Coffee Break: Martha Stewart Office Accessories

Martha Stewart Home Office AccessoriesI’m sorry to say I don’t remember where I first saw this new line of Martha Stewart desk accessories — Pinterest, perhaps? There’s a lot to like, though — it isn’t overly cutesy, it’s organized, and there are a lot of ways to customize it to suit your needs. I’ve pictured the “Stack+Fit Desk Accessories” here — the idea is that you can stack inboxes, storage boxes, drawers, and smaller organizing compartments to make exactly what you need. Nice. Prices range from $1.99 to $14.99 for individual pieces in the Stack+Fit system; the whole Martha Stewart line also includes furniture, totes, wall systems, and more. Martha Stewart Office Accessories



  1. I didn’t make it back to the thread last week in time to thank y’all, but THANK YOU for the recommendations for Louisville! We had a great time. This group is always reliable for good food and good fun!

  2. I’ve had 3 of the pieces from this collection for about a year, and they still look great even though they’re made from cardboard.

    • Good to know. I’ve been eyeing these but hesitating due to similar products I’ve had that got shabby way too quickly.

  3. I love Martha Stewart at Staples. I love the dry erase decals and I love the post-it labels. This line has been around for a while. I picked up a bunch of stuff on super clearance a few weeks ago. I love See Jane Work for office supplies.

  4. Lady Harriet :

    Big thanks to whoever recommended Thug Kitchen a while back. I made the black bean cilantro pesto wraps recently, and they were excellent!

    • TO Lawyer :

      I love Thug Kitchen – thank you for reminding me about it! (It wasn’t me who recommended it but I loved it when I saw it then and totally forgot about it since)

    • IDoNotLikeTheConeofShame :

      OMG, I’m totally laughing at this website ThugKitchen. It’s like Joe Pesci has a show on The Cooking Channel. And the recipes actually look good and healthy.

    • Seconded! I love Thug Kitchen. We are making the potato salad for a BBQ on Friday.

      My private suspicion is that it’s written by a woman.

      I love that it’s vegan.

  5. momentsofabsurdity :

    I’m bummed today, since this weekend I dropped off my dog to live with my parents while I’m in grad school (I cleared this with them beforehand). I miss him and my house feels empty, especially since I still have two more months of work left so I’m still in my normal routine just dog-less.

    Can anyone recommend any animal-related nonprofits or rescues in the Boston area that might need volunteers? T-accessible would be ideal.

    • MSPCA/Angell Memorial Hospital isn’t too far from the Green Line (E train), and they have a big and well-run volunteer program. Or you can take care of my dog if you want!

    • Also, skype your dog! Dogs are the best.

    • There is a great low cost vet clinic in….Brighton(?) called Merwin Memorial that is all volunteer run. It’s great.

      Also, you can hop on down to the south shore and hang with my PITA dog any day ;) He’s running around in the rain hunting rabbits in the yard as I type this.

  6. Thank-you note TJ:
    (btw, apologies if this is a silly question. Immigrant parents w/o corporate jobs or awareness about Western etiquette = me fumbling my way through)

    As part of a class, I worked with a lawyer at a small firm for a few hours a week. This lawyer volunteered to be part of this new class, was super helpful to me (including opening up networking opportunities with a colleague at another firm), and spent his own work hours to shepherd me through pro-bono projects. The senior partner was also helpful and welcoming, though I did not work for him. Should I send 1) two separate thank-you notes, 2) one jointly-addressed note, 3) one note only to the person I worked with, or 4) no note necessary? Via email or regular mail, handwritten?

    • I’m not an attorney so I don’t know about the senior partner, but I would definitely send a separate, more specific, thank you note to the person who was so helpful. Not a joint one. You should acknowledge all of the wonderful things he did that you listed.

    • Two notes, hand-written, via mail. Buy nice, but very plain stationery. Something like this This would also be okay The note to the senior partner can be very brief – just two or three sentences – but it would be nice to write something a little longer and more personal to the other attorney (but still just a paragraph).

