Thursday’s TPS Report: Modern boot twill pants

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

Gap Modern boot twill pants I blogged about a similar pair of Express pants a few years ago, and and have always regretted that I didn’t buy a pair of the super bright jewel-toned trousers myself. Well, ladies, if you harbor similar regrets, your ship has come in: Gap has a lovely royal blue and a bright green pant in stock now for regular, petites, and tall sizes. These seem like the perfect thing to wear with a simple black or gray turtleneck during a casual day during the drab winter. The pants are available exclusively online and are $59.95, but with code GAPXMAS (40% off) the price comes down to $35.97. Gap Modern boot twill pants

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Comments

  1. Does anyone wonder how many trolls are hanging out on thissite? Besides the obvious Ellen, of course. I don’t mind the entertainment provided by trolls, but I prefer not to take them seriously.

    • WorkingMom :

      Ugh, trolls. Imagine the energy that goes into creating their fake persona and posting, etc. Kind of creepy when you really think about it.

    • I have the hardest time understanding the concept of a troll. What on earth would possess a person to do this? Is your life really that awful/lame/boring. It’s just so weird.

    • I’ve wondered that as well. I despise Ellen. If you have spare time and energy, why not use it for something productive? Related to that, I’ve been curious about how some people who say they work in BigLaw have time to post so often. Sure, it can be a quick break, but I’ve got a low-key job and can only manage to check comments a couple times a day/post a few times a week.

      • Ugh…I wonder this too… A very close friend of mine works for a huge law firm (one of the top 3 in the country) in a very large city. This person has 0 time to hit the washroom or get lunch during the day. I am just *dying* to know how some of these people who work in omgbiglaw have so much time on their hands.

        Maybe they are just between deals? I don’t know. –shrug—

        PS-
        I have a fairly low-key job too, and, like you, I can only squeeze in a few comments per day.

        • I guess I just have a different image in my head of it. Like, does the firm pay lockstep? Are the bonuses on par with the top few firms in NYC, Chicago and DC?
          In my mind commercial litigation in Kansas City is not OMGBIGLAW.

          • Who cares? If someone is bragging about their job, they’re being douchey; call them out on that. If they just say they work at a big law firm in X city, why does it matter if it’s classified as BigLaw? Nitpicking whether they’re really ~important~ is asinine.

        • @ Em Touche. I guess I just find the whole “REALLY? At *my* firm the average engagement ring is 4 carats. Wow! ” and “You guyzzz, my secretary has too much cleavage.” really gag-worthy.

          • I don’t disagree with you on that, Avodah! I classify that as douchey (humble)bragging, I guess.

      • “BigLaw” describes a lot more than the top 3 law firms in the country. I include my firm in that definition, as we have upwards of one thousand lawyers across the country, even though we are a specialized practice group.

        I bill on average 9 hours a day and still have time to read this site regularly. I do it while taking a quick mental break/eating lunch/on an unnecessary conference call, etc.

        • I certainly don’t think everyone or even most readers here are trolls. Besides Ellen (who is a comedy act, not really a troll at all), there are clearly others posting fake questions and stories to get a reaction. No idea how many.

          Separate question: I wonder how many readers here are corporate superstars, and how many are aspirational or just enjoy dressing in high-end workwear? I’d say the latter make up the vast majority. (I myself am neither – I enjoy clothes and conversation about work-life balance but I don’t plan to start wearing suits anytime soon).

          • Answer: Superstars= few; aspirational=many. This is the internet, folks. :)

          • Maybe this is a few of us:

            I used to be too busy to do anything more than buy a suit at the AT around the corner from my office each season (or Casual Corner, if I was feeling thrifty, or the Talbots outlet, if I wasn’t at my desk on Saturday). Then I was pregnant for about 3 years in a row (8 trimesters total), so my dressing radically changed then (thanks to the Target by my office for getting me through a lot of that, and maternity consignment stores, and ebay). Now that I’m out of the clown car, outfit-wise, I need to up my game b/c we’ve since gone to business casual.

            So, I’m a lawyer. One of the few with my own clients, so I have some seniority and flexibility. For when you’re printing a prospectus, you are up at all hours and yet have tremendous amounts of hurry-up-and-wait for this site.

            And since I work with mostly guys, I have a lot of life-and-family stuff that I enjoy reading about here. I miss girl talk.

          • I mean, life isn’t divided into super-stars and wannabes. Plenty of people are not Marissa Meyer but have meaningful jobs which they work hard at and do well at, and that seems to describe a number of the people on this site.

          • I think you’re assuming a fairly false dichotomy … even corporate superstars are always aspirational in nature (I mean – that’s one of the things that keep them moving up.) So I’m sure there’s a mix of people who HAVE made it, people who are trying to make it, and people who don’t really WANT to make it in the traditional sense. That’s what makes this community work!

          • WorkingMom :

            I definitely am one that falls into that category. I’m so not a lawyer and I don’t make big bucks – I can’t afford half the stuff on this site. But, I do work in corporate america and I love seeing ideas for what to wear, accessorizing, and even getting some great professional advice here. I don’t know if Kat still has the descriptor at the top of that page, but I always felt like I fell into the “and other overachieving chicks” category!

            However – I also don’t lie and tell grand stories of my importance, etc. I tend to skim over the Law related stuff :)

          • I’m in house– I’m paid to be on call. Sometimes busy, sometimes down time. Lots of multi-tasking. Mileage varies on that, obviously. I’m no corporate superstar, but I try to dress decent, which I think is consistent with this site and other similar ones. It’s usually like Ann Taylor or Nordstrom stuff with a few high priced items throw in. It’s not like you have to be a CEO for that and otherwise you’re in mom jeans and a Christmas sweater.

          • Terry 1.0 :

            I went to a thissite-meetup a year or two ago and am a little in awe by all the accomplished women there. It was a pretty good distribution of ages and professions (believe lawyers were the pluraility, but not majority) but everyone there had an interesting, involved career.

        • Also, some practice areas have more up and down time than others. You might be totally crashing on something for a week or two, then have a few days where you can take a long lunch, catch up on industry reading, and manage to grab a midweek dinner with friends. Then back to crashing on the next big deadline. Ultimately your hours are crazytime, but not every day.

          • Yep, I worked on a crazy trial and disappeared off the face of the earth for 5 months. I even forgot to pay my cell phone bill for long enough that it got cut off because I had no time for anything. We got a verdict shortly after memorial day weekend and you can bet I spent the first half of the summer dicking around at work before everyone remembered that I was available for work again.

        • Ditto. I’m usually in the office 10 hours a day and am productive most of that time. I read comments while watching witness interviews or doing other things that don’t require my full focus.

