Coffee Break: Carlyle Tote

CARLYLE TOTEI always think of three things when I think of Henri Bendel: first, the killer sales they used to have when I first got to NYC (back when they sold clothes as well as accessories), and 2) the fact that at some point law firms were throwing women’s networking events there (which I always thought would be a fun thing) and 3) the slightly odd fact that this very old NYC fashion institution is owned by the same company that owns The Limited and Victoria’s Secret. ANYWAY: I happened to notice that they have this amazing pebbled tote for sale. Love the hardware details, love the satin lining (and interior pockets/pouches) and the nice long handle drop (9″). It’s $485. CARLYLE TOTE

(L-3)

Psst: Check out the sale section at Bendel’s — there are some great pieces in there, too.

Comments

  1. My boy-cat (10 years old) has diabetes. He’s my friendly, cuddly, ball of purring fur. So sad.

    Anyone deal with a diabetic cat? I’m kind of just taking it day by day. My family members have asked why I don’t put him down, a close friend thinks I should give him to a rescue for diabetic cats. I am just trying to get home in 12-hour intervals (I’m a fan of all-nighters) for his injections but it’ll be a lifestyle adjustment for me.

    I don’t have any specific questions–just looking for anecdata, support, a voice of reason. Thanks!

    • Lady Harriet :

      My grandparents had a diabetic dog. I think they handled it pretty well, except for one time when they got stuck in traffic and were late getting home to give him medication. He was in pretty rough shape by the time they made it home, but I don’t think there were any lasting ill effects.

    • Half n half :

      **Disclaimer: I’m not a vet (obviously).** One of my mother’s cats was diabetic. According to her vet, cats with diabetes can actually revert back to not being diabetic, which is what ended up happening. While she was diabetic, mom was injecting her and she was on a very strict diet eating the special diabetic cat food you can get from the vet. Mom didn’t want to put her down because she was otherwise a very healthy cat with a good quality of life and she didn’t seem fazed by the injections. Since you’re saying that it will be an adjustment for you, I’m assuming you just found out about this. If it was me, I’d probably try the injections / special food for a few weeks to see if the cat’s system will kick the diabetes before thinking about putting him down / giving him away. In any event, hugs – this is a difficult thing to deal with.

      • This happened with one of my mom’s cats. He was otherwise healthy, so she did the special diet and injections for a few months, but was eventually able to transition him off of the injections. She said it was very hard to deal with the injections, especially, since he would fight and cry, but that since he otherwise had a very good prognosis and enjoyment of life, it was worth it. Obviously that is your decision to make, though, along with your vet. I’m really sorry you and your kitty are going through this.

    • If he’s a happy cat when he gets injections, I don’t see any problem!

    • A friend did and she was healthy for a very long time. I would figure out if there’s a back up person you could call in case you’re late/stuck for injections. I’m glad there are kind people in this world who love their pets through it all.

      • Nordies Lover :

        Me too! Warms my heart to see. I also like your idea of finding a back-up person. Maybe try making advanced arrangements with a pet sitter or some reliable professional like that?

    • We thought my boy cat was diabetic but it turned out he had pancreatitis and he got over it before we started giving him insulin. Thank goodness we tested his blood before we gave him that first shot or it could have killed him. A couple of things – if you’re not testing his blood, there’s always a chance that he’ll react badly and not make it. You’ll have to be prepared for that. There also was a feline diabetes message board that was really helpful for support (http://www.felinediabetes.com/).

    • We had a diabetic cat for a few years, and the insulin shots were no sweat, really. However, we did not have much luck getting the drops of blood needed to test his blood sugar — the testing materials might be easier now, though — so we had this done at the vet. Just remember to keep the insulin refrigerated (and to roll the bottle gently; you can’t shake insulin like you would, say, cough syrup, but it’s hard to avoid the impulse to “shake well.”)

      Diabetes definitely is not a death sentence for your cat, and it’s good of you to do this.

    • Thanks! We’ve done a bunch of blood tests and two day-long glucose curves. I have a neighbor boy I’m thinking of asking to be an emergency back-up when I can’t get home but I want to get my cat stabilized a little more before reaching out. We are slooowwwly increasing the insulin and, after the latest increase, he’s doing much better so I’m hoping I can do all-nighters again soon. My vet isn’t as concerned about every 12 hours on the dot but says that “close enough is good enough” for cats (not dogs!) so I do have some flexibility.

    • Ouch – so sorry that some people in your life are advising you to put him down. It’d be one thing if you were starving, and living on a succession of friends’ couches – then, the giving him up to someone who can care for him option would be viable.

      You don’t sound like you’re seriously considering either putting him down or giving him up, and I can imagine that hearing family members suggest it must sting a little bit. In my charitable moments, I think it’s because they don’t want your cat to suffer, and they don’t want you to be burdened with growing worries about his health. In my grimmer moments, I get sad that for some, even when the money part is no object, an animal’s life is seen as disposable if it gets difficult or inconvenient.

      It sounds like you’ve got the will to get his health back under control, and I hope he gets stabilized quickly. I think he’s a lucky cat to have you as his person, k-padi.

    • My sister’s cat had diabetes and she started giving him injections and special food and he lived comfortably for another few years. I cat-sat him for a few days once and giving him the injections was not a big deal at all and it didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest; I just cuddled him on my lap and snuck the needle in and he kept purring away. Of course he was used to it by then.

      Maybe his case wasn’t quite as severe as the other poster whose parents dog got sick when he missed his scheduled shot, but this cat could miss a shot for a day, get it at different times of day, and he was fine.

    • MermaidInHeels :

      Hi everyone, this is my first post – K-padi, I have a diabetic cat, now in remission, and I want you to know it can be done.
      Here’s what I did:
      Food – wet food only, period. Dry food (even the vet-approved “diabetic” kibble) wreaks havoc on their blood sugar. Look for a grain-free, low carb canned food. I use Wellness Turkey but there are lots of other options. The DM canned food from the vet is also decent.
      Testing – I did a glucose test (on the ear) every 12 hours, before food. I kept a log. Blood testing is not hard once you and kitty get the hang of it. Just breathe, take your time, and give lots of love and praise.
      Shots – I used Lantus insulin and only shot if glucose level was above 90. Lantus is long-acting which gives you a little flexibility if you can’t make it exactly at 12 hours. You’ll have at least an hour or so leeway.
      Kitty was regulated and doing great within weeks. Within 9 months, I was slowly weaning him off the insulin. I now just test occasionally, and keep an eye out for symptoms of a relapse. He has been in remission since last October. Yay!
      Put your kitty on low-carb canned food for a few weeks, before starting insulin treatment, because the canned food will lower his glucose levels (which is a good thing).

      For great advice, go to felinediabetes dot com. It’s a fantastic resource.

      Good luck with kitty. Trust me, he’ll be fine!

      • Thank you! My vet hasn’t suggested regular blood tests yet. I’m kind of hoping we don’t have to go there. :-/

        Welcome to corp*te! Congrats on your first post!

      • This is my first post too, but I had to comment on mermaid’s post. I had a similar experience with my cat almost a decade ago. He was found to be diabetic. I tested his blood 2x a day & injected insulin for a couple of months. A warmed up ear worked best for testing. We moved him to a raw meat and he went into remission! We had him for another 8 years before he passed at 15 years old from lymphoma. I learned that most of the dry food that we feed our pets is not appropriate for them.