      Also, don’t be shy about keeping in touch with the lawyer you worked with. Send along links to articles that are relevant to the attorney’s practice area or to the case you worked on. If you go to school nearby, periodically (maybe once a semester or so) invite the lawyer out for lunch or coffee.

    • Grr. Moderation because of links.

      Two notes, hand-written, via mail. Buy nice, but very plain stationery. [Here's where I put in the links to appropriate stationery. Basically if you look at Crane stationery and get the very plainest cards, the kind with just a single colored border, those would be very appropriate.] The note to the senior partner can be very brief – just two or three sentences – but it would be nice to write something a little longer and more personal to the other attorney (but still just a paragraph).

      Also, don’t be shy about keeping in touch with the lawyer you worked with. Send along links to articles that are relevant to the attorney’s practice area or to the case you worked on. If you go to school nearby, periodically (maybe once a semester or so) invite the lawyer out for lunch or coffee.

      • +1 Just steer clear of the Crane stationary in pretty light blue. I almost bought a box once that was apparently Tiffany blue and designed specifically for wedding thank you notes. Oops.

    • Also not an attorney, but two separate notes seem more appropriate. That way you can be more specific and what you send won’t have a “form letter” field. Although growing up I was always told that hand-written is best, most professionals I know these days are perfectly happy to get email and more likely to respond, as well. I’m so glad you had such a good experience!

      BTW, if you’re looking for future guidance on situations such as this one, Miss Manners books are very helpful and very, very funny.

    • Jenna Rink :

      This might be a crazy pet peeve, but I got a thank you email for a job interview that was cc’ed to me and two other people who had been involved in the interview, and it made me so grumpy I would have rather not received a thank you note at all. I think it’s always a much better idea to do separate thank you notes.

    • Thanks for the input and stationery / book recommendations!
      Usually I trust my common sense, then second guess myself worrying that I am blundering some etiquette rule that’s beyond my common sense’s ken.

  7. Anonymous :

    I’m struggling to figure out what amount of information about a SO’s past relationships is appropriate to know versus when do you cross the line so that you’ve become too nosy. I think early on, there is no need to disclose everything, but I think when you’re discussing marriage, it’s important to be able to have open honest discussions about the past and I’m concerned if these are red flags. For example, I think it’s appropriate to tell your SO how many serious relationships you’ve had, who they are, the length of such relationships and why things ended. If they don’t care or want to know, that’s fine, but if they ask, I think you should be able to tell them honestly.

    I found out a few months ago my SO had gotten a gf at the time pregnant and she had an abortion. Recently, one of his ex moved into our area with her fiance and we’ve started hanging out a lot more. The ex and my SO dated for a year many years ago, but seem to still be pretty good friends now. For the most part I trust and like her, but I was curious why it didn’t work out with them before. I also asked my SO if she was the ex-gf he had gotten pregnant before. He refused to tell me, which only made me think she was… which I dont think would change my impression of her or the situation or anything, but what bothered me was that he felt like he couldn’t tell me. Am I being too nosy or should I be concerned that he won’t tell me certain information of past relationships? I feel like in marriage there shouldn’t be very many secrets…. please tell me if I’m over-reacting.

    • There’s no standard/normal here. It is whatever you and your SO are comfortable with.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree with this. If you want more information than your SO wants to share, that’s also something you need to discuss with him (why he is drawing these boundaries, if you feel comfortable with them, why you want to know more, etc.).

        • I agree, but ONLEY to a POINT. If you are dateing someone casueally, then it is NOT appropriate to ask to many question’s. However, before you SLEEP with someone, you need to be sure about their SEXUEAL HISTORY, b/c if you DO sleep with them, my dad says that technically, you are sleeepeing with everyone that they EVER slept with, meaning that they may be carrying a STD or something from 3 girlfreind’s ago that you can get if you sleep with them without protection.

