyone’s advice and take a family member with you! I find it so helpful when patients have family members with them who are able to ask questions and take notes about future plans. Even though they love you greatly, family members are necessarily somewhat detached from the situation — it’s not their body after all — so they can help ask the questions that you may forget. Also it seems that a lot what gets said during appointments is promptly forgotten or not heard at all b/c there may be too much info to digest in a very short period of time. So take your SO and have him take notes! And good luck with everything!!

    • Praxidike :

      I am late answering this, but I would definitely bring him with me. I bring my husband with me to all of my orthopedic appointments because even though I am fully capable of dealing with my own healthcare, I am often so upset about whatever they’re telling me about my knee that I forget what they told me (or, at least, details). Also, he often has questions I don’t think of. In addition, I just think it’s good to be a “team” in those situations. Hell, I made him come with me when I got my IUD put in because I knew I would be bad with pain and wanted to hold his hand.

  9. 'Rette fail :

    I could use some help…I sometimes have an emotional response to things that aren’t that big of a deal. Last week, I was in a meeting with two co-workers (my manager and a project manager) and we were discussing what to do about a third co-worker’s unwillingness to collaborate with me on a project (he had written an email to the project manager about not seeing the value in the collaboration, though the PM and I clearly see the value of it). This guy has a history of being challenging to work with, everyone knows it and kind of rolls their eyes about it. I really don’t take it personally, it’s just annoying and frustrating that we cater to him so much. I was expressing my frustration about this when…to my total surprise and horror…I got teary and my voice started to shake. My words stayed professional, but I am sure my demeanor did not seem that way.

    This has happened to me before in expressing frustration and it sneaks up when I am in mid-sentence so I can’t just stop talking. I addressed it with my co-workers later and said I was sorry I made the meeting uncomfortable, that I really don’t take it personally, and that when I am tired or have a headache (both of which were true – I was traveling for work and I am not good when out of my routine) I sometimes react in ways I would not otherwise. It’s like I have a finite amount of energy and the energy it takes to get through the day feeling subpar meant I had nothing left to control my emotions. But looking at their expressions during this meeting and feeling pitied was about the worst thing ever, and I really don’t want to repeat that. And the worst of it is, I wasn’t actually upset!

    Has this happened to any of you? Any suggestions on how to combat it? I recognize I can’t arrange tough conversations around my headaches, so I would love some thoughts on how to avoid becoming “the crier.” Thanks!

    • I think I know the sort of thing you mean; this has occasionally happened to me, when my own teariness has taken me by surprise, even when I am not really upset, or only very minorly upset. Because it’s a surprise, the only strategies I’ve found to combat this are physical ones. Taking a big sip or two of water and thinking about something boring or totally unemotional, like shuffling a stack of papers, helps. When you’re in a meeting you often can’t do that, so I find pinching my hand or arm quite hard can distract me from the feeling like I’m about to weep. Something about a small, brief burst of pain gets me to focus on that and detach from the situation. This is a really irritating problem to have, though.

    • I’ll be looking for tips for this. When I get angry and/or frustrated, I tear up! It happens all the time and I hate it and I don’t know how to stop it. Because I am rightly frustrated at something (such as terrible service) and want to be able to complain and look legitimate but I’m crying.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ll sneeze a couple times, comment on my allergies, and move on. I’m sure everyone knows it wasn’t *just* allergies but it makes it less awkward if we all pretend it was. I asked a close coworker once after she saw me do that if she knew I was really trying to avoid crying. She seemed shocked and said “no, I thought you actually had a cold or something.” I guess it can fool some people.

    • hellskitchen :

      I try to role play any awkward conversations I anticipate having. It has helped me a lot in recognizing how emotional I can get with some types of conversations – giving negative feedback or letting go of someone. I have a colleague who also likes this approach so we often role play with each other. Perhaps this could work for you?

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I think that our bodies sometimes betray us Intellectually we can be not upset or think something “shouldn’t be a big deal,” but emotionally it is. And we react with tears because we are having emotions we don’t acknowledge/want to deal with.

      Before you get into another situation that is similar, ask yourself honestly how you *really* feel about it (not how you want to feel, or think you should feel). You might be surprised at the true answer there. If you acknowledge your feelings, you can deal with them before they surprise you in another meeting.

      Frustration is a real emotion, and being frustrated can lead to tears of frustration.