    • S in Chicago :

      Check with your local petsitters to see if any are able to provide injections (your vet may even be able to recommend someone). It’s not the same, but I had a dog who was really sick (not diabetes) and needed intravenous hydration. It was an absolute lifesaver that our regular pet sitter could come in during the afternoon and give him his fluids when I wasn’t able to get home. Apparently a lot of them are able to provide basic medical assistance such as this.

      • Vet techs make great petsitters for cats with health issues. When my big boy had kidney disease, we had a vet tech who stayed with him when we were away. He had to have IV fluids every day so it was worth it. We picked out the vet tech who bonded with him at his visits.

    • Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it.

      I spoke to the neighbors and once we get him stabilized, their teen-aged son is willing to do the injections. So we will start with that in a few weeks for when I can’t get home in time or when I go away.

      The injections are super-easy with my boy-cat; he purrs through the whole thing and barely blinks. My girl-cat would be another story.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Hi! I’m a proud mom to a diabetic cat. He has had it for three years. Mine is on Lantus twice per day. He also takes the MD dry food with a little bit of MD wet food on top. My cat doesn’t mind the injections at all but the every 12 hour thing can tie you down. I usually do the morning and my husband does at night. We have pet sitters to call on when we know we won’t be home. If we go away we board him at a diabetic friendly boarder. The insulin is expensive. So is the rx food. Since I also volunteer at my animal shelter, I’m able to get the food at cost there which is a big savings. I know the diabetic cat boards recommend wet only food but my vet wants mine on the dry for some reason. Feeding all wet food would be a lot more expensive too. Mine recently has gotten worse and is now on 5 units of insulin which is a lot! At his diabetic healthiest he was down to 2.

      You will get used to it! I also have on occasion just left something to run home and give the cat his food and shot and run back. I can do the roundtrip from work in less than an hour. People seem to understand if you have a pet requiring life sustaining medication, even in law!

      It is more complicated when my husband’s traveling but less because of the cat and more because I have to give the dog a potty break!

      Are the all-nighters working or partying? If it is working, can’t you go home and keep working all night from there?

      • Thanks! My “all-nighters” (I should call them late nights–out until 9pm or midnight) are usually work or networking events. When I go to the gym, I’m usually not home until 8:30pm anyway. And I started dating a really wonderful man so … I can run home but my commute is pretty bad at rush hour (I usually do side streets or commute after rush hour).

        The food, ugh. He’s on 2.5 units so at least the insulin lasts a long time. He seems more stable at this level so I’m hoping I can be less hands-on with him and return to “normal” sooner.

        I am excited that the neighbor is open to learning how to give injections and being an emergency back-up. He’s a good kid and teens in my area don’t have part-time jobs so he likes getting the money.

  2. I love this Tote, but my dad would literally SKEWER me if he found that I bought this, especialy b/c he got me a legal LIT bag that he has me useing most of the time. I even put my clotheing in there when I walk to work with SHORT’s on b/c it does NOT wrinkle up like it does with my BEACH bag.

    Myrna was laughing when she found out the manageing partner invited himself along, and is goieing to be picking up the tab b/c he is lookeing for business from her company. Sam is a big player there so he can direct business over to us, but he will HAVE to be impressed with the manageing partner. The manageing partner may bring along Margie b/c this way he can buy her LUNCH and have the firm pay for it instead of him. He also sugested the LAMB’s CLUB b/c he has a running tab there. I guess we will go there b/c Myrna likes it. We are now goeing on Friday b/c Margie is getting her nails done in the City then and she will be here all day with NOTHING else to do but shop. This way, the manageing partner can keep an eye on her and keep her out of Sak’s 5th Avenue. I bet Margie wants to go there w/o the manageing partner. I wonder if we can all go there together or to Bloomingdale’s afterwards? I want to go to get frozen yogurt there anyway b/c it is so hot out!!!!! YAY!!!!

  3. Wow, I really like that tote. Do any ladies out there own it?

    • backgrounder :

      Me too love it…is it worth the price tag? I’m a little gunshy after buying a $430 kate spade purse only have the handles fall apart

      • Olivia Pope :

        I’m on the same page. The handle fell of my kate spade tote, while the target one I bought years before is still kicking it.

        I’m only going to buy an expensive bag if I know it will last.

        • There’s a Henri store in my city. I might try to go this weekend to check it out! Will report back. :)

        • anon atty :

          so weird. I have a number of Kate Spade bags that have lasted for years and years. I think they are made quite well.

          • Maybe it’s a more recent trend? I’ve had one for about a year now that’s holding up really well, but it was a splurge so I definitely baby it :)

      • Yup, I had a similar thing happen with a Kate Spade purse. I’ve heard they’re good about returning/repairing things like that, but I’ve never gotten around to it. Her shoes, on the other hand, have never done me wrong.

      • Wildkitten :

        I had a great experience returning a Kate Spade bag.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, it’s gorgeous! But I just can’t pull the trigger on a bag that plain for that much money.

      I snagged a very similar Cole Haan bag on the clearance table at DSW recently for well under $200 and felt like it was the score of the century!

  4. Ugh – rant alert. On my way back into the office from grabbing lunch, I piled into the elevator behind a group of people. I heard the girl in front of me say “thank you” to someone, but wasn’t really paying attention. As the elevator started up, a guy across from me looked at me and mumbled something, clearly directed at me. I said “I’m sorry?” and he responded “Oh, I thought you didn’t speak English.” I just raised my eyebrows, because wtf, and then he said “Everyone said thank you to me for holding the elevator doors, except for you. She said thank you, and so did she (pointing). But you were just like (imitating someone cluelessly looking around).” I raised my eyebrows even higher and said nothing, and he got off the elevator at his stop.

    Ladies, I am so annoyed that I didn’t have a smart retort! And even more annoyed that he actually managed to make me feel bad, despite the fact that I know that a) I didn’t ask him to do anything for me, b) you don’t get to demand accolades for holding elevator doors open, c) he was incredibly rude…still the only thing that even popped into my mind (which I’m glad I didn’t say) was “oh I’m sorry I didn’t see you…”

    Also, PS, because I’m Indian, the “thought you didn’t speak English” comment startled me more than it might have for someone else, although no doubt he didn’t mean anything in particular by it beyond being obnoxious…

    Just looking for commiseration/ internet hugs, I guess.

    • Anonymous :

      Part of being polite (like holding doors) involves making others not feel like crap. The guy was a jerk, that’s it.

    • Everyone else in the elevator probably thought he was awful too. Everything about his behavior was unacceptable.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      What a jerk. I’m also Indian, and once on a plane, my mom was seated in an exit row (we booked tickets late so couldn’t get seats together – I was behind her). The flight attendant came over and did the exit row spiel, then said, “Do you understand?” to which everyone (including my mom, albeit softly) responded “Yes.” The flight attendant looked my mom up and down and went, “Ma’am. MA’AM. Do … you… understand… what… I’ve… said?”

      My mom was like “Er… yes?” (very audibly this time)

      The flight attendant was like “Do you speak any English? I … need… to … make… sure… you …. speak… English.”

      My mom was all, “I speak English fine, I understood you” but it made me SO MAD.

    • So gross. What a dick. I’m sorry you had to deal with a jerkface bigot. When stuff like that happens to me it consumes for a few hours and I just rage inside my head, thinking of all the things I should have said.