        • I’m a recent lateral (3rd year) and really no clue if my current firm is “biglaw”. Formerly I was definitely at superbig law where I was miserable. Current firm is “big” number wise (about 3,000 attorneys worldwide) but I’m paid slightly below market and don’t think I’m expected to bill much more than 2000. As others have said, there’s a lot of down time, at least in my transactional practice area, depending on what you have going on, during which I peruse the internet and interact with the ladies of this site :)

      • (Former) Clueless Summer :

        I also work in “biglaw” although not NYC biglaw. Right now I’m waiting for someone to email me back, so I’m checking out the comments (and now commenting). Sure, there is always something I could be doing. But I don’t come into the office and bill all 14 hours I spend here. It’s just not something I personally can do without my head exploding. But of course there are days that it’s just no chance in heck of checking comments or commenting. I actually think we have more freedom than a more low-key job. My SO has a low key govt job but they actually track (and care) about his internet usage. I’m sure my firm tracks but we have been explicitly told they don’t care.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          I think the biggest difference in Big Law, is you are expected to spend so many hours in the office per day. I frequently spend 14 hours in the office, but there is no way I can bill all that time every single day. It just isn’t sustainable. Unless I am preparing for trial, I try to bill 80% of the time in the office. And truth be told, it is probably more like 70%. I think in mid-law or small-law, the partners are more interested in the associates working, not simply “being” there all the time. It’s a twisted model, and not efficient, but I waste a tremendous amount of time as a biglaw associate. I don’t think I’m abnormal. my hours are always high — I think it is just the model we have.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Not in BigLaw anymore, but even when I was – unless it was crunch time on a deal, you always had time to skim and play on the internet…. Now i’m in-house, and even then, unless its crunch time on a deal or something major is going on, always have time to peak in…

        And now that people can access the net on devices other than a desktop, I pop on the net when walking between buildings etc….

      • I think some of this can be attributed to a lot of big law people overstating how much we work vs. how much we have to be present. I’ve been working in big law for 10+ years; I’ve worked at 4 different firms ranging in size from 350 to 2000 lawyers. There is a lot of wasted time/down time. I use that time to check personal email, read/comment on this site, do online shopping, etc. We also think we’re great at multitasking which is why some of us think we can read/comment here while doing other “work”. I’m totally guilty of it. For what’s it worth, I do think the frenzied “I can’t even go to the bathroom” or grocery shop or take a shower is phony and self created in nearly all cases. In 10+ years, I’ve only pulled 5 all-nighters and all were my own fault. As I got more senior/more experience and better at managing my time and supervising those more junior to me, I was able to better manage my life. It doesn’t have to be as crazy as some of us make it out to be. You just need to plan – my pet food/supplies are on auto delivery from Wag.com; my grocery shopping is done online and delivered and I supplement with fresh produce on my way home most days; my personal appointments are booked and in my calendar weeks in advance. While I don’t have children in my equation, I do have pets and a horse that is in competition training. I manage to see my friends regularly during the week and on weekends.

        • I average a true all-nighter at least once a week. We’re understaffed – too much work, not enough time – and I have client calls virtually all day, so my substantial drafting has to get done at night.

          I don’t buy my own groceries or pick up my own dry cleaning; most of my shopping is online. I’m hyper-organized. But yeah, I am that busy (and I’m not junior).

          • Wow, that is awful. Once a week is entirely too frequent. I’m sorry you have to work in conditions like that. Seriously.

          • That sucks!!! Hang in there :(

          • Thanks. It is seriously un-fun, even though I generally LOVE my job :-(

          • Cbackson – are those kind of hours normal for your practice group in your location?

          • I work in a very, very specialized field, and I wouldn’t say they’re normal (we’re understaffed right now), but we’re high-demand even when at full strength (2300-2400 is a normal load for us).

            We have high attrition but the people who stay tend to love it.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          It sounds like you have worked at many firms, so I know your experience is real. But it differs dramatically from mine. I pull a true all-nighter at least once a month, most times twice. And yes, I show up at the office at around 10am, but I almost never leave before midnight. I really don’t have time to do some of the mundane tasks on a day to day basis, even when I am hyper-organized. It’s true I waste time at work, but I can’t just disappear for an hour every day to do grocery shopping or something. I can waste time at my desk because I am by my phone, email, and can be seen when a partner walks by. And I am a senior associate (up next year for partner).

          • I’ll chalk it up to different practice areas. I’m in a major city, made partner last year, have billed on average over the last 10 years 2200+. I arrive at the office no later than 8:30, rarely go out to lunch, and I aim to leave no later than 6:30. Some nights I do some work at home. Most weekends I am in the office for part of one day. I don’t “disappear” to do grocery shopping – I do it online and have it delivered.

      • Well, I worked until 3 AM last night, and got back to the office at 8:15 AM today. I’m now taking a 15-minute break to eat lunch, and reading this site. I might take a quick 5-minute break between calls in a few hours to skim headlines elsewhere, or take another look at this site while a doc is printing. I work in Biglaw (will bill about 2500 this year), and I’m not spending hours here, but it only take a few minutes to skim or type a quick comment, and it lets my brain check out for a bit.

      • Some days at work are just slow.
        As for the Ellen personality, I think different people pretend to be her.
        But then again, she could let us know. :)

    • I know it’s not cool but sometimes I can’t resist posting trolley comments when someone opens the door. I also freely admit to trolling to get on STFU Corpor*tte because they are so self righteous and smug. I got 3 comments in a row posted there recently. Although I have to believe that she knows that the comments she posts are not “real” since she picks the trolliest ones.

  2. WorkingMom :

    I LOVE these pants. LOVE them. I see Kat notes that they come in petite, but I haven’t bought clothes at GAP in probably 15 years or more! Anyone know if these pants would be a good online gamble for me? I’m 5’1″ and usually about an 8-10 in pants – curvy in the hips. For this price I’d be happy to buy a little larger and have them tailored… but wanted to check out with you all what their sizing is like! TIA!

    • The petite and the ankle length have the same inseam, 30″. I order the regular size in the short length over the petite size when I can because I really just need shorter lengths. I’m curvy and short, which doesn’t always translate to petite framed. I wear the same size in Gap, Loft, BR, etc.

    • I’m a short but long-waisted pear and have had good luck with Gap’s Real Straight – Ankle length style. My problem with petite sizes is typically that although the pants would be the correct length, the proportionally-smaller inseam puts the waist at about “plumber b*tt” level. So, regular size but short inseam works for me. I’ve had pants in the same size from Gap vary wildly in whether they fit or not (because they cut stacks and stacks of fabric at once) so maybe order a few sizes to play with?

    • I have narrow hips and the petite modern boot cut pants fit me better than any other pants I own, so I’m not sure if they’re the best for someone curvy, but if you size up a little and tailor them, they might work. Sizing is consistent with ON, BR, AT, though I’m on the smaller end with these pants (I wear 6 or 8, but a 6 in these). I’m 5’3″, and have found Gap and especially BR pants to run slightly longer than they did a few years ago, even though the inseam is technically the same. These pants just barely work on me with a 1-2″ heel, and I have relatively long legs for my height, which is at the top of the petite range. I don’t understand why petite pants don’t come with a slightly shorter inseam. If it’s too short, you can buy ankle or regular length! Returns are free, though, so there’s not much risk if they don’t work out.