  10. Traveling to Beijing :

    Hi. I am traveling to Beijing in mid march. I am looking at buying an anti-theft shoulder bag or purse. I need to bring along a laptop. Is it safe to leave my laptop in a Beijing hotel room or should I carry it around with me everywhere I go? Also, any advice on what to wear in Beijing this time of year? I did some searching in the archives, but the post I found discussed summer dress.

    • Weather is still cold (6 – 10 C, lower at night) and dry with bad air pollution. You may want to bring disposable face masks – check that you buy a model that filters for fine particulates – and extra medication if you have any breathing conditions.

      For dress, I’d say there are few special concessions to local norms are required. You don’t mention if you’re in Beijing for work or play but in either case, it’s a big metropolis with a lot of diversity – women move freely in public and in professional situations, and their dress ranges from drab to blingy.

      On laptop, fwiw, I usually stay in international-chain hotels (Hyatt etc) and leave my gadgets in the room but locked into my carry-on bag.

    • Are you staying in a big Western chain hotel? If so, you’re probably fine putting the laptop in the room safe. I used to work in Beijing/Shanghai a lot, and that’s what I’d do whenever I left the room. If you’re in a local chain, leave NOTHING to chance and take the with you. An anti-theft bag is probably a good idea (I assume you’re not Asian?), but constant vigilance is better. Slash-proof material isn’t that useful if they rip the bag off your shoulder.

      As for clothing, I’d just do what ss mentioned and pack normal U.S. cold weather clothes. I’d say you shouldn’t wear tank tops or belly-bearing stuff, but that’s probably not a problem for you with winter clothes.

      • Agree with all of this. We used to stay the Peninsula in Beijing, and I never had a problem leaving my laptop in the room.

    • Definitely bring face masks and medication if needed for the air pollution. It’s bad. Your plan to leave gadgets in the room sounds fine, although I would probably lock them in a bag or safe just to be on the safe side. To avoid pickpockets a few tips: (1) Make sure you keep all your bags fully zipped when you’re out in public (with the end zipped “forward”/close to your front, instead of zipping “backwards” away from you) (2) Don’t put valuables, especially your phone, in outside pockets. They can be snatched easily. Leave them in your zipped bag, or put them in an interior pocket of your coat. (3) If you pull your gadgets out while on public transportation, hold them tightly and don’t stand near doors. Many of the thefts reported in Shanghai happened when thieves snatched phones out of commuters’ hands as the subway doors closed.

      With those tips, you should be covered. The only time I was (unsuccessfully) pickpocketed was when I had a camera visible in my not-fully-zipped purse, and the zipper was facing the back. Didn’t have problems otherwise and lived there on and off 4+ years.

      • Anyone else feel uncomfortable at the thought of wearing a face mask in public? I know it’s common in some places but I still think I’d feel too foolish to do it.

    • There is a huge problem with computer security in China — if you are bringing one, make sure you have full disk encryption set up and turn it off while not in use. It is not unheard of for people to enter your hotel room, hack into your laptop, and copy data while you are out. Usually this is targeted at people traveling for work (corporate espionage) and a lot of companies ban business travelers from bringing laptops to China for that reason.

      • Oh yes. A fairly bigwig where I work (you’d probably know the name) travels to China with a “dummy” laptop that has nothing on it and is not linked into the agency’s network. He’s definitely seen evidence of laptop tampering on his trips there.

        I wonder if this is a problem in other countries? Just curious. It seems pretty blatantly obvious in China.

      • This reminds me of a conversation I had years ago when I did my interviews as part of my application to the Cornell MBA program. The then (?) head of admissions did not believe me when I told her about being given this type of instruction about leaving work laptops in hotels when traveling to China on business. She wouldn’t believe either that (1) that type of hacking could ever happen or (2) my company would give me such travel guidelines. I asked her what her grounds for not believing (1) & (2) were, and she said because she’d never heard of either. Idiot.

        I knew then and there I could never go to that program. What a great example to set for “logical reasoning” – NOT. “Just because I’ve never heard of it, it doesn’t exist.” My fault for applying to a 3rd tier MBA program, though.

    • Senior Attorney :

      When I went to Southeast Asia a couple of months ago I used a money belt for my money (I bought the Rick Steves lightweight silk version) and was very happy with it. I liked having my money and passport ON MY PERSON at all times.