      What are some good one liners? “Oh, I’m sorry, did you want a prize?” “Thank you. Thank you for brightening my day with your bigotry.” Or just stare at him and say “You’re being rude and inappropriate.”

    • Saying nothing was the best thing to do. If someone makes rude and racist comments to you, you need not respond to them. Plus, for the sake of safety, it’s best to disengage rather than feed into a confrontation like this, especially if you’re in a place that you frequent, like the elevator leading up to your office. You never know what level of crazy someone is operating at.

      • I see your point, but I tend to disagree a bit here. I am a racial minority, and when someone makes a racist comment towards me, 9 times out of 10 I will say something because that’s just unacceptable. I’m not a b*tch about it or rude, but racist comments are never ok. And sometimes people are just ignorant and not meaning it in a hateful way, so I take that opportunity to shed what little education I might be able to.

        • I agree with your thoughts; the second part of the comment seemed potentially aggressive to me. I suppose it depends on delivery, which is tough to tell just reading it, but if I felt threatened I would report that guy to security rather than say something to him myself.

        • +345. I absolutely take every opportunity to educate people, whether it’s in a nice or harsh manner. Also, security is sometimes not as nice to non-whites (comments are dismissed, they’re rude, etc.).

          • Houston Attny :

            Ru! How are you?? I posted on a thread about a week ago that I hadn’t seen you post in awhile. How are you feeling?

          • Hi!!! It’s so kind of you to ask. I am doing so well now that it feels like my illnesses were a very very very bad dream. I came back to work part time in April and gradually transitioned to full time in May. I’ve been feeling strong enough to work out again even. Things are going so well at work that I am managing staff now. I’m very grateful for how well I’m doing. When I eventually aggravate my body to headache levels, it’s a good reminder to slow down.

      • I agree that saying nothing is best here, but because it’s a relatively witty silent retort and makes him feel super uncomfortable (and he can’t confirm or justify to himself that you’re just a b1tch since you didn’t say anything). I understand the English thing as esp. uncomfortable since you aren’t white, but I’m not sure that’s what he meant. He may just have meant to be a d1ck and would have said the same thing to a white person or black person or just anyone. Actually what I am most curious about is if he would have said this if you were a guy. I suspect not, but maybe that’s my prejudice.

        • Oh I agree, Jane – I didn’t really think he meant anything especially racial by it, but my own reaction to the statement (feeling my stomach drop) was directly related to the fact that I have heard the same statement before in a definitely racial context. Speaking of which, momentsofabsurdity: I have had virtually identical experiences with my parents in stores, restaurants…either people ask my parents if they speak English repeatedly (they both speak not only perfectly but with virtually no accent), or they address comments to me even though my parents initiated a conversation with them….or they “can’t understand” them, despite the fact that no one ever has difficulty understanding them on the phone when they can’t see what they look like….but all that is another conversation.

          But I think this guy was just being a generalized jerk and I also agree that, if anything, it was related to my gender. He also got off the elevator on the floor of an employment agency that works exclusively with “hard to place” individuals, so I guess he’s got his own problems…

          Anyway, thanks for the support, ladies, you have quieted the internal rage :)

      • Sometimes, one shouldn’t assume that the initiator of the verbal (micro)aggression has all the power.

        She’s in the elevator with a ton of people — the physical safety issue is much less of a concern than alone in a dark sidestreet.

        Magnifying the fear that you will get beaten up when in this situation, they are incredibly low, is what perpetuates the idea that women will generally passively take whatever crap you throw at them.

        Remember – in this situation, there’s the chance for mutually assured destruction — if he does want to get violent with a punch, he might also receive a Bic pen in the eyeball. Not saying this is what anyone should do– just saying that it’s a mistake to assume that he has all the power just because he’s male and because he’s a jerk.

        Sometimes, just the willingness to push back hard is what quells bullies.

        • Agree!

        • +1

        • -1

          I would normally agree except it’s an elevator she frequents all the time and he very well will, too. It sounds like he’s not playing with a full deck and I’d worry that putting him in his place in front of others now opens the door for more aggressive interactions in the future where she may not have the benefit of others present.

          When you see crazy coming, better to just get on the other side of the street.

    • I personally would go with “actually I don’t speak a**hole,” but that isn’t probably helpful.

    • Dang it, my comment got stuck in moderation because of some colorful language. Sorry if this gets repeated.

      Sorry you had to experience this!!! When stuff like that happens to me it consumes for a few hours and I just rage inside my head, thinking of all the things I should have said.

      What are some good one liners? “Oh, I’m sorry, did you want a prize?” “Thank you. Thank you for brightening my day with your bigotry.” Or just stare at him and say “You’re being rude and inappropriate.”

    • What? Who does that??

    • Senior Attorney :

      That. drives. me. insane.

      Dude, if you want to hold the door open, then hold it open. If you don’t, then don’t. If you only want to hold it open if people are going to fall all over themselves thanking you, and you are going to be a d!ck about it if they don’t, then do everybody a favor and just skip it.

      Sheesh.

      *very big internet hugs*

    • I feel you. That guy was way out of line, and also probably pretty socially clueless as well. I just can’t believe that exchange really happened.

      Don’t feel bad about the retort. I’m playing this scene in my head as you described it, and I’m pretty sure your expressive eyebrows and “are you kidding me?” face are worth a thousand snippy comebacks. You came off much the better here, and not least for the contrast with his increasingly awkward verbal hemorrhage.

    • Indian here. The next time you get that, ask them why they think you didn’t speak English. Don’t let up till they answer.

      The joke in my office is that the average Indian uses better English (i.e. grammatically speaking) than anyone else.

      Then again, I don’t live in the US!

  5. I thought this might be useful for women traveling to/working in Dubai –

    If you should happen to get raped there (which apparently can be prevalent) – don’t report it to the police there as you might end up getting 16 months in jail for sex (with the rapist) outside marriage, as the Norwegian 20-something in this story ended up getting.

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/norwegian-woman-raped-in-dubai-sentenced-to-16-month/?cat_orig=world

    I get that there are wildly different cultures, but I’m really baffled by a woman getting raped, and then being sentenced to prison for sex outside marriage.

    In an even more charming part of the story, the woman who was working for a company in Qatar, was also fired from her job for immoral conduct.

    • Olivia Pope :

      This is terrible. Every comment I read on the article was also terrible. I feel worse off for clicking that link!

    • Terrifying. Especially because the UAE promotes itself as a good place for foreigners to do business. I hope the Norwegian government ultimately can do something to help her. Also, while you can always keep quiet and just not report it to the police, the article mentioned an Australian woman who was arrested after seeking medical treatment. Depending on your injuries, you wouldn’t want to risk not getting treatment. I guess you just go to your embassy first and ask them to help you? At the very least it would be a PR nightmare if you arrived at a hospital with a diplomatic escort and were then arrested (it would at least make your government fight pretty hard for you since its own reputation would be on the line).

    • “Under UAE law, rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime. Under the Sharia-influenced laws, s3x before marriage is completely forbidden and an unmarried couple holding hands in public can be jailed.”

      This is SUCH a [email protected] of Islamic law that I can’t even see past my rage. I understand that UAE law does not equal Islamic law but wtf. That four witnesses thing is for proof of adultery, not rape. This level of victim blaming and persecution is intolerable. Those poor women.