          So it is NOT nosey to ask before you have sex with them. If you are just meeting them and NOT sleepeing with them, it is NOT appropriate to ask to many question’s.

          Personally, I have learned NOT to sleep with any MAN now until I get a RING. B/C I need to have a Baby, I do NOT have time to waste sleepeing with men who are NOT goieng to MARRY me. FOOEY on that!

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe the reason he won’t tell you whether it was her is that he feels that would be crossing the line from what is his info to give and what is her info to give. In other words, it’s his business that he was involved in an aborted pregnancy, but it’s her business (especially now that you know her) that she had an abortion. He probably knows you will assume–probably correctly–that it was her, but doesn’t want to officially have told you, since it’s such a private matter for his ex. At any rate, I feel like in the end you have the information you need. I see why you’re uncomfortable, but I think you should let it go unless there’s some other sign that something is wrong.

    • I think there’s also a point where sharing too much can hurt the person you’re with. My ex-H found out that I had been involved, before our marriage, with my current SO (yeah, we were involved before, but it seemed like a fling so I never took it seriously, but now I’ve been with him almost as long as I was married). My current SO is a manly guy with a bit of swagger about him (my gay friends call him a “sexy devil”) and my then-husband was threatened by that and they occasionally crossed paths. Kind of like in BBT when Howard finds out Bernadette dated her former professor (played by Rick Fox).

    • Diana Barry :

      There is really no normal. When DH and I started dating, I would have been happy to tell him about my past relationships, why they didn’t work, etc. etc., but he didn’t want to know any of that. He was happier not thinking about me being involved with other guys before him (made him upset). Also, he didn’t want me to know anything about his past relationships either, so other than vague things, I got nothing. In the past I had learned more about the past relationships of the people I was dating, so mileage definitely varies.

    • I agree with both posters above; level of disclosure is aboutu what the 2 ppl in the relationship are comfortable with, and the abortion thing could very well be about respecting the privacy of the woman who had it (which I think really reflects well on your SO).

      But have to throw in my 2 cents on one thing : you mentioned that you “for the most part like and trust” the ex you have been hanging out with…I think whether you “trust” HER should be totally irrelevant, all that matters is that you trust your SO. And that issue goes to the larger question of why you want all this information about things that happened in the past.

      Only you can really decide what that means but its something you could reflect on that might help you figure out how to address this issue. In other words: is your desire for further disclosures related to a trust issue with your SO? If so, do you have good reason to be distrustful of his feelings/commitment to you now? Do you have reason to believe there is some skeleton in the closet that will come out an d haunt you later? If answer to all of the above is no, then ask yourself if maybe YOU have trust issues for some other reason – bad past experience, etc.? I really hope this is helpful.

    • Young Consultant :

      I agree that there is no normal for this. I have also found that most men do not want to know about their girlfriend’s past relationships. However, I always want to know what some people have described as “a lot” about about my boyfriend’s past serious relationships. If they dated someone for along time, that is part of who they are and their past, and I am interested. My “a lot” is pretty similar to what you described you would like to know. I think you should recognize that this is probably more than the average amount of information, but that it is what makes you comfortable so your significant other should understand that. Honestly, I am generally a very curious (nosy? haha) person and my boyfriends have always known that about me by the time I am asking things like this and have NEVER been surprised or really bothered by my questions, because really they are born from curiosity more than anything else (namely, jealously).

      I do think this particular situation is a little awkward and he may just be protecting her privacy, which is nice. But to be honest I know that it would bother me if my significant other flat out refused to answer a question like that, whether or not my feelings would be justified. Things like this are really a relationship “style” thing that you need to figure out with the person you are with, particularly if you have different styles.

    • Bewitched :

      I agree with others above who said it’s likely he’s trying to protect the ex -if you are hanging out together, perhaps he doesn’t want you to be thinking “wow, I can’t believe she was the type to have an abortion” or “wow, if they had a kid together, that kid would be X years old”. I think this is one situation where it may be that you are being a bit too nosy and it’s better for everyone if you did not know this information.