    • Traveling to Beijing :

      Thanks for all of the advice!

  11. Wise, wise hive, I need your input:
    A close friend and colleague confided to me this morning that she’s been audited by the IRS and came up as owing almost $3K. Apparently the basis for this was how her former employer (who has a well-known reputation for being sketchy as h*ll) was classifying her for tax purposes. He reported her as being an independant contract, but she states that he gave her a regular W2 and that’s what she used to do her taxes. Does she have any recourse either with the IRS or her ex-employer?

    • I’d think that the W-2 is her golden ticket.

      Does it show that taxes were withheld (and nothing fishy, like claiming 99 dependents to lower withholding)? That should help if they are claiming she owes self-employment taxes.

      If the employer withheld and didn’t remit, that’s a trust fund problem that the IRS will take up with the employer. Not the employee’s problem.

      I’d put all this in writing to the people doing an audit, request an appeal if that doesn’t fix things, and then talk to the Taxpayer Advocate. Some law schools have taxpayer clinics. Sounds like a fixable problem.

    • So, he gave her a W-2, but didn’t withhold any income tax? And is she actually an employee or an IC? If she’s an employee and he didn’t withhold, she’s probably out of luck and still owes. But she should report how the boss was doing/representing the situation, because at the very least he also owes back taxes, maybe even some fines.

      But, if she didn’t have taxes withheld, then she’s probably SOL about getting out of paying. And should get a payment plan set up ASAP.

      • If she was inappropriately classified by her employer (as in, she was an employee, was treated like an employee and did not meet the criteria of an independent contractor), she can apply for reclassification through the IRS – the penalty is usually that the employer owes all back taxes. It’s worth talking to an attorney about.

        • Employer owes back taxes on their side of things. The employee will still owe income (and possibly payroll) taxes on her portion if the taxes were not withheld from her wages.

          • And I’m not sure how it works in the US, but in Canada employers are required by law to give pay stubs showing gross earnings & all deductions. If this is the case in the US and she has her pay stubs, I would imagine that would help as well.

            I knew someone in Canada who went through something similar. Thankfully they had their paystubs (even though the numbers were pretty much made up except for the net pay) and the employer was on the hook for the unremitted deductions.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      She can go through the Dept of Labor for assistance too. They frequently assist people who were wrongly classified by their employer.

  12. anon for this :

    Hi ladies, need some advice..

    My roommate (who I love dearly, is one of my best friends, has been a wonderful roommate, etc etc) started seeing a guy a few months ago who she really likes. They are pretty serious already, she seems very happy & therefore I’m happy for her. However, he has a PDA issue that really bugs me. 2 examples below:

    1- All three of us will be standing around in the apartment talking, and out of nowhere he will reach his arm around her, start rubbing her arm, massaging her shoulders, etc. This happens very frequently.
    2- Last night, I came home from dinner & drinks around 10:30 and they were cuddling on the couch. Which, in and of itself is fine… I wasn’t home and it’s her common space too. When I came through the door I said hi and walked into the living room to chat with them for a bit. Not one minute after we all started talking, he started caressing her head & face (think pushing her hair away, petting her forehead & cheeks.. etc). This continued for a while, then he switched to rubbing her legs, until finally after 20 minutes or so I couldn’t handle it and excused myself to bed.

    Now, I know everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to PDA, but am I unreasonable in being annoyed by this? I just don’t understand why he feels the need to start doing it every time we are having a group conversation. And, is it possible for me to say something to her about this, or do I just need to bite my tongue?

    • Cornellian :

      What’s sort of striking here is that you made no mention of her response to his touches. Is she receptive? reciprocating? If not, she may have just as much of an issue as you do.

      If she is in to it, though, things may be a bit more complicated. Maybe instead of asking her to tone down the PDA, since it is her common space and she’s not doing anything overtly sexual, you could frame it as you trying to figure out when it’s group talk time (meaning all three of you are talking, and nothing too couple-y is going on), and when she’s using the common space to spend time with her beau (meaning they can be lovey-dovey, and you’re not shooting the breeze together).

      • anon for this :

        That’s an interesting observation. She doesn’t reciprocate, but I don’t know if that necessarily means she is uncomfortable/has a problem with it.