      • Ru, my understanding is that the four witnesses thing was actually intended to protect women from unfounded accusations of adultery. Is that right?

        • Yes, exactly correct. The punishment for adultery (for a man or woman) is death so the burden of proving adultery is also very difficult. This is to protect women who were falsely accused (which happens all to often, unfortunately) by men trying to get rid of their wives without divorce, which is extra evil because divorce is allowed in Islam.

      • I’m confused. Are you saying that UAE law does not accurately reflect Islamic law, or that the article is inaccurately portraying UAE law?

      • One of the problems of the UAE is that all its power is centralized in a *hereditary monarchy*. That’s f–ked up.

    • Gosh this is absolutely horrifying, UAE being a modern business friendly place is absolute crap when woman are not safe. I have absolutely zero respect for a religion, culture and country that punishes a raped women instead of the attacker, no political correctness and hiding behind cultural sensitivity here. I am not some privileged white woman, I grew up in a similar society as this barbaric one, malls and tallest buildings won’t make UAE modern and civilized if raped women are put behind bars, disgusting.

    • Houston Attny :

      This. Is. Awful. Horrible. I had no idea this happened as a matter of law in the UAE.

    • SoCalAtty :

      This is distressing, not just because of what it is, but because I have office in both Dubai and Quatar…and we do send our female employees there, on occasion…

    • That story is awful. But, just a grain of salt, that website has been known for publishing some pretty…out there…things before. For instance, they are prominently known for advancing the “birther” theories.

      I’m absolutely not saying that this story isn’t true, but I just read those types of sites with caution.

      • Litagatrix :

        You speak the truth about that totally off website-for-wingnuts. But I did Bing the story and look for actual confirmation. It appears to be true, but then, I couldn’t find an “original” news article, just synopses. I double check anything from that website.

        Either way, I won’t be wasting travel dollars to Dubai or Quatar. Just too scary.

        • Probably because the original news articles are all in Norwegian?

          http://www.newsinenglish.no/2013/07/17/woman-jailed-for-reporting-rape/

  6. FML. I was asked to do “final edits” on a dispositive motion we wanted to file tomorrow. The motion was drafted by someone several years senior to me. The motion is terrible. Like, first year associate terrible. I’m not being arrogant, just lucky enough to have been well trained by really good writers, and this person clearly has not. We will lose with this draft. We can’t file this. I’m trying to fix it as best I can but I will need to talk to the partner about why the motion isn’t ready to be filed as expected. That is not going to be a fun conversation.

    • I hate that so, so much.

    • I’m sorry you’re stuck with this, and in an awkward position.

      I hope you can turn this into a “hey, X delivered this work product that will cause us to lose, I caught that, and I’ll fix it for you — but just wanted you to know why it wasn’t already done, sealed, etc. on your desk at 9am this morning, etc.”

      That is – make sure the partner knows you’re stepping in to save them, not because you were the bottleneck that slowed things down.

    • SoCalAtty :

      This is why I’m so happy to not be at a law firm anymore! In my case, I would write a nice, clear draft of a motion…and the partner would add in so much hyperbole and crazy comparisons that it would add pages to my drafts. I could say NOTHING because she was the partner…at least I didn’t have to sign them!

    • I have a boss like that. It was worse than a first year writing student. You have to dance the fine line of what’s tolerable and what’s terrible instead of rewriting the whole thing unless you are signing it.

  7. posting too quickly :

    Want. This. Bag. I have been looking for my first “real” bag and this seems to check all the boxes. I think I’ll bookmark it and think about it is a birthday gift to myself.

  8. Miss Behaved :

    Repeating this here…

    PSA, Ladies…

    Bluefly is having a special $39 sale for 10 hours. I just got a birthday gift for my sister-in-law: A turquoise clutch that is usually $150 and turquoise and sapphire blue Kenneth Jay Lane drop earrings. Total price $70

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Thanks…just picked up several baby bump friendly (I hope) tops!

  9. TJ. In light of all the recent discussion over sending kids off to college, my niece will be starting her freshman year this fall, and has declared her intention to go Greek. Neither my brother or sister-in-law went to schools with Greek systems, and, since my niece will be attending my alma mater, they’ve asked me to talk to her about her decision, presuming that I know more about the Greek system than they do. Although from my name you can see that I am not a sorority sister! My niece and I are also fairly close (9-year gap) in age, and usually have a more sister-like relationship, so they think she’d listen to me more than she would to them about the Greek system’s issues (drinking, hazing, eating disorders, etc.)

    Were any of you Greek? What do you think about sororities, whether you were in one or not? Advantages, disadvantages? Anyplace else I could look for more information, outside of the standard headlines? I read Pledged over the weekend, and thought it seemed to be a fairly balanced, reasoned critique of Greek life; I’m planning to give her a copy. I don’t care if she rushes/pledges or not (although her parents do!), I just want to make sure she has the right information to go in with her eyes open. TIA!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      This is from the perspective of an independent – I think it probably depends a lot on where you go to school. I went to a school that didn’t have Greek life (egalitarian philosophy) but some of my friends went to schools where it is very common. I think there are some schools out there where Greek life dominates the entire social scene (so if you want to have a social life, you have to go Greek), other schools where it’s a small part but there are a ton of other activities, and some schools where it either doesn’t exist or is seriously looked down on. So a lot of it will depend on what school she goes to.

      From friends at other schools who have rushed, it seems to be an emotional and exhausting experience (especially at big SEC schools). I think there is a website on Greek life called Greek Talk or Greek Chat where a lot of people post school-specific information. I would emphasize to her that there are probably plenty of houses she could find a great fit in, so not to “fall in love with” any one specific house, since there’s no guarantee she’ll be selected.

      Greek life seems like it can be expensive and the costs can add up. I am way premature in thinking about this, but if I had a teenager who wanted to go Greek, I would treat it like other extracurricular/club things in college – good for you, knock yourself out, but it’s an “optional” thing so costs are on you. Chapter dues/formal expenses etc would fall under “discretinary spending money” in my mind, and I’d leave a kid on their own to come up with that money. Your niece may have a different arrangement with her parents but costs are definitely one of the things to keep in mind.

    • I was in a sorority at an ivy league school (one of the “lesser” ivies). If I had to do it all over again I would not have gone Greek. It was a lot of fun and a great way to meet people, but it was non-stop partying. There were drinking events at least 5 days a week, and it was generally the binge drinking that is particularly dangerous for college women.

      Also, the entire Greek system was structured around making the men (boys) happy. The sororities were “ranked” more or less by which frats socialized with them. We were told multiple times by our president and social chairs that we needed to be more “friendly” with the guys that we partied with if we wanted the better frats to set up events with us. It was gross, and not really the message you want to hear when you’re 19 year old.

      So, there are definitely disadvantages. I’ll let someone else chime in on the advantages. I’ve never put it on my resume because most people in my circle now think the Greek system is kind of ridiculous.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Oh yeah — I believe it’s no more/less of a resume boost than any other primarily social college activity, though I know some friends have made career/networking connections through members of their sororities.

      • Anonymous :

        I didn’t rush or pledge, but did go to the school your niece is going to. . .there is definitely a hierarchy of greek orgs so hopefully she goes in with her eyes open.