    • I’m about your size but slightly taller and the Gap pants fit me well. I’m 5’4″ and the regular length are perfect to wear with heels. Unless you’re short waisted, the regular short may be your best bet. The petite pants are very low.

    • I wouldn’t order up – Gap tends to run large.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Gap online now has free shipping for returns. Their sizing is inconsistent enough that I would just order a couple of sizes. In fact, that is even one of the reason codes for returns. So glad they are acknowledging that people do this. Who knows, maybe if that is the reason for return often enough, retailers might consider actually developing accurate size charts.

    • The Gap has recently refused to stop buying rabbit fur products from a company filmed brutally treating rabbits. I won’t be buying anything from them, or Zara.

      • WorkingMom :

        Really?! That’s awful, thank you for sharing! I will voice my personal opinion on that with my dollar and where I spend it. Thanks!

  3. Hey ladies – just wanted to mention that I happened to be in Macy’s the other day and stumbled on their INC jeans on sale for $39.99. With all of the extra discounts on Saturday, they ended up at about $20. For me (not much of a defined waist, straight up and down at the hip, but a tummy), the straight leg, regular fit is perfect The lighter washes have a tiny bit less stretch, which is good because otherwise they stretch out a lot. I went back on Tuesday night to buy another pair! Just wanted to recommend them.

  4. chicago chic :

    Fleece tights comment.

    Bought a few pairs of fleece tights online at Amazon – ?Royal Cult brand – based on price/reviews. FYI – they start to fall down on me after just a couple wears and don’t have good support on top to keep them up.

    I think the concern of cheap(er) fleece tights is that since fleece is heavy, if the top support is not strong enough to keep them up, they will stretch/fall over time.

    So would always appreciate hearing about good quality for the $$ fleece tights, and I may pass on ordering tights online until I find a good pair. Anyone have tights that last multiple seasons?

    • I bought Hue fleece tights from Nordstrom Rack for $6, and they hold up incredibly well. No stretching and the fleece is warm but doesn’t make me feel too hot in the office. I wash them and let them air dry.

    • Bought DKNY fleece tights 3 years ago for about $25 and am still using them.

    • I’m on the second season for a couple pairs from TJ Maxx— brands are Chinese Laundry and Le Gale. They stay up just fine, but from the start they were by no means as snug as a traditional control-top. I think a decent Spandex content (3-5%) is required to keep the fleece from stretching out.

      • chicago chic :

        Yes – Spandex is key, and perhaps some “panty” structure is optimal but maybe not typical.

        Thanks for recs ladies!

  5. SAHM dilemma :

    Thanks to all the ladies that responded to my question the other day ( I was pondering whether or not to quit as I really don’t get enough time with kids) . I have not come to a decision but I appreciate your comments.

    Also, I didn’t state it the other day, but husband is supportive of my decision too. We also are lucky enough that we have enough retirement funds. I will discuss the part time option with my boss, if I do decide to scale back.

    Thanks again.

    • I didn’t reply to the earlier thread but I wanted to encourage you to maintain as many professional connections as possible if you go the SAHM route as it can be challenging to re-enter the workforce. Maintaining professional memberships, keeping up with colleagues etc can all be helpful.

      Also, just because your boss in this job turns down a part-time situation doesn’t mean it’s an either or situation. you might be able to switch to something on a part-time basis that you couldn’t do on a full time basis – many colleges or universities will hire professionals on an adjunct teaching basis. Many places with part-time programs off night classes so you could teach one or two evenings a week after your kids are in bed.

    • Coach Laura :

      I don’t have time to post a full comment but I’ve read studies that say that the “most” fulfilled mothers are those that work part-time as compared to full-time workers or full-time SAHMs. YMMV, of course.

      As Anon commented, staying current in your field and “attached” to your peers/industry is crucial. Alternately, if you’ve wanted to explore another or related field/profession, this might be a good time to get additional education/training.

    • If I had enough retirement funds, I would be out of here so fast it would make your head spin. You are lucky to love your job enough that you have to think hard about this. Sounds like any decision you make will be a satisfying one.

  6. Question about holiday/new year cards. My law school suggested we send professional holiday cards to everyone we’ve interned for or worked for during law school. First, is this a good idea? Second, if so, should I send one to each attorney from my summer firm (15-attorney office)? I worked with each attorney over the summer, had one mentor, there was one hiring partner, and one head of the office partner. I have an offer and I’ll be returning in September as an attorney. Do law students send professional holiday cards?

    • this is what career services is spending their time doing??

      I’ve never seen a former summer associate send a holiday card, but I’m in Biglaw so it’s a little less personal. In your situation I think it definitely wouldn’t hurt to send one card to the office generally – would not send 15 cards! – perhaps to the head of office, sending best wishes for the new year and saying you’re looking forward to joining them in 2014, and asking him/her to share with the office.

      • Oh I’m so relieved to see these comments! Thanks ladies. I think a card to the office manager with a note to please share with everyone else, is the smartest way to go.

        • I’d send it to the recruiting department rather than the office manager. Half the time those people don’t have any idea who the summer associates are/were.

    • Manhattanite :

      I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. But like the previous poster, I’ve only been in large firms. I think you have the offer and don’t need to send the card.

    • Oh for goodness’ sake. That sounds like a complete waste of time and I’m irritated on your behalf that your career services offices told you to do this.

    • I agree that 15 cards seems like a lot… maybe just one to your mentor? Or one generally to the office, although I don’t know how you’d address that (not sure how that works in law firms). (Congratulations on the offer by the way! That’s awesome.)

    • I may be in the minority here, but this is what networking is…maintaining contacts. This certainly would not be “expected”, but it’s a great way to keep in touch.

      It would be even weirder if you sent a card out of the blue…sending holiday cards is a great way to keep in touch with old colleagues/maintain “mind share”. I’ve worked in biglaw and banking and I always take the time to send them (admittedly, sometimes they’re “Happy New Year!” cards). Frankly, when I’ve changed firms or needed help, it’s not weird, because I’ve maintained contact, and they can put a face to a name, and consider me more than “that woman I worked with five years ago”.

      Don’t do it for people with whom you didn’t work closely, but…I still send cards to people that I worked with years ago, and I put my email at the bottom, and we’ve exchanged some really nice “catch-up” notes afterward. I would do so if you have time.

      • I totally agree. This is networking. Start getting in the habit now. Fifteen cards may be overkill but I would send cards to following: your local department head (mentioning how you look forward to starting next year), your mentor (mentioning how much you appreciated their guidance), the recruiting department (they saved you at least once or twice in your summer if you’re being honest), any other attorneys with whom you worked closely and the assistant who supported you during the summer.

      • Wildkitten :

        + 1

    • I’m just a 1L, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I sent holiday cards to the attorney and paralegal I worked most with. It was also public interest so it was a lot more personal.