        I think that might be a good way to frame the conversation. However, I don’t feel as if I encroached on their lovey-dovey time last night: when I came through the door and said hi (we have a very long hallway leading to the living room) she responded “hi, BF is here and we are watching youtube videos. how was your night?” I took this as an indication it was fine to come into the common area, and as an invitation to chat for a bit.

        And, in the other instances this has occurred, they have approached me to start conversation… so I definitely wasn’t inserting myself into a situation where I wasn’t welcome. That’s a part of what bugs me so much!

    • kerrycontrary :

      Meh, if they aren’t making out or touching inappropriate body parts I wouldn’t say anything. It’s small potatoes. It also depends on how your roomate/best friend would react. Bringing up something like this can really put people in a defensive position and make them feel like you are jealous of their relationship.

    • BrendaPatimkin :

      Is there any way you can, in a very nice tone, say something like “Well you two look like you want to be alone…” or “Am I interrupting something?”.

      I’d proceed with *extreme caution*, but maybe you can say something that implies the PDA is noticible?

      • anon for this :

        I like that idea, but I think it might be better to discuss it with her alone first. She is the kind of person who gets defensive fairly easily, and I worry a comment like this (even said very nicely) would cause her to react negatively.

    • I’ll give you that it’s definitely a bit weird (and probably a sign that he’s a bit needy). But as long as she doesn’t seem to be minding it and he’s not grabbing/touching her in an overtly s*xual way, then I’d let it be.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Hmm, this is a tough one. Having his arm around her, massaging her shoulders – well I’m a pretty touchy feely person in a relationship so I’m probably guilty of this in mixed company. Stroking her face is definitely a little more intense.

      I agree with the advice above – consider her reaction and potentially make a comment. But if the touching isn’t of inappropriate body parts, I don’t think you have much of a case to say “please do that in your room.”

      I suppose you could generally say, “Hey, Roomie, it makes me a little uncomfortable. I understand if you think this is unreasonable, but do you mind if things are getting really touchy, to take it to your room?” If you guys have a good relationship otherwise she’d probably be receptive to it but you should be prepared for her to say “no, it’s just romantic, not sexual, and I don’t want to stop.”

      • anon for this :

        Yeah, I understand everyone has different needs re: affection… but the weirdest thing is it’s not like I walked in and he was already doing that. Every time something like this happens, he starts doing it AFTER we’ve begun a conversation. So strange.

    • As for your #2, it sounds like they were trying to have some time alone together, and when you didn’t get the hint, they escalated the PDA. You came home and it was clear they were having some couple time, but you stopped to talk anyway. That doesn’t make it a “group conversation.” If you interrupt a private moment, I don’t think it’s reasonable to complain about “public” displays of affection.

      • anon for this :

        I didn’t explain very clearly in my original post, but I wouldn’t have come into the living room if I hadn’t been invited. She asked me how my night was… if she wanted to have private/alone time, why initiate conversation?

        • I think she was being polite, or maybe she didn’t care if they had private/alone time. But he clearly did, hence his actions.

          • I think this is a good point. When I was in college my roomate never got the hint with a particular boyfriend of mine. She would constantly come into the bedroom when we were cuddling in bed in the morning (clothed, but still private time) or just sit down when we were having couple time in the living room. Sometimes our PDA would be a little extreme because we wanted her to leave.

          • anon for this :

            I definitely see your point… but as I mentioned upthread, in other similar instances they have approached me to start conversation, so it’s not like I was encroaching on their private time. I’ve never gone into her bedroom when he’s there & for the most part leave them be when they are in the apartment unless she specifically initiates conversation.

        • Well, she’s your friend, and not a monster. Of course she’d say hi and ask how your night was. That’s not initiating a 20-minute conversation. I feel like the right move was to say, “Hi, my night was X, how was yours?” and move on. IT would then be her move to say “hey, come back, join us” or whatever,

          • anon for this :

            That’s exactly what I did, and after she told me about their night she continued asking questions about my night. Am I supposed to not respond?

          • Honestly, I think you’re supposed to get the hint and say something like “I’m tired and have to get up early, I think I’ll turn in now. Good night.” Of course, at some point, they’re supposed to get a room! It goes both ways.

          • I’m just gonna say it, bc I think everyone is being really gentle with you.

            Yes, you’re being kind of ridiculous. The ‘arm around the shoulder rubbing arm while talking’ thing is completely normal behavior, as is a hand on the leg while sitting. My husband does both of these all the time, and we aren’t very PDA-ish. (He would never like, tongue kiss me in public or anything.) That’s just not really “PDA” in most people’s definition.

