Weekly News Update

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  • Would you pay $115,000 for a “vintage” handbag from 2013? (More importantly, should you carry it with you to your internship?) The NYT delves into the world of rival auction houses, so-called Birkin whisperers, and a $60 million lawsuit.
  • The NYT blog “On the Runway” argues that — contrary to the opinions of many, including the parody blog ladypockets — the style choices of prominent women in business and politics are relevant, and furthermore, these women should be looked to as fashion role models.
  • Above the Law critiques an article published in Legal Ink magazine that’s been making the rounds online. One highlighted — and oh-so-helpful — quote from the article by William Cane: “You want to look like an attorney, not Lady Gaga.” 
  • Is a Katy Perry concert just as good a reason to be unavailable for work as giving birth? ATL Redline ponders a law firm memo that analogizes the two.
  • Do you have an “ow brain” or a “wow brain” when trying to make a change (e.g., a new networking approach, a new diet, or a new commitment to waking up early)? This Marie Forleo video may be helpful.
  • As if repaying student loans weren’t daunting enough, the The NYT reports that focusing on paying them off can be at the expense of retirement savings.
  • The NYT looks at the increasing percentage of middle-aged women — who should be in the prime of their careers — leaving their jobs to care for aging parents.
  • The WSJ reports on the growing evidence of the importance of good posture. Not surprising: spending hours sitting slouched at the computer is not exactly recommend.

Did we miss anything? Add ‘em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you!
Are you a mom or mom-to-be? Check out this week’s open thread over at CorporetteMoms.

Comments

  1. Lorelai Gilmore :

    Okay, I no longer read ATL because it makes me crazy, but you all have to read the linked ATL post that includes a memo comparing a Katy Perry concert to having a baby. I totally get where the writer is coming from – I agree that everyone deserves to have work-life balance, and that life can encompass much more than just children – but the memo is so tone deaf and oblivious and idiotic that it just makes me die a little inside. If only having a baby were as fun as a Katy Perry concert.

    • What? Fun?! I’m pretty sure I’d rather have a kid I didn’t even like than go to a Katy Perry concert.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      You hit the nail on the head, the memo was completely tone deaf. Although I felt like the article was pretty tone deaf too – the way it was written you would think that the author was forced to have children and hated every moment of it.

      A better analogy might be that much of what parents have to take time away from work for is similar to the responsibilities adult children of aging parents (or spouses with chronic medical conditions or anyone who has significant responsibility for anyone other than themselves) often have. Yes, it’s personal time, but it’s not like I really want to be taking my kid to the doctor unexpectedly instead of attending the meeting I was supposed to be at. I’m not just bailing and asking someone to cover for me at work (which, in reality, I almost never do – I still end up doing the work, just at odd hours) to go “have fun.”

      But at the same time, I will admit that some of the things, like attending that really important presentation at school are totally awesome/fun and probably somewhat on par with the Katy Perry concert. It’s important to both me and my kid that I be there (and in the memo-writer’s defense, it would be pretty crappy to bail on her friend after spending the money on tickets and coming to town). So the core of what she was trying to say is not totally unreasonable, it’s just that the way she made her case was pretty oblivious.

    • as a parent :

      While I think that the memo itself is a little…umm…insensitive, I DO agree that anyone should be given the opportunity for healthy work-life balance. Frankly, IMHO, me taking care of my kid (either by choice, or because he’s sick, or because the nanny is sick, or whatever) is no more important than someone taking off to do whatever. I find myself disagreeing with a lot of the commentary in the post. To paraphrase: taking 3 months of maternity leave is not tantamount to 3 months of vacation. To me, it is. Remove the baby from the situation. You’re caring for yourself (your whole, spiritual, emotional, physical self) while on vacation. Why should anyone judge you for taking 3 months off on vacation (you have the time, you’ve earned it, you’ve made arrangements for your projects while you’re gone)? I might give you the stink-eye just because I’m jealous, but what you do with your time is your business, and is no more or less important than mine.

      Do I sometimes take off just to go shopping for myself? Yes. Groceries? Yes. Take my kids to the doctor? Yes. My coworkers do the same. My (childless and unmarried by choice) boss is absent today because she’s visiting family, or something. I don’t particularly care. The fact of the matter is everyone needs balance.

      • Platinomad :

        This. I love the way you see this. The memo is not perfect, but it speaks to the issue of the fact that the only reasons some workplaces find even bordering on acceptable to not be available all the time are a literal health emergency or children related things, and these are often seen skeptically. I think it is unfair when offices have a culture that the unmarried/childless have less of a right to personal time (whatever the reason- fun or not) than those with kids. Personal time is personal time, sometimes you have to use it for things you hate (Like an extended illness), things that are rough (re covering from childbirth) and sometimes you use it for that month long vacation to south america you always wanted to take. All of these are valid and should be respected. I was sort of appalled by the article writers attitude and found it ridiculous.

      • Also, the concert part was overblown — the memo said the associate’s best friend was in town, that’s why she was taking the day off. We all need personal time, children or no, & I wish employers would recognize this. The U.S. is the only industrialized company that does not require companies to give any particular amount of paid vacation time, & on average, Americans get about 10 days of PTO. Most Europeans get 5 weeks, even super-productive Germany (which bailed out the rest of the EU). Heck, even China & India mandate 10-12 days vacation per year for full-time employees. But American business can get away with anything.

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