    • Anonforthis :

      Being in a sorority wasn’t for me, but I don’t see anything inherently wrong with them. Tell your niece that whatever she does in college, she needs to be smart and think about whether she is making responsible decisions and she needs to think about the consequences of anything she does, especially if she is drinking.

      I went to a school with a large greek scene and honestly, maybe it was because of that, but I think that many groups group your niece might get involved with will kind of be like a sorority in some ways. I was captain of a co-ed club sports team and there was hazing and drinking and parties and fundraisers. The hazing was just less drawn out and intense than with greek life. I was also in an all-female a cappella group and while there wasn’t hazing, there were a lot of matching t-shirts, spring break trips, mixers with other groups, formals, etc. I had access to all kinds of greek parties through my friends who were in the greek system.

      One of my sisters rushed multiple semesters but then never committed to a house, my other sister rushed and pledged immediately and never looked back. We all enjoyed our colleges experiences immensely and they weren’t all that dissimilar.

    • Would you share which college/university or even part of the country? It makes a huge difference. I had an absolutely wonderful experience at a large midwestern state university – good leadership experience, a focus on academics, service opportunities, etc. My fellow members were into a huge range of campus activities and majors, and a majority of people had friends both within and outside of the sorority, which I think really enriched my college experience. I experienced no hazing, and while dangerous binge drinking did happen, it was not commonplace and not anymore prevalent than in the dorms or at non-Greek parties.

      • She will be attending a state school in the upper South; unofficial mascot is a fish that can drink a certain amount times its own weight. I’m glad you had a positive experience with your sorority. They get so much negative press sometimes it’s hard, as an outsider, to know what to believe.

        • Anonforthis :

          I’m the Anonforthis from above and I went to the school your niece will be attending. :)

          • I think we had similar experiences there, then (except slightly different extracurriculars)!

        • Yay for another ‘hoo on the board! I’m an alumna of the school as well (undergrad). I still love my alma matter and have very fond memories of my time there.

          Granted that it was over a decade ago, but I rushed and then did not pledge. Many many of my friends did and here is my take: It was a big deal to be in a sorority for 1st & 2nd year but by the time I was in my third year, it didn’t play as huge a role in my friends or my social life. My best friend (and roommate for a couple of years) rushed and joined a sorority. She loved it, had a great time, definately did some partying (so does the whole school), did a bunch of philanthropy and still has friends from her sorority. For me, I didn’t end up pledging but still had a great social life and was involved in so many things on grounds that it didn’t feel restrictive not to be in a sorority. I think my advice would be: to not rule it out (is rush still held in the spring?) but listen to your gut and be a smart observer prior to and during rush.

        • mintberrycrunch :

          I was in a sorority at that school. I personally had a wonderful experience, although many of the concerns expressed by others (binge drinking, etc.) are certainly valid. I will say that at that particular school, Greek life is a fairly big component of the social scene (I believe about 1/3 of students were Greek when I was there; I graduated in ’05). When I was there at least, there were a lot of sororities (I believe it was something like 16), and there were many that I would NOT have wanted to be a part of, but I loved mine. I ended up being very active, which gave me a lot of community service and leadership experience.

          I did not intend to rush or join a sorority when I entered school, and then decided to do so after realizing that everyone on my hall was doing it and basically not wanting to be left out of the process. If they still do rush the way they used to, it is in January, so first years are not able to participate in the Greek community during their first semester. I think this is key, because it gave me time to (1) get used to my academic course load, (2) make a wide group of friends, many of whom ultimately were not in the Greek community or were in different sororities/fraternities, and (3) get comfortable living away from home and frankly, partying, before getting dumped into the hard partying Greek scene.

          I personally did not experience any major hazing, bullying, or drama beyond what most of my college friends experienced in whatever social group they joined (like another poster said, many non-Greek organizations have similar practices). I do know those things exists though, and heard rumors of them from other houses, so those negative experiences are certainly a possibility.

          For what it’s worth, I often don’t tell people that I was in a sorority these days (it mostly just doesn’t come up, but there’s often a stigma around it in the real world as well – perhaps rightly). But that being said, I’m coming up on my 10th college reunion, and my closest group of friends are still my sorority sisters. We were one another’s bridesmaids; we are god parents to one another’s children. I truly did make life long friends by going Greek, so I would not change my decision and I would encourage a mature, intelligent young woman to at least rush and decide if she “clicks” with any of the houses. Just thought I’d throw that out there since there can be so much negative energy surrounding the Greek experience.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think this discussion depends hugely on where she’s going to school. Binge drinking and eating disorders can run rampant in dorms too, and some of the most accomplished women I know are sorority members.

      • Yes, this is definitely true. I take full responsibility for the binge drinking — the sorority certainly didn’t force me to do that. It did provide ample opportunity to binge drink, but I had a lot of sorority sisters who were very responsible and who rarely drank.

      • Famouscait :

        I agree that I can think of several women I know who were in the leadership of their SEC sorority chapters, and are now smart, achieving, go-getter type ladies.

        However, I also work in an SEC school, and I’m always slightly appalled by the herd mentality displayed by the sorority girls. It’s hard for me to pinpoint where that switch is made from the “safety in numbers” behavior to the “I’m-gonna-run-this-company” type behavior.

    • I had a positve Greek experience. I’d poke around on the National Panhellenic Council website as well as some of the individual sorority websites to learn more about collegiate and alumni activities. Yes, there are some negative that you mentioned. But, there are also a lot of positives like leadership, philanthropy, networkng, and academics and these are what the organizations are based on.

    • I was in one at an Ivy. Joined because there were not many females in my major and wanted to make girlfriends, but the cattiness / drinking / boy crazy self-worth emphasis / unhealthy or disordered eating / popularity power plays were so not worth it. I wanted to actually drop out, but my mom wouldn’t let me, so instead I conveniently signed up for a class that met on the evenings we had chapter meetings and just saw my few actual sorority friends outside official events.

      • I realize this sounds like I am totally judging all the sorority girls — but it’s more that the girls that were drawn to the leadership positions frequently had or emphasized these priorities, i.e., which frats were a “goal” to have a mixer with, and putting less conventionally attractive girls doing behind the scenes grunt work during rush rather than talking to the rushees… ick.

    • I was in a sorority, although I sort of unofficially dropped out partway through college (never officially de-affiliated and am considered an alumna). I’m not sure how helpful this will be because it may be fairly specific to my school. I went to school that very much did NOT have a party school rep, so I did not see or even know secondhand about a lot of the traditional problems with the Greek system etc (hazing, etc), although there was of course plenty of underage drinking both in and out of the Greek system. However, I did not realize how all-consuming the experience of being in a sorority would be. Only about 1/3 of the girls at my school were affiliated, and the majority did not live in sorority houses but instead remained on campus in dorms. When I was pledging, it was framed to me as “oh you don’t have to live in the house and if you don’t live in the house, you’ll keep all your non-Greek friends.” My sorority did not even have a house, so I thought keeping in contact with non-Greek friends would be even easier. But we had regular meetings every week, “very important” social events almost every week and lots of organizational busywork type stuff to do between those meetings, so between that and my academics I found that took up almost all my time and I was not getting to see any other friends or participate in any other activities. If I wanted to do anything else that would pull me away from the sorority I got a huge guilt trip from sisters about it. That was a huge part of why I dropped out. I also realized that the people who I called my sisters were not as good people and as true friends as the friends I made outside of my sorority (mostly through my dorm). To this day, I don’t keep in contact (other than being facebook friends) with a single sorority sister, but my dorm friends almost all came to my wedding and several were bridesmaids. Honestly, the best thing I can say I got out of my sorority was meeting a guy in the “brother” fraternity who became one of my best, lifelong friends. If you are in a sorority with a house, you will also be under enormous pressure to move into the house, at least at my school (or so I was told by my friends in some other sororities). This would cut you off from your non-sorority life even more. I know a lot of people who had great sorority experiences, but I feel like I got a much better, happier, well-rounded college experience by deciding not to participate actively in my sorority and I would definitely want to have a long talk about these issues with a daughter/niece who was considering rushing.