            In that situation, you really need to just get over yourself a little, not to be harsh. That’s normal behavior. You have every right to be uncomfortable with it, and to not want it in your own relationships, but it is not over that line of public decency. So you really don’t have a right to demand the world line up with your expectations there.

            As to the latter case, no, you didn’t need to ‘not respond’, but again…nothing they were doing was over the line or innappropriate. The face stroking might be a little ODD, but they are newly dating and obviously he’s really into her. (And maybe a little needy, lol, but that’s hers to deal with). If he was groping her or tounging her ear, that would be different. If YOU are uncomfortable with ‘typical’ levels of PDA (and I’d argue that in her own living room in her own home isn’t really a PUBLIC display of affection anyway) then YOU should politely remove yourself and accept that your comfort level is different, and that’s ok, but it isn’t other poeple’s job to accomodate that.

            Again, if they were making out in the common space, that’d be different. A good natured “go to your room!” would likely suffice.

    • This all sounds like pretty normal couple stuff (except the face petting — I can’t quite visualize). My husband will put his arm around me and kind of rub my upper arm while we’re standing talking to someone, or I’ll sit with my hand on his knee if we’re sitting side-by-side. Do you find that this kind of PDA bothers you more with this friend than with non-roommate friends? That you’re less okay with PDAs in general (e.g., have other friends’ PDAs in the past bothered you, or have you had any SOs who wanted more PDA than you were comfortable with)? That it bothers you less when you guys are all out in public together, or in a big group, than when it’s just the three of you home alone? Do you have an SO who comes over frequently? I’ve found that the most uncomfortable roommate/boyfriend situation is when I’ve been single and I’ve had just one roommate and she’s had a boyfriend over. Somehow that three-person situation is just awkward, awkward. If you can tease out what’s bothering you, then maybe you can ask her to tone it down a bit in specific situations, as opposed to saying that her boyfriend has a PDA issue.

      • anon for this :

        I really dislike PDA in general, whether it’s coming from another couple or my own relationship. I recognize I have that bias, which is why I’m unsure if being annoyed is unreasonable. However, I think your point about big group vs. just us three in the apartment strikes a chord. For whatever reason I find it to be slightly more isolating to start canoodling when there’s only one other person around (said another way, at least if you are in a big group of people there’s someone else you can turn around and talk to).

        I’m not currently seeing anyone, but my ex had his own place so he rarely came over to our shared apartment… so I think the fact that she’s never really had to deal with the other end of this situation affects her lack of awareness about potential awkardness.

      • Seconded. My SO is quite a touchy-feely person and I am not. He will often put his arm around me, rub my arm, touch my hair or something like that when we are around other people. For him this is just a way of expressing affection. When we were just getting to know one another I was a bit uncomfortable with this because I don’t like PDAs generally, but after a while I realized he was just expressing his feelings for me, and it wasn’t actually inappropriate. I read your situation as a similar thing. In your situation, in your shoes, I would probably be equally as uncomfortable as you, but really, if you just look at it as your roommate having found a really affectionate, loving guy, it might help you feel better about it.

      • I know this is late, but I feel I have to respond. OP, I understand you feeling like this is too PDA. My SO and I have been living together almost 5 years, and I feel anything other than a hand on the small of the back is too much PDA. And I typically feel slightly uncomfortable with other couples when it’s anything having to do with stroking. Like, stroking the arm, stroking the shoulder. Or even leg touching.

        I realize for some people it’s totally normal couple behavior, and I am probably a bit sensitive, but I just wanted to say I absolutely understand why you would feel uncomfortable.

        And I do have to say, during my single days, there are couples that made me feel included and not awkward when engaging in 3-way conversations, and couples that did not.

    • This isn’t public, its in her own apartment.

    • At best, he’s a very PDA-oriented person.

      At worst, it sounds like he’s trying to mark his territory. If he starts PDAing as soon as he sees that she’s in conversation with you, it’s his way of signaling that she’s “HIS” and that he’s the most important. It could be insecurity, it could be narcissism.