      I think sending one to your mentor would be a good idea, but to everybody in the office seems like overkill.

  7. Akris on ebay :

    To the commenter who buys Akris on ebay: Do you ever have issues with fit due to someone else’s tailoring of the garments? I like this idea, but I was thinking that for something like an Akris suit, I would almost certainly have gotten it tailored when buying it new. I usually get at least the sleeve length done. I know a lot of people also get waist suppression, which I don’t like, so I don’t know if I get used Akris it would end up fitting oddly.

    • I’m not the commenter, but when buying on eBay, check the posted measurements; if they’re not posted, request them; and ask directly if the garment has been tailored.

    • Like anything on eBay, you have to read the descriptions carefully and you can ask the seller about alterations.

    • Yes — get the measurements and then measure your best-fitting suit. You need a tapemeasure for this — somehow anything else didn’t quite do the job. Definitely e-mail the seller. You can also pull up the measurements on the Akris website and note if anything has been greatly altered by comparing the #s for that.

      FWIW, I’m wearing an Akris cashmere jacket today (part of a suit). It’s a 6 and 6/6P is what I wear in Talbots and AT jackets. It fits perfectly. The skirt, um, is snugger than I’d like (I’ve got some hips), but the sort of thing that will probably if the baby pooch goes away (help! need pooch magic!). So, ebay can be an expensive way to try things on if you aren’t careful. But otherwise, I don’t think I’d ever have something this nice.

      • Brain fart — Akris has the size chart on their website (not the outfit measurements).

      • Akris on ebay :

        Thanks to all who replied! I’m jealous of your cashmere jacket :) Last year, I ALMOST talked myself into purchasing an Akris cashmere coat. It was so gorgeous and classic…but for $4000 it was definitely way too much.

        • Oh, forgot to mention that some – certainly not all – sellers accept returns within 14 days. That is a good option for expensive items.

        • :) I found an Akris sweater at a thrift shop and bought it just because I had read about it in the WSJ (but never seen it in person — I think my city is too small for our nicer department stores to stock it even though we’re drowning in St. John). It is so well engineered! And much better cashmere (the thickness is incredible) than even my nice things. At any rate, I can’t justify the retail costs from my budget (4K = 2 months of day care is how my brain works these days) but I’m happy to snag things when they come up on e-bay. I only have 3 things but I’ve been astonishly happy with them.

    • Here is why I try to limit my clothes shopping to vintage/ secondhand/ used these days. I have a lot of stuff, don’t really need more, but still enjoy the occasional business of shopping. Buying vintage imposes a tonne of selectivity because the jackpot of great design, great condition and great fit is really hard to come by.

  8. I am wearing the ankle pants in this colour today! I enjoy them immensely. We’re having our holiday party today so they’re paired with a cream lacy top, grey flowy cardigan and grey suede pumps (super high from Forever 21 but surprisingly comfortable!)

  9. Can I have a bragging moment? I just did my first big presentation in front of a lot of people (and executives) in my career and I did a good job! I barely used my notes and everyone congratulated me afterwards. I’m so glad it’s over with!

  10. so anon for this :

    DH has an opportunity in another city. There is nothing sure at this point, but if something comes out of it, we would need to relocate. We agree that long distance is not an option for various reasons. My (BigLaw) firm has an office in that city, but it is smaller and my group has no presence there. I would be willing to find a new job, but I am a midlevel and solidly on the partner track where I am so I would much rather transfer. My question is: when do I float the question of whether that is a possibility? When the move is imminent? When I have another offer? Now? Also, who do I ask? My mentor (who I currently do work for)? Someone else? I want to know both if they will let me and how that will affect my partnership prospects.

    • Wait until it is a real option.

    • I was in the same situation you are (except my husband and I had worked in different cities with very long commutes for years, rather than him getting a new job, and I got tired of it and requested a transfer). There is no one in my office from my practice group, but that was a selling point to the group because they see it as a way of building business in the new city. I asked the partner for whom I do 80% of my work, and he said it was fine but needed to clear it with the chair of my group. I had two offers that I was prepared to accept in hand, but I didn’t bring them up. I chose to interview before asking to transfer because I wanted to be able to quit if the firm turned down my request. In your situation, I definitely wouldn’t ask until your husband has an offer in hand, at the earliest.

    • I can only speak to a good friend’s experience, but here goes. She was a 6th year on partner track in NY, doing a very NY-centric kind of law. Husband gets offered a job on West Coast. She knows husband has been miserable, but really wants to be supportive. They move to West Coast. She completely torpedoes her career–she simply cannot find anywhere to do the kind of law she was doing, and she was so senior at doing that kind of law that she could not really transition to any other kind of law. She has transferred her husband’s misery to her own…and…greatly regrets it. You need to have a real conversation about what’s best for both of you, for both of your financial futures and both of your career happiness. Absent my friend’s story, I have seen distance-working arrangements work and not work, but at all the firms I’ve been at, there’s been a great degree of difference as to whether partners are supportive of you working in another office and whether they will still consider you “part of their group” or “on their P&L” vs. off, and that affects you going from being a partner-track darling to being abandoned in another office with no work and no way to make hours.
      I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer–I am trying to be a voice of tempered reason–please, be VERY careful that this is what you and your husband want, and how you would react in a worst-case scenario if your firm is not supportive.

      • so anon for this :

        This is my worst case scenario and exactly what I am concerned about. Does your friend thinks they should have done long distance? Or how does she wish she had resolved that situation? It sounds eerily similar to the situation I find myself in.

  11. Nottingham? :

    Anyone in Nottingham? Wondering which neighborhoods single people in their 30s like. Something with pubs, restaurants and grocery stores nearby?

  12. winter shopping :

    I love fall/winter clothes. What favorite pieces have you bought for yourself lately? Are you drawn to a particular color this fall? I’ve acquired a few open front cardigans and silk blouses from ann taylor, wool tweed pants from jcrew, a sweater blazer and one of those ubiquitous asymmetric button fleece wraps from nordstrom. I am loving deep red.

  13. Diana Barry :

    BRAG ALERT – just got my second biggest bonus EVER (the biggest was when I was in biglaw), woohoooooooooooooooooooooo!

    • Miss Behaved :

      Congratulations! They don’t do bonuses in Higher Ed. Alas, but the chances of being let go are a lot lower….

    • Congrats!! Way to go!

      I work in a small firm, and I just started in August as an associate. How do I know if I’m going to get a bonus or not? Do you not get a bonus until you’ve been working a full year? I have no idea what to expect, and my 401(k) doesn’t start until I’ve been working a year FWIW.

      • Diana Barry :

        They should have an annual review for you – it might be at the end of the year or when you’ve been there a year – and your offer letter should say whether there is bonus potential, etc. If it doesn’t, you could request a “mid-year review” in Feb when you’ve been there 6 months and ask them then. Or if there are other associates, they will know how it works. Good luck!