      • Thanks, this was very helpful.

      • Rising 2L :

        That sounds kind of like my experience, except I officially dropped. When I considered pledging it was all “you don’t have to live in.” The I pledged and that talk kind of stopped even though I was very vocal about not wanting to live in. My big sister, my pledge educator, and her alumna advisor all should have told me the truth but they didn’t. So I initiated and paid the initiation dues, like $300, and then I started my request to live out. The alum advisory committee told me no way and that if I didn’t want to live in they would need me to volunteer to quit. And of course I didn’t get my money back, and later found out that my former big sister referred to me as an ‘abortion.’ I’m still friendly with some of my other former sisters though.

    • I was in a sorority in the Northeast. Decent school with great name recognition. And a fruity mascot ;)

      I really enjoyed my time in the sorority and I met some wonderful people that I am still friendly with today. For the most part, the women in the sorority were smart and hardworking. They were interesting and were from diverse backgrounds. I never felt pressured to drink or be sexually promiscuous. We did lots of fun bonding events with the women in the group and some charity work. They did two parent events a year so my parents got to come up and attend fancy events and meet all my friends parents, which was a really nice thing.

      Other advantages are that I lived in a beautiful house that was very close to campus. Better than any other campus housing. I met tons of nice people (women and men, for the record — not all frat boys are assholes). I was busy with events, but never felt pressured to drink too much or be out every night of the week.

      The only disadvantage I can think of is the cost, but I didn’t pay for it. I think my parents ended up telling me that room + board (not including the yearly dues) was actually cheaper than the room + board provided by the college, so while they didn’t save money (when you factored in dues, it ended up being more), but there was more bang for the buck. And, as I said, the house was absolutely gorgeous and we had a chef who was SO much better than dining hall food. And I have an adorable tee shirt collection from all the events!

      At my school, you didn’t pledge until second semester freshman year, so I was able to keep all the friends I made from first semester and remain friends with them (many went Greek, too, but different houses and some didn’t do Greek at all).

    • I’ll put a plug in for business fraternities or other co-ed groups. My business fraternity was incredibly social, and I met almost all of my best college friends in the group. I think the co-ed aspect made it more fun and less dramatic, because the boys just didn’t take themselves as seriously as the girls in general. I was the VP – Professional, in charge of planning all of our professional events. In interviewing, I believe the position I held was more impressive than the same position in a strictly social group. In general, what I would tell rushees is that you can get as much or as little out of the group as you want – community service, professional opportunities, leadership, friends, formals, tailgates, and partying – it’s up to the member (“brother”) to decide what he or she wants from the experience.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I was part of a women’s honor society, and we did not even consider freshman. I had a really good experience, became an officer, and I think it added a lot to my time as an undergrad without the expense / stress of rushing.

        We had a decent sorority / fraternity scene, but it just really never interested me (I went to UC Davis, no ivy league, but there were certainly many “rushing” opportunities).

    • I was in a sorority, though my experience was a little different because I did not rush. I transferred as a sophomore in the spring, and joining that way is a much more low key deal (I did get to participant in rush season from the “inside” though – intense but exciting). I agree with everyone who says it depends where – and also what sorority. I went to a private college in the South that had a big emphasis on Greek Life. A couple of them did have a reputation for only picking attractive blondes and binge-drinking at parties, but not all. I found my sorority to be diverse, some alcohol happened but there were no out of control parties, and any EDs were in the past of women who now advocated for recovery seminars and organizations. No hazing. It was a really positive woman-centered experience for me (my sorority had mixers with frats but we were proud of the fact that we weren’t the kind to have an official “paired” frat or anything).

      I do agree with LH that it’s a major time commitment. We had weekly meetings and you were expected to attend a certain number of events per week. That could sometimes be less than ideal if there weren’t many I wanted to go to or I had a particularly rough week.

      I think you’re doing the right think by making sure she gets a balanced view of it. Just make sure she knows she doesn’t have to rush right away and, if she does, to pick the one she really feels is a good fit.

  10. I could use a little support. I would really, really like to go a reasonable amount of time, say, two hours, without messing anything up. When I got in this morning I was really hoping for a full day without messing up, but that goal was shot by 9:30. I don’t usually make the same mistake twice (although I do more than I’d like), but there are always more ways to mess up and I manage to find all of them. I’m the only first year associate at my small firm, and I feel like all my bosses are regretting they took a chance on me and wishing they’d hired someone with more experience.

    • I really doubt they are regretting hiring you. When I was hired I was also the only first-year associate at my small firm (and am still the newest associate, though now I’m a second-year), and I felt similarly. You just get thrown into it, and partners (and everyone else!) expect that you know how to do all kinds of things you don’t know how to do, and in fact there’s no way you could know how to do them because they don’t teach those things in law school. There is no way to avoid making tons of mistakes, because half the time you don’t even know what you don’t know. Moreover, lawyers don’t seem to be good at telling you what you’re doing well, but only what you’ve done wrong.

      Please believe that it does get better. I still make mistakes that seem like dumb mistakes to me, but much less than last year. Hang in there.

    • If it makes you feel better, I think *every* first year associate goes through that feeling. In fact, I would be worried if a new associate didn’t feel overwhelmed and/or constantly messing up. I think it takes a while to actually train yourself to have the necessary attention to detail to practice law.

      In the short term (to the extent you haven’t already), I’d speak to your partners one and one and 1) own up to any mistakes that were your fault and 2) tell them how you will make sure that specific mistake won’t happen again. In my experience, the worst thing an associate can do is refuse to accept blame or attempt to deflect blame for something that was actually his or her fault.

    • I tell the first years I work with that they are supposed to feel like idiots for the first year. We all did. And then your second year, maybe you only feel like an idiot once a day. By your 4-5 year, you sometimes go a week without feeling like an idiot. You are learning. Cut yourself some slack. Everyone who has ever worked with a first year associate knows that you don’t spring fully-formed from law school as functioning lawyers. Even those partners who don’t remember being there themselves. Just do your best to learn from all the mistakes and take it all in. You are not perfect, and you are never going to be perfect, so don’t start with that as a requirement. What I want to see is that you are open to learning, that you are learning and improving, and that you have a good attitude. It’s a big part of my job as a partner to teach young lawyers how to be lawyers. I know that going in, and I don’t resent it.

      Also, you don’t say in your post how the partners are reacting to the mistakes, but understand that a lot of what may seem like annoyance in partners is NOT annoyance with you. It’s annoyance with clients and opposing counsel and judges and the person who was just in the office before you and how busy we are, etc. Don’t internalize things you don’t have to.