      But that’s a big IF. EVEN if that were the case, you say that she’s defensive. Defensive people are the easiest for manipulative, narcissistic types to take control over, because their defensiveness and obsession with being seen to be right will allow them to careen headlong over the cliff all the while deluding themselves that that’s the really right decision. They are also the best at justifying unhealthy patterns and being the best dang apologist for the narcissist partner. So, even in the dire case that he’s some narcissist creep, you won’t reach her. She’ll be plugging her ears going LA LA LA LA I can’t hear you. Or chewing you out.

      Either way (harmless PDA or controlling narcissist), you should bite your tongue. It’s her life to enjoy/wreck.

      • anon for this :

        I don’t get a narcissim/territorial vibe from him, I honestly think he’s a good guy and he makes her happy. I’d lean more towards insecurity than anything… i.e. perhaps he doesn’t quite feel comfortable at our place yet, especially when I’m there, and is more physical with her when I’m around to assuage this.

    • I’m afraid you and I would not be friends in real life as I have no problem with PDA. No mouth action? Your examples sounds super minor to me, I’ve certainly done much worst…

      • anon for this :

        Yeah… as I have stated a few times now, everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to this topic. I’m glad you have no problem with PDA, and I am cognizant that many others share your feelings. I never said my roommate or her boyfriend were wrong for enjoying being more affectionate, all I said was that it bothers me and I don’t think there isn’t anything wrong with being annoyed over feeling uncomfortable in my own home.

    • big dipper :

      The majority of commenters seem to think this is fine and you should let it go, so that’s probably the normal response and I would go with their advice.

      But, just to put this out there, that would make me super uncomfortable. It sounds like you feel unwelcome in the common areas of your own apartment because they’re affectionate in a way that implies you should leave. That would really bother me.

      My roommates and I have a policy that works out great. No over the top cuddling in the common areas (making out, sitting on laps, etc – similar to what you described), period. If you’re hanging out with your SO in the common area, anyone who walks in is welcome to join you and you should make an effort to make them feel comfortable.

      If we want private time with our SOs, we (a) use our bedrooms, which are our private spaces or (b) send a text to all the roommates letting them know we’ll be using the kitchen for a few hours to cook a romantic dinner, or using the living room to watch a movie privately. That way everyone clearly knows what the deal is.

      I don’t think that’s an unreasonable policy. It alleviates the awkwardness of dealing with my roommates new SOs. After a few months, I get to know their SO, and it feels less weird so the policy is less necessary. But in the early stages of meeting their SO (which you are in), it makes sense to set clear boundaries.

      • anon for this :

        I think your house policy sounds very reasonable. My roommate and I unfortunately never really discussed this at length when we moved in together, mostly because it wasn’t an issue. I was dating my ex at the time and he had his own place, so we were never hanging in the common area of my apartment. I’ve decided I’m going to talk to her, but frame it more like “hey, we never really talked about this in the beginning, I’d like to set some ground rules now” and perhaps use the example from last night if there’s an appropriate way to bring it up.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          How about instead of “I’d like to set some ground rules now” say something like “let’s discuss what we are both comfortable with.” Otherwise it sounds like you are trying to dictate the situation without imput from her.

      • I agree with this. Regardless of how other people feel about PDA, if it’s something that bothers you and makes you uncomfortable in your own apartment, then you should talk about it with your roommate. Yes it’s her apartment too so it’s not “public,” but you should feel comfortable in your own home.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly, this level of touching wouldn’t bother me. It’s not really a “PDA” given that it’s taking place in the home of one of the parties, after all. But if bothers you then I don’t think there’s any harm in proposing guidelines similar to those described by big dipper.

  13. Skincare question that I was hoping to get some hive input on…

    About a month ago, I started getting this weird breakout on my forehead – like a heat rash type breakout, not an acne/whitehead type. My skin has never been breakout prone, and this looks like something is irritating my skin. I’m trying to figure out what it is, but have been drawing a blank. Here’s a list of everything that I’ve tried, but I’m wondering if any of you have any other ideas of things I’m missing:
    - Cosmetics: I’ve used the same cosmetics for the past year. I know I’m allergic to the mineral stuff, but I’m not using any right now.
    -Face wash/moisturizer: Again, haven’t changed this at all in the last 2 years. Same list of products.
    -Heating systems: So, I’ve actually lived in 3 different apartments with different heating systems in the past 2 months, and this breakout is still there.
    -Laundry: same detergent for years (Method)
    -Stress: I don’t feel particularly stressed. I was moving last month, but it’s been all done for 2 weeks now.