        • I didn’t even receive an offer letter, just a verbal offer and I didn’t negotiate salary. We also don’t have an employee handbook, vacation policy, etc. I have no idea what to expect! I do plan on asking for a review next month though. Thanks for the info!

          • Maddie Ross :

            If you don’t know, don’t expect one that’s more than a nominal Christmas/End of Year bonus. In my experience, small firms usually tie bonuses specifically to collections and if you (a) don’t know how that works, and (b) have only been there a few months, it’s likely not something that’s happening this year. Not to burst your bubble; just being realistic.

          • I don’t expect one. I did hear another associate say that the firm is very generous at year end, but I don’t know if that means with the profit-sharing plan for retirement or with bonuses. There are essentially zero firm policies.

    • Yay! I hope you alway’s have the same sucess. I was VERY nervous when I did my first presentation in front of the firms’ MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE. The Manageing partner wanted me to be good, but I was NOT a big speaker. So with alot of coaching, I did fairley well. They decided I would be OK as their WC Litiegator and now I am a PARTNER as of 1/1/14. Grandma Leyeh is so happy she said to just forget about the $50K for the marrage and child, and said now she is giveing me this even if I never get married or bear a child. Wow, b/c the onley guys that I would consider as a husband just want to have sex with me, and the one’s that would marry me I do NOT want to have sex with. Isn’t that what a HOPSKIN’s Choice is all about? The storey of my life!!! FOOEY!

      But it seem’s to be workeing out. I will get the $50K next year, irregardless of wether I am MARRIED and haveing a baby on time, tho Grandma Leyeh says she still want’s this for me but she does NOT want to have to have me sacraficeing by haveing to marry some SCHLUB and then makeing him have sex enough time’s with me to get me PREGGER’s!!!

      The thought of marrying some sweaty smelly SCHLUB just to have him impregeanate me is GROSS! BUT Now I don’t have to. YAY!!!!!

    • Congrats. Next time we go to lunch, you’re paying. ;-) Lol.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! Bonuses are the best!!

  14. Just tried the discount code and it does not apply to premium pants.

  15. I posted this yesterday but wanted to see if I could get some additional responses…..just wondering if any ladies here have had botox and if they could share their experiences (good and bad). I am 30 and have a thin wrinkle in my forehead and also vertical wrinkles in between my eyes and am considering botox. Thanks!

    • I’ve done botox in my forehead and my upper lip. The forehead was a no brainer for me and the added bonus was that it helped with some tension headaches I would get pretty regularly. It didn’t hurt — it stung and was uncomfortable but over quickly. I didn’t bruise badly either. I scheduled for a Friday afternoon just in case. My lip was based on my derm’s recommendation. I had initially wanted filler like Juvaderm because I have a decent sized wrinkle from pursing my lips. She recommended a squirt of botox in my lip to stop me from pursing them and said we’ll deal with filler in the future (i.e., when I’m older). The botox in the lip hurts much more than the forehead injection. It totally worked — drinking out of a straw was nearly impossible for weeks. I do feel like it wears off much faster than the forehead.

      • Thanks so much. So, did the botox actually get rid of the existing wrinkle? About how long did it last?

        Where was your wrinkle around your lip?

        • Forehead – the wrinkles are definitely diminished but to be honest, they weren’t terribly deep grooves to begin with. It has stopped me from furrowing my brow and making them worse. I feel like I look more rested and less mean. Did my forehead look as smooth as glass – no but I didn’t have that expectation. It started to wear off around 6 months.

          Lip – the wrinkle is on the skin right above my upper lip, midway between the corner of lips and my nose. If my mouth were a clock, it would be around 10 or 11. Botox there lasted less than 6 months. I typically try to stick to 2x per year.

  16. Looking for opinions on the right configuration of bags when traveling with a toddler! I am flying by myself with my 22 month old this weekend. Usually I carry her in our Ergobaby carrier in the airport. On earlier trips, I have either:

    a) Checked a bag with our clothes and carried on a messenger bag with our in-flight essentials
    b) Carried on a backpack with our clothes and the in-flight essentials messenger bag

    Recently, I went on a business trip sans kiddo, using my usual rollerboard + Lo & Sons OG configuration. I thought I might try that in the kid trip this time. I believe I’ll be on a small enough plane that they will have gate check, so I can gate check the rollerboard and put the OG under the seat for in-flight essentials. Thoughts? Drawbacks?

    • anon-oh-no :

      i always check bags when im flying with kids and just bring what i need on board. its just such a pain to try to deal with bags and kids when boarding a plane.

    • I think that sounds like a good idea. The only problem is that having a rollerboard bag always takes up one hand while walking around. I know you said your toddler will be in the Ergo, but can you guarantee that she’ll want to stay in it the entire time while walking?

      Relatedly, I have an Ergo and a baby that will be 5 months old when we go to Disneyworld next year. We also will have a 2 year old son. I’m thinking about bringing the Ergo and using that for the baby inside the park. I’ve only used it around the house so far and the baby seems to tolerate it. Thoughts?

      • Hmm…we usually walk to the gate with her in the ergo and then I let her out. Sometimes I have to chase her down, but I typically stay close enough to the bags that I don’t have to carry them. So I think it will be ok….

        My daughter liked the Ergo at that age (5 mo), and usually fell asleep in it, but she still didn’t tolerate it for a really long time (like all day). And despite assertions to the contrary, the Ergo does hurt my back after a while (like an hour or so). So I’m not sure I would rely on it completely for a whole day without testing it out beforehand.

      • To provide a counter point – both my kid and I Loved the Ergo. It is the one best baby item I ever bought. For example – I moved house when he was 3 months old, and he was in the Ergo all day, except for feeding and changing times. He loved it, slept well in it (especially if I was walking around), and didn’t mind any noise or chaos.
        When he was older (over a year), we went on vacation to a big city and I had him in the Ergo while I took public transportation, explored an aquarium one day, a zoo another, and we both loved it.
        That said, I agree that you should test it out beforehand – go for walks, adjust the shoulder and waist straps (you need to have them just right and tight otherwise the weight swings around and it isn’t good for your back) and make sure you both like it.

    • go-go-baby :

      Have you done the go-go-baby thing? It’s a set of wheels with a telescoping handle that you can strap the car seat to (so no need for a separate stroller in the airport). I used them and an LLBean backpack (the large, to keep my hands free) when I traveled with smaller ones (we’re into booster seats now — yay!!!).

      • I haven’t tried that yet! We usually just rent a car seat at our destination so I don’t have to navigate the airport with a car seat. But if we do ever bring a car seat, I will definitely look into it.

    • I used that same luggage last year when I traveled with my then-18 month old. We were getting in late in the evening an I didn’t want to wait for checked bags, so I put everything in a roller bag and used my OG as my purse. I also had a stroller instead of a baby carrier, but it worked out fine.