    • Agree with the posters above. It is absolutely none of your business whether this woman had an abortion. That is her private medical history. I’ve never been in that position, but if I was and found out that an ex shared that information with anyone I would be set-the-building-on-fire livid.

      • It’s his fetus too, and it’s perfectly within his rights to share his experience with whomever he chooses. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a very difficult one for the individuals and as a couple, and I think I would want to know if I were now socializing with a person that my SO had made that decision with. It’s a significant bond – they will always be the person that you might have had a child with, and the person with whom you grieved the loss of that potential life.

  8. Today has been a horrible day. Got two job rejections within an hour of each other!!

  9. Hopeful lateral :

    Question for the hive (you do give the best advice!): I got a call on Friday afternoon about an interview. I gave dates/times I am available this week and was told I’d get a call back after the (internal) recruiter spoke with the interviewers. I haven’t heard anything since. Should I follow up? Is today too soon? The apparent intent was to have me interview this week and the recruiter said she thought the interviewers’ schedules were open.

  10. My company is sending me to Paris next week for training, and I plan on doing a little shopping and sightseeing in my off hours (as long as my email allows me). It’s my first visit.

    So, my question, especially to those of you who have been to Paris before, if you had about 300-350E to spend in Paris for souvenirs & general shopping, what would you buy and where would you shop?

    • Anne Shirley :

      I would honestly go crazy in Monoprix- but a) I love grocery stores and b) I think a lot of their accessories are fun/cheap and make good gifts. I would for sure buy some super spendy chocolates, a perfume, and then nab whatever else catches my eye at Bon Marche, my fav shop. But that’s for someone who’s not particularly shopping focused and a bit too large for parisian clothes shopping to be fun.

    • Orangerie :

      Lots of macarons! I prefer Pierre Hermé over Ladurée but they are both amazing. If you can pick up some boxes on your last day there, they make great gifts.

      There’s a lot of great clothing boutiques in the Marais neighborhood if you’re looking to pick up an item of clothing for yourself. One of my favorite jewelry boutiques is in that area on Rue Vielle du Temple; it’s called Siloha and has the most gorgeous pieces.

      If you have time, spend a few hours walking around in Galleries Lafayette (the big one by the Opera Garnier)… it’s the most magical department store on earth.

      Have fun!

    • I liked buying gifts of fancy tea at Mariage Frères. Yummy and beautifully packaged, plus the shop is nice to peruse. It it pricey, and you can get some of their most popular teas online or here in the States – but the Paris shop has lots of teas you can’t get here. I think there is also a tearoom and museum but I didn’t know about them at the time.

      • I second Mariage Freres, try the Mirabelle tea, it’s a yellow plum with quite a specific growing season. Also, Bonne Maman makes mirabelle jam that’s only available in France, it’s delicious!

    • Training in Paris! Sounds like a dream. Well, if you like perfume, Fragonard Perfume Museum on rue Scribe is free, fascinating, doesn’t take long, and close to Galeries Lafayette. Very atmospheric. Highly recommend their solid perfume minis–8- or 12-pack is just 20 or 30 euros. Pair one each with a cute mini watercolor postcard (all over the Champs-Elysees for cheap), tie with ribbon or a gauze bag, et voila for the girlfriends back home.

      I find boxed macarons pricey for gifts and tricky to transport–but even if you just eat them all yourself on site (yay), def. second Pierre Herme! there’s one right at the Galeries. (Laduree is lovely, but it’s the same in Paris as in NYC.) Also close by Galeries/Fragonard/Pierre Herme: the Palais Garnier, height of Parisian opulence and immortalized by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Definitely worth a look inside if you can get there before close.

      Re: museums, you can have your hands full with just the Louvre (W/F open late) and Orsay, but if you want something less overwhelming and off the beaten path, you can try the Rodin Museum/outdoor sculpture garden, and the Carnavalet (Paris city museum, in Marais).