    Any ideas for other things I should look at?

    • Are you wearing a winter hat? Resting your head in your hands a lot? Headband or baseball hat at the gym?

    • Hair products? new shampoo conditioner etc? Do you now have bangs?

    • anonforthis :

      My sister had something similar and she had to go to the dermatologist. It was a specific skin condition but I forget what it was.

      • Hmm…hoping I won’t have to go to the derm, but will probably do so if it continues another 3-4 weeks.

        Also, to the above: nope, same shampoo, same haircut. I guess I’ve been wearing my hood a lot more since it’s cold, but that doesn’t really hit my forehead. It’s also an old jacket, and I’ve never had problems. Mystery!

        • You can actually develop an allergy at any time, so it very well could be something you’ve been using for a long time. Given how localized it is, I’d say it’s probably something you either put on your head (either the laundry soap or the fabric itself) or a hair product. Even if none of them are new.
          I would buy new of all those things, the free & clear laundry soap, the dye free fragrance free hair stuff, etc> if it clears up, add back your regular stuff one at a time until you see which it was. If it doesn’t clear up, see a dr!

          • Meg Murry :

            Companies also subtly tweak formulations all the time, or add, remove or substitute ingredients based on federal regulations, price, availability or “product improvements”. Sometimes different raw material suppliers are used at one factory or another, so different size containers of products could be made at different factories and therefore have slightly different formulations/raw materials.
            Also, how old are your cosmetics? Any chance your moisturizer/ foundation/powder etc got contaminated or is old and growing something? Gross I know, but not impossible.
            Are you using a Clairsonic? I know a lot of women here swear by them – maybe you need a new head or cleaner to use on it?
            New pillows/ sheets / mattress?
            Can you give yourself a product free weekend – just wash your face with lukewarm (not hot) water and don’t put on makeup or creams and see if it gets better? My skin gets in a horrible cycle of irritated –> put on more product to soothe it and cover irritation –> need to scrub harder/wash more often to remove makeup –> more irritation and I need to just give my skin some “time off” every now and then to reset.

    • Maybe wash your cosmetic brushes? I just wonder if something got on them and is now transfering to your face. Good luck!

    • Is it just one breakout?

    • FedTaxAtty :

      Do you use towels provided by a gym?

    • I have really sensitive and dry skin and I got what sounds like the same outbreak in the same spot when I moved from a coastal climate to a dry climate. It seemed counter-intuitive, but it calmed down with extra heavy-duty moisturizer for a few weeks and it’s never returned (11 years later).

    • Corporate Cowgirl :

      I had the same issue, went to a derma which was no help. Turns out it the hairspray I was spraying on my bangs was causing the breakouts. I now put a tissue or my hand in front of my forehead, and spray. Another good tip I learned was to rinse off your face as the very last thing you do in the shower, as shampoo/conditioner/face wash/soap, etc. can still be on your forehead and you don’t even realize it. Both of these changes helped, and I don’t have the problem anymore!

  14. 1. Any reccs for a cleaning person in the Peninsula (Bay Area, SF, etc).
    2. Karenpadi, I sent you an email to your hotmail (not sure if you check it regularly) w/ a credit code for diet to go– you recc’d it to me a few weeks ago & it just wasn’t for me, so I thought I’d pass it a long back to you.

    • We’ve used Roses House Cleaning for the past few years – roseshousecleaning[dot]com. Overall, we’ve been pretty satisfied. We give a short blurb of feedback every week to management (good job this week or next time please also do X or next time don’t do Y), which I understand is unusual, but they do respond to specific, clear feedback/instructions. Example – when they first started with us, they put our Shun knives and All Clad pots in the dishwasher and ran it. I almost had a heart attack. We asked them not to run the dishwasher at all going forward, and to never put knives or pots in the dishwasher. It’s never happened since. We have not asked them to do laundry.

    • I’ve recently started using a service and I was happy with it but after talking to some friends I think I may be overpaying. $125 for 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath 2 story townhouse. I just do a monthly deep cleaning – mainly floors (all hardwood or tile no carpet), bathroom and kitchen, dust & polish. I got 3 quotes all in this range but my friend said they were paying $85 for similar size townhouse and switched to someone who charges $75.