    • Tot Mom 2 :

      Also traveling with my 22 month old on Tuesday – our plan is checked bag and he has a mini-roller suitcase that has the toys and snacks for the plane that I’m sure I’m going to end up carrying. How big/heavy can you Ergo? It sounds handy (we did Baby Bjorn, but his tolerance was only up to around 6 months old).

  17. Family Law Attorney in Sacramento? :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a family law attorney in Sacramento? My mom just separated from my stepfather (he moved out) and she will likely want a divorce. She wants to meet with an attorney ASAP, so I thought I’d ask here for any recommendations.

    Thanks very much!

    And as an aside, any ideas as to how to best support her through this time would be greatly appreciated. I am 100% positive this will be good for her in the long run, but it’s tough now (and I think she’s struggling a bit with the fact that this would be her second divorce).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I will ask around and see if I can get you some referrals for Sacramento.

      In the meantime, I’m probably about her age, I’m also in the midst of my second divorce, and I agree it is pretty awful. But I’m nine months post-separation and at this point I wake up every day and am just so, so glad that he is gone!! It will be awful but over time it gets less awful. This is much better than growing old with somebody with whom you’re not happy. MUCH.

      And with respect to husbands, my motto is “Three is the new two!” ;)

      • Please assure your mom that there is life, good life, after divorce. I have 3 exes, and then one wonderful 31.5 year marriage. My last [in all senses of the word] husband died just over 4 years ago.

        It was always better living alone after the separations and divorces than living alone in bad marriages. Grief after my husband’s death was a totally different thing, but after finding out that I was still able to function as an independent adult after those years of his doing everything household-ish, I am again fine with living alone.

        Unlike Senior Attorney, I can’t imagine having another intimate relationship. Then again, that may be the difference between 50-something and 70-something. I’m not dead or elderly, but I’m very content.

    • Mary Martinelli at Downey Brand is reputed to be among the best, and good to go to if its contentious.
      Also hear good things about Jennifer Hemmer at Hemmer &Barr.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Okay, I have consulted with my source who is super tuned in to the California family law community and these are her recs:

      Hal Bartholomew or Mary Molinaro (916) 455-5200

      Tony Dick (916) 920-9504

      Jill Barr or Camille Hammer (916) 922-8500

      Good luck to your mom!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Okay, I have consulted with my source who is super tuned in to the California family law community and these are her recs (re posting because I originally included phone numbers and that triggered moderation):

      Hal Bartholomew or Mary Molinaro
      Tony Dick
      Jill Barr or Camille Hammer

      Good luck to your mom!

    • Family Law Attorney in Sacramento? :

      Thanks to both of you, and I will definitely pass on the recommendations. And Senior Attorney, I do have to say that I think of my mom when I see your comments on this site and I hope she is in the same place you are in nine months. I think it will be really good for her to be able to focus on herself (her health, her hobbies, her career, her friends, her travel) for the first time in a while.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I ain’t gonna lie, it’s gonna be hella awful for a good long time. And it’s far from a straight line from “awful” to “not awful.” But over time there starts to be more “less awful” than “hella awful,” and then there starts to be a bit of “not awful,” and then you get surprised with some “not really very awful at all,” and over time the trend is definitely towards “a whole lot better.”

        Please give her a big hug for me! And give yourself one, too, for being such a dear daughter!

  18. There was a black man sleeping on my bus this morning. He seemed to be sleeping pretty deeply, sprawled across two seats. After three stops, two police officers boarded the bus, woke him up, and escorted him off. As the bus pulled away, I saw the officers questioning him. I feel really uncomfortable about the situation and wonder if I should have done something: gotten off the bus to make sure the police didn’t rough him up (the police in this town have a reputation for brutality)? Asked whether and why he was being detained? I suppose he could be known assailant or something who the driver recognized… but maybe he was just “sleeping while black.”

    • I don’t know what I would have done. But where I am (Seattle – you’re there too, right?) it is against the posted rules to take up more than one seat. It’s possible that the driver reported him and/or had an arguement with him that you didn’t see, and given the recent violence against Metro drivers, the police were erring on the side of caution.

    • It sounds like you’re adding race into a situation that does not call for it. In most places, sleeping on the bus in the manner you described is generally not allowed to keep homeless people from riding the bus all day. You don’t say that the police were treating him roughly and are assuming the worst. Perhaps they were talking to him to make sure that he was ok.

    • Unless cops regularly sweep busses in your area, I think it’s more likely that the bus driver or someone else probably reported him for something.

    • You also don’t know if he’d been riding the route multiple times already — something that’s been known to happen.

    • Anonymous :

      In my city, there was recently a similar issue that was dubbed as “Running while Black.”

      In this instance, a black man was seen leaving a bank and running for the bus (because, duh, who wants to miss their bus). The bus was pulled over by the cops a few blocks later and the man was pulled off the bus and questioned as to why he was running from the bank. Mind you, the bank had not reported a robbery. Instead, a “concerned individual” who observed the man running from the bank had reported it to the police.

      I know its easy to say that race doesn’t necessarily have to factor in, but the sad reality, is that it often does. I’ve never been a black man, but I’d imagine that they are less apt to get the “benefit of the doubt” from police and/or casual observers. I can’t picture someone reporting me (a white, late 20s woman) to the police if I ran from the bank to the bus. I also can’t picture the police pulling me off the bus if I fell asleep across two seats.

    • This happened to me recently on public transportation. Guy was drunk (in Listerine!) and was sprawled across about 4 seats on a very crowded train. Shockingly, no one said a thing to the driver about it. I am new to my city, so I just wasn’t sure what to say or do–it seemed like the thing was not to do anything. I can see why you were uncomfortable and why this bothered you, race aside. It brought up a lot of feelings I have about alcoholism, homelessness and the like…and how privileged I was, so it wasn’t “my place” to complain if someone who was going through hell just needed a warm place to sleep for a bit, even if it was a train…..

  19. I went and saw one of my best friends in the hospital last night, she had her baby on Tuesday. Another one of our good friends showed up slightly after I arrived. The first thing she says when she arrives is – looks like you lost a little weight! (jokingly). I’ve never had a baby so I don’t know exactly how you feel after you have one but everyone has told me you feel like a fat blob. Our friend’s comment was so awkward I just had to look away and shutter. Opinions?

    Maybe it was more awkward for me than it was for anyone else.

    • Totally awkward and not cool. The only acceptable thing to say to someone who has just had a baby (or had a baby within the last 6 months) about her appearance is “you look fantastic!” and variations thereof. The same is true for all pregnant women (“you look so cute!” “you’re so tiny, it’s like you just swallowed a melon!”).

    • Obviously it was an attempt at a joke and it’s not really your place to be offended by it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am as sensitive about weight as anybody on the planet (at least I thought I was), but I wouldn’t have been offended by this. I would have taken it in the spirit of trying-to-be-funny in which it was offered. Because yeah, after you’ve had a baby you have lost some weight!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I think this is actually funny. Not trying-to-be-funny but actually funny. It would make me laugh. And it would make me hurt after having a baby.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. I don’t see anything cringeworthy in the comment at all, especially if it was said jovially. My response (as someone very sensitive about my weight) would have been to laugh and ask if the person wanted to meet the 8 lbs I just lost.