      NB, make sure you check the heck out of the hours for everything you plan. Most museums have one or two nights where they’re open late. But commercial Paris closes obscenely early. If everything is closed, consider a walk in the Jardin des Tuileries at dusk with a gelato. Infinitely satisfying. Good luck and bon voyage!

    • Veronique :

      So many great ideas from the previous posters! One of my favorite things to get in foreign countries is beauty products that are difficult/impossible to get at home. Monoprix or any other pharmacy would be a great spot for that. Both the tea shop and the tea room at Mariage Frères are fantastic. I had afternoon tea there with the most amazing tea infused dessert that I’ve ever tasted. I found my signature perfume at Fragonard, which I continue to wear daily and order online from France.

      • ParisAnon :

        I would avoid the Galleries Lafayette, it is always full (way too full) of people, namely tourists as the Japanese tourist bus stops are right there. Also, be careful in this area, there are a LOT of pickpockets, and be wary of children helping themselves in your handbag.

        Le Bon Marché is very expensive, but offers quality and is frequented more by locals.
        All of Rue de Passy and even Avenue Victor Hugo in the 16th are excellent shopping options and are never painfully busy which is nice for a less stressful shopping trip.
        If I were you (and didn’t already live in Paris), I would also allocate some of that spending money towards restaurants. A few recommendations that are really worth it:
        - Le 5 Mars rue de Verneuil in the 7th (best food)
        - If the weather is nice, reserve in advance Le Saut du Loup Rue de Rivoli in the 1st (best views and location)
        - Mini Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill in the 8th (best locale)

        For drinks in the evening:
        - Experimental Cocktail Club Rue Saint Sauveur in the 2nd
        - Bar des Vins Surnaturels Rue Lobineau in the 6th (if you guess the mystery wine properly you win the bottle; their buffala mozzarella and truffle ham are incredible)
        - La Palette Rue de Seine in the 6th. Very Paris, but also some trendy Americans seem to have discovered it.

  11. Paging wolverine? :

    Has anyone heard from wolverine? Did she have her baby?

  12. Anon for this :

    I am not even sure I want any advice but just wanted to vent.

    I am very pro choice. We had a baby after a long struggle and several miscarriages. Now I am part of a moms group. I seem to like most of the moms ok. We are all new to the area and getting to know each other as well. The other evening there was a talk about Running some tests in early pregnancy ( determining if there is a chance of down syndrome etc). One mom mentions that her friend was talking to her about the test and how she refused it. She said, and I quote “what is even the point of doing the test? Would that make any difference to any of us?” Several other moms nodded in agreement.
    What struck me as odd was the way they discussed the issue – assuming that everyone naturally agreed with them that the results of the test would not change a thing. Truthfully speaking, such results would have Most probably changed things for us as I suspect they do for many people.

    I was bothered by the general assumption and the resulting inherent judgement of someone who would have felt otherwise. I wanted to speak up, but kept my mouth shut.
    So I was thinking about how to handle situations like these when they occur in future. Is it wiser to keep my mouth shut (as it is really no one else’s business) or should one speak up for the other side?

    • Anonymous :

      I mean, if you are going to be bothered by an assumption, you will spend your life bothered. If you don’t feel like having a discussion about it, say nothing. If you do, say oh it may have changed my mind, it would be an extremely hard decision. But don’t sit there silently but let yourself get all worked up about it.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think it depends what you want out of these friendships. Close confidants- yeah, I might say something. Good mommy friends to enjoy hanging out with- prob not worth it to me. I know my mom’s best friend (they met at my playgroup) is very vocally conservative, and my mother is very much not, but has never discussed it because that’s not what she wants this friendship to be about.

    • In general, I really think it depends on your audience. If you’re around some die-hard people of any opinion who will belligerently argue with you, I’d say skip it. But if you know you’re around reasonable people who are open to listening to different opinions even though they may not change their own, feel free to bring it up and have a respectful conversation.