    • CA lawyer :

      TeamWorks is a cleaning co-op that does an excellent job. It’s not the least expensive service, but I feel good that the workers own the company and I don’t have the obligations of employing an individual directly.

  15. Hello hive,

    Anyone have any good book suggestions for how to be a better manager/communicator in the office? I’ve read Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and found it…okay. A bit “meh.”

    My main problem is that I’m not great at confidently asserting my needs in an office environment or asking juniors to do things for me.

    Any books? Advice?

    THanks!

  16. new york associate :

    BigLaw Advice Needed

    I’m a senior associate at a firm in the partnership process. One thing I’ve realized about the firm is that no matter how good my work is, it doesn’t matter unless a partner sees it. Yet one of the things that I’m being evaluated on is how easy I make the partner’s lives – which means that the partner doesn’t see a lot of the work I do (especially on daily case management.) Any tips from others about how to showcase my work to partners while still limiting their involvement (which is what they want)?

    • You are exactly right on both points. Here’s what you do. Without waiting to be asked, provide updates (I find email best) on a regular basis about what you’re doing. Just wanted to let you know, here’s what the team is working on at the moment, or xyz happened and I did abc. The email should NOT be framed as requiring any response or approval on the partner’s part, just informational. Even if the partner just glances at it, he/she will have great confidence that you’re all over what’s going on. And if they really don’t care to know, then they’ll just delete, but they’ll still get the message that you’re very proactive. Be sure not to bury any request for a decision by the partner in the middle of this kind of email, keep that as a completely separate inquiry.

      • new york associate :

        This is helpful. Thanks. I have tried this approach from time to time, but can definitely be better and more consistent about it.

      • This. Also, learn to brag more about yourself whenever you get a chance. Men are really good at self-promotion, but for some reason women feel we have to be humble.

  17. Any tips for dealing with a boss who frequently ignores your emails? I know I should just bite the bullet and call her or stop by her office when I need more information, but it’s an annoying dynamic because she emails me requests all day long, but then ignores my emails and follow ups.

    • I used to have a boss like this, and eventually instead of e-mailing her questions, I started e-mailing her things like, “Here is Problem X, and I’m going to do Y about it unless you let me know you’d like me to do something else” or “I’ve attached Document Z and I’m going to send it out tomorrow unless you would like changes.” She continued not to respond to my e-mails, but the strategy worked really well because I wasn’t waiting on her any more, and I always received good feedback from her on my performance.

      • +1

      • LilaFowler :

        This is great advice.

      • new york associate :

        I got this advice in my first month of working at a law firm and it has been a life-saver many, many times.

      • Meg Murry :

        This is good advice. Also, if you often need information or clarification from her to continue on a task, but it isn’t a “get this done immediately!” type of task, keep a running list of questions so you can make your phone calls or pop ins more efficient by getting 5 questions answered at once rather than popping in 5 times in an afternoon.

        • +1 to making your face time with her count for number of questions answered. Also, she may just be getting so many emails that you get buried. Yes, it is her organizational issue, but sometimes people get wrapped up dealing with that last important client email/meeting and never make their way back to the 9:30 email.

      • +2

  18. Anon-Clerk Applicant :

    Any advice on how to handle difficult interview questions when you truly have no idea what to say? I had a clerkship interview last week and had a very difficult substantive interview with a current clerk. I tried to make clear that I didn’t know the answer, hoping that my honesty would be rewarded with mercy, but he kept asking about the particular topic. It was quite demoralizing.

    • “I haven’t had much experience with X, but I would welcome the opportunity to learn more in this position”

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was totally thrown off once in a mock interview by someone asking me “what is your favorite Torts case?” I immediately freaked just trying to think of one by name that I could intelligently discuss. I think I went with Tarasoff and duty to warn because I had experience with that in my prior career. I’m fairly certain though, I blathered like an idiot for several minutes before remembering the name of it. No advice, just commiseration.

    • new york associate :

      I had a clerkship interview where the current clerk interrogated me about Chevron deference, despite the fact that I had not yet taken Admin and was quite clear about that. I basically said, “Well, I haven’t read the cases, but in general, here’s what I think as a policy matter.” (And I got the clerkship.) I think that clerkship interviews are just weird in general. Don’t worry about it – most adults will allow you to gracefully change the subject or acknowledge your interest in learning more and won’t push. Law clerks are mostly not adults and are still inflating their own egos. (I say this with love, as a former clerk.)

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