    • Oh, this is such a first year feeling. It’s okay. My first year, the other first year on my biggest case and I used to joke that the partner wished he had a trap door in front of his desk so he could just drop us to the sharks every time we screwed up. I often felt like he was thinking “which one of my idiot partners hired this kid and is it too late to send her back?” My one piece of advice is that, after you’re given an assignment of any kind, go back to your office and immediately look through your notes and any other materials. See if you have any questions after an hour or so of review. Then send the assigning person an email that reiterates your understanding of what you’re supposed to do (along with your understanding of timeline — especially if they didn’t say, make sure you pick a deadline for major tasks and see if they find your proposed timeline to be reasonable) then ask any questions you have. But it really does get easier, and even if they don’t act like it, everyone knows first years are on a steep, steep learning curve.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      You don’t learn without making mistakes.

      And your bosses hired you because you were the best applicant. Own it.

    • Thank you for all the kind words. It’s good to know that other people went through this and that it’s totally normal. And also that all of the high powered women here are patient with their first year associates :).

      I think part of it is that I didn’t find the first year of law school all that awful, and while there were some crazy moments while studying for the bar, it really wasn’t too bad, so even though people talk about how bad your first year as an associate is, I didn’t really think it would be.

      Plus, I didn’t apply for this position, I got in through an internal connection and I don’t think there were any other applicants, so that kind of contributes to my feelings of unworthiness.

    • In my third year – felt like an idiot 3 times this week. If you made zero mistakes, you are probably being grossly underpaid. As long as you do not react to your mistakes too lightly (check) and aren’t causing routine, irreversible malpractice, you are probably par for the course. As long as those mistakes are not being ill prepared for lack of preparation (here take this pre-trial in five minutes does not count) and you are not repeating the same mistakes, it is just part of the learning curve. Give yourself a pat on the back and try not to dwell on what you think the bosses are thinking, because they are probably thinking about 100 other things.

  11. Paula’s Choice fans who use the Skin Balancing line – have you switched SPF moisturizers? They’ve discontinued the SPF 15, which I loved. I don’t love the SPF 30 and only use it when I know I am spending extended time outside – I don’t break out or anything, it’s just more the texture and the way it sits on my face.

    • I switched to the Paula’s choice hydralight spf30. It takes a little longer to rub in when i first apply, but a few minutes later and I don’t feel anything.

    • YES I thought because of sunscreen law changes? The new sunscreen caused my eyelids to peel! I switched to the moisture boost sunscreen instead but kept the rest of the balance line. They changed the gel too! or were out of it. I alternate between the 2% liquid and 1% lotion now depending on breakouts/workouts etc. I ordered some samples of the hydralight spf. Call them and they will refund the charge for the balance spf 30 and send samples of the other kinds. I think because I said my eyelids were peeling, she sent the moisture boost but it is a little too greasy or hard to rub in. Still better than the balance 30 though. Hoping hydralight will be a good match.

  12. I loooooove that bag.

    I’ve been looking for a black cross body bag to wear now into fall but while I love some I’ve seen at MK/Coach, can’t get myself to pay $200 for a mainly weekend bag. Anyone seen a bag that is big enough to actually hold things more in the $50 range?

    • Try Aldo. (I do only non-leather, which includes most of their bags, so if you’re looking for leather they won’t work.) Here’s one; there are others on Aldo’s site or at Zappos.

      http://www.aldoshoes.com/us/handbags/cross-body-bags/product/94091600-inks/98

    • SoCal Gator :

      Just finished looking for a black crossbody bag for weekends. Ended up buying Giani Bernini Handbag, Nappa Leather Accordion Foldover Bag on sale right now at Macy’s for $70.

      http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/giani-bernini-handbag-nappa-leather-accordion-foldover-bag?ID=566393&CategoryID=54507#fn=HANDBAG_STYLE%3DCrossbody%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D25%26ruleId%3D52%26slotId%3D6

  13. I was in a sorority, although I sort of unofficially dropped out partway through college (never officially de-affiliated and am considered an alumna). I’m not sure how helpful this will be because it may be fairly specific to my school. I went to school that very much did NOT have a party school rep, so I did not see or even know secondhand about a lot of the traditional problems with the Greek system etc (hazing, etc), although there was of course plenty of underage drinking both in and out of the Greek system. However, I did not realize how all-consuming the experience of being in a sorority would be. Only about 1/3 of the girls at my school were affiliated, and the majority did not live in sorority houses but instead remained on campus in dorms. When I was pledging, it was framed to me as “oh you don’t have to live in the house and if you don’t live in the house, you’ll keep all your non-Greek friends.” My sorority did not even have a house, so I thought keeping in contact with non-Greek friends would be even easier. But we had regular meetings every week, “very important” social events almost every week and lots of organizational busywork type stuff to do between those meetings, so between that and my academics I found that took up almost all my time and I was not getting to see any other friends or participate in any other activities. If I wanted to do anything else that would pull me away from the sorority I got a huge guilt trip from sisters about it. That was a huge part of why I dropped out. I also realized that the people who I called my sisters were not as good people and as true friends as the friends I made outside of my sorority (mostly through my dorm). To this day, I don’t keep in contact (other than being facebook friends) with a single sorority sister, but my dorm friends almost all came to my wedding and several were bridesmaids. Honestly, the best thing I can say I got out of my sorority was meeting a guy in the “brother” fraternity who became one of my best, lifelong friends. If you are in a sorority with a house, you will also be under enormous pressure to move into the house, at least at my school (or so I was told by my friends in some other sororities). This would cut you off from your non-sorority life even more. I know a lot of people who had great sorority experiences, but I feel like I got a much better, happier, well-rounded college experience by deciding not to participate actively in my sorority and I would definitely want to have a long talk about these issues with a daughter/niece who was considering rushing.

  14. Jr Associate :

    Rant coming: one of the assistants at my small firm who helps me out sometimes just told me she hopes our new (female) associate doesn’t give her work because she hates working for women. I have no idea whether or not I should be insulted or what she meant

    • Is this assistant your mother’s age? Because I swear I heard that so.many.times. Always followed up by “working for you is so different than working for most female attorneys.” As if bashing my fellow female attorneys at the office was really a compliment.

  15. Boss Lady Wannabe :

    TJ – In the last six months, I was hired to run a business unit of a very large company and have approximately and oversee about 150 with about 10 direct reports. I am feeling good about the vision I am setting and managing the larger projects, its just keeping track of all the little tasks that I assign to people that I am really struggling with.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep track of the many things that you delegate/task staff with? I’ve taken to carrying around a small notebook with me with a page for each person that reports to me and writing down the things I ask them to do on that page, crossing it out when I get the item, but worry that’s kinda jerky or something? Like a whole notebook of to dos for other people? That said, I don’t have any better ideas and some members of my team are not particularly strong on following through so I definitely need some sort of reminder system.

    I already have an amazing assistant who already does a ton with keeping my schedule/generally running the office so I am looking for a system that makes me remember deliverables for my staff that come up in meetings, etc.

    Thanks!

    • I’m still working on it, but I’ve used two approaches:
      1) I maintain a daily log listing all tasks and the asignee and due date. I do some custom formatting to make it easy to sort/filter. If a task is assigned when I’m away from my desk, I write it down in a notebook and immediately transfer when I get back to the office.
      2) Lately, I just email the task to myself (or bcc myself on email assignments) and put anything I need to follow up on in a “Followup” folder. I review it multiple times a day so it doesn’t get overwhelming. It might not work with that many people, though.
      Looking forward to seeing others’ ideas!