      • Merabella :

        This. I find when I’m in situations where people make the “I don’t know how any sane person could make x decision” type statements, there really isn’t space available for discussion, because they have basically made up their mind. It won’t be productive, and will just piss me off, so I just ignore and move on.

        I also agree with Anne Shirley, it depends on what you want your friendship to be about. If you want to have a mommy & me group that discusses world politics/controversial issues/etc, then go ahead. If you just want someone to meet up with and talk about things that aren’t going to make it into the NYTimes Editorial pages, that is OK too.

    • I think you could say something that acknowledges how difficult the situation would be and that you do not know for sure whether it would have made a difference for you and cannot say that it would or would not have made a difference unless you had actually been through it.

      • +1.

        “I’d imagine that would be a very difficult decision and I’d prefer not to judge anyone for the choices families make.”

        It’s sometimes a nice reminder to people that being pro-choice doesn’t mean you will/won’t do X or Y. Reproductive choices are very personal decisions and they should be left alone to a woman, her partner (if appropriate), and her medical professional. Anyone who wants to judge someone (hypothetically or otherwise) is just pathetic.

        • Merabella :

          This. I feel for anyone in that group who may have had to go through that situation, and had to feel judged in that moment. Ouch.

    • I found myself in a similar situation at my book club the other month. Someone made a comment that was very anti-gay. The majority of my book club members are very right wing conservative. I’m much more liberal in my views. I’m not a debater – I get flustered, tongue tied, and forget all my arguments, so I mostly kept my mouth shut, until one of the other ladies, who is more liberal like I am made a comment first. Then I made one or two other comments, but the majority was definitely against us, and we are all friends, so we were able to keep it civil, I think, but it bothered me & I vented to dh when I got home. Not that I was surprised by the comments, because I know that was how many of them felt, but I was annoyed in the way the comment was made, and how she assumed all of us felt the same way when I didn’t.

      I think in your situation, you can either speak up because there may be someone else in the group who feels the same as you but is afraid/doesn’t want to speak up & rock the boat (like me) and to make your views known.

      Or you can choose to smile, nod, let it go, and make a note to yourself that these women don’t necessarily agree on this issue. Doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends, but it might be best to avoid that topic, unless you enjoy a good debate more than I do.

      I do think, though, that those outspoken people who assume everyone believes the same as they do aren’t usually very open to other ideas, so you may not want to waste your breath.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I’ve had this experience too. My husband and I belong to a local shooting range, and we’re in southern California but still seem to have pockets of this. I, on the other hand, REALLY enjoy debating politics, so I can very rarely let a comment like that lie. I do usually start out with something neutral to test the waters, but likely I would get right down to it – something like “well, the test exists because it might matter to someone else.”

        It is really up to you and the relationship you want to have with this group, but that absolutism – on either side – might be more than I could take from a group.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I probably would have said something more neutral to test out the waters; chances are there are other people in the group who, like you, felt like they had to just go along with the “consensus.” Something like what rosie said above, or even just to say, hey wouldn’t you want to know if you had a special needs child on the way so you could start lining up whatever services they will need ASAP? You never know what could happen with the delivery, I’d want to have my ducks in a row so I feel at least a LITTLE prepared.

    • Anonymous :

      I think my problem would be that I’d be concerned that this wasn’t a one-off – I would have said something then, so that I knew whether they were staunch and vocal about others agreeing, or whether they’re okay with a dfferent opinion. I have real difficulty being friends with people who are staunchly and vocally anti-choice, or anti-gay marriage/adoption, or a a variety of other issues.

      I have no problem with friends who have differing opinions, so long as they’re not shoving their ideals down my throat, or assuming that I have the same opinions- essentially, they need to be on the same page as me about agreeing to disagree, and valuing that we all get to have our opinions, even if they’re in opposition, so long as we can all be respectful and understanding.

      I’d be ready to speak up next time, though I’d let ths one go. This exact situation has arisen between myself and others in the past, and though I hate the confrontation, I was really glad that I spoke up, and had others thank me privately afterward for saying something.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks all for the feedback. I think for now I will continue to not say anything unless I feel that the time is appropriate. In the meanwhile I will work on coming up with a measured response.