  20. anonforthis :

    Anybody been through a rough custody battle before? Any advice/things you wish you’d known first?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have never been through it myself, but I used to work in family law. The best advice is to not do it if you can avoid it. All the research shows that the ongoing conflict is just horrendously bad for the kids. But if you must battle, get yourself the very very very best lawyer you can. Talk to people who know the field, talk to former clients, if you have any connections with the court system try to get referrals from them. The quality of representation varies immensely and can really make a difference, and the fees are not always indicative of the quality.

      But really, if you can work it out you should work it out. The battle is going to be worse than you can possibly imagine.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Just to elaborate on why you shouldn’t battle… the judge doesn’t know you, the judge doesn’t know your child(ren). He or she is going to be making life-altering decisions based on information that is incomplete at best or just plain false at worst, without enough time or resources to really figure out what your family is all about. That’s just the nature of the game.

        You and the other parent, whatever your differences, at least know one another and you know your child(ren). You are the people who can best figure out what is going to work the best for your family. So if there is any chance at all of doing that, that is what you should do.

        • +1. I spent the first 5-7 years of my life living in the middle of Battleground Custody, because my parents just could not behave like civil adults towards each other. It was a life-ruining disaster that took me years to recover from (like, I did not get all of the wheels on my life until the end of high school it was so bad). If there is ANY chance that you can avoid putting your children through this…take it.

      • anonforthis :

        I wish we could avoid this but it’s a physical (and I suppose emotional) safety issue.

    • My Stepkids' Mom :

      Whatever deal you end up with — whether agreed to outside of court, through a court-facilitated process, or by the court — make sure that it is as specific and explicit as possible. It should include regular times, holidays (including birthdays), right of first refusal, vacations. It should also include stuff like who will drive the kid(s) to which house at which time for a switch.

      For example, the switch in our case was before/after school (parent of house kid is leaving takes kid to school and parent of house kid is going to picks kid up at school) but we also said that on days where there was a switch but no school (e.g., Columbus Day), the default unless agreed to in writing by both parents ahead of time was 10 am and the parent whose house the kid was leaving would bring the kid to the other house. It is extensively documented that high-conflict parents will find whatever teeny, tiny little bit of wiggle room you accidentally left and exploit it to create conflict and excessive interaction between the houses. And, yes, ours tried every trick in the book to do it. This is the best-known way to eliminate as much of that mishegas as possible, but even this can’t completely shut down someone who is adamant about inserting chaos into your world.

      I think this is a great guide: http://www.occourts.org/media/pdf/parenting-plan-guidelines.pdf

    • My Stepkids' Mom :

      Also, make sure your lawyer addresses potential acts of parental alienation in the agreement. For example, my stepkids’ mom told my SD’s school that she was the only parent and the school should send information only to her. My husband had to go to the school with his government issued photo ID and a copy of the custody agreement (joint legal and joint physical) and get himself added to the school database. Ditto for doctors, soccer coaches etc.

      If you think your STBX will try alienation, I recommend “I Don’t Want to Choose” (for your kid(s)) and the adult companion workbook (for you). Both by Amy Baker. If it’s happening, you need to nip it in the bud immediately. We waited too long — “she can’t possibly be doing this” “the kids can’t possibly believe what she’s telling them” — and the kids and my husband are suffering the consequences now.

  21. Ladies, I need your help. My SIL is terminating a late term pregnancy because of a significant birth defect. Her and my brother just learned of the defect about 1 week ago and they have been doing everything to learn about the defect, meet with different doctors, and have finally decided to terminate. SIL is going through h-ll and I have no idea what to say to her or how to help (out-of-state). Regardless of politics – has anyone been through something like this? I could use any kind of advice.

    • Famouscait :

      Speaking from my own experience of miscarriage, the response I most appreciated was a simple, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” I also think it’s kind to recognize the father’s grief here as well – loss isn’t borne only by the mother.

      As for what to do to help, simply acknowledging their loss and walking with them through the period of grief will be supportive. I had a friend who had a very late term miscarriage and she found it helpful when her family members cleared the nursery while she was in the hospital. Coordinating something like this (movers, storage unit, etc.) might be good if that’s what your SIL and brother want.

      You’re kind to want to help and my condolences to you as well. It’s a sad situation and I hope you all find peace.

    • go-go-baby :

      Empty Cradle Broken Heart is a book that deals with this (and other pregnancy loss / stillbirth / etc. issues). It also addresses how this ripples out to grandparents and others.

    • My sister/BIL went through the same thing a year or so ago. It was terrible, I felt so helpless. In the end, I think the best thing to do is to offer to come out to help them out (she could be in significant pain depending on the method that the baby was born). My sister, at the time, had a toddler, and I offered to take care of her while she and BIL grieved/recovered.

      They were both angry, left with questions, and both have feelings that I will never understand. I checked in on her (text or email) occasionally, as unobtrusively as I could. I always offered to listen. I know more about it through my BIL than my sister. She hasn’t talked much about it.

      I’m so sorry that your family is going through this. Regardless of politics, as you say, it is a truly uncomfortable situation for all involved. I hope that you and your family recover well.

      The silver lining is that my sister is pregnant again, due in May.

  22. Famouscait :

    Sorry for another holiday/workplace/gifting up question, but here goes:

    My boss is having our entire office (about 13 staff plus 5 custodial staff) over to his house tomorrow for lunch. I’m newest to the office (since Sept.) but this lunch is new and not something that happens every year. Boss mentioned that his wife is “coordinating” the meal, so I think some or part of it will ordered out. I was planning to give my boss a Christmas card with a note about how happy I am in my new role, etc. but do I need to bring some sort of small hostess gift for Mrs. Boss? I don’t want to be showy as I think I am probably the only staff member debating this at all (and also don’t want to appear to be sucking up!) Thoughts?

    • Definitely a small hostess gift. Chocolates, a small plant, etc. Going to someone’s home for this kind of a celebration (even if it’s your boss) calls for a little more effort on the guest’s part than if, say, he had hosted you (w/out his wife) at a restaurant or something.

  23. I’m a lawyer at a small firm and thought I would poll the hive: does everyone’s firms give out bonuses? It is automatic or based on exceeding a billable hour target?

    As far as I know, I don’t even have that option here and it’s frustrating me that I work harder than a lot of my other lawyer friends and my salary is a little lower and there is no bonus.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Mine doesn’t. It’s been noted by the associates that this leads to a complete lack of any incentive to bill any more than the stated billable target.

    • Olivia Pope :

      My boutique firm gives bonus based on exceeding minimum billables. There are profit-sharing bonuses as well.