      • Boss Lady Wannabe :

        I started doing the bcc myself thing but I send/receive so many emails a day that it quickly got lost

    • This wouldn’t help you on tasks handed out in meetings, but I tend to give a lot of assignments by email. I do this because if I think of something that needs to be done, chances are if I don’t pass that along right away, I’ll forget about it myself. I then flag my sent email with a follow up flag in Outlook if I need to remember that this is something the recipient needs to get back to me on. When I get the work from them, then I unflag it. This way I can see at one glance all the things I’m waiting on.

      • Boss Lady Wannabe :

        Can you see this list on your blackberry? I like the paper list because I can take it home and review/send out follow up requests via my bb from my couch with a glass of wine. It some how feels less like working from home does then setting up by laptop

    • I keep a shared drive project log and ask the team to update weekly, so they’re answerable for their tasks. I also keep my own notes, and try to document big asks in email with a due date flag. I can sort my sent mail by flagged to make sure I haven’t lost track of anything, and we review the project log at team meetings.

      • Boss Lady Wannabe :

        I like this idea! It puts more of the responsibility on the supervisor too. Sometimes I feel like such a nag.

        • The log is also great at review time, because the entire year is stored there. I can see who did what, and remember projects which ended midyear and aren’t as prominent in my mind.

          • Love this! I had been maintaining my own log, but it was just sooo much work. Thanks!

    • Can you get a TA?

    • Anonymous :

      When I assign a task, I also make an appointment in my calendar to check back in with them after a certain period of time, say 7 or 10 days, for an update. Then I can just forget about it until then.

      • Boss Lady Wannabe :

        I do this for major tasks but I think if I put everything on there it would get totally overwhelming.

      • +1 to this. I actually have recurring meetings for half an hour on my calendar every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the late afternoon – when I assign a task, I open one and add it in there. (Whichever one seems like a reasonable time frame to check in.) Then, I spent the blocked time on each day following up on the items listed. Having designated times already blocked and just adding stuff in keeps it from being too overwhelming.

    • Ask the assignee to drop you an email with a due date (you can soften this by asking for ‘a quick note if there’s anything you need from me, otherwise just when I can expect you to revert’). If these tasks are bring assigned in meetings, ask that minutes be taken with specific attention to outstanding tasks and circulated to all attendees by email. Up to you if you can keep track of the tasks by flagging your email, otherwise perhaps you have an assistant who can be copied and can be tasked with inputting due dates into your diary.

      If this sounds high-maintenance, please be assured that it is not. Pretty much everyone I know with a heavy burden for managing others quickly figures out the need to out-source and streamline the administrative stuff.

  16. hellskitchen :

    TJ – Ideas for birthday gifts for SO who is a new dad? I’d like to give something he can pass on to our son at some point. It could also be something that is engravable, but I am iffy on cufflinks since SO tends to lose them all the time. It could also be something else that will hold well over the years. Someone had posted a thread about this a few months ago but I can’t find it. Budget is ~$500.

    • downstream :

      moneyclip? tie clip? pen?

      • hellskitchen :

        He rarely needs to wear a tie for work but loves collecting fine pens so that’s a great idea!

    • This is super random, but you could buy one of those steel ice chests. I bought one for my husband, and he loves it, so my sister bought one for her husband, and he loves it. It’s kind of a random thing when thinking of things to pass down to kids, but it’s gotten way more use than a lot of the typical mementos.

      http://www.rei.com/product/675648/coleman-stainless-steel-cooler-54-qt?preferredSku=6756480015&cm_mmc=cse_froogle-_-pla-_-product-_-6756480015&mr:referralID=bd7c2623-eff6-11e2-9389-001b2166c62d

    • Pocketwatch, flask (kind of kidding, but wouldn’t that be cool to get from dad on his 21st birthday or something…) My hubby has his dad’s pocketwatch and really treasures it now that his dad has passed.

      • My dad wore my grandfather’s wrist watch for years after he passed away. :)

    • hellskitchen :

      preg anon and Anon – funnily, I was gravitating toward flasks, beer mugs and other drinking accessories as well but was worried it would not be appropriate. But I might just bite the bullet and these would be great for my SO to pass on to our son when he’s older

    • I would definitely recommend a wristwatch. It doesn’t even need to be anything near a Rolex, but you can get the back engraved and they make pretty meaningful mementos since they’re worn by the original owner often.

      I would recommend Seiko – they’re good quality and I’ve had good luck with them. As a tangent : IMO a leather strap would work better because they a) can be replaced, b) can be easily adjusted (metal can too, obviously, but if your son ends up having a larger wrist than SO and you lost the extra links over the course of 18 years or whatever, he would be out of luck), and c) I think they look fine with some wear and tear, while metal just gets scratched.

  17. A few coworkers and I work together on some projects for a non-profit. One of my co-workers is pushing me to take on the project of organizing an event to happen in the next 3 months or so. I would be happy to help, but I am currently dealing with a health issue that will require a minimally invasive surgery within that time frame. Right now, I am busy researching my condition and the surgery to make sure I go in fully informed. I am reluctant to take on this additional responsibility given the timing. I have hesitated, but my coworker keeps pushing me to do it and keeps coming up with ideas to make this an even bigger undertaking. I don’t want to share the details of my health condition, but I think I am too stressed about this health issue to do a good job organizing the event. Any advice for how to say no without having to divulge this info?

    • “No, I’d love to help next time, but I have too much on my plate for the next 3 months…You have such great ideas, it sounds like you should take on the project!”

      If they push–“just personal/family obligations”

  18. anondater32 :

    I doubt anyone is reading, but I had to post.

    I signed up for online dating after a long hiatus, and I feel so vulnerable. I’ve had friends review my profile and pics. I really feel like they’re good. And yet I’m only getting emails from weirdos or guys that just say “hi” and nothing else. And I’m not getting as many emails as I used to (I fear this is because I’m getting older, because I used to get more with pretty much the same profile a few years ago).

    I don’t know if I want advice or a pep talk… or both. What’s a reasonable amount of emails to expect in a day or a week? Does anyone ever do two sites (or more!) at once?

    Has anyone ever done HowAboutWe.com? And Chicago ladies, any good or bad experiences with any of the main sites?

    • Well sadly I have no advice for you but just wanted to say that I also recently joined online dating and am finding the whole thing more challenging than I thought. Most recently, I had been communicating with a guy who actually seemed like someone I’d want to meet… and he just vanished. So that was sad.

      I emailed a friend of mine to mope about my lack of success, and her advice was to try to move relationships offline relatively quickly – if you do hear someone you might be interested in, suggest meeting up (obviously, following safety precautions) rather than having extended online communication. She also recommended being very selective about giving out a phone number – she said that giving out her number mostly just increased the number of 11 PM text messages: “hey”.

      So, hang in there and know that you’re not alone. Good luck!!

    • Can’t help with the lack of replies, but I would suggest getting a google voice number and giving that out instead of your real one. It’s so easy to block people if you need to and it’s not tied to your physical address anywhere.

  19. Very smart, this bag would give a great impression at the office

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