      I too get flustered like you CKB, and forget all my arguments.

    • Maybe there were other women that felt like an odd one out and did not speak up. People pick their battles.
      Besides, for new mothers companionship is very important and one has to cut some slack. Just how much slack you’ll allow this group – well, it’s up to you.

    • I think there is a difference between being pro-choice and being pro-abortion due to medical issues. I am pro-choice 100% but I personally would never abort a child because they had Downs and find that very personally offensive. I understand why others would, but I do think there is a distinction here.

      • +1

        This is separate from the pro-life/pro-choice debate. I am also 100% pro-choice but something seems wrong to me about aborting a fetus due to a disability. It reminds me of population control/euthanizing/trying to control the spread of certain populations in future generations.

        • I felt the need to respond to this sentiment. Being pro-choice means you respect the right to choose, regardless of what motivates the choice. It seems very natural to me to only want a healthy child, especially when ‘healthy’ includes things like avoidable extreme physical or mental disability.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I have many liberal friends and many conservative friends. Literally all of them talk about this topic that way. “Obviously an unborn child is a human being and liberals are just denying it because they don’t value life;” “obviously pro-lifers are just pretending to care about ‘children’ to control women’s bodies;” blah blah blah blah.

      MaggieLizer’s neutral comment makes a good point! I would absolutely have a special needs child but I would want to know as soon as possible to get connected to the local special needs community/resources. I would also need to time to read a million books and add special needs blogs to my feedly. You could change the subject from a judgey place, while bringing up an important issue that these moms may not even be considering.

      • Saacnmama :

        That’s pretty much how I feel about it. I have a couple neighbors who are good friends with each other. They sort e invited me into their friendship when we moved it’s the neighborhood, but after a couple of comments about the election in a tone similar to the above, I realized we’d never agree on some very basic things. We’re friendly to each other outside, occassionally share food or all go to one family’s pool while all the kids swim, but I don’t even try for a real (IMO) friendship. Someone above me tioned a need for companionship; when my son was little, I was delighted when I could spend time with him, after waiting so many years for him. I felt intruded on when the other moms at mommy & me classes tried to move in. But if you value being around others who are going through similar life changes as you, then you might have to make compromises. I really like the suggestions above about knowing about whatever special arrangements were necessary for your child as a loving thig to do. You could might a light-hearted statement about some people wanting to know their babys gender so they can decide on the nurserys color scheme, why not find out other info that tells you what you need in there. Or you can make doe eyes and say something like “gosh, those babies often have heart problems & I don’t know anything about cardiac surgery”

  13. Fender Bender :


    I posted a few weeks ago about a fender bender I got in. (I rearended a car on the highway in stop-and-go traffic and in my flustered state, neglected to get all of the info from the other driver.) The other driver called me nearly a week later to say she wasn’t getting an estimate for any repairs and didn’t want to pursue things any further. So yay! Thanks, ladies, to everyone who commented, since I was having a really rough day that day. Your excellent advice really helped.

  14. Anonymous :

    I recently graduated law school and chose a job in L&E rather than an alternative position in environmental. Haven’t started yet, obviously, since I’m studying for the bar. People have been giving me a hard time, and I would selfishly love to hear some positive things about the practice area to make me feel better about my choice. Any L&E ladies out there to comfort me?

    • anonforthis :

      WTF. Why would anyone give you a hard time about that. L&E is the best practice group out there. Cases are personal, lots of fun stories, nosy email review, and if you’re doing single plaintiff work reasonably sized.

    • Anon in NYC :

      The people who practice in L&E at my firm seem to really love it, and the associates in my firm seem to have a little more control over their lives / the partners are not horrible.

    • I will never understand why people in law school cared so much about other people’s decisions. Congrats on your job!

    • I realized quicky after starting law that L&E is one of the few legal issues that EVERY business has to deal with so you’re mostly likely always going to have work.