  24. I just want to say how much nicer it is to bake cookies when I don’t have anywhere else to be and it’s not after a long day at work! I’m at my brother’s and they are all at work and school. I slept in then baked my brother’s favorite Christmas cookies (my SIL said she tried and ruined them) and now I’m going to get cleaned up and go for a walk. They were a little concerned about what I would do all day at their house but so far it’s WONDERFUL. Woohoo!

  25. For those of you who use a cleaning person/service, I was wondering what your cleaning person charges. Also, how many hours does this person spend cleaning your space? And what specific tasks do you have this person handle?
    I live in a small (700 square foot) apartment in NYC – and would love to comparison shop. I’m new to this and want to make sure I’m looking for something in the right price range.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Krispy – I live in an 800 square foot apartment in Chicago and our cleaning person charges 65. I’m not sure how long it takes them to clean b/c I’ve never been there while they clean so can’t answer that question. They vacuum, dust, clean mirrors, faucets, they also straighten up i.e. make the bed, put dishes away, etc. 65 seems to be a normal rate in Chicago for cleaning services of a 1 bedroom apartment.

      • DC Wonkette :

        +1 for DC

      • chicago chic :

        Helpful! Do you have a private person or work with an agency? Do you “tip” on top of the 65, or is that set?

        • It’s an agency – “Angel’s Cleaning” although to be honest, I am looking for a new cleaning person! We’ve used Angels for the past 2 years or so and I feel like they’ve gotten progressively more unreliable. They used to be great but there have now been 3 times where they said they were coming and they didn’t, or they didn’t come at the time that I requested. And we don’t tip on top of the 65 on a regular basis. We do sporadically.

      • This is also what I pay in the SF bay area for a 1 bed/1 bath 800 sf apartment.

    • Mine charges $20 an hour, which is a little higher than market around here (Los Angeles). I feel he is well worth it because:
      - he speaks good English, which is not always a given in LA
      - he is a super cute college student
      - he lives right in the neighborhood, not a two-hour bus ride away
      - he has a cell phone and prefers to text, as do I
      - he is a very fast and efficient cleaner who gets a ton more done in the time than I would

      He usually spends about two hours on our 2-bedroom apt.

      • “he speaks good English”…..wow. didn’t know that people who spoke good English cleaned better than those who don’t.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Oh, come on. Don’t be a dick about it. If one speaks only English, it is definitely easier communicate with an employee who speaks good English.

          • SoCalAtty :

            It can be really, really tough to explain where to put things away or give special instructions if the cleaning person doesn’t have a good grasp of English. My Spanish, to be honest, is terrible. I used my neighbor’s cleaning person, who is basically Spanish-only, and had to have her translate for me. It was very frustrating and that’s why I found my current person. I need to be able to email/text instructions and know my All-Clad pots aren’t going in the dishwasher.

            Anyway I pay $100 for 720 or so square feet in Los Angeles, but they also hang up / fold clothes for me. It would be $80 without the clothes.

        • Wildkitten :

          D*ckishness is called for here. He gets paid extra because he’s attractive, educationally privileged, and can afford rent for her presumably nice neighborhood?

          I pay my house cleaner extra because she’s good at cleaning. I don’t care if she takes the bus. I care that my apartment gets clean.

    • I use Handybook in NYC. 2 hours, $52, every two weeks keeps my 650 square ft apt clean. She does dishes and deals with clutter in addition to cleaning everything except the fridge, inside oven, and windows.

    • I have about the same size apartment as you do in NYC and our cleaning lady spends about 4 hours cleaning and we give her $100. We used a service once and they charged nearly double, sent 2 ladies, spent twice as much time, and did a terrible job.

    • Kontraktor :

      Ugh, I wish I could find a reliable cleaning service. The 2 best reviewed companies in my area (East Bay, CA) charge me call it $140 for what usually amounts to 2 hours for 1 bedroom, 2 baths and generally about 900 sf. I think that’s way unreasonable, especially since we keep the house fairly clean in general. I’m nervous though to just go by word of mouth or hire an independent person…. but, $140 is way too much for regular cleaning so I only get it for big occasions (like when company is coming over).

      • Wildkitten :

        I hired mine by word of mouth as an independent person and she’s honestly wonderful. With a company you are paying for the executives as well as the service, so you pay extra for the same service.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in L.A. and I pay $94 for a service once a month for my 900 square foot Bachelor e t t e Pad. That’s towards the high end but they do a great job and are very reliable.

    • I pay $80 biweekly for a 650 sq ft place in D.C. It sounds like I might overpay somewhat, but I’m messy (and have a cat that sheds on everything) and they do a nice job and periodically do things like scrub down the fridge in addition to the normal cleaning, so I’m not fretting over it.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Ugh. I pay $81 every other week for my 940 sq foot one BR apartment south of Boston. I happened to be home one day. The woman came in for less than 2 hours and did a pretty mediocre job.

      I’ve asked the management in my apartment about other options. Currently, I use Merry Maids. And for what it’s worth, I live by myself and only spend 3 to 4 nights in my apt each week.

    • I pay $65 every two weeks in Los Angeles. I have a 900 square foot apartment. I am not sure who sheds more – the cats or me. My housekeeper is there for about 3.5 hours most weeks. She focuses on the bathroom and kitchen, vacuums (I do this every day as well because of the shedding), changes the sheets on the bed, does the little bit of laundry that I’m comfortable with her doing (sheets and towels). She also picks a big project like deep cleaning the refrigerator or the pantry. Most months I think it’s the best money I’ve spent.

    • DC area – We have a three-story townhouse, ~2000 sq ft, 3 br, 3 1/2 bath, and she does laundry. We pay $165 every other week, and it’s through a service. (We’re planning to drop laundry soon, though, because she does such a terrible, awful job with it.)

    • In DC, we paid $85 for biweekly cleanings of our 1100 sf apartment (1 br + den, 1.5 bathrooms). When we moved to a bigger place (1500 sf, 3 br, 2.5 bath), we tried to find a different service because we weren’t thrilled with our prior service, but the one we tried for a special move in clean was so bad (yet recommended on Angie’s List), we just went back to our prior cleaners. They charge us $120 for biweekly cleanings. We don’t have them do laundry or anything, but I think they would do more for the price if we asked–if the bed isn’t made and there are sheets left out, they will make it.

      We had an awesome, very small service when we lived in a rural area. They charged $25/hr and it typically took 2 people 1.5 hours for biweekly standard cleaning (so $75 total). We had a list of tasks that would be nice to do sometimes but not all the time, and they would go through that list each cleaning when they had extra time.

    • Dallas. 1250 sq foot apartment. $55 gets me 3-4 ladies who spend roughly an hour cleaning my place. It is amazing. They vacuum (floors / upholstery), mop, clean kitchen, clean bathroom, fold laundry, change sheets, and–when they’re feeling saucy– make fold my toilet paper, kleenex, and/or hand towel in fancy shapes.

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