      Ditto the comment about ignoring other ppl’s opinions.

    • Those people don’t know what they’re talking about. Echo everything others said after nearly 10 years in biglaw L&E — great cocktail party stories, good opportunities to get experience and run cases early on, and situations you can really relate to. Also, probably the best or second best avenue to transition from firm to in-house.

      Good luck on the bar!

    • Saacnmama :

      I’m not a lawyer. If people are being judgemental because they assume you affect more positive change for the environment I the other position, I’m sure there are cases you could pull out that demonstrate the enormous potential for social change in L&E, or you could talk about the broad areas that concern you, and that getting basic experience now can set you up to work on those more directly.

  15. IDoNotLikeTheConeofShame :

    I love this kind of stuff! I did not realize Martha had a line (why should I be surprised?) A silimar line I like is – cute office stuff.

  16. Small Town Atty :

    My frustration with all these pretty desk organizers is that none of the trays ever fit legal sized paper.

  17. Does anybody have a McKlein work bag? I’m looking for a $100ish (or less! less is good!) bag to bring my laptop to and from the office, and on airplanes. Doesn’t have to be the nicest or highest end, but does need to get the job done. I found a few on e bags from McKlein and know nothing about the brand.

    In case i’ve missed other great bags out there…I have a 15.4″ laptop, want shoulder straps not handles, and bonus points for outside pockets.

  18. I was just promoted into a new role, and have 2 new direct reports under me. We are going to be the foundation for a new department, with me at the helm.

    Both of my new reports were given to me; I have not even MET them. But they are both significantly older. I’m 32 and about to have my first kid…one of these women has been at my company for longer than I’ve been in the workforce (13 years!) and has grandkids.

    Any tips on how to be a good young boss? I am going into this positively—but I’m a young go-getter and recognize my fast pace doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Especially folks that have become set in their ways over the years.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I have had 0 direct reports in my life so other people can give you tips.

      However, don’t assume that she is slow paced and set in her ways because she’s older. Assuming negative stereotypes before you meet someone is a bad way to start. I’ve worked with plenty of older adults who love their work and attack it.

      • Very true. It’s more the set-in-the-ways culture of the company we bought, where this woman came from. But point well taken.

    • Be pleasant but firm. Set ground rules, with an expectation that you are open to feedback but it is FEEDBACK. Ask them their advice when they likely know the history, and don’t anticipate being able to rewrite it either.

    • I would speak about communications styles–this is something that comes up a lot in intergenerational workplaces–tell the reports if you prefer email to phone/VM, ask the way they prefer to communicate (phone, meetings, etc.) This will help you iron out any problem–if you understand the best way to approach the others.

      I would also ask them to be open with you–make clear wheth you are an open-door kind of a manager. What types of issues would you want them to work through and what types of issues would you want to be aware of, as a supervisor…that sort of thing. Do you want them to come to you first with issues, or tackle them on their own, etc.

      I also echo what folks said above, but take some time for listening too. What would they change about the department? What do they think is so ingrained (due to outside forces/culture/process) that change would prove very difficult? What are extra tasks their department has or has not chosen to take on over the years for historical reasons. It’s important to keep a conversation like this on track, so they don’t see you as a whining sounding board, but rather as someone who is coming in with new views and an open mind, but is still mindful of history.

      Last, I would hold off on any grand 90-day plans or the like. Just ask NOLA how awesome this can be when a newbie boss comes in wanting to shake things up, in all the wrong ways. Listen and take a few weeks to understand the lay of the land before you want to change matters. You won’t have credibility if you try too soon.

      Good luck!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Don’t be intimidated by being the boss, but also realize they likely have a lot of knowledge that will be helpful to you. You likely aren’t the boss because you know more, you likely know different, have required credentials etc… This isn’t at all to suggest that you haven’t earned being the boss, I just don’t recommend the I’m smarter.know more track. I’ve seen it fail miserably……

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